More On The Ill-Considered Campaign of Vilification By The Knox Groveller Nina Burleigh

REALLY not a good time for the Knox adulator Nina Burleigh to be entering into attack mode. Much better to be covering her tail.

One book is already being investigated by the chief prosecutor of Florence (the same one that will oversee the repeat appeal) for contempt of court in attempting to interfere with an ongoing legal process.

Sollecito and his team might face years in court and millions in awards - and Burleigh’s defamation-riddled The Fatal Gift Of Beauty which flatly accuses many Italian officials of crimes is already a candidate for a similar outcome. 

Good luck with that one. She could be paying out for years. Nina Burleigh now seems to me a tad delusional - making things up, not for the sake of lying for an advantage, but simply because her mind sorta works that way, and so she shoots herself in the foot.

Skeptical Bystander of PMF has already rebutted Burleigh’s claims against her, in this post immediately below. This was my own experience with Nina Burleigh.

Request for assistance from Nina Burleigh

Burleigh really didnt have any good cause to pick a fight with me as I have always treated her extremely well.  I met her personally only once - in August 2009 - but we emailed frequently though most of 2009.

The meeting grew out of this post.  I emailed the link to that post to Nina Burleigh via her blog;  and also to John Follain, who thanked me politely.

She emailed back that she was surprised to have landed the assignment, as she had no expertise in that area, but her publisher had recommended it. She said she could use any help. I said I would see if our contacts in Rome and Perugia could help her.

She moved to Perugia in the spring for a month or two and as she has no Italian some arrangement was made for an interpreter. She attended some of the court sessions. As agreed, I emailed various contacts asking if they might want to help her.

The reaction across the board however was no. 

Burleigh was being seen constantly in the Knox-Mellas entourage and was already regarded as a doubtful reporter at best, one who had already lost her cool.

Burleighs request for a meeting

She returned to New York, after Knox had been two days on the stand, to rustle up more money and take her family back with her. She emailed me for a meeting to share tips and information, and was hoping we might open a way to the Kerchers. (We never do.)

I asked her if she was neutral and independent, or working for the PR scheme. I would not have met with her if she hadn’t promised by return that her mingling with the Knox-Mellas crowd was for show, just an act, really she was secretly neutral.

Based on that guarantee, she and I met for an afternoon and evening at her summer place in the Delaware gorge two hours west of New York.

We had lunch in the village, when she presented me with a signed book, and then we moved to the kitchen of her house, a converted schoolhouse. Her children were playing in there so we moved upstairs to sit at a table in her bedroom.

Burleigh says Knox seemed psychopathic

I explained the case from the prosecution side and she seemed to do her best to follow along, busily generating notes. She VOLUNTEERED that she had concluded that Knox was a psychopath during Knox’s stint on the stand. She said the realization had kept her awake at nights some.

I didnt prompt her or make that up - how would I have possibly known? In fact until then I didnt even know she’d been in the court.

She did tell me this assignment would be a financial strain. None of her books had covered their costs. The publishers’ advance was a small one, Italy is expensive, and she joked that she might have to give up her Manhattan apartment.

Oddly, she managed to stay in Perugia for most of a year. Wonderful how those savings stretched out so.

Subsequent emailing between us

We kept in touch for a few months after she went back to Perugia with her family. She asked me for some more help in making contacts. Here below is an email exchange late in October - ten weeks after we had met.

This is also six week after she claims she questioned the bucket and mop claims on this site and concluded we had facts wrong and were not to be trusted (she never actually emailed a question, and we never did make the “bucket and mop” claim she invented). 


>>    Long time no talk. I still owe you some stuff and my knowledge seems to grow daily. I just drove to Seattle, and had nearly a week getting in deeper there.
>>    Are you staying on there in Italy until the whole thing is done?  The other publishers’ publicists have been emailing me, and we have talked several times.
>>    I could be in London soon and if so in Perugia.
>>    Pete


>> Hey {Pete
>> I’ll definitely be here for the verdict! Send me any stuff you want to share. I am still hoping to talk to the British friends at some point, but only if they want to, I don’t want to bother them.

>> cheers,
>> n


> Thanks Nina! How nice.
> How much do you actually have on Meredith? Its not just (I hope!) only all about La Knox? The friends might talk but I’d need assurances on this angle.
> And what is the title and the publish date now? We foresee now three okay books coming out in January with no firm date on John Kercher’s about Meredith.
> Pete


> Meredith. Not much at all! Really just what’s been in the press and that’s not good because I want to bring her character into the story, who she was, what the world has lost. It is a big hole in my repoirting. Anything you can do would be so appreciated.

> As for date, its really dependent on when I get key interviews. I am more interested in getting the good, true story than beating quickie crime book competition in january.

> So grateful to you for keeping up with me, and it will be really nice to see you here.

> All best
> Nina

Rebutting claims in Burleighs Time attack

Actually it has never had a down day: the Knox-hating websites have been passing along innuendo and cherry-picked factoids for six years now.

