Friday, January 15, 2010

Knox PR Puppet Timothy Egan Gets A Splash Of Cold Water From A Respected Trial Lawyer

Posted by Peter Quennell


Seattle and Spokane are at opposite ends of Washington State.

Spokane is the second largest city in the state, some 280 miles to the east of Seattle, and it is nicely located and landscaped. These spectacular falls are just one block away from the downtown.

As our Seattle posters have been showing, a majority in Seattle seem to be settling now on some hometruths, such as that justice for Meredith has actually been rendered.

The “Knox framed by evil Italians” meme is looking like an imperiled species even there, where the PR campaign did its absolute darndest with the help of a large handful of Knox PR puppets.

Spokane seems to have brushed off the PR campaign almost entirely, and it has never ever seen a strong “framed” constituency emerge.

Now a highly respected Spokane lawyer, Bill Edelblute, takes on the many ill-informed claims of Seattle-based blogger Timothy Egan - claims which among others may have swayed Senator Maria Cantwell.

Unlike many of the absurdists who posted once and then clearly felt, well, absurd, Timothy Egan posted several times, increasingly strained and defensively. How his contemptuous attitude toward Italy paid off was described in our posts here and here and here.

Mr Edelblute posts eleven reality checks in response to Egan’s various claims. His article starts as follows - questioning the attempt to make Maria Cantwell, Hillary Clinton and even Barack Obama into the ultimate Knox PR puppets for the cause. 

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, was “saddened” by the verdict convicting Amanda Knox of the murder of Meredith Kercher.  Her spokesman later issued another statement about the lack of a fair trial in Italy, and Cantwell appeared on television reiterating that the proceeding was unfair.  And, she was going to enlist Hillary Clinton, apparently believing fair legal proceedings mean outside influence is exercised by non-judicial authorities.

Why does an elected official in high office like Cantwell believe this, what is she going on?  One of the often cited sources for the “railroad” job are the articles by Tim Egan, a best-selling author living in Seattle, who did not attend the trial.  Is it this type of American journalism that Cantwell has swallowed, hook, line and sinker?

The proliferation of writers who casually attack the Italian justice system, and its treatment of the Kercher murder case, such as Tim Egan, also focus on the supposedly unfair press in Europe. Imitation must be the sincerest form of flattery. Egan’s articles attack the Italian news treatment of the case as being factually inaccurate and sensational. Where did they learn it, from the U.S.? Witness the O.J. Simpson case, etc. Ever watch the Nancy Grace show? Are the supermarket tabloids in the U.S. imported from Italy?

Egan is loose with the facts, and makes assumptions about an entire populace with no need for the tedious obligation to back it up with any logic or truth

Mr Egan of course is not a lawyer, and Mr Edelblute of course actually is. Here is Mr Edelblute’s entire article. It is well worth reading in full.


 


The Examiner, New York, January 13

Senator Cantwell taken in by biased U.S. media that murdered the truth about Amanda Knox

By Bill Edelblute

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, was “saddened” by the verdict convicting Amanda Knox of the murder of Meredith Kercher.  Her spokesman later issued another statement about the lack of a fair trial in Italy, and Cantwell appeared on television reiterating that the proceeding was unfair.  And, she was going to enlist Hillary Clinton, apparently believing fair legal proceedings mean outside influence is exercised by non-judicial authorities.

Why does an elected official in high office like Cantwell believe this, what is she going on?  One of the often cited sources for the “railroad” job are the articles by Tim Egan, a best-selling author living in Seattle, who did not attend the trial.  Is it this type of American journalism that Cantwell has swallowed, hook, line and sinker?

The proliferation of writers who casually attack the Italian justice system, and its treatment of the Kercher murder case, such as Tim Egan, also focus on the supposedly unfair press in Europe. Imitation must be the sincerest form of flattery. Egan’s articles attack the Italian news treatment of the case as being factually inaccurate and sensational. Where did they learn it, from the U.S.? Witness the O.J. Simpson case, etc. Ever watch the Nancy Grace show? Are the supermarket tabloids in the U.S. imported from Italy?

Egan is loose with the facts, and makes assumptions about an entire populace with no need for the tedious obligation to back it up with any logic or truth.

Let’s take his June 10,2009 piece in the New York Times Opinionator,  entitled an “Innocent Abroad.”

