Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amazon Reviewers Of New Dempsey Book Don’t Seem Universally Impressed

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the Amazon customer reviews - there are nine reviews right now.

Oddly, the several reviewers that rate the book five stars are all writing their very first Amazon review - and their.language reads suspiciously similar.

In contrast, the reviewers that rate the book only one star seem to be genuine enough - all of them have a previous track-record of Amazon reviews.

So perhaps we could quote from a couple.


By Amazon reviewer Norbert

Public Relations Spin by a Knox Family Acquaintance

Friends and family may appreciate this book for its sympathetic portrayal of convicted killers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Unfortunately, Ms. Dempsey’s bias is so obvious that she lacks all credibility.

Readers interested in truth and justice would be wasting their time here; this book is 100% spin. It constructs a kind of alternate fairy tale universe in which Knox and Sollecito are innocents abroad ... in a “holiday mood” on the morning after the murder.

This imaginary place is full of Italian stereotypes: Raffaele’s proud and loving parents, the bumbling & malevolent police, the paparazzi, the courtroom crucifix, and a demented prosecutor.

Ms. Dempsey’s between-the-lines message: the black guy did it!

Candace Dempsey is a Seattle-based food & travel writer who happens to be acquainted with the Seattle-based Amanda Knox clan. She is essentially a member the Knox defense team. And she’s moved way beyond her pay grade.

With a superficial knowledge of Italian and one or two visits to Perugia, she pretends to be a competent crime reporter.

The intention of the book (aside the profit motive) is to portray Knox as charming innocent abroad - while ignoring or distorting the mountain of evidence and testimony that led to a unanimous first degree murder conviction by an Italian jury on December 4, 2009.

Essentially “Team Knox” is trying to do for Amanda Knox what F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran did for O. J. Simpson.


By Amazon reviewer Retired Farmer

Blatantly Biased, Shallow, and Inaccurate Version of Events

This book is the third one I have read on the Knox Case, and by far the worst.

The Seattle based author is apparently convinced of Ms Knox’s innocence and makes every effort in this book (and in her Seattle newspaper blog) to bring all readers to the same conclusion.

She does so by deliberately overlooking… irrefutable, obvious facts to the contrary .

Many have reported that Seattle based Ms Dempsey’s Seattle newspaper blog, and now her book pretty much totally conforsm to the media briefings and talking points of the large Seattle based public relations firm that the Knox family employed to publicly paint a favorable impression of Ms Knox and to promote a belief in her innocence here in the US.

This firm tightly controls access to the Knox Family, and very selectively allows very few approved spokespersons to speak with authors and reporters in the US media that the PR Firm works in.

Ms Dempsey apparently believes few of her readers are aware of the PR Firm and their self described ‘sometimes unorthodox’ methods.  I say this because she promotes herself and her book by bragging about this Family access.

In fact, many have observed that she has sadly and shamelessly traded her objectivity for this Knox family access.

My suggestion to interested readers is to now obtain a good translation of the Motivations Report written by the Judges.

You will see for yourself the true reasons that Amanda Knox has been unanimously convicted of this horrific murder, as well as the innumerable inaccuracies and blatant bias in Ms Dempsey’s shallow, self serving, erroneous, dry and dreary version of these events.

Finally, IMHO, the PR Firm, their minions and some Seattle zealots have grossly distorted book reviews, ratings, and comments on this site, as well as engaging in some sad school yard name calling.


By Amazon reviewer M C Rogers

Author is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family

Potential readers of this “story” would be well-advised that Ms. Dempsey is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family and approved by the PR firm hired by the Knox/Mellas family. This is hardly an unbiased piece of work.

Throughout the book, self-proclaimed feminist Dempsey refers to Knox and Meredith Kercher as “girls”.

She does her best to portray the victim, Meredith Kercher, as a stuck-up prude, and Ms. Dempsey paints Ms. Kercher’s British friends with the same brush, instead asking us to believe that Amanda Knox and her family somehow knew Ms. Kercher better than even her friends did.

Ms. Dempsey, while all throughout her blog on the subject, decries the tabloids and their treatment of the case, uses quotes from the Daily Mail to make what she must consider overwhelming proof of the family’s PR missive.

Readers have the right to know Ms. Dempsey’s ties to the family of Amanda Knox. For her to not make this connection known is deceptive and portrays Ms. Dempsey’ attempt at serious journalism in a very negative light.

Don’t waste your money. Take that $7.99 and make a donation to an organization that works hard for women who are victims of rape and abuse. RAINN is a good one, as is your local women’s shelter.

Dempsey is a woman who followed the victim’s family around, taking sneaky photographs of them.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/29/10 at 05:31 PM in Various hypothesesNews media & moviesMore hoaxers


Boy did “Joe the secret Amazon poster” over on take private lessons from Chris Mellas or WHAT?!! Spot on image of the guy in all his vile accusations.

