Why Does Knox Book So Stridently Smear Italian Officials?

HarperCollin’s Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtell who edited and published Knox’s book

1. Reminder For Knox Book Team

Presumably your team remembers this jubilant (and to Italy pretty insulting) book announcement.

It was made on the day when you agreed to pay Amanda Knox a rumored $4 million, for a “full and unflinching”  account” of “her struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal” and you set out your hopes and intentions.

NEW YORK (AP)—Amanda Knox has a book deal.

The young exchange student whose conviction in Italy and eventual acquittal on murder charges made headlines worldwide has an agreement with HarperCollins to tell her story. The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system,” HarperCollins said in a statement Thursday.

“Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before-told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life.”

The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013.

“Many accounts have been written of the Amanda Knox case, and countless writers and reporters have speculated on what role, if any, was played by Knox in that tragic and terrifying sequence of events,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement.

“No one has yet heard Amanda Knox’s own account of what happened, and this book will give Knox an opportunity to tell the story in full detail, for the first time. It will be the story of a crime and a trial, but also a moving account of a young woman’s struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal that placed her at the center of a media storm, and led to her imprisonment.

2. So Why Multiple False Accusations Like This One?

May we ask? Was truth too was in the contract, as Knox had just served three years for lying? Was due diligence on Knox’s claims done before the book deal was done and the book shadow-written? What was expurgated at the last moment and why were UK and Italian editions halted?

Did your shadow-writer Linda Kulman and your editor Claire Wachtell got in touch with at least some of the mentioned people in Perugia?  And where there were multiple accusations of crimes against Italian officials, did you give all the targets, or at least some of them, any chance at all to explain their side?

The Knox book has been out for nearly 18 months now. You have paperback and Kindle and audio editions. This very serious accusation of Dr Mignini in the box below has gone globally viral.

It is unique in the ferocity of an accusation that could wreck a prosecutor’s career, even send him to prison. And it could cost Knox serious additional prison time if proved wrong - as it already has been. See below the quote for the truth. Not only was Knox not interrogated at all - Dr Mignini was not even there.

[This is from pages 90 to 92 on the voluntary recap/summary session.

Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.

I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.

I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.

They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”

I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”

The pubblico ministero came in.

Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”

One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”

Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.

He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”

It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”

I said, “I didn’t see anything.”

“What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Where did you meet him?”

“I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.

“I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”

“What was he wearing?”

“I don’t know.”

“Was he wearing a jacket?”

“I think so.”

“What color was it?”

“I think it was brown.”

“What did he do?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I’m confused!”

“Are you scared of him?”

“I guess.”

I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.

“This is what happened, right? You met him?”

“I guess so.”

“Where did you meet?”

“I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”

“You went to the house?”

“I guess so.”

“Was Meredith in the house?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Did Patrick go in there?”

“I don’t know, I guess so.”

“Where were you?”

“I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”

“Did you hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”

He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”

“I don’t know.”

At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.

He said, “Did you hear her scream?”

I said, “I think so.”

My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”

This False Accusation In Knox’s Book, Challenged

In multiple pages of testimony at trial four years prior to the book it was made crystal-clear that Dr Mignini was not even there then at the central police station.

See the hard facts summarised below. He was only called in later, after Knox insisted in writing her first false accusation, and his only roles were to warn Knox she needed a lawyer and to observe while she insisted on writing a second accusation.

    (1) Amanda Knox turned up at the Perugia central police station late at night, unwanted and grumpy, and was advised to go home and get some sleep.

    (2) Inspector Ficarra later said if she really wanted, she could help, she could build a list of possible perps, in a recap/summary session (not an interrogation).

    (3) For maybe 45 minutes, starting at 12:30 am (when the interpreter arrived), Knox quite calmly listed seven names along with maps drawn.

    (4) Knox had a wailing conniption, which really startled the four others present, when Knox saw an outgoing text to her boss she had just said wasnt there.

    (5) Police did what they could to calm her down, and she insisted on writing out three statements in supposed elaboration in less than 12 hours.

    (6) She was warned she should have a lawyer each time, the second warning by Dr Mignini, but each time she shrugged off this advice and pressed on.

    (7) Cassation ruled the first two statements could not be used to indict Knox at the murder trial, but all three could be used to argue her framing of Patrick.

Who believes this? The defense teams! Do read the numerous court transcripts of testimony describing events on that night. Not one defense lawyer challenged even one word of the above.

