Headsup: The Knox crime gang are working feverishly to make the gullible and xenophobic believe she was forced into framing Patrick. But they are also all over the Internet and in crackpot books claiming Guede killed Meredith alone. NO COURT EVER CONCLUDED THAT. Read this set of 100% conclusive reasons for why. And this.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

My Contexting Of Dr Giuliano Mignini’s Spectacularly Eye-Opening Book

Posted by KrissyG




1. Advent Of The Book

Italy finally gets to see the Italian version of this highly anticipated book, by one of the two trial prosecutors, Dr Guiliano Mignini, on the Meredith Kercher Murder case.

He can finally write much more freely, if not yet entirely, as he now works at the national level with official bodies unrelated to the case. The English-language edition might spell out details much more, as Italians had the advantages of watching most court sessions on TV and of reading key documents as soon as uploaded. 

The book reads almost like a novel, insofar as characters are rounded out by a few descriptive brush strokes, though without losing the clear logic and precision of the dry codified Italian Penal Code and procedural protocols.

2. Trial Persona, Observed

Mignini’s fine observational skills become apparent from page 1, in his natural ability to appraise everyone he meets at a glance, whether by accent, appearance, ethnicity, or even from which part of the world or specific region of Italy they are from.

Meredith Kercher is described thus.

The girl had dark hair and complexion, while her eyes were of medium intensity hazelnut. […] It was understood that she had “exotic” and extra-European blood in her veins, while there was an Anglo-Saxon origin of the other of her parents. It was as if that maiden expressed the great wealth and linguistic ethnic diversity of the British Commonwealth. p34

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are described thus.

[…] typically Anglo-Saxon face, with very light skin, with eyes of an intense blue color and reddish blond hair, not very tall, dressed in a blue vest with fur liner inside and jeans, and a normo-type boy, with light hair and eyes, with a pair of goggles, a showy yellow scarf at the neck on a blue pullover and jeans. p26

Rudy Guede’s judge Micheli is described thus.

The magistrate was the well-known Paolo Micheli, whom I would have dubbed “Zaratustra”, younger than me of some years, of “Sabina” origin, in particular, a creature surrounded by a halo of fame and respectability, among lawyers in particular. p116

Guilia Bongiorno, Sollecito’s counsel, is described thus:

...a brilliant lawyer from the “copana” school.

Carlo Dalla Vedova, Knox’s counsel, is described thus.

...who was very close to the U.S. Embassy and would easily be mistaken for an American because of his appearance, resembling that of a U.S. Army officer. p119

Dr. Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, 2011 Court of Appeal, is described thus.

The surname Hellmann, added to Pratillo, denoted German ties which I would not know […] well-known in Spoleto but not in Perugia and coming from the [court’s] business welfare section. p 183

For something on Hellman’s background please see my footnote.




3. Media Persona, Observed

A key section of the book describes the various journalists surrounding the courts in person, including:

There, I met envoys from various news agencies and television broadcasters, especially American ones, such as “CBS”, “ABC”, “NBC”, “Associated Press” and “CNN” or other media outlets, such as Barbie Nadeau, Andrea Vogt, Ann Wise, Sabina Castelfranco, Phoebe Nathanson and others. I also remember the Britons, Tom Kington of “The Guardian,” Nick Squires of “The Telegraph,” Nick Pisa of “Sky News”, John Follain of “The [London] Times” as well as a very nice old journalist, Richard Owen of “The [London] Times.” p124 on Massei Court.

Dr Mignini early on in the case sees very clear factions, differentiating the largely hostile US press, often depicted as purveying disinformation, although some, such as Barbie Nadeau, Peggy Ganong and Andrea Vogt are perceived as truer to their profession. 

Throughout the book, Mignini conveys an exasperated sense of frustration at some of the ‘reporters’ identifying as pro-Amanda Knox advocates, and these come across as stock comedy figures.

There is the hapless Doug Preston, who is one of the most vicious of the protagonists in his attacks on the prosecutor.  Mignini clearly and patiently explains how Preston completely misunderstands Italian Criminal law, mistaking it for US-style adversarial, and thus not realizing that a lawyer was not required to be present at the stage he was interviewed by Mignini in the Monster of Florence case.  Preston is mentioned here because he is key in initiating the destructive campaign against Mignini from the USA.

There is a large gaggle of these trouble-making characters. Example here:

Among these journalists, there was a strange character, completely uninformed in procedural matters, but who managed to credit himself as a kind of freelancer, self-styled as “persecuted” by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and in particular by me.

