Sollecito’s 2012 Book: Context & Developments

1. The Book’s Legal State Of Play

Raffaele Sollecito and his shadow writer Andrew Gumbel were taken to court in Florence for the numerous defamations in the 2012 English-language book Honor Bound.

Subsequent to a whole lot of red herrings and false excuses, their legal teams had to concede that the book IS in numerous ways both untrue on the hard facts and malicious toward professional Justice staff.

The teams were forced by the court to arrive at a settlement, which includes a signed statement conceding that the book is indeed in many ways untrue.

2. Other Book Related Developments

1. There was more DNA evidence against Knox but otherwise the evidence against both was very strong.

2. Francesco Sollecito frequently showed anger toward his son, who in turn frequently showed anger toward Knox.

3. Sollecito has never solidly backed Knox’s final alibi even to this day and his team often went their own way.

4. Guede was not at their trial except for one brief show; both teams tried incessantly to make him fall-guy.

5. That failed at trial; so at appeal in 2011 bizarre theories by convicted criminals Aviello and Alessi substituted.

6. It seems Andrew Gumbel essentially wrote the entire book, channeling conspiracy theories of other US crackpots.

7. Upon publication in the US (only) Francesco Sollecito on the national Italian Porta a Porta show rejected parts.

3. Other Book Related TJMK Posts

These posts starting in 2008 and cut off six months after the book was released in the US in 2012.

Click for Post:  Exploding Nightmare For Lawyers Of The Defense: Torrent of “Mistakes” In Sollecito’s Hapless Book

Click for Post:  Foolish Claims In Book By Raffaele Sollecito: The Courts Are The Most Reviled Institution In Italy

Click for Post:  Sollecito’s Book Honor Bound Hits Italy And Already Scathing Reactions And Legal Trouble

Click for Post:  Will Sollecito Drop Amanda Knox In It Further In A Public Seattle Interview Tonight?

Click for Post:  Questions For Sollecito: Katie Couric, Push Back Against Sollecito’s Bluster And False Facts #2

Click for Post:  Questions For Sollecito: Katie Couric, Push Back Against Sollecito’s Bluster And False Facts #1

Click for Post:  Powerpoints #18: Katie Couric Interviews Raffaele Sollecito! We Already Have A Sneak Preview!!

Click for Post:  Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA In Meredith’s Room Could Be Definitive Proof Of Guilt For New Appeal Jury

Click for Post:  No, Book Agent Sharlene Martin, Your Client Raffaele Sollecito Really IS A Hot Potato

Click for Post:  Sollecito Ghost Writer Andrew Gumbel Reveals To MedaBistro How Ill-Informed He Is About His Client

Click for Post:  Is The Raffaele Sollecito Defense Team About To Separate Him From A Radioactive Amanda Knox?

Click for Post:  Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

Click for Post:  The BBC Reports Rudy Guede For The First Time Accuses Knox And Sollecito Face To Face

Click for Post:  Questions For Knox and Sollecito: Address These Several Hundred On The Hard Evidence

Click for Post:  Sollecito Family Trial: On The Component About Their Alleged Attempt At Political Interference

Click for Post:  Rudy Guede Now Counter-Claims From Prison That Knox And Sollecito Were Real Instigators

Click for Post:  Yet More Collateral Damage? Sollecito’s Sister Seems To Have Lost Her Police Job

Click for Post:  Trial: Defense Expert Tries To Claim Sollecito-Sized Footprint Is Guede’s

Click for Post:  Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #3 Raffele Sollecito’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis

Click for Post:  Telling Evidence Against Sollecito The Experts Seem To Have Got Absolutely Right

Click for Post:  Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words

Click for Post:  Sollecito Not To Be Trumped By Knox Antics In The Female Wing Of Capanne

Click for Post:  Judge’s Report On Guede Sentence Suggests Roles Of Knox And Sollecito

Click for Post:  Sollecito Turns On Knox? This Is Extraordinary…

Click for Post:  Knox & Sollecito Teams Form Truce To Dump ALL Blame On Rudy Guede?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/07/18 at 01:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Sollecito Book - Preface

False claim # Page XI]  Justice authorities took the easy way out

Page ]  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 themselves 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 questioned 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.

False claim # That the preventive custody was very harsh

[Page ]  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.

False claim #  That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

[Page ]  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.

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

[Page ]  By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the bent and 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 bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.

The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both 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.

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

[Page ]  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 slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? 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.”

False claim #6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

[Page ]  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 of Knox pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith had 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, Knox was headed to being among the least popular of students (or part-time 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”.

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

[Page ]  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 around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later.  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.

False claim #8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

[Page ]  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.

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

[Page ]  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. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed 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. 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 extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede intruded anywhere. 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).

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

[Page ]  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 claims. 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 proven falsified, no item at all.

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 in reality taking a year off.

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

[Page ]  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.

False claim #12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

[Page ]  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 seeks to zero in on a viable 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. Hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumbel 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 of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.

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

[Page ]  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 has become seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

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

[Page ]  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 perhaps some in the media, and none have the slightest gain to make from convictions arrived at through a hoax.

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

[Page ]  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 citizens not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison system size 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 would 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 the 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 for 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 a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.

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

[Page ]  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.

False claim #17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

[Page ]  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. 

False claim #18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

[Page ]  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.

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

[Page ]  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.)

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

[Page ]  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.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 05:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Sollecito Book - Chapter 1 Love And Death

False claim

[Page 11] “We didn’t have a plan; we just took care of each other and lived in the moment. I would climb in the shower and help her get clean, and afterward I would comb out the knots in her long, straight hair.  [Then a bit later, referring to the morning of Nov 1st:]  When Amanda headed back home midmorning to take a shower and change””she did not like the shower at my apartment, saying it was too cramped.”

[Posted by Spencer] Why would she think his shower is too cramped when it’s big enough for the two of them to wash each other in?

[Added by Sara]  I agree, it annoyed me too. He seems to feel that he has explained her weird behavior off just by claiming that his shower was cramped.

It was not just about that at all. Why did she even take 2 showers almost back to back, considering that one of the shower stalls was cramped and the other one was in a cold house, especially considering that she was not a hygienic person at all by all accounts.

In this chapter, first he claims that they were separated only when she had classes and harps about how they spent time in the shower together. In the next page he says she did not like the shower in his apartment. It feels as if he is making up stuff as he goes along.

False claim

[Page 17] “We slept in the next morning, which was All Saints’ Day, November 1, a national holiday .... When Amanda headed back home midmorning .... she learned that Laura had already left for her hometown north of Rome, and Filomena was making plans to spend the weekend with her boyfriend at his place on the other side of Perugia. The boys in the downstairs apartment were all gone as well.”

[Posted by Kermit] Raffaele stating that Amanda (and, by extension, he) knew earlier on the day of Meredith’s murder that the rest of the housemates (girls and guys) would not be there later on when Meredith would be murdered contrasts with Amanda’s own account, in her email home on November 4, where she states that she didn’t know this until the next day when Meredith’s body was discovered:

[By Knox}  “this is my account of how i found my roommate murdered the morning of friday, november 2nd .... the (front) door was wide open. strange, yes, but not so strange that i really thought anything about it. i assumed someone in the house was ... taking out the trash or talking really uickley to the neighbors downstairs. so i closed the door behind me but i didnt lock it, assuming that the person who left the door open would like to come back in. when i entered i called out if anyone was there, but no one responded and i assumed that if anyone was there, they were still asleep”¦”

  “.... i returned to raffael’s place ... he suggested i call one of my roommates, so i called filomena. filomena had been at a party the night before with her boyfriend marco ... she also told me that laura wasnt at home and hadnt been because she was on business in rome. which meant the only one who had spent the night at our house last night was meredith”

False claim

[Page 17] “Knox knew everyone in the cottage would be away the night of November 1, 2007, except for her and Meredith”¦.  When Amanda headed back home midmorning to take a shower and change”” she did not like the shower at my apartment, saying it was too cramped”” she learned that Laura had already left for her hometown north of Rome, and Filomena was making plans to spend the weekend with her boyfriend at his place on the other side of Perugia. The boys in the downstairs apartment were all gone as well.”

[Posted by Louiehaha] BUT read this from the Knox trial cross-examination:

MIGNINI: Hm. All right. Listen, when did you know that the boys from the downstairs apartment were all leaving for the long weekend?
AK: I had kind of heard that they wanted to celebrate Halloween somehow or other, but I didn’t understand or didn’t know where they were going and how long they were going to be away. It’s always because when everyone was talking together, us and the boys from downstairs, I didn’t really understand very well, I didn’t get a really clear sense of what was happening.
MIGNINI: But you know that November 2nd, unless I’m mistaken, was a Friday. No?
AK: Yes.
MIGNINI: So then there was Saturday and Sunday; you knew that those days were a holiday here, didn’t you? The 1st and the 2nd.
AK: Yes, I wanted to go to Gubbio.
MIGNINI: Right. But what you just said about Halloween, you must have heard that on October 31, no? In the morning?
AK: I don’t know exactly when I heard it.
MIGNINI: But you knew they were going away, the boys.
AK: I knew they were going to do something to celebrate Halloween together, at least that’s what I understood.
MIGNINI: Hm. Now, how is it that you went downstairs to see if they were home, on the morning of the 2nd?
AK: I didn’t know whether they were home, or not. We wanted to go down and ask them if they had heard anything.
AK: So I went there, I knocked”¦
MIGNINI: And nobody had told you that they had all gone to their respective homes, rather far from Perugia?
AK: If they said that, then I didn’t understand it, because really I thought that they were just talking about Halloween.

