Knox Groupie Nina Burleigh Posting The Nastiest And Least Accurate Reports

Nina Burleigh claims she is a careful and scholarly researcher and writer.  So the absolute sloppiness and evident bias in her recent reports for Time magazine are coming as a real surprise.

We found out about her intended book on the case about a year ago and emailed her good luck. She told us then that this was her publisher’s idea and modern crime was new ground for her.

Next we heard that she was in Perugia and frequently or incessantly sitting with the Knox defense team and family. When she returned to New York she told us this was exaggerated, and also that her days in court hearing AK testify had really chilled her and had convinced her of Amanda Knox’s guilt.

Then she headed back to Perugia and again we began to hear that the AK crowd were working hard on her. She stopped communicating with us. And we began to see suggestive trends in her reports for Time which might also indicate the direction of her book.

Considering the time Nina Burleigh has spent actively researching the case - according to the Columbia Journal, so far seven months - it’s astonishing that she was able to write this paragraph in a report for Time on 30 November 2009, just a few days before the verdict, and after the prosecution had finished presenting all of its evidence:

The third person involved, Rudy Guede, left a mountain of physical evidence including fingerprints, footprints and DNA on Kercher’s body, but the material evidence against Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito consists of just two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently sliced off Kercher’s back during the attack and another speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

And Nina Burleigh included this very similar set of claims in a Time report (“Did Amanda Get A Fair Trial?”) right after the verdict.

Guede’s footprints and handprints were on the bloody scene and his DNA inside the sexually assaulted victim, but almost no similarly incriminating evidence linked the two students to the crime scene.

The most serious material evidence against Knox and Sollecito came down to two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently torn off Kercher’s back during the savage attack and another microscopic speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

There was in fact NOT a mountain of physical evidence against Rudy Guede in Meredith’s room. One of the real surprises of the case is how little evidence even Rudy Guede - who seems to have been the one most physically in contact with Meredith - left behind.

The delay in collecting the bra clasp was caused by the defenses - the investigators knew as soon as they assembled all the evidence components in the labs in Rome that the bra clasp was not among them. A negotiation to revisit the house then had to take place. 

And even people who have followed the case quite casually will know that Nina Burleigh’s claim that there are just two elements of material evidence, both of them suspect, against Knox and Sollecito is in fact utter nonsense.

1) Mixed Samples of Blood

Is it really possible that Nina Burleigh is ignorant of the mountain of mixed-blood evidence?  Its significance has been has been highlighted in the courtroom by Dr. Stefanoni and in articles by a number of journalists covering the case.

The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, called the mixed blood evidence “the most damning piece” of evidence against Knox. And Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani paid particular attention to the mixed samples of blood in their sentencing report.

The reason why the mixed blood evidence is so damning is that Amanda Knox’s DNA wasn’t outlier DNA that had been left some time earlier.

Amanda Knox herself effectively dated the blood stains in the bathroom to the night of the murder at the trial when she conceded there was no blood in the bathroom the day before.

Apparently, three of the samples were “perfect”. Dr. Stefanoni said the most compelling forensic evidence against Knox was the mixed blood sample found on the drain of the bidet.

The mixed sample of Knox’s and Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room left the criminal biologists involved in the case, and the judges and jury, in their report, in no doubt that Amanda Knox was in Filomena’s room after Meredith was stabbed and therefore involved in Meredith’s murder.

“A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.” (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek).

Amanda Knox’s DNA was also found mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

2) Bloody and Luminol Footprints

Nina Burleigh also didn’t mention another key piece of forensic evidence against Knox and Sollecito in her article for Time: the bloody luminol-enhanced footprints.

It is quite clear that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito stepped into Meredith’s blood and tracked it around the house. They both left visible bloody footprints. Raffaele Sollecito left a bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom, and Amanda Knox left a bloody shoeprint on a pillow that was found under Meredith’s body.

Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito footprints were also found set in Meredith’s blood in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

Perhaps Nina Burleigh was so busy researching the case elsewhere in Perugia that she was unable to attend the court sessions in which the mixed blood and footprint evidence was presented or read the numerous articles about this evidence that appeared in the American and British media.

3) Nasty smears of Italy

In an article for the Columbia Chronicle Nina Burleigh made the following comment:

The research was hard because no one spoke English over there, contrary to belief,” Burleigh said. “I took Italian classes and worked with a translator and I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a country where freedom of speech doesn’t exist.”

Freedom of speech doesn’t exist? Really? And it’s simply ridiculous to claim that no one speaks English “over there”. Presumably at the very least Giulia Alagna, Burleigh’s translator, speaks some English.

Nina Burleigh sounds here like an ugly American who has utter contempt for Italy, where of course everyone should really speak English.