Frank Sfarzo (pseudonym of Francesco Sforza) was an individual with dark and thin hair, almost Maghrebi-looking, who lived with his mother and also it seems to me with his sister, with whom he was anything but on good terms, in an apartment of Via Fonti Coverte.

I do not know what he did in life, probably nothing until he was “electrocuted” on the “way to Damascus” by Amanda Knox whose innocence he “wedded with” immediately and tenaciously, without knowing anything about the trial. p127

Another, more concerning figure is the formerly friendly investigative journalist Bob Graham, turned Friend of Knox, who late in trial in 2009 wrote an especially misleading report in the UK Daily Express.

As with any evolving plot, Mignini becomes aware of a key turning point in the Hellmann Appeal, when his suspicions of collaboration by Vecchiotti and Conti with the defence are confirmed.  He and Manuela Comodi were joint trial co-prosecutors, and it is with grim amusement that Mignini relates how the Americans refer to himself as ‘Chief Prosecutor’ and Comodi as some kind of assistant.

Vecchiotti really annoys him in the Hellmann appeal by insisting on referring to Comodi as ‘Lawyer’ instead of ‘Prosecutor’.  Mignini points out that, contrary to US belief there were altogether four prosecutors in the case, himself and Comodi (2009), Giancarlo Costagliola (2011) and Crini (2013-14). Plus assigned judges in 2013 and 2015 at Cassation.

The other main troublesome characters are swathes of US armchair scientists, DNA experts, and lawyers, who see themselves as Knox’s proxy US attorneys, conducting her defence from afar. 

It seems to me that that period was the turn of a fat and somewhat ridiculous character who presented himself as a great investigator and demanded to give lessons to all the Italian investigators.

But also there were the more skilled who acted either as private jurists of the Knox family in the parallel fiction trial or who acted in a “reserved” way in the service of the “pro Amanda” lobby: the lawyer Theodore Simon, the geneticist Bruce Budowle, director of the Institute of Genetic Investigations, who among other things authored a letter addressed to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, at the request of the lawyers Ted Simon, Carlo Dalla Vedova, and Carla Del Grosso, in which he challenged the validity of the scientific analysis, while technically lacking the credentials to be a Knox consultant in the judicial process.

Another was Greg Hampikian, professor of genetics at the Boise State University in Idaho […] For all these characters, who felt free to teach the Italian Scientific Police some lessons, the official work especially on DNA carried out by investigators was kind of shameful, and this judgment would be reflected by the [2011 appeal] “independent” experts, as the Americans called them. p 151

Again, few made even the slightest effort to grasp Italian law and legal processes, and several materially contributed to the Hellman verdict’s annulment. 



Courthouses: 2008 hard right, 2009 and 2011 top of hill

4. The Judicial Narrative 2007-15

The book is written in logical chronological order, commencing with Mignini who was on duty then being called in to investigate the murder of the young British student, Meredith Kercher.

As he arrives at the house, he takes in everything of the scene, noting that the window to Filomena Romanelli’s room (which is broken) showed no signs of scuff marks on the wall under the window, its aspect towards a busy road and its sheer height, whilst musing that there is nothing wrong with using circumstantial evidence.  One doesn’t need to wait weeks for a sample to be tested.

He describes how an unfortunate press conference by the then chief of the Perugia police, after he had arranged the arrest of Sollecito, Knox and Lumumba as of 6 Nov 2007, was to become a portent of the final Supreme Court Fifth Chambers’ erroneous reasoning to come, some seven-plus years later.

...the attribution to me of the unexpected and startling words of Perugia Police Chief Arturo De Felice, who on the morning of 6 November 2007, that of the arrest, said that the case had been resolved with unparalleled speed.

This attracted heated criticisms of myself and of officers of the Mobile Police. This was one of the foundation lies of the Friends Of Amanda lobby, and in particular of the self-proclaimed “insightful” (former) FBI agent Moore and his unruly wife Michelle, who repeated them over and over again. p274

De Felice was technically mistaken, and was not even a member of the judicial team. And yet the Marasca/Bruno Supreme Court Chamber used his announcement as an example of an error in our own investigation.

With respect to Knox’s arrest, Mignini explains and proves that neither the police nor he himself suggested the name ‘Lumumba’ or ‘Patrick’ to Knox.

This also later becomes an error repeated in the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court and 2015 Marasca/Bruno Supreme Court, when they fail to add the ‘aggravated’ part onto the calunnia conviction wording, on the grounds that there was no link between Lumumba and Kercher (which there clearly was).

