Thursday, May 01, 2014

Did The Bungling Guardian Check Sollecito Enabler Andrew Gumbel’s Myriad False Claims?

Posted by Our Main Posters

Did Gumbel Mislead The Guardian’s Editors?

Gumbel co-wrote Sollecito’s book.

In the Guardian he has a strident piece accusing Judge Nencini of getting a couple of minor facts wrong in the prefinal draft of his excellent report..

So Knox deserves “a new trial”?  This is the same third-rate reporter who has damaged not only himself but Knox and Sollecito with myriad false claims over two years. He fails to mention to the Guardian and its readers that he has a major vested interest here.

Gumbel seems quite incapable of getting even simple plain facts about the case right.  First, note two false claims right there in the Guardian: this was a new trial, and the protracted legal process is Italy’s fault.

Actually no. This was Knox’s and Sollecito’s own first appeal.

And in the UK and US any approval of any appeal after the very decisive trial outcome of 2009 would have been extremely unlikely. The Hellmann court was in effect hijacked, and the courts all know this, and Hellmann is paying a price for it. That added several years to the process.

And in the appallingly inaccurate book Honor Bound which Gumbel co-wrote with Sollecito, he included factual errors and false criminal accusations on every page and often in every paragraph.

The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.

Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong on that show too.

Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Gumbel’s and Sollecito’s false claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.

Charges Expected Against Andrew Gumbel

For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.

In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito and Gumbel team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.

A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and Gumbel went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims.  And still more.

Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. Felony charges will be brought, though the specific focus has at present not been revealed except to the defenses.

As we reported several weeks ago, the defense had 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito or Gumbel be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.

Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly their foolish book promoter, Sharlene Martin, and Simon & Schuster, their sloppy and highly irresponsible publishers in New York.

Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:

Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages. Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate.

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.

As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

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Andrew Gumbel, Raffaele Sollecito’s co-writer on Honor Bound has written an attack on the Nencini Report for The Guardian.

My response here:

“This is addressed to Andrew Gumbel and The Guardian exclusively.

Andrew Gumbel (and the Guardian) needs in the interest of full disclosure to let readers know he co-wrote Honor Bound co-accused Raffaele Sollecito’s now disproven alibi, er, book. He might therefore be somewhat biased in his interpretation of the Nencini verdict.

I am one of the administrators of Perugia Murder File, and an editor at The Murder Of Meredith Kercher Wiki, sites dedicated to exploring this case, and fairly reporting all the evidence to the English speaking public.

We understand the Guardian is well within its rights to support Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. But, as over a hundred writers felt compelled to sign a letter calling out the paper for bias and incorrect reporting, should you not strive to achieve some sort of balance by allowing the other side to present the case for guilt?

Looking forward to a response from the Editor.”


Another letter to the Guardian:

“Andrew Gumbel has made several serious errors of reporting:

By saying “convicted again” he misrepresents the steps of the guaranteed appeal process in Italy.

First, the Florence intermediate appeals court has simply confirmed the original conviction by Judge Massei. Second, there are only two verdicts so far, not three, as the Hellmann acquittal was annulled.

The final stage will be decided at the Supreme Court.

Judge Nencini took the whole weight of evidence of a clean up, including partial footprint blobs and lack of fingerprints, as evidence of clean up. Gumbel clearly has not read the entire report, but relies on the defense talking points to refer only to the DNA analysis.

Granted there is a typo on page 321, the mixed DNA trace might refer to the bra clasp and not the murder weapon. Or, there were two DNA profiles on the knife, Knox and Meredith’s. Gumbel ought to know that judge Massei’s report also had typos and slight errors, rectified by the time it went to appeal, and is not in itself reason to vacate the decision, or, as he seems to hope, give the Supreme Court an out to vacate the decision.

He also faults the judge for coming up with a different motive. He ought to know that judges are not bound by lower court reasoning, and could come up with a different motive. He surely accepted Judge Helmann’s different reasoning, but cannot accept Nencini’s? As long as it is logically argued, the Supreme Court will likely accept it. But perhaps he has blinders on?

Gumbel seems to think the case has been drawn out, and therefore ‘suspect in the eyes of world opinion’. It is only 6 years since Meredith Kercher was murdered. Italy’s system, acknowledge as being defendant friendly, has given Ms Knox and Mr. Sollecito three chances to argue their innocence. Not all defendants in the UK or US are give the same right. And if they were, it might also take them at least 6-7 years to get a finalized verdict.

Why is Italy being held to a different standard? Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito?”

