Heads-up: How notorious publicity addict Knox conned the New York Times's ill-prepared Jessica Bennett. The "exonerated" headline is wildly wrong. See our first rebuttals here. Amazingly, Bennett omits that Knox, now a convicted felon for life, served three years for the criminal framing for murder of Patrick Lumumba having failed all appeals.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Why Did Judge Marasca Parrot The CSI Effect In The Supreme Court’s Final Report?

Posted by The Machine

Judges Marasca and Bruno

1. This Post In Wider Context

Judge Marasca was the lead judge of a Fifth Chambers panel of five judges. Judge Bruno was the rapporteur and he drafted the report.

On 7 September 2015 they signed off on the final report published a full three months past the mandatory deadline. After the report came out no US or UK media either translated the report or summarized it. Knox and her PR characterised the conclusion as an exoneration. This was a lie.

No US or UK media reported that. 

Italian legal scholars and our own posters have voiced extensive criticisms. One is especially relevant here: that it is illegal for the Supreme Court to displace lower courts by getting into the evidence.  Claimed problems must be referred back down to the lower court - in this case, the 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court which in our view did an extremely good job.

No US or UK media reported that.

Judge Marasca and Judge Bruno were politically appointed judges who had not followed the demanding career path. Neither were “murder judges” and neither had handled a murder case before, and this lack of training and experience shows throughout the very amateurish report.

No US or UK media reported that.

The Fifth Chambers is not the “murder case chambers”, such cases are normally always handled by the First Chambers which had repeatedly visited the case before - for example: (1) in 2008 when Sollecito and Knox wanted to be out of prison and on house arrest; (2) in 2010 in declining Guede’s final appeal; (3) in 2012 in annulling the outcome of the Hellman appeal. 

No US or UK media reported that.

The CSI Effect had zero effect on the Massei trial jury or the Nencini appeal jury because (1) the DNA evidence was strong and backed up by two top-rate national labs; and (2) all the other evidece was strong too. But the CSI Effect was promoted to the maximum to the US and UK publics by the Sollecito and Knox PR and many have been misled.

No US or UK media reported that.

2. Calibrated Take On Significance Of DNA

DNA evidence is a relatively new phenomenon in the long history of criminal law. The first case where DNA evidence was used to convicted someone of murder was in 1988. Colin Pitchfork was given life sentences for the rapes and murders of 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire.

The advantages of DNA evidence

The advantages of DNA evidence are obvious. It helps to convict criminals, exonerate the wrongly accused and identify victims of crime. DNA samples collected from the crime scene and the bodies of victims can be used to accurately identify suspects.

It is current CPS policy to quote a match probability of one in a billion. In other words, there may be another six people on the planet who have an identical DNA profile to the suspect, but the probability that the culprit is someone else is so exceedingly low that it can effectively be ruled out.

DNA evidence conclusively proved that James Hanratty murdered Michael Gregsten 40 years after he was convicted of murder. It also silenced the journalists, politicians, human rights campaigners, lawyers, writers, filmmakers and celebrities who were certain he was innocent and had campaigned on his behalf

The disadvantages of DNA evidence

DNA evidence is only one type of evidence jurors should take into account when considering the evidence against a defendant. TV shows like CSI have led some jurors to having unrealistic expectations of DNA analysis and giving it more weight than other types of evidence. This phenomenon is known as the CSI effect.

Prosecutor Wendy Murphy raised her concerns about the CSI effect in 2005:

“This has been a bit of a problem even before the onset of DNA, and shows like ‘CSI.’ You get jurors who don’t have a lot of brain cells asking questions after the case is over about why there weren’t any fingerprints on the pillow case. Of course, that makes no sense.

“But once you get the influence of ‘CSI,’ what they start to expect is not only a lot of forensic evidence, but that this one missing piece would have told them the truth. That’s just not reality.

“Most murder cases have a little forensic evidence, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story.

“I actually think one of the problems is we’re not screening out these jurors who are way too much under the influence of these pop culture programs. They shouldn’t be allowed to sit in judgment, frankly.”

Beth Carpenter, from the Oregon Crime Lab, says there are expectations well beyond what the reality is.

There is a widespread misconception that DNA is like wet paint. However, DNA is not easy to transfer. Dr Stefanoni testified that the “transfer of DNA must not be taken for granted nor it is easy to happen, and more likely to take place if the original trace is aqueous, not if it is dry”.

3. Addressing Of DNA In The Final Report

It seem Judge Marasca was influenced by the CSI effect or ast least deliberately playing on it.

They claim the lack of biological traces attributable to Knox and Sollecito is proof they weren’t physically involved in Meredith’s murder

Now, a fact of assured relevance in favor of the current appellants, in the sense of excluding their material participation to the homicide, even in the hypothesis of their presence in the house of via della Pergola, lies in the absolute absence of biological traces referable to them (apart from the hook of which we will discuss later) in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, where in contrast multiple traces attributable to Guede were found.”

It is incontrovertibly impossible that that in the crime scene (constituted by a room of little dimensions: ml 2,91x3,36, as indicated by the blueprint reproduced at f. 76) no traces would be retrieved referable to the current appellants had they participated in the murder of Kercher.

Contradictory and illogical reasoning

Judge Marasca says there were multiple attackers and he places Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito at the cottage at the time of the murder. There’s no DNA evidence of anyone else in Meredith’s room other than Guede and Sollecito.

If Marasca is saying that Guede had accomplices other than Knox and Sollecito, he’s acknowledging it’s possible to commit murder and leave no DNA evidence - which completely contradicts his claim that Knox and Sollecito were not materially involved in Meredith’s murder because of the lack of credible traces that are attributable to them.

Marasca’s reasoning on this specific issue is contradictory and illogical and many DNA experts e.g. Peter Gill disagree with his belief that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

“Sometimes forensic scientists may try to find meaning in the absence of a DNA profile to prove a negative: e.g., ‘‘Mr X was not in the room because I could not find his DNA.’ This is a specious argument. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” (Peter Gill,  Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice).

The fact the Scientific Police found no DNA samples on Meredith’s neck from the person who strangled her with enough force to leave visible bruises and break her hyoid bone proves it’s possible exert considerable force on someone and still leave no DNA evidence.

There were 43 bruises and wounds on Meredith’s body, but the Scientific Police only found one DNA sample of one of her attackers on her body. It’s self-evident that attackers don’t always leave their DNA on their victims.

Marasca also seems to assume DNA evidence is required to convicted someone of murder. It isn’t a required element in Italy or in any common law jurisdiction.

Forensic investigators didn’t find any DNA samples belonging to Jessica Chapman or Holly Wells at Ian Huntley’s home or any DNA samples belonging to April Jones at Mark Bridger’s home or any DNA samples belonging to Milly Dowler at Levi Bellfield’s home or any DNA samples belonging to Teresa Halbach inside Steven Avery’s bedroom.

It didn’t matter because criminal cases should never hinge on solely DNA evidence. The juries in these respective cases considered all the pieces of evidence wholly - not separately and in isolation from the other pieces of DNA evidence.

There have also been high-profile cases in America where the defendants were convicted of murder without any DNA e.g. Adnan Syed, Damian Elchols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley and Brendan Dassey.

Judge Marasca made the exact same mistake that Judge Chieffi criticised Judge Hellmann in his Supreme Court for i.e. assessing a piece evidence in isolation from the other pieces of evidence.

Marasca should have placed the bra clasp into the wider context of the other pieces of evidence against Sollecito i.e.his multiple false alibis and numerous lies to the police, the bloody footprint matched the precise characteristics of his foot, one of the bare bloody footprints in the hallway revealed by Luminol matched his foot and Meredith’s DNA was found on the blade of his kitchen knife.

The fact that he didn’t defies belief, especially when he specially referred to the elements of strong suspicios with regard to Sollecito.

Judge Marasca also ignored the expert opinions of a number of DNA experts who effectively ruled out the possibilty that the bra clasp was contaminated at the cottage.

Alberto Intini, the head of the Italian police forensic science unit, excluded environmental contamination at the Massei trial because “DNA doesn’t fly.”

Professor Francesca Torricelli testified that it was unlikely the clasp was contaminated because there was a significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on it

Professor Novelli also ruled out environmental contamination. He pointed out in court there’s more likelihood of meteorite striking the courtroom in Perugia than there is of the bra clasp being contaminated by dust at the cottage.

“The hook contaminated by dust? It’s more likely for a meteorite to fall and bring this court down to the ground.”

Professor Balding of London University also said Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith on Meredith’s bra clasp can’t be explained by environmental contamination.

He also said there was a “much greater likelihood“ that the DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp came from Sollecito and that’s the reason why it’s “extremely strong“ evidence against him.

He told Chris Halkides that people walking in and out of the room etc would be unlikely to contaminate the bra clasp.

On the BBC documentary, he said contamination from passers-by isn’t an issue and that he has taken that into account and it’s extremely unlikely.

Replication is not essential

Professor Balding pointed out that replication isn’t essential. However, he also regards the attribution of the Y haplotype to Sollecito as replication:

“But although replication is desirable it is not essential.  (In a sense there already is replication, because each of the 15 loci is an independent test.)”

Professor Novelli also agrees that replication isn’t essential. He testified that he and other DNA experts believe it it quality of the DNA that matters - not the quanity.

This is especially relevant with regard to the knife evidence. Meredith Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade of Sollecito’s kitchen. There is no question that the DNA belonged to Meredith.

“In his report submitted on 6 September 2011 to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, Prof. Giuseppe Novelli, consultant of the Prosecutor, wrote the following observations on this point: “[...] the consultant [Stefanoni] also did a statistical calculation with the purpose of determining the probability that the profile could belong to someone other than the victim.

The calculation of the Random Match Probability came to 1 chance in 300 million billion. This value computed in this manner makes it possible to attribute the analyzed trace with absolute certainty to exactly one person, which the consultant holds to be the victim Meredith Kercher.” (Page 11 of the above-cited report) (The Nencini report, page 230).

There wasn’t enough DNA for a second test, but this shouldn’t matter because Meredith’s profile came out clean on a single amplification. Replication is a necessity when you have a dirty uncertain sequence like Knox’s DNA profile on the knife that was discovered by Major Berti and Captain Barni in 2013

The most important thing is there no evidence of contamination in or outside the laboratory. Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. This means laboratory contamination can be ruled out.

