Sunday, October 30, 2011

Outcry In England At Evidence And Jury-Briefing Requirements Which Make Convictions Much Harder

Posted by Peter Quennell

In this post on the CSI Effect we touched on the disturbing declines in convictions throughout much of the world. It is possible that more and more murderers are walking free.

In many countries now the playing field is becoming noticeably tilted against prosecutors and police. One factor may be a growing suspicion of governments which seem to have been captured by the very rich. One factor may be declining budgets as those same governments get more and more into debt. One factor may be TV shows and live court coverage which allow everyone to think they know best.

Especially when narcissistic defendants (many crime-doers are exceptionally self-absorbed which helps in putting on a great defense) twiddle peoples’ heartstrings and cause them to lose their cool.

Another major factor may be legal precautions carried to extremes which go way back and almost grind prosecutors into the dust. In Italy we have described the ultra-cautious legal system at length in posts such as this one and also this. 

On Friday in western England Vincent Tabak was found guilty of the murder of Joanna Yeates and sentenced to life in prison which will see him behind bars for at least 20 years.

The defence the jury heard was that he was a shy awkward boy with girls and when he tried to kiss Joanna Yeates (who in fact did not even know his name) he held her mouth for a bit, without her struggling - and suddenly she was dead.

The verdict was something of a squeaker. Now it has come out that the jury was never told things about him that seem highly relevant to the understanding of Tabak and what he did. 

First a description of something that happened at trial in Saturday’s Bristol Evening Post.

Vincent Tabak had a secret fetish for strangulation porn that showed women being held by the throat and assaulted by men.

Films portraying blonde women being throttled during sex or tied up and bundled into car boots were found on his laptop computer and were planned as a trump card for the prosecution during his murder trial.

But Mr Justice Richard Field ruled it would have been prejudicial for jurors to hear such evidence.

Nigel Lickley QC put forward a failed application to the judge in the first week of the trial at Bristol Crown Court, before the jury was sworn in.

Mr Lickley said: “They concern the defendant’s interest in porn, but in particular porn depicting violence towards women with their tops raised.

“There are also violent images of women being held by the neck, then being sexually abused by men.

“We submit that these images have a real significance and explain why the defendant held Joanna Yeates by the neck and killed her.

“We submit that it is the case he developed a sexual pleasure from it and that is because he viewed this material.

“There is sexual activity between a man and a woman ““ often bound and gagged…. It is a fact that the women are held by the throat often when gagged ““ as a means of control.”

Another article in Saturday’s Bristol Evening Post describes other key things that the jury never got to hear.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who led the murder inquiry, attacked Tabak for being “manipulative” and devising a “cunning” plan in a bid to cover his tracks.

He said: “It has taken ten months to bring this investigation to a positive conclusion, and to provide Joanna’s family and Greg with some closure….

Ann Reddrop, of the Crown Prosecution Service’s complex case unit, branded Tabak a “cunning, dishonest and manipulative” man.

She said: “He was cunning and dishonest towards his girlfriend with whom he maintained a normal relationship, and towards his former landlord, about whom he lied to the police and which in part led to that person’s arrest for the murder.

And get this - shades of Ted Bundy and many other psychopathic killers who played cat-and-mouse with media, police, prosecutors and jury.

“He was manipulative of the police by virtue of his own in-depth research on the internet to keep one step ahead of the investigation prior to his arrest and then made very selective admissions surrounding the circumstances of Jo’s death which sought to cast her in an unfavourable light ““ even when he was giving evidence to the jury.”

One of many similar comments in the UK media is this one in the Daily Mail..

I am glad we have juries but this trial has once again raised issues that many people find hard to comprehend.

Should this evidence have been admissible? Mr Justice Field said that although Tabak’s choice of viewing was reprehensible, it was not valuable enough to outweigh the prejudice it would cause his defence.

There are those who say this is justice at its exemplary best; that criminal trials are often based on negotiations between lawyers and judges about what evidence can be put before a court.