My first letter can be found here, FOA are on it there already:


When I read the article first I didn’t see the disclosure about his co-writing Sollecito’s book, but it appears to have been added after complaints were received. He and his editors haven’t responded to my comments about The Guardian’s biased reporting though.

My last, of many letters to The Guardian today, on why double jeopardy does not apply:

“Before there is one more ill informed comment about ‘double jeopardy’, when a person in the US is found guilty of murder at trial, then successfully appeals it at the next level, the law allows for the prosecution to appeal the decision to a higher court. This is what happened here, more or less. And the US Italy extradition treaty implicitly takes into account the three stage process, as the conviction was not finalized.

And do check the extradition treaty.

While Article 1 does allow Italy to request a person’s extradition on being charged, the US can hold evidentiary hearings to determine if the requesting state has a prima facie case.

But once a conviction is registered, the US does not hold further hearings into the case, not without violating the treaty. It is simply insulting to the intelligence to assume it will do so, on behalf of Amanda Knox..

Posted by Ergon on 05/01/14 at 11:37 PM | #

I really hope Gumbel gets a term in prison. A long one. I hope this destroys his career.

This pathetic coward has set out to damage IN ENGLISH and in the United States a great many people who cannott neccessarily read English and have almost no ways of fighting back.

Gumbel has clearly committed serious obstruction of justice crimes under Italian law. The macho idiot had plenty of warning.

This is not free speech, it is deliberately lying to try to poison public opinion to over-rule a jury.

And it is not speaking out against Italian corruption. There is very little within, the justice system which is carefully set up to prevent it.

And the only corruption here was by the court and consultants of HELLMANN who Gumbel is slavishly obsequious to.

Not only is Gumbel liable at law in Italy, he is also liable in the US and the UK. We know there are lawyers eager to take him on.

Fire away, guys. Demolish him financially. There are good people who could use the money.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/02/14 at 03:45 AM | #

Andrew Cuomo’s interview with Knox:

Very weird and distant way to put it, wouldn’t you say?  Many people commented on these odd, dramatic, and uncompassionate words (broken body??  traces on ME?? corpse??):

“If I were there, I would have traces of Meredith"s broken body on me. And I would have left traces of myself around—around Meredith’s corpse,” she said.

“And I—I am not there. And that proves my innocence.”

Posted by believing on 05/02/14 at 04:01 AM | #

I posted a comment on a current Knox board on the Guardian about Mr Gumbel and my comment was removed.  It seems the truth is too much for them.

Posted by MHILL4 on 05/02/14 at 06:09 AM | #

- I could not agree with you more!  I watched the CNN video just now and am sickened by her shameless and unconvincing lies.  She is pathological in her lying.  What a dangerous nutjob.  How can that interviewer just suck it up like that as though she were making sense?!  He was a lapdog, not a journalist in that “interview.”

Also at that CNN page, in the article, it quotes Hellman saying this outrageous b.s. (below).  WTF
Claudio Hellman, the judge who tossed their convictions, has lashed out at colleagues.

“The Florence Appeal Court has written a script for a movie or a thriller book while it should have only considered facts and evidence. There is no evidence to condemn Knox and Sollecito,” said the judge in a scathing statement obtained by CNN.

“It’s a verdict that, seems to me, is the result of fantasy and has nothing to do with evidence.”

Posted by all4justice on 05/02/14 at 08:17 AM | #

Thank you Peter and all the TJMK Main Posters for all your hard work.  I’m loving Nencini’s report!!!  Thanks for all the terrific new articles on this site, as well as linking to others like Andrea Vogt, with her integrity and intellectual vigor.  Thank goodness for her, and the few others like her in the journalistic profession.

Here’s to never having to hear that vapid obKnoxious lying her face off yet again, all dewy-eyed and fake-little-girl-lisping, saying the most disturbing (!) things as if they made any kind of sense.  Oh yes, we’re so dazzled by her uniqueness; she’s just so innocent and rational, in fact being the only person smarter than hundreds (thousands?) of highly educated Italian legal professionals and law enforcement personnel and brilliant scientific experts in Italy.  Riggghhhht…  *kak*

Posted by all4justice on 05/02/14 at 08:25 AM | #

Roll on commencement of the prosecution of Gumbel. Apart from him getting his just deserts it will be a shot across the bows to all the other outright liars and charlatans out there who unashamedly seem intent on getting these foul murderers off the hook by any means.

Posted by Odysseus on 05/02/14 at 10:43 AM | #

Re Gumbel….a few neurones short of some brain cells…comes to mind.