Judge Micheli ruled out contamination during the collection phase because the knife was sequestered from Sollecito’s apartment on Corso Garibaldi by a different police team to the one that collected evidence from the cottage on Via della Pergola on the same day.

3. Some Conclusions

The most embarrassing schoolboy error Judge Marasca made was to assume the absence of DNA evidence of Amanda Knox inside Meredith’s room is evidence of her absence. Every law student knows that absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.

Furthermore, Amanda Knox admitted in her book she had been in Meredith’s room to take photographs - which just highlights the fact you don’t necessarily leave any DNA samples behind when you’ve been in a room.

Like the defence experts, Judge Marasca had no trouble accepting the attribution of Y haplotype to Rudy Guede in the LCN DNA sample that was found on the vaginal swab. However, he objected to the attribution of the Y haplotype to Raffaele Sollecito in the DNA sample that was found on Meredith’s bra clasp.

It seems replication is only required if you’re white. As we’ve seen in this case time and time again, the burden of proof is raised when it comes to the two white people and lowered when it comes to the black man.

Judge Marasca’s claim there were multiple attackers, but Knox and Sollecito couldn’t have materially participated in Meredith’s because there was a lack of biological traces attributable to them makes absolutely no sense because there was no DNA of anyone else in Meredith’s room.

Perhaps, we shouldn’t be surprised his illogical and contradictory reasoning because most of his Supreme Court’s report makes no sense. You’d be forgiven for thinking as a great many have that he gave into intense pressure to acquit Knox and Sollecito and that he was not motivated by any desire to see justice served.

Posted by The Machine on 04/27 at 11:11 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (12)

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Another Deep Dive Into The Evidence: Maybe Guede’s Shoeprints Have Not Finished Talking

Posted by James Raper

Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi, leader of “pitbull” footprint team

1. This Post In Context

My book on the case referred to below is this one.

My past posts have focused on Italian law and court outcomes, on behaviours, and on these aspects of the physical evidence

Click for Post:  Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

Click for Post:  Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death

Click for Post:  Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA In Meredith’s Room Could Be Definitive Proof Of Guilt For New Appeal Jury

Click for Post:  How The Clean-Up And The Locked Door Contribute To The Very Strong Case For Guilt

Click for Post:  Multiple Attackers and the Compatibility of the Double DNA Knife (Exhibit 36)

Click for Post:  Despite Disinformation From Apologists And Even Supreme Court, Law & Science Support Damning DNA

Click for Post:  Knox’s Lamp: The Very Incriminating Evidence Found INSIDE Meredith’s Locked Room

Click for Post:  There’s This Powerful Evidence Of Sollecito’s Crimescene Presence: Unmistakably HIS Footprint

2. Guede’s Prints Near The Front Door

In the course of reviewing the content of Chapter 14 of my book the other day I noticed something which I had not paid much attention to previously.

This is to do with the placement of shoeprints at the cottage. These shoeprints were either visible, because in blood, or revealed by the application of luminol.

We can clearly see the trajectory of Guede’s left shoe by placing two maps together, as below.

In the first we see Guede’s left shoe, in blue, leaving Meredith’s room. The traces are identifiable as blood without the use of luminol.


In the second we see his left shoe prints, in red,  this time identified by the application of luminol.


What I had not paid much attention to before is the fact that in the first plan we have a left shoe print (marked “h”) in the kitchen-lounge by the side of the divan (coloured green, the yellow is the fridge by the front door) in the living room.

There are also some other traces there respectively marked f, j and y but none of these are shoe,or foot, prints. They were not identified by luminol because they were visible in blood.

A question arises as to whom this shoeprint “h” belongs. The map is from the Boemia/Rinaldi Report but I cannot see that the report attributes the shoeprint.

This shoeprint and footprint evidence was presented on 9 May 2009 in a very dramatic day in court by Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi [above], unit head from the Scientific Police in Rome, and Dr Pietro Boemia

The only time that I see it referred to in testimony is during cross-examination of Boemia by Dalla Vedova during the trial. The following extracts are abridged.

I wanted to ask you, one thing that we hadn’t done with your colleague [Dr Rinaldi] this morning, in particular with two prints, is it true that one – we’re talking of Rudy Guede – of the prints is at the entrance of the apartment facing towards the inside of the apartment? I only wanted confirmation of this.

[After some confusion as to where and which prints Vedova is talking about, and Boemia’s apparent assent to the premise, we can continue as follows (and here I think Vedova is primarily interested in the mark “f“ which may, or at least he seems to think it may, be that of a toe)]

This one here.
It’s facing the lounge really.
But the toe is towards…
The lounge.
Yes, it’s going towards the lounge, perhaps he wanted to pick something up from the lounge, this is something we can’t know,
Though at the part of the lounge close to the door to Romanelli’s room. Is that so?
It would have to be “Y”, “H” or “F” in the photographs.

Then after more confusion, we have -

And going back to that slide again, in front of the lounge, that one there is it true that it is pointing towards Romanelli’s room?
I can’t see.
This one here? This one is the door to Romanelli’s room, which is here.
Yes, it would have to be that one.
It’s here right in front of the lounge.
Is that the one?
No, towards the outside.
Towards the outside with respect to Romanelli’s room?
Let’s say in the exit direction.
Although I see on the outside with respect to Romanelli’s room.
Exactly, in the exit direction from Romanelli’s room.
In the exit direction from Romanelli’s room, not from the house.
But, this doesn’t prove that in any case he was in Romanelli’s room and was exiting, perhaps only maybe that he was standing there and doing a pirouette.
I have no other questions, thank you.

Rather confusing? But in any event I do not see that Boemia challenged Vedova’s initial presumption that “h” had been attributed to Guede, but I think that Vedova was trying to go further by suggesting that h, f, j and y were somehow evidence that Guede was exiting Romanelli’s room.

“h” was, of course facing towards her room rather than facing in an exit direction and it is somewhat difficult to see where Vedova thought he was going with all this, but then a lot of his cross-examination was rather like that. The luminol revealed shoeprints clearly show that Guede did not enter Romanelli’s room.

Anyway Massei said “h” was a presumed haematic substance and that the technicians had arrived at a conclusion of probable identity with Guede’s left shoe.

Indeed it does appear fairly obvious from the trajectory of Guede’s left shoe that “h” probably is his mark.

That being so, then how did the visible blood trace “h” arrive at the point where it was found? Are there any connecting prints? Well, obviously, yes. Those that had been identified by luminol.

Were those connecting prints made in fruit juice or another false positive substance?  Obviously not. The luminol had correctly identified blood and “h” makes it clear that there had been sufficient blood in the washed out/removed traces for them to have been visible.

It was not a case of the blood on the sole of Guede’s shoe having been reduced to nothing through repeated compression of the sole of his shoe with the floor.

Had Guede paused on his way out, turned and perhaps sat down on the divan for a moment? Did he then stand up, pirouette, and leave?

In any event we can see that there was a removal of blood traces in the living room, as well as from the hall way/corridor.

Each print might have been only just visible but a long line of them might have been noticeable, and so they had to go if Knox’s account of visiting the cottage to have a shower before the murder was to seem credible.

It’s just that “h” and the prints immediately outside Meredith’s locked door were missed. It also strengthens the context which says that the luminol revealed footprints in the corridor were indeed made in blood rather than being the result of a false positive.

Indeed, if the blood in the corridor had to go then so too that in the living room.

Guede is, of course, not a credible candidate for removing his own prints as not only does the luminol not show any backtracking by him but Guede omitted to remove the more incriminating shoe prints of his in and just outside Meredith’s room.

3. Conclusion

The foregoing supports the rather obvious conclusion that there had been a post-murder and perhaps hasty manipulation of the crime scene, specifically in the removal of certain blood traces by Knox and Sollecito (and there is other evidence to this effect).

Specifically to enable Knox to create her fictitious account of having visited the cottage to (inter alia) shower as a prelude to her (and Sollecito’s) innocent presence at the cottage for the discovery of the murder.

Posted by James Raper on 04/19 at 08:57 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (26)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Italy’s Vivaldi! To Celebrate Our Seeming Conquering Of The Worst Of The Worst

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Should All American Blacks Be Told LOW AVERAGE SELENIUM May Be Killing You?

Posted by Peter Quennell

“US data shows African Americans more likely to die from COVID-19”

There are many similar cable news reports about the “inexplicable” plight of the community.

They tell us that nobody knows who or what to blame, or what precise system went wrong, now or in previous times.


Here is one system that has very obviously gone wrong. It was the operationalizing of vital shape-shifting medical research. First:

  • We’ve already recognised the awesome power of Glutathione. A body fully saturated with Glutathione molecules can eliminate ONE MILLION FREE RADICALS EVERY SECOND.

  • We’ve already recognised the vital roles of Selenium and NAC. Absent either of those? The body can make little or even no Glutathione.

Now look at this large expensive US-government funded Selenium study.

Main finding? The Black population in the US has on average substantially less selenium.

When plasma selenium was analyzed by race and gender, significantly different distributions were observed between blacks and whites for both males and females.

The charts below hammer the findings home (GSH is Glutathione).

This report is not alone in showing that. There is another official study right here. 

Neither of those official reports (nor various others) were ever operationalized, and so people are dying who didn’t “need” to.

It doesn’t matter right now why not, or why there’s this disparity. To save lives ROLL OUT THE SELENIUM AND NAC, NATION-WIDE.

The daily doses again? At least 100mcg of the vital selenium and 200mg of the vital NAC. Other supplements (Vits A,B,C,D,E, zinc, and CoQ10) while not vital would help.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/12 at 04:16 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (7)

Saturday, April 04, 2020

What Seems On Most Good Lists For Anti-Covid Immune System Boost

Posted by Peter Quennell

Peak Immune System And Lungs

In the video above, all you ever wanted to know about NAC and Glutathione.

And perhaps more! He is really on a roll. He’s very clear on why they beat drugs. Some doctors have been using NAC on COVID patients intravenously, as the infected body can burn through 6,000 mg a day.

A lot of scanning online of the immune system recommendations for COVID-19 suggests that NAC, selenium, and Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E still stand up.

Plus one can readily find these five tips. 

    Tip 1. The Jarrow Sustained Release NAC results in much more NAC showing up in the blood, see the Amazon reviews here.

    Tip 2. Glutathione supplements really can result in more glutathione in the blood if/if/if they are the LIPOSOMAL kind such as these.