In the book’s later section dealing with the ECHR Knox judgment, Mignini with flawless logic shows that it is erroneous to claim or rule that under Italian law Knox needed a lawyer, as it was an act not of self-incrimination but one of accusing a third party (Lumumba).

He shows quite elegantly by way of court transcripts that, contrary to common Friends of Amanda beliefs, nobody suggested the name Lumumba to Knox.

Mignini takes us chapter by chapter through the 2009 Massei Trial Court (see one of the next posts), and then through the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court.

Here he has a lot to say about outside interference and something decidedly fishy going on. Right at the start, Mignini realises the two main judges are duds.  Zanetti is described as a contrary character. Again a harbinger of things to come, and in hindsight, he avidly wishes he had demanded a recuse.

In the third line of the report, Dr. Zanetti [Hellman’s #2] wrongly claims [because this was an appeal court]: “it is necessary to start from the only objective and really certain and undisputed fact: on 2.11.2007, shortly after 13.00,  the body of the English student Meredith Kercher… was found in the building of Via della Pergola 7, in Perugia”.

This claim [by an appeal court] is incredible and denotes the inexperience of the magistrate in criminal matters.

I still seem to experience all over again when I listened scandalized to this clumsy expression that should have deserved immediate recusal, of Zanetti, and also of President Pratillo Hellman, who had allowed such a claim, because he could not fail to know the expression was an overreach transgression.

But the decision to recuse wasn’t taken by our colleague Costagliola, who was from the Prosecutor General’s Office, while we were at appeal. p 183

Mignini explains clearly and concisely the proceedings and the errors found in Hellman’s annulled ruling by the 2013 Supreme Court First Chambers – and directly links to those same errors repeated again in the 2015 Fifth Chambers Marasca/Bruno report.

For example piecemeal treatment of evidence, which leads to Curatalo’s fine testimony being excluded by them despite proof that party buses were indeed running on Thursday night 2nd Nov 2007. Thus belying the concept of “quae singula non probant simul unitant probant” as Mignini puts it. 

The 2013 Chieffi Supreme Court, and Nencini’s 2014 Appeal Court in Florence to which they referred back down the appeal, is dealt with in rather less detail than that found in earlier chapters, possibly because the prosecutor dealing with it is now Alessandro Crini, and all seems to go well and as expected.

However, disaster had already struck at the end of the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court, for Hellman had erroneously freed the two defendants, and Knox had fled Italy to the USA, never soon to return.

We are then moved onto the final 2015 Marasca Supreme Court appeal, dealt with in detail. There is hard language about the American administration and its interference at this point which will reverberate both in the Italian media and in judicial circles in Rome. 

There are so many errors made, unusual logic, and a bizarre reversion back to the largely expunged 2011 Hellmann appeal.  This is quite detailed, so I will include the major points in a separate review.

Mignini goes into quite a lot of detail as to why the Marasca-Bruno report is an illegal curve ball, explaining with his usual clear logic why it is, and this is a chapter that will likely most interest the legally-minded as to the reasoning behind the overturned guilty verdict.

The book ends with chapters on the Knox appeal to ECHR, long before the Italians process was done, and the highly misleading Netflix production “Amanda Knox” in which Mignini is cast (and later ridiculed by the American Friends Of Amanda) as seeing himself as Sherlock Holmes, not revealing the Netflix producers from Knox PR had specifically asked him a question – not seen by viewers - about his preferences in sleuths.




5. The Book’s Final Overview

All in all, Mignini has no doubts at all about the original guilty verdict.  There is a whole chapter devoted to what Mignini thinks happened on the night of the murder, which I will not spoil here (you need to read the book!).

In closing, Mignini has the following remarks to make about the three ex-defendants:

Three suspects were in due course found: the Ivorian Rudi Hermann Guede, the Apulian Raffaele Sollecito, and the American from Seattle, Amanda Knox.

Rudi has never shown signs of influencing the judicial process in any way and has always respected Italian jurisdiction over the matter.

Sollecito was and is, in my opinion, the most enigmatic, indecipherable character of the three and who had suffered most in his life, especially for the death of his mother.[…]

[Key about] the girl from Seattle is that she was and is actually a normal girl of the far west American, very extroverted and extremely curious, this is a very important aspect of her, very open to the dialogue, but also extremely narcissistic, and very firm in her own convictions which, however, she tends to simplify, often excessively. p 311

The family circles and the rivalries of Sollecito and Knox, well-known in Italy, are not a main focus of this edition. 

In all, a logically set out, easy to read, flowing and relatable account, albeit slightly repetitive in parts, of a now retired, successful prosecutor disappointed by the failure to achieve justice for Meredith Kercher’s family thanks to the nefarious interference of outside forces, of shady characters with little understanding of how Italian criminal law works.