Then there are the rest of us who are left somewhat mystified by the methods used by the legal establishment to ensure justice.

Post-verdict statements by Joanna Yeates’s parents and her boyfriend were much more hard-line than this. And they were among the “lucky” ones who saw their harmer locked up.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/30/11 at 06:39 PM in Justice systemsUS etc systemsThe wider contextsEurope context


TODAY more criminals have college degrees, middle class jobs and good connections.

TODAY defence lawyers question virtually everything and often backup with “expert” testimony.

TODAY you will find a criminal in every profession- perhaps more at the top.

TODAY criminals are more sophisticated- in life and in crime.

TODAY crimes, particularly violent crimes, are committed just for fun and for pleasure.  The slower the death and greater the pain- they enjoy it more.

We are slowly but steadily returning to the middle ages.

Posted by chami on 10/30/11 at 09:56 PM | #

And in companies with a macho culture psychopaths make ‘good’ middle or upper managers, because they are so ruthless/heartless! Their employers don’t know they are psychopathic. Psychopaths are very deceitful types…

Posted by nopassingby on 10/30/11 at 11:28 PM | #

Hi chami and nopassingby. You seem to be putting your finger on important aspects of the same phenomenon.

It sure helps to explains why terrible things go on in many companies and elements of government (Michael Moore catches some of this in his documentaries which I wish would be a little more mainstream). Putting thousands out of work creates actual joy in some places.

There are several books on the emerging picture of the probable many psychopaths among us, and there’s the much-praised “Blank Slate” by Steven Pinker which gets to root causes. They have maybe slightly cracked the wall of illusions, and occasionally shaken those who are rigid in claiming “there was no motive”. It’ll be by chance that any jury member has read any of those.

Sollecito and Knox were both psychologically tested in prison in 2008 to see whether there were suited to house arrest or to be set free on bail in the months before trial. The results have not been made public but they did not seem to be at all pretty, and several judges refused to let them out in part because the judges were concerned with public safety. There seems a pervasive belief in justice circles in Perugia that they were involved in the crime against Meredith. That belief may be based on insider information on this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/11 at 02:02 AM | #

The bar chart above reflects recent Canadian statistics. Authorities don’t seem to like to draw attention to these as they can get blamed and their budgets cut. In Italy there are major political attempts to cut budgets. Rocco Girlanda leads one of these.

The few cases of conviction rates going up are those that tend to be trumpeted. In contrast China, Japan and the FBI have conviction rates which are suspiciously high, for suspected different reasons in each case.  If Steve Moore really had anything to do with convictions as he claims (he has never released his C/V) he was on a very undemanding home run in the FBI.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/11 at 03:03 AM | #

Do you know who invented the term “serial killer”? It was serial killer Ted Bundy. We dont know who would get the award for the arch-groupie of them all, but Carole Anne Boone might come close. 

She was the former public service employee who moved to Florida to be near Bundy, and agreed to marry him when being interrogated by him on the stand. She is believed to have had his baby.

If you want a suggestion for what drives the most fervent of the white knights, try googling the mental condition “Hybristophilia” which it is suggested that Carole Anne Boone might have had.;=&ft=i&cr;=&safe=off&tbs;=  Here’s one result.

“Hybristophilia is a paraphilia involving being sexually aroused or attracted to people who have committed an outrage or a gruesome crime. In popular culture, this phenomenon is also known as “Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome”.

“Many high-profile criminals, particularly those who have committed atrocious crimes, receive “fan mail” in prison which is sometimes amorous or sexual, presumably as a result of this phenomenon. In some cases, admirers of these criminals have gone on to marry the object of their affections in prison.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/11 at 03:27 AM | #

Apparently he was just a lovely lad to most, just too bad he got into the violent porn.

Goes to show that people can have a hidden side to them. 

I wonder if stuff was found on RS’s computer which was not admittable as evidence?  He also had time to erase the history on his computer unless it was seized immediately, or else he could have done so in the morning at 5:30.

