PR Shill Candace Dempsey Abuses The Real Victim Here

[Shots here are of Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s owner Hearst Media’s building in Manhattan[

When an article about a controversial subject manages to tick everyone off, this might mean the author has achieved a certain level of neutrality!

Rachel Donadio’s brief article in the NY Times recapping the main developments in the Meredith Kercher murder case, is neutral, using this yardstick.

  • For people who have already decided Amanda Knox is guilty, Donadio left out important details needed to expose the case against Knox.

  • And for people who have already decided on Knox’s innocence, Donadio committed the unpardonable sin of allowing Francesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s increasingly vocal legal counsel, to voice this opinion: “The important thing is they were all there,” he said. “All three are responsible.”

In at least one critical respect, the Italian criminal justice system may be better than its US counterpart. In Italy, the family of the VICTIM has the right to legal representation. This seems to perplexe many in the Knox defense camp.

But anyone who has survived the murder of a loved one will understand why it is so important. They will also understand why comments of the kind being posted on Candace Dempsey’s defense blog hosted by Heart’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer are so reprehensible, and why they must be called out as such.

Kelly13, the first poster to weigh in, notes that Maresca has been increasingly vocal about Knox’s involvement and that he recently expressed dismay at the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out Knox’s oral confession. So far, at least, Kelly13 is factual and limits his remarks to Maresca.

But then he goes to work on the Kerchers:

Despite their carefully crafted direct statements expressing a desire for justice, clearly the Kerchers have made up their minds and they don’t strike me as nice or objective people. I wonder if they have created legal liability for themselves, certainly Mr. Maresca can be sued for this unproven claim made against Amanda.

It is hard to pass judgment on “people” who have only spoken to the press twice (that I know of) and who have read brief prepared statements each time. But what struck me as really strange about this comment was how inaccurate and mean it sounded.

Then I remembered where I had read similar sentiments”¦ on the same Dempsey defense blog, about six months ago, by the same poster too. He is a self-proclaimed faith-based activist who says he lobbies for US citizens jailed abroad. Earlier, he noted blithely that the Kerchers needed to “set aside” their grief and jump on the free AK bandwagon.

A few of the few posters on Dempsey’s site tried to explain why his most recent comments were unacceptable, but with Dempsey they were wasting their time.

In reply to those who disagreed, Kelly13 said he knew

...folks who have been through even worse and they had the backbone to stand up against obvious injustice. The least the Kerchers could do is just stay silent and keep their lawyer under control. To fail to do so undermines Amanda’s right to fairness, contributes to her unjust confinement, and shifts focus away from the tragedy that is Meredith. It’s very hard, but in the interest of justice and fairness their lawyer needs to shut up, and only they can affect that.

End of subject for him. He begins his next paragraph: “Moving on”¦”

These comments were still standing today. I note this only because Candace Dempsey has gained huge notoriety mainly for her heavy thumb on the delete button for posts that go against her bias.

Maresca’s current view of the case will ultimately be proven right or wrong. The family has filed a civil suit for damages against whomever is found guilty, which means that it and its counsel now have access to the 10,000 pages of material submitted by the prosecutor. Maresca’s opinion just might reflect his deep conviction, based on an examination of the evidence.

Furthermore, the Kerchers silence might also be due to their belief that justice is taking its course. They owe nothing, not one thing, to Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito or Rudy Guede.

Conversely, those with a vested interest in the outcome of this case for any of the three suspects owe it to the Kerchers to keep these thoughts to themselves. It is appalling to read on Dempsey’s blog that Kelly13 hopes the Kerchers will ultimately find themselves at the other end of a lawsuit.

It is so appalling under the circumstances that it is physically revolting. Especially considering how utterly restrained the Kerchers have been with respect to the media and how relatively restrained their lawyer has been. In fact, it is incredible to even have to say this. Kelly13, where were you when brains and hearts were being passed out?

In any case, Maresca’s words in the NY Times will have no impact on Judge Micheli, who is presiding over the pre-trial hearing. Micheli, who already knows what Maresca thinks, is also doing his job “” which is to examine the evidence, hear the challenges, and decide whether or not to press charges.

Maresca may be a thorn in the side of those who have already decided that at least two of the suspects are innocent, but he plays a vital role for the Kercher family. For just about any surviving victim of a murdered person who has been through the criminal justice process, this is a no-brainer.

The comments about the Kercher family on Hearst’s defense blog make me incredibly sad for this family which has shown remarkable restraint and dignity for almost one year.

Back in January, speaking to Meredith’s hometown paper the Croydon Guardian, Maresca noted: “Meredith’s parents continue to suffer enormously and they faithfully await news of every hearing as they are doing so today. Their objective is to reach the truth of their daughter’s murder out of respect for her memory.”

The surviving Kerchers also deserve a little respect, even in the blogosphere, where anyone can say anything. It doesn’t matter what you think about who did what and why.

Shame on you, Candace Dempsey, for this scurrilous anti-victim blog, and shame on Hearst for hosting it too.

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The Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogger also seems to be making quite a gig out of harassing and ridiculing the witnesses. Pretty close to intimidation, some of the stuff.