And Hellman too. I wonder where he is coming from - protecting his own neck perhaps? What logical answers does he have for all the unexplained main points of evidence, as listed on the front page of the wiki site?

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/02/14 at 12:30 PM | #


I am also in agreement here, although I cannot watch interviews filled with lies. But I can dissect her words:

““If I were there, I would have traces of Meredith"s broken body on me. And I would have left traces of myself around—around Meredith’s corpse,” she said. “And I—I am not there. And that proves my innocence.”

To AK: The traces of Meredith’s body on you consist of the bloody nose you got during the fight, hence so much of your blood mixed with hers around the apartment, as well as the wound on your neck observed by Meredith’s friends the day after the murder. The traces you left in Meredith’s room, along with the blood you left on the floor that was not be noticed because it was mixed with overwhelming amounts of her own blood, consist of the knife print, on which knife was found your DNA, as well as the female tennis shoe print on the pillow that you stuffed under her body after she was dead, during your cleanup process, which itself was aided by your lamp, found at the foot of Meredith’s bed.

And the above is just a fraction of the evidence against you.

Now for the more interesting analysis, based on my hypothesis that AK puts the truth in a blender and spews out the whirled peas. Notice how first she says “Meredith’s broken body” and second “Meredith’s corpse”? At first the body was broken, and Meredith was still alive, and could have been saved. But AK wanted to “break her,” and so she did. During the cleanup, however, the broken body had become a corpse, around which it was very important not to leave traces, hence the lamp to illuminate those traces that neede to be removed. Also, saying “I am not there” is not the same as saying “I was not there.”

True, right now she is nowhere, and headed to oblivion at a remarkable clip, since there is no proof of innocence, only proof of guilt.

Posted by Patrizio on 05/02/14 at 05:37 PM | #

Reaction to seeing clips of Chris Cuomo’s latest interview with Knox which she did two days after Nencini motivations were published:

Knox has trouble saying “her blood” as in Meredith’s blood. She chooses the awkward “her broken body”, a reference more often heard in the mass reciting Christ’s words at Last Supper, ‘This is my body broken for you, take ye and eat all (as in every disciple) of it.’

As Knox tries to argue her lack of presence in the murder room or near the victim’s body, she claims she had no reason to wield the fatal blow against Meredith. She pretends to well up with tears. She has Cuomo buying her emotions as real. They may be real regrets for “this mess” as she labels the years of legal quagmire, and her tone saying “this mess” is absolutely sincere. She looks down and shakes her head in pity for herself. She regrets the mess she is in. She never mentions Raffaele in this interview if at all, it’s only “I, I, I” being innocent.

Strangely she tries to say, “I wasn’t there” (at murder scene) but can’t quite spit it out so she twists it to say “I am not there”, using present tense “I am not there” (weird, huh?) as in, there is no physical evidence of me in murder room or on the body.

Then rather than say “body”, Knox says, “Meredith’s corpse”.

For those unable to see the program:

She wears a sleeveless blue blouse, dark pants, low leather flats, and the ever-present gold dove necklace, normally a worldwide symbol of the Holy Spirit. Didn’t someone give it to her as a gift? She seems to wear it as a talisman. Maybe it symbolizes the two wings she flew out of prison on, or a reminder of something powerful. I kept wondering if her blue blouse rose high enough in the back to hide the blue and yellow tattoo of the sun that she and her mom and sister supposedly had done before she went to Perugia.

Her short hair was styled with a deep side part. The few longer locks fell over one side of her face. Her hair had been teased or rootlifted with volume at the crown and sprayed firmly in place. It was not a bad style considering she has chopped most of it off. A small gold earring showed on the one exposed ear. Flattering lighting was used. Cuomo seemed firm but slightly less aggressive than at first interview.

Cuomo asked her if she opened the door for Rudy Guede or if she was in the cottage with him that night.

One question was about the hard evidence of Meredith’s DNA on blade of knife and other crucial facts that Nencini referenced. Knox began to grin before a response to that, typical of her flippant attitude toward a dreadful cause of pain for Meredith.

Knox uses waving hand language and raises her naked arms up often to emphasize points. She’s still the same, she’ll never change.

She says she considers herself “one of the lucky ones”. Cuomo asks her what she means by that. She answers that she’s lucky to have people who support her, who have looked into her case, people who have knowledge of how wrongful convictions do happen. She is lucky that her case has not been forgotten. She must be thinking about defenaants in The Innocence Project who had their stories forgotten. Of course, how many of them hired a PR agency to keep their story in the news for seven years?