What innuendo and cherrypicking? What hate? Let us see some examples. We deal in hard facts and key documents and Italian translations here. Dozens of reporters and lawyers read. And TJMK was created only four and a half years ago, in direct response to the hyper-aggressive PR scheme. 

The other acronym you will encounter is TJMK, which stands for “True Justice For Meredith Kercher”””the young British woman murdered in this case”“and is run by a New Jersey-based Englishman who claims that at one time he consulted at the United Nations.

I dont claim that. I was on the permanent staff of UN development for over 20 years, and then I left to consult with governments on growth directly. Burleigh KNEW that by the way. An example of this supremely under-qualified womans’ attempts in her article at personal put-downs of others.

These sites host extremely active avatars, many proclaiming to be lawyers, forensic experts, criminologists, but who never reveal their true identities.

Anyone can tell at a glance that real names are used here where they can professionally tolerate personal put-downs like Nina Burleigh’s.  They ARE lawyers and experts, they state their experience, and nobody else questions this. They all have better qualifications than Burleigh’s.

In 2009, I sat down with TJMK founder Peter Quennell, who has always claimed he started the site to make sure that no one forgot the victim.

We sat down only at her pleading request. There was really little in it for me. And TJMK DID make sure Meredith is not forgotten. I didnt just claim that.

A stout, ruddy Englishman living in New Jersey, he had been holding out the carrot of introducing me to the elusive Kercher family.

I am not stout, ruddy or English, and I live looking across to Manhattan. What carrot? She hoped for contact with Meredith’s family, and I offered and promised nothing.

After a month in Italy doing reporting, however, I realized that some of the “facts” on Quennell’s website didn’t seem to be in the police record in Italy. I emailed him to ask where he had found out that Knox and Sollecito met police standing outside the murder house with a mop and bucket in hand. That damning incident was nowhere in the record, not even the prosecutor would confirm it, nor had Italy’s Polizia Scientifica ever tested such items, which would surely have offered up some useful DNA evidence, had they been used to clean blood.

So where is that famous email? This would be two months BEFORE the emails quoted above. Does she sound questioning or suspicious or rejecting in those?

Try searching “bucket” on this site and see what you find. Did we really make the bucket a big deal? There is ONE mention in a media report of someone’s evidence of a bucket having been at the door. All the other mentions are of the bucket in Sollecito’s flat.

Quennell then accused me by email of being on the Knox family payroll, informed me that his sources in Perugia had seen me consorting with Amanda’s mother (I had in fact met with her once, in a public place, by then) and eventually started writing about how he was going to “train his scope” on my apartment in Manhattan, and closing emails with “how are the kiddies?”

That joke email preceded all of those emails above. I didnt accuse Burleigh then of being on the Knox payroll. She is presumably thinking of the question I put to her months ago, before we ever met.

To which she had promised me she WAS neutral. Not just a PR shill.

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It’s too bad that Nina Burleigh made this very personal.  It shouldn’t be.  The fact that respected legal experts including Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz and Wendy Murphy (who’s a former prof and adjunct prof at New England Law) believe there’s clear evidence of guilt should at least give journalists pause.

I also find it bizarre that Burleigh would diminish a professional translator by calling her a “housewife” as though it’s a pejorative term.  What I admire about the translation approach that’s been taken by the True Justice is that it’s transparent and has been overseen by a professional.  That seems like a good thing, not something which should be trivialized.

The journalists who are insistent on saying that all of the posters here are “haters” should know that most of us are motivated because we want to see justice done on behalf of the victim’s family.  The focus should be on making sure that accurate information is being reported by serious people who are willing to do their homework and who won’t reflexively gush over a defendant who seems too pretty or too American-looking to be involved in such a vicious crime.

I don’t care what Amanda looks like.  I don’t care what her family or friends believe.  I care what the evidence shows.

Posted by Media Watcher on 03/30/13 at 05:48 AM | #

Hi Media Watcher

As you more than anyone knows this is not the posting arc we predicted or wanted. Frustratingly, important reporting from Rome has had to be put aside to answer Burleigh’s sour attacks. That reporting is what media and readers are dropping by for.

However, this may be the last as well as the first of this kind of personal attack, Nobody is safe making them. Burleigh will be reaping a big downside, and even Preston seems to realize that he had better pull his horns in. Next post, we move on.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/30/13 at 05:58 AM | #

I think it is pretty obvious from her rant who the real “haters” are. She gets personal, insults those who tried to help her, has admitted to bullying some blogger by mailing her on her work email, makes condescending remarks about people’s occupations, twists facts as they suit her, and yet she is stupid enough to call others “haters”. 

I read a sample of her book on Amazon because I wanted to see if she has something meaningful to say. But her book literally made my blood pressure raise. She does not even mention Meredith for pages together, instead focusing on AK’s hair, her face, even the color of her clothes. You have to be blind to miss that she is a PR shill. Peter tried to make sure that her book was not all about Knox, and so he is a hater. Even in the article, which is all about how people hate her awesomeness, she plugs in AK’s book.