Posted by believing on 10/31/11 at 06:50 AM | #

Let me study the graph bit carefully.  Robbery, common assault and major assault are generally carried out by poor people (mostly).  Their motive is very clear and they cannot justify their actions and they have poor defence and no alibi.  These people are prosecuted with 50% efficiency.  The victim usually recovers promptly.

Sexual attacks and other sexual offences are carried out by sick people (psychopaths) and somehow, in their sickness they sincerely believe in what they are doing.  Most have some job and rarely they are poor (in the real sense of the word) and appear normal to their neighbours.  Most are smart otherwise to evade arrest for long time.  The conviction rate for these people is just less than 40%.  What a disgrace! Many victims suffer long term psychological scars.  Friends and relatives recover soon (in most cases).

Many murders today are classy jobs- often done with a phone call.  They are well connected and are quite high in the social system and naturally they think it is essential to “eliminate” the “undesirable” ones.  It is no surprise that they are convicted at a measly 20% rate. Often they take pride in their actions! You often hear in the court premises (from the defence lawyers, of course) that anyway the victim is gone but why torture another fellow? Relative and friends never recover.

You have not shown the conviction rates for the economic criminals.  They rape a nation and the scar heals over several generations!  Perhaps their conviction rate is so low that if plotted on the same graph it would not be visible at all!

Whatever they may say, the parents of AK and RS know the truth very well and they are the one who are suffering more than them (AK and RS).  What a mess AK and RS have made for themselves and also for their parents!

Posted by chami on 10/31/11 at 04:27 PM | #

I believe those who produce that type of porn should be in prison.

Posted by Earthling on 10/31/11 at 07:47 PM | #


The modern business theory is based on supply and demand.  They produce the porn because there is a demand for it.  When the bubble burst, it is the porn sites that were still doing good business.  Their business is flourishing! Regular porn is free- you can see any site for regular porn. These “special effects” porn are the ones that are minting money- and the “regular” thing is just free!

Compare with the drugs.  Afgans may be producing it but the mafia is profiting from it (not the farmers) and the US the destination for all the drugs.  The profit is shared by all- mafia is not at all stingy.  Countries like china and Singapore have no drug problem because they really do not want to do anything with it.  They have been the victim once.  If there is a will, there is a way. In Singapore, if you are found with drugs, you will be hanged.

If the Americans stop using the drugs, Taliban funding will be finished and the war will be over!  But there are so many beneficiaries of the drug money…

America makes most of the porn and the “sickest” types are outsourced to other countries.  The existing rules are there so that “sick types” stay expensive and highly profitable.  Do you think it can be stopped?  I doubt very much.

Posted by chami on 10/31/11 at 08:53 PM | #

For those of you who understand Italian.

What a nice guy!

Posted by Miriam on 10/31/11 at 08:54 PM | #


The modern business theory is based on supply and demand.  They produce the porn because there is a demand for it.  When the bubble burst, it is the porn sites that were still doing good business.  Their business is flourishing! Regular porn is free- you can see any site for regular porn. These “special effects” porn are the ones that are minting money- and the “regular” thing is just free!

Compare with the drugs.  Afgans may be producing it but the mafia is profiting from it (not the farmers) and the US the destination for all the drugs.  The profit is shared by all- mafia is not at all stingy.  Countries like china and Singapore have no drug problem because they really do not want to do anything with it.  They have been the victim once.  If there is a will, there is a way. In Singapore, if you are found with drugs, you will be hanged.

If the Americans stop using the drugs, Taliban funding will be finished and the war will be over!  But there are so many beneficiaries of the drug money…

America makes most of the porn and the “sickest” types are outsourced to other countries.  The existing rules are there so that “sick types” stay expensive and highly profitable.  Do you think it can be stopped?  I doubt very much.