Cuomo had a discussion between just himself and Anderson Cooper after the interview. To Cooper’s question he said he thought Knox had grown up a lot since the first interview.

I tried to watch NBC Today Show this morning (May 2, 2014) because Raffaele Sollecito was due to give an interview there. I missed it somehow.

However it was not unfruitful as Meredith’s father came to mind when Today featured the 10th anniversary of the finale of “Friends”. That touchstone of the 90s actually began to air about 20 years ago. The “I’ll Be There for You” theme song by The Rembrandts was sung. John Kercher wrote in his book that Meredith loved Friends tv series. She liked Phoebe among others. He still has the boxed video set.

The Today Show also showed a statue of David in Florence which may have to be moved because the ankles are showing cracks.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/02/14 at 05:55 PM | #

This is also another BRILLIANT analysis of the new interview… this woman is an incredible deception spotter in terms of speech, body language, eyes etc, one of the best in the world and I’ve followed her blog for a while and she’s always spot on.

She has some great insights, but the most interesting bits to me are these:

Amanda continues, “If Rudy Guede…committed this crime…which he did…we know that because his DNA is there…on the…on Meredith body, around Meredith’s body.”

Wow.  Amanda doesn’t own that Rudy Guede actually did this at first.  Then she corrects!!  If she was innocent, I would expect she would believe Rudy Guede was the murderer for sure without any doubts!!  This is a stunner.  Why would she question it with the word “IF” unless she knows something different?  I think all people accept Ruede Guede’s involvement, and Amanda shows clearly she doesn’t believe it as fact.  Wow. The implications here are HUGE and shocking to me.

She continues about Guede, “His hand prints and foot prints in her blood. None of that exists for me and if I were there, I would have had traces of…Meredith’s broken body on me…and I would have left traces of myself….around…around Meredith’s corpse….and I…I am not there…and that proves my innocence.”

This sentence above that Amanda says is fascinating on multiple levels because she shows emotions for the first time and it seems to revolve around Meredith’s “broken body” (aka blood?) being on her. It’s odd she can’t say the word “blood” and that this evokes emotion, too.  It seems to really hit a personal cord with her.  If you were not there, there would be no emotional connection at this point in the speech for you on this element because there would be no emotional memories, but Amanda has some. I’m blown away. I believe she likely did have blood on her now.

The blog concludes with this:

I did not believe Amanda Knox from day one. I have always believed she was there that night and covered her ears at some point (by her own words), but that she twisted facts and lied to cover and protect herself on some level (what level I didn’t know). But the more I see of Amanda Knox, and especially after this interview, I believe she was there, was involved and had blood on her.  Physically. That is all I can say, but that say a whole lot.

I’m stunned by what this interview reveals.  It will take some time to shake this. I didn’t expect this at all.

It’s SO true. Clearly all three are involved but passive there was a little bit more truth in Guede’s story than I first thought?

Posted by Sel-Nel on 05/02/14 at 08:40 PM | #

I’ve just seen a clip of the Cuomo interview, hope to see the rest later.

Initial reaction:

God she’s a liar.

The interviewer asks a string of questions like “were you there?”, “did you let Guede in?” etc. Her reply is, as usual, a well practiced “no” followed (sometimes preceded) by the typical sharp and impatient exhalation of breath (as if to say “this is all totally out of order and I might get really angry if you continue this impudent line of questioning”). I can’t help feeling she’s learnt this aggressive attitude from her infamous Dad, for whom a US court apparently prescribed an anger management course.There’s a lot to dwell on in that fact alone.

Families? Can be brilliant when they work, not so good when parents have joined together for questionable (often juvenile) reasons and are not really committed beyond standard materialistic concerns; then they just pass on to any offspring their own shortcomings, often enough with terrifying consequences to the next generation.

A Philip Larkin poem comes to mind…

Posted by Odysseus on 05/02/14 at 08:55 PM | #

I agree with Patrizio, and others, about the distancing and strange choice of words and phrases.

In psychology we recognize avoidance.

In particular I find the choice of phrase ...‘broken body’ ...both bizarre and frightening, chilling.

Thank you Hopeful for your description of the interview - I haven’t the heart to be watching it at the moment. How awful that these interviewers are encouraging her. Knox is also making (some parts of) America look ridiculous from over here in Europe.

I can’t say about the Guardian as I never go there, but at the other more intelligent papers, I would say that about 95-7% of commentators seem to be understanding why the verdict has reached, and also they now understand the court process.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/02/14 at 09:46 PM | #

What a jerk..I vote for tar and feathers.