4) More on Giulia Alagna

It should be noted that translator Giulia Alagna has worked with some of the people who were responsible for the horribly biased CBS documentaries about the case, which were riddled with factual errors.

She was Paul Ciolino’s interpreter when he performed his comical sound experiment for CBS. Apparently, Giulia Alagna has also worked as an interpreter for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas.

It seems that she was the person who erroneously informed Edda Mellas that Rudy Guede had talked to a priest and nun:  “I’ve heard two different reports now that there’s also a priest and a nun that had conversations, not confessions, conversations, where Rudy expressed the fact that he felt bad”¦ that he was feeling some guilt about the fact that he had pointed the finger at these two (Amanda and Raffaele) when they were not there,” Mellas said.

Via a Webcam, Seattle’s KING 5 talked with a researcher who was in court throughout the long trial in Perugia and is closely watching the case.

In that report Giulia Alagna calls Guede’s alleged jailhouse confession “a huge bombshell.”

There is no credible evidence to support the claim that Rudy Guede ever made a jailhouse confession - in fact, ever even met Allessi, the murderer who was jailed for kidnapping and brutally murdering Tommaso Onofri, a 17-month-old baby.

5) Circumstantial Evidence

In her article for Time, Nina Burleigh also ignores the highly incriminating circumstantial evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as if it doesn’t exist.

  • There is no mention of Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s multiple conflicting alibis or the fact they still don’t have credible alibis despite three attempts each.
  • There is no mention of the pack of lies that Knox and Sollecito deliberately and repeatedly told the police, family and friends about the night and next day.
  • There is no mention of Knox voluntarily admitting that she was involved in Meredith’s murder, in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. Knox’s lawyers knew this confession was highly incriminating and tried hard to get it thrown out - though it still stands.
  • There is no mention of Knox’s false and malicious accusation against Diya Lumumba, or the fact that she and her mother didn’t retract her allegation the whole time he was in prison despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent.
  • There is no mention of the various eyewitnesses who between them very convincingly described an ominous pattern that flatly contradicted the claims of Knox and Sollecito.
  • And there is zero explanation of who broke Filomena’s window, who cleaned up the apartment, and who rearranged Meredith’s body to make the scene look more like a sex crime

And perhaps the most damning evidence of all, the highly incriminating patter of phone calls, is also ignored in Nina Burleigh’s various shoddy and misleading accounts. 

6) Nasty smears against prosecutor Mignin

From the Sound Authors website

[An] extremely dark murder mystery involving a university of Washington exchange student accused of killing her British roommate. In a very mysterious circumstance; and the prosecutor in the case this Italian prosecutor has a very active imagination and has charged her with participating in an orgy or satanic rite and he believes there’s this satanic cult in Italy that’s existed there for centuries so its about this girl pitted against this prosecutor. 

The new world mountain climber in gortex and pot smoker basically and that’s how she got herself into trouble; pitted against this old world prosecutor who represents severe, rigid Catholicism Italian tradition, which really respects a great dark secret, and this fresh faced American girl looks like Mona Lisa.

Apart from quite possibly being libelous, this is wildly untrue. There is a mountain of evidence on TJMK - a real mountain, not one simply in Nina Burleigh’s imagination - that Mignini has done a fine job both in this case and in his small segment of the Monster of Florence case. He did NOT first raise the notion of a MOF satanic sect (that theory was out there SIX YEARS before he came to the case) and he has NEVER pointed to a satanic sect in Meredith’s sad case.

And the truth about Mignini and the key forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito are not all that Nina Burleigh has forgotten to mention.

She didn’t mention Meredith even once on her website.

Apparently, Nina Burleigh’s “Knox book” will be published in 2011. If it is anything like her biased, muddled and inaccurate articles, it simply won’t be worth anything.

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She may want to revise her description of Mignini prior to the books publishing. I hope that Mignini will take legal action if this drivel actually goes to print.

Posted by tigger34 on 03/29/10 at 09:13 PM | #

Nina Burleigh seems to be turning from a serious and respected writer into a besotted Knox groupie way out of her depth on the evidence and seething with anti-Italianism. She told me this book was a financial risk for her - maybe she is following the PR money? Such a book is unlikely to make any. Sad case. How to kill a good career by losing your cool. She should rethink - and read some of the stuff on our site here. Unlike that on the apologists sites, it is not made up out of thin air.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/30/10 at 11:12 PM | #

Yep, looks like she sold her soul for cheap silver.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/31/10 at 03:42 AM | #

“The research was hard because no one spoke English over there, contrary to belief,” Burleigh said. “I took Italian classes and worked with a translator and I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a country where freedom of speech doesn’t exist.”

