Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Defenses’ Dishonest, Distinctly Ill-Conceived War Of Aggression Against Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: the annual Eurochocolate festival - Nestle is a big employer in town]

1. Appreciating the real Perugia

The relatively small town of Perugia (population below 1/4 million) has been a formidable and exceptionally high-achieving presence in the world for 20 centuries.

Perugia has one of the highest median IQ’s not only in Italy but in Europe. It is the home of some cutting-edge research, produces premium high-quality fashion products, and has one of the highest per-capita economic outputs in Italy with impressive job-creation. It has an exceptional transport system and an exceptional communication system, many fine hotels, and many high-end boutiques. Its various sporting teams are formidable. 

Perugia is known as the City of Universities, because it is home to so many of them, and it runs several annual festivals - chocolate and journalism (images just above and below) and jazz - that attract leaders in those fields from around the world. From Wikipedia:

The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci”) public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, and other Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).

There is a very high proportion of foreigners living in Perugia at any one time - not only well over 25,000 studying and teaching there, but also those who first come to the University for Foreigners and so on and choose to get married and stay on. A high proportion of the population - far higher than for Italy generally - speaks foreign languages and has traveled internationally.

In terms of Italian justice, Perugia is unusually trusted, efficient and important. Like Florence, it takes some of the investigatory and judicial caseload from the capital city, Rome, including cases involving national politicians and the mafia. Florence and Perugia police and the courts have a symbiotic relationship - each handles some cases involving the officials of the other. 

2. The bizarre war on Perugia of the defense teams

Despite all of the above, Sollecito and Knox and their lawyers Bongiorno and Dalla Vedova are all trying very hard to belittle it. Meanspiritedly and dishonestly to put Perugia itself on trial.

All four seem to carry big chips on their shoulders about Perugia, and do little to hide them - which, contrary to what they may be supposing, is NOT going over well or helping their cause in the appeal court or the cities of Florence and Perugia.

Raffaele Sollecito

Sollecito was first sent to Perugia by his father to attend a high-school for the children of doctors who were proving a handful. He fell behind in his studies, was disciplined for porn, and made almost no friends there. By the time Knox encountered him, his social circle seems to have been largely confined to drug dealers.

His book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself.

Amanda Knox

Amanda “Typhoid Mary” Knox may have been attracted to Perugia because of its reputation as a party city - back then it had a reputation for drugs being easy.

In her book in her own words Knox claimed she was amazed to find that Perugia hosted a really, really large university - she claimed that had she known that she would (like Meredith) have enrolled there.

Really? The University for Foreigners is in fact A PART of the main university and for some years has been that way. She actually was enrolled there and if study had mattered could have carried exactly the same study load as Meredith. 

Her book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself. Knox fell out with almost everybody and probably now does not have even one person in Perugia who she might label her friend.

The city of Perugia has done its best to honor the graceful talented Meredith. In contrast the sharp-elbowed, self-absorbed Knox who has brought so much harm to the town is now despised there. 

Carlos Dalla Vedova

Dalla Vedova is a business lawyer from Rome who is quoted in Knox’s book as sneering at Perugia and the officials there - who in turn think he is a joke in the courtroom for his many wrong claims of the facts of the case, poor cross-examinations, and mistakes at law.

Judge Nencini sharply shot Dalla Vedova down when he tried to make the false claim that Perugia officials were malicious in releasing a false HIV result for Knox in her early days in Capanne. In fact, it may well have been Dalla Vedova himself who “secretly” put about that interim result and started the unfounded meme that it was malicious.

Giulia Bongiorno

And Giulia Bongiorno? Well, she is from Palermo in Sicily, and a reliable water-carrier for the mafia. She lost both of the biggest trials of her legal career in Perugia.

One was the retrial of ex-PM Andreotti for mafia connections in 2002 (she collapsed at the verdict) and the other was the Knox-Sollecito trial in 2009 with Judge Massei presiding.

If she loses this appeal Bongiorno could be facing three or more criminal investigations - for offers of bribes in Aviello’s prison, for meddling with the appointment of judges (Judge Hellmann replacing the better qualified Chiari), and for the numerous criminal libels in Sollecito’s book, in which she is credited as a main source.

Good reasons for now being a tad hysterical?

Last Thursday in court, Bongiorno impugned a huge cast of characters - police and prosecutors in Perugia, many of the witnesses, the population of Perugia, the police lab specialists in Rome, the media, the Supreme Court - seemingly almost anyone she could think of related to the case except the disgraced Judge Hellmann and the disgraced DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti.