The poster REALLY has a bee in his bonnet.  The immature comment regarding the author of “Angel Face” rang a bell to me – oh, yes, and a book I could not put down from the moment I opened it.

Candace Dempsey is just ONE MORE embarrassment and a huge insult to the people of Seattle.  From the sound of “Joe” it seems to be a real disappointment to the clan when the hopes of her book helping to spread the Foxy Knoxy family lies are quickly going down in flames! 

Harsh reality for Mr. Mellas and the Mrs. Oh, and we won’t forget the loyal and totally bitchen boyfriend of the Emerald City. (Bet Mr. Knox would never sound like a baby and lose his cool like “Joe.”)

Candace…from one stalker to another - do us all a favor and go back to cookin, sista.  YOUR photos (and book) really suck.

Posted by Professor Snape on 04/30/10 at 10:02 AM | #

I’ve never heard the story about Dempsey following the Kercher family around and taking covert photos. Not disputing it, just…appalled that anyone, even a Knox Groupie, could stoop THAT low. What is the source for this information?

Professor Snape, you raise a good point about that particular reviewer, but I do try and steer clear of the “this person is really this person and this person is being paid by the Knox campaign” stuff that flies around online.

Not because I don’t think it may be true, but because those sort of accusations don’t do any good to anyone.

I’ve posted pretty extensively on the net about my own views on the Kennedy Assassination (Oswald, acting alone) and been called a “paid CIA agent” more than once. And trust me, I’m not! lol

Posted by Janus on 04/30/10 at 11:16 AM | #

Hi Janus,

You can read about Candace Dempsey stalking the Kerchers here:

To Our Readers In Perugia: Please Help Us Identify The Person At Back

Mr Mignini, This Person Looks Like Bad News For The Kerchers

Posted by The Machine on 04/30/10 at 11:37 AM | #

Thanks, Machine. That is…seriously creepy and disturbing, on all manner of levels. Wow…


Just…just wow.

The poor Kerchers. How much do these poor people have to take?

Posted by Janus on 04/30/10 at 12:05 PM | #

thanks for the heads up on this, Peter. the comments on the reviews are equally interesting…the refutes against the obvious dempsey plants are ranked highly by other readers.

blatant bs is obvious, candace. tell your pals to knock it off, they’re making you look more desperate and foolish than before, if that’s possible.

Posted by mojo on 04/30/10 at 01:31 PM | #

Hi Janus. Yes, wow does seem to be the typical shocked reaction on seeing those shots.

We actually received several dozen such shots, emailed to us by people very concerned about the welfare of the Kerchers. We blew up several of the hotel-lobby shots, and posted the results, with close-ups of a seemingly manic face, for a day or two. If you think those shots that you have already seen are seriously creepy, the blow-ups are creepy on steroids.

Stalking? Well, what really was she doing there? In THAT hotel? It is somewhat out of the way, at the extreme north of the walled city, just 3-4 minutes walk east of Meredith’s house. Meredith’s family might choose to stay there because it IS so close to where Meredith passed her final weeks. And normally very quiet, safe, and secure.

It is atypical for a reporter of any kind to stay at that hotel - it is very pricey, for one thing (the Italian government picks up the tab for the Kerchers) and the reporters all like to hang out together where they typically stay, down at the south end of town.  .

It seems uniquely nasty to us that the most fervent and frenetic of all the deniers of true justice for Meredith, a denier who has left serious hate talk against Meredith and her family standing for days on her bizarre website, should choose to stay right in the very same rather isolated hotel as the Kerchers.

And as for all of the many many people she slimed in that mad, frenetic endeavor? Many of them can’t hit back. But read this for real humanity toward them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/30/10 at 02:40 PM | #

The book in the works was apparently intended to ba a closely-guarded secret, perhaps right up to the day of publication.

That would have allowed the writer of the book a lot more access, and presumably interviews with all the key players in the case with their guards down. Perhaps even some access to Meredith’s circle.

But surprisingly word leaked out about the book and from there on nobody on the side of true justice for Meredith ever gave any genuine help.

Would it have been a better book, if word about it had not leaked out? Based on the serial sliming of the writer’s website, we rather doubt it.

Serial sliming seems to be all that that site is about. And one Amazon reviewer said the book even serially slimes Meredith herself.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/30/10 at 03:18 PM | #

Hi, Peter. Yes, it’s creepy indeed, and you raise good points about the location of the hotel. Clearly, a journalist (and Dempsey obviously thinks she is one) is entitled to pursue a story, within the boundaries of ethics, but it is noteworthy that (as far as I know) every writer apart from Dempsey have left the Kerchers alone, and waited for them speak at a press conference.

