Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Letter To Claire Wachtell of HarperCollins Protesting How Distasteful Knox’s Book Promises To Be

Posted by mimi

Ms Claire Wachtell
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York NY 10022

Dear Ms. Wachtel,

I am guessing, and in fact hoping, that you are receiving many letters similar in content to the one I am about to write. I hope, also, that you have been inspired by these letters to look further into the matter of Meredith Kercher’s cruel and untimely death, and at the bizarre and disrespectful behaviour of her flatmate and purported friend, in the hours subsequent to Ms. Kercher’s murder.

None of us witnessed the attack - had we been there, we would surely have intervened on her behalf - and, therefore, we cannot absolutely finger Ms. Knox and/or her “boyfriend” as the attackers, in spite of a curious amount of suggestive and incriminating circumstantial and physical evidence.

We can, however, express our considerable distaste at the idea of Ms. Knox benefitting financially from exploiting the sordid tale of a misadventure that resulted purely from her own irresponsible and reckless behaviour. Please consider:

  • She arrived in Europe and proceeded to revel in her newfound sexual identity, indiscriminately associating with men unfamiliar to her flatmates. She behaved without consideration for her own safety, let alone theirs. She laughed off their concern as prudishness.
  • With her “boyfriend” (the term could only be taken in the loosest sense, as she had met him barely a week before the murder), she proceeded to experiment with narcotics, to the extent that she apparently believed that to tell the police investigating a vicious murder which took place in the bedroom adjacent to her own, that she was “too stoned too remember” her whereabouts or actions, was a wise course to take.
  • While Meredith’s tortured body lay upon a cold slab in the coroner’s, Ms. Knox saw it as fitting conduct to galavant about a lingerie shop with her “boyfriend”, holding up g-strings and giggling about wild sex. She absented herself from a candlelight memorial held for Meredith, attended, respectfully, by close friends as well as people who certainly had less of a personal connection to the slain woman than did her own flatmate. She concocted ridiculous and contradictory accounts, both for the increasingly frustrated police and for friends, family and acquaintances back home (in a 4 page email, which I highly recommend you read), which not only illustrated her callous disregard for Meredith and of the seriousness of her own situation, but pointed to clues as to her involvement.
  • She had no one but herself to blame for her repeated questioning and subsequent arrest. Had she behaved like any normal person (and one need only look to the plentiful examples of Meredith’s other friends and neighbours in Perugia for inspiration: Filomena Romanelli, Laura Mezzetti, Giacomo Silenzi, Robyn Butterworth, Sophie Purton, Amy Frost, Samantha Roddenhurst, all of whom were aghast at Knox’s coldness) she had ample opportunity to say,“Please, I am upset, I’m in shock; someone was stabbed and left to die in the room right next to mine! I don’t know who it was, but, dear god, it was not me!” Instead, she made up stories about mops and doors that were normally locked or unlocked, about being terrified of her employer whom she had described only days earlier as being a kind and good person. She sat in the police station with her lover of the week, and in whispers tried to incriminate other acquaintances - anyone they could throw to the wolves to save their own hides.
  • The DNA evidence may not have been abundant, but it was ample and most certainly was not absent. Their lies were indeed abundant, contradicting not only one another’s alibi accounts but their own. The circumstantial evidence against them is most disturbing.
  • Despicable only in second place to the behaviour of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito was the conduct of their immediate families, subsequent to their understandable arrest.

I live in West Seattle and have witnessed firsthand the distasteful circus that was the Gogerty-Marriott PR circus designed to recreate Amanda Knox as the Ivory Snow Girl, while grinding Meredith Kercher, who deserved nothing she suffered on 1 November 2007, into utter obscurity.

The Sollecitos went even lower than paying a set of spin doctors, when they released forensic video footage of the crime scene, including unmistakable images of the victim’s nude and battered body, to the Bari television network, Telenorba, which proceeded to air the footage several times. Imagine how you would feel, as the parent, sibling, or friend of a young stabbed, strangled and sexually violated individual, to learn that this is her only value to the world after her death. Shock entertainment to a television viewing audience?