We have a post coming up which will contend with some of Bongiorno’s false claims about the evidence and police and prosecution behavior - which Judge Nencini himself several times signaled that he knew about quite differently.

These below are among the nasty cracks Bongiorno made at Perugia and the respected officials and good people there. They are taken from Machiavelli’s courtroom reporting, and are what helped cause the growing skepticism and resentment.

3..  Reads book snippet about French revolution, describe a horde of sanculots and armed citizens

4.  Bongiorno: a bloodthirsty mob chasing defendants

5.  Bongiorno was shocked by the angry mob before Perugia courtroom [after Hellmann verdict]

6.  Bongiorno speech hinges around the persecution of defendants.  Describes her fear, fleeing from Perugia.  Says people didn’t know trial papers

7.  Bongiorno focuses on the “early bias” against accused, since four days after finding of body. 

8.  Complains Sollecito doesn’t find a job because has a murderer’s face

9.  Why did they accuse and put them in jail so early? They didn’t even have the knife. 

10.  Bongiorno: authority had to chose between a “tranquillizing” student motive and a dangerous serial killer “worrying” scenario. 

11.  Says: it was Perugia population who chose the less disquieting scenario, and the investigation was based on “less alarming motive” choice

14.  Bongiorno: women are suspected because of today women’s empowerment movements. 

15.  Most active and free women are seen as more suspicious. 

19.  Speaks about “creativity” before the trial.  Speaks at length about the bloody shoeprint. 

20.  Says Knox was the main character, she was so before the trial. 

21.  She is tired of Raffaele reduced by “half”, a half character seen as a reflection of Amanda

24.  Says Raffaele was “halfed”, against him only half pieces of circum evidence: half shoeprint’ knife compatible only if you consider half of blade

25.  Only half of the house of murder investigated.  An interrogation considered evidence of Knox’s calunnia. 

29.  Amanda was caught by anxious urge to answer.  She became uncomfortable because police asked too much, altering her serenity

30.  Says they also insulted Knox

31.  Talking about insults [to Sollecito’s family members], Bongiorno cries. 

32.  Sollecito’s aunts wiretapped as if they were the most dangerous murderers. 

33.  Bongiorno criticized interpreter Anna Donnino. 

34.  Said Donnino altered Knox’s statements. 

35.  Said Donnino acted as mediator not interpreter

36.  Called Donnino a “medium” ( means .  “psychic”)

37.  One of the elements against Sollecito is the accusation of having sidetracked investigation.  Said it was false. 

38.  Said the Cassazione suggests Raffaele lied about timings of call to carabinieri, accused him of sidetracking because he lied. 

39.  But, said, if we look at Knox, it’s not her sidetracking investigation, but rather investigators sidetracking her. 

40.  Said trial was determined by the fact Donnino fid not understand English well, thus sidetracked Knox

41.  Talked about police mistake on the “see you later” message

42.  Said Knox did not commit a crime but convinced herself she did.  B.  mentions the internalized false confession type. 

43.  Explained the three types of false confessions. 

44.  Said Amanda was “induced into raving” by “psychic” Donnino. 

48.  Bongiorno urged judges to get out from codes and get into the hearts of the two young accused. 

49.  Amanda, B.  says, did not understand why Raffaele accused her. 

50.  When Knox learns about bring accused by Sollecito she had a collapse while the “psychic” was saying “remember!”

51.  She described Knox as almost unconscious, buckled because she trusted Sollecito, thinks the police and Raff say so, must be true. 

53.  Said the room is flooded with evidence of Guede all over the place. 

54.  Said that was the nightmare of Perugia, the intruder nightmare. 

55.  Spoke about Guede’s alleged lifestyle. 

56.  Said there is no evidence the three people hung out together. 

57.  Said when the investigators found Rudi, they could not abandon the first suspects, because it’s difficult like leaving your first love mate

61.  Said Mr.  Kokomani “materialized” when investigators had desperate need to prove Sollecito and Guede knew each other

62.  Bongiorno talked about “Aladdin lamp effect”: detectives wishes which materialize. 

65.  Said that Kokomani was offered 10k euros for his testimony.  [Wrong, that was a media offer he refused.  ]

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“because police asked too much, altering her serenity”

Indeed. After she finished her home-work, she did some yoga and cartwheels and attained transcendental serenity. And she was trying hard to regain some semblance of normalcy!

It is the corrupt policemen who brought her down to dirty earth. How sad.

Posted by chami on 01/14/14 at 08:54 PM | #

Meredith Kercher. Amanda ended her promising life with her murderous buddies.
Meredith was at the age when things are new and exciting..and I sense her excitement for life thru family, friends, testimony.