Legal Prospects For HarperCollins Of The False Accusations

Have you ever had any book out, ever, which slimes an American prosecutor? Which contains malicious lies long pointed out? Which you still heedlessly propagate?

Your prospects and Knox’s are not pretty. This is what some of our own lawyers are suggesting.  Italian obstruction-of-justice laws could be applied to HarperCollins and those party to it - note the legal fate of Andrew Gumbel the equivalent of Linda Kulman for Raffaele Sollecito.

So could the federal and state American Son of Sam laws requiring the forfeiting of all of that world-record $4 million in bloodmoney plus any fees paid to helpers like Linda Kulman and profits for HarperCollins.

Also there could be the invoking of Italian and American laws against the harassment of victims’ families, a horrific ongoing crime against the Kerchers perpetrated by many (Knox included) which the misleading book certainly helps to stir up.

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Regarding Curt Knox “one more once.”
One of the facts that he does not smile is because he knows damn well that his daughter conned him once again.

“Come on dad I’m twenty. I’m a grown woman. I can take care of myself and Parugia has a wonderful university”

And Curt swallowed it hook line and sinker. He knows he’s been conned and he knows Amanda Is guilty but the huge joke on him is that he can do nothing about it.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/06/14 at 09:17 PM | #

Knox sure didn’t relate any of this in court when she had the opportunity.  Here’s what she said in court:

“I knew [Patrick] was in prison uniquely because of my words. At first I didn’t know this. I thought the police somehow knew whether he was guilty or not. Since I didn’t know, I was confused. But in the following days I realized that he was in prison only because of what I had said, and I felt guilty.”

It doesn’t get much plainer than that. She knew that her accusation of murder sent Patrick to prison yet she had no intention of admitting her lies to the authorities. 

There’s more:

Carlo Pacelli, for Patrick, asks:  “I mean about the fact that Patrick had nothing to do with the crime and was in prison because of you. As you yourself said. Who did you tell besides your mother?”

Knox’s reply:  “I also told my lawyers.”

There should never be any argument about the precision with which Knox explained in open court that she knew her accusations led straight to Patrick’s arrest and imprisonment.  There’s no confusion.  She knew exactly what she had done, when she did it, and to whom.

Posted by Stilicho on 08/06/14 at 09:19 PM | #

Did this discussion with Mignini even take place?

Posted by Vivianna on 08/06/14 at 09:50 PM | #

That’s kind of what I’m asking too, Vivianna.  The account in her book is wildly different than the account in her court testimony.  They can’t both possibly be true (and it’s probable that neither one is).

Posted by Stilicho on 08/06/14 at 10:31 PM | #

Hi Vivianna

No never. As the post says Mignini was not even there. Like the charge against Patrick (think of this as Calunnia Part Deux) its fully and maliciously invented and about as serious.

However Knox has claimed dozens of times (in her book, on TV, in her email to Judge Nencini, presumably to the ECHR) that the claim of pressure is true. She even said at trial Mignini leaned on her and withdrew instantly when told he was not there.

The Interrogation Hoax series quoting trial transcripts makes quite clear what did happen. Added to the post above at the end now is a running summary from that series.

We have posted this invention about Mignini twice addressed to Knox to provoke her into renouncing it definitively.

Steve Moore claimed it (his tag teams), Heavey claimed it, Sforza claimed it, Fischer claimed it, Saul Kassin claimed it, Preston claimed it, Douglas claimed it and Clemente claimed it. Dozens of reporters and bloggers (Basile for example) repeat it as gospel. The PR shills Dempsey and Burleigh claimed it was true.

Needed once and for all is a proactive renouncing of the claim by a heavy hitter, an adult who tells the children to shut up and stop repeating it.

Since Senator Cantwell chilled on Knox support, there are only a few heavy hitters - adults - in the entire Knox entourage, these major-league book agents and publishers, who have major legal liability and can lean on Knox and the crazies.

Hence the challenge.

There was indeed one (fairly) unfettered interrogation by Mignini of Knox but it was polite and fair and in front of Knox’s lawyers. It happened later, at Capanne Prison, on 17 December 2007.

We havent got to posting the transcript of that in the Interrogation Hoax series yet, because there are a few pages (of about 100) still to translate.

