Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Knox Appears Once Again On The Stupidly Duped ABC Breakfast Show

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: a much-watched Italian interpretation of Knox’s previous appearance.

Pretty funny, even if you know zero Italian. Nobody at all thinks highly of Knox there - well, maybe except Sollecito, briefly, when he got a big payoff to quieten him after this event.

As too often, follow the money. This new appearance is yet another emanation of what is for now the world’s largest blood-money machine, with both Knox and ABC gaining financially.

And the real Italy and the real truth be damned, of course. A real pity considering that back in the 2009 trial days Ann Wise’s reporting on the ABC website from Italy was among the most valuable.

But it’s a window closing fast these days. The year 2020 will be the year when truth dominates, with new books and our own major exposures.

We are also considering at least one conference, the first probably to be in Italian, with key attendees from Italy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/11/19 at 10:33 AM in

Comments

Thanks to the Machine on the previous thread for the useful heads-up… I hope everybody is brushing up on their Italian for next year.

Launching the pushback in Italian permits the attendance of “original sources” and also of Italian reporters in the US and Italian-American politicians tired of the perpetual slimeing of Italy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/11/19 at 02:06 PM | #

So, hello Brexit. And the breakup of the UK? Certainly not what Meredith, with her Erasmus fellowship and Brussels in her sights, ever foresaw.

The Washington Post had an op-ed article yesterday suggesting that the bedrock condition right now is tribalism from which all else (eg Brexit) flows.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/12/british-election-is-about-more-than-just-brexit-its-about-tribalism/

Please say if you want to read that and can’t. I think it’s wrong: tribalism is not a bedrock condition, it is a result.

I’d suggest the bedrock condition is atomization, isolation, powerless, no light at the end of the tunnel, lack of ability to do much travel, humungous health costs in the US, and economic lack of promise and threat, for the great majority now.

And an absence of development processes sharply hastening that decline (the EC and US essentially have none; they feed down some resources but not the more vital knowhow).

Made worse by (1) education systems that do not go the extra mile (see prior post), and professors all competing with their little hobbyhorses suggesting THEY have the magic fix (they never do); (2) top-down government, made worse in the multi-layer US Federal system where many of the benefits are not widely seen as emanating from the top; and (3) 2,000 billionaires in the world, soaking up almost all of the gains.

Made worse by the crazed growth in derivatives in 2000-2008 (in NYC we all knew it was a trainwreck waiting to happen, just dont be the last one off the train) and when that collapsed, the big players got all manner of government help, while millions of the “little people” lost their house (core of Trump voters).

And in Europe’s case made worse by the frantic inclusion of so many new countries after the Berlin Wall came down. WHY the rush? Those countries were on a much lower tier, so many of their more-skilled headed west, and because of English especially to the UK.

Given development processes (which nobody was) the world could have looked very different today.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/19 at 08:56 AM | #

Wow. “As many Remainers are pointing out today, the main parties that want a second referendum on Brexit—Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party, the Greens, and Plaid Cymru—collectively took almost 51 percent of the popular vote, compared with just under 46 percent for the Conservatives and the Brexit Party combined. The country is as divided as ever, with a slight edge for the Remainers.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/19 at 08:38 PM | #

A significant result from the general election is that for the first time ever Northern Ireland has more non-unionist MPs than unionist MPs. The deputy leader of the DUP at Westminster lost his seat to Sinn Fein! Northern Ireland voted to remain in the Referendum and the demographics are changing there as well. Could be that in 10 years time there is a united Ireland.

In Scotland the SNP more or less wiped the board and will press for a second Independence Referendum when the time is right. In Wales there is also a flicker as Plaid Cymru have 4 seats.

Brexit and Boris Johnson’s majority is really all about xenophobia and rural and small town english nationalism.

Boris Johnson’s speech about a One Nation Conservative party rang a bit hollow.

There is an underlying fragmentation that Brexit is only going to intensify.The big fib is that Brexit is done and that the UK is going to go forward rather than backwards.

There is an element of Trumpism in all this. Not surprising that he has been encouraging Brexit. Having been rejected over Greenland, perhaps he will make an offer for England when the economy eventually tanks over here!

Posted by James Raper on 12/14/19 at 05:10 AM | #

@james Many a true word said in jest.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/14/19 at 08:23 AM | #

Krissy, one jest here goes thus: as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own assembly, this was England’s way of also getting an assembly all to itself…

James, what positive results will Boris be able to show any time soon? The Canada/EC trade deal being talked about as a model took 4 years and Canada’s trade with the EC is only 1/4 that of the UK.

Also during UK/EC negotiations the EC will be able to mess enormously with any trade deals the UK tries to do with any other big partner, eg the US.

Frankly, it absolutely beats me (and most UK “captains of industry” and analysts here in NY) what the economic pluses possibly could be.

Perhaps Boris or the tabloids might explain?!

The UK was in the doldrums for years (“sick man of Europe”) till it became seriously involved with the EC (then EU) and the English-speaking City of London thus became the main engine of growth.

This is 30 months old, but still seems on the mark.

http://truejustice.org/ee/documents/perugia/2017EconomistUKSickMan.pdf

There has been a steep devaluation of the UK pound over 10 years - in 2008 one UK pound would get more than 2 US dollars; now a pound gets only about US $1.35. That’s down 6.5% a year.

The UK pound is also substantially down on the Euro, around 30% in the same period. That’s down 3% a year.

So recent UK economic “success” has had this seriously phony edge. In effect, the “sick man” has been back these past 10 years - with less than zero true growth.

