Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Legal Problem For Knox: How Tough American Laws Could Wind Back Blood-Money Profits & Spendings

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

The 40-Plus State Son-of-Sam Laws

David Berkowitz or Son-of-Sam as he called himself during his killing spree is a convicted American serial killer. Watch a documentary at bottom here.

In New York State (where Knox’s publisher is) and Washington State (where Knox herself is) and about 40 other American states Son-of-Sam has a much-exercised and now rarely-challenged law named after him.

After early challenges and some revisions, many of those State Son-of-Sam laws continue to be strengthened and almost all are enforced regularly. From Wikipedia:

A Son of Sam law is any American law designed to keep criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes, often by selling their stories to publishers… Son of Sam laws are designed so that criminals are unable to take advantage of the notoriety of their crimes. Such laws often authorize the state to seize money earned from deals such as book/movie biographies and paid interviews and use it to compensate the criminal’s victims…

In certain cases a Son of Sam law can be extended beyond the criminals themselves to include friends, neighbors, and family members of the lawbreaker who seek to profit by telling publishers and filmmakers of their relation to the criminal. In other cases, a person may not financially benefit from the sale of a story or any other mementos pertaining to the crime””if the criminal was convicted after the date lawmakers passed the law in the states where the crime was committed.

Son-of-Sam Laws In The News

The Son-of-Sam laws are in the American news almost daily. See these for example:

  • Here is an article about the admitted killer Jodi Arias who could have otherwise been in line to profit from a movie showing her killing of her former lover Travis Alexander from her point-of-view.

  • Here is an article about the former university football coach and male rapist Jerry Sandusky who may be writing a book to benefit himself and his family.

  • Here is an article about OJ Simpson, the former footballer and convicted killer of his wife and one other, who is essentially in prison now for trying to circumvent a Son-of-Sam law mandating payments to the families of his victims.

How Son-of-Sam Laws Work

Here from the Criminal Lawyers website is a generic description of how such State laws work.

Each state’s law is different, but here some of the things you may see in any particular Son of Sam law:

What’s covered?  Practically just about anything a criminal defendant might gain or profit from his crime. Some state laws generally define “profit from crime.” For example, a law may state it’s “any property obtained through or income generated from the commission of a crime.” Other states are very specific and may, for example, state “profit of crime” is money or other property with value a defendant may receive for a book, movie, television show, play or newspaper article about the defendant and his crimes.

Who’s covered? In some states, only the criminal defendant is covered. In other states, members of his family are covered, too. They may be related by blood or by “affinity” or kinship, such as a spouse or father-in-law. The idea is to make sure a family member doesn’t get the money and hold it for the defendant.

Payment. Most states require the person paying the defendant - the book publisher, movie producer, etc. - to pay the money directly to a court or special state agency, like the state’s Crime Victims Assistance agency. The money is held in a special account for the crime’s victims.

Getting the money to the victims. In most states, once money is deposited, the court or the state agency in charge of the money notifies victims the money is available. In other states, the person or company paying the defendant must notify victims. Either way, victims are usually notified by ads or “legal notices” in local newspapers where the crime was committed. It’s also possible the names of specific victims may be found in the court records connected to the case, and those victims may get personal notification, such as by mail.

Ten Grave Weaknesses In Knox’s Position

Under these 40-plus Son-of-Sam state laws Amanda Knox and her agents appear to be in an extremely weak legal position. Here are 10 reasons.

    1) Knox was confirmed convicted without further recourse by the Italian Supreme Court of calunnia (against Patrick Lumumba) in March 2013 and she was also provisionally confirmed guilty of murder and other crimes when her appeal before the Florence Appeal Court failed six months ago.

    2) That final false-accusation conviction occurred prior to Knox’s book Waiting To Be Heard being released. The British and Italian arms of the publishers, HarperCollins, refused to release the book in the UK and Italy, citing major legal liabilities. The New York based HarperCollins publishers and therefore Knox herself knew that there were very serious legal questions.