    Tip 3. Fish or Krill Oil (Krill is more powerful), Zinc (lowish doses to not deplete the body’s copper), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Ginkgo, and Circumin are widely favored too.

    Tip 4. Maybe avoid for now Elderberry (aka Black Elderberry) capsules and syrup, which are very successful for flu but were warned against for COVID in some reports.

    Tip 5. Oxygenate the lungs daily, through this terrific device or aerobics or yoga or the supplements described here.

Everybody should check daily that they are above 94% with a Pulse Oximeter (many on eBay) and those with weak lungs or mild symptoms might invest in an oxygen supply.

Whats luck got to do with it?! Good luck, anyway.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/04 at 01:35 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (17)

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Finally From Italy Several Quite Encouraging Reports Of Progress

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





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Saturday, March 28, 2020

US Strongly Unifying On Best Measures, Trump Management Approval Drops 13 Points

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Click for larger images. Source: Navigating Coronavirus

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 03/28 at 09:15 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (10)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Deadliest Ever “Spanish Flu” With 50-100 Million Dead Was More Accurately “American Flu”

Posted by Peter Quennell

Global leaders should be working together on what matters, not being divided by political nonsense

China has an obvious response to the distracting US effort to get other countries to label this the “China Virus” or “Wuhan Virus”.

Patient Zero in the world’s deadliest-ever pandemic is believed to have been a cook at an American troop training camp in Kansas.

The virus is believed to have been carried by American troops to Europe. The US suppressed information, Spain didn’t, and so the world came to think Spain was the origin.

Here is an excellent short history with photographs by Jim Harris, an Ohio State history professor.

Recent estimates suggest that this flu claimed as many as 50 million lives around the world between 1918 and 1919, killing more people in a single year than the entire “Black Death” of the 14th century…

When the first cases of the influenza pandemic broke out in 1918 during the final year of World War I, the origins of this deadly pandemic were unknown…

The Spanish “origin” relates to reports in the press of cases of influenza in the summer of 1918, where as many as eight million Spaniards succumbed to the disease. Even the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, caught influenza in 1918.

[Today’s] standard narrative maintains that the first cases broke out in a military camp in Kansas where few noticed the signs of the pandemic to come amid the ongoing war.

On March 4, 1918 company cook Albert Gitchell, possibly patient zero, reported sick with a fever of 104º Fahrenheit at Camp Funston, part of Fort Riley, where 54,000 men were gathered for basic training. Within days, 522 soldiers reported sick and by the end of the month 1,100 soldiers were admitted to hospital with influenza….

[The pandemic] followed the movement of soldiers around the globe. The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), which deployed out of Kansas to France, were likely carrying the flu with them in the spring of 1918 as the Allies rushed deployments to halt the German Ludendorff Offensive.

And the deliberate suppression of factual information carried a huge price.

Britain, France, Germany and other European governments kept it secret. They didn’t want to hand the other side a potential advantage.

Spain, on the other hand, was a neutral country in the war. When the disease hit there, the government and newspapers reported it accurately. Even the king got sick.

So months later, when a bigger, deadlier wave swept across the globe, it seemed like it had started in Spain, even though it hadn’t. Simply because the Spanish told the truth, the virus was dubbed the “Spanish flu.”...

When the second wave of Spanish flu hit globally, “there was outright censorship” in Europe, Barry said. “In the United States, they didn’t quite do that, but there was intense pressure not to say anything negative.”

News about the war was carefully controlled by the Committee on Public Information, an independent federal agency… The CPI released thousands of positive stories about the war effort, and newspapers often republished them verbatim.

So when the Spanish flu spread across the United States in the fall of 1918, both the government and the media continued the same rosy strategy “to keep morale up.”

The official denial opened the way to the much more deadly second wave.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26 at 11:01 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (7)

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Unexpected Way In Which It Increasingly Appears Many, Many Lives Are Being Saved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Most-Watched Virus YouTube Explains The Many Rickety Systems That Have Let Us Down

Posted by Peter Quennell

This excellent interview (from Seattle) mentioning Italy is averaging 3 million views a day.

The expert is Michael Osterholm, Director of The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota.

He has been warning for decades that the capacity to manage a global pandemic just isn’t there.

The UN System above all else should be the go-to place for global capacity-building. But with neo-isolationism, it is too frequently a political football, and it is severely underfunded and understaffed.

Neo-isolationism is a dead-end street, and for now we are paying the price.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21 at 04:20 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Coronavirus: Experts Increasingly Zero In On Perhaps THE Crucial Cause, Selenium Deficiency

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. The Body’s Virus Defenses

The body’s first lines of defenses against viruses are the antioxidants and antivirals vitamin C, CoQ10, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid.

When all of those prove inadequate, the 80,000 pound gorilla is glutathione.

When at sufficient levels in the body, glutathione is highly efficient at grabbing viruses and marching them right out of the body.

Normally, we can all manufacture glutathione, especially if we can help the body along with

(1) the vegetables high in sulfur (onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli) and

(2) the supplements NAC, quercetin, vitamin E, apha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, and B-vitamins.

2. Crucial Role Of Selenium

Unlike those other substances, selenium does not just “help” to produce glutathione.

It is a make-or-break component. It MUST be present. This is a quirk of all mammals and maybe of all living creatures.

Read this excellent survey for the full reason why.

Worldwide, selenium has never been in high supply. There are very few mines. And there is not enough in the world to treat all agricultural lands.

Selenium density in the soils and foods has become worse in recent years because of two eco-measures we thought would exclusively help us:

(1) the cutting back on coal use; selenium used to be propagated along with cool soot.

(2) the spread of organic foods; foods not grown with selenium-enhanced fertilizers.

Thera are geological maps available on the internet showing the global and local distribution of selenium.

Central China, southern Korea, north-east Italy and the US northwest have little or no selenium in their soils.

And all four of those places are coronavirus hotspots.

3. Ways Of Boosting Glutathione

This YouTube above is helpful. It is simple, cheap, and pretty safe to optimise your glutathione by boosting your selenium in these ways:

(1) via one or two brazil nuts daily - typically brazil nuts contain the highest selenium content of any foodstuff, and/or

(2) via selenium capsules, widely available in healthfood stores with a recommended daily 100 mcg dose, and/or

(3) via the taking of 5-10 capsules daily of N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) containing also selenium, along with significant vitamin C and a little vitamin E (this seems the best route).

Okay. Do start to feed that 80,000 pound gorilla. He or she seems to be your best bet.

Below: Why China really may see infections dwindling

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/08 at 12:22 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (27)

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Very Efficient Italian Containment Of CoronaVirus - Foolishly Gets Isolated Anyway

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. Status Of Italian Responses As Of Saturday

With impressive rapidity, Italy’s epidemic-management machinery swung into action several weeks ago.

Only the Republic of Korea response so far has matched Italy’s in its speed, efficiency, professionalism, and level of funding. 

Diagnostic test kits were widely made available almost immediately, the tests are free, infected cases have been isolated in special wards, mass tracking initiated, and detailed maps of known cases updated in real time online.

All public information is being provided by scientists.

The epidemiology maps show that the coronavirus hotspot is in the north-east of Italy.

That is actually farther from Rome than it is from France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

Threatened countries everywhere should be busy learning from Italy’s first steps.

2. While US Bungles And Sparks Global Panic

By comparison, take a look at this as one of the US’s first reactions.

The Trump administration is eyeing steep cuts to global health funds in its 2021 budget proposal, slashing more than $3 billion in overall programs, including half of its annual funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is leading the fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

American scientists have been pushed into the background and muzzled.

The self-serving politicians now in charge are wasting precious time fighting an emerging picture of massive bungling and of the deliberate destruction of epidemic-management capacity since 2016.

Strident warnings about Italy and other countries substitute for effective management. They are instilling zero confidence anywhere, as the global stockmarkets have just shown with a vengeance.

Rattled America tourists are flooding back, and some American colleges are insisting their exchange students head home.

Hard to believe but “home” includes some areas in the US far-west (including Seattle) which might soon be shown to have MORE cases than Italy, once the bungled testing in the US actually gets under way.

In a fine report from Italy in the Daily Beast Barbie Nadeau describes the US-provoked overreaction.

Even while European Union health ministers braved the “threat” and came to Rome this week to announce solidarity and plead that there is no need to close the borders to stem the spread, several countries and lots of companies are doing it anyway.

Late Friday, the Trump administration raised the safety threat level to the ominous “level 3,” which will almost certainly set off a global panic attack about this country….

Dr. Adrian Hyzler, chief medical officer of Healix International, says it is far too late to restrict travel to and from Italy and other places. The virus is now in nearly 60 countries, and he says trying to single out a few with higher numbers of infections is counterproductive.

“You cannot stop air travel without huge repercussions,” he told The Daily Beast. “To restrict travel now would be to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted! And anyway, how on earth would you do it on the continent? It’s practically impossible.”

Hyzler notes that the World Health Organization put out a statement saying travel restrictions should be “consistent and proportionate to local risk assessment” which means cancelling travel to a city like Rome, where just three people were infected, including two Chinese tourists and a researcher who flew in from China who have since recovered completely, doesn’t make sense.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/29 at 01:13 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (9)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Please Check Out Our Expanded New-Format Wiki Of This Extraordinarily Well-Documented Case

Posted by azoza

The famous Quadriga sculpture atop the Rome Supreme Court

1. What’s New Here

Italian justice sure goes the extra mile in documenting its cases.

Today our own collection for the murder case of Meredith Kercher features roughly 3,000 PDFs, 17,000 images, 150 audio files and 130 video files.

All these files now have a new second home at this address. Please note the “dot net”.

These are most of the existant files relevant to the murder case. They are necessarily a subset of the entire source documents on file in several locations in Italy. But we continue to seek to provide as complete a record of case documents as possible.

Above all, this is an extremely objective, reliable and trustworthy collection. Not a single document has been doctored and to our knowledge not a single document mistranslated.

This new “MMK.net” site was created in part as a more navigable version of the original file library (which is still available with some outdated analysis at the original Meredith Kercher Wiki website).

And also it was created in part for the much expanded file library, which is more complete and refined than the old one, with a very large image file section.

And also it was created in part as a precautionary backup in the event that the original site may no longer be available.