Posted by Bettina on 01/14/14 at 09:18 PM | #

Although she was enrolled for a short time, looking at Knox’s grades and attendance would be interesting…

Posted by Annie on 01/15/14 at 02:14 AM | #

I think she was only doing a language course.  Her Italian was at beginner’s level when she first arrived in Perugia.

Posted by thundering on 01/15/14 at 01:32 PM | #


Even the small details matter. How many classes per day, how many courses (subjects) and how many hours?

How was her past academic record?

At least both RS and RG completed some course in their jail time. I understand that she did not take studies seriously at all. Any information will be welcome.

I am interested because study seriously needs some discipline. You need to concentrate and focus seriously for 3-4 hours a day. And that cures many small problems.

Posted by chami on 01/15/14 at 05:33 PM | #

Here’s a YouTube video of screaming Jane Velez-Mitchell fawning over sadistic sex killer Raffaele Sollecito on CNN:


It’s a timely reminder why it’s important to be proactive and insist that journalists covering the case provide balanced and factually accurate reports. I don’t want to see anything like this on 30 January. Complaining about this kind of journalism on PMF and TJMK won’t change it. Everybody can make a difference. Please send tweets or retweet, write e-mails or pick up the phone.

Posted by The Machine on 01/15/14 at 06:23 PM | #

I’ve just sent tweets to journalists from Kiro 7. Please retweet. Thanks. My name on Twitter is @harryrag

Posted by The Machine on 01/15/14 at 07:10 PM | #

In the interview RS said he was the only one she could trust at the moment of kissing at the crime scene.

That was a slip of the tongue. He took an overall PR adagio from later on (average people start with truth) and inserted it in an early moment in the past.

Posted by Helder Licht on 01/15/14 at 07:22 PM | #

Hi Annie

Thundering and Chami are correct in what we know and dont yet know. It is quite clear as the post above and this below say that Knox was intent on a frivolous few months in Perugia.


The study would have required 10 hours a week max and render no credits for UW.

Cocaine purchases may have been wrecking havoc with her small budget which would explain why she could have been so desperate to stop Meredith replacing her as a waitress at le Chic.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/15/14 at 07:28 PM | #

Hi Machine

This was our post on the hilariously disastrous Jane Velez Mitchel interview with Sollecito - two of her guests knew a lot more than she did, and left her squeaky and out of ammo.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/15/14 at 07:31 PM | #

Wonderful pictures, and good to hear about the real Perugia.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 01/15/14 at 08:30 PM | #

@Peter Quennell

Jesus wept. I’ve just looked at the Jane Velez Mitchel video for the first time. Never mind (for a moment) AK & RS, this woman should also be locked up forthwith, and preferably straitjacketed.

A complete and utter screeching harridan, given licence it seems to assault our eyes and ears. She’s clearly someone else who didn’t get enough attention in infancy, and she’s still bawling. She wouldn’t get a part-time job as a cleaner in UK TV studios (I hope), potentially too upsetting for other staff.

Anyway, as you say, the guy at the end of the clip coolly relates why he thinks they are guilty - at which point maybe she was carried back to her dressing room, kicking, screaming and frothing at the mouth.

Posted by Odysseus on 01/15/14 at 08:59 PM | #

I intend to contact all the people have got their facts badly wrong in the media before the verdicts on 30 January and make them aware of the wiki website. If anyone knows the contact details of Lisa Schiavo, please let me know. Here’s a YouTube video of Lisa embarrassing herself with her ignorance in a television interview:


Thanks to all the people who have been tweeting and retweeting.

Posted by The Machine on 01/15/14 at 09:55 PM | #

I’ve just tweeted BBC News, Jon Snow (Channel 4 News Anchor) and Geoff Hill (ITN News Editor). Please retweet. My name on twitter is @OdysseusReturns

Posted by Odysseus on 01/15/14 at 10:40 PM | #

@The Machine

Can’t trace “Lisa Schiavo” but if for some reason she’s changed her name to Lisa S. Blatt this will be her: http://goo.gl/rz1SNk. Her e-mail is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Odysseus on 01/15/14 at 11:26 PM | #

Thanks Odysseus. I’ve retweeted your tweets. It literally took a couple of seconds. Most of my tweets today were sent to journalists in Seattle. Every retweet is a reminder to take us seriously and a prompt to look at the official court documents and court testimony. Let’s keep reminding and prompting them.

Posted by The Machine on 01/15/14 at 11:30 PM | #

Heck, I retweeted for all of you. It was my pleasure.

PS Is Lisa Schaivo the sis of Terry Schiavo, the woman killed when life support was withdrawn by Drs??