Hearst headquarters will of course have known nothing of this rabid defense blog, where 80 percent of the readers’ comments take the feckless blogger to task - and those same 80 percernt of the comments then also get deleted.

As one blog reader said, this is the most dishonest blog in America. This is the blog in question, Hearst. Your Ombudsman should be invited to go take a look. This is doing you no good.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/02/08 at 05:30 PM | #

Here is something that will make your skin crawl.  Well, it will if you want justice for Meredith Kercher and her family.

Google this:  True Justice for Meredith Kercher

What is your first hit, folks?  You are taken right to a table, laden high with half-truths and lies by omission (which is just as bad as the garden variety lie, kids!).  Meredith Kercher’s very name directs you to an Amanda Knox Defense Blog. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I need a shower.  The Kercher family deserves so much more than this.

Posted by Corrina on 10/02/08 at 09:50 PM | #

Great article.  Let’s hope that Hearst sits up and takes notice.  Hearst also may be interested to know that the blog owner who is STILL allowing these horrific comments about the Kerchers to stand, was recently seen in Perugia in several of the same photographs and video as the Kerchers - as if she was stalking them. Is she hoping for an interview while she vehemently defends their daughter/sister’s accused killers?  Her repugnant behavior must be addressed NOW.

Posted by Tara on 10/02/08 at 10:03 PM | #

Hearst will listen. We will be all over our friends there in a day or two, explaining their HUGE legal risks with this loose cannon of a blogger.

They will NOT want to be one of the defending parties in a wrongful death suit - which is precisely the liability this blooger is now incurring for them.

And about that trip to Italy. Who PAID for that?

It is utterly improbable that Hearst paid for that - for an unpaid blogger - when they could have used the resources to have a REAL reporter on the spot.

So. Did the Knox team pay for the blogger’s trip? We need to know.

Are Hearst hosting a blogger that is DIRECTLY on the payroll of the Knox defense team?

Hearst, dear friends, you are REALLY going to be in the soup in that wrongful-death suit, if you are hosting a blogger DIRECTLY on the defense’s payroll.

Put some distance, guys. Like, yesterday…

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/02/08 at 10:17 PM | #

We know the “Italian Woman at the Table” was not in possession of a press pass back in April when she attended the hearings in Rome. She noted it in one of her blog entries.

While she was in Perugia for the hearings in September, a KOMO 4 News reporter (Seattle’s ABC affiliate) called her a “freelance reporter” who was reporting to them from Perugia.  She then gave a report over the phone. Her close proximity to the Kerchers in the halls of the courthouse (While taking pictures of their backs as they walked into the courtroom), gave me the impression that she did have a press pass on this trip. 

Indeed, it would be very interesting to know who’s paying for these trips to Italy.

Posted by Tara on 10/02/08 at 10:50 PM | #

Well, having just had a look, I can say that all hell has broken loose over there. Since he was not reprimanded by the blog owner for any of his 3 initial anti-Kercher comments, Kelly 13 felt bold enough to return and pursue this reprehensible line, after another occasional poster expressed his strong disapproval and the blog owner was forced to justify not deleting these offensive comments.
Again, I can only say that some comments are so offensive that the only way to deal with them is to delete, and it is odd that on this site, which deletes more comments than it allows to stand, this was not done. It should be possible to defend Amanda Knox without touching the Kercher family, which I’m afraid means drawing a line in the sand on the other side of Maresca. He is their public voice. Someone opened a can of worms, and I’m not sure it was Kelly13. He just came along and decided to run with it.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 10/02/08 at 11:09 PM | #

“Are Hearst hosting a blogger that is DIRECTLY on the payroll of the Knox defense team?”

That’s a very pertinent question Fast Pete and a question that the blog owner has repeatedly refused to answer. A simple yes or no would have sufficed. Instead she has deleted or ignored any questions concerning her possible relationship with Amanda Knox’s family or the defence team. It is surely in the blog owner’s own interests to clarify the situation because many people, myself included, inferred from her point blank refusal to answer the question that she had indeed been recruited by Amanda Knox’s parents or defence team to use her position as highly prominent blogger to champion Amanda’s cause.

I think the the blog’s readers have the right to know whether the blog’s owner has such a hidden agenda.

Posted by The Machine on 10/02/08 at 11:21 PM | #

Way back when, before I was banned from the site I was asking this question over and over again.

What is the IW’s relationship to the Knox family?
Is it paid?  Is it family?  Is it family friend?
Just what is the link?

The question was NEVER answered.  She never said there was NO relationship and she NEVER denied there was a relationship.  But she did ban me for asking.

Personally I think there HAS to be.  She went out strong and hard and nothing has been able to dent her opinion.

Posted by Friend of Peltier on 10/02/08 at 11:40 PM | #

I think the the blog’s readers have the right to know whether the blog’s owner has such a hidden agenda.

And, of course, Hearst’s lawyers. Hearst has a right to know. I think we can say that angry readers may end up being the least of her concerns!

Things are now starting to point to the possibility of her abusing the trust that Hearst put in her by taking covert money for slanting an important outlet.

And as a possible quid pro quo it seems she harasses witnesses, harasses lawyers, harasses the family, and now harasses the memory of the victim herself.