    3) Amanda Knox was represented by Washington DC lawyer and book agent Robert Barnett who touted the book to various publishers for a claimed $4 million. If Robert Barnett was misled as to the truth of the book, Knox may find herself kicked under the bus by him.  If he was not misled, he too is entangled.

    4) Knox’s book (available globally via Amazon Kindle) includes many serious misstatements on (among other things) the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her felony conviction and sentence.

    5) Knox also misstated the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her felony defamation conviction in (a) an arrogant email to Judge Nencini at the Florence appeal and (b) an arrogant press release after the judge’s sentencing report was released.

    6) Knox appears to have misstated the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her conviction in a submission to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. She also uses those false claims for her continued refusal to pay damages to Patrick.

    7) Large numbers of opportunists appear to have directly profited. While we don’t know for sure, it seems Knox blood-money may have been used (a) to pay off her parents’ legal debts; (b) to pay her Italian and American lawyers; (b) to pay David Marriott’s public relations outfit; (d) to pay travel to Seattle and other expenses for some of her wackiest supporters, Sforza and Fischer included. Fees for abusive work by many in online support of Knox are rumored

    8) We have repeatedly been told that any media request for access to Sollecito or Knox results in a greedy hand being stretched out. Any media who paid anything to Knox or her family (CNN? ABC? CBS? The Guardian? Oggi?) for access since 2007 could be seriously vulnerable.

    9) Knox will face a new trial in Italy in due course for numerous new felony accusations in the book, including a very serious false charge against Dr Mignini. Also she and her followers are widely on record as disrespecting and harrassing the real victim and her ailing family.

    10) And a mandatory Son-of-Sam Law investigation by State Attorney Generals can be triggered in over 40 American states via a simple report from a citizen. The Italian Government could also trigger such a criminal investigation.

And Amanda Knox still has her greedy paw out for contributions. See her highly misleading website. Tread warily, folks. Up to 40-plus investigators could come calling at your door…

Early Death To Any Political Support

American politicians almost all favor the Son-of-Sam Laws. The thought of a convicted killer profiting is something almost 100% of American voters wont tolerate. Anything that encourages crimes and the flouting of laws is a really big American no-no.

And if Knox is trying to assemble any bought-and-paid-for political support to resist extradition, such political support will dissipate in a heartbeat when Son-of-Sam again rears his head.

Not a very nice slippery slope for Knox. On multiple counts she looks like a sure-fire loser.

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Maybe this will put an end to Knox’s one-woman crime spree. New York lawyers are saying Knox is in way, way over her head on this one - badly advised and making her legal situation worse almost daily.

The key is the book coming out after her final conviction by Cassation for felony defamation.  After which, she and her foolish forces add more and more felony defamations. Her new appeal to the Supreme Court appears to contain MORE defamations.

And her website actively solicits financial contributions - using images of Meredith to con people. Sitting duck for dozens of state prosecutors.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/14 at 02:28 PM | #

On the Cassation appeal against the Nencini outcome see Andrea Vogt’s important 18 June Update.

Knox’s submission to Cassation is about half the size of Sollecito’s?

Wow! Are her people already worried about getting paid or embroiled in her mess if they ARE paid?

They should be. And it seems Knox will be facing new charges in two countries.

Can she really afford this crime spree?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/14 at 02:43 PM | #

Thank you for this excellent article Peter.

I hope Amanda Knox will feel the long arm of justice once her conviction has been confirmed. The way she financially benefitted from her crime was revolting to watch.

She has never shown any remorse, let alone a hint of sympathy for Meredith Kercher and her suffering family and yet she had the nerve to claim years after the crime that they were friends. She is brazen.

Crime shouldn’t pay. Amanda Knox and her family need to face the consequences for their actions.

I would be surprised to learn Edda Mellas and Curt Knox never received any financial retribution in exchange for their countless interviews and media appearances.