False claim

[Page 20] “It was a propitious moment to strike. First, Guede could reasonably assume that the occupants of the house were either out for the night or away for the long weekend. Second, he had previously stayed over in the boys’ apartment downstairs>>>>> so he knew the lay of the land. He had even met Meredith and Amanda briefly. And, third, since it was the first of the month, chances were good that the accumulated rent money for November was sitting in a pile somewhere in the house”¦..  In the upstairs apartment, Filomena took responsibility for gathering everyone’s cash and handing it over to the landlady. And it was Filomena’s bedroom window that would soon be smashed with a large rock”””

[Posted by louiehaha] In those passages, Sollecito explains why Rudy chose the cottage to burgle ““ everyone was out of town, he was familiar with the property having been a guest downstairs. And being the first of the month, there would be cash lying around for rent.

But if rent were due on the first of the month wouldn’t the assumption be the rent had already been paid? If it were due on the fifth as I believe I read somewhere, it’s not much of an argument that a burglar would expect cash for rent would be lying around for five days.

He then goes on to explain why Filomena’s window was smashed ““ because she organized the collection of rent in the house.  THAT’S why they staged the break-in in Filomena’s room? But Guede would not be aware of that fact; however Knox/Sollecito would be.

False claim

[Page 21] “When Amélie ended, I went into the kitchen to take care of some dishes left over from breakfast before we started making dinner”¦. I soon realized that water was leaking out of the pipe under the sink”¦.. We cooked a fish dinner”¦. . ...did our best to wash the dishes again”

[Posted by Cardiol] But Sollecito’s own father, Francesco Sollecito, contradicted his son’s story:

MASSEI p 63:  “Even on the evening of November 1, when Francesco Sollecito called his son (it was at 20:42 pm, to tell him the plot of the movie he had just seen, “šThe Pursuit of Happiness?), Raffaele was with Amanda and told his father that the next day he would also be with Amanda: they had in fact planned a trip to Gubbio. He [the Father] recalled as well that it was on the evening of November 1, when he phoned his son at 20:42 pm, that Raffaele had told him that “while he was washing the dishes he had noticed leaked water “˜that had spilled onto the floor?, and that he had specified that he was with Amanda (p. 45, statement by Francesco Sollecito).”

“Amelie” ended at 21:10:32, from either being stopped, or reaching the end of the file ( Massei p302).  RS switched-off his “˜phone at about 20.46; 8:46 pm.

Sollecito’s father testified that RS had told him [in the call at 20.42; 8:42 pm] that AK/RS had ALREADY eaten their dinner and had ALREADY cleaned the dinner dishes

This would be the 2nd dinner they cooked that night.  This would be the 3rd washing-of-the-dishes that night.

[Posted by James Raper] We may recall that Papa Sollecito telephoned his son at 8.42 pm. Raffaele told his father that the pipe had broken whilst washing up the dishes. Massei determined on this basis that Amanda and Raffaele would have finished dinner by the time of that call.

Amanda and Raffaele place the time of dinner much later as part of their alibi. In the above quote Raffele now has an explanation for why he was washing up dishes at 8.42pm, which also happens to have been what Hellmann suggested off his own bat by way of exculpation. Raffele was washing up dishes left over from breakfast when the pipe broke!

This is not what Amanda said in her trial testimony.

LG : “Yes, and did you eat dinner?”
AK: “Yes. But it was very late when we ate.”
LG : “Fish?”
AK: “Yes. Fish, and a salad.”
LG : “And then something happened to the faucet of the sink?”
AK : “Yes. While Raffele was washing the dishes, water was coming out from underneath. He looked down, turned off the water, and then looked underneath and the pipe underneath got loose and water was coming out.”
GCM : “Can you say what time this was?”
AK : “Um, around, um, we ate around 9.30 or 10, and then after we had eaten and he was washing the dishes”¦.. Well, he was washing the dishes, and, um, the water was coming out”¦”

Note: “and then after we had eaten..and he was washing the dishes..the water was coming out.”

[Added by James Raper]  There is no evidence that Raffaele told his father during the 8.40 call that he and Amanda had already eaten, merely that Raffaele had told him that he had been washing up dishes and that there had been a water leak.

It was Amanda, during her trial testimony, who said that AFTER they had eaten - she puts it much later than the 8.40 call - there had been a water leak whilst washing up the dishes. She said that the meal was fish. Furthermore she did not mention any other water leak although, as Raffaele’s father had testified, she was with Raffaele.

Thank you for reminding us that computer activity ceased at 9.10pm. Raffaele helpfully explains that after Amelie had finished playing on the computer, or at any rate after they stopped watching it, he had gone to wash up the dishes left over “after breakfast” and then there was the water leak.

Remember that before the book H&Z had conjured out of thin air the possibilty that Raffaele had been washing up dishes left over after dinner when father called at 8.40. Note that H&Z say “dinner”, by which they probably mean “lunch”, but at any rate not “breakfast”!  AK and RS had cooked and eaten lunch at the cottage.

So what dishes was Raffaele washing up before 8.40 when, according to his father the water leak had occurred, given that, according to Raffaele it was breakfast that was washed up after 9.10pm. The contradiction with the evidence is apparent and makes a nonsense of H&Z (which was nonsense anyway).

It is not surprising, is it, that Massei inferred that the fish meal was eaten before 8.40, relying on the testimony of Raffaele’s father and Amanda. Even more apparent is that the dishonest meanderings of H&Z and Raffaele are now exposed!

Raffaele’s version, 4 years later, is bullshit.

False claim

[Page 22] “I’d been up several times in the night””listening to music, answering e-mail, making love””and wanted only to go back to sleep”

[Posted by Sara] I can’t even believe he wrote that. Surely that should have been his biggest alibi? Even if the evil, evil policemen destroyed his hard drive, why couldn’t he simply show them his sent items? Or the mail in the recipient’s inbox? Don’t tell me they didn’t teach the point of email in all his computer classes.

And why haven’t we even heard of this one before?

False claim

[Page 22] “It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line ““ I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night”, “I didn’t know that for sure, of course, and I should have been more careful about my choice of words”, “By sheer bad luck, I was wearing Nikes that night”, “The series was a collector’s item from the 1960s, a present from my friend Gianluigi Ceraso, which I hadn’t even taken out of its wrapping. Horror manga was not my thing”.

[Posted by Sara] As I continue reading, not only do the glaring omissions become more and more obvious, but even the explanations he provides are so feeble, it’s almost like insulting the readers’ intelligence.

By sheer coincidence his father did not call him that day. By sheer absentmindedness he said that nothing was stolen from the cottage. By sheer bad luck, he wore Nike shoes that day. Again by sheer bad luck, his friend happened to gift him a set of horror Manga comics”¦his lack of alibi, his behavior, the evidence”¦everything is either bad luck or coincidence.

He cannot explain anything at all. He cannot explain why he switched off his cell, he cannot explain why he made statements that indicated prior knowledge, he cannot explain why he had horror manga comics”¦so his strategy is to call everything either bad luck or coincidence or someone else’s fault. If these were indeed acceptable excuses, there would be no criminals behind bars at all.

False claim

[Page 23] Raffaele tries to underplay the presence of blood in the bathroom by claiming that the print on the bathmat was hardly visible or distinguishable as blood - “Amanda went ahead with her shower, only to notice a small bloodstain on one of the washbasin taps.”. Even in his interview with Katie Couric he claimed that it was not obvious that the stain on the bathmat was blood.

[Posted by Sara] The problem? Amanda in her email during the initial days of the murder says “it was after i stepped out of the shower and onto the mat that i noticed the blood in the was on the mat i was using to dry my feet”

When she herself admits that she knew it was blood on the bathmat, why is he claiming otherwise?

False claim

[Page 24] When talking about the phone calls that AK made in the morning - “I agreed and suggested she call her housemates to see if they had any idea what was going on.On the walk over, Amanda reached Filomena at a holiday fair on the outskirts of Perugia”

[Posted by Sara] He conveniently ignores the fact that she had made a call to Meredith’s English phone first before calling Filomena. He describes in detail the call that she made to Filomena and the subsequent calls that she made to Meredith’s phone but not the one that she made first to Meredith’s English phone that she knew Meredith did not even use for local calls.

Ok, let’s say he was pre-occupied and did not notice it at that point. But surely he knows about it now. Why not address it instead of ignoring its existence completely? What reason did Amanda have for making that call and then hiding the information from Filomena? It has gotten so much attention and I can’t think of a single reason why an innocent person would refuse to address it in detail.

Ditto for the phone call that she made to Edda and “forgot”. No recollections, no opinions, no theories about it at all. He is still stoned perhaps.

False claim

[Page 26] Sollecito claims that Filomena’s door was “slightly ajar” - “Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar”

[Posted by Sara] Raffaele Sollecito seems to have hit upon a new strategy to explain the inconsistencies between his and Amanda’s statements ““ just take the middle ground.

See, for example, his description of Filomena’s room door on the morning of Nov 2nd ““ “Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar”.

Now, we know that in the initial days after the murder, Amanda had said in her email that Filomena’s door was closed when she came home ““ “lauras door was open which meant she wasn’t home, and Filomena’s door was also closed”. Now, contrast this with Sollecito’s entry in his prison dairies ““ “I noticed that Filomena’s door was wide open” (translated text)

So, there is obviously a contradiction, and a highly relevant one at that. What can Sollecito possible do about it when he writes about the morning after?