Posted by chami on 10/31/11 at 10:28 PM | #

What bothers me is that, here in the US, many people are saying the motive was fantastical and the evidence was scant to non-existent. Yet people are convicted all the time on far less evidence, particularly in terrorism cases, and no one bats an eyelash. Justice is not blind at all.

@Miriam: What’s Lumumba saying about “the real Amanda”? It seems like quite a lengthy interview.

Posted by brmull on 10/31/11 at 11:13 PM | #

Hi brmull. If anything there was a surfeit of motives at least for a vicious hazing. Jealousy, mental problems, skunk cannabis, theft of money, argument over dope dealing in the house, fear of a loss of her job - there are six good motives for rage right there. And RS may long have fantasized violence. By the time of the attack AK was jealous, on drugs, low on money, irritating Patrick, and absolutely friendless except for the feckless RS. She was spiraling down hard. 

And a good comparison on the issue of levels of evidence is with Scott Peterson for whom there was no DNA or other physical evidence at all except one strand of hair. He got a death sentence for less than the equivalent of RS’s and AK’s very incriminatory alibis and nothing else. Giustizia compared the two cases for us here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/11 at 11:36 PM | #

@chami: Thank you for explaining the financial structure of the modern porn industry. But moral and financial considerations diverge. And I agree, there is a demand for it. That doesn’t mean it’s morally acceptable. There are a lot of things that there might be a demand for, that society decides are morally unacceptable and therefore bans. I’m sure you can think of many examples, as I can, but I’ll name a few: Dog and cock fighting; Drinking and driving; Street racing; etc. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by Earthling on 11/01/11 at 12:20 AM | #

Mr. Tabak is from the Netherlands and living in the UK and I’m not sure all his porn came from American sources.  There is so much now on the Internet.  America is a big country and therefore maybe produces the most porn and uses the most drugs in total due to its size.  But there is plenty of that in Europe and in other countries too.  You can easily buy drugs in the Netherlands, at least hash and marijuana.  Plenty of heroin addicts in Europe. 

A few years ago a huge pedofile ring was broken up in Belgium.  Tourists go to Asia for sex with girl and boy prostitutes.  African young girls are mutilated or sold into marriage with old men.  Other nations condone or ignore abuse of wives or women or children.  People of every nation are tempted by drugs, porn, rape, and abuse of the weak and vulnerable.  Perhaps just the punishment or tolerance level varies by country but every society has its evil persons. 

As we all know too, many women were raped and/or killed before Internet porn existed.  However the ease of access and distribution now is very troubling and I wonder sometimes where society is going to end up.

Posted by believing on 11/01/11 at 02:35 AM | #

Miriam can you please translate the Italian interview with Lumumba, at least in summary?

Posted by believing on 11/01/11 at 02:38 AM | #

I would caution against reviling porn.  While some may find the content objectionable, it’s really no different from television, movies, books, or video games, in that it allows people to live vicariously through characters and “experience” certain things in a safe environment. 

I confess that I am a dragon slayer and that it’s nice, for a few hours every now and then, to leave my ordinary self behind and turn into an almighty shaman or paladin healing her allies through epic battles and saving the world (over and over and over again).  Likewise, people who have certain fetishes or risque sexual interests can use porn to indulge these fantasies without putting themselves or others at risk.  As long as they stick to experiencing these things vicariously or as part of a well-controlled role-play with a willing partner, it’s all fine.  I’m sure there are thousands of people who watch the same things that Tabak did and who don’t end up killing anyone.

It stops being fine when a mediated experience is not enough any longer and they enact these fantasies with an unsuspecting victim.  This is probably what happened here. I’m glad that the jury didn’t buy the defense’s arguments because this kind of murder is absurd - no motive, no reason to hate the victim, no conflict - just a selfish, self-serving brutal act which cost an innocent woman her life.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/01/11 at 06:26 AM | #

Drugs, porn, firearms…of course there is the supply and demand factor. But there is also the desensitisation and seeping acceptance of something that may once have been considered shocking, once you see so much of it around. Where the old perv’s network of paedophiles once merely winked, knowingly, they can now trade videos, freely, and support one another’s illness.

