Monday, June 01, 2020

Yet More Evidence That Knox And Meredith Fought On Fatal Night

Posted by The Machine

The excellent BBC report referred to below

Long post. Click here to go straight to Comments.

1. Our New Translations Continue To Talk

Hoax 4 “No firm DNA” in our right column actually consists of various sub-hoaxes, most of which I and many others here have demolished in the past. 

This post is about the “no mixed blood” sub-hoax. This is one of many evidence points quite pivotal to Amanda Knox’s major and continuing “I’m the real victim” fraud.

In this post, I’m going to debunk the myth that Dr Stefanoni never claimed there was mixed-blood evidence once and for all by providing verbatim quotations from her official report for the Massei court in 2009 and her testimony at the Micheli trial in 2008.

I’ll also put the mixed-blood evidence under the microscope and analyse the reasons why some of Italy’s top DNA experts from the Scientific Police and the RIS Carabinieri believe Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in different locations in the cottage.

2. Quotes From Experts And Reporters

Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau

Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau repeatedly reported that the prosecution’s experts from the Scientific Police had claimed that Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in different locations in the cottage.

Dr Stefanoni and the prosecution regarded this as damning evidence against Amanda Knox because it indicates that Knox and Meredith were both bleeding at the same time on the night of the murder and there must have been confrontation between the two.

Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau are both fluent in Italian, they have access to the prosecution’s 10,000-page file and they observed the prosecution’s experts testifying in court at both Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial in 2008 and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s trial in 2009. Despite this, a number of people have attempted to dismiss their reports as fake news or claim they didn’t understand what was being said in court.

However, it should be pointed out it wasn’t only Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau who spoke about the mixed-blood evidence. Judge Gemelli specifically referred to the mixed-blood evidence in his Supreme Court report in 2008:

“to both the women the blood traces found in the bidet.” (Judge Gemelli’s Supreme Court report).

“quelle rinvenute nel lavandino, ad entrambe le ragazze le tracce di sangue rilevate nel bidet”

The Kerchers’ lawyer Francesco Maresca told the media outside the courtroom that the mixed-blood evidence was the most damning piece of evidence against Amanda Knox.

In Andrea Vogt’s excellent BBC documentary, the mixed-blood evidence is the first DNA evidence that is mentioned:

“First, there’s the DNA found in the bathroom. The prosecution says it shows the mixed blood of Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher in the bidet drain, the sink drain and on a cotton bud box.  There’s also a large drop of Amanda’s blood on the bathroom tap.

“According to the prosecutor, this shows Amanda and Meredith were bleeding at the same time.

Strong evidence there was a fight.”

Trial Prosecutor Dr Comodi

Manuela Comodi also regards the mixed blood evidence as the main evidence against Knox:

“The principal evidence was mixed-blood traces from which were extracted mixed DNA of Amanda and Meredith. The only explanation for that mix is that Amanda was bleeding and touched objects covered in Meredith’s blood. There’s no other explanation.” (Manuela Comodi).

In case anyone doubts the quotations attributed to Manuela Comodi, she specifically refers to “sangue misto” - which is mixed blood - in the documentary.

Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau, Judge Gemelli, Manuela Comodi and Francesco Maresca wouldn’t have specifically referred to the mixed-blood evidence if Dr Stefanoni hadn’t referred to in her official reports for the courts or whilst she was on the stand in court.

Victim’s Lawyer Dr Maresca

In Dr Maresca’s closing arguments at trial in 2009 he repeatedly refers to the mixed-blood evidence and cites the page numbers from Dr Stefanoni’s report to support his assertions:

“I refer to the report, in the records of Dr. Stefanoni acquired at the beginning of the hearing, sampling of presumed blood substance highlighted by luminol technique performed on the floor located in the room used by Romanelli Filomena, is described in page 219 finding 177 I repeat of fundamental importance, a measure of biological substance, two individuals, both women, provided a compatibility result, is compatible with the hypothesis of measurement of biological substance containing blood substance belonging to Knox Amanda and Kercher Meredith.

“Dr. Stefanoni papers 124 and 125 and the results that she inserts in her report tell us that beyond the drawing or not carried out with the same swabs also the other three report the same profile confirming that evidently the genetic profile obtained clearly corresponds to the fact there was a mixture of blood substance between the victim and Amanda Knox”.

Electropherogram of mixed-blood trace, cotton bud box #1 of 3

Dr Stefanoni’s testimony at the Massei trial

Dr Stefanoni categorically states there were three biological substances containing blood belonging to Amanda Knox and Meredith in the small bathroom and two mixed samples presumably containing blood belonging to Amanda Knox and Meredith in her official report for the Massei report.

Mixed blood in Filomena’s room (Rep.177, page 219)

‘‘un profilo genetico derivante da mistura di sostanze biologiche (conententi presumibilemente ematica)appartenenti ad almeno dui individui entrambi di sesso femmminile. Il confronto effettuati tra il genotipo derivante dalla traccia del Rep.177 con quelli appartenenti a KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara e KNOX Amanda Marie’‘.