A recurring theme is Mignini’s astonishment at the utter ignorance of too many American writers, especially Nina Burleigh, and more recently Jessica Bennett of the NY Times, with their near-childish belief in the ‘bad prosecutor’ versus the innocent-because-I-can-sense-it Knox supporters.

In the context of the article, the journalist Jessica Bennett argued that, during the trial, I had presented Amanda as a “sex demon” who wanted to take revenge on her roommate and that I had charged her only because the blanket that had been placed on Meredith’s corpse must have been laid by a woman and this woman should have been her.

I am appalled, once again, by the proverbial ease and superficiality of certain Americans, in particular Bennett, who is the author of this report for which condemnation is deserved. p306


6. For Now An Interim Take

As you can see, this book helps clear up issues that have puzzled many for years. More contexting is still to come.

The book ends with an intriguing revelation that Knox had requested to meet him in person, and after all of the vilification Mignini has been put through by her and her supporters as the ‘wicked prosecutor’ he has clear reservations about this.  For the moment, they kept in touch via WhatsApp.

*[author’s note: [Hellmann is from Padua. In Veneto. The name Hellmann comes from the name that the illustrious Venetian lady (the widow of Renier) acquired from his second husband, who was an officer of the Austrian army (at the time Venice was part of the Austrian Empire). The officer, Mr. Hellmann, had a status significantly lower in prestige than the noble Mr. Renier and his wife, therefore the really “important” person was the Lady, who is also remembered for having donated an art collection to the city]

Posted by KrissyG on 12/17/22 at 12:00 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (7)

Friday, December 02, 2022

Mignini Unchained: Rollback Starts, Of Perhaps The World’s Greatest Legal Hoax

Posted by Peter Quennell




Context

“The Meredith Kercher Case”. Published by Morlacchi Press, the University of Perugia Press.

This preface is rather long for an excerpt, but we doubt that Dr Sagnotti will mind. It frames the book.

Dr Sagnotti is a Full Professor of Law & Philosophy at the University of Perugia. Where she also teaches Legal Computer Science, Legal Logic and Judicial Criminology; in addition to Epistemology and Criminal Evidence in the Course of Advanced Training in Criminological Sciences and Investigation Techniques. 

Preface By Simona C. Sagnotti

I have always maintained that the magistrate is a person, an individual, like anyone else. In his veins the blood flows, in his chest pulses a heart. But, in his head must lie a refined attitude of logical character.

This is precisely as the author of this volume, the Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, testifies about the account of the well-known legal case linked to the murder of Meredith Kercher. He finds himself a protagonist in a double role - as he himself says - of investigator and jurist.

From the reading of the pages of the book there immediately surfaces a special talent of Mignini: in the observation of the facts, on which only later the investigative hypotheses are grafted, and never vice versa.

There is no falling in love with a hypothesis. Always far from that.

We see it clearly when the author of the book recounts his arrival at the house of Via della Pergola, the scene of the tragic crime. At first Mignini analyzes the house from outside, noting that the window whose glass was broken (reason for which investigators were initially alerted) is not easily accessible except by climbing a few meters up the wall below it.

The Magistrate is immediately alert to the fact that that there is no sign, no corresponding evidence, on that wall to prove that any attacker had entered the house by that route. In addition, Mignini realizes, it would have been much easier to enter through other windows closer to the ground, and less visible to any passers-by.

Once inside, our investigator - it’s obvious to call him that at this point - also realizes that on the windowsill of the violated window there is glass shrapnel with which, if someone had passed through, he would inevitably have injured himself. But there was no blood trace, precisely to confirm that the rupture of that glass could only have been staged.

Here is what it means to act with method: first to observe, and only then to formulate hypotheses capable of forming a logical link between the facts observed and the hypothesis formulated in support of it.

A good investigator, a good magistrate can be recognized through this professional instinct - which the author of this book himself recognizes - to link facts or behaviors distant from one another in time or space. This attitude is the real luminous thread of the story that winds through the pages of this book.

And it is for this reason that, as a teacher, I recommend that students and young jurists who want to pursue a career in the judiciary also read it. This book, therefore, by Mignini is aimed not at an audience of experts alone.

On both the literary and judicial levels, the choice of chronology is a major lesson.  Not as they happened, but in the order in which they made themselves known to the Prosecutor himself. In this way the reader can relive with the author the feelings, impressions, knowledge, deductions in the order in which the investigating protagonist lived them.