The new “MMK.net” will now serve as our primary file library website for the murder case, so that for example anyone interested in researching the murder case can easily get to the original documents, including many put into English, and view the facts of the case for themselves.

Eventually we hope to provide a guidebook documenting in detail some of the important key documents of the case.

Some source material that we did not scan or digitize are things like press pass requests, invoices for court expenses and various court administrative documents that were ancillary to the court proceedings.

There was some source material, like recordings on micro-tape, which will likely remain un-digitized. And, there some files, such as the autopsy video or phone intercept recordings, that will never be posted, out of respect for privacy.

2. Five Main Ways Of Navigating

Links to the files are organized in a number of different ways:

1) The “Master List Of Files” Webpage has links to all the files on a single page.

With the “find” function of your web browser, you can search for specific filenames.

2) The “Files By Chronology” Webpage lists the files chronologically, based on their date of creation.

So police and prosecutor notices issued on November 3rd, 2007, can be found on the webpage titled “November 3rd, 2007”. The chronological ordering is very interesting as it provides a daily, monthly and then yearly view of the police investigations, prosecutor and lawyer notices, court proceedings, etc.

3) The “Files By Subject Matter” Webpage organizes the files by the subject they deal with.

This grouping has links to a selection of the library files, since some of the files do not pertain to the subjects listed. Instead, this grouping is helpful to people just learning about the case. As an example, someone may want to find all the files relevant to DNA analysis, or all the files related to a particular lawyer, or all the files related to a particular court proceeding, or all the files related to a type of evidence.

4) The “Files By Type Of Content” Webpage organizes the files primarily by their document type or by their content type.

Most of the links are to pages featuring the PDF documents, but some of the links go to webpages featuring images. This organization is more “inclusive” than the subject matter organization. As an example, the “testimony” link goes to a webpage listing ALL the courtroom testimony available in the library, both in PDF documents and in audio files.

5) The “Files By Type Of Format” Webpage organizes the files by their type of data: PDF, images, audio or video files.

3. Other Available Ways Of Navigating

In addition to the five available “sorts” above of the file library documents, there are a few ancillary options.

Three webpages of images galleries feature (1) Meredith, (2) Perugia, and (3) select photos of the small mountain of source documentation that was consulted.

Various “Case Overview” links provide some general information about the case as help to newcomers.

The “Case Timeline” Webpage features a table of the events of the murder case, from the discovery of the murder to the final Italian Cassazione ruling.

The “Key Documents” Webpage provides links to documents that will be analyzed further in an upcoming guidebook on the documentation.

The “Evidence list” Webpage featuring a detailed listing of case evidence. It is still a work in progress.

We hope to eventually have authorization again to access the prosecutor case archives, and also the police archives, to find a few documents and files we know are still missing. We hope to have this in the next year or so.

We wish you fruitful researching.

Posted by azoza on 02/23 at 09:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (13)

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Highly Misleading But Revealing “Knox Week” On Enabler Kary Antholis’s “Crime Story” Site

Posted by Julan

1. On The Hoax Bandwagon

It is now twelve-plus years after Meredith’s murder.

And yet Amanda Knox still uses every opportunity to put herself on-stage, exclaiming how badly she was mistreated, misunderstood and vilified…

Condescending to the media, Italy’s justice system, anyone who doesn’t support her. And she still manages to snare naive enablers.

Kary Antholis had an illustrious 25-year career with HBO the premium cable-TV movie channel. One could expect him of all people to look before he leaped into any venture.

For example, Kary might have taken a minute to track down the damning and unrefuted posts about Knox and her huge mafia-backed hoax on this Smoking Guns page.

And yet instead Kary has emerged as yet another unwise Knox enabler. This week-long event is now featured on his new Crime Story website.

Amanda Knox Week: We dedicate this week at Crime Story to Amanda Knox, the legacy of her story, and the work that she has pursued as a voice for compassionate and restorative justice with her partner, Christopher…

See in particular these two postings on Kary’s site of an unwittingly revealing two-part Amanda Knox interview.

Day 4 Part 1/2: Interview with AK and husband #1

Day 5 Part 2/2: Interview with AK and husband #2

Those interviews were seemingly done in December. They are a bit difficult to read because of the disjointed grammar. Maybe better to listen.

2. Window Into Knox Psychology

The interviews actually give great insight into Amanda’s psyche… truly showing an esoteric mindset and blatant narcissism.

Both Amanda and husband claim to be atheists and moral nihilists (there is no right nor wrong).

They have a complete lack of logic and critical thinking.

Nihilism, most simply, means believing in nothing. The word is derived from Latin, nihil, which means ‘nothing.’

Knox says her “moral compass of kindness and empathy” was instilled at an early age by her mother and that she practises the Golden Rule.

One has to wonder if Patrick who she framed and whose business she wrecked would still be in prison if Rudy had not been caught?

Posted by Julan on 02/16 at 10:23 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (10)

Friday, February 07, 2020

Sad Passing Of Meredith’s Dad: His Passionate Thoughts On Mez And The Case

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

John Kercher And Mez

Do read John’s essay on Meredith and the case. It was in the 13 March 2011 Sunday Times.

Actually he wrote it before all Italy realized the Hellman appeal was bent, though there had already been some strong signs (see this post).

In 2012 it was totally annulled by the Supreme Court - a very rare occurrence - except for Knox’s criminal-slander verdict. Many hoaxes such as Netflix’s and Gladwell’s still pretend that it wasn’t.

To my knowledge nine books have been published about the Amanda Knox murder case, with one more on the way. There have been five television documentaries. A made-for-TV film was shown in America last month, and there are plans for a British film, possibly starring Colin Firth. The news media seem transfixed. Knox’s supporters post their views online and plan a “bowling fundraiser” next Sunday in Seattle, her home town.

There is someone missing from this obsession with “Foxy Knoxy”, as the 23-year-old student was quickly nicknamed in the press. Meredith Kercher, my daughter, was killed that night in Perugia, Italy, 3½ years ago. It’s time to tell her story - and the story of her family, for whom there are no appeals against Meredith’s death, but only a long, painful and extremely expensive emotional limbo as the Knox saga grinds its way through the Italian courts.

In December 2009 Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years respectively for killing Meredith. An Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede, had already been convicted at a fast-track trial and sentenced to 30 years, reduced on appeal to 16. We attended the sentencing of Knox and Sollecito in Perugia. As Meredith’s brother, Lyle, said afterwards, it was not a moment for celebration; more one of satisfaction that some verdict had been reached. But our agony did not finish there.

We would like to be able to remember Meredith for the loving, humorous and caring person she was, rather than a murder victim. But under Italian law Knox and Sollecito have a right to two appeals: one to the court in Perugia, which is in progress, and, if that should fail, a further one to the Supreme Court in Rome.

The result of the current appeal is not expected until September. Should it go against them, then at least a year or even years could pass as the second appeal is heard. This is the stuff of nightmares, compounded by the way that Knox has been turned into a celebrity and the murder into entertainment.

I saw the trailer for the American TV film about her and was horrified by the scene that purported to depict the killing of my daughter. It was removed before broadcast but Meredith was still shown with a bloody wound in her neck. Mez, as we called her, should not be remembered by the way she died but by how she was for the 21 years of her short life.

As a little girl she was funny, clever and extremely self-assured, with a wonderful singing voice. At about five she told me she wanted to be a pop star. When a girl with whom she was meant to do a duet at junior school fell sick, Meredith performed the song alone. Other parents came up afterwards to compliment her nerve and ability.

She wasn’t a show-off. Her talents often surfaced spontaneously - such as when she picked up a toy guitar at home, stuffed a cigarette in her mouth, pulled her hair down over her face, stuck a hat on her head and did an impression of Slash from Guns N’ Roses. It was hilarious.

As she became older, she showed high academic ability, winning a place at Leeds University to study European politics and Italian. She was meant to be on a four-year course that included a year’s study at an Italian university, but she discovered that, because of a mix-up, she had been put on one with no year abroad. She was horrified and fought for months to be reinstated - successfully.

Meredith loved Italy, having been there several times with her school and a couple of times on family holidays. At the end of one exchange trip near Naples, most of the English students were in tears at having to say goodbye to the Italian families they had stayed with. Meredith, however, was smiling “because I know that I’m going to return and that, some day, I’m going to live here”.

She had a choice of three cities for her year overseas: Rome, Milan and Perugia. She chose Perugia because of its medieval quarter and the hope that it would be easier to make friends there than in a big city.

She flew out in late August 2007, checked into a family hotel for three nights and went to the University for Foreigners to look for accommodation in the town, eventually finding a room in a cottage. She rang to tell me about it, saying two Italian girls already had rooms there and an American girl would be joining them later.

Meredith had lived with Arline, her mother, since our divorce in 1997, but we had spoken every evening on the telephone and she came to dinner with me after school every week. We continued our conversations every evening when she was in Italy. She told me about her studies, the wonderful restaurants she had been to and the places she was hoping to visit.

She came back from Italy for a weekend to clean the house for her mother, who was suffering renal failure. That was the sort of person Mez was - very caring, not simply to family and friends but to strangers too. Once, working part-time in a restaurant, she saw that a female customer with a young child had had too much to drink. Meredith paid for a cab to get them home safely.

This was the person who was savagely murdered on November 1, 2007. I had spoken to Meredith that afternoon. It was Ognissanti, All Saints’ Day, a public holiday in Italy. She told me she would be out that evening but would talk to me the next day. My last words to her were: “I love you.”

The following evening her mother called, telling me that a British student had been killed in Perugia. I never dreamt that it was Meredith, and so I telephoned her number to see if she knew anything. At first I got an answering machine. After dialling a dozen times or more, I heard a ringing tone at the other end. That was a relief. I assumed that she wasn’t answering because she was in a different room.

An hour later, still getting no reply, I became worried and rang one of the national newspapers that I write for. Its foreign desk told me, after checking with Italy, that the police had found the dead girl’s mobile phones and had been in touch with people in London.

I was relieved. Whoever the poor girl was, she couldn’t be Meredith, because her family had presumably been informed. Half an hour later, however, I was told that the name going round Italy was Meredith. I was in shock. A friend drove me to Arline’s house. After a couple of hours Meredith’s picture came up on the television; by then the Foreign Office had confirmed that it was our daughter.