So, having read this, I ask you, honestly, what is the value to the world of a ghostwritten (as she lacks the ability to compose a coherent sentence, unaided) memoir by Amanda Knox?

  • She can’t tell us what we want to know about Meredith’s final hours (unless she wishes to revert to the alibi version in which she WAS at the cottage, blocking out the screams).
  • She wouldn’t have the nerve, four years on, to suddenly gush on again over how horrible it must have been for Meredith, how terrifying and agonising to be mutilated in such a manner, and left to die without hope of attracting attention or alerting aid from outside her bedroom walls.
  • She wouldn’t have the gall to offer her condolences to the Kerchers within the same covers of a volume whose main thrust is to whine to the world about how miserable it was to spend 4 years in prison because her brain was so addled by narcotics she was unable, throughout her police and courtroom questioning, to come up with a scenario that made one iota of sense.

I don’t know your opinion on her conviction, which, until the Supreme Court has rendered a decision, still stands, but I sincerely hope that you are not viewing this book project as an enjoyable opportunity to work with an ebullient and bright Amanda Knox, or, worse, to put the “real truth” before the public.

In either case, I fear you will be gravely disappointed and sorrowfully mistaken.

Yours, Mimi (full name in the original)

[Below: the seemingly hornswoggled Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtell of the HarperCollins house]


Hi Mimi
    I couldn’t agree more. This disgusting slut and her sub human rotten family deserve nothing but contempt. There is no statute of limitations upon murder because that is who Knox and Sollecito are. They are both completely guilty in the eyes of the vast majority of people everywhere of the rape torture and murder of Meredith Kercher. Only in Seattle exists this small cadre of hysterical old men who stupidly believe in the virgin persona that has been presented by her expensive PR firm. Who by the way want their pound of flesh, hence the book. It is my fervent wish that Knox lives a very long time until she is consumed in the wind of guilt that she carries. As to Sollecito. With any luck he will continue down the road of a drug addict till he ends up on the street or better yet on the doorstep of the Knox’s where will be as welcome as a rare and virulent disease. They both belong together that’s for sure.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/10/12 at 08:02 PM | #

Dear Mimi thank you for your great letter and courage to write what we all believe.

An acquittal does not mean not guilty. Not at all.

Its those details surely the publishers will be looking into for themselves.

Thanks again and best wishes

Posted by mason2 on 04/10/12 at 08:44 PM | #

I would have been tempted to replace “curious amount” with “mountain” but great work all the same. Kudos to you Mimi for standing tall.

Posted by Urbanist on 04/10/12 at 11:04 PM | #

You have written a brave letter, Mimi, & have taken a brave step. I don’t think Ms Claire Wachtell is likely to answer you or to feel herself obliged to respond, but she would be most incautious to ignore the challenge (really to Amanda, a challenge) of your first four marked paragraphs after you say, “Please consider.”

These paragraphs cover the area of Amanda’s tale that falls within her own purview. Were she to skim over all that & put her focus elsewhere, the readers would feel themselves cheated & her book would fail.

I think you might have put a little more emphasis on the reasons & the particular occasion of her arrest, but overall you cover things well.

Jonathan Burnham of Harper-Collins taken a calculated chance.  The sheer notoriety of this case is worth any amount of publicity. But the reading public will be disappointed in Amanda’s book if she fails to give an adequate account (her own version, of course) of just those areas which you, Mimi, have emphasized in marked paragraphs.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 04/11/12 at 02:36 AM | #

Excellent!  Well done, Mimi.


Posted by Tara on 04/11/12 at 05:40 AM | #

A single bold step can go far!

A single decent person can make the world a better place to live. No body could have put it better.

You’re working under a slight handicap.  You happen to be human.

Posted by chami on 04/11/12 at 11:15 AM | #

I predict at some point Knox will go on the run after pressure on the US government to extradite her when the Supreme court in Italy finally convicts Sollicito and her.

South America will be her destination and her family will be wiring her money to an undisclosed location. She will give guitar lessons as a tutor to kids who want to learn to play the same chord over and over again!