There was also a “fettered” examination of Knox on the witness stand in July 2009 in part by Mignini with a lot of ground rules and defense interruptions which Stilicho quotes from re Patrick. Knox couldnt back up her claims of pressure and so she served the three years. Even Hellmann didnt believe her.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/06/14 at 11:38 PM | #

Knox vilifies Mignini to save her own guilty self. Thank you for this powerful defense of him.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/07/14 at 12:17 AM | #

I often wonder whether she really believed that her endless lies will pass as truth?

I also wonder how her lawyers manage to represent her through these lies. They must be laughing their way to the bank!

More seriously, as Peter pointed out above, what happened to the adults in the party? Are they too enjoying the drama? And thrown her to the wolves?

In the early days I thought that being an American, she will simply get away. Now I know better. Most people don’t like being taken for a ride.

Posted by chami on 08/07/14 at 06:23 AM | #

Perhaps because she lacks the ability (as she has demonstrated) to empathize, and understand and feel something from another’s point of view…she also lacks the ability to ‘read’ people with any accuracy?
Which could be why she ploughs on with her preposterous ‘versions’, unaware that others -especially those with emotional intelligence - will be able to see straight through them.
Her motives are as transparent as a two year old’s.

Makes one wonder about those promoting and propagating her lies though. Where are they coming from? Or does desire for money blind?

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/07/14 at 09:53 AM | #

Poor Mr. Burnham got taken in by the lying scoundrel Knox and as her phone logs are coming out in full now thanks to Nell who’s a site admin over at PMF.net the duplicity of Knox will be all the more clear. HarperCollins will wish they’d never heard of Knox, as many do.

It seems the Knox phone and text records that Fisher at IIP pretended to release were redacted so that guys like PJ and Bruno and texts to other men were kept hidden on purpose. Then IIP insulted Nell as having lifted their own work. She did nothing of the sort and worked from public records putting together much information all true about Knox. Her careful investigating deserves kudos while IIP’s was a shifty trick much like Knox uses, hiding the worst and lying by omission.

@SeekingUnderstanding, thanks for your link to the British medical students stabbed by Malaysian no-goods high on crystal meth. I read that this morning and told my son about it. It’s an absolute tragedy. What a dreadful loss. Bright young minds like these doctors in training are the hope of our society and few and far between. It’s a terrible loss, we need good doctors.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/07/14 at 09:45 PM | #

Thank you for clarifying, Peter.  As far as I could remember, Mignini came in that night when she gave the voluntary statement, but he didn’t ask her any questions.  It’s hard to understand why she lies about things which can be easily verified.

Regarding her publishers, I don’t feel an ounce of compassion for them and I find it extremely difficult to believe that they were duped.  They had a legal department advising them, so it’s not like they didn’t know what they were getting into. 

They mistakenly believed that she was marketable and underestimated both the opposition to her book and the patience of the Italian authorities.  Other publishers wisely refused to have anything to do with Knox, presumably after researching the case and concluding that they would be supporting a liar and a murderer.  It’s rather comforting to see that some were able to put morals ahead of profit, although they must have also correctly anticipated that the book would bomb.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/08/14 at 07:11 AM | #

I’ve written a guest blog article about the guerrilla PR campaign and the Twitter images for Justice4ever:


Please tweet. Thanks.

Posted by The Machine on 08/08/14 at 08:23 AM | #

@Vivianna on 08/08/14 at 01:11 AM:

“It’s hard to understand why she lies about things which can be easily verified.”, or exposed?

Heather Mills, “Lady-Mills” Paul MaCartney’s recent-wife has done it all her life.

Why? To her they aren’t lies. Like AK’s they’re her bestest truths?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/08/14 at 10:15 AM | #

In one of my psychology books, it explains that for a certain type of person who lies - the lie is not necessarily tied to (perceived) self-advantage….that is, they don’t just lie in their own interest.

Some people lie simply because they can. It’s their MO. Some enjoy their ability to deceive, to cause chaos, and consequent distress. It is referred to as ‘duping delight’.

It’s hard for people who spend their lives creating - or trying to create- order, fairness and harmony in society to really grasp sometimes - there’s no reason : they are like that.

A similar scenario can exist with some people who steal, who are ‘light-fingered’, or kleptomaniac. They may not have any real need for what they take - they take it because they can.

It’s a compulsion that - very temporarily - relieves a certain psychological tension in them, when they have the thing in their hands.