We flew to Italy to identify her. The press outside the morgue was crying, as were the police, and I couldn’t go in to see her. I wanted to remember her as she had always been. I had seen her only a few weeks earlier, when she had been on a shopping trip to London for winter clothes to take back to Italy. She had been so proud of her new boots. That was how I wanted to remember her.

Then the long legal process began: investigation, arrests, trials and now the appeal. The defence lawyers are contesting the DNA evidence from the alleged murder weapon, a knife found in a drawer at Sollecito’s apartment. They say the DNA samples - Meredith’s on the tip of the blade, Knox’s on the handle - are too small to be admissible as evidence. They also argue that DNA on a clasp from Meredith’s bra, found in her room six weeks after her body was discovered, could have been contaminated.

This is disputed by the top forensics team from Rome, led by Patrizia Stefanoni, an internationally respected forensic scientist. The fact that recently, in Britain, someone was convicted on 17-year-old DNA evidence is ignored by the defence.

Knox’s supporters in America, while concentrating on the DNA, do not seem to be aware of the huge body of other evidence that was given. Under Italian law a judge has to write an official report on how a verdict was reached. Judge Giancarlo Massei, who presided at the trial of Knox and Sollecito, produced a 400-page report.

It is quite revealing, showing that - although Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s genetic material were found mixed together in several locations in the bathroom - much more than the DNA evidence was responsible for the decision to convict. For example:

  • Sollecito claimed to have been working at his computer on the evening of the murder, but computer records show that it was inactive. Both Sollecito’s and Knox’s mobile phones were switched off that night.

  • A witness saw the couple several times in the vicinity of the cottage on the night of the killing, although they said they were at Sollecito’s home. Their alibis changed nine times, with Sollecito saying that he could not remember whether Knox was with him all evening. They even hinted at putting the blame on each other. Apart from Meredith, only Knox and two other flatmates, who were away at the time, had keys to the cottage.

  • Sollecito’s naked footprint was found on a bathmat in the cottage; and Knox’s footprints were found outside Meredith’s room, in the passageway and in another room, where police believe a break-in was staged. (These footprints were revealed with luminol, a chemical used by forensic investigators to detect traces of blood at crime scenes, as it glows blue in reaction with the iron in haemoglobin. It can show bloody footprints even after attempts to clean them away.) nAs for the “break-in”, the police immediately noticed that glass from a broken window was on top of clothes supposedly scattered by an intruder. The glass would have been under the clothes if the window had been broken before the room was ransacked. No valuables were taken, and a real burglar would have found far easier access to the house without breaking a window.

  • Sollecito told the police that nothing had been taken from the room supposedly broken into. But how would he know? It was used by an Italian girl, not present on the night of the killing, who had not yet checked it out for herself.

  • Knox described the position of Meredith’s body and how she had died, although she had not been able to see into Meredith’s room when the door was broken down by the police.

There are many more factors, almost 20 in all, among them the suspicion that there may have been something ritualistic about Meredith’s death. The prosecutor was criticised for mentioning this, but she was killed on the eve of the Day of the Dead, November 2. Sollecito was said to have Japanese manga comics that described the rape and killing of female vampires. Meredith had been dressed as a vampire to celebrate Hallowe’en.

In addition, the Supreme Court in Rome has recently issued its report on Guede’s appeal. Pointing out that there were more than 40 wounds on Meredith’s body, it found that he did not act alone and that two others were involved. There is also a suggestion that her body and the room were rearranged after the killing.

Guede, who admitted having been in the cottage on the night of the murder, fled the premises and went to a disco before escaping to Germany, where he was arrested. So who cleaned up the house in an attempt to remove all traces of their presence that night?

While not wanting to complain, I find it odd that the British government will not help us pay for travelling expenses to the courts in Italy, which we have had to attend on five occasions so far for the trial and appeal.

The British consul in Florence was marvellous, providing emotional support and translation facilities, and two MPs have tried to get us financial backup; but the Foreign Office says it does not pay for costs of attending court hearings abroad.

Each European Union country is supposed to provide some sort of compensation for the family of anyone from another EU nation killed on its territory; but Italy did not sign up to this, so nothing has been forthcoming from Rome. We have had to fund everything ourselves. It adds up - about £40,000 so far.

In court our lawyer demanded E21m (£18m) in compensation from the defendants, but this was a purely symbolic amount, seen in Italy as a way of demonstrating the severity of the case. Anyone assuming we received such a sum is under a misapprehension.

It is now into the fourth year since Meredith’s death, and the pressure of grief is still upon us. It has been constant torment, but the memory of Meredith will continue to stay with everyone. Leeds University planted an oak tree in her memory; and, with our family, students released balloons bearing messages for her. Her school, Old Palace in Croydon, planted a cherry tree for her. Every year, on the anniversary of her death, at Christmas Eve and on her birthday (December 28), our family and Meredith’s friends go to the cemetery to leave flowers and cards for her.

Recently I unearthed a book I wrote for Meredith. She was 14 and I was visiting her at her mother’s house. When the time came for me to leave, she suddenly asked me to tell her a bedtime story. I laughed and said I had told her one from when she two until she was 12, and I had run out of ideas. But she was insistent. So I told her I would go home, write something and read it down the telephone to her.

That’s what I did, with her as the lead character, and she loved it and wanted more. So I continued and it turned into a novel, The Strange Case of Miss Carla. I like to think that this is my tribute to a wonderful daughter.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 02/07 at 11:09 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (14)

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

On Guede As Sole Attacker Gladwell Doesn’t Get Strong Backup - From Knox Or Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell

Raffaele Sollecito, Malcolm Gladwell, and Amanda Knox

This overview of the Gladwell series lists all posts.

1. The General Rule

Does anyone think Knox and Sollecito have been the leaders of their own parades?

If so, they should perhaps think again.

While Knox and Sollecito were in prison, from late 2007 to late 2011, they could get their gossipy stories out pretty freely (Knox’s book title Waiting To Be Heard really was a fraud, Waiting To Shut Up would be more truthful) and Sollecito even ran a blog.

They could not talk directly, but they exchanged a few messages via the press

Meanwhile the ferociously strong-arming PR (never mentioned by its new puppet Gladwell) was really calling the shots (see this post).

This was especially so after Knox showed herself way too chummy with Dr Mignini, and (as the Supreme Court noted) began telling her parents that she wanted to confess and have Patrick let out.

The PR had success in insisting that nobody should ever mention Meredith’s name, and in putting defamatory hoaxes into the public realm (see this post).

The Knox and Sollecito PR was less effective in stopping each from pushing the other closer to the flames (see this post and this post).

All the PR vigilantes and for a while the defenses have tended to take a chest-thumping anti-Guede, pro-Lone-Wolf stand.

In contrast, concerning Guede, Knox and Sollecito themselves have almost always pussyfooted around.

2. PR Vigilantes’ Guede Take

Knox’s shadow writer Linda Kulman (see this post) and Sollecito’s shadow writer Andrew Gumbel (see this post) can firmly be placed in the PR vigilantes camp (see this post, part 6).

Both seem to have been stridently anti-Italy. We know Gumbel was (see this post) and he included dozens of false claims in the book (see this post).

Both seem to have had a deep ignorance of what actually happened pre and post arrest and in the trial court in 2009. Both made up numerous things. Both channeled the annulled Hellmann appeal with its discredited “independent consultants” as if it had never been annulled.

Now in his Honor Bound hate-fest, Gumbel includes Guede’s name 110 times in his attempt to nail Guede as Lone Wolf. This, Gumbel’s barbaric crescendo (edited here), would make any Nazi propagandist proud.

The crime, I could have told Maresca and Mignini, was brutal but not complicated. Guede broke in through Filomena’s window, started looking for the rent money, then went to the kitchen to help himself from the refrigerator. (He left forensic traces of all this, and his history indicated that he liked to make himself at home in the places he broke into.) He detoured to the bathroom when he developed an urge to go and sat there while Meredith came in through the front door and slipped into her room. He appears to have been startled by her entry, and did not flush to avoid tipping her off to his presence…

Guede crept into her room and grabbed her from behind under the chin and yanked his hand up over her mouth to prevent her from crying out. He held his knife to the right side of her neck as he issued his demands, presumably for sex. In the ensuing struggle, he jabbed her twice.. Our best guess was that he didn’t set out to kill her, but at some point decided he’d caused so much damage he had no option but to finish her off. He tried to plunge the knife in farther but could not find the right angle. So he switched sides…

As Meredith struggled for her life… her agony, according to the medical experts, continued for more than ten minutes… He picked up his right shoe and walked to the bathroom to wash off his foot and sock before putting the shoe back on. That would explain the bloodstains on the basin tap and the bidet, as well as the consistent pattern of left shoes and right feet. When he realized Meredith still was not dead, he threw a duvet over her body, stole her keys, phones, and money and locked her door to make sure she had absolutely no means of escape and no way of raising the alarm…

This was the crime. This was the sequence of events I was haunted by. I needed no reminder, no visual aid, and certainly no lectures from lawyers pushing their own agenda. On the contrary; it was little short of incredible that the prosecution had not put this together for itself, because all the evidence pointed to this scenario.

What a barbaric hoax. What a jerk Gumbel is. He thoroughly deserved his conviction. We carry dozens of scenarios each more factual than this.

3. Sollecito Backs Away

Sollecito has appeared to find no joy in being hung out to dry.

Barely a word of this murderous fantasy stands up when the 200 or so disproofs in the previous post - well-known to Sollecito’s team and the courts and many in the Italian media - are taken into account. 

How could Sollecito, in his numerous pending media interviews, sound convincing to the world?

And so, predictably to Italians, if not to the PR vigilantes on the US’s west coast, almost immediately the doo-doo hit the fan.

In front of a huge Italian audience, the book was scathingly put down - with the grudging help of Sollecito’s own father, Francesco, when he could see no other way out (see this post).

Dr Mignini did a scathing interview (see this post)

Sollecito and Gumbel were investigated and then charged for diffamazione in the Florence court (see this post, first of eight).

Then in due course THEY LOST.

Sollecito and Gumbel caved, and settled financially, and confessed in writing that their book Honor Bound was not so honorable after all.

So from 2011 Sollecito has shown little confidence when discussing anything in his book.

And ever since, those Guede-As-Lone-Wolf claims excerpted in part above have among those he most wants to forget.

In the 2011-12 book promotion tour Sollecito proved nervous and ill-informed about what was in his own book.