Posted by Dennis on 04/11/12 at 01:47 PM | #

There’s a media confusion (when isnt there?) that the “Meredith” book by John Kercher was rushed out to steal the thunder from Knox and Sollecito.

John wrote almost all of the book three years ago and only ever wanted it to come out after all was over in Perugia as he despises the PR. He never wanted anything about Perugia in it.

He was only persuaded it would be helpful now by the contemptible callousness of the Hellman court in dismissing Meredith, now proven in spades in his written judgment, and adulating Knox and Sollecito.

The book sale to a publisher was announced over six months ago when his book agent Ben Mason sold it to Hodder and Stoughton.


This is an excerpt from a new well-meaning report by Emma Cowing in The Scotsman though Emma does not have the above aspect quite right - the ugly Knox and Sollecito books were not then on the horizon.


So perhaps it is not surprising that Amanda Knox, who was cleared last October of the murder of fellow student Meredith Kercher, was offered a rumoured $2.5 million to tell the story of her imprisonment in Italy and her subsequent release. It is not even surprising that Raffaele Sollecito, also acquitted, has a rumoured book deal in the works.

What is eyebrow-raising however, is that John Kercher, Meredith’s father, has brought out his own book, six months before Knox’s is published.

Writing, of course, can be incredibly therapeutic, although the inveitable round of publicity that will follow, as well as the pressure to give interviews and talk about the devastating loss Kercher and his family have suffered over and over again, will, one imagines, take an emotional toll.

What is tragic, however, is that Kercher, a writer and a journalist, felt he needed to bring this book out at all. That it is being published a good six months ahead of Knox’s suggests he is desperate to take control of the story, to put across his and his family’s side and remind the world of his beautiful daughter.

One wonders, though, if he would have published the book had Knox decided against publishing hers. Kercher must know that when Knox’s book is released, it will be in a blaze of publicity that will once more ignite the story from all angles. The phone will once more ring with requests for comment. His daughter’s face will once more be on the front pages, and the whole hideous circus will once more crank into life.

One wonders if Knox considered any of this before making the decision to tell her story. Surely, after an experience such as hers, the wise thing to do would have been to slope off into the distance, lick her wounds, and disappear, if only out of respect for the Kerchers.

Instead, she has chosen to make the fast buck and ensure that nobody forgets her name in a hurry.

Tragically for the Kerchers, Knox’s desire to stay in the public eye means they have been unwillingly dragged back into it too. Knox should be thoroughly ashamed of herself.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/11/12 at 03:47 PM | #


Thank you a lot!

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/11/12 at 06:23 PM | #

I had been toying with the idea of writing to HarperCollins to tell them how distasteful this entire deal is for many days. It was a very pleasant surprise to discover this post today. Thank you Mimi, from the bottom of my heart, for doing what many of us probably have just been thinking about. If each one of us does this, maybe we can make a difference. You have definitely inspired me to stop thinking and start acting. I will be sending my own letter within the next few days.

Posted by Sara on 04/12/12 at 01:01 AM | #

Well done Mimi <3

Posted by Terry on 04/12/12 at 01:41 AM | #

An excellently written letter.

Posted by believing on 04/12/12 at 04:01 AM | #

Meredith came alive for me the moment I saw her gentle and beautiful face on this website, and for that we must thank Peter. Perhaps it is due to the absence of her image (or, the repeated use by the media of that one, highly uncharacteristic shot of her in vampire costume) that a larger public were not immediately drawn to her.

When I first learned of the case (overhearing a conversation by two women in the Husky Deli—a West Seattle landmark, and destination for lemon curd, digestives, Ribena and other necessities for such quasi-expats as myself) it was mostly gawping over the thought of a UW student entangled in a foreign crime. 

I was most disturbed, in my earliest reading online, by the idea that no one had called for help. What sort of people could behave in such a way. What could Meredith possibly have said or done to her friends to spur such a hatred, or such a profound disregard for her humanity. I suspected drugs.

What I did not predict was the intensity with which this story would continue to resonate in me, or within the online community. And yet, here we are, more than four years on, because a satisfactory resolution has yet to be reached, and because there is more to be said.