‘‘a genetic profile deriving from a mixture of biological substances (presumably containing blood) belonging to at least two individuals both of female gender. The comparison made between the genotype deriving from the trace of the Rep. 177 with those belonging to KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara and KNOX Amanda Marie’‘.

Mixed blood in the bidet (Rep.66, page 119 )

‘‘The bidet: un profilo genetico derivante da mistura di sostanze biologiche conententi sangue umano appartenenti KNOX Amanda Marie (in misura minora) e KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara (in misura maggiore)’‘.

‘‘a genetic profile deriving from a mixture of biological substances containing human blood belonging to KNOX Amanda Marie (to a lesser extent) and KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara’‘.

Mixed blood on the cotton bud box and the basin (Rep 136-7, page 175)

‘‘contenenti certamente sostanze ematica appartenenti ad almeno dui individui entrambi di sesso femminile. Il confronto effettuati tra il genotipo derivante dalla due tracce analizzate con quelli appartenenti a KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara e KNOX Amanda Marie’‘.

‘‘a genetic profile deriving from a mixture of biological substances certainly containing blood substances belonging to at least two individuals both of female gender. The comparison made between the genotype deriving from the two traces analyzed with those belonging to KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara and KNOX Amanda Marie’‘

Mixed blood in the hallway (Rep.183, page 224)

‘‘un profilo genetico derivante da mistura di sostanze biologiche (conententi presumibilemente ematica)appartenenti ad almeno dui individui entrambi di sesso femmminile. Il confronto effettuati tra il genotipo derivante dalla traccia del Rep.183 con quelli appartenenti a KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara e KNOX Amanda Marie’‘.

‘‘a genetic profile deriving from a mixture of biological substances (presumably containing blood) belonging to at least two individuals both of female gender. The comparison made between the genotype deriving from the trace of the Rep. 183 with those belonging to KERCHER Meredith Susanna Cara and KNOX Amanda Marie’‘.

Dr Stefanoni’s testimony at the Micheli trial

Dr Stefanoni categorically stated Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different spots in the small bathroom when testifying at Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial in 2008:

“mi spiego, almeno cerco di spiegarmi, allora bagno io non ho trovato soltanto una traccia ematica mista, ne ho trovato soltanto tre, piu o meno in zone molte vicinie quindi sulla scatola del cotton fioc, nel lavindo e vicino, nei pressi della scarico del bidet, tutte tre queste tracce apparivano ad occhio non essere sangue intero, mi spiego, non essere sangue cosi come viene fuori du una ferita, questa e sangue contente acqua, per il fatto del colore era practicamente rosato, per cui il fatto che per coincidenza questa tre tracce siano state poste in temp diversi mi sembra improbabile ma non lo escludo perche il DNA non datible cioe si. puo ritrovare DNA anche dopo anni.

“I’ll explain myself, at least I try to explain myself, then in the bathroom I didn’t just find one mixed-blood trace, I found three, more or less in areas very close to the cotton swab box, in the washbasin and nearby, near the drain of the bidet, all three of these traces appeared to the eye not to be whole blood, I mean, not to be blood as it comes out of a wound, this is blood containing water, due to the fact of the color it was practically pink, so it seems unlikely to me that these three traces have been placed at different times by some coincidence, but I do not exclude it because the DNA is not datable, that is yes. You can find DNA even after many years.” (Dr Stefanoni’s trial testimony, 4/10/2008 page 168)

“Una traccia ematica mista” is a mixed-blood trace.

Professor Torre asked her to confirm there was mixed blood and here’s her answer.

“Yes, the blood of both”

“Si, il sangue dell’uno e dell’altro” (Yes, the blood of one and the other).

Electropherogram of mixed-blood trace, cotton bud box #2 of 3

Confirmation from other experts

Which other experts believe Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood?

Some of Italy’s top DNA experts from the Scientific Police and the RIS Caribinieri are sure Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in different locations in the cottage.

They quote a number of specific reasons i.e. there was more of Knox’s DNA in some of these mixed samples, the peaks were were of similar heights, indicating similar concentrations of DNA from both women in the samples, and some of Knox’s peaks were extremely high.

Touch DNA results in minute amounts of DNA being deposited, compared with that in blood. You can expect to find roughly ten times the number of cells in blood compared to the number of cells left from touching an object. White corpuscles provide an immense quantity of DNA compared with other substances.

According to the authors of Darkness Descending Dr Stefanoni explained to Dr Mignini how she knew Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith - and not another substance like saliva.

“She said that she had identified a large blob of Amanda’s blood on the tap, and their blood was mixed in the basin, bidet and the cotton bud box. This meant Meredith and Amanda must have been bleeding at the same time. The implication was that Amanda had cut herself in the violence of the murder struggle. Stefanoni wanted to confirm this.

“‘Excuse my ignorance, sorry to interrupt,’ Mignini said. ‘Can you explain to me how you know the sample contains blood both from the victim and Knox? Couldn’t be just be the victim’s blood and say, another biological substance, saliva for example, from Knox?’ Stefanoni explained she knew both samples were blood because white corpuscles provide an immense quantity of DNA compared with other substances, and this sample contained a lot of Amanda’s DNA. ‘This in itself proves it is blood,’ said Stefanoni, and added ‘Actually, in some cases we see more of Amanda’s DNA than Meredith’s, such as here in the basin. This means that there is a lot of Amanda’s blood, not a smudge.’”