I feel generous today…smile

Posted by Bettina on 05/02/14 at 10:18 PM | #

Here is an outline for a post to hit back at craven CNN bias we’d like to put up soon. Step in. Point out further angles, wise friends.


It would be a very good idea for Italy and its supporters in the US to declare a sort of war on fast-fading CNN.

CNN is a very, very shaky enterprise and it is ill set up to take any heat.  This was its parlous condition three years ago:

Nothing has got any better for it since - well, except Barbie Nadeau is head of the bureau in Rome.

Legal host Nancy Grace did once come out and tell it how it is: Knox’s guilt is starkly clear (typical for CNN legal shows: anti perp unless there is GOOD reason why not).

Host Piers Morgan also saw a clear case of Knox’s guilt, and before he was fired he had Alan Dershpwitz on:

But other than that what have we had?

CNN riding the wave of bigotry and xenophobia to higher ratings that Knox and her paranoids have stirred up.

We saw some appalling rants from legal host Jane Velez Mitchell and some of her guests:

Reporter Drew Griffin nastily cherrypicked an interview with Mignini - the ONLY interview with prosecution CNN have ever done.

And now we get this ludicrous spectacle of an ITALIAN AMERICAN Andrew Cuomo sitting there and letting Knox and Ninas Burleigh stir bigotry against Italy and the black man Guede

Knox was allowed to blame and frame Guede and Italian justice officials by Cuomo again and again - though there is NO WAY Guede did it alone.

Then Cuomo had on one of the most virulent anti-Italian bigots on the planet: the paranoid, utterly incompetent PR shill Nina Burleigh.

Tackling the new guy at the top of CNN might be a way to whack some civilised sense into it. But Italian American groups and congressmen have begun asking for a clear role.

Next we move on that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/03/14 at 01:46 AM | #

Hi Peter,

I would press CNN with the racism angle. I don’t think CNN wants to be seen as tabloid news, nor do they want the conservative FOX mantle. I suspect they brought in Nina thinking they were giving the “feminist” angle equal play and therefore being fair, balanced and politically correct.

I do believe there is a feminist angle to this story. In the way that Knox has been able to tap into her ability to manipulate with a vague promise of something sexual implied in those bleating sighs and baby doll lisp. Sexism, like racism, sits at the heart of this story in all it’s malignant turpitude. I think it’s all worth dissecting.

But the racism angle seems stronger to me. Especially now. And no media in this country wants to be tainted with the shadow of racism. If Rachel Maddow took on stories like this I’d love to see her get her teeth into it. And Front Line or other PBS style in-depth programs might shy away from the tabloid-y nature of the story.

But racism is the story here. In all it’s sinister, festering shame.

Posted by carlos on 05/03/14 at 04:17 AM | #

Hi Carlos

Immensely helpful. I already made a few adjustments to the draft post above your comment.

Really interested in what others have to say here. Grahame Rodes, Hopeful and many others here have long hit back here against the “blame the black guy” mantra. We always hit back against the “corrupt prosecutor” and “incompetent Italy” mantras.

The WHOLE Knox and Burleigh interviews are each about 8 minutes long and I can upload them tonight if anyone wants to study then. It really hit me how hard Knox came down on Guede.

I also read a lot of the comments under the CNN video, and the racism against Guede and hostility toward Italy among the shills is hitting a crescendo.

Simply grabbing a few hundred of those and posting them if anyone could sign up to do that would in itself be a huge commentary. Similarly with the book reviews on Amazon.

Trained justice professionals with zero racial bias are picking up on the racial undertones. On the racism, in her recent opening statement here the crime professional Friendofstfrank included this observation.

Amanda Knox in her lily white world was/is a major racist and those she accused and set up were minorities. Also keep in mind that Meredith was also bi-racial and Amanda makes it rather clear that she can’t stand people who are not white. She is also incredibly ethnocentric and self-absorbed.

Racial overtones are pervasive in the Gumbel and Knox books. We will isolate out and post them.

If Burlelgh plays the feminist/sexist angle, she plays it badly. Women especially dislike her.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/03/14 at 11:57 AM | #

Thank you Peter for the great article about Andrew Gumbel.

Gumbel seems very invested in the case and his approach is highly unprofessional.

Does anyone still remember the ghost-writer by the name of Paul Stenning who competed for the job of writing Knox’s memoir? The job went to someone else and he wrote a blog post about it, how controversial the case was and that in hindsight he was glad he didn’t get the job. I would say now more than ever. He seems to have deleted his post since, but a full quote is still available on .net. There were many interesting posts about this matter on .org, where this information was published first, and I believe someone from .org even contacted Paul Stenning.

