Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Kercher Family And The Knox Family Go Their Separate Ways As The Tough Questions Mount

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

This report is cross-posted from my personal website where I may add more commentary later.

1) The Kercher Family

The Kercher family had a press conference in Perugia this morning and then headed back to London. And Meredith’s father John Kercher had this reaction to yesterday’s news:

While Amanda Knox’s family wept with joy after seeing their daughter’s murder conviction overturned, the father of the victim was incensed. Speaking from the family’s home in Surrey, England, John Kercher called the judge’s decision to free Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito “ludicrous,” saying last night’s drama had made a “mockery” of the original trial. “I thought the judge might play it safe and uphold the conviction but reduce the sentence,” he said. “But this result is crazy.”

Both Andrea Vogt (The First Post) and Barbie Nadeau (The Daily Beast/Newsweek) sat down with Arline, Stephanie and Lyle for a face-to-face interview. TJMK will post excerpts and links tomorrow.

The Kerchers’ own words are far more eloquent and gracious than anything I could ever produce. Sympathy for them is building, slowly but surely. Lots of discontent online over a verdict that appears incomprehensible to many informed observers, for reasons that Maundy Gregory (post below) has clearly explained.

2) The Knox-Mellas Family

There was a brief press event at the Seattle airport. It can’t really be called a press conference, since no questions were asked in response to several invitations.

First up, David Marriott, who masterminded the PR campaign that set Knox free and has destroyed any hope of closure for the Kerchers for some time to come. He gave the order of appearances and said Knox would not take any questions, “as is her right”.

Then Ted Simon, the Philadelphia lawyer and specialist in extradition, walked up to the podium and shouted rhetorically for a few minutes, signifying nothing. He was followed by the parents, briefly, and then Knox.

It may have lasted ten minutes. I watched it via a live stream. At one point,the reporter apparently did not know he was being live-streamed. He went ON AND ON about needing “crowd cheering” for the 6:30 newscast and how “We got DICK! We may need to dub something in.”

Then “It’s your wife’s birthday, what the hell are you doing here?”

And the feed just went dead…

I don’t know if it was the same guy who interviewed two fellow passengers on the flight. Having little to say, since Knox and Co disappeared right away, leaving the media to make chit chat, he decided to talk a bit about how not everyone thinks Knox is innocent.

The camera panned to a discarded tabloid, the headline of which said something like Foxy Knoxy Now Free to Make Fortune. He opened it, to a two-page spread with a huge headline that said something like Our Meredith is Forgotten.

Oops! Cut to the chopper, quick! Yes, that’s right, a KIRO chopper followed the motorcade as it made its way down the Burien freeway. Did I not mention the police escort. I suppose they all got rock star parking too!

I got a Facebook message today from my niece, a student at the University of Washington. This is a sad day for Seattle, she wrote. In their brief statement, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas asked the media for some privacy and space. But I guess the media, having gotten used to covering the coverage of the family, wasn’t listening.

Because they followed the chopper that followed the police escort that led the family to an undisclosed location that turned out to be Curt’s house and called out to Curt for an interview. Well, he couldn’t say no. They really wanted to talk to Amanda and one had the temerity to ask for her, but he was ignored.

I wonder if the crowd cheers got dubbed into the 6:30 newscast. And I also wonder why the television media wonders why fewer and fewer people believe much of what it has to say.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 10/05/11 at 05:29 AM in Trials 2008 & 2009


Great post Skep.

You are right, negative reactions to the strange verdict John Kercher complained of are starting to surge. We have been emailed some links to Italian commentary and several translations to post soon. The Ministry of Justice will it appears start an investigation which is almost unprecedented mid-way through appeals.

And over on Skep’s PMF forum, where we have already linked to the tantalising perceptions of the Italian poster Yummi, they are remarking that both judges on the appeal are business judges and may have got the law wrong. While under the microscope, Judge Hellman is going to have to explain his panel’s outcome and where exactly is the proof the ex perps could not possibly have done it.

Responses of the American media today seemed muted at best. TJMK and presumably PMF are being mined more intensively now for the real facts on what took place. (We are going to re-arrange this site to facilitate that.) And at the Seattle airport press conference Skep described, it was hard to suppress the thought that the K-M family intend to lock Amanda in the attic for a while, and after that only let her out with duct tape around her mouth.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/05/11 at 06:03 AM | #

Anyone who has a stomach to endure this—presumably the whole of the “family” press-conference is here to watch:—131111538.html

It needs to be seen, not just heard. I didn’t check it, since I watched it live, and I can’t bring myself to go through it once again.

