Thursday, February 23, 2012

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

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above left: Sollecito ghost writer Andrew Gumbel; above right, Sollecito agent Sharlene Martin]

Right now Sollecito ghost writer Andrew Gumbel is making loud, silly claims like many other writers who came upon the case and first fired from the hip.

And then “mysteriously” went silent and have not been heard from again.  We have helped to edge back from the brink several dozen such reporters. Perhaps they ought to thank us - oh, actually in several instances they did.

Here on Media Bistro Andrew Gumbel gives a shoot-from-the-hip interview in which he seems to display a terrible batting average on the hard truths. The interview is being smartly ridiculed in the comments below it by among others TJMK’s own well-informed pro-Meredith campaigner Bucket Of Tea.

Here, to help set Mr Gumbel straight before it is too late, is our own informed commentary on what he said.

A: It’s a rule of thumb that prosecutors dictate media coverage in a criminal trial. They are the ones who bring the charges, and are either vindicated or successfully challenged in court; the texture and the substance of the defendants’ stories tend to get lost. And so it was here. The media coverage focused largely on the yes/no question of whether Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were guilty.


The mechanics of the case from the inside “” how they were interrogated, why they were prosecuted even after the most obvious perpetrator, Rudy Guede, was caught and convicted, the behind-the-scenes haggling between lawyers, defendants, expert witnesses, court officials and others “” have been revealed only in glimpses, if at all.


Both Amanda’s book and Raffaele’s book are sure to shed light on how and why this grotesque miscarriage of justice arose. I would venture to say Raffaele’s story is even more absorbing than Amanda’s, because it was his family which orchestrated the detective work that made it possible to dismantle the case against both of them piece by piece. It was a high-wire act from beginning to end, and it’s a thrilling tale.


Amanda and Raffaele can’t bring Meredith back, but they can give everyone the benefit of the truth. It’s an important story to tell. And after all they have gone through “” including the huge hit their families took to their reputations and their pocket books “” they certainly deserve both vindication and compensation….


Not only will the book leave no doubt about Raffaele’s innocence; everything Raffaele and his family have to tell, backed by previously unpublished documents in the case, suggests that his incarceration had almost nothing to do with the actual evidence but had another motivation entirely “” to be revealed when the book comes out…..

And untrue.Absurdly so.

Thirty plus judges who reviewed the case had no “other motivation entirely”. Please drop the smears of Italy and Italian justice. It isn’t becoming and there are already enough calunnia suits for felony defamation in the works.

And Sollecito’s family orchestrated no amazing detective work that showed that all the evidence was at fault. The defenses had every opportunity to do so in 2009 at trial and they did a truly terrible job. The Supreme Court already knows this so in what way exactly have they won?

In fact the main thing the Sollecito family is famous for right now is that they all face a trial in Bari. The charges are (1) illegally releasing video evidence to a TV network and (2) illegally attempting to subvert the police and prosecution by political means.

Now that’s true. Its seems two serious laws may have been broken. Andrew, read up about your Dear Clients here and especially here. They haven’t even attempted to “explain” all that as yet, and are almost certainly going to go down at trial.

And by the way, the evidence that the Sollecito family leaked to Italian TV? Video images of the naked body of Meredith. Very nice clients? You’ve been conned.


It is my personal opinion that the Italian system is biased against the victim; my friends tell me that it is a “feature” of the Roman laws. AK and RS could not have had it better.

If they are really innocent, then why such a million dollar campaign? They have no faith at all in the system?

It has not worked in the past and it is not going to work this time either. It is their campaign that is going to be their final undoing.

Justice, n.: A decision in your favor.

Posted by chami on 02/23/12 at 08:29 PM | #

Amanda Knox told many lies to the investigators when she was first questioned. She changed her story 3 times i believe. So how can she write a book with any details such when she and Raff ate on the evening of 1st Nov., 2007.

It is only a small detail but she was so vague about the time and then Raffs father came to the rescue with a time as he recalled he had called his son on the phone and they had finished eating and then the water leak under the sink was apparent.

Then another detail. The father rang Raff again in the morning and AK knew nothing of that call. She claimed they slept in till 10am or later.

Prosecutors will be reading the story too and so how can she write a NY times best seller with only vague information about what they were doing on the night of the murder.

Didnt someone say already AK would never pass a lie detector test as she was all over the place with her lies.

Posted by mason2 on 02/24/12 at 09:20 AM | #

By “orchestrated the detective work that made it possible to dismantle the case against both of them piece by piece,” surely he means they made “water flow uphill.”

Regarding vindication, the only people who deserve it are Meredith and her family, and the Kerchers have made it clear that they are not interested in revenge, but in finding out the truth.

They are much better people than I am, because if something like that happened to someone I loved, I would want to see her murderers suffer for it. 

They have dealt with this situation with infinitely more grace and dignity than the majority of us would have.

Posted by Vivianna on 02/24/12 at 11:28 AM | #

Hi Chami. You are quite right on the heavy tilt toward the defendant to the point now where the victim is not even on the same stage.

There are three main reasons for this.

1) How the justice system was set up in the first place in the Italian Constitution that was put in place right after World Wat Two. The intent then was “never again” after Mussolini’s fascism and hijacked courts. So an extraordinary number of checks and balances were built in. Two automatic levels of appeal are just one example. Read about this via our Italian System posts linked-to in the right column.

2) Tilts by influential mafia and crooked politicians over the years. This has resulted in laws being made by parliament that bend the constitution even further toward “leniency”. Ex PM Berlusconi was trying hard to do this, to get the Milan and Perugia prosecutors off his back. (Yes, Perugia prosecutors, who are investigating members of his party’s corrupt role in stealing public funds for earthquake relief and the 2006 Winter Olympics.)