Ok, let’s say the door was closed. But no, Sollecito has already claimed that the door was wide open. After all, it’s his own book, how can he cast doubts on his own story? Moreover, if the door was indeed closed, it would raise all sorts of questions about why Guede would close it, why Raffaele lied, why they opened it without knocking etc, considering that there is a lot of ambiguity on whether they even knew if Filomena was in or not (he claims Amanda knew, but in her mail she talks as if she did not know).

So the closed door theory doesn’t work. Fine. Let’s claim that the door was wide open. But no, if Filomena’s room door had indeed been left wide open, then Amanda obviously would have been able to see that the room was in tatters when she came in for her shower. Even with all her absent-mindedness, she obviously cannot claim that she was not alarmed by a broken window, a hefty stone and the ransacking in Filomena’s room. But we know that she wasn’t particularly alarmed, nor did she call the police (or anyone else) immediately.

In the book, Sollecito explains how she came back to his flat, had breakfast and only towards the end of their breakfast, told him about the weird things at the cottage. So, that means that Filomena’s door could not have been wide open like he claimed. Moreover, if Amanda says it was closed and he says it was open, it raises the question of who opened it.

So, what does Sollecito do? He claims that the door was neither open nor closed but “slightly ajar”. Isn’t that simple and brilliant? This way everybody wins. It does not matter that the story still does not add up, there are still contradictions and the lies are still lies. It also does not matter that the “slightly ajar” theory makes no sense whatsoever. Why on earth would a thief play peek-a-boo with the door anyway?

I wonder if Sollecito thinks that the people who read his books are bound to be fools and he can get away with anything. While I can’t say that I blame him much, considering the level of intelligence of his fan following, he still should not take it for granted, unless he makes it mandatory that anyone buying his book should have a FOA badge.

False claim

[Page 27] When Sollecito talks about trying to locate Meredith, he says - “We peered through the keyhole, but all we could see was Meredith’s brown leather purse sitting on the unmade bed.”

[Posted by Sara] Surely, any logical person would deduce that Meredith might be inside and her phone would be in the purse. Why not call and see if it rings instead of acting the spiderwoman which he claims AK tried to do.

False claim

[Page 31] Sollecito comes up with a ridiculous explanation for AK’s statement that Meredith kept her door closed - “Filomena told him no, absolutely not, unless Meredith was away in England. I didn’t hear her say this because I was busy repeating the question in English for Amanda. And, unfortunately, I misunderstood Amanda’s answer. I thought Amanda said that, yes, Meredith sometimes kept the door closed, even when she was in town. But that was not right; Amanda said exactly the same thing as Filomena”

[Posted by Sara] He says AK said that No, Meredith did not keep her door closed but he misunderstood and mistranslated.

How on earth could anyone mistake an emphatic “No” for a “Yes”? Even assuming he somehow did, wouldn’t he have asked her again looking at Filomena’s panic and her insistence on breaking the door? And again, why haven’t we heard of this one before, considering that the statement gained so much attention. Surely it should have been explained in court that it was all a mis-translation and nothing else.

False claim

[Page 33] Sollecito says his sister’s colleagues told her that if they had the case, things would have been very different - “he told Vanessa, “the case would have been ours. And things would have gone very differently.”

[Posted by Sara] Again, what is this - some kind of indirect admission of evidence tampering? If they are innocent, why would things be any different no matter who is handling the case? Things were not any different for Sophie, Amy, Filomena, al.

False claim

[Page 34] Sollecito continues harping about the “comfort” kiss claiming that they did not know about the cameras - “I was so focused I had no idea that television crews were setting up across the street and training their cameras on us”

[Posted by Sara] It is pretty clear that they both (or at least AK) are looking around quite clearly in between the kisses. She did not notice several cameras, videos etc being set up and shots being taken? Blind or what?

False claim

[Page 41] Sollecito expresses his annoyance that after a couple of days he could not work on his thesis at all because he had to ferry AK to the police station - “Concentrating on my thesis became increasingly difficult. After the first couple of days, I had to resist the urge to say: If you want her, come and get her yourselves”

[Posted by Sara] Really? Suddenly very conscientious about studies, aren’t we? He had time to spend hours together having “lazy, carefree evenings” with AK, watch movies, listen to music, cook elaborate dinners, read harry potter, have showers together in that terribly cramped shower stall, go underwear shopping etc etc”¦yet within 2 days, taking AK to the police station became terribly bothersome. So much for “helping” the police.

False claim

[Page 41] Sollecito says Sophie inadvertently poured fuel to the sex game theory by telling that AK brought a string of strange men home, even though she did not “mean” that it was for sex - “Sophie described a string of men that Amanda had invited back to the house (based on secondhand information from Meredith). Sophie didn’t mean they were invited back for sex necessarily, but that was how the police””and the press, once they heard about it””inevitably interpreted it”

[Posted by Sara] Interesting. AK brings home a string of strange men, keeps condoms and vibrators in plain view, boasts of her sexual contests, there were noises of walls shaking and beds squeaking and grunts from her room”¦.and yet, it is the prosecutors who reached the wrong conclusion.

Hmmm, wonder why she brought them home then. To strike drug deals? No wait, maybe she just wanted them to read harry potter in German with her.

False claim

[Page 42] His defense of the underwear shopping incident - “A much sexier underwear store was next door, and we didn’t set foot in there”

[Posted by Sara] So, that somehow makes it ok that they were laughing and joking and talking about sex barely a couple of days after her “good friend””˜s murder. Wow, I am so glad that’s cleared up.

False claim

[Page 57] Sollecito says that Amanda had cracked due to the police having found her outgoing text message to Lumumba saying “See you later”. He then says that she then makes a statement about Lumumba which is then shown to him and that this is used to pressurize him to sign his statement, and that his statement is then shown to her, whereupon she falls to pieces. This, he sees, as police manipulation and is an explanation as to how they were used against each other.

[Posted by James Raper] However this just doesn’t make sense. Surely she has already fallen to pieces, and the question must be asked WHY? Psychological pressure and fatigue, my foot! Over a text message? After two and a half hours of questioning?

Clearly she had to have been told that he was not corroborating her alibi, otherwise what was the problem? She already had a simple explanation for the text message ( a true one at that) plus no reason to think that Sollecito wouldn’t back up her alibi of being with him.

False claim

[Page 58] “I objected to just one paragraph. It was a logical continuation of what the police already had me saying, but I missed the connection; I just knew this part was not right. It read, “In my last statement I told you a lot of crap because she [Amanda] talked me into her version of events, and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies”¦...I told my interrogators this part needed to be changed, but they wouldn’t back down. Instead, they unexpectedly became much friendlier and said I shouldn’t worry about this paragraph. It was just something they needed and it wouldn’t affect my position one way or the other. Essentially, they were asking me to trust them. Part of me still wanted to. I wanted to believe this was a world in which the police did their jobs responsibly. And part of me just couldn’t wait for the hellish night to be over. At three thirty, after five hours of relentless interrogation, I signed”¦. At this point, Amanda herself had already cracked.”

[Posted by James Raper]  Sollecito accepts no responsibility for having told the police that Amanda had gone out on the evening of the 1st November and did not return until 1am. Indeed he does not even mention that he told the police this. He gives the impression that there was a statement which was forced upon him but to which he objected.

As we can see he also tries to give the impression that his admission as to lying to protect Amanda had no bearing on Amanda’s false accusation regarding Patrick Lumumba. That he signed (having only just made the admission) and she cracked at the same time.

This is a complete falsehood.  Amanda had already fingered Lumumba by 1.45am after she had already been told by the police that Sollecito was no longer corroborating her alibi of having been with him all evening.

Although the respective interviews were not tape recorded, the times of when interviews commenced and ended was logged by the police and the defence teams never questioned that fact. Furthermore Sollecito was not “relentlessly interrogated” for 5 hours.

When an interview takes place without being contemporaneously tape recorded a statement has subsequently to be drawn up and signed. This is a process that can take a while and does not necessarily follow on straight after interview.

Coincidentally it seems Amanda signed her second statement at about the same time as Sollecito says he signed his.

[Added by Chami]  It appears from the quote that RS never denied having said “I told you a lot of crap because she [Amanda] talked me into her version of events, and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies” but objects to be recorded on paper. The form and style of the sentence is evasive: he is not saying directly that he did not say it.

Police are usually reluctant to change a statement because they will have to retype it. They are usually lousy typists. On the other hand, they write down or make notes as the process progresses and there are usually no gross mistakes. On the other hand, RS does state directly:

1. It was a logical conclusion
2. He did make that statement
3. He regrets that he missed the connection
4. He did not think of the inconsistencies.

He is both untruthful and evasive.

Page 65 The Manga

Before I had time to ponder what the knife seizure meant, Chiacchiera pulled me into the bedroom, where I had a backpack full of books, including some of my beloved Japanese manga comics. Most of these were unremarkable: fantasy stories, futuristic thrillers, run-of-the-mill stuff. But Chiacchiera also found a four-volume set titled Urotsukidoji, a series of highly sexualized horror stories with lots of blood, and monsters copulating violently with humans.  He flipped through a volume and demanded, “What is this revolting crap?” He didn’t wait for the answer, which was that the series was a collector’s item from the 1960s, a present from my friend Gianluigi Ceraso, which I hadn’t even taken out of its wrapping. Horror manga was not my thing.  But Chiacchiera didn’t want to know. Instead, he threw the book in my face. “You’re a real piece of shit, aren’t you? Well, we’re going to take care of you.”