Posted by bmwwelt on 10/05/11 at 06:29 AM | #

My way of honoring Meredith today is to avoid all media accounts of Knox’s arrival in Seattle.  I don’t want to read or hear one word from her. Today I thought of a classic Italian film I saw yesrs ago called “A Brief Vacation.”  If Knox loses the final appeal, that what her time in Seattle could amount to.

Posted by Sailor on 10/05/11 at 06:36 AM | #

Mine also on not reading or hearing nothing i set my home page up so it went straight to here this morning.

I also planted a Tree for Meredith its called a Bleeding Hearts tree, yesterday I went and wrapped it for the fall and will do it again for winter.

Can anyone explain what will happen if the Surpreme Court finds them guilty how will they get them back and doesn’t Edda have to go back for court also?

Posted by jasmine1998 on 10/05/11 at 07:03 AM | #

If anyone wants to send flowers to the family in London as several posters did please feel free to email for advice.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/05/11 at 07:11 AM | #

I’ve just watched Amanda’s short statement at the airport and when you watch it you can’t help believe that she may be completely innocent of these charges. I can’t read people but there is part of me that believes she might be. If she is that must have been the most horrendous four years to endure. The evidence leaves you in limbo not knowing what to believe but because that’s the case a small part of you can’t help but have utmost sympathy for her. I’m totally confused now.

Posted by mikeyverve on 10/05/11 at 11:01 AM | #

She’ll slip up again.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/05/11 at 01:51 PM | #

I find it rather significant that Theodore Simon, their lawyer who speaks in the video linked in the above comments, talked about an ‘unjust conviction’ and said that she was ‘wrongly convicted and absolutely not responsible for the tragic loss of Meredith Kercher’.  Am I being pedantic in wondering why he used those words specifically and that the word ‘innocent’ didn’t pass his lips?

Posted by Tim on 10/05/11 at 01:52 PM | #

I agree Hopeful, it’s just a matter of time.

Posted by Spencer on 10/05/11 at 02:04 PM | #

In the picture above Amanda has her hands in the praying gesture again. Recall the photo of her taken outside the cottage talking to the investigators - and it was similar.

The feeling I get from this picture is that she wants us to believe something and is pleading. If she is guilty, we now need to believe her innocence ! - and maybe her body language is revealing here.

Posted by gabster1971 on 10/05/11 at 02:25 PM | #

Look how dirty her hands are, she’s been ready tabloids the whole way over.

Posted by Spencer on 10/05/11 at 02:27 PM | #

First time poster here. Just to say thank you for this site and all your hard work and to add my disgust at the verdict.

Also, there’s a very interesting article in the Guardian about Knox’s next move. It talks to Max Clifford, the best-known and also most astute UK PR expert. He thinks she could make many millions from interviews etc, but there’s a big ‘if’ to this.

Here’s an extract from the article:

‘However, Max Clifford said Knox will find herself at the centre of another disaster if she doesn’t address the “half the world that still thinks she’s guilty”.

“The past four years have been very damaging for her,” Clifford added. “She has a long way to go to win over the hearts and minds of the public. There were more boos outside that courtroom than there were cheers.

“If I were advising her, and I would only advise her if I thought she was innocent, the first thing I would do to convince the world of my innocence was meet the Kercher family. Then you have the foundations in place in terms of TV, movie and books.”

Otherwise, Clifford believes any move by Knox to tell her side of the story through the media will backfire.

She could also offer to share the proceeds from her deals with the Kerchers or donate them to a charity of their choice, he added.’

We shall see. One way or another, I think she’s going to trip herself up big time. 

The full article is at:

Posted by flwriter on 10/05/11 at 02:55 PM | #

I’ve met Max and I think he would happily represent Knox, guilty or not guilty. Saying otherwise as he does is just spin.

Posted by Spencer on 10/05/11 at 03:07 PM | #

Oh sure, I can’t say I like the guy. But I think he’s highly astute. And that in some ways Knox’s problems are just beginning.

Posted by flwriter on 10/05/11 at 03:15 PM | #


Posted by Spencer on 10/05/11 at 03:22 PM | #

Latest news.

Interview to Pratillo Hellmann from Sorry for the quick translation

“No influence on the Court from the media”. Claudio Pratillo Helmann has confirmed that, the president of the Court which has acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito from the accusation to have killed Meredith Kercher. “We have pronounced the sentence – he has explained - in name of the Italian people”. “About the homicide Meredith will stay an unsolved truth. Nobody can say as the facts have happened. The only one is Rudy Guede”, has then added Helmann. 