I think the kind of person she is, is pretty much evident in the way she ends her rant: “For the company, which paid a reported $4 million for the memoir, the timing cannot be more perfect”. Yes, of course. Because obviously this is all about money, isn’t it? Anyone can see that that’s all it has ever been for her. Who cares that the story actually started from a young girl being brutally murdered?

Posted by Sara on 03/30/13 at 06:08 AM | #

I agree with media watcher: this should not be personal and, in making it so, Nina Burleigh does a disservice to her profession. Let’s start with the definitive conviction for the felony crime of false accusation and see where it leads.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/30/13 at 06:36 AM | #

So much for “cooperating with authorities”, “proving innocence” and “holding her head high”. Oh well….

Posted by Sara on 03/30/13 at 07:04 AM | #

Incidentally, our translation process has been and will continue to be transparent, complex and professional. I am the only professional translator involved in the process, which brings together an international team of linguistically competent people with expertise in many areas: law, medicine, IT, etc. There is no other way to ensure a reliable though perfectible result, and I am amazed at the dedication, skill and teamwork on display. They will be brought to bear on the SC’s motivations document. This is especially important considering that the PR folks have been known to pass off dishonest translations to journalists. We want to make sure this practice stops and will call it when we see it.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/30/13 at 07:07 AM | #

“This is especially important considering that the PR folks have been known to pass off dishonest translations to journalists. We want to make sure this practice stops and will call it when we see it.”

My goodness.  Is this true?! 

Unbelievable - even by their PR standards.  That takes dishonesty beyond mere dishonesty. 

Surely that is a case of perversion of the course of justice even though the crime and trial were in Italy? 

The case is safe now and should pass quickly through the new appeal and subsequent SC (if necessary).  Of course then it will get to play out legally in the USA should Italy apply to extradite her and she and her legal team fight it.

So passing off false information in the USA is, I would say, a form of perverting the course of justice.

A question now does occur to me on this matter:

Aside from the excellent translations you people have done (the time and effort required for accurate translation are NOT lost on me) what ‘official’ translations have there been available to the Knox / Mellas families and the US lawyers and PR? 

Have they all relied on Amanda’s knowledge of Italian (surely not but then love can be blind), have the Italian lawyers provided the documents in English or have they by any chance arranged for professional translators?

This is an interesting consideration as if they are reliant on Amanda herself it might explain why the family hasn’t seen fit to get her better advice.

Of course, in such a case, they do have access to the formidable translations here and on PMF.

But to pass off dishonest translations to journalists – well…..!

And if journalists - then who else?

Posted by thundering on 03/30/13 at 07:36 AM | #

One would expect referrals to ‘The fatal gift of beauty’ in Knoxs ‘Waiting to be heard’. How much ‘follow on’ in terms of sales and interest would Nina Burleighs book have had if Knox was acquitted. Maybe Burleigh was looking forward to some lucrative chat show appearances, interviews etc. I just get the impression of ‘sour grapes’.

Posted by starsdad on 03/30/13 at 10:50 AM | #

Skep can tell you more about the FOA translations, but the gist is that they put together propaganda packages in English, with little connection to the Italian sources, and then had those translated into other languages (for media distribution, I assume).  At no point did they actually attempt to produce professional translations from Italian into English.

Posted by Vivianna on 03/30/13 at 01:18 PM | #

I posted this on PMF, so apologies to those who read both boards.


Ms. Burleigh’s article is bizarre at best. The only thing she accomplishes is to prove, beyond any doubt, that she’s either a paid shill or a murderer groupie (or possibly both), neither of which has anything in common with objective journalism.

The fact that she slaps the “hater” label on those who don’t consider it their civic duty to indiscriminately accept Knox’ innocence is juvenile at best and idiotic at worst. Every Italian judge who heard Knox and Sollecito, with the conspicuous exception of Hellmann and Zanetti, must be a “hater” in that case. Perhaps in Ms. Burleigh’s world, exercising a modicum of critical thinking comes across as “hatred.” That’s not a good sign either for someone who masquerades as a journalist.

The petty and easily disproved lies are also childish, and say less about those targeted as they do about Ms. Burleigh herself - that she’s either direly uninformed or pathetically vindictive.

She says nothing of substance about the evidence, other than that she considered that there was no case. Obviously, SC judges, who have both extensive legal training and a say in the case, disagree. Massei and Galati have already produced their arguments, and the SC judges will do so shortly. Ms. Burleigh has only produced emotional opinions with no factual basis. The fact that she chooses to ignore evidence and that a bunch of knuckle-draggers agree with her doesn’t make the evidence go away.

I’m finding it somewhat strange that at a time when the murderess herself is having her book scrubbed of blatant lies and accusations, Ms. Burleigh is trying to start a crusade. She should probably realize that Knox will soon be too steeped into legal expenses to afford her services, so she might as well save her breath before she ruins whatever semblance of a career she has left.

Posted by Vivianna on 03/30/13 at 01:21 PM | #

Nina Burleigh and people like her present enormous problems for Amanda Knox herself.