The story told in this book also has the peculiarity of developing on different levels. While the history tells of a young victim of a heinous crime and three young people accused of that crime, the history also tells of politics, media, and unjustified attacks on the prosecution.

Regarding the political pressures, the book explicitly mentions them, along with criticisms from the highest institutions of the United States, which were addressed to both investigating magistrates and the Italian judicial system itself.

Systematic proof that the Americans were far from capturing both the letter and the spirit.

These politics pressures were amplified by an “innocentist” press overseas. The press is even now still silent about numerous circumstances of no secondary importance, such as the final sentence for criminal slander [calunnia] awarded to Amanda Knox.

This is a tale of badnesses narrated by Mignini in this volume.

Bad for the young age of the victim: Meredith, Mez for friends, as Mignini himself recalls. Bad for the young age of the defendants: Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox, Rudy Guede.

Bad for the “interference” in particular in the judicial process Knox and Sollecito were required to undergo.

Mignini, in this regard, refers in the concluding pages of his book to the conduct of Section V of Court of Cassation. This Chamber, contradicting many previous findings of the First Chamber of Court of Cassation, annulled the sentence of the defendants Knox and Sollecito by the Court of Assizes d’Appeals of Florence, and itself ordered itself the acquittal of the defendants.

Such a serious legal act is difficult to understand. The [2013-14 Nencini] Florence court only complied with the requirements of the First [“murder”] Chamber of the Court of Cassation. The Fifth Chamber, not being a judge on the substance of the case, had no legal right to convict or acquit any person.

Yet this is what happened and, I would add, this is precisely why, if the case is closed, it is still open and remains in the eyes of a large part of public opinion.

Lastly, I would like to turn to the literary nature of the text in question, as well as the legal case. In this sense, both the autobiographical digressions (childhood, the disappearance of the father…) and the historical digressions (from the Etruscan origins of the Italian places narrated to the suburb of Croydon, the place of origin of Meredith, evocative of a part of Spanish history linked to Francisco Franco) are unusual and pleasing for the reader. Geographical references are always present in the background, allowing the reader to better contextualize the whole.

As I hope to have shown in this preface, there are many reasons to go through the pages of this book and learn, perhaps for the first time, decisive details that have remained hidden from the general public.

Simona C. Sagnotti

In the next day or two there will a media presentation in Perugia’s Morlacchi Theater. A video will be uploaded to YouTube not too long after. Translations of key excerpts and Italian reviews are down the road. Good news for so many here who held the fort for so long.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/22 at 10:31 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (3)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Dr Mignini’s 360-Page Blockbuster Book Due To Be Released in One Month

Posted by Our Main Posters


1. Re The Book

Dr Mignini’s book will be released before Christmas by the University Of Perugia Press.

An English edition of the ultra-serious 360-page opus is in the works. We have not seen it yet, but we do understand that it closely mirrors and takes much further the general thrust of this page.

It follows hard on the heels of the Rudy Guede book which has just hammmered home that:

(1) all courts ruled that it had to have been a three-person attack (this was largely based on autopsy and situational evidence and a whole-day reconstruction PRESENTED IN CLOSED COURT);

(2) Knox & Sollecito were definitely at the scene of the crime; there was not a single scrap of evidence that anyone else was.

Not something unknown to every single Italian, but a useful time for it to be hammered home.

2. Re The Case

It seems all Italy is heartily sick of being globally impugned for a fine and fair legal process which was repeatedly illegally undermined. Sollecito’s appeal for damages was caustically shot down; tellingly, Knox did not even apply. 

The 2015 Supreme Court findings and verdict were nonsense, probably deliberately so to hint at pressures applied. In their report, the Fifth Chambers made clear that new evidence could render their verdict null and void.

The new evidence is of course the small mountain which the Fifth Chambers chose to ignore.

The President of the Republic and the Italian Supreme Court can each order a reopening of the case and a repeat of the final appeal.

The initiative is said to already have support within Parliament, Cassation, the Ministry of Justice, and the Council of Magistrates.

It is clearly likely to be huge, and could ripple on for years. Knox & Sollecito, their parents, their lawyers, their PR, and others in Italy could find themselves caught up in the net.

Maybe even more in the US: Preston, Ciolino, Moore, Fischer, Heavey, Burleigh, Hampikian, and a dozen others might find diffamazione targets on their backs.

Sollecito and his shadow writer Gumbel already lost a diffamazione trial, in Florence, that cost them big fines, and Knox lost a calunnia trial in Perugia, which cost her three years and huge damages owed to Patrick (still unpaid).