A good while back, I remember you said words to the effect that Sollecito’s reference to “Sailor Moon” could be a code for something else, as in something much more extreme. I think you may be correct.

I’ve just finished reading Honour Bound. In it Sollecito makes mention of one of his “unopened collector’s editions”, which he describes as such. He claims one of the cops waved it in his face calling him a sicko and that it was an “unopened collector’s edition” that was from the 1960s.
Only the manga in question is from 1986 and is Urotsukidoji, which is a pretty out there manga involving lots of rape. (With tentacles actually if you can believe that).
Telling that Solly puts out a disclaimer that it’s from the 1960s, implying that it’s pretty tame. He also says in his book that “Horror Manga wasn’t my thing”, neglecting to mention that Urotsukidoji, while horror in the broadest sense, is still mainly concerned with lots and lots of rape and sexual violence. Extreme sensations you might say.
He also neglects to mention the Manga that the cops had the most interest in, Blood: The Last Vampire, the plot which has broad similarities to the circumstances of Meredith’s murder.
He comes across as quite psychopathic and narcissistic in his book. I wish the prosecution had have focused on him more, he may well have proven the weaker link.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 04:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Sollecito Book - Chapter 2 Kafka On The Hudson

Comments and corrections

1. Raffaele states in his book that once in prison, he was confused as to why he should be there: “why not focus the investigation on her (Amanda)? I didn’t believe for an instant she was capable of murder, but I did have doubts about the crowd she ran in.”

It’s of interest that Knox’s erstwhile lover had doubts about Amanda’s social contacts in Perugia. We can assume that he isn’t referring to the Italian girls she lived with, nor to Meredith or Meredith’s English girlfriends.

The question arises as to who were Amanda’s other contacts in Perugia whom Raffaele could have been directly or indirectly aware of. Perhaps Raffaele is referring to a drug-dealer who’s name and number were allegedly found on Knox’s mobile phone.

Is Knox one of “the nicest, most honorable, intelligent students imaginable” as pro-Knox lobbyist Steve Moore states on the back cover of the book? Raffaele himself puts that into doubt.
Posted by Kermit on 09/29/12 at 09:55 AM | #
2. “If I wasn’t handling the questions well, it was because I was out of my depth in every way imaginable”

Raffaele’s only excuse for all the inconsistencies in his statements, his weird excuses, his illogical behavior, lack of explanations etc etc during his preliminary hearing - “I was out of my depth”.

He himself admits that he made a lot of false statements like he did not know Patrick (he did), his father called him (he didn’t), his footprints could have been made the previous day (the prints were in blood), he could not be sure if Amanda went out that night etc etc. He even went to the extent of making absurd suggestions like someone stole his shoes and committed the murder in them.

Why would anyone start inventing stuff out of nowhere even if he/she were out of depth? If I am sitting at home for the whole day and someone accuses me of committing murder on the same day, my response would probably be something on the lines of “What rubbish, I was at home the entire day”. I would not start suggesting that maybe my look alike alien committed the murder, no matter how out of depth I am. Come on already.

Posted by Sara on 10/03/12 at 07:20 AM | #
3. (1) In chapter 1 (Love and death) he says of the interrogation, “They asked if Amanda had gone out that night, and on the spur of the moment, I couldn’t say. Was November 1 a Tuesday or Thursday”. (2) Again in chapter 2 (Kafta on the Kiber), he says of the preliminary hearing “I still had no clarity on this and could not answer the judge’s repeated questions without sounding evasive”

Raffaele says that during his interrogation he got confused by the dates and ended up saying that Amanda might have gone out. He stresses repeatedly about getting confused between Oct 31st and Nov 1st. In fact, even Gumbel has spouted the same nonsense as an excuse for Raffaele throwing Amanda under the bus (in his interview).

If that was the case, why was he still unsure and repeated the same things during his preliminary hearing? Surely, he had enough time by then to work out the dates in his mind? He could have even asked his lawyer if he was that confused about the dates. He admits that he had a discussion with Tedeschi before the hearing. Why not ask him the date of Halloween if he was so damn confused?

He knows he is going to be asked about it in the hearing. If it was just a matter of dates getting confused in his mind, it should have been a matter of 2 minutes to get it clarified.

Posted by Sara on 10/03/12 at 07:25 AM | #
4. Raffaele says “Had we any prior knowledge of the murder, I imagine we would have had our stories straight and practiced responses at the ready”.

This is perhaps the most telling statement in the entire book. Why on earth would anyone need to “practice responses” if they were innocent?

I am sure none of Meredith’s friends, Laura, Filomena et al had time to “practice” their responses. You need to get your story straight or practice only if you are guilty.

You don’t need to do any of that if you are innocent. You simply tell the truth.

Posted by Sara on 10/03/12 at 07:34 AM | #
5. About his absurd story regarding the knife pricking incident, , Raffaele says “something like that had in fact happened in the week before the murder. My hand slipped and the knife I was using made contact with her skin for the briefest of moments”.

Why haven’t we heard this one before if it was true? In the first chapter he says Meredith was aloof to him (with good reason, in hindsight) and the only interaction he describes is when he offered her food and she politely declined.

If this knife incident is indeed true, why not describe it in detail considering that it had such a big impact on the case? For someone to make contact with a knife you are holding while you are cooking or cutting up something, they need to be standing really close to you.

But by all accounts (including his own) he never had more than a few fleeting moments of interaction with Meredith and most certainly they never cooked together. He has dedicated pages and pages of the book to nonsensical details like washing Amanda’s hair.

Why doesn’t he clearly explain the circumstances which led him to tell such a bizarre lie (about pricking Meredith during cooking) instead of acting as if it’s of no importance?

Posted by Sara on 10/03/12 at 07:54 AM | #
6. Raffeale ridicules Mignini for obtaining a match for his shoes from the Polizia Scientifica based on photographs, saying “they had only photographs of my shoes, not the shoes themselves. Somehow, though, they came to the much more definitive conclusion that my Nikes were the same make, model, and the shoe size as the print on Meredith’s floor”. Yet, after a few pages, he says of Guede’s shoes “Our lawyer, Delfo Berretti, took pictures, and my father showed these to two technical experts. The prints, they said, were an exact match for the ones at Via della Pergola. Now we had concrete evidence”

Hypocrisy much?? The well-qualified, well-equipped scientific police are stupid because they formed conclusions based on photographs? But some random “experts” hired by his father are absolutely right to do the same thing?

In fact, while the police commented only on the make, model etc, his father’s experts went a step ahead and classified them an exact match altogether. Isn’t this just as wildly stretched as the the PR claim that the police got the DNA absolutely right in case of Guede - but botched up completely in case of these two?
Posted by Sara on 10/03/12 at 08:08 AM | #
7.Raffeale ridicules the judges’ reason for refusing their release from prison saying “Amanda and I came in for what was by now a familiar drubbing”¦..Over and above the flight risk if we were released from prison, the judges foresaw a significant danger that we would make up new fantastical scenarios to throw off the investigation”

Hmm, I wonder why that was. Could it be because they both kept changing their stories. Or could it be because he claimed someone must have stolen his shoes and committed the murder? Or could it be because he told several lies? Could it be because Amanda fingered an innocent man? Could it be because she had already tried to leave? Could it be because already they were refusing to cooperate. No, it must just be “a familiar drubbing”.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:56 AM | #
8.About the confusion regarding the timing of the calls made to police, he says “The court made no apparent attempt to dig deeper”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦Had such an investigation taken place, we would have been vindicated”.

Regardless of the timing of the call, does he really think that they were suspected and arrested only due to the suspected delay in calling the police?

What about their changing stories, lack of proper alibi, lies, evidence etc?

The fact is that even if there had been a year-long investigation on the timing, and even if the results were in their favor, they still would not have been “vindicated” because there was were much more evidence against them.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:56 AM | #
9. About why he was sure that Amanda could not have left “I had at last worked out why Amanda did not leave ““ could not have left ““ my house on the night of the murder. She didn’t have her own key, so if she’d gone out alone, she would have had to ring the doorbell and ask me to buzz her back in”

This is the stupidest thing ever. First of all, if he was so stoned up and his memory was all that hazy as he claims, how can he be sure that she did not ring the doorbell?

Secondly, how does he know she did not take the key with her when she went? If he was too stoned to realize that she left, then obviously he would not know whether she took the key before she left or not.

And finally, if he is indeed sure that she did not have the key, then considering everything else, it can only be interpreted that he went with her when she left.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:57 AM | #

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 03:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Sollecito Book - Chapter 3 The Protected System

1. “Pellero, an effortlessly brilliant telecommunications expert from Genoa, figured it out by matching up the phone records with the cell transmission towers where the signal for the cells had been picked up. He made his way from the house on Villa della Pergola to the spot where it seemed most likely that the phones were tossed into Elisabetta Lana’s Garden, stopping every few seconds and testing to see which transmission tower area he was in.”

“He discovered that the odd calls around 10.00pm were almost certainly not made at the murder house, but rather in the Parco San Angelo, an open area right across the street from Lana’s garden wall. Pelero talked to Elisabetta Lana and conducted a thorough inspection of her garden to try to pinpoint the exact spot from which the phones had been thrown.”

“To his surprise, she told him the Squadra Mobile had done exactly the same thing in the first few weeks after the murder. They had even tossed oranges from the street to simulate the trajectory of the discarded phones. It was quite likely, in other words, that they too understood that the cell tower transmission for the 10.00pm phone calls did not match the house on Villa della Pergola.”