On a different note, I would like to let you know that the Italian show Quarto Grado has released a security video footage that compares a woman seen in the parking lot security video to Amanda Knox.

I recommend to watch the video instead of just looking at the screenshots. The clip is only about 5 minutes long. Posture, walk and clothing bear striking similarities to Amanda Knox.

I don’t think I have seen this clip before.

Quarto Grado Clip

Posted by Nell on 05/03/14 at 05:32 PM | #

Concerning Knox and Burleighs racism It’s very true. Throughout the last seven years the only black people in this sorry expanse of lies are Guede and Lamumba. Of course these sub humans don’t see themselves as racist it’s just that being less than everybody else in their own eyes they see others as inferior in order to bolster their own view. After all belonging to a sub human species of humanity is easier to take if they can invent someone who in they see as less than themselves.

Burleigh however, takes it one stage further since she sees Italians or anyone else who is not white is being less than she is. Her superior and condescending attitude to anybody who dares to question her is so very obvious and smacks of her own view of her inferiority. She is an obnoxious person and to my mind is a great example of the phrase “They walk amongst us”

This view usually only exists in white trash. There are exceptions of course, Sterling for one and several members of white supremacists aka KKK world wide.

It was obvious from the get go that Knox was a white supremacist since she manipulated Guede to degrade (In her eyes) Meredith. “After all I am a superior white girl and she has the cheek to tell me what to do.”

This goes to yet another aspect of motive since I believe there was more than one. In the last seven years with all the photographs of the Knox family and elsewhere there is not one vestige of anyone of colour. There was one person at the innocence project but he was part of the group and she could not exclude him.

Finally I see that the tide is turning even more with blogs (even on CNN) of people who are convinced of her guilt. That’s because every time she opens her mouth she digs herself in a little deeper. Hope she does more interviews. Sollecito as well since the implication was that he is going to separate himself from Knox even further and finally tell the truth. Either way she’s cooked sooner or later.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/03/14 at 05:54 PM | #

I was referring to Knox and Burleigh as being in my view sub human, not Guede or Lamumba.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/03/14 at 06:01 PM | #

Hi Grahame and Peter,

I agree about the overt racism. And if you just look at the surface of things the fact that the man Knox framed is black, her victim was of mixed race and, of course, Rudy is black, those facts draw some pretty distinct arrows towards the race issue.

And certainly the cretan comments coming out of the woodwork are clearly racist, even if they don’t use comparisons to slavery or suggestions such as recent notorious whirling-news-dervishes Bundy and Sterling have done.

But if you look at the tag end of most news articles world wide, AK and RS are described with one set of adjectives and Guede with another. And it’s not just because his conviction has been upheld.

AK has played upon racial stereotypes with her accusation of Lumamba and her PR has pushed it and the media grabbed it. Why? Because it works. It plays to a subtle sense of ‘the way the world is’. AK rhetorically asked Cuomo why would the (implied: “nasty, meanie, race-betraying) judge believe Guede over her? (Maybe because she’s a convicted liar?)

Maybe Oprah would take another look. Maybe it’ll just be a grad student somewhere. But if you looked at this entire case through the lens of race, I mean REALLY looked, I think it would become even more alarming than it already is.

In fact, it might be pretty powerful to compile a document using snips and quotes from news articles around the world, comments by AK and RS, comments by her supporters and bloggers as well as statements made by folks like Anderson Cooper and other media personalities. One document with all of the comparative descriptions and language used to discuss the various participants in this case…. laid out bare for comparison.

Posted by carlos on 05/03/14 at 06:32 PM | #

Thinking about this I am reminded of small details that with the passage of time get over looked and forgotten.

One that springs to mind is Knox wearing the T-shirt “All You Need Is Love”
The other is “What do you think? She F….. Bled to death.”
The cartwheels, (Similar to Jodi Arias)
The joking with the court officials.
The sexual come-on with the judge.
In other words she could care less that Meredith is dead because she didn’t consider Meredith to worth the effort because in her view Meredith was sub human and therefore she considered Meredith to be less than she was/is.
This is why she can say “I was not there. I did not kill my friend.” This is why she lies so convincingly because she sees herself as superior because she is racist and looks down on anyone she thinks is inferior to her oh so white existence. Guede was OK since he was a supplier of drugs so she put up with him. Patrick Lamumba
provided her with a job where she was able to meet the latest sexual conquest for the evening.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/03/14 at 06:45 PM | #

I think you’re right Grahame about AK thinking Meredith at least less human (less worthy) than Knox herself. Whether it was outright racial hatred or just subtle assumptions, I couldn’t say. Subtle assumptions are scarier though, because they are harder to identify.