They tend to be way too hot, too angry, too rejecting, for her own good. Too disliked in Italy. Too excluding. Especially tough for Amanda who already had problems making most people like her. The Nina Burleighs are really her worst nightmare.

Not one good PR expert or management expert would ever, ever hand their campaign over to the extremists. They would bounce them, and promote the most integrative personalities they can cultivate to be out there in the population seeking to grab the broad middle.

But with Curt Knox and David Marriott and those like them, a perfect storm has been created of the hotheads.

We talked about the “Its all about me + Amanda” syndrome among hotheaded MALES in this post.

See how those males hotheads keep trying to head the parade? They put off many who are more moderste.

But there is also, as we have long noted, a FEMALE “its all about me + Amanda” syndrome.

Candace Dempsey, Anne Bremner, Madison Paxton, Karen Pruett, Michele Mooore… and so obviously, Nina Burleigh.

And here below is an example of Nina Burleigh putting off someone who is very smart and more moderate! Media Watcher emailed me this and it is a pro-Knox comment under Nina Burleigh’s article.

Firstly, I’m a HUGE supporter of Amanda and feel very strongly that she is innocent. However, this article by Ms. Burleigh is just another example of how she fails to support Amanda Knox. First of all, why would I care how anybody feels about Ms. Burleigh? I don’t see how that’s relevant to anything. Besides, just because you disagree doesn’t mean you hate each other. This kind of attitude is exactly what is wrong with our country.

This article makes it seem like Ms. Burleigh is trying to cash in by associating herself with Amanda.” Look at me! I’m hated too!” I think she needs to put her big girl pants on and deal with it like an adult.  Besides that, she uses one of the biggest platforms of a Friend of Amanda to ADVERTISE PMF AND TJMK!!  Good going Ms. Burleigh!! (Remember there is no such thing as bad publicity.)  This has always been my problem with Ms. Burleigh. She lacks the insight of Camdace Dempsey, legal knowledge of former FBI agent Steve Moore, and wasn’t on-the-ground reporting like Frank Sfarzo.

She has brought nothing to our cause but screw ups because she makes everything all about herself and not Amanda. Maybe Ms. Burleigh could do more good by stopping her advocacy and starting to pretend she’s a journalist. Maybe if she could put her narcissism aside for a second she could actually do some good!

Amazing! The David Mariotts and Ted Simons really should learn something from this, and toss more of the hotheads overboard (Frank Sforza is already gone).

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/30/13 at 01:46 PM | #

I went through her article once more. I usually do not do, unless I am trying to confirm some point.

What she is trying to convey? That she is hated? Is it related to something called Attention deficit… (it is a joke, not a hate speech)- people must know you very well before they can hate you. or love you. does it matter?

Both AK and RS has got the best lawyers and the calling the judges or the prosecutors corrupt or biased does not help. Both AK and RS has the same goal but somewhat different approach. For the record, I do not hate anyone and I sincerely wish they were innocent. There was no need for meaningless violence. And I would love to see their evidences.

Anyway, I am pleased with the judgement and also the fact that it was not only on technical matters but also on the evidence. By the way, I am a part-time-apartment-husband who sometimes plays with DNA sequences and their significance.

Posted by chami on 03/30/13 at 04:23 PM | #

It is my experience that when someone is painted into a corner, either because of undisputed facts presented to them, or by having painted themselves into said corner by their own actions. Will lash out and become hysterical when questioned.

This hysteria exhibited by Nina Burleigh is palatable because she knows darn well that she is lying in order to advance her own career through her twisted logic and distortion of the facts.

This is manifest by her name calling (Knox Hating Web sites for example) Point is we don’t hate Amanda Knox. We do hate several others who have used this case to advance their own agenda. The entire point of ‘True Justice’ is that we want to see justice done and given all the facts herein presented plus the judges who were at least ‘influenced’ in some way (Tongue in cheek here)

We will not stop until there is some closure, not for us to any extent but for the Kercher family who have suffered tremendously because of Nina Burleigh and others.

Amanda Knox will always be guilty in the forum of public opinion. She will go to her grave with “The Mask Of Assassin” associated with her name and identity. This is a fact of life and something which will not be changed in spite of any Knox/Mariott P/R scheme promoted by such people as Bruce Fischer who greedily try make a buck on the backs of murderers.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/30/13 at 05:28 PM | #

There has been no real focus on Burleigh here or at since I wrote the second post, which merely underscored the nyt piece accusing Burleigh of unethical practice as a journalist. The only new development is the annulment of the acquittal. Why did Burleigh not focus on that instead of lashing out at people who have eschewed the course of advocacy and followed the course of truth and transparency? Is it because she doesn’t understand the issues and ramifications and can’t be bothered to try? If so, then shame on her, because that is the role of the journalist. If her goal was to disagree with cassation, then she should have explained why. This would not have required any mention of haters or online sources of information that have been critical of her work, unless she had a substantive disagreement with respect to a contested issue.  Her post was off-topic, personal and riddled with errors, not the least of which has to do with my professional situation. She criticizes those who choose anonymity and then shows why this may be the wiser course by libeling those who are named. She questions the honesty of those who bring their legal insight to bear behind an avatar, instead of taking the time to contest any legal points they have made. It’s invective and nothing else, with a byline. Burleigh demeans the profession she purports to practice. By contrast, look at Barbie Nadeau: she has received death threats and every time she pens an article, pro-Knox commenters stop by to harass her. She responds by ignoring them and continuing to do her job. She’s a real professional.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/30/13 at 06:18 PM | #