3) Italy is a Catholic country where leniency is the thing if perps, especially young ones, show some remorse at trial and/or in prison. You can see Massei desperately looking for signs of remorse and bingo! Coming up with the “clue” that someone placed a duvet over Meredith’s body. That trimmed 5 years off AK’s and RS’s sentences. You can see Hellman looking for even more signs for the “young people” though not for the black guy who to him seems to be Satan Incarnate.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/12 at 01:37 PM | #

Hi Mason2. You are right. Throughout the devil has been in the details. We dont know anyone who bothered to grasp most of those pesky details who then came up with an alternative scenario or tried to answer the hundreds of open questions on this site. AK and RS have not come within lightyears of a viable alternative scenario - and as you say, they won’t in their books.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/12 at 01:44 PM | #

Hi Vivianna. You are right. How Meredith’s family handled this is amazing - and it encouraged sites and audiences like this to come in on the their side. Knox and Sollecito have nothing equivalent, merely sites funded and orchestrated by the PR effort, and none have the real ring of truth. Most like Bruce Fischer’s and Steve Moore’s and Doug Bremner’s are extremely nasty, which is not the way to win over the broad middle.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/12 at 01:49 PM | #

Peter, your first link above on ‘here’ does not work.  The second link on ‘here’ does work.

Posted by believing on 02/26/12 at 08:51 AM | #

Thanks a lot believing. Now it works again. Sorry. Problem was actually an open snippet of code 2-3 paras earlier that was suppressing some text. It’s all visible again now. .

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/12 at 01:14 PM | #

When you read the decision of the Supreme Court in February 2011 it is hard to believe that both AK and RS were set free in October 2011.

Posted by believing on 02/28/12 at 12:02 AM | #

Hi Believing yes i have been reading those early reports myself just this weekend past. I agree with you with all the evidence it was incredible to hear the Hellman verdict.

Personally i am tired of hearing people say there was no evidence against Amanda. Thats the PR machine talking.My opinion is that Judge Micheli was brilliant and the most important evidence was that the crime scene had been altered.

WHO DOES THAT?  By a process of elimination of all the facts he concluded it had to be her. There is no one else.

Raff and Rudy were involved but she was the ring leader. She had the motive to cover it up and re arrange the body and fake the break in.

Only a resident of the house has the motive to do all that. Any other criminal would high tail it out of there never to come back. They would not give a damn how they left things.

Posted by mason2 on 02/28/12 at 08:22 AM | #

Covering the body after the murder is another key evidence that keeps on bothering me. What are the comments of experts on this aspect?

Was the money found on Amanda when she was arrested was explained satisfactorily by the defence team?

Did AK offered any reason for the cancellation of their trip to Gubbio on the same day?

I loved the question “What kind of heating you have in via della Pergola?” by judge Massei.

Beauty, brains, availability, personality; pick any two.

Posted by chami on 02/28/12 at 05:07 PM | #

I think there are more points than one can count that just won’t go away. It really is beyond me how the October verdict was reached. No sane person could have ignored everything, its not just about bizarre behavior - its also about the lies, the conflicting alibis, (false?) confessions, DNA, evidence of staging, eye witnesses..the list goes on. I think Hellman and the jury members took the evidence point by point, tried to speculate alternative scenarios for each and once they found something that sounded remotely plausible, they just ticked it off. I can’t believe they ever tried to view the evidence in its entirety.

However, one thing that has been surprising me (though not really) since the October verdict is just how increasingly miserable AK has been looking since her release. If anyone were to see her photos when she was in jail and now, I am sure they would get confused which was which. While she looked healthy and reasonably happy most of the times when the trial had been going on, she looks sad, tired and uncomfortable most of the times now. And she doesn’t even seem to care enough to make an effort.

She looks miserable in all the photos with her parents, sister etc. She looks utterly, totally miserable around Madison. The only person with whom she occasionally seems to crack a smile is the boyfriend, presumably because he does not know the complete truth yet, being a fairly new entrant into the game. She had it good enough in prison, probably felt like a princess compared to others, especially with all the talks about how “famous” she was. Even immediately after her release, she might have thought she was special, what with the royal suite in Heathrow etc. But now, with reality looming in front of her, her family pressuring her all the time, more and more people talking about the unanswered questions - she looks as if she wishes everything would just go away.

One thing does amaze me - all the people who think its fine for her and RS to make money out of it. I mean, irrespective of her guilt or innocence, how can it be alright to make money out of someone else’s tragedy, especially when you have not even reached out to them once? I remember AK’s parents saying on some interview that they will reach out to the Kerchers once she is released. I am pretty sure they did nothing of the sort. How can it be alright to just go on as if nothing happened and try to make money out of it, especially when the case is far from over? If she was really a half decent writer, isn’t there something else she could write about or do?

Posted by Sara on 02/28/12 at 09:50 PM | #

Yet another blog story with some twists to the tale.  What do you think of this one??

Posted by believing on 02/29/12 at 05:56 AM | #

Well, believing, the only truth that is undisputed by all is that the court has let her (and her ex boyfriend) go home. They should be grateful to all.

Judges do give verdicts and that trump all opinions. However, people’s opinions are both cruel and independent of the judgement.

In short, the contents of the link you mentioned is a product of sick mind. One sick mind attracts another.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything like a nail.

Posted by chami on 02/29/12 at 05:05 PM | #
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