The explanation attributed to Dr Stefanoni is basically the same as General/Professor Garofano’s in the book.

“However, here is the electropherogram and you can see that the RFU value is very high, so the sample is undoubtedly blood, which is the body fluid that provides the greatest amount of DNA.

In some cases you see higher peaks of Amanda’s DNA than Meredith’s. Amanda has been bleeding. (Luciano Garafano, Darkness Descending, page 371).

“Let’s say the assassin used the basin and bidet to wash the knife: if you look at the electropherograms you’ll see that there seems to be more of Amanda Knox’s blood than Meredith’s. There is a copious blood loss by Amanda.”  (Luciano Garofano, Darkness Descending, page 374).

Back to Dr Stefanoni again

Dr Stefanoni testified in court that it’s possible to tell from the electropherogram who left the greater amount of blood in a mixed-blood sample:

‘‘the trace is composed of two DNAs in a quantitively different manner: maybe one has lost a tiny drop of blood and a big drop blood of the other ended up on top of it - thus a larger quantity of DNA - even this can be seen in this graph.”

Click below for a larger image. You can see in the overlay graph that some of Amanda Knox’s peaks are higher than Meredith’s.

Electropherogram of mixed-blood trace, cotton bud box #3 of 3

3. Closer look at mixed-blood evidence

This further analysis now proceeds location-by-location within the entire crime scene.

Mixed-blood evidence in hallway and Filomena’s room

Professor Garofano says the Luminol-revealed prints at the cottage are in blood because of their high luminosity and the DNA test indicated the presence of Meredith’s blood:

“But let’s see what the prints actually mean. First of all, from their sheer luminosity they are blood. The DNA test showed Meredith’s blood in all cases except for two places in which we have a mixed Amanda and Meredith sample.”

Dr Stefanoni made the same points when speaking about the Luminol prints when she was being questioned on the stand during the Massei trial:

“So I, with genetic analysis, can say with certainty that there was blood”.

She also pointed out the Luminol reacts to differently to blood compared to other substances:

“in other words everything that is not blood, is nonetheless different even if it is still a bluish fluorescence: that is, the colour does not change, [but] the intensity and the duration change. So in effect, the intensity, thus, of that blue or that azure, so intense, is not given off, in general, by other reagents that are not blood: they give a weaker fluorescence”.

Prosecutor Manuela Comodi pointed out that Dr Stefanoni had ruled out the Luminol could have been reacting to a substance other than blood:

“Remember, Stefanoni also took samples of those traces on the floor, sometimes finding the victim’s DNA, sometimes the victim’s / Knox’s mixed DNA, specifying: she would never have been able to find any DNA if the trace had been produced from rust, fruit juice or bleach.”

Here’s the relevant courtroom testimony:

QUESTION - Excuse me, doctor, you said before that since luminol enhances different substances not only blood cannot assert precisely the biological nature of those traces enhanced with luminol, but I ask you: you sampled in the biological inspection those traces there enhanced with luminol and found genetic profiles, if that trace had been produced by bleach would the genetic profiles have found them?

ANSWER - No, because bleach destroys DNA.

QUESTION - Exactly I say it was material other than biological material, let’s not call it blood, let’s call it generically biological material, it was rust, it was fruit juice, etc., would it have found genetic profiles?

ANSWER - No, DNA is specific ... that analysis is specific to human DNA. We said this.

Mixed-blood evidence in small bathroom #1

Barbie Nadeau told Denis Murphy from NBC that the mixed-blood evidence in the bidet convinced Dr Stefanoni that Knox was involved in Meredith’s murder:

“The most damaging forensic evidence against Amanda was what the prosecution’s expert said was mixed blood DNA of Amanda and Meredith found on the drain of the bidet.”

“Barbie Nadeau: She was convinced that it showed that Amanda Knox was involved in this crime.”

There was a live chat with Barbie Nadeau on The Daily Beast website and Bruce Fischer - a muddled fur coat salesman from Chicago’s outer suburbs - disagreed with Barbie’s claim there was mixed-blood evidence. This was her response:

“There are mixed genetic traces in spots of blood in which Amanda’s traces are higher than Meredith’s. That implies mixed blood according to the dozens of forensics experts I’ve interviewed about this.” (Barbie Nadeau, The Daily Beast).

It speaks volumes about Barbie’s diligence and her ethical commitment to the truth that she checked to see whether dozens of forensic scientists agreed with Dr Stefanoni’s claim. Barbie wasn’t prepared to accept her claim at face value. It should also be noted that they did agree.

Mixed-blood evidence in small bathroom #2

We look here at the significance of the three mixed-blood traces in the small bathroom in relation to Amanda Knox’s blood on the tap

Both Dr Stefanoni and Professor Garofano think it’s significant that Amanda Knox’s blood was found alone on the tap close to the three mixed-blood samples in the small bathroom because it provides further corroboration that Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood.