The EC did not cause that. Terrible UK development management (including severe under-investment, aka austerity, and severe institutional incapacity) did.

Poor hornswoggled Brits.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/14/19 at 10:17 AM | #

One way to un-hornswoggle the Brits thoroughly and fast?

It’s handicapping the UK these days that it has a Department for INTERNATIONAL Development but no Department for NATIONAL Development. (Same for the US.)

Having such a department or ministry would really pay off. Because of UN influence (incl that of IMF and World Bank) a majority of countries have them now. See Germany’s, Singapore’s, and Brazil’s:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Ministry_for_Economic_Cooperation_and_Development

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_National_Development_(Singapore)

https://ustda.gov/news/press-releases/2018/ustda-and-brazil%E2%80%99s-ministry-planning-development-and-management-launch

Such a super-agency can master the growth sciences, put together good projects and plans, hopefully bottom-up; push for and create a capital budgeting process separate from the recurrent budget we see now; and educate everybody on lines of the above.

And also (especially important) balance the Treasury and the Bank of England whose unhelpful tendency will always be to have a heavy foot on the brake.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/14/19 at 12:53 PM | #

This is from The Economist’s sick-man of Europe article linked to above. It is describing Boris’s gang.

...free-market right-wingers who believe “Europe is in decline” and that Brexit would allow Britain to become more globalised.

Ha ha ha. EUROPE is the one in decline?!!

In the real world, the EC has grown 2-3% throughout the last decade. Take a look at this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_Union_member_states_by_GDP_growth

The UK is shown as third from last (26th). But it gets worse. That ranking doesn’t reflect the 10-year 30% devaluation of the pound re the Euro (see comment above).

In real terms, the UK today is absolutely dead last. Way below even Italy. Negative growth. And floating half-baked solutions like this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia_Unchained

Yeah, right…

The real truth of UK growth slipping so far behind would have been blatantly obvious had it been in the Euro currency group.

Then apples and apples could have been compared. Nostrums very different to “austerity” and BREXIT could have been tried.

Good luck, Boris, with that cuckoo “more globalized” thing…

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/15/19 at 11:09 AM | #

Ha!ha! Knox with chipmunk voice. I can’t speak Italian but got a kick out of the lampoon of little Miss Can’t Be Wrong. The childish voice caught the true Knox mannerisms, captured the unhinged silly hyperbole of knox the handwaving excitable born extremist.

Alvin and the Chipmunks show much more depth and flair.

OT but John Douglas’s name came up in an old book I’m reading about the Unabomber case.

The FBI chased Ted Kaczynscki about 18 years during his reign of mail bomb terror. Profiler Clint van Zandt was called in. John Douglas worked on the original profile in 1979. (As info came out with new clues, the behavioral assessments and profile of Kaczynski kept changing).

Of the Unabomber John Douglas said, “He has a rigid personality. Everything is in its place. In order. He may not look perfectly neat but in his house all his tools, all his possessions, would be in their place, very very organized.”

The truth was Kaczynski was a slob, a wild eccentric. After he gave up his math professorship at Berkeley, California he ran off to the wilderness, hid from society. He rarely bathed, owned almost nothing, lived off the land and his small garden, borrowed money from his younger brother to survive. Every so often he rode a bicycle into a nearby small town for supplies. He denounced modern technology in his “Manifesto”.

At Yale even before his “breakdown” his room was almost knee deep in trash and clothes.

Years later when the FBI surrounded his tiny self-built cabin in Montana, I’m not sure what they found exactly inside but I doubt it was the meticulously neat workshop Douglas suggested. So even the finest minds can make mistakes. The FBI profilers make mistakes. Douglas was wrong about the Unabomber being a neatnik, I think.

John Douglas made a big mistake in his analysis of Amanda Knox.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit of Quantico, Virginia although correct quite often in profiling, are not working with an exact science. Educated guesses are sometimes wrong.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/15/19 at 04:18 PM | #

Oops. My bad. Ted Kaczynski’s cabin was not a mess. I was wrong. It was quite neat and organized, given its limitations.

So I must apologize to John Douglas. He did not make a mistake on that profile.

However, he goofed on Knox.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/15/19 at 04:55 PM | #

Still, Douglas’ profile of the Unabomber must have narrowed things down quite considerably for the FBI, don’t you think?! Surprising, on reflection,  that it took so long to catch him.

Maybe what they really needed to know was that the Unabomber was a slob, a wild eccentric. That after he gave up his math professorship at Berkeley, California he ran off to the wilderness, hid from society. That he rarely bathed, owned almost nothing, lived off the land and his small garden, borrowed money from his younger brother to survive. That every so often he rode a bicycle into a nearby small town for supplies. That he had denounced modern technology in a “Manifesto”.

Sherlock Holmes could have deduced all that. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Posted by James Raper on 12/16/19 at 04:08 AM | #

Criminal profiling is a myth:

”A group of researchers at the University of Liverpool with the psychologist Laurence Alison have taken a different approach by evaluating the central assumption of profiling: that characteristics of a crime and crime scene can predict useful traits about a criminal. In a bracingly blunt 2002 journal article called “Is offender profiling possible?” Alison and his co-author Andreas Mokros conclude, basically, ‘No’.”