FWIW, I met with Nina Burleigh in Seattle at her request for a chat that we both agreed would be off the record. I have met with plenty of other journalists, usually off the record and always at their request. I have never solicited a meeting with a journalist. Every journalist I have met off the record has respected the terms of such encounters except for Nina Burleigh. This breach of ethics alone disqualifies her in my book. That she misrepresented my words (on television she said I told her I could tell by looking at her photo that Knox was guilty) makes her even less credible and trustworthy. Incidently, some journalists have been told that if they talk to me they will be denied access to the Knox family. More than one journalist has said they have never seen the likes of the Marriott effort to control and spin the narrative. I hope one of them exposes it some day.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/30/13 at 06:58 PM | #

Posted by Miriam on 03/30/13 at 08:57 PM | #

Thank you Miriam
I have just read the US Italy extradition treaty which is concise and to the point. Perhaps Fox should read this as indeed should everyone else.
Of course there will be some nitwit Heavey for example who will try an injunction. Oh so sorry he’s retired hasn’t he. But there will be some sort of delaying tactic you can bet. We will watch with great anticipation.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/30/13 at 09:52 PM | #

last point from me and to quote George Peppard in the role of Col John Hannibal Smith from the old TV show ‘The A Team’..

“I just love it when a plan comes together”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/30/13 at 09:56 PM | #

Oh yes, a translator´s or rather an interpreter´s job is not an easy one. Translators hardly ever receive much credit for their efforts and and it´s a poorly paid profession. Translating a lengthy legal document like the Massei report must have hell. Hehe.

Posted by aethelred23 on 03/30/13 at 10:55 PM | #

Not sure if anyone already posted this article showing RS leaving University of Verona.  He looks like he hadn’t slept in a week.  By the way, how many degrees is he going to get before he actually starts working?

Notice the comments by Hellman about the questioning of his verdict and proceedings - trying to cover himself.  Is his claim about a whole panel of judges agreeing with his viewpoint on reasonable doubt correct?  He seems to say again that he was not convinced of their innocence but just that there was a possibility that the evidence was ‘contaminated’.  One thing nobody says - if it was contaminated, why didn’t the DNA of any of the other girls, or boys downstairs, or friends, show up in the samples?  At least I never heard that it did. 

AK’s grandmother sounds ridiculous - like it makes any difference to anybody legally that the whole family is never going to set foot in Italy again.  But of course they have to defend her.

The only thing that will prove this case would be more DNA evidence - but then again there would be the same claims of contamination.  If the procedures were wrong for this case then every other case tried with that office’s DNA tests would have to be thrown out too.  Couldn’t they test more areas of the clothing again?  This time with the defense present the whole time.

Posted by believing on 03/30/13 at 11:00 PM | #

What does anybody make of the interview of Bongiorno shown on “Porta a Porta”?

1. On the knife she says there is not enough DNA to retest.

2. On the bra clasp, “that dirty thing I hope they retest as many times as possible, there are at least 300 different traces on it.

3. She goes on to say they should retest everything because what was originally believed to be cat blood, was not.

I never heard that about the cat blood. I was also under the impression that Sollecito’s DNA and (maybe Knox’s) was on the bra clasp.

Any truth to any of this?

Posted by Miriam on 03/30/13 at 11:49 PM | #

I think Nina Burleigh is ashamed of herself. She was wooed by the Knox agenda and they pulled her off her shaky tightrope of neutrality and got her plunging toward the sea like the other lemmings they lured.

Burleigh received a lot of jailhouse letters from Amanda and Raffaele. She must have believed every word of their con artist pens, perhaps despite early intentions not to. She actually told Peter Quennell that her first instinct was to believe Amanda Knox is a psychopath! She turned on a dime to alter that assessment later after hearing Amanda’s honied words too long, and especially her two fathers’. She even bought the fake tears of Edda Mellas. Go ahead pour it on heavy. Edda gets a Golden Globe. How blind could Nina be? So she slowly got sucked into their pity party.

By the time she wrote her “Fatal Gift of Beauty” she was firmly in their camp. Now in 2013 she feels like a dupe and an idiot and regrets miserably all the hard work on research and documenting her sources fastidiously and her many expensive (and as Peter Quennell points out, who paid for all those vain efforts? she was a starving artist) and effortful trips she made to Bari and Seattle and the many interviews with the defendants’ bloodkin.

It was a grand adventure at the time. She threw herself into it, looking for Nina as always in the souls of others, and now the court has ruled against them all. All the 2009 best foot forward fakery of the Knox clan as they tried to steer Burleigh to their fake belief in their bad daughter are proving what it was worth: zilch. So much for identifying with the perp. So much for discounting the victim and the true saint in the story, the beautiful and beloved Meredith Kercher.