Professor Garofano said it ”is logical to the put bloodstain in relation with the blood in the bidet and washbasin”.

Dr Stefanoni also thought it is significant there were three mixed-blood samples in the small bathroom were close to Knox’s blood on the tap. She made this point at Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial:

“So, let’s say, this reasoning that has been addressed by both you and Professor Torre is not taken into account, however, also of another circumstance which, however, must be recognized if you do not express a judgment, let’s say, of any kind that always in the narrow sampling area, just a short distance from the traces of the cotton swab, from the traces in the sink and from the traces in the bidet which were, let’s say, objects close enough, let’s say, in the space there is also a trace of blood not apparently washed out whole blood, as I say, on the tap of this sink that belongs only to a person [Amanda Knox].”

Amanda Knox’s forensic expert Sarah Gino acknowledges that Knox’s blood might have been mixed with Meredith’s blood, though she also claims it’s possible the blood was left at different times:

“Maybe there was blood from both of them [Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher], but what does that mean? Maybe someone had a bloody nose one time and then at another moment someone cut their finger and put it down and their blood got mixed.” (Dr Sarah Gino, Amanda Knox’s forensic expert).

But Professor Garofano for one ruled out the possibility that Knox’s blood on the tap was old blood and it was touched it:

“Amanda’s blood is recent. It is dry, but it hasn’t been touched or cleaned. There is no fingerprint in it.”

Professor Garofano also ruled out the possibility that the blood in the basin was old blood:

“Nor is it old blood as the defence might say, because blood decays fast.”

Francesco Maresca pointed out in his closing arguments that Amanda Knox herself had admitted there was no blood in the small bathroom on the afternoon of 1 November 2007:

“Just a few seconds to draw your attention to some passages of the examination made in front of you by Amanda Knox, in cards 49 she reiterates that on November 1st, the afternoon before the murder, obviously there were no traces of blood in the bathroom and in the house”.

4. Various Conclusions From All Of This

The extract of Dr Stefanoni’s courtroom testimony above from the Micheli trial shatters the myth that she didn’t claim there was mixed-blood evidence.

It also proves that Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau weren’t lying and they didn’t misunderstand what had been said in court.

Also Judge Massei didn’t confirm the prosecution’s assertion that Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith because, he said, Dr Stefanoni didn’t definitively rule out the possibility that Knox’s DNA was from a substance other than blood and the fact she didn’t have any visible wounds.

It should be pointed out that Judge Massei isn’t a forensic scientist. He doesn’t have any forensic qualifications, experience or training. He doesn’t know how to read and interpret electropherograms.

However, he still thought the mixed traces in the small bathroom were evidence that she had washed Meredith’s blood off in the small bathroom so he tilted toward Dr Stefanoni.

The Italian Supreme Court agreed with how Massei handled this said the mixed traces were “eloquent proof” she had washed Meredith’s blood off in the small bathroom - which is still damning evidence against her.

Dr Stefanoni’s forensic finding that Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in different locations in the cottage has been confirmed by Dr Biondo - the head of the DNA Unit of the Scientific Police - and Professor Garofano - the former head of the RIS Carabinieri. They both have PhDs in forensic science. It’s safe to assume they know what they’re talking about.

Amanda Knox’s hardcore supporters have claimed for years that they have read all the official court transcripts (really? most are still not translated) and they were absolutely adamant that Dr Stefanoni didn’t testify there was mixed-blood evidence.

They were lying - clearly - and they were completely wrong. There’s no justification for their absolute certainty.  No-one should believe anything they say unless it can be corroborated because they have proved themselves to be dishonest and untrustworthy time and time again.

I’d rather trust the professional opinions of DNA experts such as Dr Stefanoni, Dr Biondo and Professor Garofano than someone who has no forensic qualifications or experience. They are well-qualified and extremely experienced forensic scientists who have analysed DNA evidence from countless crime scenes.

Very fine work.

Posted by The Machine on 06/01/20 at 03:53 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (47)

Monday, May 18, 2020

CV Update: Spreading Perceptions Of Glutathione As An Immunity-Boosting V Big Deal

Posted by Peter Quennell

A quick and probably final update. As glutathione is not a drug there is no multi-million advertising campaign to get the word out.

Still, serious virus/glutathione studies with positive conclusions are coming online several times a week, and anti-virus nutrition advice almost invariably includes NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) which with some selenium converts to glutathione in the body.

And in the US a few widely read or viewed tales of individual recoveries are appearing in the popular media, like the top link below.

Hazarding a guess? Chloroquine DOESN’T stop the virus. This seemingly does. Maybe half of all of those who have died might have been saved.

Click for Post:  New York Mom with Coronavirus Saved by Medical-student Son’s Quick Thinking

Click for Post:  Glutathione-boosting Treatments that Improve Immune Responses and Reduce the Severity of Viral Infections

Click for Post:  Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death…

Click for Post:  Glutathione-Capped Ag2S Nanoclusters Inhibit Coronavirus Proliferation

Click for Post:  Glutathione Helps Fortify Immune System Against the Coronavirus

Click for Post:  COVID-19: Super 7 Supplements to Bolster your Immune System

Stay safe.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/18/20 at 06:17 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Does This Knox DNA Evidence Add To The Proofs She Was Part Of The Pack Attack?