Our main poster Hopeful watched one typical TV interview, and described how he was unwilling or unable to back up “his” book’s claims concerning Guede quoted in part above (see this post).

I think the biggest clue to Raffaele’s dishonesty was his refusal to denounce Meredith’s “real” killer, Rudy Guede. Had he not been part of the violence or obstruction of justice against Meredith, he would have the moral high ground to express natural horror rage and resentment against this “real” killer, a killer whose act has also destroyed Sollecito’s life.

If he were totally innocent, Raffaele would want only to name and shame Guede and howl for the harshest punishment. If Guede had gotten me involved in such a nightmare I would blame him without regret and with no game-playing or fear of his lies. The fact that Raf does not dare to anger Guede and refuses to judge the known killer who has dropped Raf into a living hell is a sign of some perverse obligation to Guede, fear of Guede, or guilty knowledge or some unnatural response.

He refuses to denounce Guede, while he revels in his coverup for Amanda. This suggests he is part of the crime.  He denounces prison loudly enough! He seemed to want to say that prison serves absolutely no purpose at all, incarceration accomplishes nothing. This is simply a reflection of how much he hated prison, not how little he deserved it.

So Sollecito pussyfoots on Guede as throughout his numerous book interviews. And that “coverup for Amanda” he revels in? Never happened.

That serious allegation cost him in the Florence court. In fact for eleven years Sollecito has denied Knox confirmation of her final alibi (see this post and this post),

4. A Rickety House Of Cards

It’s truly bizarre that Gladwell’s researchers and editors, if not he himself, picked up on none of this.

These days Knox is sounding even more mental than what passes for normal for her (see this post).

Imagine that Sollecito and Knox terminally divide - he remains incessantly ticked off, while she rakes in the dough - and one or other spills the beans.

Whither Gladwell at that point?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/04 at 01:51 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Gladwell’s Lone-Wolf-Killer Hoax Was Abandoned By DEFENSES 10 Years Ago

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: Malcolm Gladwell and Rudy Guede

This overview of the Gladwell series lists all posts.

1. Life-Cycle Of The Lone-Wolf Theory

The defense teams’ Guede-As-Lone-Wolf theory, if you can call it that, saw three phases.

Cooked up in mid 2008 by the floundering defenses, the theory takes knock after knock in 2009, and is quietly phased out in 2010, never to surface again - at least in an Italian court.

The defenses created it because they were trying hard to stop an enraged Sollecito and defensive Knox from very publicly pointing a finger of blame at one another. See this post and this post.

Within six months, it was dealt a near-fatal blow by Judge Micheli. See this post and this post and this post.

The theory took hit after hit in the Massei trial’s prosecution phase (see this post and this post) and lost all impact after Knox dug a deep hole for herself on the witness stand (see this post and this post).

More disasters followed in the defense phase (see this post and this post) and soon after (see this post).

Finally, the judges for both of Guede’s automatic appeals, which failed, endorsed the Micheli court and Massei court findings. Namely that massive evidence pointed to three assailants in a pack attack (see this post and this post).

Thereafter, the defenses used two alternative witnesses, Alessi and Aviello, to try to prove a pack attack that did not involve Knox or Sollecito. At the 2011 Hellman appeal both bombed miserably. (See these posts and these posts.)

Dozens of other posts here offer more detail. See for example this post, and this post, and this post. Also this post, and this post.

And of course all previous posts in this Gladwell series (scroll down to Part 3) described evidence that proves Sollecito and Knox were involved, both in the attack and the clean-up they did next.

2. Gladwell Revives The Zombie Theory!

Gladwell devotes the first quarter of his Knox chapter to the framing of Guede as a lone assailant and the shrill trashing of the supposedly stupid Italian prosecutors and police for supposedly “misreading” Knox and looking no further.

He provides zero proof; but the claims in the Knox chapter are used to promote his entire book anyway.

These are Gladwell’s claims about Rudy Guede, along with the first of our fact-checking, as previously posted in our series’ first post.

[1] On the night of November 1, 2007, Meredith Kercher was murdered by Rudy Guede. [The BLACK guy ALONE did it? A racist PR trope. ALL courts said the evidence proved 2 or 3 attackers. It was impossible AS DEFENSES AGREED to prove a lone attacker.]

[2] After a mountain of argumentation, speculation, and controversy, his guilt is a certainty [not his guilt ALONE].

[3] Guede was a shady character [no he wasn’t] who had been hanging around the house [he had friends downstairs] in the Italian city of Perugia, where Kercher, a college student, was living during a year abroad. [She was a high performer unlike Knox, enrolled at the main university unlike Knox, was well funded unlike Knox, and not on drugs unlike Knox.]

[4] Guede had a criminal history. [He had NONE. Only Knox & Sollecito had police records then.]

[5] He admitted to being in Kercher’s house the night of her murder—and could give only the most implausible reasons for why. [Knox and Sollecito each gave multiple alibis and contradicted one another.]

[6] The crime scene was covered in his DNA. [Covered? No it wasn’t. There was more Knox DNA.]

[7] After her body was covered [the courts all believed by Knox] he immediately fled Italy for Germany. 

[8] But Rudy Guede was not the exclusive focus of the police investigation [because Knox fingered PATRICK first] nor anything more than an afterthought [untrue] in the tsunami of media attention that followed the discovery of Kercher’s body.

[9] The focus was instead on Kercher’s roommate. [Not immediately; not till after, under no pressure, she REPEATEDLY accused Patrick of murder and admitted to being there when Meredith died.]

3. Gladwell’s Knox-PR Sources

What was the entire thrust of Gladwell’s book? A warning that strangers can fool you.  But that trap is precisely the one Gladwell has fallen into here.

No wonder he sounds so incessantly paranoid - he seems to have good reason to be. It seems profoundly easy for strangers to put one over on him.

Consider the sources for Gladwell’s Knox chapter. The very worst possible.

Despite the enormous body of real evidence online (this site has a word-count higher than 20 paperbacks; the Wiki’s is several times higher) it’s pretty evident that Gladwell’s sole sources were these two Knox PR hoaxes.

    (1) The Forgotten Killer ebook, a foolish and easily debunked Knox PR hoax put online in 2012, just before the Hellmann annullment (see this post) .

    (2) The Netflix faux documentary Amanda Knox, a foolish and easily debunked Knox PR hoax put online in 2016 (see this post).

And who was it that propagated those hoaxes? We’ve already described all the main perps, in this post: A Gullible Gladwell Was Duped By Malicious “Strangers” Actually All Vigilantes Of Knox’s PR

Typically the members of this pack exult over a supposedly saintly Knox (as Gladwell does); forget about the framing of Patrick - in fact, forget Patrick (as Gladwell does); forget that Knox rightly served three years for framing him (as Gladwell does); forget that Knox owes Patrick $100,000 (as Gladwell does); forget that Sollecito was always treated similarly (as Gladwell does).

And of course forget that all the courts without exception placed Knox and Sollecito at the scene of the crime (as Gladwell does), forget the myriad hard evidence pointing to Knox and Sollecito (as Gladwell does), and forget the three bent courts (as Gladwell does).

Does Gladwell have a tin ear for their racism? One wonders. The Knox PR vigilantes have long reviled Guede incessantly in false terms (as Gladwell does) and the internet seethes racist remarks against him.

Guede was not a drifter or petty criminal (as Gladwell supposes). In fact, Guede had an okay upbringing, he excelled at basketball, he was socially popular, he had held a secure job near Milan (the business folded), and he had no police record (unlike either Knox or Sollecito). In other words, no record either of drug-dealing or breaking-and-entering.

Guede was the only one of the three to attempt an apology of sorts to the Kercher family (the other two both stalked Meredith’s parents and visited Meredith’s grave unwanted), he gained a useful college degree in Viterbo, and he could well be the only one of the three to have a respectable career ahead of him. 

Rudy Guede and Malcolm Gladwell both have some African heritage. These various commentators (but not Gladwell) have gone to bat against the pervasive dog-whistle racism that Knox and her vigilantes still engage in and which Gladwell oddly seems tone-deaf to.

1. Why Race Matters in the Amanda Knox Case

2. Let’s Not Forget Amanda Knox’s [Racist] Lie

3. Black Lives Matter: Whitewashing the Amanda Knox Story

4. Netflix’s Amanda Knox Leaves People of Color Out of the Story

5. What Amanda Knox Taught Us About The Influence Of Racism In Court

6. Amanda Knox Blames Black Man For Sinking The Titanic

The celebrity TV host Oprah Winfrey did get fooled. But that was not typical. See in contrast for example Richard Dwyer who got the case and the PR just right.

4. Some 30-Plus Questions For Gladwell

Drawing upon the massive evidence available we have already highlighted in this series (scroll down to Part 3) the AK knife DNA, mixed blood of AK & Meredith, footprints of all three, faked break-in, RS DNA on the bra-clasp, AK’s lamp locked inside Meredith’s room, and RS’s damning footprint.

Our main poster Marcello posed these toughest 37 questions in this post: Questions For Knox and Sollecito: Why Claim Rudy Guede Did It Alone When So Much Proof Against? There are many more, for example watch this, on the faked break-in and crime-scene rearrangement.

So far, only a deafening silence from Sollecito and Knox in response. Perhaps Gladwell can now do better?

1) Rudy Guede had been to the apartment at least twice already on prior occasions and knew the boys who lived in the lower story. Why did Guede choose to NOT break-in to the lower story where he knew (or could ascertain) that all four boys were away on holiday, and therefore could break-in and rummage with some certainty of not getting caught?

2) Why did Guede choose to break-in to the upper story of the villa mid-evening, when he surely knew Knox and Kercher would be staying at the villa for the holidays and could have been there or returned at any time to “catch him in-the-act”?

3) Surely Guede would have verified that no one was present by circling the cottage and checking if any lights were on in the windows? But Guede “missed” the really easy way in: the balcony in the dark at the rear, used in 2 burglaries in 2009.

4) If Guede did circle the cottage to make sure no one was there before attempting the break-in, why would he then choose the most visible and more difficult path of entry through a second story window, as opposed to the more hidden and easier path of break-in at the back of the villa, which he would have noticed while circling the villa?

5) Why would Guede choose to break-in through a second story window that was highly exposed to the headlights of passing cars on the street as well as exposed to night lighting from the carpark?