It’s strongly recommended that you check out the 2015 Cassation critiques in our right column and especially (in this order) the critiques of the Prosecution, of Machiavelli, and of James Raper, who may all be having a very nice day.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 11/23/22 at 12:42 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Monday, October 31, 2022

More Systems Crashes: Media Here Doing The Right Things

Posted by Peter Quennell



Over 150 died in this tiny space

1. Global Media Context

Many countries have media awards, the Pulitzers being the main ones in the US.

But there dont seem to be any that specifically reward reporting on systems and how they performed. 

Typically when things go wrong the mainstream media will tend to find someone (like Guede and Dr Mignini) on whom to heap all blame.

They ignore root causes, barely mention systems, get things wrong, fail to correct… and nothing improves. In the Perugia case there was a massive systems failure - by foreign media itself.

2. India & Korea Crashes

The whole world saw the aftermaths of two systems crashes last weekend. A combined total of over 300 died.

Perhaps under the influence of YouTube, which is becoming Systems Central these days, in the footbridge collapse in India and the crowd crush in Seoul, Korea, the systems are getting a public look.

It is already reported that the footbridge in India, after six months of closure for an overhaul, had just been reopened under pressure from MANAGERS for Diwali Day before ENGINEERS and INSPECTORS had signed off.

And in Seoul, exactly where the police were deployed that night, and what kind of police, doing what, is under the media microscope.

Only 130 or so cops, mainly instructed to look for drugs, were in the area where over 100,000 were expected to come. In sharp contrast, over 7,000 cops were deployed in another area because of a hint of violence, where the crowd was to be much less.

Here is the Associated Press report. Ignore the headline and the occasional simplistic “let’s blame the police”. The reporting in boldface on which systems broke or could work is pretty good. 

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Seoul police assigned 137 officers to manage a crowd of Halloween revelers anticipated to number more than 100,000 over the weekend — a decision that has come under intense criticism following the deaths of more than 150 people when the group surged.

By comparison, nearly 7,000 police officers were sent to another part of the South Korean capital on Saturday to monitor dueling protests that drew tens of thousands but still fewer people than flocked to the popular nightlife district of Itaewon the same night.

Even the task force created to investigate why the crowd surged, with 475 members, is more three times larger than the detail assigned to crowd control…

The national government has insisted there was no way to predict the crowd would get out of control.

Experts disagree. Deploying so few police officers, they said, showed officials were poorly prepared despite knowing ahead of time that there would be a huge gathering following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.

On top of assigning more personnel, police and officials in the Yongsan district, which governs Itaewon, should have banned cars from some streets and taken other measures to ease the crowding in narrow lanes like the one where the deaths occurred, experts said.

Instead, the 137 officers in Itaewon were assigned to monitor crime, with a particular focus on narcotics use, meaning that for all practical purposes “no one was looking after pedestrian safety,” said Kong Ha-song, a disaster prevention professor at South Korea’s Woosuk University…

Emergency workers were so overwhelmed by the number of people lying motionless on the ground that they asked pedestrians to help them with CPR. But Choi Sukjae, an emergency medicine specialist and chief spokesperson of the Korean Emergency Medical Association, said CPR, which ideally should be administered within a handful of minutes, wouldn’t have made much of a difference in many cases since the paramedics were delayed getting to the scene because the area was so packed.

Kong, the disaster prevention professor, said more police and government workers should have been called on to monitor potential bottleneck points. He suggested that the crush may have been prevented if authorities had enforced one-way walking lanes, blocked entry to some narrow pathways, and temporarily closed Itaewon’s subway station to prevent an excessive number of people moving in the same direction.

Officials could have also temporarily closed Itaewon’s main road to cars, as they did during the annual Itaewon Global Village Festival earlier in October, thereby giving people more room to spread out, Kong said.

Lee, the urban planning professor, criticized Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min, who claimed, without elaborating, that having more police and fire department personnel on the ground wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy.

When asked about the number of officers assigned, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said 137 was still more than it sent in 2020 and 2021, excluding units specifically assigned to virus control measures. Police and government officials have acknowledged this year’s crowd was bigger — but it was not clear by how much.

Kong added that the lack of a central organizer on Saturday — when young people flocked to bars and night clubs to celebrate Halloween but there was not one specific event promoted — may have contributed to the tragedy.

“Our country usually does a good job in following the manual and maintaining crowd control at events where there’s a specific organizer,” he said. “But officials are often unsure what to do or even don’t care about events that aren’t created by a specific organizer … although it’s those events that usually require a closer watch.”