“This aspect of the Squadra Mobile’s work was not in the case records. If they had found what Pellero and my family thought they had, it would have contradicted Mignini’s evolving theory of the crime. But their work, if it existed, simply vanished”.

Sorry for the length of this quote, but it shows really how Gumbel/Sollecito distort the evidence - that is, largely by omitting it.

1.  What vanished? Certainly not the work of Chief Inspector Latella of the Polizia di Stato, which was very exhaustive and detailed, and discussed at length in Massei.

2. We need only look at what Massei says (as below) for the simple reason that Hellmann did not dispute Chief Inspector Latella’s findings in this respect either.

3. We need only consider Meredith’s English phone. The other, Filomena’s, had no traffic at all over the relevant period. Meredith’s English phone had Wind cell coverage whilst used in Italy and Latella made his tests on this basis.

4. For our purposes Meredith’s English phone made two relevant connections

  At 22.13.19 to cell 30064

  At 00.31.21 to cell 25622

5. “ 22.13.19, the phone (Meredith’s english phone) connected to the 30064..cell, the base radio station which Chief Inspector Latella referred to as the same one that was detected by their measurements near Meredith’s bedroom (in addition to having reception in the courtyard of the cottage)..”

6. “In Via Sperandio - close to the Parco di Sant’Angelo - the police investigators verified, using technical equipment, that none of the cell signals covering Via della Pergola is present; in particular, there was no signal in the garden of the house from cell 30064 that one can get at the cottage and surrounding area.”

7. “Conversely the signal from cell 25622 does not reach Via della Pergola 7.”

8. “Meredith’s English phone that connected to cell 25622 could not have been in the cottage and surrounding area at the moment of making and receiving a call. At the same time, the connection to cell 30064 by the same phone would have meant that it was not located in the garden of the Lana-Biscarini house, where certainly, as of a precise moment in time, the mobile phone ended up being placed.”

9. Get it Raffaele? Note how Pellero is “effortlessly brilliant” whilst all the police can do is throw oranges around! It is Gumbel/Sollecito who are the derisory buffoons.
Posted by James Raper on 09/29/12 at 10:07 AM | #
2. In his book, Raffaele describes his (extremely tall) lawyer Delfo Berretti’s attempt to climb up to Filomena’s window:  “As photos taken that day show, Berretti had no trouble maneuvering himself into a position where he could have reached into Filomena’s broken window, opened it, and swung himself up to climb in. An iron nail was in the brick wall halfway between the two windows “” the prosecution would later make a big deal of this “” but Berretti didn’t even need it to pull himself up.”

Untrue. In fact, (1) photos of that event show Delfo hanging on to that nail for dear life, and (2) Delfo could touch the window sill from below, but made no attempt to actually haul himself up to the window and enter Filomena’s room.


Added by Vivianna

It’s an absolute, shameless lie.  Here is anotherr picture, from the PMF files (you may have to be a member to see it), showing Beretti hanging by the window sill:

Beretti never managed to hoist himself up.  He hung from the window sill, but that’s a long cry from swinging himself over the sill and actually opening the window.

The nail is visible in the picture and it’s at lower chest/stomach level.  For him to put his foot on that nail, he would have had to bend himself at a very sharp angle while still clinging to the edge - something that maybe a gymnast might pull off, but neither Beretti nor Guede were tiny girls trained to twist themselves into pretzels.
Posted by Kermit on 09/29/12 at 10:34 AM | #
3. “I was struck by how capricious the courts had been. Judge Ricciarelli was so sure the wall was unscaleable he used it as a reason to keep me in solitary confinement, when a little elementary checking would have told him his assumption was wrong. How many months or years of my life would his nonchalance end up costing?”

How my heart bleeds for this wronged boy! But Raffaele, just think how much your freedom now is due to Hellmann’s nonchalance in not bothering to do any elementary checking, such as visiting the cottage himself as Massei had done!

Have a look at Kermit’s Powerpoint on Spiderman, linked to in the comment above.
Posted by James Raper on 09/29/12 at 11:06 AM | #
4. About his previous drug use, he says “The one time I was caught, by an undercover Carabiniere in a nightclub, I wasn’t even the one with marijuana. My friend Gabriele had it. I was worried he was over the legal limit for personal use, so I talked our other friend Gennaro into claiming joint responsibility with him. The policeman realized what I was doing and wrote me up mostly because he was angry that I was making it harder to take punitive action against Gabriele”

Why doesn’t this guy just go ahead and declare himself a saint? For god’s sake, accept responsibility for something already. Nothing is his fault, everything is either his friends’ fault or the prosecutors cooking up stories.

Animal porn ““ my friends got it for me. Horror manga ““ my friend gifted it to me. Weird pictures ““ my friends were fooling around. Caught with marijuana ““ it was my friend’s, I was trying to protect him.

It’s not even the actual incidents that are annoying. It’s his constant refusal to accept responsibility for anything and everything and blame it on others. Makes him look childish, immature and that much harder to take anything he says seriously.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:59 AM | #
5. About the postal police’s arrival “If I’d had something to hide or had been caught unawares, I would never have let him enter”

Yeah right, because that would have been considered a really wise move when the murder was eventually discovered.

Unawares or not, even these two were not stupid enough not to realize that sending the postal police back would have looked really suspicious later on.

He keeps making such stupid arguments and then wonders why the court did not take him seriously and release him straight away.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:59 AM | #
6. About Amanda and Meredith’s friendship “If either Meredith’s or Amanda’s computer had survived the police examination. There might have been photographs, emails and other evidence to point to a more meaningful interaction”

The defense claimed ONLY Sollecito’s MacBook might contain exculpatory material. That was cloned and a copy of the hard drive exists. The defense just didnt want to go there.

And Raffaele Sollecito has made many stupid claims in his book, but perhaps none is so obvious and more idiotic than his repeated claims about the “lost” emails.

What is it with this guy and the emails? He seems to think (or perhaps, thinks that the readers are stupid enough to believe) that if a computer or a hard drive is destroyed, all the emails in it are lost as well. Come on already, surely they taught him the workings of email in his computer classes. They are retained on the server.

Look at his statements regarding emails. In chapter 2 (Love and Death) of his book, he describes the morning after the murder ““ “I’d been up several times in the night””listening to music, answering e-mail, making love””and wanted only to go back to sleep”

Right, so he got up many times in the night to answer e-mails. You’d think that this would be his biggest alibi for the night of the murder, right? No, wrong. Raffaele could not prove his alibi because, in his own words - “I did not yet know that the Polizia Postale””supposedly experts in handling technology issues””had seized two of my computers along with Amanda’s and Meredith’s and somehow wrecked three of the four hard disks while trying to decipher them. The bottom line was that the damaged disks were now deemed unreadable. That left just my MacBook Pro to provide an alibi for the night of the murder.”

Is he really as stupid as this makes him sound or does he think everyone else is stupid? To repeat ALL emails would be retained and traceable on the server. But there were none.

Again, in this chapter (The Protected System), when he talks about Amanda and Meredith’s friendship, he says “If either Meredith’s or Amanda’s computer had survived the police examination, there might have been photographs, emails and other evidence to point to a more meaningful interaction”

Here we go with the elusive emails again. Will someone explain the point of email to this guy? What difference would the computers surviving or not surviving make to the emails on the server?

He actually has the nerve to criticize the Polizia Postale’s technical competence after making a statement to the effect that he and Amanda could not retrieve their emails as the hard disks were damaged. Whether the hard disks were destroyed or not, whether it was the Polizia Postale’s fault or not though unclear is hardly important here.

Admittedly, Amanda is not a “technical genius” (After all, she does not know how to delete messages from her sent items). But what is stopping this resident technical genius from simply accessing his mail box from some other computer or iphone and printing out a copy from his sent items?

Or why doesn’t he ask one of the happy recipients of his emails to forward it back to him?

Similarly, if any emails that proved the “close friendship” between Amanda and Meredith existed wouldn’t they be in Amanda’s mailbox? She could have printed a copy anytime.

Did she go around deleting all of Meredith’s mails the minute they arrived as well as her own replies to them and clearing her trash box as well, just to be doubly sure they can’t be retrieved?.

Ok, let’s say the emails were deleted. What about the photographs? If there had been any photographs that would establish their “close” friendship, wouldn’t they be there on the camera or phone from which they were taken? Or wouldn’t either Meredith or Amanda have sent them to someone or posted them on their Facebook?

How did everything vanish absolutely without a trace? If neither of them sent the photos to anyone or posted them anywhere, or even kept them, you really have to wonder what was the point of taking them at all?

Besides no-one is claiming that Amanda and Meredith were at loggerheads all the time, they might even have gotten along initially. Meredith was not a person who judged people harshly. By all accounts, she did try her best to get along with Amanda, trying to include her in outings and defending her when she got into trouble.

It was Amanda who pulled away saying she wanted to socialize only with Italians. But the fact is that there were clashes and there were differences between them.  Trying to make out that they were the best of friends by claiming the destruction of non-existent proofs is not only unbelievable but also utterly stupid.

This computer genius has never even been able to prove he sent even one email? Ludicrous.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:59 AM | #
7. About Dr.Stefanoni’s testimony in the initial trial “Stefanoni’s testimony was an unmitigated disaster for the prosecution, in this and every other respect”.

Not only completely untrue and disrespectful, but stupid too. If it was such a disaster, why does he think they were convicted?