We know the term “Innocent Abroad” could be accurate as to Meredith Kercher. Beyond that, its application to then-defendant, and now convict, Amanda Knox, is a misapplied metaphor.
Time and again, Egan simply leaves out undisputed facts that are counter to his own argument, and exaggerates facts that favor his opinion. He makes derogatory statements about the Italian system, and its press. He actually describes the American press and its justice system to a “T.” Or his statements have no application to either system. Let’s look at the specific examples:

Egan 1: “The case against Knox has so many holes in it, and is so tied to the career of a powerful Italian prosecutor who is under indictment for professional misconduct, that any fair-minded jury would have thrown it out months ago.”

Reality Check 1: “[A]ny fair-minded jury would have thrown it out months ago.” How does a jury, “throw out” a case, “months ago” before they are permitted to make a decision? The jury has no power to do so. (It is not actually a jury anyway, in Italy, there are eight lay judges along with the two professional judges.) A judge decided it would go forward, after preliminary hearings. Arguments by the pro-Knoxers are based on comparisons to the American court system. No such thing as a jury “throwing it out months ago” could occur in Knox’s home state of Washington, where these charges would be brought in a State court. Only a judge would decide probable cause or whether any motions to dismiss at any stage would be granted, not the jury. In Washington, prosecutors are not required to use a grand jury, and instead typically file an “Information” which is the written charge, and the defendant can have a hearing on whether there is “probable cause” before the judge, if requested. Otherwise, it is a fairly perfunctory review of an affidavit by the investigating officer. In Italy, the process of determining enough merit is much more prolonged, and arguably more careful, in America it is often a very brief process on affidavits alone, rarely with live testimony. (This reporter has handled over two hundred criminal appeals, reading every transcript, and has never seen a case where an American attorney ever asked for an actual “preliminary hearing” meaning an adversarial hearing, with live witnesses, on the issue of whether there is probable cause to go forward with the charge. Occasionally there is something called a Knapstad hearing, heard only on the police reports or affidavits, where the argument is the undisputed facts aren’t enough to support the charge, if they are disputed at all, then the motion cannot be granted.) The jury is not able to make any decisions before instructions by the judge it is time to do so, oddly enough, after both sides have rested, which had not occurred “months ago” at the time of Egan’s June 10th, 2009, mid-trial article.

Egan 2. “We kill innocent Americans often enough through our legal system, kill them because of shoddy police work or racial prejudice.”

Reality Check 2. Then by what right do you make unfavorable generalizations about the Italian court system? If you are correct, then you would not want to have Knox tried in America. Just where would you be satisfied?

Egan 3. Knox’s “life has been nearly ruined by this collision of predatory journalism and slipshod prosecution.”

Reality Check 3. Kercher’s life was ruined. “Predatory journalism”? Egan does not cite one article, or one false allegation he cares to discuss. Why not? “Slipshod prosecution”? What specific act or procedure is he referring to? Egan uses a technique of throwing two different criticisms about two different systems into the same sentence, here, the press and prosecution, without foundation. An unfounded statement about one is his only way of supported the unfounded statement about the other. His own opinion is in itself the American “predatory journalism” which makes asinine assumptions in the opposite direction. The only logic here is that Knox can’t be guilty because she is pretty or cute, or because she is an American college student.

Egan 4. “She had no criminal record, was an athlete whose soccer tricks had earned her a grade school nickname of “Foxy Knoxy,” a lover of theater and the written word.”

Reality Check 4. Lover of the written word? She wrote a story entitled “Baby Brother” about a rape. No criminal record? Having a prior criminal record is not an element of the charges brought. In her beloved American system, if she did have a criminal record, it would ordinarily be kept from the jury, unless she testified and had a conviction of a crime of dishonesty. It is a tenet of American legal protections that if you have made past mistakes, it is not proof of anything in a new charge, except as to credibility. Yet a lack of record proves something? Athlete with a nickname? “OJ” James Orenthal Simpson was a world class athlete. He turned out to be more than liquid sunshine.

Egan 5. ” She started seeing an Italian student, Raffaele Sollecito, the son of a prominent doctor.”