Hong Ki-hyeon, a senior official with the national police agency, acknowledged that problem during a news conference Monday, saying police do not have an established way to deal with such gatherings.

“In events like festivals that have a specific organizer, discussions are made between related municipalities, police, fire departments and medical experts who prepare and cooperate under different roles,” Hong said. “That is what we lacked regarding this accident”...

In the two previous years, the district’s preparations for the Halloween festivities were focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 among partygoers...

South Korea has a long history of deadly crowd crushes and stampedes, although none as deadly as Saturday’s…

Disaster managers around the world can benefit from this. And many who might otherwise have lost their lives.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/22 at 10:23 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

What The New UK PM Might Want To Do About This Elephant In The Room #2

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

The other timely FT report, on what is really the parent elephant.

The #1 answer to “why slow growth” which predated and helped cause BREXIT. Messing no end with UK and US systems including justice systems - see the UK parliament moves happening fast now.

Cause of the UK and US becoming the nations with the world’s greatest wealth disparities. Cause of the value of the UK pound falling fast ever since 2016.

Using the toothless Word Economic Forum (WEF) as a bright shiny object to scare and distract the UK masses.

Channeled in the UK in part through London’s Tufton Street think tanks, puppet masters of Liz Truss and other naive or knowing “supply side” warriors.

Believed to include official and oligarch Russian and Chinese and mafia money in there. Not nice people.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/27/22 at 11:01 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (4)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

What The New UK PM Might Want To Do About This Elephant In The Room #1

Posted by Peter Quennell

See 10,000-plus comments here

Context

Remarkably frank and useful Financial Times report.

Very timely too! Perhaps sensing that PM candidates could be busy listing their promises as soon as today.

Consider this stark warning above all in the report.

In most economies, something like 75% of all the economic value is created by only around 25% of the capacity. Typically the majority of that 25% will consist of innovating and expansive smaller enterprises.

All economies really, really need those guys. Absent them, corrupting large enterprises with stale low-value technologies will dominate, and growth will drop by at least half. 

This Financial Times report shows how, courtesy of all the new barriers, their vast destruction is really gathering steam. Broken systems (including our main interest: legal systems) are the direct cause, and a decade of zero growth is in the cards.

Supply-side or trickle-down “economics” which Liz Truss initially tried (with no mandate) to impose is exactly the worst policy to turn this vast systems problem of the UK’s small enterprises around.

It puts vast sums in precisely the wrong hands: those of wealthy people who, in a world economy where TRILLIONS of dollars are already available for any good new systems that appear, already have all the capital they can possibly put to good use.

Innovation - risk-taking - is not any longer their thing. So the tax-cuts all end up in a bank offshore. Or in another economy already at its peak.

And if they are heading mature enterprises, they have very possibly been promoting cost CUTTING and job LAYOFFS for years (that is how vulture capitalist Rishi Sunak made his mint: in the name of “efficiency” he destroyed jobs, innovation, and long-term growth.)

In fact, this is not an incentives problem at all. Whichever PM candidate has a sense of the vital need for enhancing systems on a grand scale (systems klutz Boris Johnson would be at the bottom of any such list) could make some long-overdue right moves.

Perhaps networked with the systems-smart Irish and the Swiss? Their GDPs per capita are each now TWICE that of the UK.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/20/22 at 10:25 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (11)

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Correctly Framing Queen Elizabeth’s Excellent If Partial Development Model #2

Posted by Peter Quennell


Queen’s Three Not-So-Secret Weapons

Did the Queen save her best act for last?

Some four billion are said to have watched her final events, at least in part. It seems a fair bet that the personal situations of a big majority of them had been enhanced by her activist presence over the years.

The Queen used in particular three development skills, weapons or techniques, all hiding in plain sight.

1. On a daily basis the Queen drew popular attention to good systems - she was surely nose-to-nose with more systems than anyone who has ever lived, and she made a beeline for all of the best, and put the spotlight on them and their originators and development teams.

Democratic and/or administrative & legal and/or scientific systems of UK origin are in play in every country in the world, and via the dazzling funeral planning she had guided in part she showed just how good the Brits still can be.

2. The Queen was remorselessly nice. She exuded kindness. At the Westminster Abbey service, the various bishops gave christian values a strong pat on the back, as if that was it, as if it all began there.

But kindness as a vital ingredient of homo sapiens’ sustained development success, over a dozen other flavors of humans, has just now been proven to go back hundreds of thousands of years.

1. There are more human species than we ever imagined

Species such as Homo Longi have only been identified as recently as 2018. There are now 21 known species of human.