It looks like Hearst could have to contend with two things here, and they may not want to sit around and let things fester:

The real threat of a giant lawsuit from the family or sympathetic parties. And the real threat of the humiliation of Hearst by other media outlets.

We’re on the case. Tips appreciated.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/03/08 at 01:26 AM | #

It’s apparent that the IW blog owner has probably read this entry here by Skeptical Bystander.  Here’s a snapshot of a couple of comments on the PI Blog hosted by Italian Woman - and the one by “Kelly13” has subsequently been deleted…a common reaction over at that blog.

“Posted by Candace Dempsey at 10/2/08 5:34 p.m.

Kelly, I asked you to cease and desist on Kerchers. You have not. So I am going to keep deleting your responses until you find another topic.

BTW, I wrote about the Albanian witness. NOT THE KERCHERS. Is there some reason why you cannot address the issue?

Posted by Kelly13 at 10/2/08 5:39 p.m.

whatevas cuz


I wonder if “Kelly13” is Candace Dempsey’s cousin?  After all, she refers to him only as “Kelly” in her scolding of him!

Posted by Tara on 10/03/08 at 08:33 PM | #

I peaked at the cook’s blog over at the house of dishonesty and she has a video posted featuring a Philadelphia lawyer.
I had to laugh.
On another note she still hasn’t answered my question regarding (considering her love of cooking)if she has ever pricked anyone with a knife while cooking.
Seems she finds this a bit awkward to answer for some reason.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 10/04/08 at 06:58 PM | #

Is it Mike Heavey?  Or, is it Ed Heavey?  Both identify with the title of a Superior Court Judge in Seattle.  It appears Ed is in his late 70’s and Mike is in his 50’s.  Will the real Amanda Knox supporter please stand up?

The two major Seattle newspapers don’t seem to know!

From the Seattle PI article by Levi Pulkkinen:

“Speaking Friday, Bremner said she was brought in to aid Knox by a group of supporters in the Seattle area. Among them, she said, is former King County Superior Court Judge Ed Heavey and leaders at Seattle Prep High School, from which Knox graduated.”

From the Seattle Times article by Nancy Bartley:

“Attorney Anne Bremner and King County Superior Court Judge Mike Heavey are among those who believe the 21-year-old exchange student is being treated unfairly by an Italian court, which is weighing her guilt in the slaying of her roommate last year in Perugia, Italy.”

Which “Heavey” is it?

Posted by Tara on 10/05/08 at 01:32 AM | #

The blogger is going to have to do a lot more than eliminate one or two over-the-top comments by her sisters and her cousins to put herself high and dry.

Amazingly, she does not seem to have the slightest clue that she has zero legal protection from Hearst or the Seattle PI.

They will throw her to the dogs in about one second flat if and when the legal moves against her commence.

And she has made herself astoundingly exposed, as a serial harasser of the witnesses, the police, the prosecutors, the lawyers, the Kercher family, and now the victim.

It might be a timely moment for her to exit the game of serial harassment once and for all, and perhaps try something else.

There’s more than one way (we presume) to paint lipstick on a pig.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/05/08 at 04:07 PM | #

Apart from possible legal moves, I think the blogger has other “issues”. She’s still arguing that Raffaele might not have lied about calling the police before the postal police turned up, despite the fact that Raffaele admitting months ago that he lied and Frank confirming that the police turned up at 12.26 and Raffaele and Amanda phoned the police some 25 minutes later at 12.51. Suddenly, Frank’s not such a reliable source anymore.

Most normal and rational people would be suspcious on learning that Raffaele had indeed lied to the police during the investigation into the sexual assault and brutal murder of Meredith. The blogger pretends it’s not true and instead is impressed by Raffaele’s calm tone:

“I don’t expect others to agree, but having been in extremely traumatic situations myself, I was impressed by Sollecito’s calm tone. What good does it do to sound hysterical? It just makes it harder to get help.”

Posted by The Machine on 10/05/08 at 06:35 PM | #

Which Heavey is it? Well, isn’t the important thing to have as many local Heavey hitters on your team as possible?

Actually, I am trying to get my mind around this development: what does the claim of unfair treatment mean exactly? Has AK been denied due process under Italian law? Is she being treated unfairly compared to the two other suspects? Why is this claim being made now, three months after the investigation was completed, nearly one year after she was first taken into custody, and—most importantly—just a couple of weeks before a decision is delivered on whether to go to trial?

I could be wrong, but something tells me this is the pressure part of the push for house arrest status after October 25.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 10/05/08 at 06:54 PM | #

Skep said:
“Which Heavey is it? Well, isn’t the important thing to have as many local Heavey hitters on your team as possible?”

Absolutely! The Knox/Mellas camp need all the support they can get.  But what if one of the Heaveys wasn’t so pro-Amanda? What if one hadn’t even reviewed the case?  Even worse, what if one believed that Amanda had something to do with this crime, and was waiting for the Italian justice system to take it’s course?

I’d be upset if my name was quoted in error being associated with such a serious matter!

Posted by Tara on 10/05/08 at 07:30 PM | #
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