What I think Knox does is use both sexism and racism (all of the tricks you mention above) as an ACT to get what she wants from others. By playing those cards, as it were, she assures herself maximum manipulative control over those subtle and ingrained assumptions that ALL of us have to work to separate ourselves from.

The whole thing is an act. The “quirkiness” is an act. All of it. All manipulation.

Posted by carlos on 05/03/14 at 08:49 PM | #

Not sure it’s Amanda Knox, Nell. See the pictures published here:
Same height, but chubbier, no hat she always wore, hair tied in a tail.
Plus the newspaper got it wrong: there’s a perfectly fine short cut to the city center via the upper ramp (the iron stairs) so why would she go into the underground garage?

Question: who released the video, and why? Too late for the defense. Sollecito missed chance to distance at appeal, as Nencini pointed out. Cassation won’t be amused now.

Posted by Ergon on 05/04/14 at 03:37 AM | #


Good points

“If I were there, I would have traces of Meredith’s broken body on me. And I would have left traces of myself around—around Meredith’s corpse,” she said.

“And I—I am not there. And that proves my innocence.”


These are clearly weasel words from someone who appears relatively normal yet is crucially lacking in empathy or responsibility. Note how her claim to innocence is phrased in the present tense for the benefit of everyone currently judging her. She doesn’t say “I wasn’t there”  she says ” look, you dumbos ... I am not there ” . She’s weirdly trying to imagine how it looks. I suspect that to her this is not “lying “ as we understand the word, it’s her “best truth”, and this should be enough in her view - because, well, shit happens…

I seriously doubt that she really understands the gravity of her situation (and she probably won’t until the media/tv interviews stop feeding her narcissism).

It’s surely incumbent on her family and lawyers to somehow prepare her for jail at this point (as others have said she may really want to go quietly - it seems she was relatively happy in the Italian prison last time. It’s the stupid family “honour” that might be fighting to the last).

Posted by Odysseus on 05/04/14 at 07:38 PM | #

20 false claims in 7 pages, and Raf’s whole book based on what his dad admitted on Italian TV was a lie: that the prosecution offered Raf a deal if he would implicate Knox. This post demolishes each of the 20 claims and replaces them with the truth that Raf and Gumbel twisted and spun to Raf’s benefit.

Mr. Gumbel may find himself in the unenviable position of other authors who accept pay to help a potential killer write his autobiography. I have mentioned before Joe McGinnis who in penning “Fatal Vision” woke up to the probable guilt of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald.

On the happy side, there’s a great Daily Mail interview with the Kercher family with nice photos of Stephanie, Arline, and Lyle. The family claim they will fight to the end for Meredith’s justice even if it means a struggle for extradition.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/04/14 at 09:13 PM | #

I remember someone saying once.

“If you challenge a small person, be it small in self image or small as in none intellect.”

Then be aware that if they can, those small people will “Loose the hounds of war upon you.”

The typical blogs are just the same with nobody even bothering to read anything just making assumptions before they go out an buy the latest fad.

If you take a look at the people involved from Knox herself and her immediate family, then throw in Steve Moore and is mad wife. Bruce Fischer, Nina Burleigh, His Royal Highness Judge ‘retired’ Heavey etc, it’s easy to see that this observation is true. If you take it a step further and add David Anderson to the mix it’s easier to observe the quote is very sincerely true. These people refuse to acknowledge such things as the hi res photographs and science graphs and DNA proof even though it’s in front of their eyes but no. they sway back and forth holding their head saying to themselves “It can’t be true…It can’t be true…Shes must be innocent because I say so.

They are all small delusional people with images of self grandeur and self importance. Anderson in particular has a photo of himself with the president although perhaps this is a product of Photoshop. Steve Moore’s unquenchable desire to fame and fortune is undeniable and he will try anything to get it even breaking the law which I can see coming about sometime in the near future. There are large cracks in the PR movement and I can see some small explosion by somebody doing something stupid. Just as well the Kerchers don’t live in the US because some these sub humans would probably take it a stage further.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/05/14 at 01:03 AM | #


Posted by True North on 05/05/14 at 01:09 AM | #

Oh Did I miss Andrew Gumbel? Small oversight.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/05/14 at 01:22 AM | #

I am inclined to believe that the video clip is Knox, having seen the movement, rather than the stills. There is a similarity in the way the head is held, and the walk.  Poor quality, grainy video (too few pixels) can and does distort shape. If the clothes ‘fit’ this adds weight. However, I’m not sure it is helpful to have this released now? We shall see.