6) Ms. Romanelli testified that she had nearly closed the exterior shutters. Assuming her memory is correct, there is no way a burglar could easily verify if the windows were latched and if the inner scuri were latched to the window panes, which would make access to the window latch impractical unless one was armed with a core drill or an ax. Why would Guede, who was certainly familiar with such windows, choose to attempt the break-in through a window that he could not easily verify would allow him quick access?

7) Assuming the shutters were closed, Guede would have to climb up the wall and open the shutters before smashing the window with the rock. The night of the murder, the grass was wet from rain the previous day. Why was there no evidence of disturbed grass or mud on the walls?

8) Guede had Nike sneakers, not rock climbing shoes. How did he manage the climb up the wall with that type of footwear?

9) If the shutters were closed, or somewhat closed, how did Guede manage to lift himself up to the sill with only an inch of sill available to grab onto?

10) Assuming Guede opened the shutters, how did Guede verify if the inner scuri were not latched to the window panes, which would prevent access to the window latch? There was no light inside Ms. Romanelli’s room to reveal that the scuri were ajar.

11) Assuming Guede managed to check that the inner scuro behind the right-hand window was not latched, how did he manage to break the glass with a 9 lb rock with one hand while hanging on to the sill with the other?

12) Assuming Guede managed to check that the right-hand inner scuro was not latched, how did he break the glass with the rock without having glass shards fly into his face?

13) If Guede climbed down to lob the 9 lb rock at the window from 3 meters below, how would he do so to avoid glass shards raining down on him?

14) If Guede climbed down to lob the rock at the window from below, why would he choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to lob up to a window 3 meters above him, with little chance of striking the window in the correct fashion?

15) If Guede climbed down again and climbed back up to the carpark (up a steep slope with slippery wet grass and weeds) to lob the 9 lb 20 cm wide rock from the car park, why is there no evidence of this second climb down on the walls?

16) Why did Guede choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to throw from the car park, given that a large, heavy rock would be difficult to lob with any precision? Especially considering that the width of the glass in the window pane is only 28 cm wide, surely anyone, experienced or not, would have chosen a smaller, lighter rock to throw with greater precision.

17) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Guede would have been roughly 11-12 feet away from the window, in order for the lob to clear the wood railing at the carpark. If the rock was thrown with some velocity, why is the upper 1/2 of the glass in the window pane intact, without any fracture cracks at all?

18) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Why is there so little damage to the scuro the rock hit, so little damage to the terrazzo flooring impacted by the rock, and so little damage to the rock itself, which surely would have fractured more on impact with a hard terrazzo floor?

19) Why was there no evidence of glass shards found in the grass below the window?

20) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window, how does he manage to hoist himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill?

21) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, hoisted himself onto the sill, tapped the glass with a 9 lb rock to lightly break the glass in a manner more consistent with how the window was broken, why did he throw the rock into the room, rather than let it fall into the grass below?

22) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found on the window sill?

23) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found in Romanelli’s room?

24) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window again, hoisted himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill, unlatched the window and stepped inside Filomena’s room, how did he manage to get glass on top of Romanelli’s clothing that was found under the window sill?

25) Why would Guede, who would have spent a good 10 minutes trying to break and enter with the climbing up and down from the carpark, waste valuable time throwing clothes from the closet? Why not simply open the closet doors and rifle through the clothes without creating more of mess?

26) Why did he disregard Romanelli’s laptop, which was in plain view?

27) Why did Guede check the closet before checking the drawers of the nightstand, where surely more valuable objects like jewelry would be found?

28) Why were none of the other rooms disturbed during the break-in?

29) Assuming Ms. Kercher arrived to the cottage after Guede’s break-in, presumably when Guede was in the bathroom, why did she not notice the break-in, call the police and run out of the cottage?

30) Assuming Guede was in the bathroom when Ms. Kercher returned, why go to the extent of attacking Ms. Kercher in her room rather than try to sneak out the front door, or through the window he had just broken, to avoid if not identification, at least more serious criminal charges?

31) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, why did she not call the police the moment she heard the rock crash through the glass, loudly thud to the terrazzo floor and investigate what was happening in Romanelli’s room while Guede was climbing back down from the car park and climbing back up to the window?

32) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, Guede could have been on the sill already because he had tapped the glass with the 9 lb rock to break it. Therefore perhaps Guede was already partially inside Romanelli’s room when he was discovered by Ms. Kercher. In this case Guede follows Ms. Kercher to her room in an attempt to dissuade her from calling the police and the assault ensues. But then, if this scenario is correct, when does Guede have time to rifle through Romanelli’s clothing and effects?

33) Why is there a luminol revealed footprint in Romanelli’s room that has mixed traces of Knox’s and Kercher’s DNA ?

34) Why does this footprint not match Guede’s foot size?

35) If multiple attackers were required to restrain Ms. Kercher, holding her limbs while brandishing two knives and committing sexual violence, then who else was with Guede and why were no traces of this 4th (or more) person(s) found, either in shoeprints, footprints, fingerprints, DNA or otherwise?

36) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why has Guede not acknolwedged them, and instead consistently hinted that, and finally admitting that Sollecito and Knox were with him during the assault?

37) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why do the other shoeprints, footprints, DNA traces and fingerprints all point to Knox and Sollecito being present during the assault, in one way or another?

5. And 150 More Questions For Gladwell

The Wiki carries well over 100 Guede break-in disproofs, a few of them mentioned above, most of them new. See here and see here and see here.

And here are another 33 disproofs: some 20 posted by Cardiol MD and another 13 emailed by BR Mull.

6. Final Two Posts In The Gladwell Series

These will be next: combating Gladwell’s smear of Dr Mignini, and the real Amanda Knox. Then a tough letter to Gladwell’s publisher. There will be many other such letters soon. We now hold all the cards.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/21 at 10:23 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (21)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Meredith’s Perugia #40: Among The 10 Best Under-Rated Italian Destinations

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Night view from police helicopter

The Local (Italy Edition)

Click above for the full ten, another of which is also in Umbria. This is The Local’s assessment of Perugia.

Maybe it’s a stretch to list a city of 165,000 people as off the beaten path. But this beautiful, hilltop walled city, only 160 km north of Rome, is often overlooked on the Rome-Florence-Venice tourist pilgrimage. It’s in the heart of Umbria, another underrated region.

You enter Perugia via escalator and walkway through a string of long, dark tunnels known as the Rocca Paolina, built as a fortress in the 1540s. They spit you out onto grand Piazza della Repubblica where Corso Vannucci leads you past Palazzo dei Priori, a Gothic palace holding the city’s main art gallery. Continue down the street to San Lorenzo, a medieval cathedral that overlooks the main Piazza IV Novembre.

Sightsee during the day; party at night. Perugia is one of Italy’s main university towns and the city is brimming with happening pubs, bars and cafes. Take little Via delle Streghe off Vannucci and try typical Umbrian cuisine such as cinghiale (wild boar) and tartufi (truffles) at La Taverna, an elegant, moderately priced restaurant with terrific food and atmosphere.

In terms of average IQ Perugia is among the world’s brightest cities, a result of the huge university teaching and research presence relative to the town’s total population - it is also internationally prominent for its soccer and its music, chocolate and arts festivals.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 01/16 at 08:49 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (24)

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Japan’s Justice System Flamed Like Italy’s - But This Time (Sort Of) From The Inside

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. The Flaming Of The Italian System

The flaming of Italy’s justice system in “the Knox case” did not ever happen within Italy.

It happened for the most part trans-Atlantic. And it was not even beamed at Italy: it was beamed at American and British TV audiences and tabloid readers.

And of course it was wildly inaccurate. Italy rates high on public safety, fairness of the court system, and rehabilitation of those in prison. Its murder and incarceration rates are about 1/7th of the US’s.

Meanwhile this three-part series in part explains why there are such vast numbers in prison under the American system, which maybe does merit flaming.

To the extent that either system gravitates, it is the US system that gravitates, toward the more effective Italian system.

2. The Flaming Of The Japanese System

Everybody likes Japan’s cars and electronics, its culture, its scenery, its sushi and teriyaki… In most respects its national brand management really is excellent.

Helpful when Japan is just six months from hosting the Summer Olympics.

But periodically, as now, a spotlight is shone on the seeming over-harshness of its justice system.

Italy and Japan were of course allies in World War Two.

Post-war, Italy revamped its constitution and entire justice system to bend over backward to favor defendants.

But Japan did none of that, and its 99% conviction rate and the methods used to sustain that have been repeatedly criticized.

The sort-of-accused former CEO of Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, has just been much in the news, for dramatically fleeing Japan in a private jet, and seeking sanctuary in his country of origin, Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

At Japan’s request Interpol has issued a global Red Notice (a measure we posted on when it seemed Knox might flee extradition.)

Ghosn seems to have single-handedly saved Nissan from extinction by semi-merging it with Renault and by heavy cost-cutting rare within Japanese corporations.

His remuneration was always peanuts by American standards.

Ghosn’s main accuser that he feathered his own nest was actually his own successor at Nissan - who was accused of the exact-same thing a few months ago and forced to resign also!

Here below are some of Ghosn’s accusations against Japanese justice; in Tokyo yesterday the Justice Minister promised statements to explain and defend Japanese justice and to show what Ghosn had allegedly been up to.

Yahoo News Website

Japan’s legal system came under the spotlight when Carlos Ghosn launched a vigorous self-defence in his first public appearance since jumping bail and fleeing to Lebanon.

The former Renault-Nissan chief slammed everything from the country’s sky-high conviction rate to the conditions he faced during 130 days of pre-trial detention.

Here are some of his main criticisms, and how Japanese officials respond:

- 99 percent conviction rate -

When it comes to convictions, Japanese prosecutors boast a success rate that their peers around the world might consider enviable.

They win more than 99 percent of the cases they bring to trial, and Ghosn cited this astonishing rate as evidence that he would not get a fair hearing.

“I was facing a system where the conviction rate is 99.4 percent,” he said, claiming that the rate for foreigners was likely even higher.

Japan does not dispute that its prosecutors win almost all of the cases they bring to trial, but says this is simply evidence that they do not start legal action lightly.

Prosecutors “only indict a suspect where there is a high likelihood of a court’s conviction based on sufficient evidence, so as to avoid an innocent person (having) to suffer,” Justice Minister Masako Mori said in response to Ghosn’s criticism.

“It is wrong to argue that a person cannot obtain a fair judgement because of the high conviction rate in Japan.”