Reality Check 5. How romantic. “Saw” a man on the train to Perugia as well. By her own prison diary, she slept with several other men in Italy before “seeing” Raffaele, even though she began her relationship with Sollecito within a week of her arrival. Everything is “cleaned up” by Egan. Earlier in the article, he describes innocent victim Meredith Kercher as “high spirited.” Then says Amanda Knox was “equally high-spirited.” A comparison of the two is a slap in the face. Knox said Kercher read a lot. Sollecito in a letter said she hardly ever spoke. Kercher had homemade pizza at a friend’s before coming home to her unprovoked death. Knox smoked so much hashhish that night she alternately can’t remember what occurred, or it made her have a vision she was in the apartment while a black man made Meredith scream.

Egan 6. “They spent the night of the murder at his apartment, she said, and no reliable witness or credible evidence has ever placed them at the crime scene.”

Reality Check 6. Sollecito’s second story was that Knox was not with him from about 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.. Her boyfriend, an equally innocent party, is not “a reliable witness” when he says she had to be somewhere else than her claimed alibi? In his second account, he explained to police that Ms. Knox has asked him to cover for her, and that what he first told them was “a lot of rubbish.”

“We were in the town centre until 8.30 or 9 pm. At 9 pm, I went home on my own while Amanda said she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to see some friends. That’s when we said goodbye. I went home, smoked a joint and had dinner but I can’t remember what I ate. At about 11 pm, my dad called on the landline. I remember that Amanda hadn’t come back yet. I surfed the net for another two hours after dad called and only stopped when Amanda got back, at about 1 am, I suppose.” From English version of the Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Sera.

Knox told police that she was there when a black man she claimed was Patrick Lumumba went into Kercher’s bedroom, and then Knox covered her ears because of the screams.

“Patrick and Meredith were in Meredith’s bedroom while I must have stayed in the kitchen. I can’t remember how long they were together in the bedroom but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I heard Meredith screaming. I was scared and put my hands over my ears.” This is her statement from an English version of the Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Sera.

But there is no evidence placing her at the crime scene?  Incredible.

According to Egan, Knox is not a “reliable witness” because she said she was there, and he says there is no reliable witness placing her there. Reliability of her incriminating statement is clearly shown by the fact that Patrick is an African origin man, and so was Rudy Guede, who was undoubtedly in Kercher’s bedroom, and a witness heard a horrible scream. So, Knox knew before authorities did, that there was an African origin man in Kercher’s room. Which there undisputably was, Guede. And she knew about the screaming. (It would have been possible for the crimes to have occurred without a scream. A male assailant could have clamped his hand over the mouth of the victim before killing her with a knife, or have immediately strangled her, so knowledge of a scream makes the “witness,” Knox, a very credible and reliable witness against herself.) Yeah, we know, she was hit on the head by police, according to her own gospel. How did that make her know a black man was in Meredith’s room, making her scream?

No “credible evidence” has ever placed them at the crime scene? Broad statements dismissing all evidence as simply “not credible”? Would any evidence ever be credible? Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp at the crime scene. DNA clears innocent people but it is not credible when it comes from the boyfriend of a fresh-faced American student? The argument about the DNA is that it was not collected until 46 days later. How old is the DNA in police lockers that is used to clear people convicted before DNA testing was even available? Many years, that’s how old. How many crimes scenes or remains of victims are not even discovered for long after 46 days, with the killer’s DNA there, often the only evidence of the killer’s identity? Did Sollecito’s DNA jump from him, through the locked door to the crime scene and land on the bra clasp? Is there a rule that the “crime scene” is defined by the victim’s bedroom and does not include the bloody trail of footprints into the bathroom and into Filomena’s bedroom that appeared ransacked? A blood trail matching Sollecito’s footprints and containing Knox’s DNA. Forensic scientist Stefanoni testified that a mix of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the floor in the bedroom of a third roommate, Filomena Romanelli. And the blood appeared only after being found with Luminol, it had been cleaned up. And this is where what appeared to be a staged burglary was found.

Egan 7. “But within days of the killing, these two would be painted across Europe as thrill-seekers who killed a woman in a drug-fueled orgy.”

Reality Check 7. Sollecito posted on a website, within two weeks of the murder,  that he was seeking “extreme sex.”  And on Raffaele’s page, he expressed a fascination with serial killers.  He was “painted” as a thrill-seeker with his own brush. Knox got more than a train ride on the way to Perugia.  On MySpace, she bragged about having multiple sex partners. According to FoxNews, Knox told a reporter she had been “intoxicated by freedom” when she moved to Italy, and “Sometimes I did things that I regret now.”  Criticize self portraits as unfair? Drug-fueled? Knox’s excuse for various stories was that she just couldn’t remember, smoked too much dope. Interestingly, Egan refers to Guede, who is obviously guilty, as a “drifter with a drug problem.” The drug problem being a reason to shift all blame to him, ignoring Knox’s own. She was more than an occasional user.