Including money. How much money do people really, really need? It’s a kind of ‘scoring’ (double entendre not intended!). But it will never relieve the source of their deep-seated insecurities.

Reasonable people keep looking for reasons. Unreasonable people have different wiring.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/08/14 at 11:04 AM | #


Your post reminded me of two famous characters that I read about when I was younger. Cathy, of East of Eden and Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.

But then there is a difference between these monsters and Amanda. Amanda is real and one of us. Just look at the number of her virtual supporters!

One of my students, suffering from some psychological problems, tells lies fluently but randomly. And it takes me days to discover. If I confront her, she covers up with another. Otherwise she is a rather decent human being, I think. But then I know too little.

Some circuit in the brain has gone wrong. Somehow.

Posted by chami on 08/08/14 at 11:21 AM | #


” It’s a kind of ‘scoring’ (double entendre not intended!). But it will never relieve the source of their deep-seated insecurities.”

Very well said, thank you.

Posted by Odysseus on 08/08/14 at 12:29 PM | #

Hi, Vivianna, SeekingUnderstanding, Cardiol excellent discussion about lying, perhaps I could shed some light on this based on very own experience of growing up, I am not proud of it, but I used to lie a lot when I was a small child.

I don’t know why I did it, but I did, perhaps to escape an imaginary punishment, or perhaps I was enjoying setting people on the wrong track, I don’t remember anymore, or maybe I don’t want to remember, I will probably have to deal with it if I haven’t already.

What I want to say, though, is that my father (a busy engineer) took time and did his utmost to show me how useless lying was, he put a lot of effort into finding out what really had been going on, and confronting me with it. He always ended with “See, I’m always going to find out, why are you lying?”.

I don’t remember when I stopped, if I don’t lie anymore it is thanks to him, I am not a perfect human being, but it is my father who saved me from that hell. So, my father lives through me and he is not the only one (my mother showed me how even a small sacrifice can make a difference, she is still alive), I am not who I think I may be, so many others had a hand in it.

If Amanda Knox lies and does other things, first and foremost she has her parents to thank for *not* seeing and correcting her wickedness, why do you have a child if you cannot show her what’s good and what isn’t? She could have been a good person with some guidance and love, but she isn’t, and the world is now stuck with the evil litter of Curt Knox & Edda Mellas. Amanda Knox lies because she lies, there is a good chance that pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie, and unfortunately we have to look no further than Curt & Edda.

Posted by Bjorn on 08/08/14 at 05:54 PM | #

Thank you for sharing your personal experience, Bjorn, and being honest.

Of course, a perfect person does not exist - and how many people would be happier if this were acknowledged? If parents can acknowledge to their children that they themselves are not perfect either, it helps everybody. They can show it is trying to be good that matters. Not covering up and pretending to be good.

Lying is a form of pretending. Sometimes children do it, as you suggest, to see the effect. But then we learn, and grow up. Some just don’t.  We need to be able to recognize these ones for everyone’s safety.

Yes, it is for parents to educate about right and wrong, and if they are really good and conscientious parents they also try to show or explore why things are right or wrong - in different contexts, too.

Not everyone is fortunate to have such parents, but even then the growing child can find a teacher or such for a model. One just needs to think of some of the appalling adversity that some people do transcend.

I have often wondered when AK’s lying started - and was not corrected. Was this part of Edda’s encouraging a ‘free spirit’, as Amanda said?

I think of it as the ‘Whatever’ attitude, you probably know what I mean…  ‘Maybe it’s true, or there again maybe not…whatever!’

In fact didn’t AK say that more than once during interviews?

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/08/14 at 06:20 PM | #

Is a consensus emerging?

The SocioPsychopaths among us do know whether their falsehoods and deceptions are lies?

Don’t they just delight in the attention they command?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/08/14 at 07:07 PM | #

@ Cardiol MD

“Don’t they just delight in the attention they command?”

I think so - absolutely right. They feel they have to command attention, therein is the rub. Most normal people are very happy to get some attention when due but learn very early that it can’t be commanded (au contraire). We all intuitively and immediately recognise someone in a group who really stands out, precisely because they don’t insist on attention.

This will always be news for loud and obnoxious single-chord guitar pickers with a strangely decreasing number of real friends.

Posted by Odysseus on 08/08/14 at 07:55 PM | #
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Or to previous entry Knox Frequently Smears Others On Drug Use, Severely Understates Her Own