She should have tried much harder to find Sophie Purton and Robyn Butterworth and Natalie Hayward and other “British girls” to get their information about Meredith for her book. She said she sent them letters and e-mails but got no response. I doubt she put the effort into reaching out to them for what was most needed: more objectivity and honest insight into Meredith’s character. Why not? Maybe for fear it would sober her up or cool her ardor for the false fronts the Knox supporters were dazzling her with.

It’s now Nina’s turn for sour grapes on steroids. She probably fiercely resents the Mellox clan and Curt and Amanda and the Sollecitos and sees the ruse. They used her, then she used them, now they are joined at the hip for the sake of moolah.

She put in her final dig against Meredith supporters about the $4 million Amanda earned for her book. Yet for all her hawking of Amanda’s book she is probably green with envy in one breath and in another breath hoping like crazy that Amanda does stay big news and that Amanda’s books sales rise to bump up Burleigh’s book sales as well.

Nina Burleigh found her Jekyll-Hyde story with the two-faced Raf and Fox and now she has to ride the wave of their duplicity.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/31/13 at 12:11 AM | #

Hi Miriam,

Professor Novelli testified that there are a number of laboratories with cutting-edge technology that could have carried out a test on the remaining DNA on the knife. According to Galati’s appeal, Conti and Vecchiotti sampled approximately 100 picograms. Novelli said one could have successfully proceeded with the extraction, amplification and attribution of DNA having at one’s disposition even just one cell (10, 15 picograms).

When people resort to lying e.g. Bongiorn’s claim that there are at least 300 different traces on the bra clasp, you know they have lost the argument.

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp. His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17.

According to Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci, and Luciano Garofano, Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra.

Garofano stated the following in Darkness Descending:

“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.” (Luciano Garofano, Darkness Descending, page 379).

Posted by The Machine on 03/31/13 at 12:15 AM | #

@ The Machine

Thanks. I was sure that Bongiorno’s claim was false, just checking.

Ever heard of another scartch on the knife with genetic material, that the court refused to test?

Dott.Giuseppe Castellini’s claim also on “Porta a Porta”

Posted by Miriam on 03/31/13 at 12:23 AM | #

@Believing - he is just doing his master’s degree, something he should have technically finished before the murder even occurred, but I guess it’s easier to take things slowly when your bills are covered. To be fair, he’s further along than Knox, who hasn’t even managed to finish her BA so far.

@Miriam - it sounds like Bongiorno is taking a dig at Meredith, making it sound like she was promiscuous, while pretending that she’s talking about contamination.  I don’t know how many traces were on the bra clasp, but 300 sounds excessive.  Sollecito’s DNA was on the clasp; Knox’ was not.

The cat blood was found downstairs.  The boys had a cat and that cat had hurt its foot or something like that before they left and left some smears on their bedding.  I find it very difficult to believe that any scientist could mix up cat DNA with human DNA.

Posted by Vivianna on 03/31/13 at 12:25 AM | #

So why wasn’t Hellman “not convinced of their innocence”?

Posted by DF2K on 03/31/13 at 01:10 AM | #

Sorry but her face, her voice .... during PortaAPorta (...first and last time in my life, promised) and during the interview outside the Court as well, a slapped and astonished lawyer Bongiorno has clearly warned the Court of Florence that in future will no longer tolerate further insubordination.

Posted by ncountryside on 03/31/13 at 01:56 AM | #

Hello ncountryside

I am confused. Did I miss something here on PortaAPorta. Was bongiorno really slapped? Please clarify
Cheers G

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/31/13 at 03:09 AM | #

Hi Hopeful

I liked what you wrote. I think you nailed her whole situation quite accurately there.

There is something else about her which in fact fits with your take. I just put it in a comment to Skep in the post below:


Note to Skep on the housewife crack.

This may not entirely surprise you: but the real housewife here is Nina Burleigh herself. She has a young family which I met, and she has written a couple of books one of which I have.

And that pretty well is that. She really doesnt have anything else to show.

Her qualifications are weak to non-existant, and even she joked about that herself. She has fewer qualifications than any of the many professionals in Italy and on our sites who she slams (except AK).

Essentially she has a one line resume. I found her very slow when trying to explain the facts of the case. Her couple of books while seemingly successful by her own account didnt pay the bills.

She said she was concerned as to whether with the Perugia book she would come out ahead. She said, with a grim undertone, that they might have to give up the Manhattan flat (which is up the river from where I live, above 125th street, which we joked about).

And her photographer husband works to pay all the major bills. So in decrying low-achieving housewives she is really hitting pretty close to home.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/13 at 03:40 AM | #

Many lonnggggg comments by Michelle Moore on this article.  Isn’t she the one who is Steve Moore’s wife?  She says they were fired by being associated with this case?

Posted by believing on 03/31/13 at 04:39 AM | #

Hi Believing.

Steve Moore was fired by Pepperdine University north of Los Angeles in mid 2010. He was deputy chief of campus security there. He was something murky in the FBI before that, which didn’t involve solving any crimes. 