Posted by The Machine

Professor Vinci

1. Context Within The Wider Case

One aspect of the case that incessantly amuses Italians? Sollecito and Knox stabbing each other in the back again and again and again.

More often the aggressor has been Sollecito, who angrily sold Knox down the river on the night they were both arrested, and, despite the absurd claims in Honour Bound, he never confirmed her final alibi from 2007 through 2015.

In mid 2008 their lawyers forced a truce of sorts upon them. But then in October this happened.

The Sollecito defense witness Professor Francesco Vinci implied that the evidence was strong if not quite definitive that Knox had indeed attacked Meredith inside her room and, like Sollecito, had left her DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp.

”Lawyers for Mr Sollecito have told the judge that, according to a forensic expert called by the defence, Ms Knox’s DNA is on Ms Kercher’s bloodied bra-strap as well as that of Mr Sollecito and Rudy Guede.” (Richard Owen, The Times)

“Francesco Vinci, a forensic science expert hired by Sollecito’s legal team, said the DNA of all three suspects and two other unidentified people might be on the bra. Sollecito’s lawyers say this proves their theory that the clasp was contaminated after police mistakenly left it on the floor of Kercher’s bedroom for weeks before testing it.” (Tom Kington, The Guardian).

Now, many who simply don’t know the case - ignoring Knox’s lamp inside Meredith’s locked door, and ignoring Meredith’s DNA mingled with Knox’s in several locations - claim that there’s zero evidence of Knox being in the room.

One instance. In the final Cassation report Judge Marasca claimed the lack of biological traces attributable to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Meredith’s room was “proof” they weren’t physically involved in her murder.

It was a point he made repeatedly. He clearly doesn’t understand one of the most basic tenets of forensic science i.e. absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.

Ted Simon

Another instance. The hapless lawyer Ted Simon, who represented Amanda Knox to American media for a while, also claimed there were no biological traces attributable to Knox in Meredith’s room.

He was like a stuck record in media interviews - he hammered this particular point over and over again as if this was exculpatory evidence that by itself proves Knox wasn’t involved in Meredith’s death - which of course isn’t true.

“There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the room where Meredith Kercher was killed,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that she is innocent.” (CNN)

To which we showed up his sheer absurdity in responding:

“There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in the bathroom where there was a bloody footprint of RS and DNA of Knox,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Guede did not do the crime alone.”

“There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in Filomena’s room where the breakin was staged, though there was Knox’s DNA” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Amanda Knox is framing him.”

“There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the bedroom where Knox said she slept,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Knox did not even live in the flat.”

2. A Close Look At The Bra Clasp Evidence

A number of DNA experts disagree with claims like these that there was no trace of Amanda Knox in Meredith’s room, and that that by itself proved innocence.

The fact that one of Sollecito’s defence experts, Professor Vinci, had claimed Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp was quite widely reported in the English media at the time.

I don’t recall ever seeing any mention of Professor Vinci’s findings in any articles in the US media. It seems that David Marriott made sure via his usual threats to brush this under the carpet.

The default position of the defence experts is that ALL the DNA evidence against the two white people was contaminated and predictably Professor Vinci does take this line too. Money talks - just ask Ted Simon. He dramatically changed his tune with regard to the strength of evidence against Amanda Knox as soon as he was hired by her family.

But Professor Vinci does devote four pages of his official court report - pages 9-12 - to explaining why he believes Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp. He thinks the peaks defined by Dr. Stefanoni as “stutter bands” were actually the genetic profiles of both Knox and Guede.

Professor Vinci’s Report (translated)

From our observations, as stated above and in particular to our different interpretation of the peaks defined by Dr. Stefanoni as “stutter bands” lead us to believe

for the marker D8S1179, the definition of alleles 11 (although being slightly below the threshold), 12 and 14, would show compatibility with the Knox (11/12) and Guede (14/14) genotypes;

for the marker D21S11, the definition of the allele 29 in addition to those defined in the profile indicated by Dr. Stefanoni, identifies the compatibility with the genotypes of Knox (29/30), and of Guede (29/29);

for the CFS1P0 marker, the new profile definition highlights the compatibility with the Knox profile (29/30);

for the D3S1358 marker, the new profile definition shows compatibility with the Guede genotypes (15/15, although 15 is just below the 50 RFU threshold) and Knox (15/18, although 15 is slightly below 50 RFU threshold);

for the TH01 marker, the new profile definition highlights the compatibility with the Knox (6/8) and Guede (7/9, genotypes, where however the allele 7 can only be hypothesized because the characteristics related to the area, at the allelic definition and at the height of the peak);

for the D13S317 marker, the compatibility with the Knox genotypes is highlighted (11/13,