Raffaele Sollecito even openly bragged on Twitter that he had made efforts to hide the received donations to prevent seizure. I bet Amanda Knox received far more from her supporters than he did. Time to face the music.

Posted by Nell on 06/18/14 at 03:48 PM | #

Excellent points, Peter. Art. 18 of the US-Italy extradition treaty also allows for the seizure of assets. What’s the bet the Italian government will request this as well, to satisfy the outstanding awards?

Posted by Ergon on 06/18/14 at 04:17 PM | #

“University of Pennsylvania football coach and male rapist Jerry Sandusky”
Sandusky was coach at Pennsylvania State Uninversity not University of Pennsylvania.

Posted by fotomat1 on 06/18/14 at 04:18 PM | #

Hi fotomat1

Okay I’ll leave out the name of the university altogether. I see there are two and they are separate. Actually I know the campuses of both generally (Sanduskey’s was the one north of Harrisburg, right?) and also Temple.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/14 at 04:41 PM | #

Breaking News:

OJ Simpson says he never wrote “If I Did It”

His business manager states it was a Harper Collins ghostwriter who wrote it, for which OJ was given $600,000 cash by the publisher to put his name to it.

I know another murderer who got paid $4 million for ‘her’ story.

Posted by Ergon on 06/18/14 at 05:29 PM | #

Seattle is of course in Washington State. That state has a particularly sweeping Son-of-Sam law. Here is who it can target - beyond just relatives, like the Knoxes and Mellases, it also targets contractual parties,

After hearing, as provided in RCW 7.68.210, every person, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity contracting with any person or the representative or assignee of any person, accused or convicted of a crime in this state, with respect to the reenactment of such crime, by way of a movie, book, magazine article, tape recording, phonograph record, radio or television presentation, live entertainment of any kind, or from the expression of such accused or convicted person’s thoughts, feelings, opinion or emotions regarding such crime, shall submit a copy of such contract to the department and pay over to the department any moneys which would otherwise, by terms of such contract, be owing to the person so accused or convicted or his representatives.

That seems to include ANYONE Knox made a payment to out of the book’s proceeds and any other form of touting including her website. It seems to include David Marriott, Robert Barnett and Ted Simon. Plus all associated with Knox’s publishing. No tears there, they had a requirement to do their own due diligence and to advise Knox also.

If payments were made to Frank Sforza (we believe he was on some payroll from late 2008) and Bruce Fischer and any others within the murky FOA they too could find themselves in the crosshairs of Bob Ferguson, the State of Washington Attorney General. He is seen at right below with the state governor.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/14 at 08:34 PM | #

I recall at some point Sforza was receiving a monthly ‘stipend’ from judge Michael Heavey?

Why on earth would anyone, and in particular Frank Sforza be paid by an (former) American judge?  Frank Sforza’s website was absolutely disgusting, and this should never be lost sight of.

Laughably, Heavey is the same judge who shamelessly advocates for Amanda Knox at almost every opportunity and states amongst other things that Amanda Knox is a really nice person and therefore is innocent of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy - because his daughter once shared a car pool with her?

I wonder how Heavey’s monthly payment to Frank Sforza was represented on his tax return?

I can’t help but think of the people who have languished in prison due to the sentences issued by judge Heavey.

It seems to me that with the help of the Goggerty Marriot PR company, media companies have paid the family of Amanda Knox indirectly, with business class flights, five star accommodation and god knows what else - so much so, as can be seen in the sickening and fawning softball interviews and hand holding sessions (an unprecedented low in my opinion) that they actually began to act like celebrities.

There are many reports of the Knox Mellas family holding court with their media poodles and of journalists being threatened with no access if reporting anything that is in any way unfavourable to Amanda Knox.

The media and PR companies subvert the Son of Sam laws in this way.

Edda is ready for her close-up now Mr DeMille.

Posted by DF2K on 06/19/14 at 01:02 AM | #

We know much more than we post about the record-beating money flows.

The excellent investigator Ergon has posted the best of what we do have on the money-grubbers at the front end of TJMK.