I am sorry that John Kercher has been given cause to write his book. At the same time, I greatly look forward to reading it. I have considered purchasing additional copies for Amanda and each of her parental households. I think they should be forced to read it!

As for HER book (or HIS), I could give a flying, freaking FRACK . I’m sure someone will swallow hard and summarise them for the rest of us. I hope Amanda permanently sprains her brain trying to complete the first paragraph.

Posted by mimi on 04/12/12 at 05:07 AM | #

In Amanda’s case it’s a question of two quite different books.  She’s at work on only one of them whereas quite a different book is asking to be written.

The popular term nowadays is narrative & Emma Cowing’s article in The Scotsman, cited by Peter above, adopts this usage when she suggests that John Kercher “is desperate to take control of the story,” that is to say, the going story (the “narrative”) or the media story—not simply His Own Story as set forth in his book.

Amanda is also, as I see it, “desperate to take control of the story.”  She has to offer a narrative which answers plausibly to the questions her own supporters may be asking. And beyond that she has to construct the narrative whose constraints she must live under henceforth.

If she had not been released by the appeals court, she might in time have reflected on the possibility of telling the real story.  This is not a “narrative” to be constructed but simply a truth to be told.  And why not if she has to spend the next quarter century behind bars?  And if her telling the truth, a welcome purgation, could bring her no further penalty?  In Catholic Italy, a decision of that sort would have brought her a measure of esteem.

It’s not money she’s after (as Curt Knox surely is) & it’s not a wish to remain in the public eye (much as she did manifestly enjoy that throughout her first trial.)  It’s the persuasive narrative which must serve to shrive her: to give an absolution which only the priest can give her Catholic soul on the basis of an honest confession.

Falsehood, in a word, belongs necessarily to the narrative she is trying to construct.  I think it will be fascinating to see & to probe the result.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 04/12/12 at 04:21 PM | #

Good work. Mimi.

Posted by nopassingby on 04/13/12 at 12:54 AM | #

Bravo! Well written Mimi!
Knox is a person of complete disregard and you highlight that fact.

Posted by starsdad on 04/13/12 at 01:45 AM | #

Excellent letter, Mimi.

Emma Cowing’s report is utterly devoid of compassion.  For one, the book isn’t a rhetorical stance.  Secondly, even if it were, John Kercher has all the right in the world to write about his daughter, especially considering that her killers are still at large and that her memory received far too little attention in the media compared to that devoted to her killer.

Posted by Vivianna on 04/13/12 at 03:35 AM | #

Seems rather poor research by a London journalism student. http://www.policymic.com/articles/6915/amanda-knox-memoir-will-outsell-father-of-meredith-kercher-s-upcoming-book

For one thing the book is almost exclusively about Meredith’s life before Perugia which is only mentioned relatively briefly at the end. It was announced seven months ago and the release date is not May, it is 26 April.

The Knox book’s release date is some time early next year - if it clears all the legal hurdles and events at the Supreme Cout dont supercede it which the piece does not mention.

And this?  “A tangible account of what actually happened now seems impossible to obtain.”  Read here Vicky.


Here’s another wrong commentary. http://www.worldcrunch.com/amanda-knox-publishing-and-pr-war/5067

The poster underneath, David Anderson, is a serial ranter against the Kerchers. He lives near Perugia and seems to be regarded there as a bit of a nut. See much more about him on PMF, especially about him exploding at a public meeting.

Anderson has no relevant qualifications, and seems to us a classic racial profiler (white good, black bad) and anti-government conspiracist who has never attempted to get to grips with the real facts in Meredith’s case.

As an expert witness in a UK case he got it disastrously wrong as he himself admits, but he seems to blame others for that. Now he is doing it again. Maybe he should look Edda Mellas and Curt Knox (who he knows well) straight in the eye, and ask “Did you know all along that AK did it?”

That seems the universal belief in officialdom in Perugia and seems to be based on hard facts. Meanwhile, he should stop harrassing the incredibly pressed family of a victim.