I am intrigued by her latter statement “freedom of speech doesn’t exist”, I’m sincerely curious about what exactly she is talking about (for example how did she experiment directly her impossibility to speak while stating that anyway nobody could understand what she was saying?)

Maybe she just refers to that the people she wanted to question were not particularly eager to talk with HER?

I am also delighted by her incipit. In her place I could have said “the research was hard because I don’t know anything about the place and I don’t speak a word of Italian”.

Imagine to swap the parts, and say “my research was difficult in London because nobody speaks Italian over there, contrary to belief…”

Posted by Yummi on 03/31/10 at 01:22 PM | #

” ....... but the material evidence against Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito consists of just two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently sliced off Kercher’s back during the attack and another speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.”

“A microscopic speck?” ..... as opposed to what? a kilo of DNA?

“they don’t speak english over there” .... WHAT! you mean to say , Italians speak italian?

And, this is the same writer you walks the higher ground by claiming to have uncovered a fraud in holy relics?

But why am i so surprised by all of this? Next they’ll be saying that Oswald killed JFK ....

Posted by Chan on 03/31/10 at 03:19 PM | #

Hi Chan. As you will know but Nina apparently doesnt, it was far from microscopic. It could only have been put there by RS squeezing hard.

There was only one other sample of RS in the retroactively cleaned house, and attempts to “prove’ this DNA on the clasp was contamination read like scripts for Monty Python.

Despite false claims that there were none, this is one of several smoking guns in this case.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/10 at 03:27 PM | #


“but a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” (The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel).

It’s so pitiful; I swear that there are times that I actually ‘feel’ for the Knox apologists even if it is ‘blind faith’ that drives them at the expense of facts and plain common sense and logic.


1.  the DNA tests were contaminated => but, there was no other persons’ DNA apart from that of RS !;

2.  RS’s DNA was transmitted/transfered through sloppy testing =>, but, from where did the DNA source from if not RS himself?;

3.  The bra strap was collected 47 days later => so ? Bain, an American negro, was acquitted from rape 35 years later after DNA testing proved his innocence; that’s about 12,775 days LATER !!!;

4.  Italian DNA testing methods were questionable => but, only for K/S; however, perfectly OK for Guede with the same people, same lab;

5.  K/S want a re-testing done on DNA test => unlike US law, Italian law mandates that the defendants have legal right to attend all DNA testing. K/S declined their invitation AND had DNA reports for over 45 days and did nothing;

6.  the DNA found would not have been admitted in an US trial => yes it would have ! See recent precedent in a NY case;

7.  the DNA was a mere speck => yes, apparently enough to create the universe (see today’s testing at atom accelerator in Switzerland) but not enough to place K/S at the crime scene.

Smoking gun ? More like atom bomb of Hiroshima, Peter !

Posted by Chan on 03/31/10 at 07:46 PM | #

At the end, their lies sound also so naive, don’t they? Desperate.

Yes, they look the other way when something is troubling. And repeat lies and more lies.

Look at Edda (the big super liar who showed the way to the others!). She claimed that they knew about Raffaele, and that Amanda slept at his place.

Do you really beleive that? Amanda had known him a week. Do you really believe that she would say to her mother that she spends nights with a boy she just met? To her friends, yes, but to the parents, I doubt it! I wouldn’t have said it…

Then Amanda and Meredith were friends, they did lots of things together. Well, they did for a bit until things got sour, and lately they even walked separately toards the University! And certainly Edda knew, or eventually found out anyway. Not a single female came in Amanda’s help in Perugia, she did not make ONE single female friend…

And we should also believe that in the one week Amanda was with Raffaele and not doing anything anymore with Meredith, during these 6 days, they had a meal together at Raffaele’s!!!

By now - and long before now! - the parents know they are lying, and instead of putting their children in this “keep lying if not we will look like idiots” position, they should, for once, try to REALLY help them.

Posted by Patou on 03/31/10 at 09:02 PM | #


Your points 1-7 above are right on target.  There is no way that the Knox supporters could explain away any of those items. 

If they would only listen and use common sense.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 04/01/10 at 01:07 PM | #

I don’t understand how any writer can sit at a typewriter or computer, and write such garbage when there are facts to back up the truth.

I have only just started a few months ago following this case. My heart breaks for Meredith and her family and I pray each night that she and her family finds peace and justice against all 3 of them.

As for this writer, she sold her soul.

But the one thing I am getting tired of from the Knox supporters is then yelling anti American.

And does anyone know if its true that RS is on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Somewheres I found it and was able to convert it into English along with his diary or whatever you want to call it that he wrote to his family.

I also found his web page and just sat there wondering how this little boy grew up to be a murderer. I think if the truth ever does come out, it will be RS to do it and he really needs to do it before the appeals are sent in or reviewed.