Son-of-Sam prosecutors should could do worse than read all three of those terrific posts by Ergon and study all of the photographs.

I also added something on Sforza who apparently DID get a stipend from the foolish Heavey and :“donations” to keep the vile Perugia Shock website running.

All bets are off for a rosy future for Bruce Fischer’s “Trash Victims Anywhere” enterprises.  We posted this on the greedy swindler:

There are also many posts in this group on others who set out to make money out of a talented and much-missed girl who died a very cruel death.


Above: there are many greedy and now-vulnerable opportunists in that get-together on Vashon Island near Seattle which Ergon posted on.

Below: From Knox’s highly dishonest site which does not state she is a convicted felon, two CLEAR violations of Son-of-Sam Laws.



This is our latest tweet

#amandaknox in CLEAR violation of Son-of-Sam laws with incontrovertible felony denied, image of Meredith, button for payments on website.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/19/14 at 03:47 AM | #

If and/or when Knox’s conviction is finalized, I would assume Facebook would ban her because of its stipulation under Terms of Service: “You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.”

Posted by Earthling on 06/19/14 at 04:25 AM | #

very interesting article, their refusal to pay damages, claiming poverty, will be surely the only problem left, if we consider their conviction as given or highly likely.

I agree with Nell, it was revolting to see their wealth coming from spreading lies on the victim, her excellent family, honest officers, professors and judges.  They went too far, with the complicity of mercenaries who auctioned their books to publishing houses in bad faith, in RS’ case they even wrote it from scratch, in English, knowing he could not write it in his own language as he would get sued for slander.

Those books are clear corroborating evidence of their guilt as they contain proven lies, contradictions with previous versions and many slanderous accusations.  They should pay what they made for the above. At the moment AK published she was convicted in first instance provisionally, awaiting appeal, publishing houses have profited without an inch of professionalism, they should also pay.

Posted by Popper on 06/19/14 at 09:26 AM | #

Hi Earthling,

The University of Washington is obliged to notify its staff and students that a level III sex offender is studying at the university:

The University of Washington Police Department considers the protection of our community from sex offenders of significant importance. The objective of the 1990 Community Protection Act was to provide adequate notice to the community concerning sex offenders who are, or will be attending, working or residing on the campus, and to assist our community members in developing constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for residing near released sex offenders.

Information that is relevant and necessary to protect the public and to counteract the danger created by a particular offender is released pursuant to RCW 4.24.550.

Level III

Level 3 offenders are the greatest risk to the community. Most are predatory, have other violent crime convictions, refused treatment and are known substance abusers. Community notification is the most extensive.

Washington State Law permits notifications about Level III offenders that include relevant, accurate and necessary information. This information MAY BE disclosed to the public at large.

University of Washington Police Department will disclose Level III Sex Offender information to the general public. Any Level III Sex Offenders registered, working or volunteering at the University

Has the University of Washington Police notified the people who work and study at the UW that a convicted sex killer is currently studying at the university?

Here are the contact details of the UW Police:

Anonymous Tip-line: 206.685.TIPS (8477)

Business Office: 206.543.0507 (M-F, 8-12, 1-4:45)

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by The Machine on 06/19/14 at 10:42 AM | #

@The Machine

Thanks for the UW police contact details. It’s imperative that people let them know their concerns.

At the moment it seems that there has been no general notification, otherwise we would have heard. Most likely the police are sitting on their hands hoping the whole thorny (?) issue will just go away. Let’s hope there are no more victims in the meantime.

Posted by Odysseus on 06/19/14 at 03:58 PM | #

Why is the University of Washington not informing their students and their families that they have a convicted killer and sex criminal on campus?

Is it because Amanda Knox has been convicted in Italy and not the US and the students and their families don’t have/need to know?

I believe the University of Washington needs to be asked these questions.

Posted by DF2K on 06/19/14 at 09:44 PM | #

DF2K, I agree with you.  I think the fact that it occurred in Italy softens the image and hence the understanding of the reality of this cruel crime in the minds of many.