If he was in the US he would get roasted for that (comments about the family of Trayvon Martin are very constrained) not to mention possibly slapped with an injuction.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/13/12 at 02:14 PM | #

You are a bit too hard on Vicky Wong, Peter. Yes of course, she gets the date wrong.  But consider remarks of hers which reflect an honest sympathy with the Kerchers:

Unlike the Knox family, the Kerchers kept a relatively low media profile throughout the ordeal. Because of this, a book recounting their story may seem like it would provide more information on the situation.

And this too:
No doubt, Knox’s memoirs will receive attention when released. But no matter how much publicity Amanda Knox gets, we must not forget that there is a family grieving and no closer to finding out what happened to their daughter.

Ms Wong may be as yet only a journalism student but she’s nowhere near the David Anderson whom you scorn.

Twice recently I’ve noticed that the Knox book-deal has come down from four million dollars to two & a half—a sizable reduction.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 04/13/12 at 04:51 PM | #

Hi Ernest. Yeah John Anderson is on a plane of his own and the Knox book estimate does seem to have wobbled a bit.

Maybe Vicky’s headline was a bit unfortunate. She may not have written it herself.

John Kercher’s book was announced seven months ago with much less hoopla, and for several years he did wait to publish and was hoping the true portrait of Meredith would come out only after all was over.

Now he will have a very kind book out which has little in it on Perugia - and John Anderson (who hasnt even seen the book) is all over him.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/13/12 at 05:18 PM | #

I have only a couple simple question: almost trivial. If she were truly innocent, then why launch a massive PR campaign within one week of her arrest?

Neither I have seen any clear account of the money found on her, considering the bank withdrawals and the deposits.

How she could describe the details (of the scene of murder) so soon after the murder? Just heard someone chatting? I thought she needed an interpreter!

Of course her book will be interesting reading: a comparative study of the american, german and italian men (in horizontal positions). I can’t think anyone will (or can) doubt her authority in this matter.

Authentic: Indubitably true, in somebody’s opinion.

Posted by chami on 04/13/12 at 05:43 PM | #

Hi Mimi,

Thank you for taking the time to craft such an eloquent letter. 

The FOA PR campaign to suppress inconvenient truths and to propagate key myths is unprecedented. I encourage people to leave comments under Internet articles and to contact people who work in the media and publishing to correct factual errors, to demand balanced media coverage and to object to the obscene attempts to profit from Meredith’s murder. It only takes a few moments. Everyone can make a difference.

Posted by The Machine on 04/13/12 at 06:01 PM | #

Thank you, Mimi, for this very eloquent, moving, and well-written letter. I hope Ms. Wachtell listens.

Posted by Earthling on 04/16/12 at 10:43 PM | #

I think its time to start a guerilla marketing campaign against the FOAkers. What I mean is something like this, making a flyer with a picture of Meredith smiling, and something like “Justice for Meredith” at places like coffee shops and bookstores with links to TJMK and PMF. Most people are getting their information from the American Biased media, only way to counter it is by trying to get the message about to people who think critically and will actually read the real evidence compared to the average American who has the attention span of a 5 year old and can’t think for themselves.

Posted by Severino518 on 04/16/12 at 11:58 PM | #

Hi Severino518,

I fully expect the judges at the Italian Supreme Court to revoke or invalidate Judge Hellman’s insane verdict and Knox and Sollecito to be reconvicted. In the meantime, I encourage people to be proactive and not to rely on others to make a difference. Twitter is an excellent way of contacting journalists and commenting on most media websites. It only takes a few moments to write something.

Posted by The Machine on 04/17/12 at 12:19 AM | #

We all thought the appeal would never turn out the way it did. The way I see it as long as American’s are forcefed the pr lies Amanda will stay free. I doubt the Italian government wants to deal with the fact that if she is reconvicted Americans will demand war.

Posted by Severino518 on 04/17/12 at 01:14 AM | #

Hi Severino. The Machine above talks common sense. The Supreme Court has a tendency to side with original trial courts over first-appeal courts, which with their unnecessary and very ill-informed juries often get it wrong, and Dr Galati could not have filed a more devastating appeal.