Posted by Bettina on 01/16/14 at 01:48 AM | #

An excerpt from the latest article by journalist Andrea Vogt,

” For those keeping track of the various ‘sideshows’ in the Amanda Knox case, a Turin court Wednesday definitively acquitted Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini of three charges against him in connection to his investigations into the Monster of Florence case.”


Posted by True North on 01/16/14 at 04:23 AM | #

So my next question for RS is: why did you think in first instace you were the only one AK could thrust?

Posted by Helder Licht on 01/16/14 at 02:08 PM | #

That does not appear to be the Schiavo I was thinking about. Not sure.


Posted by Bettina on 01/16/14 at 08:27 PM | #

Thanks for the retweets. I hope other people follow suit. It will literally take a couple of minutes to retweet my tweets to the journalists from Komo News. The reporting in Seattle was particularly bad. In fact, it shouldn’t be called reporting; it was more like cheerleading. I can’t stress this point enough: a few words have led to articles being published in the media. Please don’t be silent when it comes to the media in the next two weeks. Make your words count.

Posted by The Machine on 01/16/14 at 10:21 PM | #

Jane Velez-Mitchell Horrendous! I have some friends who are American they must find this despicable and cringe worthy, it reflect but poorly on their media. A good liberal American commentator takes a lot of beating; sometimes needs it to. The Post by Odysseus sums it up 2.59 But what relevance has Jon Snow? I see we have been asked to “Tweet” I am not familiar with this being something of a Luddite. Please let me know if I can help- the Machine?

I was not able to travel to Italy last year for the sixth International Attachment Conference, University of Pavia. There was the opportunity of a ten hour round trip to Perugia with a short stop both ways in Bologna. However the group who made the trip were more than favourably impressed, both by the university in both cities and with Perugia and its inhabitants in particular.

They work, as I did until recently, with Emotional and Behavioural Disturbance in children, the young and families. Their few notes on “the invisible spirit of Perugia,” I have written up from their observations to be found elsewhere. They stand in contrast with the, “Defences dishonest distinctly ill-conceived war of aggression against Perugia.” Their professional context had been to reject the perceived reality, and reflexively look beyond for the invisible spirit of place where reality is initiated and its meaning formulated.

For instance,its baffling when you enter the old medieval city at night, you almost expect the town crier to be abroad. “Its twelve of the clock and all is well, God’s in his Heaven the Devils in Hell.” The rich worldly stink of the Renaissance that began in Italy, mixed with the Medieval belief in the after life and the keen sense of atmosphere with the dead sharing the world with the living showing through the fabric of the buildings.

Even as the light dies, the moon is full, shines on the Etruscan Arch with its splendid trapezoidal towers, one of the seven gates in the Etruscan wall. That rare combination of Medieval and Renaissance architecture. The meeting rooms of Perugia’s Exchange Guild one of the best preserved office suites of the century, Piazza IV November the Medieval fountain Maggiore, between the cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori in the centre of the square. Built by a local monk in the late thirteenth, two stacked basins set with panels and figures carved by Gothic masters, the sculptors Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni.

The fountain emerged spectacularly after recent restoration, gleaming white and new, the pride of the city nouveau riche. The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, a doorway with twin windows trimmed with Renaissance wreaths the half moon above. It became the City Court House, and contains a statue representing justice, praying in the promised land of error to get the future out alive and keep the Devil in his place.

Perugia is firstly a student city, and the virile incandescence rubbed off on local residents. “We cannot build their future for them here, but we can built them for whatever future there is to come.” The young supported a busy drug scene and helped keep down the price of wine, the constant beat of stringent music in the clubs infused the atmosphere with all of the arrested development of the young. Such was their tilt in life, search for untrammelled truth in the neon lights shinning off incongruous medieval streets, if youth only knew, if age only could, youth would be an ideal state, if it came a little later in life. So the sayings went, in youth we learn to agitate for what in age we understand.

I liked their description of Perugia and its people, though smaller it reminded me of Edinburgh, its conspicuous architecture, though out of period it had the familiar cosmopolitan inhabitant with a similar mellow genius loci.  My hope is to go there some time next year.

Posted by Macthomas on 01/17/14 at 11:48 AM | #

JVM used to be reasoned and useful…till she got her own show and tried to emulate Nancy Grace.

Please retweet for The Machine

Posted by Bettina on 01/17/14 at 10:09 PM | #

Hi Macthomas,

It’s really easy to get a Twitter account. Here are the instructions:


A Twitter storm is going to hit both sides of the Atlantic on 30 January. Please be part of it. You won’t regret it.

Posted by The Machine on 01/18/14 at 12:42 AM | #

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