where however the allele 11 can only be hypothesized for the D16S539 marker, compatibility with the Knox genotype (10/11) and the Guede genotype (9/11, where the allele 9 can only be hypothesized because the characteristics relating to the area, to the definition are missing allelic and at the height of the peak);

for the D2S1338 marker, the analysis of the new profile shows compatibility with the Guede genotype (16/23) and with the Knox genotype (18/20, where 18 can only be hypothesized below the 50 RFU threshold);

for the D19S433 marker, the analysis of the new profile shows compatibility with that of Knox (13/16, 2, although the latter can only be hypothesized because it lacks the information necessary for its definition); and with that of Guede (13 / 14.2, although the latter can only be hypothesized because it lacks the information necessary for its definition);

for the TP0X marker, the analysis of the new profile highlights compatible with that of Knox (8/8) and with that of Guede (8/9);

for the D18S51 marker, the analysis of the new profile highlights compatible with that of Knox (13/17) and with that of Guede (14/15);

for the D5S818 marker, the analysis of the new profile highlights compatible with that of Knox (13/13) and with that of Guede (12/13);


On the basis of what has been observed, the superficiality in the attribution of the alleles and the intrinsic complexity of the interpretation of a mistra made up, in our opinion, of at least 3 different DNAs, in addition to Kercher’s.

In considering the alleles and the underlying areas for each peak, it is evident that they are the expression of various genotypic combinations in addition to those considered compatible.

In relation to the latter aspect, it should be emphasized that in light of the new profile obtained by us, considering the alleles previously omitted, compatibility with further genetic profiles other than that of Raffaele Sollecito is highlighted; especially these genetic profiles

In relation to this last aspect, it should be emphasized that the new profile by us, considering the previously omitted alleles, highlights the compatibility with further genetic profiles other than that of Raffaele Sollecito, in particular these genetic profiles are compatible with some attributes to Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede.

And here is his conclusion on pages 11-12.

‘in particulari questi profili genetici risultano compatibili con alcuni marcatori attributi a Amanda Knox e Rudy Guede’

‘in particular these genetic profiles are compatible with some markers attributed to Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede’.

You can see his detailed analysis in Italian on our Wiki.

There are a couple of points that should make everyone pause for thought: (1) Professor Vinci was still a defence expert, so he wouldn’t really want to express an opinion that wrongly implicated Sollecito’s co-defendant; and (2) General Garofano agrees that Amanda Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp.

General Garofano

General (and Professor) Garofano gives a detailed explanation why in Paul Russell’s Darkness Descending.

”Look at the electropherogram and compare the three. Of course, Meredith’s DNA is overwhelmingly present, but look at this. If we go along the graph line, yes we have a lot of Raffaele too, but in the first locus we have eleven and twelve STRs, which is the same as in Amanda’s DNA profile, twenty-nine and thirty X remember - one from the father and one from the mother - in the second, eight, and eleven in the third, also the same as Amanda’s DNA profile, maybe a fifteen in the fifth…look, ten out of 15 loci have peaks that correspond to Amanda DNA’s profile. The hypothesis is that Amanda also touched the bra clasp.

My conclusion is that the bra clasp certainly works as a piece of evidence - it is a strong clue against the suspects Amanda and Raffaele. The RFU number is high enough. So the result is perfect.”

Amanda Knox’s supporters try hard to dismiss Professor Garofano because he clearly considers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are guilty.

However, it should be pointed out that he has impeccable credentials as an DNA expert. He was the founder of the RIS Caribinieri labs. That’s the equivalent of him being the head of the Forensic Science Service in England or the head of the FBI’s forensic science labs at Quantico.

When the Darknesss Descending authors approached him, they didn’t know whether he would accept or reject the Scientific Police’s forensic findings. He gave his expert opinion as an impartial scientist after carefully studying the evidence and analysing the DNA test results.

According to the authors of Darkness Descending, Dr Stefanoni also thought Amanda Knox’s partial DNA profile was on Meredith’s bra clasp.

“Two different graphs had been drawn from the material extracted from the bra clasp, one for the cloth and one for the bent hook. The cloth clearly indicated Meredith, and only Meredith. But the hook showed at least three peaks for every locus. Each peak had a little number by it, which indicated the number of repeats in the sample of that particular molecule. The numbers indicated the distinguishing features of the individual who had touched the bra clasp. The numbers rang out.

“Stefanoni spelled it out ‘Locus D8S1179,13,10,5 - yes, this works for Sollecito, Meredith and Amanda. Locus D18S51, D19S433, TH01, FGA - Sollecito and Meredith plus an unknown person.”

The police scientist called out all sixteen loci and after each the numbers set next to the peaks. They fit perfectly with Raffaele Sollecito and partially with Amanda Knox - DNA from both of them was on the bra clasp. End of story, they felt.

“Stefanoni was pleased. This was the first strong evidence they had against Raffaele Sollecito. The presence of Amanda Knox was a very reassuring bonus.”

After reading Professor Vinci’s reasons for believing Amanda Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp in his official court report, you’ll see they are essentially the same as Dr Stefanoni’s. They mention the same Locus numbers.