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/11/12/18044688/criminal-profilers-mindhunter-hannibal-criminal-minds

”In other words, there was just a 2.7% success rate when the profiles were applied out in the field. ”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/real-criminal-minds/201904/is-criminal-profiling-dead-should-it-be

”The main outdated principle here being the binary notion of offenders belonging to organised or disorganised trait sub-types, and that such traits can be predictive of offence mechanisms. Research has shown this to be an outmoded concept of little predictive usefulness (Canter et al., 2004). It is widely acknowledged that offender traits are not reliably predictive of the crimes they commit, and given that murder may often primarily be an ill-thought-through response to a highly-charged emotional situation, it is intuitive that the usefulness of trait-based approaches will be limited.”

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/cjm/article/usefulness-criminal-profiling

John Douglas is a fraud. He has made countless false claims about the Meredith Kercher case because he has unquestioningly believed what he has been told by Amanda Knox’s supporters and he couldn’t be bothered to do any fact-checking by the reading the official court reports and court transcripts.

His belief in Amanda Knox and Raffaele’s innocence is based on a pack of lies and his own preconceived ideas about white middle-class students and black men. Killers come from all walks of life. You don’t need to be an FBI special agent and a criminal profiler to know that - you just need a modicum of common sense.

Posted by The Machine on 12/16/19 at 05:28 AM | #

I should think after the descriptions of the Unabomber being knee-deep in trash and clothing and generally chaotic, even a bomb site would look relatively ‘neat and tidy’.  No shit Sherlxxx Douglas.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/16/19 at 05:29 AM | #

As if any one person can claim to have ‘invented criminal profiling’.  The Italians invented criminology hundreds of years ago and a specific type of profiling - which still works well - is to ask the question ‘cui bono?’ “to whom is it a benefit?”  By asking this, he might have caught the Unabomber earlier.  He would have looked for an angry anarchist who is also intelligent enough to plan the logistics of a bombing campaign.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/16/19 at 05:43 AM | #

‘Cui bono?’ from staging a burglary, frying the laptops, cleaning up, locking Meredith’s door, throwing away her phones and ringing up the other housemate to say she was worried not to have heard from Mez?

Cui bono, John Douglas, you clever dick?

Posted by KrissyG on 12/16/19 at 05:47 AM | #

Though provably of use now and then, profiling does seem to resemble a monkey with a keyboard a tad too often.

Clint Eastwood’s new “Richard Jewell” movie set in 1996 rightly gives the wrong FBI profiling a hard time - though Clint trod on his own message by misrepresenting what a now-dead woman reporter did.

https://www.vulture.com/2019/12/richard-jewell-review-new-clint-eastwood-movie.html

***

The Unabomber was caught in the same year. John Douglas loudly claims credit in several books, though he was actually sidelined by then.

As we all know, the Unabomber’s writings raising the suspicions of his brother, and it was this that connected the dots.

***

Hopeful mentioned the excellent criminologist & profiler Clint van Zandt.

This Clint was actually brought in by the Unabomber brother’s lawyer, and he engineered the transmission of the brother’s suspicions to the FBI.

Unlike John Douglas, this Clint SUPPORTED the police case against Sollecito and Knox.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/meredith_dateline_documentary_new_standard_for_all_others

https://www1.cbn.com/700club/clint-van-zandt-inside-mind-fbi-profiler

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/19 at 10:20 AM | #

Irony #1.

To some extent in the American public mind, because of several ongoing TV shows, (1) profiling always zeros in on “the man”; but (2) if there is no DNA “the man” is not proven guilty and so must walk free.

Douglas & Moore pushed (1) re Guede, while Hampikian & Gill pushed (2) re AK & RS. Gee thanks TV.

Irony #2.

(1) Machine wrote an excellent 4-part series debunking John Douglas’s profiling starting here:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/how_with_myriad_false_claims_john_douglas_pushes_to_forefront_1

(2) Then Cardiol turned up seeming proof (in part based on an admission by Douglas himself) that after AD 2000 Douglas was no longer mentally all there, and was being used as a glove-puppet by Preston, Heavey, Fischer, Clemente, and Moore.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/was_a_vulnerable_john_douglas_hijacked_by_first_generation_crackpots

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/19 at 10:54 AM | #

Yes KrissyG’s “Cui bono?” was foolishly not asked by John Douglas, but it was in effect asked by Judge Micheli, three years before, and that set him and the subsequent trial on right lines.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/understanding_micheli_4_the_staged_scene_who_returned_to_move_meredith

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/17/19 at 12:54 AM | #

John Douglas didn’t get acquainted with the facts of the Meredith Kercher case because he couldn’t be bothered to read the official court reports and court transcripts. Instead he unquestioningly believed whatever he was told by Amanda Knox’s supporters without doing any fact-checking.

Lack of academic rigour and astonishing gullibility are two of John Douglas’ hallmarks and they are clearly evident in his work on other cases e.g. the West Memphis Three.

He made the following comments about Damian Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley:

“Damien and Jason had no indicative violence in their pasts; and while Jessie was known for a hot temper, he channeled his aggression into pursuits such as wrestling. He was also known to be very gentle with children and often babysat in the neighborhood. Though the three were raised in a culture in which corporate punishment was common, none were abused… In sum, I found…nothing in the behavioral backgrounds of the Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to suggest that any were guilty of murder.”

Damian Elchols was sent to a mental health hospital on three separate occasions. He threatened a number of people with violence and on occasion attacked others. For example, he threatened to kill his parents and to eat his father alive and he admitted trying to “claw the eyes of out” of a student. According to a report, Echols sucked the blood from the wound of one of the boys in Arkansas Juvenile Detention Center.