The US media have largely tired of AK and RS and their whining, and their prolonged silence is doing them no good. Innocent people would be all over TV, not locked in the attic like two mad aunts. 

In contrast, the number of media sites that have carried the story of “Meredith” the book by John Kercher is extraordinary. Google alerts have been linking to hundreds of sites for two weeks now.

And the book itself is said to be electric and deeply moving. In a sense there is your brochure right there.

By the way worry not about extradition and governments just tiring. The italian government sure is not tiring and there is no parallel case where the US government refused extradition. In fact the only hard examples of refusals of extradition relate to real frame-ups and political and humanitarian and military cases.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/12 at 01:40 AM | #

I hope so, not to be a conspiracy theorist but I noticed that the second people on gather.com started mentioning the Kate Mansey article where Sollecito pretty much said he was at a party with Knox (false) and described the scene of the crime before the police release details mysteriously went offline within the last week. Does the Marriot campaign hold that much power where they can make things they don’t want the public to see go away?

Posted by Severino518 on 04/17/12 at 02:26 AM | #

Hi Severino. Run that past us again? You are saying that inconvenient comments on gather.com were disappearing?

Probably so, and the Machine has been remarking on that happening. However they have no named heavy hitters now and no heavy-hitting websites with anywhere near the combined readership of PMF and TJMK. Gather.com will not persuade many to move their way. 

We have always walked the extra miles in terms of getting facts straight and doing careful translations and their highpoint (when Marriott and Fischer fatuosly patted themselves on the back) was when Hellman croaked out his verdict.

we have various initiatives in the works that will become clear soon and RS and AK seem to us to have little good news to look forward to.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/12 at 02:49 AM | #

Appreciated if comments could be posted in support of Chelsea Hoffman’s latest on gather.com here.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/12 at 01:32 PM | #

I’ve just left some comments. It’s pleasing to see the likes of Chelsea Hoffman writing well-informed and factually accurate articles about the case. Unfortunately, most journalists have been unable to do this and just regurgitate the same FOA myths.

Posted by The Machine on 04/17/12 at 02:17 PM | #

Just now Anders Breivik is all the news.  We learn that he had wished to kill all of several hundred people at a political youth camp on Utøya last July instead of only 69 dead.  That he had hoped to behead a former prime minister with his bayonet & broadcast a film of it, but she had earlier left the island.

Mad dreams, big dreams, & much more of the same. After he had folded his company, filed for bankruptcy, moved in with his mother &, closed away in his room, spent a year playing computer games full time. Under Norwegian law (itself a form of insanity) he would at most face less time in prison than Amanda Knox was originally scheduled for.

So what about Amanda now?  She has disappeared from view.  Those fake paparazzi have drawn back obligingly. Has Anders Breivik wiped her memory out of mind or, worse, shown her up for a trifler.  One murder, what’s that?  People kill every day.

There is a very deep contrast between the two.  What Breivik did he did for “good” while acting out of “good” motives. Whereas Amanda cannot acknowledge her deed, cannot face it—could not face it even if her father would allow that.

And the horror which Breivik achieved after his year of internet games does not eclipse the horror which an innocent & unsuspecting Meredith Kercher experienced in being raped, beaten & stabbed to death by a roommate & two uninvited guests.  Quantity is not the only measure of vile & hateful wickedness shown in these two contrasting cases.

In each case family failure is pressuposed—by me, at least.  And in each case social attitudes further warped by warped & shrunken minds.  Curious to say, fantasy runs riot in each case—apart from Sollecito’s Japanese comics, Meredith is murdered as close as possible to Hallowe’en & not long after appearing in the guise of a vampire with blood trickling from her mouth.

Breivik has shown himself unfit to be released into society at any time, on any grounds. He should be quickly put to death.  Amanda Knox is not “that” kind of danger to society, clearly, but her wicked atrocity must be revisited by the Italian Supreme Court & once more be honestly judged for the unspeakable crime it was, just as it was earlier judged for that with frank evidence by an honest court.

Italian Justice is on trial here, nothing less.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 04/20/12 at 12:12 AM | #
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