Dr Stefanoni may have had a somewhat different interpretation with regard to the significance of this incomplete profile because she didn’t present this as evidence against Knox at the trial. Of course she had plenty of strong evidence of her own.

Professor Balding

Professor David Balding also acknowledged some of the additional peaks matched Knox’s DNA profile. However, like Dr Stefanoni, he attached no importance to it:

“Of the 24 additional peaks identified by Vecchiotti and Conti (2), of which 6 had heights below the threshold of 50 relative fluorescence units, 9 are included in the profile of the other codefendant, Knox, providing apparent support for the presence of DNA from her. However, four of her alleles were not observed, including two homozygotes, which are less prone to dropout.

These interpretations pose problems for standard methods of evidence evaluation because of the alleles not attributable to any of the profiled individuals, uncertainty over whether or not Knox is a contributor, and the need to allow for the possibility that subthreshold peaks may be allelic.” (Professor Balding).

Professor Anna Barbaro

The 2008 report of Professor Barbaro - the DNA expert hired by Rudy Guede’s lawyers - helps you better understand Professor Vinci’s findings.

She created a table of the DNA results for 165B on pages 5-6 of that report.

Dr Barbaro disagrees with Professor Vinci’s claim that Guede’s DNA was also on Meredith’s bra clasp because if it had been, it would have been identified by the Y haplotype test, which is a more sensitive test

She also has impressive credentials. She is the Chief of the Forensic Genetics Department at SIMEF in Reggio Calabria, Italy, and teaches Forensic Genetics at the 2nd Level Master in Forensic Sciences of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy.

She serves as the founder and president of the Worldwide Association of Women Forensic Experts (WAWFE).

Accordiing to Barbie Nadeau in the Daily Beast Professor Vincenzo Pascali, Sollecito’s chief forensic consultant, also found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra.

“Vincenzo Pascali, the chief forensic consultant who was set to give expert testimony about the possible contamination of the bra clasp, walked off the case last month, reportedly leaving a €50,000 bill. Back in September, Pascali, who declined to comment for this story, hinted that the clasp also contained Knox’s DNA.”

I think we can safely infer from Professor Pascali’s refusal to deny that Amanda Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp that he thinks it was.

It’s also telling that he stopped representing Sollecito without giving any explanation. Why would he walk off a case where he was being paid a fortune? Does he think the DNA evidence implicates Knox and Sollecito in Meredith’s murder?

3. Certain Conclusions

It’s clear that forensic science isn’t like mathematics where there are no alternative interpretations. Forensic scientists have to interpret the test results and sometimes there isn’t a consensus.

Dr Stefanoni and Professor Balding attach no importance to the partial LCN DNA profiles on Meredith’s bra clasp.

Professor Vinci thinks Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp, but he claims it was contaminated.

Professor Garofano also thinks Amanda Knox’s DNA was on Meredith bra clasp and regards it as a strong clue against her. He thinks she touched it. In other words, he thinks she was involved in the stripping of Meredith.

The fact that Professor Garofano thinks Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp and that it’s a strong clue against her gives me real pause for thought because he is the “father” of Italy’s forensic science capability. Also he has no financial incentive to promote a particular theory - unlike Professor Vinci who had no choice, but to claim the bra clasp was contaminated.

We repeatedly see the same Amanda Knox - Raffaele Sollecito - Rudy Guede combination in the tragic case.

All three lied repeatedly to the police.

All three are implicated by the DNA evidence.

All three are implicated by the bloody footprints at the cottage because they matched their foot sizes.

Let’s assume for a moment that Professor Vinci is right and Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp.

Is it really an amazing coincidence that their DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp?

Was every single piece of DNA evidence against the two white people really contaminated?

Posted by The Machine on 05/10/20 at 10:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (19)

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 04/27/20 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 04/19/20 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 Our Main Posters

Posted by Our Main Posters on 04/16/20 at 10:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (8)

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 04/12/20 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 04/04/20 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 Our Main Posters





Posted by Our Main Posters on 04/01/20 at 09:33 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (2)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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

Posted by Our Main Posters

Click for larger images. Source: Navigating Coronavirus

Posted by Our Main Posters on 03/28/20 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 03/26/20 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 Our Main Posters

Posted by Our Main Posters on 03/23/20 at 11:51 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (12)

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 03/21/20 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 03/08/20 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 02/29/20 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 “” 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 “” 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 02/23/20 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 02/16/20 at 10:23 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (10)

Friday, December 27, 2019

Commemorating Meredith: Not Only Qualities Lost, Forty Years Of Achievements Too

Posted by Our Main Posters

All YouTube versions exceed 25m views; the most-watched operatic duet

Posted by Our Main Posters on 12/27/19 at 12:01 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (11)

Friday, December 20, 2019

Crack Italian Law Enforcement Gain Ground On New Kind Of Mafia

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. The Context

One could argue that Italy is both blessed and cursed by its geographical location.

Blessed, because it has a wonderful and extraordinarily long coastline, which allowed for the Roman Empire, allows for many amazing towns and villages, allows for a lot of fresh seafood, and allows for a lot of tourism from the Vitamin-D-deprived countries to the north of it. 