Claiming there’s nothing in someone’s behavioural background to suggest they are guilty of murder is simple-minded reasoning because there have been countless cases where brutal and sadistic killers had no prior history of violence.

Sadistic sex killer Myra Hindley had no history of violence and she was regarded as a caring child minder.

Sadistic sex killer Rosemary West had no history of violence.

Laurie Ann Swank who orchestrated the gang rape and murder of her friend Janet Chandler had no history of violence.

Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy who murdered their friend Skylar Neese had no history of violence.

Peter Sutcliffe - aka the Yorkshire Ripper - had no history of violence. He murdered 13 women and attempted to murder seven others.

Posted by The Machine on 12/17/19 at 04:35 AM | #

Correction: Ted Kaczynski went to Harvard, not to Yale. He sent a mail bomb to Yale to David Gelernter who ran the computer science department at Yale. Gelernter lost his right hand, was injured in right eye, chest and abdomen.

A painter, David Gelernter learned to paint again with his left hand. He said he got a new lease on life by his scrape with death. He wrote a book he had been putting off, he returned to painting with new zeal and began to appreciate life intensely.

Ted Kaczynski was a genius, born in Chicago with an IQ between 160 to 170. He was born in 1942. He had a dreadful reaction to medication when he was 6 months old when he was hospitalized in isolation from mother for many weeks.  He was possibly immobilized with cuffs or splints to prevent baby scratching himself. Family noticed a change in the child when he returned home. He appeared listless and withdrawn. Perhaps this led to his later social difficulties?

He was 16 when he entered Harvard, the ultimate loner.

He graduated in 1962, went on to do graduate work at University of Michigan. He had a passion for math. His specialty was “boundary functions”, an arcane subject in a realm of abstraction. At Michigan he got his PhD. In 1967 he was hired as assistant professor of math at Berkeley. This was during the hippie era and Vietnam War. Much social upheaval in the U.S. In 1969 he resigned from his teaching job at Berkely and went into the Montana wilderness.

His younger brother, David, was the hero of the odd Kaczynski family. He hero worshipped his brilliant older brother and even followed his example for awhile. David in the 80s drove a suburban Chicago bus 6 months a year but would escape to a corner of Texas and live at first in a 4-foot hole dug in the ground covered with tarps or corrugated metal until he built a primitive cabin. He went there to read, write and think.

He met an older Mexican man in his late 70s who urged him to stop fearing women, taught him how to write love letters. This man also began to correspond with Ted and became a good friend to him as far as letters would allow. He said that Ted called his mother a dog. The Mexican grieved that Ted held no love for his parents.

Ted after some years in his Montana hideout warned his family to stop writing him. Their letters caused him too much pain.

David returned to civilization in 1990, married the girl of his dreams and took job helping runaway kids.

The Kaczynski father shortly after the 1990 wedding, the last time the entire family was all together although Ted did not attend the wedding, committed suicide after a cancer diagnosis.

David hired his own private investigator in hopes of disproving Ted’s involvement in the murders. His love for Ted was real. He was torn in half when the Manifesto revealed Ted was the Unabomber.

One phrase Ted used was, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too”, which their mom had often said. Experts compared the Kacynski letters to family with the Manifesto and concluded the same language and ideas were echoed. David had to tell the FBI his tormented suspicions in order to stop the violence.

He was a heroic and sympathetic figure through the entire siege. He knew what the loss of privacy would do to his brother via an FBI investigation. The fatal media blitz disturbed his and his wife’s lives as well as anyone who had ever come in contact with Ted Kacynski.

Louis Freeh was head of FBI at the time.

I agree with so many of the comments made about this and about John Douglas’s part in Unabomber case, and the Knox case which he did not understand at all.

As Peter Quennell pointed out, Douglas by his own admission was no longer at his mental best by the time of the Knox trial, and he had not read any court transcripts. Plus he was wrong to base his opinion on the jaded untrue idea that a perp must show a prior history of violence.

There is always a FIRST ACT that reveals the resolve to murder, often with no clear warning in behavior. This is proven by Peter Sutcliffe, Myra Hindley, Rosemary West, et al.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/17/19 at 09:25 AM | #

There was a widespread misconception that sex offenders and pedophiles were dirty old men in raincoats for years. In reality, they come from all walks of life - they include priests, teachers, doctors, nursery nurses, BBC TV presenters, Hollywood directors, football coaches and scout leaders. That’s why it’s utterly stupid and dangerous to make assumptions based on someone’s background.

If someone’s guilt or innocence could be determined by their background, there would be no need for criminal trials. Lady Justice is symbolically depicted as wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents impartiality and the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power or any other status. John Douglas doesn’t seem to understand this concept.

Posted by The Machine on 12/17/19 at 11:04 AM | #

Really fine analysis by the Machine and Hopeful above. Here’s a tip as to its significance.

It’s not John Douglas’s endless self-promotion and endless false claims about Meredith’s case in his books that matter the most. It’s something else. 

The out-to-lunch John Douglas was one of three who in 2013 and 2014 weaseled their way into the US State Department (after a failed show-and-tell in the US Congress, laughably attended by not even one elected politician) and proceeded to lie their heads off about the case.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/knox_apologists_attempt_to_bend_congress_but_nobody_important_turns_up

For the six years prior to that, the State Department and the US Rome Embassy had been neutral, objective, and commendably hands-off (thanks in part to Hillary Clinton).