“From the media no influence” 
Rejecting the accusation of whom has spoken of media influence on the court, the president of the court of Assise of Appeal of Perugia, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, has explained that “we also pronounce in the name of the Italian people in name of those that howled shame without having the least knowledge of the documents. Unless all the papers be known in detail, and there were here any quite a lot, an opinion cannot be expressed.” 
“Who only knows it is Guede” 
“The dynamics is hardly rebuildable. The only one who could say - Hellmann has still said - is Guede. But he has said only that he has always thought that (on the place of the crime n.d.r.) there were Amanda and Raffaele. However this doesn’t mean that there were. We will never know if Amanda and Raffaele there were or not. 
“Amanda is absolutely innocent” 
“For the moment Amanda Knox it is absolutely innocent”. Respect to the return in the US of the American student, the judge has said that “we could not hold here preventively her waiting for the Cassation”. Then he has underlined that “is sufficient also a small doubt, provided that reasonable, to acquit.” 
“I would have done like the prosecutors” 
“With the elements that they had, I would have made the same thing. The prosecutors had enough elements to start the investigation” has underlined Hellmann explaining the difference between the judge and the prosecutor. “The prosecutor – he added – doesn’t take responsibility on him/herself to condemn. If he/her has elements it brings them to the evaluation by the gup [giudice udienza preliminare] who has to verify if they are sufficient to start a trial.”

Posted by ncountryside on 10/05/11 at 03:24 PM | #

Please, pay attention to the fact that this text doesn’t seem complete.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/05/11 at 03:29 PM | #

This is not over by any stretch. The evidence still stands and it is damning. I don’t care how good an actress she is, there is the footprints the staged breakin and all the rest. Perhaps she has convinced herself that she wasn’t there. One of the basic tenents of covincing an enemy upon capture was to believe the lie yourself.

This will go to the Italian Supreme Court and Sollecito will be tried again with Knox in absentia and Sollecito will fold particularly when Guede is forced to testify. I believe that is what they wanted all along. They will be found guilty once more and the entire thing will come out and with any luck at all Knox will get the same treatment as Casey Anthony.

Of course this is my sincere wish. Meredith’s family will finally get some peace. Knox will continue to deny and therefore with any luck in this world she will be hated and Meredith will receive the recognition she deserves.

This makes me sick particulalry when some clown on CNN says Meredith was involved in a sex game that went wrong. Blame the victim once more. Obviously Richard Murdock is just the tip of the iceburg. May they all rot in hell.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 10/05/11 at 03:49 PM | #

@sailor, agreed. And to boycott any TV interview, book, or film about this case. Why contribute to their financial benefit?
This also addressed to British director Michael Winterbottom and actor Colin Firth, who were in Perugia filming to make a movie about a “crusading journalist”

Posted by Ergon on 10/05/11 at 03:52 PM | #

I think Amanda’s future life is depending hugely on the question: how long will they pay the PR firm…
There are already some of us who start to believe she is innocent in spite of the numerous evidence.
I have my questions also and without the media campaign I would tend to believe in her innocence for sure. However, I still don’t understand the thinking behind the hiring Marriott at all…

To Ergon: Even without us, they will make millions on book deals and films, etc…

Posted by Hungarian on 10/05/11 at 05:38 PM | #

Thank you Grahame, I hadn’t thought about those points in terms of the second appeal level and even if Amanda is not there to testify, both Sollecito and Rudy will.  Maybe we will then all get the full story.

Posted by believing on 10/05/11 at 06:24 PM | #

I have been reading UK newspapers too, which tell a completely different outlook on the case.  Was sickened to watch FoxNews spin story this morning and to see her press conference and to hear once again their biased view on her release. 

There was NO mention of the second appeal at the Supreme Court level, NO mention of Raphael, nor of the Eddas Mellas (Curt Knox too?) slander trial coming up.  I really wonder what will happen if she is convicted of slander and the police are exonerated from the ‘beating’ story and the 53 hours of questioning story???  When will she have to return to Italy for that trial?  I believe it was originally due to be tried July 4th but was put on hold until the AK RS appeal ended, what timing.

Secondly, I wonder about the outcome of the Sollecito family trial coming up right away??  I was glad to hear that Rudy requested a retrial right away.  I am looking forward to more information coming out in the next months.

My mother’s first words to me on the phone the night after was “I’m so glad AK was released!” and I said ‘uhh I wasn’t!” and she was very surprised, and then I told her about the other evidence and the misleading stories and conflicting accounts of that night.  She had no idea, as she had only seen the biased accounts and stories on the US news.  I sent her some information to read. 

But that is what most Americans received during the trial and how many feel.

Posted by believing on 10/05/11 at 06:30 PM | #

Having watched every nauseating minute of the AK press conference, I was left feeling sickened and wishing I hadn’t…

Not once did she say she was innocent.
Not one word did say say about her “friend” Meredith.
Not one word did she say to the poor Kerchers.

Not once though the whole vile performance did I ever think, she could be innocent. I watched it and was reminded of a term that seemed very appropriate “bit to Rita Hayworth” well it was for me…

Media deals aside, I am sure we have not heard the last from AK…. Beware the charming man or in this case woman is another term that comes to mind!