Pepperdine has associations with Italian universities and has exchange students studying there. Steve rose to prominence slamming all things Italian in a pretty nasty way.

It’s not so smart to seek to undermine THE VERY INSTITUTIONS in Italy on which Pepprerddine’s students must depend there for their safety. Steve Moore doesnt speak Italian and has never grasped the essentials of the case.

Several American students get into deep trouble in Italy every year as they do in many countries in the world. In italy there is an average of a least one murder a year by an American. Steve Moore stood up for none of them.

He wrote a weird book which seems to us to hang his wife out to dry, proclaiming what a roaming-eyed beast he is. In light of that, make of Michelle Moore what you will.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/13 at 05:21 AM | #

Grace Moore and Bruce Fischer get dunked, read comments and replies

Posted by starsdad on 03/31/13 at 05:55 PM | #


I guess Fischer is too freaked out by potential legal liabilities (the same as Nina Burleigh’s described above) to have any more opions of his own!

I dont see any comments under that Ground Report post. Can you see any comments there? If so might you post something like this which I posted a short while ago over at PMF?


What is missing in the reporting of this is that for Hellmann’s appalling performance (every magistrate in Italy knew Hellmann’s report was contravening judical code) the Council of Magistrates forced him out.

He was forced to retire early, a bitter old man. He was talking here as a private citizen. If he was still serving as judge, there is no way he could have talked.

The claim that Berlusconi’s party somehow SUPPORTED Cassation in overturning his appeal is very silly too.

1) During the 20l1 appeal (Hellmanns appeal) Giulian Bongirono who was then the head of the parliamentary justice committee was a member of Berlsuconis party.

2) So was Rocco Girlanda who tried very hard tothrow the prosecution by promoting investigations of Perugia prosecutors all the way up to the President himself.

3) Perugia prosecution was investigating TWO allegations of corruption crimes against Berlusconi’s colleagues, one for siphoning off Olympic funds and one for siphoning off earthquake reconstruction funds.

4) Berlusconi was seeking to undermine prosecution everywhere in Italy because of all the impending cases against him in Milan. One way was to cut the budget for justice.

Luckily that didnt really fly - though Doug Longhini of CBS posted saying “Right on!”.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/13 at 06:09 PM | #


Apparently leave out the Berlusconi party claims. A translator on PMF now says he was not referring to Belusconi.

But instead maybe add this.

Note that Hellmann was not a criminal judge and the appeal should have been left to Judge Chiari or punted to a qualified Florence judge.

Hellmann cluelessly and illegally tried to run a whole new trial - with just the defense part of the first trial on the table!

He doesnt have a clue what witnesses and evidence were bad or good - he wasnt at the trial, didnt see them presented, and shouldnt have got his nose in there.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/13 at 06:39 PM | #

For someone whose conscience is clear and all that, Hellman seems to be strangely evasive when it comes to the question of innocence. When he is asked whether he believes them innocent, he says “This is not the point”. What exactly is the point then, according to him? Finding legal loopholes to get criminals out somehow? He really is unbelievable, talks as if he does not even know the point of the judiciary system. And all the FOAkers crying “there is no evidence” should note that Hellman himself admits there is evidence, but according to him it is not conclusive evidence.

Posted by Sara on 03/31/13 at 07:27 PM | #

Hi Grahame Rhodes,

The 2 minute clip I saw of Bongiorno was done
outside the courthouse. Unless, there is another
show on Porta a Porta that I missed, no she was
not slapped. If it is any comfort she is no longer
in parliament, the pary she was with only made .04

@Peter,In 2011 Bongiorno was not a member of Berlusconi’s party, but a member of Fli, Fini’s party.

Posted by Miriam on 03/31/13 at 07:30 PM | #

Thanks to Sara for her post above giving us immediate access to the latest from The Daily Mail.

[Quoting the article]
Mrs Huff [Amanda’s maternal grandmother] (has) said that Italian prosecutors’ pursuit of her granddaughter amounted to ‘harassment’...

She told the Italian newspaper La Stampa: ‘It’s a persecution. She has already been tried twice. Why reopen it.]

Why indeed? Mrs Huff’s incomprehension is shown in the question because now it is a second appeal which gives Amanda her second chance.

Once again the Knox publicity campaign “makes news” which The Daily Mail is happy to print (& maybe even pay for?) Sells papers.

As for the grandmother’s claim that none of the Knox people will ever return to Italy, it reads like a first testing of public sentiment in response.

But The Daily Mail isn’t stupid.  It atones for the article by pictures of a wily & seductive Amanda & a foolishly grimacing Raffaele at the bottom of the article.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/31/13 at 08:06 PM | #

Posted by Miriam on 04/01/13 at 12:29 PM | #

I think it would be the trip of AK’s life, to go back to Italy, far away from the noise, trying to become the nice girl she eventually COULD be. ( singing in a choir, thinking about her sins, doing her hair once a week, writing another book, some songs for Lamumba’s band, . . . . . or am I overreacting now?)