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/us_overreaction_state_department_foreign_office_rebuts_senator_cantwel

And at a cost of an estimated $500,000 to US taxpayers, the Embassy monitored Knox’s court sessions and time in Capanne Prison and repeatedly reported nothing untoward.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/andrea_vogt_obtains_new_rome_embassy_cables_from_state_still_showing_z

The two others who along with Douglas set out to poison State Department minds were (1) Steve Moore, a failed FBI agent and fired security guard, and (2) Michael Heavey, a mediocre judge in a court south of Seattle who, in face of an official reprimand and much ridiculing, had chosen not to seek re-election.

_

This self-serving, scurrilous, over-the-hill trio of Douglas, Heavey & Moore suckered State political appointees into believing them to be the best of the FBI and the best of the US court system, and to be bringing factual information that Italy was hiding.

Their extensive ties to the heavily bankrolled Knox PR were not let on about.

Douglas, Heavey & Moore were welcomed effusively at State by one of the senior political appointees. This was the same woman who accepted the dishonest FAO “petition” from Karen Pruitt (a Seattle crank said to be in love with Curt Knox and distrusted even by other pro-Knoxers):

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/ten_of_the_ways_in_which_the_FOA_petition

You can see from that post that the “petition” fell far short both on the truth and on valid signatures.

Our main poster Ergon also uncovered a further toxic presence in the State Department, who was also openly participating in Bruce Fischer’s anti-Italy forums.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/so_is_james_moninger_the_one_moonlighting

So. What was the direct result of the nefarious work of this trio?

Well, it is believed by informed Italians that both the State Department (courtesy of Douglas, Heavey & Moore) and the mafias (courtesy of Sollecito’s mafioso uncle)  attempted to bend the final 2015 Supreme Court outcome.

And of course one or other (or possibly both) succeeded. And so RS and AK currently walk free.

John Douglas, along with his ex-FBI and ex-judge chums and his mafia chums, has a great deal to answer for.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/17/19 at 03:06 PM | #

Footnote on Brexit. See this astonishing article, seemingly based on open claims from the Boris camp. Boris is Tony Blair 2.0? What a fiend!

https://www.cityam.com/how-boris-johnson-became-the-heir-to-blair/

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/18/19 at 02:04 PM | #

I don’t agree with the thesis that BoJo copied Blair.  He won because of straightforward scaremongering by the likes of the Daily Mail and the SUN, incredibly influential tabloids with the working classes and middle England who believe their word is the natural order of things, not even being aware they are reading propaganda pushed by non-dom Murdoch and the DM’s non-dom who lives in France.

Blair’s election was a genuine case of Cool Britannia.  When I went to work next day EVERYBODY was smiling at everybody else.  The chattering classes were overjoyed.  New statistics show that BoJo voters are the skilled /unskilled working classes, normally associated with Labour.  Everybody I know is dismayed and annoyed by BoJo’s election, unlike when Blair won it.

It was also more than the ‘Brexit Done’ soundbite.  There was real media manipulation Goebbels-style.  You’d think Corbyn was Trotsky resurrected, when in reality he is a common or garden parliamentarian.  Probably wears a cardigan and comfy slippers around the house rather than planning a bolshevik uprising, as the SUN would have it.

The Labour party’s budgeted manifesto was labelled a ‘bribe’ by the tabloids, whilst Boris Johnson came out with outright provable lies yet the same papers didn’t even pull him up on them.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/18/19 at 04:47 PM | #

Been thinking about The Three Stooges (Douglas, Heavey, and Moore). Until Peter Quennell’s comment above I’d never understood their shadowy influence on the State Department to sway political appointees.

They boasted themselves as experts, said Knox was innocent, and put pressure by this on U.S. influencers in Italy to press Italy’s court for an innocent verdict.

That is really shady. Judges should be persuaded only by evidence. The mafia, that I can understand.

As an American, I am so ashamed of Knox. Why would these officers of the law support her? It staggers the imagination.

I’ve also been thinking about “cui bono”. A good question.

Whom did it benefit to do the crime in the first place? That’s the hardest question to answer.

After the crime it’s easier to apply “Cui bono”—who benefited by the cover-up? by moving the body, removing victim’s clothes and trying to set up a classic rape?

(from the link to Judge Micheli)

That scene would lead straight to Rudy Guede by two persons who knew for a fact that he had left physical evidence on the victim’s body (which also suggests they were there to know that fact).

This is what Judge Micheli felt implicated Knox, the planted red herrings.

He also considered the running duo after the scream as Nora Capezzali testified to two runners crunching gravel, running up loud metal stairs right after the loud and final scream. They had left the cottage. And yet the body was moved much later. So someone had to come back into the dark cottage to rearrange things, to set up red herrings.

To point to some outsider who came into the home to steal and found a beautiful woman alone and vulnerable.  A broken window suggested that.

Knox thought the police would never consider her and her boyfriend to have attacked Meredith compared to a suspicious outsider like a young black guy who had no girlfriend, Guede. 

They used their “couplehood happy lovers” as a false sign of normalcy.

But the issue of “cui bono” as in who benefitted from doing this sort of crime in the first place, is difficult to decide. It goes to psychology and unseen motives, even spiritual motives. It involves extended family dynamics of two different families (Sollecito’s Italian family, Knox’s American family).

All that is very hard to decipher. A hundred theories but who knows the truth?

How did Raf or Amanda either one of them benefit from this horrible act?

I hope I’m using “cui bono” in the proper sense and not misapplying the term to something as subtle as “Why”?