- Lengthy pre-trial detention -

Ghosn spent more than four months in detention over two periods after his shock November 2018 arrest, with the first stint lasting a full 108 days before he finally won bail.

He and legal team referred to the extended periods of detention as “hostage justice”, arguing the prosecutors were trying to break his will and force him to confess to financial misconduct charges that he continues to deny.

He said he felt “subject to a system whose only objective is to coerce confessions, secure guilty pleas.”

Japan’s legal system allows for long periods of detention before a trial begins, and critics at home and abroad have argued that prosecutors hold suspects before indicting them as a tool to extract confessions.

Prosecutors fought hard to keep Ghosn behind bars, arguing that he could flee if released because of his extensive financial means and international contacts.

“Ghosn was deemed a high flight risk, which is obvious from the fact that he actually fled and illegally departed the country,” prosecutors said after the tycoon’s Wednesday press conference.

- Detention conditions -

Ghosn slammed the conditions he experienced at the Tokyo Detention House in Kosuge, saying he was interrogated around the clock without his lawyer, held in a cell where the lights never went out and only allowed to shower twice a week.

Japanese prisons are not usually singled out for criticism by international rights groups, with violence rare and individual cells of about 6.5 square metres (70 square feet) or slightly larger.

Officials defend the rules governing interrogations, saying questioning is videotaped and suspects can refuse to answer questions. Those in detention also have the right to meet their lawyers outside of interrogations.

- Strict bail terms -

When Ghosn finally won bail for a second time, his release came with strict conditions: surveillance of his home, access to the internet at his lawyer’s office only, and restrictions on his contact with his wife Carole.

Prosecutors argued that she was party to one of the charges and the couple could tamper with evidence. Ghosn had to get court permission before contacting her via video conference, which he was able to do just twice.

And they said the strict rules were necessary to prevent him from fleeing the country.

Ghosn slammed the conditions as vindicative, saying prosecutors specifically blocked access to Carole to “break” him and that his decision to flee was motivated in large part by the rule.

3. Japan’s Promised Explanations

In fairness, we’ll post again if clarifications beyond those above are forthcoming.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/09 at 10:07 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (10)

Friday, January 03, 2020

Video Analyses Of The Case Against Knox #1: Why We Recommend Those By Liz Houle

Posted by The Machine

Knox volunteers for questioning 6 weeks after arrest - and fails

1. Sorry State Of Crime Reporting

In an ideal world, mainstream media organisations would provide balanced and factually accurate reports when covering high-profile murder cases.

Journalists would rely on the official court documents and courtroom testimonies for their information and have enough common sense to know that the family, friends and supporters of the accused or the convicted are not always reliable and trustworthy sources of information. Journalists would endeavour to inform the public of the facts of the case and not cynically use these tragic murder cases to entertain and titillate the public.

We did indeed see some of this from Rome’s mostly objective international pool, and we have valued that a lot. 

But far too often now mainstream media organizations like the 2000-outlet Associated Press provide biased and one-sided reports that are slanted in favour of the accused. Crucial information that portrays the accused in a negative light is left out of articles, reports, podcasts and documentaries because it undermines the media’s favourite narrative i.e. yet another innocent person has been railroaded by corrupt or incompetent cops and rogue prosecutors.

Most journalists don’t read the official court documents and courtroom testimonies. Instead they rely on the family, friends and supporters of accused or convicted without bothering to do any fact-checking of their claims. They invariably include quotations from the defence lawyers in their articles.  Quotations from the prosecutors are conspicuous by their absence.

A number of articles about high-profile murder cases contain false claims because journalists don’t do the prerequisite due diligence. Media articles and documentaries about the Meredith Kercher case are riddled with factual errors because journalists relied almost exclusively on Amanda Knox’s family, supporters and her PR consultant David Marriott for their information.

The PR fantasy version of events was widely propagated in the media. It was given credibility because it was endorsed by mainstream media organisations in the US such as ABC News which openly and publicly supported Amanda Knox. There are some slight variations, but the basic mantra goes like this:

    - Amanda Knox had never been trouble with the police. In days following Meredith’s murder, she voluntarily stayed behind to help the police in Perugia, but all Meredith’s friends left immediately.

    - She was called to the police station on 5 November 2007 where she was subjected to an all-night interrogation. She wasn’t provided with an interpreter or given anything to eat or drink. She was beaten by the police and asked to imagine what might have happened.

    - During her questioning, Knox made a statement that said she had a “vision” she was at the cottage when Meredith was murdered. She only lied once i.e. her false accusation against Diya Lumumba, but she immediately retracted her allegation.

    - When Amanda Knox was in prison, a police officer tricked her into writing down all the men she had slept by telling her she was HIV positive.

    - There were only two tiny pieces of DNA evidence that implicated her, but they were contaminated or planted by corrupt cops. The knife from Sollecito’s kitchen was chosen at random and it doesn’t match any of the wounds on Meredith’s body. It was the only knife sequestered from Sollecito’s apartment. The DNA on the blade of the knife that was attributed to Meredith could belng to half of Italy. Dr Stefanoni laboratory in Rome isn’t equipped to carry out LCN DNA tests.

    - The bra clasp was kicked around by forensic technicians and it contained the DNA of a number of other men. The DNA on it was only tested once.

    - Prosecutor Mignini, who is obsessed with satanism, claimed Meredith was killed as part of a satanic ritual and he called Amanda Knox a “she-devil” in court. He persecuted Amanda Knox because he didn’t approve of her morals.

    - Rudy Guede was a drifter and drug dealer with a criminal record. He left his DNA all over Meredith and all over the crime scene. Amanda Knox didn’t know him. Guede initially didn’t claim Knox and Sollecito killed Meredith. He only changed his story much later when he offered a deal by the prosecutor.

None of these statements is true. However, this completely false version of events is still being propagated on YouTube by vacuous airheads and simpletons who want to entertain their undiscerning viewers with the melodramatic fairytale of an innocent American gal being railroaded by corrupt cops and a rogue prosecutor in medieval Italy.

The anonymous error-ridden video below has been watched by over 1.7 millions people. It possibly contains the most false claims about the in a single reportr case I’ve ever seen.

Example of terrible video: Who Is Amanda Knox and Is She Innocent?

Such videos aim to promote outrage in their viewers - who tend to be emotional and lack critical thinking skills: angry feminists rant about Amanda Knox being slut-shamed and convicted of murder just because she liked sex; nationalistic Americans rant about Amanda Knox being railroaded just because she’s American; racists rant about Italy being a backwards Third World country.

These videos misinform literally hundreds of thousands of viewers. If the people who create these videos about the case had any concern for Meredith - the real victim - and truth and justice, they would do their very best to get their facts straight. It doesn’t take much effort to find the translations of the official court reports and court transcripts online.

Unfortunately, a lack of academic rigour and critical thinking skills is for now endemic. The iPhone generation would rather watch a YouTube video or a true crime documentary about an innocent person being railroaded on Netflix, than patiently plough through hundreds of pages of official court documents and courtroom transcripts.

Nothing trumps the official court reports and court transcripts. However, there are some YouTube videos about the case that are worth watching. Some educational and informative videos have been posted on the True Crimes YouTube channel.

2. How The Liz Houle Videos Stand Out

New! #AmandaKnox Lies spotting TED talk

This video above has clips of Pamela Meyer - who was described by the Reader’s Digest as “the nation’s best known expert on lying” - explaining how how she knows if someone is lying at a TED Talk. These explanations are followed by clips of Amanda Knox displaying these telltale signs of lying. This fascinating video has been viewed over 398,000 times.

Jordan Peterson describes Psychopaths like Amanda Knox harassing Kerchers

This video above has been viewed over 222,000 times. It has clips of renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson describing the behaviour of psychopaths. These descriptions are followed by clips of Amanda Knox exhibiting the same types of behaviour.

The video should be watched by the many people are labouring under the misapprehension that nice girls from respectable middle-class backgrounds don’t commit horrific and senseless murders, but would rather believe that brutal murders are committed by poor black men. They seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that psychopaths come from all walks of life.

There have been a number of high-profile murder cases where seemingly normal girls have committed horrific and senseless murders with little or no motive e.g. Laurie Ann Swank, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, Amy Bishop, Karla Homolka, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, Kelly Ellard, Anna Maria Botticelli and Mariena Sica, Erika de Nardo, Jasmine Richardson, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy.

Amanda Knox smiles + laughs when asked if she murdered Meredith Kercher

This short video above features a number of media interviews in which Amanda Knox smiles and nods after she has been asked whether she killed Meredith.

IAN HUNTLEY | Faking It: Tears of a Crime

In the video above Ian Huntley also showed similar ‘flashes of pleasure’ and telltale signs of lying when talking about the disappearance of Holly Well and Jessica Chapman. He was convicted of their murders in 2003.

Amanda Knox Voluntary Interroation 17 Dec 2007 Part 2

Finally, please listen to the recording at top of Amanda Knox in the voluntary 17 December 2007 interrogation by Dr Mignini that she volunteered for six weeks after her arrest. Here above is the second part.

Knox’s interview with Dr Mignini is not widely known. It was one of several opportunities she was granted in 2007 and 2008 to try to free herself. She failed them all.

The videos offer a fascinating insight into Amanda Knox’s real character before she received media training and acted like one of the girls from Little House on the Prairie - she’s evasive, deceptive and testy.

In Part 2, Dr Mignini wants to know how Knox knew specific details about Meredith’s murder. Her discomfort as she tries to lie her way out of trouble is palpable. One of the reasons why the Italian Supreme Court ascertained it’s a proven fact Amanda Knox was at the cottage was she knew specific details about Meredith’s murder.

Amanda Knox’s duplicity and evasiveness are self-evident. She claims a police officer told her Meredith’s throat had been cut, but she conveniently can’t remember whether it was a man or woman and she is deliberately vague about when it happened.

Dr Mignini has to repeatedly press Knox in order to get a straight answer from her. She then changes her story completely, and claims her interpreter told her. She also claims she was interrogated for 14 hours on 2 November 2007.

Mignini tells her this isn’t true - and so she immediately changes this to 6 hours!

Brave work by Liz Houle. We greatly admire her fortitude. These videos are of considerable help and it’s a pity there are not too many by others like them.

Posted by The Machine on 01/03 at 05:02 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (33)

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