In the last few years we have realised that our Homo sapiens ancestors may have met as many as eight of these different types of human, from robust and stocky species including Neanderthals and their close relatives Denisovans, to the short (less than 5ft tall) and small-brained humans such as Homo naledi.

But Homo sapiens weren’t the inevitable evolutionary destination. Nor do they fit into any simple linear progression or ladder of progress. Homo naledi‘s brain may have been smaller than that of a chimpanzee but there is evidence they were culturally complex and mourned their dead.

Neanderthals created symbolic art but they weren’t the same as us. Neanderthals had many different biological adaptations, which may have included hibernation.

***

5. Kindness is an evolutionary advantage

Research has uncovered new reasons to feel hopeful about future human societies. Scientists used to believe the violent parts of human nature gave us a leg up the evolution ladder.

But evidence has emerged of the caring side of human nature and its contribution to our success. Ancient skeletons show remarkable signs of survival from illness and injuries, which would have been difficult if not impossible without help.

The trail of human compassion extends back one and a half million years ago. Scientist have traced medical knowledge to at least the time of the Neanderthals.

Altruism has many important survival benefits. It enabled older community members to pass on important knowledge. And medical care kept skilled hunters alive.

3. Process skills. It surely mattered that Elizabeth was a woman. In a key respect, they have the edge. Women are now well proven to be more skilled and successful than men in process management, in being inclusive, building bridges, getting results from teams. Bottom-up. Leading from behind.

All in all, a dazzling show, though not yet widely understood. Did her elected governments in the UK learn anything? Seemingly, no. Not yet.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/09/22 at 08:04 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (1)

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Correctly Framing Queen Elizabeth’s Excellent If Partial Development Model #1

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

The Queen experienced the key deflection point shown here in 1944-45.

From then-on, with the companionship of King George VI through 1952, and PM Churchill in 1945 and again in 1952, and the Duke of Edinburgh for the next 75 years, she was energized to play a major role in making a better world.   

The Queen was nothing if not enigmatic. She never gave an in-depth interview about her strategic intent, and she never wrote a book. The myriad well-meaning takes on her impact that we saw aired in the past several weeks are all over the map.

These several posts are an attempt to connect up the dots, given what we know about development now.

Of relevance to Meredith’s case? Yes, sure. Long ago, Meredith’s father John concurred with us that it was systems in Italy and to some extent UK that had let Meredith down, and that her legacy should be to push to correct some of those.

On a larger scale, the Queen was trying to do the same.

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/02/22 at 04:25 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (1)

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Those Myriad Spectacular Systems: Some Of The Rehearsals

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

In rehearsal here (in the dark!) is a fraction of the myriad systems just activated over some 12 days.

The ceremonial military. Part of one of the most complex peacetime mobilizations of systems in history. All at rather short notice. Brushed up and extensively added-to since the transfer-of-power playbook was dusted off at Queen Elizabeth’s prompting back in 2008.

Simply listing all of them in main areas (like transport and communications) and their various subgroups could fill a book or two. And who was in charge? They were largely invisible, though we did see some of Queen Elizabeth’s formidable team of ladies-in-waiting in the cathedral.

In its own way, quite an encouraging shocker, as so many have been saying.

This suggests much promising potential for the UK in its overdue next wave of development. Maybe also far beyond: the Commonwealth countries already share many such systems like those of the Common Law.  More pointers to come.

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/20/22 at 03:02 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Monday, September 12, 2022

Impressive Monarch’s Legal Accession System In UK Gives Charles III The Nod

Posted by Peter Quennell


Some Takes

At first glance, this ceremony Saturday morning might not seem like much.

And most UK and US media aired short versions or brief excerpts, often with commentators talking over the goings-on.

But watched carefully, it is rather impressive stuff.

1. This was the first accession ceremony since 1952 and the first ever to be shown on TV.

2. The only person here in 2022 who might have been present in 1952 was Charles, who was then four; his free-spirited “mum” was then 26.

3. Charles had been up in Scotland the day before and had had little time to rehearse where to walk or to write a compelling speech. 

4. The complex 70-minute business meeting of sorts, some of it ancient and some of it a bit arcane, was impeccably planned.

5. Under a confident new Cabinet appointee, Penny Mordaunt, the process moved flawlessly, without a single hitch. Some key decisions were ratified.

6. Normally the organizing of that audience is like herding cats; here even Boris formed part of a quiet, observant common front.

7. The gilded surroundings looked great. The first time those rooms at St James Palace (200 yards from the front of Buckingham Palace, off to the left) have been shown on TV.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/12/22 at 01:03 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (5)

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