You may also remember that, upon her return to Seattle and, thereafter, UW, the press and public were asked to leave her in privacy.  As she was, in the eyes of many, exonerated, the UW probably accepted her back under threat of some kind of action.

Why they are not acting now is a mystery to me as well except that she is supposed to have just about graduated if I have understood correctly.  Perhaps UW believes they are just about rid of her?

I think it is a good idea to inform the relevant authorities although it may be technically a little difficult until Cassation signs off….....

Posted by thundering on 06/20/14 at 03:21 AM | #

Thanks for contact details. They have been put to use…

Posted by Bettina on 06/20/14 at 04:30 AM | #

There have been reports before of UW students not happy to have Knox in their midst but UW probably cannot act decisively until Cassation makes the sex-crime conviction final.

At that point a warrant will be out for Knox’s rearrest anyway so UW will find this plain sailing IF Knox is still there. On PMF dot Org a week or two ago several posters were trying to figure out how close Knox is to graduating. She may have failed something math-related and may have to repeat it.

The Son-of-Sam laws will apply throughout Knox’s life if she seeks to resist extradition or seek a profit. She wont be able to make false claims about her crimes anywhere ever again without the risk that a federal or state prosecutor comes after her.

Mind you the Italian system also has enormous powers to apply pressure.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/20/14 at 12:55 PM | #

Vogt in her June 19 update says about Sollecito -

“His appeal argues that Knox’s declaration to police at 1:45 a.m. should be usable by the Sollecito defense as an element of proof that he was not present”

Can her confession be brought back into evidence as part of his defence? 

How can he say that AK was at home with him that night (giving her an alibi), while at the same time saying she was at her house with Meredith and Patrick, without him, as per her confession?

Posted by Spencer on 06/20/14 at 03:52 PM | #

Hi Spencer,

Amanda Knox’s 1:45am witness statement couldn’t be used against her at the murder trial because she wasn’t represented by a lawyer, but it was used against her in the slander trial. I don’t see why Sollecito can’t use it, but it contradicts his second his alibi and undermines his fourth one.

Posted by The Machine on 06/20/14 at 08:13 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau has written a new article about the latest developments in the case for The Daily Beast website:

Posted by The Machine on 06/20/14 at 09:32 PM | #

Hi TM.
Regarding the latest report from Barbie Nadeau,
we have seen this previously of course, in Sollecitos last whimpering PR company release although we are now getting the official angle filed for the case.

His father and stepmother are well known to privately dislike Amanda Knox and her family intensely.

I believe there are transcripts of recordings from early on in the case of his father and stepmother voicing in no uncertain terms what they think of Amanda Knox that confirms this.

For someone who is truly innocent and who does not want to be sent to prison for life for the murder and sexual assault of a fine young woman they barely knew, a distancing from the main suspect could be regarded as a purely common sense logicality.

However, this has not happened in this case.

An almost perfect bare footprint of Sollecito in the victims blood coupled with 17 out of 17 loci belonging to him found on the victims bra clasp that had been sliced off with a knife along with him stating that he “pricked Merediths hand” when cooking at his apartment whilst “moving around” with a knife, hasn’t helped him.

Sollecito ‘coughed’ almost immediately to the police when initially interviewed - upon being informed of the contradictions and discrepancies in his statements.

He stated that what he had previously told them was “a load of old rubbish” and that Amanda Knox had “asked him to lie for her”.
What followed could plainly be seen as throwing the looney he had been sleeping with recently under the bus - but when the lawyers got involved, all this changed.

They became lovebirds dedicated to each other so much so that it would make anyone cry because their relationship was such a beautiful thing to behold.

Sollecitos very expensive counsel Giulia Bonginorno advocated and continued the “Lovebirds” party line with ridiculous claims of Amanda Knox being the Amelie of Perugia and of being “badly drawn”, even proclaiming in court that Amanda Knox was like some sort of “toon” cartoon character from the movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ starring the now late and great Bob Hoskins.