Egan 8. “Guede initially told one story: ... Then, months later, Guede changed his story:”

Reality Check 8. Bingo! You’re starting to understand now. Yes, significant changes in story are very strong evidence of guilt. And of lack of credibility, when it comes to believing claims of innocence. Who else changed their stories? Knox did. At least twice.  Wasn’t there, was there, maybe it was a dream. Sollecito did.  Knox’s second story is overwhelming evidence of her presence at the scene.

Egan 9. “All the forensic evidence points to Rudy Guede.” (Quoting Anne Bremner, of the Friends of Amanda.)

Reality Check 9. Is that the truth? “All” means all, or it is not true. Is Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp not “forensic evidence?” How does Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp point to Guede? Is the matching of bloody footprints of Sollecito not forensic evidence? Is the evidence that luminol-revealed blood in Filomena’s bedroom contained Kercher’s DNA and Knox’s DNA not forensic evidence? How does that point to Guede? Is the DNA of Kercher and Knox found on the knife from Sollecito’s apartment not forensic evidence? It is one thing to argue the weight of such evidence, it is another to say there is only forensic evidence as to Rudy Guede. That is false. No reasonable person could take that position.

It doesn’t exist as long as you categorize it as “a highly suspect and tainted piece of evidence from a contaminated crime scene”, according to Egan and Bremner.  If there is no evidence, how can it be tainted? (I don’t have a dog, but if I did have a dog, it doesn’t bite.) When and where did the “tainting” take place that he affirmatively exclaims? If there are any legitimate questions about the DNA evidence, they cannot be rationally discussed with someone who says there is no such forensic evidence. The statement about a “contaminated crime scene.” If it has the “innocent” student’s DNA there, then it must be contaminated? By this reasoning, the DNA of Guede found on the victims’s body is not reliable and is meaningless. But Egan applies a double standard.

After all, all of us probably have a small amount of the DNA of a murder victim on the tip of one our kitchen knives, happens all the time.

Egan 10. “And Knox raised the possibility that a bar owner with an airtight alibi could have been involved.”

Reality Check 10. Egan actually says this to admit that precious Amanda actually did something that wasn’t right, but distorts it. She “raised the possibility” of Lumumba? Really? She did more than raise a possibility. That would mean someone said, you know, Patrick Lumumba seemed interested in the victim, and now that I think about it, I don’t know when he left his bar that night. Knox did not raise a possibility. She said Lumumba went into Kercher’s bedroom with her, then she covered her ears because of the screams.

“We met at about 9 pm on the basketball court in Piazza Grimana and went to my place. I can’t remember if Meredith was already there or if she turned up later. What I can say is that they went into the bedroom”.

“Patrick and Meredith were in Meredith’s bedroom while I must have stayed in the kitchen. I can’t remember how long they were together in the bedroom but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I heard Meredith screaming. I was scared and put my hands over my ears.” This is a translation of her statement from an Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Sera.

This is just having “raised the possibility”?  Incredible.

Then saying, in a separate statement later, well it’s all a little fuzzy because I smoked too much dope can’t candy-coat the fact that she let Lumumba be arrested on her word, and was content to let him rot, and would still be content to let him rot. At no time in the two weeks they were both in prison at the same time, did Knox say, “please let Patrick out, that was not true.” Knowingly, wilfully and intentionally falsely blaming an innocent man is described as having “raised the possibility.” That is not credible. The words of Egan quoted above are the words of someone manipulating the facts, and destroying the truth.

Egan 11. “In Seattle, where I live, I see a familiar kind of Northwestern girl in Amanda Knox, and all the stretching, the funny faces, the neo-hippie touches are benign.”

Reality Check 11. Hopefully, not too “familiar.” Don’t drag down all “Northwestern” girls with Knox’s image. Not all would sit at a machine gun in the Holocaust museum and guffaw. Not all “Northwestern” girls have sex with a complete stranger on the train to Perugia to supposedly study Italian culture. Not all “Northwestern” girls smoke so much hash they hear screams and see a black rapist at a place where they claim not to be. Maybe I’m not as observant as Egan about Northwestern girls, he’s probably been in the Seattle police stations observing Northwestern young women cartwheeling down the halls after a friend’s murder. I have talked to someone who’s daughter’s friend was a murder victim in the Spokane area, which is “Northwestern” but that mother didn’t turn cartwheels as she spoke of that horrible incident. I didn’t think to ask her if her daughter turned cartwheels the morning after her friend was murdered.

