Tina Brown Of The Daily Beast Extols Barbie Nadeau’s Book On Knox’s Descent Into Hell

Our previous post on Tina Brown of New York’s Daily Beast who is publishing and championing Barbie Nadeau’s new book.

Tina Brown is certainly sounding more up to speed on the case than a ludicrously misinformed Oprah Winfrey and likely to be a much-needed balancing voice. Excerpts from her new piece, starting with a kind gesture to Meredith’s family.

“It’s such a shock to send your child to school and for them to not come back.”

That was the brokenhearted testimony of the mother of Meredith Kercher, the 22-year-old British student killed in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007, at the trial of her daughter’s alleged killers two years later. “We will never, never get over it.”

As the mother of a 19-year-old myself, I shuddered at her words.

Hers is the nightmare that haunts every parent who sends a son or daughter off to one of the “gap year” or study-abroad programs that have become a rite of passage for educated Western youth. But the rapid growth of such programs can be credited, in part, to parents’ woeful””or is it willful?””ignorance about what can happen when students suddenly find themselves in a foreign land, free from parental or college oversight, and surrounded by a new set of peers, all of them eager to experiment….

Only with Meredith’s horrific death did it become clear that she and her roommate had been mixing with a crowd that was headed not just for trouble, but, in Amanda’s case, a descent into evil….

[Barbie Nadeau’s]  objective dispatches also earned her the enmity of ferocious pro-Knox bloggers, who hurled insults and threats, hoping to discredit her professionally. Instead, her reputation has been enhanced by her diligent pursuit of a story that most of the U.S. media, including The New York Times, badly misread….

Mining diaries, social-networking sites, exclusive interviews, and telling moments in the courtroom, Nadeau paints the first full portrait of a quirky young woman who is neither the “she-devil” presented to an Italian jury nor the blameless ingénue her parents believe her to be. What Nadeau shows is that Amanda Knox is, in fact, a 21st-century all-American girl””a serious student with plans and passions””but is also a thrill-seeking young woman who loves sex and enjoys drugs and who, in the wrong environment with the wrong people, develops a dark side that takes her over and tips her into the abyss.

In short, every parent’s worst fear…

We strongly endorse Tina’s uncomplimentary crack at the New York Times. The Times did nothing to advance the truth here. Instead it hosted the xenophobic blogging of Knox slobberer Timothy Egan.

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I’ve already ordered this book as well as Darkness Decending and the Murder of Meredith Kercher. I’ve only recieved the last one and have read it. I gave it a 3 out of 5, its OK, but not what I was looking for, I’m looking for something more to do with just the trial facts, the book I read had one chapter concerning the actual trial.

Posted by John on 03/24/10 at 08:46 AM | #

Anyone seen THIS ridiculous website yet?


The site looks like it might have been put together by some high school kids.  Very tacky, and full of BS.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/25/10 at 01:16 AM | #

The registration is anonymous and has been done by 1 & 1, a German company (http://www.1und1.de/).

  Registrar: 1 & 1 INTERNET AG
  Whois Server: whois.schlund.info
  Referral URL: http://registrar.schlund.info
  Name Server: NS57.1AND1.COM
  Name Server: NS58.1AND1.COM
  Status: ok
  Updated Date: 31-jan-2010
  Creation Date: 31-jan-2010
  Expiration Date: 31-jan-2011

Anybody could have registered the site, the wording and presentation reminds me of Harry R. Wilkens though.

Posted by Nell on 03/25/10 at 12:58 PM | #

Very likely Knox’s German relatives.  From what I read some time ago, prior to going to Italy she went to Germany and stayed with them.  The uncle got her a job and she quit after a few days.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/25/10 at 01:05 PM | #

i’m getting different info at networksolutions


Posted by mojo on 03/25/10 at 02:32 PM | #

upon further investigation, i see that you are correct, Nell. sorry.

Posted by mojo on 03/25/10 at 02:34 PM | #

Yes, that might be so. I saw a website maintained by Harry Wilkens and the theories, articles and wording were practically identical to the one you are referring with your link.

In my opinion the family of Amanda Knox and her supporters are moving in circles. Their far fetched theories have been neutralised in the moment the motivations report was published. Much ado about nothing. No blog or website will change that, neither will Oprah.

Posted by Nell on 03/25/10 at 02:44 PM | #

Hi Nell. “In my opinion the family of Amanda Knox and her supporters are moving in circles.” On this we are hearing two things.

(1) That new Knox-family lawyer Theodore Simon is trying to reign in the venom and get the family and the sect to seriously shut up while he cools things.

(2) That these blogs by the lunatic fringe are so badly argued and factually wrong, and so venomous to Italy and the prosecution, that they are undermining (1) above.