Cursed, because the south of Italy, which a couple of thousand years ago sat right on main trade routes and became enormously rich, fell into deep poverty as both the trade routes and the climate changed. Hence the origin of the mafias.

And cursed again, because it is so close to the desperate populations of north Africa, which makes Italy by the far the main point of entry for migrants to Europe trying to escape tribal frictions and their own descent into deep poverty.

2. The Development

In the past 20 years Italy has had major anti-mafia successes. The Sicilian Cosa Nostra is largely history, and the Calabrian Ndrangheta and Neapolitan Comorrah have been leaned on to the extent that their only expansions have been away from Italy.

And so crime-rates remain lower in Italy than in many European countries, and much lower than in the United States.

The video and this article depict the first big sweep against the recently-arrived Nigerian mafia.

This is typically Italy’s way against organized crime. Seem to be paying no attention (this was the mode in Perugia against the Ndrangheta). But then all of a sudden - pow - busloads of perps are on their way to courts and prison. 

Stay tuned. Such first mass arrests usually lead to other mass arrests. Although not here yet, for sure there will be a tipping point.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/20/19 at 11:37 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (13)

Monday, December 02, 2019

Here’s How We Might Actually Help The Hard-Pressed Media - And Development Generally

Posted by Peter Quennell

One of the largest newspaper printing presses; to what purpose?

1. The News-You-Can-Use Concept

We’re almost fully loaded for our widespread exposure of this huge legal hoax.

And there’s a possible constructive alternative to merely rubbing the media’s noses in it, though that, frankly, is pretty enticing as so many messed up so much.

A couple of decades ago, some smart TV and movie producers noticed that having some “news you can use” built into every airing would attract noticeably more eyeballs. As an example, we should be able to learn something interesting or useful from every CSI episode.

2. Nature Of The Problem

American news media right now fall short terribly in this news-you-can-use dimension. Their “breaking news” almost always tends to be bad news, depressing and disempowering, and all too soon a turn-off.

The overall effect of “breaking news” is to jack up nation-wide paranoia and helplessness. Hence the heated confrontations almost everywhere, which can get luridly misreported like the “Knox case”, and we all move on to our next “breaking news” fix.

Plus the superhero-as-savior angle is vastly over-played these days, both in the media and in entertainment. No top-down president, top-down manager, or rogue soldier or cop, is of much relevance to present problems, which need harmonious skilled diverse teams to resolve them. 

So viewership and readership and revenues dwindle, and we encounter all these desperate struggling media websites. And very few of our myriad problems actually get fixed or stay fixed.

3. Nature Of The Solution

TJMK has long tried to include some news you can use if you want to in the inter-country comparisons of policing, legal and penal systems, as in the previous post just below this.

For the most part Italian policing, legal and penal systems are something other countries could really learn from, rather than reject as the Knox campaign incites people to do.

And here is the much wider value of this angle, if it has any.

Virtually no Americans or Europeans have ever been a part of a development project or process (unlike residents of developing countries, who have often experienced several) and could really use those tools they don’t yet know about to get ahead.

In development terms, American news - and European news, especially on Brexit - is almost entirely useless, and worse, it comes with a high cost, because it is so distracting and prone to over-heating hard-pressed segments of the population.

Japan’s remarkable development exploded from the 1960s. It was mirrored in due course by Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, and then by China, India, and Indonesia. That is more than 50 percent of the world’s population - all growing faster in real terms than Europe or the US are now.

And how did they do this? By first Japan and then all the others “borrowing” and using American systems (with the help of some Americans who moved to Japan) and then taking them further, often much further.

At Toyota, for example, a production system can be tweaked 2,000 times - and then junked and replaced by a new generation system.

Meanwhile, way too many Americans - and Europeans - are barely conscious of systems like those that define their lives and careers… well, except maybe for those on their Apple phone.

For this reason primarily it is actually much slower and harder and more unusual to get development processes (AKA system invention and upgrade processes) moving in the US or in the EC countries than it is in India or Africa!

4. The Main-Media Opportunity

There’s such an enormous “news you can use” opportunity here for the main media.

The NY Times has maybe 100 stories a day where, if one is on this wavelength, one can spot the system angles - a system or some systems broken, waiting for some sharp team to leap in there and fix them. Even in the arts and the sports pages.

The Boeing 737 MAX story is exactly this type of story - Boeing aircraft systems and production and quality control systems were badly developed or broken, Federal government watchdog systems were politically pushed away to arms length - and so nearly 400 people died.

But one has to work really hard from say the NY Times reporting to figure out all the system shortfalls and how to make up for them so all future aircraft are a lot more safe.

The NY Times and BBC and so on could so easily build into many or most of their stories this additional system enhancement angle.  Start to tell us ALL of the news. News-we-can-use is value-adding and empowering and integrating.

And development lessons can really be hammered home by engaging in international systems comparisons. Comparing US and UK versus Italian justice systems is just one place to start.

A lot better than this instance where the premier justice school in the US extensively lied about Italy’s justice - and duped an audience from around the world.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/19 at 12:28 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (11)

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