Posted by Hopeful on 12/18/19 at 08:04 PM | #

Hi Hopeful,

Krissy was specifically referring the obvious attempts to mislead the police and deflect attention away from one of Meredith’s housemates e.g. the staged break-in and the clean up - not her murder.

The dishonest PR campaign that portrayed Rudy Guede as a drifter and drug dealer with a history of breaking and entering and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as two wholesome kids from respectable middle-class backgrounds who had never been in trouble with the police has had a subliminal and insidious effect on some of the members of PMF and TJMK. For example, they have wanted to know what Knox and Sollecito’s motive was - not Guede’s. They also refer to Knox and Sollecito by their first names, but refer to Guede by his surname. These are subtle differences and they are easy to miss.

Deepak Malhortra - a professor from Havard University - pointed out in his book Negotiation Genius that even experienced negotiators can be affected by influence techniques and that we should always be aware of these attempts to influence and manipulate us.

The PR campaign was highly effective because its underlying premise - horrific murders and sexual assaults are more likely to be committed by unemployed black criminals rather than white middle-class students from respectable backgrounds - made sense to people who held the same preconceived beliefs.

Amanda Knox’s supporters always claim she had no motive to murder Meredith as if there was a logical reason for someone else to kill her. Murder is an illogical and senseless act. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen every single day all over the world. Killers come from all walks of life. Laurie Ann Swank persuaded some of her work colleagues to rape and murder her friend Janet Chandler. The motive? Jealousy.

There have been a number of high-profile murder cases where seemingly normal girls have committed horrific and senseless murders with little or no motive e.g. Laurie Ann Swank, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, Amy Bishop, Karla Homolka, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, Kelly Ellard, Anna Maria Botticelli and Mariena Sica, Erika de Nardo, Jasmine Richardson, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy.

We can add Amanda Knox to this list. I think there are obvious signs she and Sollecito are psychopaths. They both definitely have personality disorders. I also think there was a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances that night e.g. the Italian housemates were away, Diya Lumumba sent Knox a text message saying she didn’t have to go into work, a chance encounter with Rudy Guede in Piazza Grimana, Jovana Popovic telling Sollecito she didn’t need a lift and the fact they were under the influence of drugs.

It’s worth highlighting the points that Vieri Fabiani, the Kerchers’ lawyer, made about motive:

“When we speak of a crime – we often say we need a motive. But whoever opened the door to Rudy Guede, what does it change? There were a series of contrasts between Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. The motive, or the lack thereof, is absolutely irrelevant. Because the voluntary homicide is proven. There was a progression of violence. Alcohol. Drugs. Fatigue. Stress. There could be 1000 problems that evolve into a punishment of the victim, because that is what we see in the escalation of violence that killed Meredith Kercher.”

Why was Meredith Kercher killed? No-one, apart from the murderers, knows.

Posted by The Machine on 12/19/19 at 04:46 AM | #

@Hopeful your comments are so perceptive.  Of course the question, “Cui bono?” doesn’t solve a crime, it is simply a form of criminal profiling.  Simply suspecting somebody of a crime would not be enough for a court of law.  On the other hand, investigating detectives do need to pare down to a likely list of suspects and this is where skills like John Douglas’ profiling or weighing up motive come in.

Whilst this may be useful to trimming down to a particular list of suspects, that’s all it does.

Often in life people do horrible things for no motive whatsoever.  We have all been on the receiving end of a mean act or words from people we go to school with or work with - or even one’s own family - and you can spend hours fretting as to the reason why.  Then one day you realise often people are mean to others for no reason at all other than that, given the choice, that is what they decided to do. That man who shoved you out of the way on the tube (subway), the woman who trod on your foot and didn’t say sorry, the work colleague who ‘stole’ your job, sometimes it’s nothing personal, they were just nasty.

IMV the answer to the question to whom did Meredith’s murder benefit is revenge, in the case of a very angry Knox, and fulfilling his knife/manga fantasies, for a very angry Raff.

IMO the acts of violence against Knox had been planned and fantasised about as an act of premeditation.  Both Knox and Sollecito had a history of strong interest in violence and inflicting pain. The crime would probably not had happened had the pair never met.  They realised very quickly they could divert full blame to the third participant, Guede, who was indeed an acquaintance of Knox and did know her.

In his recent interviews for Italian tv he took Knox’s side claiming Meredith was unfairly accusing Knox of he theft of her rent money and thus provoked the attack on herself.  The missing money shows zero respect by Knox for her roommate who must have known Meredith would immediately know who was responsible, and this was the perfect pretext for her and boyfriend to carry out their mean fantasies.

How she she benefited?  Fame, fortune tv shows, books.  Raff?  Raff has brought his family into financial ruin and scandal.  That’ll teach Papa Doc for dumping Mama and abandoning him in a boarding school for orphans, as well as his behaving like a tyrant, checking up on his son several times a day.  His fury to discover Raff had escaped his clutches for a few hours was a dish served cold by Raffaele, his Mama’s angelic choir boy turned knife fiend.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/19/19 at 05:28 AM | #

@ The Machine

One thing the PR didn’t succeed in doing is attributing a motive to Guede. Burglary gone wrong?  It doesn’t work, for Rudy knew getting in by the boys’ entrance would have been far easier than a sheer thirteen feet climb to an obviously shuttered window.  He knew a bunch of students lived there and thus there wasn’t likely to be much of value other than laptops (which were not taken).  Jewellery was left behind.

The crime therefore was attributed by the PR as targeted at Meredith who was the only one who had anything stolen: her credit cards, rent money and two phones.  In addition, he would surely have just rung the doorbell to check if anyone was home first on a pretext, as they all knew him.