And of course in Italy they are causing an equal and opposite reaction. They are widely despised.

Perhaps Ted Simon should get on the Internet and read for a while, and then see if he can chill some of those sites. Or at least make them factual and less hate-filled.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/10 at 05:53 PM | #

Germany comes fourth in our readership, after the US, UK and Italy. Reporting in Germany by for example Der Speigel has been even-handed, and the verdict and sentence were widely reported as seeming correct. 

There seems no movement in Germany to the contrary. We have had various good tips emailed from Germany. If you speak German or know how to use Google Translation this piece last week by Der Spiegel was good. There was a translation posted on the PMF forum.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/10 at 06:01 PM | #

Hello Peter,

Regarding the magazine “Der Spiegel”, I must say I’ve read a few articles concerning this case and those led me to believe that “Der Spiegel” questions the existing evidence in this case. I was quite unimpressed by their view of the case.

Theodore Simon made his own bed, now let him sleep in it.

Posted by Nell on 03/26/10 at 12:30 AM | #

As I looked down from a Hop On-Hop Off tour bus in Washington, D.C. two days ago, a woman walked past in front of St. Alban’s and the National Cathedral. She carried a navy blue ZARA shopping bag. It made me recall the small ZARA sack in Meredith’s bedroom after her death. It was in a photo of tumbled items on the floor.

“Zara” is Arabic, means “radiance” or “flower”. Princess Anne named her daughter Zara. The trendy fashion store ZARA is a Spanish success story. They get a design from idea to market in lightning speed. If sales aren’t positive in 1 week, they pull it and try a new design. I wonder if Meredith shopped at a Zara in Perugia or England, or if the sack in crime scene photos was hers? I think Amanda had a large red Ray-Ban tote on her bed.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/26/10 at 03:05 PM | #

“Only with Meredith’s horrific death did it become clear that she and her roommate had been mixing with a crowd that was headed not just for trouble, but, in Amanda’s case, a descent into evil…. “

I would just like to pick Tina Brown up on this sentence. Meredith did not ‘mix’ with a crowd that was headed for trouble. She mixed with some rather sweet English girls and had a normal studious time in Perugia, interspersed with normal partying like any other 19 year old. It was Amanda who was mixing with a dubious crowd, not Meredith. She was the victim of a dubious crowd, at least one of which she was trying to avoid…

Sorry. Just had to make the point.

Posted by TT on 03/26/10 at 06:16 PM | #

Hi TT. Glad you made that point. Time and again Meredith is unwittingly and in some cases wittingly taken down in an apparent attempt to show she and AK were in many or most ways equals, which they were not. Meredith was Erasmus and Knox was itinerant and almost broke..

Our insider info is that all three of the flatmates were increasingly avoiding AK and finding her raw, brash and edgy, not to mention lazy, loud and dirty. So apparently were other acquaintances of AK around Perugia, and she was increasingly isolating herself, pretty well friendless except for one loser boyfriend, and inspiring thoughts in the other flatmates of moving out.

A suitable case for treatment if ever there was one. Allowing a loose cannon like AK to head for Perugia, in a badly funded and utterly unstructured way, with known quirks and drug habits, is the most grossly negligent parenting it is possible to imagine. No wonder the parents spend most of their waking hours blowing smoke.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/10 at 07:35 PM | #

Hi Peter,

When you say ” Allowing a loose cannon like AK to head for Perugia, in a badly funded and utterly unstructured way, with known quirks and drug habits, is the most grossly negligent parenting it is possible to imagine. No wonder the parents spend most of their waking hours blowing smoke. ” - I think you have pretty much ” hit the nail on the head “. The reason for Curt and Edda ” blowing smoke ” is probably their own feelings of guilt for not having perhaps raised her in the manner in which she should have been, and for having failed her all her life.

I believe we are all products of our environment, and I believe that Amanda didn’t really stand a chance. Not only were her parents negligent in allowing her to go to Perugia, but I believe they were probably negligent towards her all her life - And I believe that this is why they are doggedly doing all they possibly can right now, to try to redo and make amends for the past. Also I believe Curt and Edda’s refusal to accept or acknowledge Amanda’s guilt is a blind attempt to assuage their own feelings of guilt in having left her down all her life, because if they admit she is guilty, they will in truth be admitting to themselves their own guilt - And that is clearly a truth that they cannot face, no matter what the cost and no matter who they hurt.

Posted by Paddy5000 on 03/27/10 at 04:53 AM | #

Hi Paddy. “I believe that Amanda didn’t really stand a chance”. I am with you there. Had this case been all-American, open secrets around Seattle would probably not be secrets at all and some root causes might be right out in the open.

The court heard none of this, being in Italy, so there were no extenuating circumstances taken into account and AK received the highest sentence.