The more people do it, the more “normal” it becomes. The biggest problem with violent porn is that it can never be victimless. Some of the ‘actors” have volunteered; others haven’t. How can you tell them apart??

And, of course, in the case of children and animals, there is no such thing as consent.

I helped to bring police attention to a case of child rape in my former neighbourhood. I will never forget the disgusting expression on the man’s face as he was getting into his car, his fly barely zipped, after he raped his 12-year-old daughter. I will never forget the sounds that came from her bedroom window. Do you suppose he looked at violent porn?

We know from Knox’s “fiction” and her UW April Fool’s assault prank that she was fascinated with the idea of control and submission. RS watched bestiality porn and snuff manga. Did it turn him on? Only he can answer that, but I somehow doubt he watched it to punish himself.

A couple of years back, on this website, I got into a brief volley with a poster called Malwida, who defended fetish porn (S&M, B&D) as a healthy outlet. I begged to differ, convinced (still) that anyone who thinks rape could be “fun” is sick, and in need of counselling.

Posted by mimi on 11/01/11 at 07:03 AM | #

@Believing - I don’t understand everything, but here’s what I got from the Lumumba video.

- the anchor asks Lumumba to talk about his impressions of Amanda and Meredith

- he describes Meredith as a warm and friendly person

- then he talks about how Amanda asked him for a job because she had financial problems; she couldn’t have stayed long in Italy (I assume without the extra income)

- he describes how Amanda changed - how she came to work to have fun, and how it didn’t seem right to him to pay someone who was there to have fun, rather than serve customers

- he explained to her that it wasn’t professional, and she would apologize, but then five minutes later would do the same

- Meredith showed him her mojito recipe, and since he had an Italian girl DJ-ing a couple of nights a week, he suggested creating a “ladies’ night,” with Meredith making drinks and the Italian girl DJ-ing

- he’d seen Sollecito when he came to pick up Amanda; not clear about this, but I think he didn’t know they were officially together - he knew him as Amanda’s friend; Patrick knew that Amanda had a boyfriend in the US

- he didn’t know Guede, although he thinks he might have seen him once at the pub

- he first thought that Amanda and Meredith were good friends, but then it seemed like they weren’t; he didn’t see them much together

- he found out that Meredith died from a couple of girls (Americans, I think) who did advertising for him (leaflets, I assume?); he was shocked

- now he’s talking about how Amanda accused him - he couldn’t have imagined it, because they were getting along; I think she hugged him and told him what a great person he was a few days before she accused him

- anchor asks if Amanda said he and Meredith had an appointment; he says no - what she claimed was that she (Amanda) and him met up and went to the cottage, that he went into Meredith’s room; that she didn’t know whether Meredith was okay with it; then that Meredith started screaming and Amanda covered her ears; that she didn’t know exactly what happened next morning

- he says he was lucky everyone knew him, because he was a musician and organized a lot of events, and everyone said he couldn’t have done it; then he talks about the Swiss professor - the first person who had the courage to come up and say that this couldn’t be true, because he’d read about the murder and Patrick’s arrest in newspapers; he called Zurich police, who communicated with Italian police

- not sure about this, but I think he’s saying he is convinced Amanda was involved

- insert of the first sentence, condemning AK and RS

- he thought of Raffaele as a well-educated person; he had a hard time seeing people he knew getting convicted; he thought it was right that Amanda was convicted

- anchor recaps discussion after publicity break

- he talks about the morning he was arrested; his baby had woken up and wanted milk, and I think Patrick put on cartoons for him; someone knocked at the door, and it was the police

- they handcuffed him; he asked what he’d done, and they said he knew what he’d done

- he had no idea it was about Meredith’s murder

- I’m a little confused about this, but I think he wasn’t sure they were really policemen until they arrived at the station

- he was fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA; he saw other cops passing with Raffaele Solecito