That, also, is the advantage of the victim’s family having a lawyer. If the media have any questions about the family, he’s the man to contact, I assume. Common sense and decency indicates clearly that this is the route to take. Everyone else seems to have respected this policy, except Candace. 

The Kercher family have behaved with incredible dignity and restraint at every stage. Meredith, and her wonderful multi-racial family, exemplify everything that makes me proud to be British. I hope if they go back to Italy for the appeal, the Kercher family will be given some protection.

Posted by Janus on 04/30/10 at 03:30 PM | #


Ms. Dempsey is an anomaly. She was 17 when she was attacked on a date. This was a practice crime as police view it. She said the perpetrator threatened many things, inflicted pain, then proudly announced he would not rape her after all. She was a very sheltered, innocent young woman not even aware of sexual activity. She also says she sat beside a woman in a college English class, Joyce. Joyce was later murdered.

Now, contrary to all natural reactions in a balanced individual, Ms. Dempsey jumps onto the side of the attackers who killed an innocent young college woman? On the side of those who held her down at knifepoint and threatened,  did awful things and went on to kill her? I don’t get it, this boggles the mind. It would seem that Ms. Dempsey of all people would sympathize with Meredith and if at all possible in the light of truth, lean toward defending the victim in this case.

Does she have so much self-hate that she prefers to see herself hurt even further as symbolized by the violence done to Meredith? It seems she cannot learn, not even from hardcore life experience.

Maybe she was put beside that doomed girl in college & shown the terror of a frightening criminal to prepare her to fight crime rather than siding with criminals. Self-loathing doesn’t seem to become a feminist either.

She did send flowers to Meredith from Seattle. That was good, very good. Now she should send flowers to HERSELF. Maybe she can resurrect herself from this selfmade death to her own best interests.

Posted by Hopeful on 04/30/10 at 05:08 PM | #

Hi Hopeful. Yeah there are certainly some unusual psychologies at work in this case and as usual you pinpoint one rather brilliantly.

And as she has an Italian family background, it is all the more hurtful and pussling to Italians who follow the case, and to Italian-Americans living in my area, that she so readily defames Italy and so many good honorable Italian professionals.

Can you spot a childhood cause for that?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/30/10 at 05:39 PM | #

Who will be going to our Candy’s first book signing at the U of W on May 27th? Perhaps they could present her with some of her “stalking photos” for her autograph….....

Posted by tigger34 on 04/30/10 at 09:24 PM | #

Hi Tigger. Yeah the U-W students will be lining up in their zillions for that one! Expect campus security to be there in force. She is nothing if not a drama-queen and is sure to try to put on an act.

Repeatedly since we drew attention to her seemingly stalking the family of Meredith she seems to have been loudly making the claim that SHE is the one being stalked.

Our Seattle colleagues might like to chime in on this. We all know that one year ago, she appeared to be accompanied to the Salty’s fund-raising event by a police detail from the island on which she lives.

Considering the massive real pain she has caused, both to Meredith’s family and circle and to many good people in Italy, it takes an amazing amount of chutzpah to claim that she is the one really at risk.

The editor who tanked the paper edition of the Seattle P-I (now departed) gave her the support she needed to continue to blog on their site.

But we know that others in the Seattle P-I newsroom had considerable contempt for what they saw as her biased and inaccurate reporting.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/30/10 at 10:01 PM | #

Hi Hopeful,

When you say

” She was 17 when she was attacked on a date. This was a practice crime as police view it. She said the perpetrator threatened many things, inflicted pain, then proudly announced he would not rape her after all. She was a very sheltered, innocent young woman not even aware of sexual activity. “

well bearing in mind her behavior in the Meredith case, it sounds to me like Ms Dempsey is a very hurt, bitter and spiteful person. I know this may sound like a very strange thing to say but it appears to me that Candace in a weird way may have actually feel ” under valued ” ( for want of a better expression ) because the guy that attacked her didn’t follow through on his threats. Perhaps she feels that the attacker felt she wasn’t good enough or worth it. Perhaps she feels insulted in some way by his ” rejection “.  It sound as though she has serious self esteem issues, and serious psychological ones also.

I know what I’ve just said sounds extremely weird, but it does sound like a possible reason for her behavior.

That’s just my two cents

Posted by Paddy5000 on 05/01/10 at 01:42 AM | #


I agree with you that Ms. Dempsey may feel under valued. Why else would a woman identify with her tormenters or those who symbolize them? However, I beg to differ with your theory that she felt insulted because she wasn’t completely raped by her date.

I’m no psychologist but that just seems too twisted for any woman.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/01/10 at 04:15 AM | #

The folks on PMF have talked about her on and off for two-plus years and the frequent take is that she does seem to have serious issues.  She has a sister who was said to have been much prettier and who ended up doing poses for Playboy.Take that in conjunction with what Hopeful describes and her self-esteem might perhaps be running on empty. 