Posted by distemper on 10/05/11 at 06:33 PM | #

I do think she is an excellent actress and had everyone fooled, the fellow inmates, the people who visited her in jail, even her own parents.

I still don’t understand why the only mixed DNA in Filomena’s room which showed Meredith’s blood mixed with Amanda’s DNA and that there was none of Rudy’s DNA in that room did not become a more significant newsworthy item?  How in the heck would Rudy throw the rock in, climb through broken glass (oh yes after not either cutting himself OR pushing any glass to the ground) and not leave any DNA in a room that he ransacked?  And if he didn’t do this alone, then someone else’s DNA would have been found in that room?  And from what I know it was Amanda’s.

I feel saddened to learn how difficult it will be for a second appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn this verdict, per Commissario Montabano.

Posted by believing on 10/05/11 at 07:08 PM | #

Big question - did Rudy sell drugs to Sollecito and therefore will that claim that he didn’t know him before that night be shown to be a lie?  If Rudy was a drug dealer, then why wasn’t he selling drugs to all those boys downstairs plus AK, as they were all smoking pot, and if not, why does everyone claim he was a drug dealer?  I haven’t seen any evidence to back that up.

Posted by believing on 10/05/11 at 07:10 PM | #

The article linked above with Clifford talking about AK making 5-10 million off her story really makes me gag.  There are so many people egging her on to make money off this experience, and given her ‘love of writing’ I’m sure she will.  I do not think the Kerchers however will want to meet her or to have one dime of her money.  I really doubt it.

Posted by believing on 10/05/11 at 09:15 PM | #

@believing it is highly unlikely she would even offer them any. Ted Simon has stated that AK is fully aware of how much she stands to make from all of this, so much for the family saying she had no idea of how much media interest there was in her.

Also, just read an interesting article on The Psychopaths among us, as Dr Robert Hare would say AK has learnt the words but not the music!

Posted by distemper on 10/05/11 at 10:03 PM | #

Can somebody tell if Rudy said in the appeals court if Sollecito and Knox were there?

Posted by Miriam on 10/05/11 at 10:20 PM | #

From the local radio (again): no news on AK today so they repeating again and again yesterday’s reports.
What is really good to hear that even though her family asked for privacy many times yesterday, the media is not letting her go. So the family allegedly started to think about going to hide somewhere. Good for us in Seattle.
But, if you think about it more: they started the whole media campaign, they asked for it. It is still very likely that without the media and PR campaign she wouldn’t be free.
The family should have known better if they start the campaign that doesn’t mean they can just end whenever they feel like it. I understand that they don’t need journalists any more for a while, but the riporters are still here from all over the world (according to the local news), waiting for AK. I hope they have patience…

Posted by Hungarian on 10/05/11 at 10:40 PM | #

Ted Simon uses those words because Knox and Sollecito will be suing Italy and its officials for the equivalent of wrongful or malicious prosecution as leverage to make everything go away.

Posted by jennifer on 10/05/11 at 11:50 PM | #

Everything seems totally scripted now right down to the prayerful hands pose she was advised to use in court and now on stage. Look for it on the talkies.

Posted by jennifer on 10/05/11 at 11:55 PM | #

The Mother Teresa Knox that is being shopped now in the formerly- convicted- murderer marketplace will do its best to induce amnesia about the Knox the trial jurors and Meredith knew.

Posted by jennifer on 10/06/11 at 12:11 AM | #

@Hungarian, I don’t know or care how much money she makes. But it won’t be from me.
Same way I refused to buy the Blair and Bush ‘memoirs’ and am a strong supporter of the BDS movement against Israel. It’s about taking a moral stand.

Posted by Ergon on 10/06/11 at 04:34 PM | #

Now all is said and done maybe we should consider pitching in and buying Helmann one of these delightful T-shirts…,190348688?cmp=pfc—f—uk—134—190348688&utm_term=190348688&utm_campaign=Women’s+Cap+Sleeve+T-Shirt&utm_medium=productfeed&sourcecode=affiliate&utm_source=froogle&pid=6673073

Posted by Spencer on 10/06/11 at 05:13 PM | #

It seems to me that the PR campaign goes on. With no change in the direction. AK is the VICTIM here according to Mr. Knox:

Amanda Knox: I was sexually harassed in prison

AK hasn’t been seen or heard since her arrival to Seattle on Tuesday. I am wondering how long Mr. Knox can do this, giving interviews instead of her??? And telling things about her prison life which could be true or false without giving any evidence??? Don’t they have a slander trial coming up in Italy already???

Posted by Hungarian on 10/08/11 at 12:03 AM | #
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