But once inside, if he was a rapist, he didn’t complete the act, and if a burglar, he didn’t do that, either.  Certainly he had zero motive to return to clean up and move the body for as far as he was concerned noone knew he had been there.

So the PR has concentrated in trying to construct a scenario where Rudy was ‘interrupted in the middle of his burglary’ by Meredith arriving home.  He turned his attentions to sexual assault and killed her when she screamed and resisted and because of course she knew him.  Knox was railroaded according to the PR because she happened to live there and was around that evening, etcetera, etcetera.

The mystery is why this vocal small minority of Knox supporters would be so fervent and desperate to get this complete stranger off the hook?  We can see there is a huge financial interest here.  Many have earned huge sums of money off the back of Knox’s crime and the last thing they want to do is recall all the books and the Netflix film.  You can tell most of them don’t really believe she is innocent.  They just can’t admit they are wrong and willingly colluded in helping a murderer escape justice.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/19/19 at 05:51 AM | #

People from respectable middle-class backgrounds have committed horrific premeditated murders without there being a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances. Lovers Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart murdered their spouses and made it look like a double suicide:

Howell, a father of 10, was a highly acclaimed dentist and a lay-preacher. In 1991 he was having an affair with Hazel Buchanan and killed her husband and his own wife, making it appear a double suicide.

In sentencing, Mr Justice Hart said that he had carried out “truly heinous crimes”. He described the cold-blooded, carefully planned and ruthlessly executed double murder of two people who Howell saw as standing in the way of his adulterous desire to be with Hazel Buchanan. (Stewart)

”Each murder was carried out when the victim was asleep and thus entirely defenceless,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/dec/03/dentist-20-years-double-murder

It is only now that Hazel Stewart’s trial is over that we really know the part she played in the meticulous planning of the killings.

During the course of the trial we learned how the lovers met a number of times to discuss the plan.

Howell gassed his wife as she slept on the sofa at their home in Knocklayde Park. He put her body in their car and drove to his lover’s home.

She opened the garage door and made sure her husband was sleeping in the bedroom. She organised clothes to dress the body then watched as Howell carried her husband to the car, placing him beside Lesley.

Vulnerable

She took the pipe used to gas their spouses and burned it, cleaned up the bedroom and opened the windows.

Finally, she waited for a phone call from her lover to find out what she should say to the police.

During her trial Stewart denied she had given her husband a tuna sandwich laced with drugs and denied being part of a plot.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12618874

This is the kind of murder case that the likes of Anne Bremner and John Douglas don’t want to acknowledge because it contradicts their worldview. Sometimes people commit horrific and senseless murders because they are evil and it has nothing to do with alcohol, drugs, fatigue or stress.

Posted by The Machine on 12/19/19 at 07:23 AM | #

One thing to note in the Kercher case is the sheer amount of sadism involved.

Meredith was tortured for a good while whilst her arms were restrained from self-defence.  Her mouth was brutally covered by someone’s hand leaving bruises around her nostrils area and lower jaw.  She had been jabbed numerous times with the point of a knife which seems to indicate she was goaded.

The killer was vicious, merciless and vengeful.  It was someone who enjoyed her suffering and had zero empathy.  Someone who callously declared, ‘sh!t happens’ and laughed and giggled in the questura whilst making out with her accomplice. Sollecito says in his book even he was embarrassed by her behaviour.  Imagine that, he found someone lower than himself.

Posted by KrissyG on 12/19/19 at 09:41 AM | #

Perfect storm? Yeah I think everybody here would go with the notion that even if Meredith’s death was not long premeditated the motivating factors have always looked to us to have been numerous (great list of examples of motiveless perps Machine) coupled with a pre-existing complete lack of empathy, and as Krissy says very likely sadism.

Knox’s callous behavior at the police station as described in court and her callous stint on the stand sure had almost 100% in the courtroom against her. Count in that backed-off group Mignini and Comodi, Sollecito, his whole legal team and his family, and Patrick’s lawyer.

You could add to those most or all of watching Italy - and their technical ability to observe was enormous, given print reports, TV feeds, national talk shows, leaks from lawyers and prison (Sollecito ran a blog), and documents online. The main question was not “Did they do it?”, the main question was “Who led the pack?”.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/how_each_of_the_three_subtly_but_surely_pushed_the_other_two_1

So. We saw three profilers (Douglas, Kassin, Clemente) all aggressively denying all this, and only one (Clint van Zandt) that we know of siding with the police pre-trial. Low batting average.

To those three (and to Gladwell) the toughest question of all could be “Explain Sollecito”. The REAL forgotten killer.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/19/19 at 02:16 PM | #

@ KrissyG

“How has she [Knox] benefited?  Fame, fortune tv shows, books.  Raff?  Raff has brought his family into financial ruin and scandal.  That’ll teach Papa Doc for dumping Mama and abandoning him in a boarding school for orphans, as well as his behaving like a tyrant, checking up on his son several times a day.  His fury to discover Raff had escaped his clutches for a few hours was a dish served cold by Raffaele, his Mama’s angelic choir boy turned knife fiend.”

Nicely put.

You are a far better criminal psychologist than Douglas could ever be.

One thing I will add is that Knox is characterized by her obsessional narcissistic personality (surely a disorder?). In her terms this is always a positive force for her own good, and therefore to be nurtured at every opportunity involving, as it does, a constant battle with obstacles to her ego.