It was mentioned above that she repeatedly harks on in the book about Meredith having attitude. Not only is this generally untrue, with the possible exception of the unruly Knox. It also evokes thoughts of the classic narcissistic-psychopathic syndrome, which has the perp and occasionally the people around them feeling (if not actually saying, though Knox in her testimony seemed to come close to saying) that the victim had it coming.

Hers is still the only main site on the case where serious hate talk about Meredith and her family was allowed to fester for days. There was a lot of outrage on PMF at the time and Skeptical Bystander did that powerful post here on TJMK. (A groundbreaking post because it suggested the tone and depth that we should seek.)  If the victim’s family had been here in the US the outrage over that hate talk would have been total.

She seems to have later denied that it appeared, after one of her dozens of purges, but we have screen shots (also by the dozens), and could show such claims to be hollow. The truth to her seems a real stranger.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/01/10 at 04:21 AM | #

hey Janus, thanks for watching my back and the rest of you guys for bailing me out.  All in all I was just making a joke at her because she claimed I was stalking the Knox girls when in fact I was just using the wc which THEY could not keep out of in their constant attempts to ditch their mother.

I happened to be coming UP the stairs while they were heading down yaking it up and bad mouthing the reporter they had just passed and chim-chimey sang “hello” to.  This is a public place, I never once followed them - it’s an insult and if I wanted to I could come up with a dozen witnesses disclaiming her filthy lie and make her pay something for damaging my reputation - stalking! 

Candace has opted to take the wrong side of the road and this one will become very rocky in the future for her.  I won’t shed a tear. Peace out.

Posted by Professor Snape on 05/01/10 at 06:02 AM | #

I’ve read the “condensed version” first chapter of Dempsey’s book on her blog, and I am appalled at the subtle way she degrades Ms Kercher.

But she IS subtle about it.

For example, there is a lot of evidence that Ms Kercher did not like Knox at all, for absolutely understandable reasons, given Knox’s anti-social behaviour and lack of feeling for other people.  There is also clear evidence that Knox did not like Ms Kercher (leaving a vibrator on clear display in a shared area is bullying and harassment).

Dempsey avoids the easy route taken by Edda Mellas of saying this was all nonsense and they were great pals. Instead, she seems to be implying that the friction was all one way - that Ms Kercher, being “reserved” and “British”, disliked Knox but that Knox not only continued to adore Ms Kercher, but was completely unaware that Ms Kercher had issues with her insensitive behaviour.

It’s vile, subtle nastiness which makes the victim out to be some pompous, prudish, small-minded bigot and makes Amanda out to be some easygoing, adorable flower-child. Really appalling stuff and, as we all know, some considerable degree away from the truth.

Also in the first chapter, she implies that Meredith had been repeatedly warned not to stay at home alone in the evenings. The implication is that if only Meredith had the sense to listen to such wise counsel, she would be alive today, as if the only thing that is stopping legions of young women from being killed in Perugia every year is that they are never home alone.

Her style IS very subtle. I had to read the extract a couple of times, before I fully understood some of the sly, snide, mean-minded suggestions she was making about Ms Kercher. I don’t think there can be any question of me misunderstanding her tone, however. It’s not overly-vicious on first glance, but it is very clear, after a while.

On the other hand, and in fairness to Dempsey, I wouldn’t say she is a thoroughly bad writer. She can turn a phrase, for sure. But she does need to stick to fiction, which is what this book and her blog certainly seem to be.

Posted by Janus on 05/01/10 at 06:10 AM | #

I believe we have arrived at two conclusions about Ms. Dempsey.

1) She will say whatever will get her noticed, even if it is not the truth. 

2) She dislikes herself (maybe due to conclusion #1, which certainly would make her unlikeable to most people).

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 05/01/10 at 06:35 AM | #

For purposes of comparison, I see that Dempsey’s book is at 12,310 on the Amazon rankings.

Barbie Nadeau is at 1,723

A little shard of hope among the chaotic Pro-Knox stance of most of the US media.

Posted by Janus on 05/01/10 at 03:21 PM | #

I think the book should just be left to die on the vine, as it seems to be doing.

I find the marketing angle quite distasteful and disrespectful to the victim. Potential readers are urged to pick up this “murder mystery” and put it in their tote bags as they head to the beach this summer. Meredith Kercher’s brutal murder as entertainment for the leisured classes. I am not surprised that one journalist on local television referred to it as a “novel”.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 05/02/10 at 01:15 AM | #

Am I mistaken? I kind of remember that when I first looked at the readers’ comments on the Amazon site, they were mostly negative, while they are all drooling sirup and honey now…

Not sure anymore ...

Posted by Patou on 05/11/10 at 08:59 PM | #

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