Even Sollecito apparently didn’t think she was a “familiar” kind of girl. In a letter Sollecito wrote to his father from prison, he says: “She lived life like a dream, reality didn’t enter. Her only goal was the search for pleasure at all times.” And, that she has “an almost non-existent contact with reality.” 

Maybe she got that from the American press.  But our elected officials should have contact with reality when it comes to this case, and in seeking the involvement of our Secretary of State, who has other issues worldwide with which to deal, as does the Senate.

copyright 2010 Bill Edelblute All rights reserved.

Comments

I posted a comment on Bill’s article congratulating him on his courage to say it how it is ...

Fancy getting all excited for no other reason that someone writing the truth .... it’s getting to be a rare commodity.

Thank God for the advent the internet and sites like this that can give access to the facts,

Keep the good work up ... very inspiring!

dixi - Chan

Posted by Chan on 01/16/10 at 08:30 AM | #

1/16/10
Mr. Edelblute echoes the prosecution’s valid concerns, thoroughly dismissing “An Innocent Abroad” by Mr. Egan. Mark Twain also wrote, “A Tramp Abroad.”

Posted by Hopeful on 01/16/10 at 02:48 PM | #

As I read this article it was like cold water being thrown in my face, I was thinking now thats so simple why in the world didnt I catch all that when reading.

But would like to know I was reading other things and saw where Meredith had hair in her fist and skin cells and that Amanda’s finger prints were found on Meredith’s face.

Does anyone know what happened to this evidence it seems like it would be more incriminating then the knife and foot prints. By no means am I saying these werent important also just hair DNA and skin cells would of been more important wouldn’t it?

Posted by jasmine1998 on 01/16/10 at 04:12 PM | #

This is EXCELLENT!! My Hogwarts hat is off to Mr. Edelblute!  Bravo!

I love them all but I pick Reality Check 4 & 8 as a couple favorites. 

Thanks for such a great article.  Boy, that Eagan is a real air head and brown noser.

Posted by Professor Snape on 01/16/10 at 08:18 PM | #

I am confused!!

Poor little me from Tasmania at the end of the world!

Whom am I to believe?

Someone called Edelblute?

Which being translated is, as they used to say in church from the pulpit or the lectern, means of noble blood.

Posted by Tiziano on 01/17/10 at 01:02 PM | #

Yes, there is something pretty noble to his speaking up. Although the mood in Washington State is now swinging pro-justice and pro-Meredith, nobody else of Mr Edelblute’s stature in the state has yet spoken up.

He joins the honorable list here in the US that includes Jeanine Pirro and (oddly to most here!) Ann Coulter, but still too few others openly.

However, many commenters have moved from a pro-framing position to a neutral position (maybe covertly pro-justice and pro-Meredith) and the parade of sockpuppets has pretty well dried up.

Donald Trump may have been the last one. Way to to go, Donald, to be the last one to jump on the tail end of that particular parade.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/17/10 at 02:55 PM | #

Tiziano, thanks for reminding us of the meaning of ‘Edelblute’! How appropriate, as Peter says.

That reminded me of ‘Edelweiss,’ one of the greatest songs ever written, which was actually written by Rogers and Hammerstein, and not an Austrian folk song, as many people think! 😊

As to the article above, I might add to Reality Check 4 that yes, Amanda did have a ‘criminal record’ for disturbing the peace at her going-away party in Seattle, and actually paid a fine of 200-odd dollars to the court.

I also love how he points out that Egan states ‘no reliable witness’ places Amanda at the crime scene, while Amanda herself did just that! Oh the irony.

So who’s ‘full of holes’ here, Mr. Egan? The case against Amanda, or your article?

Posted by Earthling on 01/17/10 at 08:49 PM | #

Excellent, powerful article by Bill Edelblute. I had no idea he was such a high profile man. It is so refreshing to see a hard hitter coming out to counter Knox/Egan spin. At last, someone is standing up for Meredith and Justice in public. Let’s hope it gives others the courage to follow suit.

Posted by TT on 01/18/10 at 02:39 PM | #

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