As such, John Follain classifies the same testimony as a complete success in his book on the case. He says that Stefanoni answered the questions confidently, authoritatively and knowledgably.

This is yet another case of seeing things the way you want, rather than how they actually are.
Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 07:59 AM | #
8.“Mignini’s office announced in late June that the investigation was formally over, and almost immediately the newspapers were filled with a barrage of negative stories about my family. Even before we’d had time to look over the newly available documents, we were fending off accusations that we’d tried to exploit our political connections to push for my freedom. Some of the stories said we’d begged Sara’s highly placed friends in Rome to apply pressure to the Corte di Cassazione before our hearing in April, or to exploit Bongiorno’s prominent position.” (p.77)

This comes right after several pages in which he describes at length his aunt Sara’s political activity, and talks about some of her more prominent connections (he even calls her “a political animal”).

He boasts that once Alleaza Nazionale started gaining political ground, Sara “suddenly had a lot of influential friends,” including Giuseppe Tatarella (deputy PM and “an important vote-wrangler”).

He also notes that Bongiorno was a member of the same political party as Sara, adding that they had “plenty of connections,” and that the Sollecitos were “steered” to Bongiorno’s office by Domenico Nania, another Alleanza Nazionale member.  All of this information can be found on pages 74-75.

Thus, according to Sollecito himself, his family DID have political connections which they used in conjunction with this case, and they did reach Bongiorno via some of these connections.  In light of this freely provided information, it is incredibly stupid to try and pretend, just a couple of pages later, that the newspapers were spreading false stories about this subject.
Posted by Vivianna on 10/13/12 at 04:30 PM | #
9. On page 79: “When my defense team examined the official paperwork, they noticed that the analysis of the footprints””including extensive inquiry into the length and shape of the foot likely to have produced them””had been conducted by two members of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome, working not in their official capacity but as private consultants charging thousands of euros to Mignini’s office.

One of the analysts, Lorenzo Rinaldi, was a physicist, not a specialist in anatomy, and the other, Pietro Boemia, was a fingerprint technician with no further scientific credentials. That begged the question: if Mignini’s office felt it needed to contract the job out to private consultants, why wouldn’t it go to people with more pertinent qualifications? The whole thing stank.”

The reality, according to Judge Massei, is quite different:

- Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi (Engineer, Principal Technical Director of the State Police, director of the three sections which compose the Identity Division of the ERT - Esperti Ricerca Tracce)

- Chief Inspector Pietro Boemia of the ERT in Rome

- their tasks involved analyzing both shoeprints and footprints

Sollecito forgets to mention that their first consultancy report, with regard to a footprint left by a Nike shoe, was actually favorable to him.  Unlike a previous analysis which attributed the shoeprint to him, this team of experts correctly attributed it to Guede.

However, since the second consultancy task resulted in an identification of a footprint with Sollecito’s, the experts are clearly “out to get him” like everyone else involved in the investigation. It doesn’t seem to occur to Sollecito that if that had been the case, they wouldn’t have bothered to correct the previous consultant’s work on the shoeprints.
Posted by Vivianna on 10/13/12 at 04:32 PM | #
10. Regarding the jailbird witness Aviello: “But I do know he did one interesting thing seemingly designed to get the Squadra Mobile off his back once and for all: he came out with a manifestly ridiculous story that his brother Antonio had come home one night covered in blood and admitted he had killed Meredith Kercher.

This story came as a total surprise to me; Aviello and I never discussed it. I would have loved to thank him in person for the way he threw the police effort into confusion, but our relationship ended rather abruptly”¦..  Much later, I sent him a present, an embroidered handkerchief, to express my gratitude.” (page 98)

In other words, Sollecito was grateful that Aviello lied on the stand and attempted to interfere with the investigation.  I don’t know if Raffaele is aware of this, but “throwing the police effort into confusion” is a crime.

Also, why would an innocent be happy that someone attempted to confuse the police? After all, the police had the power to help exonerate Sollecito, should there have been evidence pointing clearly to a different scenario and culprit. Only someone who has something to hide and is absolutely terrified of what the investigation is uncovering would be glad about the perjury and false information.
Posted by Vivianna on 10/13/12 at 04:43 PM | #
11. Regarding Amanda’s testimony:  “Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.” (99)

Clear admission that a narrative had been constructed and agreed on. I talked about this in a different comment, but the gist is that the phrasing, “the version of events we now broadly agreed on” indicates that the story they told was not true.

For one, because the truth doesn’t have different versions; and secondly, because if they had both been telling the truth from the beginning, they wouldn’t have disagreed about anything major (perhaps minor details at most).

Also it shows how terrified Sollecito’s side was that Amanda would deviate from the script and make both of them vulnerable to further inquiry.

“In fact, she performed magnificently,” he goes on to say.  Not really, as the videos show, and especially since both of them were convicted during that first trial.

It’s important to note that during that hearing, Amanda lied about the police brutalizing her and she and her family are still awaiting their defamation trials.
Posted by Vivianna on 10/13/12 at 04:45 PM | #
12. “Not only had the DNA test on the kitchen knife come back “too low,” Dr. Stefanoni had overridden the machine to force it to come up with a result on a single, irreproducible sample. Recognized scientific protocols should have told her that no reliable result was possible.” (102)

What exactly are these “recognized scientific protocols”? I think all of us would be interested in knowing the exact source of this information, which hopefully doesn’t involve obscure American state police manuals.

And there was not simply the one sample. The court-appointed consultants at the annulled appeal admitted there was a second but didnt themselves have the skills or equipment to test it.
Posted by Vivianna on 10/13/12 at 04:46 PM | #

James, Kermit, Sara, Vivianna, and all you’ve done great analyses of this cryptic book where omissions create Raffaele’s new truth. You folks have exposed his magic tricks.

From the phone records where they deride Latella to the reenactment of the breakin where the defense never really broke in to reenact it (afraid of sliding glass to the ground below?), to the Sollecito’s Sister Sara with her National Alliance contacts that Raf brags about while at the same time he pooh-poohs her political connections as being of no legal or illegal use to him, you pinned it all down.

To Raf: gotcha. To you winds of truth clearing away his smokescreen: group hug. Your critiques are spot on and bringing back much to me. I did read Raffaele’s book. I sensed a lot of his magic presto change-o stunts in use but found them hard to explain to others in such clear words as yours. It’s real work, and a gift. Thanks.

The phone records dispute, the gleeful comments by Raf at Aviello mangling the truth to confuse the jury, Stefanoni’s DNA results, etc.  Thank you all, very astute.
Posted by Hopeful on 10/13/12 at 07:58 PM | #

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 02:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Sollecito Book - Chapter 4 Justice

+ ME FROM ##

Chapter 4 Justice

1. As Raffaele’s judicial processes advanced, he states in the “Justice” chapter of his book: “I knew I was doing the right thing by sticking to my guns and telling the truth.”

This statement is laughable, because following his arrest (prior to which he left Amanda Knox with no alibi as to her whereabouts on the night of Meredith’s murder), Raffaele has never made any explicit contribution to advancing the investigation and trials.

He has kept his mouth shut, clammed up. He has not been “telling the truth”, because his lawyers probably told him to stop telling so many divergent and contradictory truths.

I find it hard to believe that - outside of the legal process - his lawyers may have approved of Raffaele writing and publishing and promoting this book.

Posted by Kermit on 09/29/12 at 11:00 AM | #

2. “ The crime, I could have told Maresca and Mignini, was brutal but not complicated. Guede broke in through Filomena’s window, started looking for the rent money, then went to the kitchen to help himself from the refrigerator. (He left forensic traces of all this, and his history indicated that he liked to make himself at home in the places he broke into.) He detoured to the bathroom when he developed an urge to go and sat there while Meredith came in through the front door and slipped into her room. He appears to have been startled by her entry, and did not flush to avoid tipping her off to his presence.”

Untrue. Guede left NO forensic traces of all this other than his poop in the toilet. And how would Guede have known that there was rent money lying around?


Added by Peter Quennell

That arrogant “I could have told Maresca and Mignini” doesnt help him at all.  The pathetic little “victim” barely said a word for four years, and had every opportunity to get up on the stand.

There was no trace of Guede outside Filomena’s window or in her room. The only forensic evidence in there was KNOX’s mixed with Meredith’s blood.

Nobody came close to climbing in that window in the defense’s famous attempts during trial. And there are FOUR other easier routes into the house all of which Guede would have known.

The easiest one by far takes less than a minute in complete privacy - up and onto the balcony at the back an into the kitchen or the passage by Knox’s door. It was used TWICE by burglars in 2008.

And the defenses didn’t even try, ever, to pin it all on Rudy Guede. Sollecito really should ask his lawyers Bongiorno and Maori why. Their certain answer:

“Because it is overwhelmingly obvious that from the autopsy and crime scene recreation that THREE people attacked Meredith; and the Supreme Court (in confirming Guede’s sentence) agreed with that.”

“We could not find any other possible attackers even though one of our own witnesses said we waived around bribes.”

Posted by James Raper on 10/01/12 at 12:55 PM | #

3. About Judge Massei’s report, he says “he went on a mean-spirited tear against Amanda and me over the tiniest details”

Doesn’t he realize that this is a murder trial, someone lost their life, and even the tiniest details matter?

He says that Massei asked questions - why Amanda did not take a change of clothes to his house, why did they sleep late when she was a morning person and moreover, they had plans to go out, why did they take a mop to his house when he already had cleaning supplies etc ““ just to judge them morally.