- he was in jail for 2 weeks; first 4 days in isolation; he talks about psychological suffering, since he has a family, and he had to think about them too

- he talks about how Amanda knew how to manipulate people

- anchor asks him about how he was feeling when he was freed; obviously, he was happy to be back home and with his family

- Amanda never apologized for accusing him

- he thanks the people who supported him

I know I missed some things, because there are some parts I couldn’t understand very well, but I didn’t get the feeling that he said anything new - just what he’d said before.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/01/11 at 07:15 AM | #

@Mimi - I think you are confusing professional porn (which is entirely make-believe, with professional actors) with filmed violence.  A violent professional porn movie is indeed victimless - there is no volunteering involved; people get hired and paid, and no one gets hurt or killed. 

What you are talking about is the network of underground, amateur films which may involve minors or violent acts performed without consent.  That’s not porn - that’s crime on film. 

To be honest, other people’s fetishes are none of our business if they are performed with other consenting adults.  As long as no one gets hurt, it’s not your place or mine or anyone else’s to tell people what they should do in their own bedrooms or what they should watch (assuming it’s something produced legally, with professional actors). It’s also not our place to judge their sanity as long as we are not personally affected by their private fantasies.  BDSM, for example, has nothing to do with rape.  I doubt it that most people, regardless of their sexual fantasies, think real rape is “fun” or acceptable.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/01/11 at 07:29 AM | #

Thanks, Vivianna. I understand the distinction. I wish people would not feel the need to let their private fetishes leak out onto the very public internet.

It’s not “most people"that worry me; more the inexperienced, awkward , obsessive types (Tabak/Sollecitto?) who might not know whether or not the woman being strangled in a video was “enjoying” it. (or merely being paid to “act” as though she was)

Posted by mimi on 11/01/11 at 07:45 AM | #

Vivianna, I never said I “reviled porn.” I make a stark distinction between porn which portrays sexual pleasure by all parties (no matter how “deviant” anyone might think it is) and porn which portrays violence (usually against women). I don’t see how the latter can ever be acceptable, or why it matters whether the women in the video are “really” being abused. The only reason to watch such a video is if you enjoy watching a woman be abused, which morally is never okay.

Posted by Earthling on 11/01/11 at 09:42 AM | #

Hi all; I guessed AK and RS would have been psychologically assessed in prison but the results may never be released, for fear of prejudicing the enquiry.

Thankfully, we have many visible markers based on past behaviours and actions that help us to get a good idea of the pathologies involved.

Posted by Ergon on 11/01/11 at 04:07 PM | #

Hi Believing and Vivianna.  Thanks a lot for the Patrick video and its translation. It would be good if interviewers pressed him on these two things:

1) What was his final conversation with Meredith in a club in the wee hours of halloween and did he offer her a recurring bar job?

2) What was his final conversation with Knox and could he have given her the impression she was being downgraded back to handing out leaflets?

Also did he hire Ak without the valid work permit which is required for non-EU aliens? That may have inclined him to hiring Meredith along with her mojito skills. 

This remark by Patrick is especially interesting:  “then he talks about how Amanda asked him for a job because she had financial problems; she couldn’t have stayed long in Italy (I assume without the extra income)”

It goes to something we have always believed: that AK had only enough cash on hand to go on for three or four more months. And maybe much less if she was into pot and cocaine - how could she explain to her family and ask for more in those circumstances?

We believe she lived away from her home in West Seattle for two years when she was at the University of Washington and became a user there. Her parents may not have known about it, to give them their due, or they might not have signed off on this:

Marijuana addiction happens over a period of time but cocaine addiction can happen extremely fast. Papa Doc seems to have attempted to curb Sollecito’s drug and porn excesses by topping up his bank account just enough each month.

There are repeated warring stories in the Italian media on Sollecito wanting to head off to Seattle and maybe even live in the US and his father being extremely negative and wanting him to marry a nice Italian girl and stay near to Bari.