There are images that exist that show people who support Amanda Knox wearing tee shirts depicting cartoon images of Amanda Knox with “Badly drawn” printed underneath - Frank Sforza being one.

The question is, why is this?
Although Sollecitos father stated very early on that his money and connections can make water flow uphill, why the change in strategy so early on?

Did they believe initially that a united defence would be in the best interests of both parties?
If so, why so? if they truly believe he is innocent?

It is now 7 years since this tragic murder.

I believe they now know the noose is tightening and perhaps Raffaele Sollecito in his weak poodle-like way, was still holding out for Amanda Knox but after his laughable proposal of marriage to her was refused, the penny finally dropped.
At this time now, Knox is so toxic that even though Sollecitos footprint in the victims blood is in the bathroom and the copious amounts of his DNA are on the victims bra clasp - the best thing is to separate from her.

Posted by DF2K on 06/21/14 at 01:05 AM | #

So encouraging to see Barbie Nadeau’s article in “The Daily Beast” date June 20, 2014. Link to it in the comment above by The Machine. Great comments by a Johnny_Yen. His comments dazzle and amaze as he describes the evidence against Knox.

Barbie talks about Sollecito wanting to separate his defense from Knox, even at this 11th hour. Barbie receives some hard slams against her for her “biased” opinion. One comment even calls her a skank. But her Beast article opens the door for renewed discussion of the tower of evidence against Knox, so it’s all good.

The David Berkowitz Son of Sam murders had us Americans shaking in our boots back in the 70s. New York City seemed like a terrifying place because of him. Berkowitz’s lonely spirit of confused identity and orphanhood, being angry at the world, has parallels with the emotionally abandoned Knox. Not to mention the young guy named Elliot? who recently killed his roommates then ran over a bunch of students in California with his car because women rejected him (The Virgin Killer).

Son of Sam laws prevent a double evil: a crime after which a criminal becomes enriched by his crime. If any money is made out of Meredith’s murder, it should not go to the murderers, or be hidden by their families.

Peter Quennell’s post above that discusses the wide sweep of laws to prevent such blood money, is highly encouraging. If HarperCollins’ royalties or media payments could be court ordered to go straight to the Kercher family, I hope the Kerchers would accept the money without heartache and consider that Meredith would want them to have that money, whether to ease their own pain of her loss by enjoying life as she would want them to do, or to set up memorials in her honor, or to help other students or crime victims, or to pay the lawyers who fought for her justice. I hope they would accept the funds in that spirit, as a gift from their loving daughter that Justice had procured for Meredith to give to her loved ones, to do with however they saw fit.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/21/14 at 03:21 AM | #

We seem to have got under the skin of Fischer and his cashcow “Injustice Anywhere” website. He still seems to lack any semblance of good legal advice.

Remember as Ergon showed he is one who has tried to gain financially from the spread of the wave of false accusations. He sent out these two tweets.

@truejusticeorg The law only applies to the US. In this case, it applies to the State of Washington. Peter Quennell is Delusional.

Untrue. Knox’s book was published in all states in the US for big bucks. Any state prosecutor with a Son-of-Sam law in their state can take her to court. Probably same with Fischer/IIP.

@truejusticeorg Quennell is obsessed with defamation. He even claims that Amanda’s new appeal is defamatory. He would prefer no defense.

Untrue. When Knox gives an honest defense we will report it in full. And it is Italian prosecutors who are winding back false claims, which Fischer/IIP helped propagate. Theres no claim anywhere that the “new appeal is defamatory”.

Obsessed with defamation? Really? He needs to find out what “calunnia” means. And we merely report what is really going on.

For example, IIP still carries multiple posts with completely false descriptions of the “interrogation” of Knox.

Knox served three years for those same claims, she has often repeated them since, and Sollecito and Gumbel are in prosecutors’ crosshairs now.

Where is the IIP/IA reaction to this?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/21/14 at 12:16 PM | #

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