Posted by jasmine1998 on 04/02/10 at 09:51 AM | #

My guess? There might not even be a Nina Burleigh book on Meredith’s case at the end of the day. Consider:

1) It can only get worse for her from here. If you think Machine’s case above is a strong one, wait till you see the judges’ sentencing report. It is like Machine, only on steroids. One quick example: the RS DNA that Nina Burleigh likes to ridicule as a microscopic speck? It was very far from that - it was pressed very firmly into the bra clasp, and embedded under the hooks. No way it got there but by RS pressing hard as he cut the bra strap with a knife. .

2) None of her “research” seems to have added any value. She wasted a full half-year in Perugia sitting with various Knox and Mellas supporters who are either manipulative or deluded. You can read all the same claims on the low-traffic fictional “AK was framed” websites - which are also either manipulative or deluded. And that nasty anti-Italianism? Believe it or not, it really doesn’t sell. 

3) She parrots the Knox PR talking points and faux claims from technical and legal “experts” thousands of miles away in the US, while ignoring huge areas of research where she could have added immense value. The Knox social and psychological history in Seattle for one. The lurid claims of Doug Preston for another - which no-one in Italy seems to take seriously. This whole area for a third. A real profile of Mignini for a fourth. And all about Meredith and her life and times, for a vitally important fifth. 

4) Nina Burleigh’s publishers and Time magazine are pretty sure to have Machine’s post pointed out to them. They are going to want to know what a writer they are paying is doing so far from the real facts of the case. Time magazine will not want to keep using her dishonest takes, and her publisher (Harper Perennial or Mirage) will start seeing commercial disaster.

And from this point on, we and our pro-Meredith and pro-justice and pro-Italy friends in Perugia and Seattle will be watching her every move and questioning every ugly or dishonest word. We get emails several times a week in which the emailer tells us they dont know ANYONE in their local area who believes Knox is innocent. The most recent one was from West Seattle. Many are ticked at having being lied to in pieces like Nina Burleigh’s.. 

Bottom line? Nina Burleigh might be well advised to learn something from this, and either start over on the research or cut her losses and move on.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/02/10 at 02:00 PM | #

How come no one ever mentions Amanda’s DNA on the bra clasp? Every time Curt and Edda open their mouths, they talk about not a single piece of DNA of Amanda in that room, the same thing constantly is hear from every Amanda supporter.

I think it has to do with no one has an answer to why it is there, how about this…

RS moves Merediths body, he goes to remove the bra but needs one hand to tilt Meredith onto her side where he tries to undo the bra with his other hand, he can’t do it so Amanda comes over, grabs it and cuts it off, the bra is pulled off as RS set Meredith back down and the clasp comes off and falls under the body.

Posted by John on 04/06/10 at 07:20 PM | #

The desperately anonymous “Bruce Fisher” posted these remarks about Nina Burleigh and myself.

“I want to add a quick note about Nina Burleigh’s new book that will be available in August. I think everyone involved with Injustice in Perugia will be very pleased with the book. Nina is an excellent author and I look forward to reading her take on this case.

It was recently mentioned that Nina spent some time getting to know Peter Quennell. Quennell seems to have exaggerated the details of that meeting. Nina did meet with him Briefly when he made claims of having important contacts. After their meeting Nina made it very clear that she had no interest in ever meeting with him again.

Quennell told an outright lie when he said this: “She told me then she was in the courtroom the two days Knox testified and realised she was sitting in the presence of a probable psychopathic killer.”

Nina never made that statement. In fact she feels the opposite about Amanda Knox. “[/quote]


Really?! Here is my preliminary response. The pitiful “Bruce Fisher” is as usual out to lunch. Now wonder in his final paras below that comment he sounds scared that I know who he is.

Nina Burleigh and I corresponded by email for months after I met with her at her house in the Delaware River Valley. It continued after she was in Italy.

It is quite clear from those emails all of which I should probably now post on TJMK that EVERYTHING I said was perfectly true.

It was Nina that mainly wanted the meeting. I drove out to her house to oblige her. The round trip with lunch and a long talk at her house occupied about 8 hours.

She did say she had been close to the Knoxes and Mellases in the early days, but had now disconnected.

She did make the extended remarks about Knox on the stand suddenly seeming to her like a psychopath. In fact she said it kept her awake for some nights.

She asked me for links and guidance and a couple of connections and she got them. I never said I had many connections though if I had it would not be untrue.

Much later in the email correspondence, I said that her increasingly biased Time articles were raising some eyebrows, and offered her some corrections.

And finally the Machine took her seriously to task in this post, which is probably why she or Fisher are now making things up. Good luck to them.

More when I find out what Nina Burleigh actually said if any different. If I cant then all of the correspondence goes up.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/11/11 at 01:05 AM | #
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