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/01/13 at 02:40 PM | #

Thanks, Peter. Burleigh and Michelle Moore both seem to be in meltdown mode after the acquittal was overturned. Burleigh’s husband did some of the photos for her book. Steve’s book as a spinoff from the energy of your website and the Knox case, well like all things tarred with the Knox brush his book boomerangs to hurt its author’s wife. He and Nina may feel each other’s pain. Seems Moore’s book when not glamorizing his macho past was payback to his wife for getting him involved in this case.

They’ve paid a high price for his temporary boredom at Pepperdine, although he thinks he’s starting a new career to save “wrongfully accused everywhere”. He lost two free or reduced college tuitions for his daughters. I fear he will chase down more Knoxes than anyone innocent. Give me Dogg the Bounty Hunter any day, he’s never fooled by fugitives.

Amanda wasted her time in Perugia with a destructive bar job and late night partying. She could have hopped a train to see hamlets near Perugia, sent photos back to Mom and Deanna, made Madison jealous. She never even got to Gubbio, and don’t tell me that if she had truly wanted to go to Gubbio she would have cared two figs for Molly’s broken window or disarray in the cottage HAD SHE BEEN INNOCENT. The pushy Knox would have grabbed her clothes and run back to Raf’s car and said, “Eat my dust, let’s go to Gubbio, they can deal with the mess at the cottage, all I saw was some broken glass but my room was OK, so let’s split, make tracks Raf to Gubbio, no biggie.”

Meredith and Stephanie took some trips to Italy before Meredith won the Erasmus scholarship and moved to Perugia, so Meredith may have seen much more of Italy than Amanda ever will.

Travel is addictive. What I would give to be back at the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the statue of Moses in church of “Peter and Paul in Chains”. I loved the fun streets of Rome near Coliseum, saw whole baked chickens sizzling in the windows.

Posted by Hopeful on 04/01/13 at 06:00 PM | #

Hopeful, thanks for the comment. You are right, I never really thought of it that way, Amanda would have just gone off to Gubbio. (How does one pronounce that, by the way? Hard or soft “g”? I’ve always wondered.)

I love your description of Rome. It makes me want to hop a plane over there!

Posted by Earthling on 04/01/13 at 07:58 PM | #


That is soooo right. Know was/is a person of total disregard. That is what would have happened!!!

Posted by starsdad on 04/01/13 at 08:22 PM | #

Giulia Bongiorno set up Fondazione Doppia Difesa, the organisation helping women against violence, yet she represents RS? Why have none of the press picked up on this, seems so hypocritical.

Posted by Urbanist on 04/02/13 at 12:39 AM | #

Surely there is no better time for someone like Nina Burleigh to stand up and say, ‘sorry, I got it wrong’.
As Hopeful mentioned in her Post, the Knox / Mellas clan used her and don’t care what happens to her so why not try and make ammends and do the right thing.
Most people are of a good nature and forgive those who show genuine remorse in the mistakes they have made.

Posted by Urbanist on 04/02/13 at 12:59 AM | #

Quote: “This has always been my problem with Ms. Burleigh. She lacks the insight of Candace Dempsey, legal knowledge of former FBI agent Steve Moore, and wasn’t on-the-ground reporting like Frank Sfarzo.”

Wow, that must hurt, there’s three people you would hope to rank above in any scale…

It puzzles me why sites like Time let their platform be used to pursue personal vendettas, I guess they see the ad revenue as being worth the hit to their reputation. It seems like an insidious trend perhaps carried over from “shock radio”.

Nina Burleigh can’t even get Peter’s nationality right. How is that for bad journalism? I don’t think I would trust her to tell me the time!

Skep has always appeared to me to act with complete integrity, I would certainly trust her version of events over that of Nina Burleigh.

Posted by bobc on 04/02/13 at 03:05 AM | #

Thanks for the vote of confidence, bobc. I certainly agree with you that ranking above the terrible trio doesn’t necessarily mean much. Last week, I noted that I had put Burleigh a cut above the rank amateur Bruce Fischer. But the more I think about Burleigh’s book, the less I think of it. She took the easiest route and stayed in her comfort zone. She had no real knowledge of Italian culture, history or language. And now, instead of recognizing her error or trying to understand where she went wrong, she shoots the messengers. Even if it were true that those who support justice for Meredith are haters, which we are not, what does this have to do with the SC decision? Are those SC judges haters too? Are they under the sway of haters? Put this way, you can see how irrational and narcissistic Burleigh’s rant is.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 04/02/13 at 06:12 AM | #

Very well said Skep.  On the whole, I think that TJMK should draw a line under the rather peculiar attacks from certain quarters.

Peter, can you keep this thread available from the front page with a suitable line, such as “response to accusations of a hate campaign”, or something summary-like, for others who are seeking answers after years of whitewashed media reporting?

There are those who have built a reputation and a career on the back of AK and RS. Simply, we wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t evidence that points directly to AK and RS being at the scene of Meredith’s murder.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 04/02/13 at 10:08 AM | #
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