Hasn’t it occurred to him that Massei did not ask those questions to judge them morally or otherwise, but because they defy logic. Instead of taking a moral high stand, why doesn’t he attempt to answer them properly?

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:41 AM | #

4.  Reconstructing the crime scene, he says “Guede broke in through Filomena’s window, started looking for rent money, then went to the kitchen to help himself from the refrigerator”.

How on earth would Guede know that the rent money is in Filomena’s room? Why would he look for it particularly? Wouldn’t he just grab anything he would see?

As such, Filomena testified that nothing was taken from her room even though her laptop, jewelry, camera, designer sunglasses etc were all easily accessible.

Which thief breaks into a house with an intention of stealing some particular kind of money?

Did Guede take all the trouble to break into a house, risk being caught, just to take a dump and be on his way (if he did not find the rent money), when according to Raffaele’s own words Guede’s own flat was just a few minutes away?

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:41 AM | #

5.Continuing with the reconstruction of crime scene, he says that Guede “left forensic traces of all this” (all this implying his break in, search for rent money in Filomena’s room, raiding the refrigerator etc)

As James Raper mentioned above, Guede left no trace of himself in Filomena’s room, forensic or otherwise. This, in fact, is one of the main arguments against the break-in theory.

What forensic evidence exactly did Guede leave that led Raffeale’s team to believe he was looking for rent money or that he went to the refrigerator to help himself?

And why would he abandon the search midway and suddenly decide to visit the refrigerator and then abandon that midway too and decide to take a dump instead?

Even assuming he did, how can anyone deduce all this from nonexistent forensic evidence.

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:42 AM | #

6. Amanda enjoyed an outpouring of support from investigators and law enforcement veterans, and from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who thought they could do some good by intervening. [...] My first reaction to all this was, What about me? How come all the attention was on Amanda?  (p. 108).

While this bit doesn’t require a correction in itself, I think it summarizes the reasons why this book was written in the first place - Raffaele’s need for attention, and the fact that he felt upstaged by Amanda throughout this entire process.

Note to the publishers: “What about ME??!!!” would have been a more appropriate title for this pack of self-serving lies.

What about Meredith? And her death sentence that night?
Posted by Vivianna on 10/16/12 at 10:02 AM | #


finished below here - comments to #23

[23] Five and a half months after my release, I flew to Seattle and saw Amanda again. We were no longer criminal defendants stealing glances from each other across a crowded courtroom, but free people fully able to reflect on our experiences and the peculiar way fate had thrown us together.

Untrue. The Hellmann appeal was already known to have been bent. Prosecution had made that quite plain during the appeal, and this displaced judge Chiria (who resinged) did so soon after. And the prosecution had aready announced a Supreme Court appeal and explained the grounds.

[22] I was no longer the sweet, innocent, ordinary boy from Giovinazzo, but a scarred, more reflective ex-prisoner who could go nowhere without triggering some sort of conversation or expression of opinion.

He was never known to have been the sweet innocent ordinary boy from Giovinazzo. Even at home he was never the most liked in his small crowd. And in Perugia at his high school and college he was a loner who used drugs prolifically, had few if any friends, and was hooked on various forms of perversion.

[21] I wasn’t just nervous about setting eyes on her again. I felt I was suffering from some sort of associative disorder, in which it became difficult for me to focus on my genuine and continuing fondness for Amanda without being overwhelmed by an instinctive, involuntary revulsion at everything the courts and the media had thrown at us. Two different Amandas””the real one, and the distorted, she-devil version I had read about and seen on television nonstop for four years””seemed somehow blurred in my unconscious mind. I couldn’t think of the brief romance we had enjoyed, or the tenderness with which we had written and supported each other in prison, without also feeling deluged by the suffering and vulgar tabloid trash we had endured at the same time.

In fact he showed a coolness and lack of loyalty to Knox from late 2007 all through trial to the point where Knox, having written many love letters, publicly asked if she could meet with him alone.

[20] Amanda and I had been ripped away from our real selves and forced to play the part of killers so vicious they would strike for no reason except their own amusement. It was these alternate selves who had been imprisoned, tried, and sentenced in Judge Massei’s court. But of course it was the two of us, our flesh and blood, who had to bear the consequences.

That was never the scenario the prosecution set out. They portrayed (with a lot of circumstantial evidence) a 15 minute hazing attack on Meredith with the final stab (probably by Knox) only then. Tempers and adrenaline were probably extreme. 

[19] Fortunately, I had other reasons to go to Seattle, which were a welcome distraction from my anxiety. I had many supporters of my own there, and I wanted to meet them and thank them in person. I was also interested in Seattle the digital mecca and had a meeting lined up with a video-game manufacturer I’d been corresponding with.

No meeting for a software job ever happened. The alternative explanation put out by Chris Mellas was that he was meeting with Microsoft. But he was way too old and ill-qualified. He was always at the lower end of his class and at the age of nearly 30 still hast worked a consequential day in his life.

[18] Our legal troubles were largely behind us, but they were not over. Our acquittal would not become definitive until it had been endorsed by the Corte di Cassazione, so we had one more layer of justice to work through. Amanda faced not only the outstanding charge of calunnia””criminal slander””against Patrick, which the appeals court had upheld, but also a new trial for slandering the Perugia police while on the witness stand.

Most observers would say at that point of writing that Raffaele’s “legal troubles” were FAR from largely behind him.  Prosecutor Galati had ALREADY launched a very serious, very documented, very structured and logical appeal to the case. Amanda may feel slightly more comfortable due to the distance and bureaucracy involved in an extradition.

[17] My family was still working through some minor lawsuits of its own.

They were not minor at all and the trial processes for the Sollecito family except for one (leaking of a video showing Meredith’s naked body to Telenorba) are far from over. Vanessa Sollecito lost her internal Carabinieri trial and appeal and then permanently lost her job.

[16] I was sick of the whole judicial circus and couldn’t wait to put it definitively behind me. But the nature of the Italian system meant that it would probably be years before my family or I could stop thinking about the ghastly mess or talking to lawyers on a regular basis.

The process was extensive for two reasons. The appeals are automatic if requested, and the defenses had a role in bending the Hellmann appeal outcome that was annulled.

[15] Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue. It lambasted both the prosecution and the lower court for relying on conjecture and subjective notions of probability instead of solid evidence. And it launched a particularly harsh attack on Mignini for casting aspersions on the very concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Mignini had dismissed it in one of his court presentations as a self-defining piece of linguistic trickery. Hellmann pointed out that reasonable doubt was now””belatedly””part of the Italian criminal code. A case built on probability alone, he said, was not sufficient and must necessarily lead to the acquittal of the defendant or defendants.

The Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann appeal sentencing report in more scathing terms than it has used for years. It was particularly critical of Helmmann’s faulty logic and confirmed that Dr Mignini (misconstrued here) got the law exactly right.

[14] The prosecution’s rebuttal of the sentencing report, filed a couple of months later, was little short of astonishing. It accused Hellmann of indulging in circular arguments, the old rhetorical fallacy known to the ancients as petitio principii””essentially, starting with the desired conclusion and working backward. The criticism applied much more accurately to what the prosecution and Judge Massei had done themselves; everything, even the absence of evidence, had been a pretext for them to argue for our guilt. But the author of the prosecution document, Giovanni Galati, chose not to dwell on such ironies. Instead, he attacked Hellmann””I wish I were joking about this””for resorting to deductive reasoning. Making yet more allusions to grand rhetorical principles, Galati said he had a problem with the appeals court taking the available evidence and seeking to make each piece follow on logically from the last. I take it he is not a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Again, the Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann appeal sentencing report in more scathing terms than it has used for years. It was particularly critical of Helmmann’s faulty logic and confirmed that the prosecutiongot the law exactly right. Who wrote this? Clearly not any Italian lawyer

[13] Galati seemed incensed that Hellmann had found the “superwitnesses” unreliable. He argued that Hellmann’s problem with Antonio Curatolo, the heroin addict in Piazza Grimana, was not his failure to be consistent about the details of when and where he had supposedly seen us but rather Hellmann’s own “unwarranted prejudice against the witness’s lifestyle.” Galati even dared to embrace Curatolo’s argument that heroin is not a hallucinogen to insist he must have been telling the truth.

Points the late Antonio Curatolo made hung together despite this ad hominem attack and were confirmed by other witnesses - movement of buses, police arriving at the house, the weather. His time line fitted with other time lines for example the timing of the scream. 

[12] These arguments, to me, made a mockery of civilized discourse. I don’t honestly know how else to characterize them. From my experience, I also know they are the bread and butter of the Italian legal system, the peculiar language in which arguments and counterarguments are formed every day. Not only do innocents go to prison with shocking regularity, while guilty people, equally often, win reprieve or acquittal; magistrates and judges who make the most howling errors rarely pay for their mistakes.

That is exactly NOT what happens under the Italian system which is perhaps the most cautious, most pro-defendant in the world. Career prosecutors and judges are not elected and are closely monitored and at the end of most trials have to write out their reasoning at length.

[11] Paolo Micheli, the pretrial judge who didn’t let his obvious intelligence and sharp questioning of Patrizia Stefanoni get in the way of keeping us locked up until the end of the trials, now sits in the civil section of the Corte di Cassazione.

The two were kept locked up in 2008 and 2009 in large part because psychological testing in Capanne strongly suggested they could attack again, and witnesses needed to have peace of mind. Judge Matteini made no secret of the fact that they were considered a real risk.