One such obstacle, as perceived at the time, was Meredith. Another, more pervasive, which will dog her to the end, is the knowledge that an awful lot of people know she is guilty.

Sollecito is the exact opposite. He has a negative destructive drive. He suffers from an inferiority complex, depression and struggles with suicide ideation. As to the latter I believe that Meredith’s death was a temporary form of displacement and cathartic relief.

Put the two psychopathologies together and you have an explosive mix just waiting for a spark.

These are motives, but not as generally understood, and they would be difficult, if not impossible, to establish in a court of law.

Posted by James Raper on 12/20/19 at 05:03 AM | #

Hi James

Yes, KrissyG and you really nail why the two were never a heaven-made pair. And what a handful both were.

Might “motivating factors” be a more useful concept than “motive” to broaden the understanding of the dynamics of the case? The Machine’s “perfect storm”?

There was public evidence of exceptional free-floating anger in both the families which never made it into court or even much into the media - it seems unlikely to have gone away (eg: where’s Vanessa, or Curt?).

Here are several posts about Papa Doc, always mild and polite in his numerous appearances on Italian TV, reacting when he was put on the spot.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/sollecito_family_trial_on_the_component_about_their_alleged_attempt

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/Sollecitos_Book_Honor_Bound_Hits_Italy

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php/tjmk/comments/in_desperation_a_council_of_war_all_of_the_sollecito_family_suddenly_h

(I think KrissyG was being a bit satirical about RS’s school; it was a fee-paying school with a fine reputation for offspring of the medical profession, some of whom were handfuls and so sent there. RS doesnt mention it in his book.)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/20/19 at 07:52 AM | #

@TheMachine: murderous dentist Colin Howell. @James Raper: Knox and Raffaele’s two psychopathologies equal but opposite.

I looked into the Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart madness. What a nightmare. Howell was a self-deceived egomaniac hiding in the Church and using “God’s will” to sway Hazel into adultery, then into murder.

I wasn’t aware of this case.

It seems the good dentist Mr. Howell was just a garden variety sex fiend with no impulse control, a sociopath who liked risk taking and cared for nobody. He sexually abused his own trusting patients while they were under anesthesia. Cruel and contemptuous man, perhaps unburdening himself by attending church, yet returning over and over to his sin. (God help us all)

His main motive was really the MONEY, killing his own wife for her insurance payout to save his dental clinic. Her own father had helped him finance the clinic. The minute her father died he killed her.

The evil dentist also killed his pretty lover’s husband to free up Hazel for himself and to bind her to silence by guilty involvement.

(Howell may have wanted to remove her husband as a churchgoing “rival” as well as to get the extended church off their backs because many believers had become aware of the adultery. The church leaders had to rebuke the erring couple, who gave false promises and false apologies and swore to desist.

Hazel’s husband was a constable, a good man and true Christian who had gone the second mile. He had shaken hands at the church altar with the devious Howell in a public act of forgiving the dentist for stealing his wife in the adulterous affair.)

Soon the hogs returned to their mire.

The truly good constable was murdered by the heinous unrepentant liar dentist who “gassed” him with carbon monoxide in his bed after Hazel put drugs in her own husband’s food to prevent him fighting back.

Then the dentist put his own dead wife whom he had gassed as well, along with the dead constable into a car, away from the scene to suggest mutual suicide.

Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart got away with the crimes for a long time.
They certainly fooled the Church, especially early on.

Hazel taught Sunday School, she knew the Bible. She and Colin attended Bible studies at parishioner’s homes. He sang beautiful hymns. He knew the Word of God. He played the guitar for church services. He went to Hazel’s house under the guise of teaching her guitar lessons.

The horror of his later actions brought terrible reproach to the Church.

Howell only “repented” and confessed after his grown son by the wife he had murdered fell to his death from a building while abroad.

The dentist, perceiving a future of what he considered similar divine punishments if he didn’t confess to the church, then told them and the police everything.

I doubt there was real remorse even then.

Colin Howell was nearing bankruptcy at the time. He was getting older. The guilt might have been eating on him for years. He probably just yearned for “3 hots and a cot” in prison, prison as a rescue from having to provide for his many children, a rescue from having to keep wearing the mask.

Plus he always seemed to want to hurt someone. By the noble act of admitting the truth to police, he could punish Hazel by putting her in prison. Also nice way to torment her new husband.  Colin Howell was a real case of Jekyll-Hyde. He was sometimes both at once!

Howell and his former lover- accomplice Hazel- were both split up and married to other people by the time of his belated confession.

Howell tortured his loving new American wife with word of what he had done to the previous wife, and to the constable. She’d had children by Howell and was horrified. She was agonized to learn what their father really was. Of course her home broke up and she fled back to the States.

Hazel denied everything and still does.

Taught by the best she became like Howell, a totally remorseless ego driven fox who was found guilty.

Unlike him she refuses to admit it.

She has convinced her new husband of her innocence (none so blind as those who will not see) and she continues to launch appeals.

 

@James Raper. You really have great insight into the psychology of both Knox and Sollecito. Yes, Sollecito is depressed. He is negative and muffled and yet hostile like Knox but more passive-aggressive, perhaps with some hidden remorse unlike Knox. Their combustible explosion ruined many lives. I liked your analysis of them.

Do you have any idea what the future might hold for such personalities? any prophecies?

I’d be interested in how you see their different forms of negativity working out in practical ways through the next decades of their lives? What is the usual path for these type personalities?

Posted by Hopeful on 12/23/19 at 02:05 PM | #

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