The judges who read her confidential psychological report while AK was in jail as a suspect would not go for house arrest for her instead because they seemed to consider her a suitable case for treatment or at least precautionary restraining custody. A loose cannon for whom there was zero parental help of the kind she could have used.

And poor Meredith died.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/10 at 02:21 PM | #

Has any of you come across this article? I think it contains a plausible account of what occurred.


Posted by mariopuzu on 03/27/10 at 02:49 PM | #

“The Trials of Amanda Knox” will air on TLC March 28 at 8pm.


Apparently the Knox/Mellas/FOA camp is not keen on this one being shown.  It must be too factual for their tastes….......

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/27/10 at 03:00 PM | #

Hi Mo. There is quite a story to this documentary. It was made by a British group called Eye Films. We still dont know what bias it will show after the latest editing round, so we didnt give this TLC broadcast a front-page post.

But the version broadcast on a minor BBC cable channel in January was gushily pro-Knox, anti-Italy and anti-guilt throughout - one month after the verdict!!. Knox’s plaintive hordes occupied 90 percent of the screen time.

Three of us are in it: myself (looking quite bizarre! you can see what I look like on Facebook), and two of our Seattle posters: Skeptical Bystander and Tara.

We were lied-to by the Eye Films producers and director in two ways: one that it had a Kercher-family involvement or blessing (it didnt and they are not in it); and two that the the group was in effect an arm of the BBC.

Here is an email I sent to Sue Brody and Charlie Guavain of Eye Films two days ago - to be fair, they may have had the wool pulled over their eyes, as the director, Garfield Kennedy, was the real duplicitous piece of work.

We stilll await their reply….


Hi Sue and Charlie

Your Eye UK documentary on the Perugia case which involved some of us under the false pretense that the it had the Kerchers blessing - is it airing here in the US on the TLC channel this sunday?

And has it been edited to remove Garfield Kennedy’s extreme bias, as we keep hearing? The BBC version (which we have) was really in bed with the Knox clan, and of course the verdict was (rightly and predictably) guilty.

This was posted by a reporter on a Seattle newspaper site. Chris Mellas is talking: and clearly ticked.

[Chris Mellas] “Our initial reaction was ‘no.’ Then they provided us with little bits (of footage) here and there and our opinions changed a bit. As they investigated more, they found Amanda innocent. The production company felt this wasn’t suitable for a U.K. audience, especially after she was found guilty. The director and filmmaker we were dealing with have been forcibly removed from this production and as a result, the documentary was re-edited and has gone back to its initial focus, that Amanda probably did it. It’s been a bitter nasty thing.”

Forcibly removed? Garfield Kennedy sure is one piece of work. I guess he had his teeth in your ankles?

Anything we can post today/tomorrow on the new version?

Various media here seem to be doing an about-turn, and most others have gone quiet here. NBC Dateline has consistently been the best here and the BBC World Service and website are very good. The Daily Beast and Seattle PI have had objective reporting.

They got it right and it seems now that you have as well? Let us know if the film is yours?  Thanks, and do take care.

Peter Quennell

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/10 at 09:41 PM | #

Hi mariopuzu at 07.49 am. You link to a great piece by the highly insightful Seattle writer Charles Mudede which came out right after the verdict.

We did have a link to it at the time but I see it has been extensively updated in a most interesting way. We should maybe ask Mr Mudede if we can re-post it.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/10 at 10:05 PM | #

Anyone else see this article

Now the Knox/Mella/FOA PR train will probably say that she had a “blackout” the night of Meredith’s murder and that’s why she can’t seem to remember the truth….it gets cheesier all the time.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 04/06/10 at 01:45 PM | #

To Mo-in-Mass ...

If it were true, Edda would have been yelling for a while! They are just trying this new lie maybe to get her out, (needs to be cured in the States because Italy has crappy doctors too) or, as yoiu said, to welcome the “blackout” theory ...

Posted by Patou on 04/06/10 at 11:27 PM | #

Hi Mo,

I’ve just read the article. What a jerk. This guy is merely an idiot who is stuck on Amanda, and he cannot see the ” wood for the trees “. As they say ” love is blind, but the neighbors aren’t “. It reads like pure garbage to me.

Posted by Paddy5000 on 04/07/10 at 03:08 AM | #

“She’s not cold, she’s cried for Meredith just as much as the rest of us. People just chose to ignore it.”

For some reason I have a hard time believing that DJ, Andrew Sieberg or Chris Mellas have cried for Meredith.

Posted by mortytoad on 04/07/10 at 05:47 PM | #

Just saw this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-07/knoxs-strange-behavior/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsC2

Posted by Patou on 04/07/10 at 07:26 PM | #
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