A very good entry by Andrea Vogt - thanks True North.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/05/14 at 09:38 AM | #

The Daily Mail has an article about the CCTV images:

Posted by The Machine on 05/05/14 at 02:33 PM | #

I’m inclined to believe its Knox also.

Posted by Spencer on 05/05/14 at 03:15 PM | #

Sorry, I’m with Andrea on this- can’t really see it.  At least, it isn’t enough to constitute usable evidence.  There was plenty else which the prosecution used.

From whichever angle it’s looked at, the two are guilty beyond reasonable doubt.  Nice treatment of the “reasonable doubt” question at PMF.

Posted by James Higham on 05/05/14 at 03:54 PM | #

Of course I want to believe it’s Knox (Another nail etc;) However, how about computer enhancement?

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/05/14 at 04:21 PM | #

I was sceptical at first…(about the video)... Until I watched just the movement, and shape-of-head movement.
I agree it is uncertain though.
As James says, there’s sufficient evidence without it, especially around the alibis. Sollecito’s statement right in the beginning, that he had gone along with A’s story because she asked him to, and it was a load of lies… Is pretty damming.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/05/14 at 04:50 PM | #

Hi Nell, Ergon, SeekingUnderstanding, the Machine, Spencer and James:

That does look like a furtive walk and may imply that person knows what that camera is. I certainly grant it that.

But that low-res camera with its intermittent shots sparked by who knows what - and then wrongly timed! Almost more trouble than it is worth.

Take a look at this post - five and a half years ago! Was that Guede and Meredith or not? We still dont know.

I am inclined to think that anyone using THAT entrance/exit to the middle level of three levels of the parking facility had nothing to do with the case and they are headed for their car.

Take a look at these images here; they show the top deck (the one above) which is the “natural” way to get up from Meredith’s street to the streets that run around the mountain (to Patricks bar and the English girls place) via the steel stairs and an arch.

In the parking facility there are indeed several staircases up (you can see the tops of them on the top deck there) but why take that route when there is a nice easy ramp up, across from Meredith’s front gate, used by dozens of walkers a day?

Under intense lights at night - a much safer way at night for women especially to walk…. though I do wonder: why the furtive walk?!

That CCTV camera is to the left inside the black hole of an entrance; you can see another CCTV camera above, on a pole, facing where the two women are.




Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/05/14 at 05:08 PM | #

Hi Pete,
Bit of a non-story then!
However, it is brought the case onto the front page of the papers again here, so another opportunity was inadvertently created to inform people of some true facts, and dispel a few more PR myths.
More and more people are understanding.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/05/14 at 05:34 PM | #

The story has been picked up by mainstream media organisations in Britain including Sky News, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail and The Mirror.

The article on Sky News has the following false claim:

“The American, who this year was re-convicted of murder after a second trial, has always said she was with then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on the night of the killing.”

Knox hasn’t always said she was with Sollecito. She repeatedly stated she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed. 

Barbie Nadeau’s comments weren’t exactly insightful:

“It’s not helpful to the prosecution or the defence. If the prosecution shows someone like Amanda Knox walking away from the crime scene it’s not helpful.

“For the defence, if there is a video of her anywhere near the house it’s not helpful to them because her alibi is that she was at Raffaele’s house,” said Ms Latza Nadeau.

Knox and Sollecito’s convictions were confirmed at the new appeal in Florence. There won’t be any more appeal trials. The Supreme Court will confirm the verdicts. The case is essentially over.

All Knox’s alibis have turned out to be false. You would have thought the case hinges on these CCTV images by the way some journalists reacting to them.

Posted by The Machine on 05/05/14 at 05:51 PM | #

The story has now gone viral. It’s spreading like wildfire on the Internet.

Posted by The Machine on 05/05/14 at 06:59 PM | #

@the Machine…yes it has. It shows there are still many people who have doubts and want to know the truth, or at least want to know more.

In the comments under the article, the biggest issue that people are angry about, and commenting on, is that of extradition - and the possibility of this not being granted by the US.
I think I have mentioned it before - but beware the strength of feeling of the British towards the USA should this scenario ever come about. It will not be pleasant, and really would worsen the UK/USA relationship.

We have been informed on this site about the true likelihood of extradition being complied with - but there are many still who are confused about the situation, and they are angry - very angry- in advance, of something they fear might happen.

Meredith was British.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/05/14 at 07:54 PM | #
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