[10] Giuliano Mignini, meanwhile, managed to have his conviction on abuse-of-office charges vacated on a technicality. He argued on appeal that Florence was not the appropriate trial venue because the judges there were too close to the Monster of Florence prosecutors. In theory, his case has now moved to La Spezia, the naval port halfway between Florence and Genoa, to be reheard from scratch. But in all likelihood Mignini will wait out the five-year statute of limitations and have the entire case thrown out by default. We may have beaten him, but in an important and deeply depressing sense he has emerged a winner too. At least so far.

The prosecution was advanced by a series of judges and a co-prosecutor. In the Italian system it is quite impossible for a prosecutor to force a false conviction through all levels of appeal. The system much praised by American lawyers who know it has less false convictions than any in the world.

These claims about Dr Mignini were highly out of date even when written in mid 2012. Dr Mignini’s conviction by a rogue prosecutor and rogue judge in Florence were decisively thrown out, the rogue prosecutor and judge have both been in a ton of trouble ever since, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction in scathing terms, and the respected and much liked Dr Mignini is now the Deputy Prosecutor General for Perugia’s region of Umbria. 

[09] Amanda and I steered clear of any legal discussion; we’d avoided talking about the case in prison, and we weren’t about to depress ourselves by starting now. Instead, we shared many of the normal, joyful things that had instinctively brought us together in the first place: our noisy, rambunctious, warmhearted families, and our love of friends, good food, and large gatherings.

These are also two highly disfunctional families with numerous issues that, had they been attended to, might have ensured Meredith would stay alive. Read about the problems of the Knox family here.

Read about the problems of the Sollecito family here.

In fact Sollecito continues, uncaring that he set so much strife in motion: “I was dismayed, if not surprised, to realize that my family was as volatile as ever. Vanessa was still boundlessly opinionated, only more depressed now that she was living back home, her career in tatters, and tending horses to make ends meet. My father would alternate between infinite patience and understanding, and explosions of indignation at the choices I was making and the company I kept.”

[08] I told her that when I was confronted with people haranguing me about the case, either to attack me or to presume more knowledge than they had, I ignored them. As a general rule, I tried to give as little weight as possible to the opinions of others. We had to focus on living our lives, I said, because nobody could live them for us. “If I had had that attitude,” I said, “if I’d allowed other people to dictate what I should do and think and feel, I wouldn’t be eating seafood here with you. I’d still be in prison.”

His sulky attitude helped him little at either trial or appeal and it certainly did not help Knox who quite publicly was showing she felt betrayed. it was frequently evident that Sollecito’s own lawyers were exasperated with him.

[07] She agreed, and as our conversation continued, she looked visibly moved. “I want only good things for you, Raffaele. I’m very glad you came.” She gave me a monster hug, the sort that only close friends or siblings give each other, people who share a special, unbreakable bond.

See just above. No unbreakable bond was ever in evidence from 2007 up to when this book was written. He betrayed her in many small ways and at times she lashed out against him. We have had various posts pointing out how each defense team more or less goes its own way. Early in 2013 in the Italian magazine Oggi, Knox lashed out at Sollecito for not sticking with her.

At the same time Knox showed little loyalty back. In both books it is obvious that by the time Meredith died their relationship was headed for the rocks. Sollecito was desperate to hang on to the first sex partner in his life, Knox was already out and about and probably sleeping with someone else. Also she was talking of heading to China to meet up with her Seattle mate.

[06] We are free today because of the support we were able to offer each other in our darkest moments. The romance that made headlines around the world was a fleeting thing, but that deeper trust, the inherent faith we had in each other even as others dragged us endlessly through the mud, defines us as human beings. It’s what kept us sane for four long years in prison. And, I am quite certain, it will endure.

Complete nonsense. See the rebuttal above.

[05] I would like to thank everyone who stood by me during my long and difficult journey. Many people’s lives were changed by the horrific miscarriage of justice that Amanda and I went through, and while we and our loved ones went through hell, the experience also led to many friendships and associations between people who might never have met otherwise.

The miscarriage of justice claim…

[04] I want to offer my deepest thanks to my family, who always stayed close to me in mind and heart and spirit, who fought for me and encouraged me never to give up hope. Foremost among them is my father, Francesco Sollecito, who always listened to me and fought from the beginning to stand by what I was saying, which was the truth.

This is ironic, given that Dr Francesco Sollecito, Raffaele’s father, has publicly disavowed the book. And in particular disavowed its not very indirect insinuations that the father had attempted to pervert the course of justice by negotiating through a third party with the Prosecutor office.

[03] Along the way I acquired many supporters who, over time and many exchanges of letters, have become true friends themselves. Among them: Gilbert Baumgartner, Michael Krom, Maria Luigia Alessandrini, Joe Santore, Jessica Nichols, Chris and Edda Mellas, Madison Paxton, Cassandra Knox, Deanna Knox, Elisabeth Huff, Shirley Anne Mather, J. Tappan Menard, Martin Speer, Jason Leznek, Eric Volz, Steve and Michelle Moore, Leslie Calixto, Laura Buchanan Kane, Larry Kells, Jerry and Sue Alexander, Steven David Bloomberg, Eve Applebaum-Dominick, Francisco di Gennaro and Anna Rella, and Nigel Scott. Other supporters I’d like to acknowledge include Angela Benn, Karen Pruett, Judge Michael Heavey…

Sunshine Tsalagi, Janet Burgess, Alexander Jackson, Maria Alamillo, Candace Dempsey, Paul Smyth, Patrick King, Joe Starr, Mario Spezi, Douglas Preston, Mark Waterbury, Bruce Fisher, David D. Kamanski, Jerry Morgan, Bruce Locke, Jodie Leah, Michael Scadron, Pawel Bukowski, Michael Smith, Jake Holmes, Michael Rabold, Bern Vogt, Joe Bishop, Kate Lee and Willie Grey, Diana Navaro Botero, June Easterly O’Brien, Margaret Ralf, Werner Gompertz, Anthony Giorgianni, Terrie Connell, Colin Connaughton, Dave Tupper, Dale Gridalt, Hayes Whitt, Hilde Conradi, Charlotte Olson, Rebecca Springer-Seeman, Raymond and Betty, L. Schwab, Jim and James Rocca, and Colleen Conroy.

More than a few are under close watch for obstruction of justice for their assaults on the Italian system,

[02] I was lucky to have a crack legal team who showed their devotion to the truth and, in some cases, did not even request payment. The team of lawyers and consultants included Adriano Tagliabracci, Francesco Vinci, Bruno Pellero, Francesco Introna, Giulia Bongiorno, Maurizio Parisi, Daniela Rocchi, Luca Maori, Donatella Donati, Marco Brusco, Aldo Poggioni, Delfo Berretti, Tiziano Tedeschi, and Antonio D’Ambrosio…. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.

The Italian defense lawyers for their seeming endorsement of the dishonest passages in the book may have their own kind of trouble coming up

[01] Sharlene Martin, the ever gracious Gail Ross, the boundlessly generous Steve and Michelle Moore, my favorite pugliese Anna D’Elia, Peter Popham, Robert Adams, and of course the rocking, super-talented team at Simon & Schuster/Gallery who were never less than a pleasure and kept me sane against a tight deadline. Thank you, Jen Bergstrom, for believing in this book from the get-go, thank you Lisa Rivlin and Alex Lewis, and thank you, Trish Boczkowski, for your brilliant editing and infectiously good company. That’s amore!

The agent and publishers for their lack of due diligence toward the dishonest passages in the book may have their own kind of trouble coming up.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 01:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Lie re the manga

Page 78

Before I had time to ponder what the knife seizure meant, Chiacchiera pulled me into the bedroom, where I had a backpack full of books, including some of my beloved Japanese manga comics. Most of these were unremarkable: fantasy stories, futuristic thrillers, run-of-the-mill stuff. But Chiacchiera also found a four-volume set titled Urotsukidoji, a series of highly sexualized horror stories with lots of blood, and monsters copulating violently with humans.  He flipped through a volume and demanded, “What is this revolting crap?” He didn’t wait for the answer, which was that the series was a collector’s item from the 1960s, a present from my friend Gianluigi Ceraso, which I hadn’t even taken out of its wrapping. Horror manga was not my thing.  But Chiacchiera didn’t want to know. Instead, he threw the book in my face. “You’re a real piece of shit, aren’t you? Well, we’re going to take care of you.”

A good while back, I remember you said words to the effect that Sollecito’s reference to “Sailor Moon” could a code for something else, as in something much more extreme. I think you may be correct.
I’ve just finished reading Honour Bound. In it Sollecito makes mention of one of his “unopened collector’s editions”, which he describes as such. He claims one of the cops waved it in his face calling him a sicko and that it was an “unopened collector’s edition” that was from the 1960s.
Only the manga in question is from 1986 and is Urotsukidoji, which is a pretty out there manga involving lots of rape. (With tentacles actually if you can believe that).
Telling that Solly puts out a disclaimer that it’s from the 1960s, implying that it’s pretty tame. He also says in his book that “Horror Manga wasn’t my thing”, neglecting to mention that Urotsukidoji, while horror in the broadest sense, is still mainly concerned with lots and lots of rape and sexual violence. Extreme sensations you might say.
He also neglects to mention the Manga that the cops had the most interest in, Blood: The Last Vampire, the plot which has broad similarities to the circumstances of Meredith’s murder.
He comes across as quite psychopathic and narcissistic in his book. I wish the prosecution had have focused on him more, he may well have proven the weaker link.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/19/15 at 02:44 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)