It reads like Doc Soll is not only concerned at RS getting back on drugs. He may worry about RS’s rejection and collapse and the whole castle of cards tumbling down.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/01/11 at 04:09 PM | #

Sadly, we have become an increasingly violent society, and generations of younger children with neurological deficits mimicking the violence they see all around them, from video games, the news, and TV shows.

Posted by Ergon on 11/01/11 at 04:34 PM | #


Earthling,  You are not alone in condemning pornography, it is a great evil. I denounce it completely. See website, Christians Against Pornography or and other sites that describe its deleterious effects on the soul.

God wants purity. Christ denounced lusting after people’s bodies. Porn scorches the conscience. It strips our dignity as human beings. Porn is the ultimate counterfeit for love. It strips and mocks the innocence of our bodies.

As with drug users, those who use porn need more and more deviant materials to maintain their previous level of sexual arousal.

Porn increases crime in dangerous offenders. More than 65 studies have shown that dangerous offenders (child molesters, killers, rapists, incest fathers) are not only more likely to commit their crimes if they employ pornography, they are likely to precede their violent acts with the extended use of deviant materials.

Male sex offenders soon begin to display addictive and compulsive behavior when using porn. Their mechanisms for relieving stress soon all become related to deviant sex. They offend more and more often.

But it’s such a beautiful day where I live, and All Saints Day, and the anniversary of Meredith’s death, so I will end on a happier note: she was greatly respected by millions.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/01/11 at 04:54 PM | #

@ brmull and believing

Vivianna did a real good job of the translation of the video. Sorry I am late with your request.

Seems Amanda showed up for her interview with Meredith and a bunch of girls.  Patrick at first thought they were there with Amanda, later he realized they were there with Meredith.

The mojito came up while they were there.Seems Amanda needed the income to stay in Italy.

Amanda was not working but spending time talking with the customers (no mention of flirting or drinking) he told her to come in and socialize on her days off.

He met Sollecito when he would come to pick up Amanda, his impression of him was of a nice educated guy. DID NOT know he was Amanda’s boyfriend, she used to talk to Patrick about her boyfriend in the states.

She was still working for him at the time of the murder. Since he used to organize things for the university he was asked if he could find an English speaker to give a statement for the English media? ( not sure about that) He saw Amanda outside of the university and asked her.

She told him she and her roommates were not giving statements or talking to any body about the murder. She then hugged him an told him he was a fantastic guy and that he could call her and she would talk to him.

The next morning he was arrested.

Was only after giving DNA samples and seeing Sollecito being led away did he realize it was about Meredith. He asked the police they said yes and told him Amanda accused him. Told them they should get her to a psychiatrist   because( unfortunately the interviewer interrupts here)

( confusing here because he gets a bit emotional and his Italian suffers)

The prosecutor apologized, told him Amanda had them convinced, he told him I have been telling you she is a good actress and a manipulate person, warned them that Amanda would turn on them (the police) eventually)

Asked why he thinks Amanda accused him….. because she is involved in this or else why accuse me? 

Says he was sorry when they got 25 and 26 years because he knew them and when you know somebody it is sad to see them put away for so long.

Vivianna covered it real well, just trying to put in what she left out.

Posted by Miriam on 11/01/11 at 05:21 PM | #

A good article by Andrea Vogt on why the US media was so quick to “report” that the Sollecito interview with Oggi was a fake. BTW, the journalists who conducted the interview stands by it and says it was not a fake.

Read the full article here:

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 11/01/11 at 05:56 PM | #

Andrea Vogt link very much appreciated Skep. Increasing signs now that the house of cards is getting shaky. We will post soon on those.

Sollecito clearly wants to stick to Knox like a tar baby, and neither she or her family or his father know how to delicately tell him to get lost.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/01/11 at 08:14 PM | #

Looks like Amanda just won’t learn from her mistakes about sympathy and empathy for others.

Posted by Sara on 11/01/11 at 09:04 PM | #

Thank you so much, Miriam.  Those are exactly the parts I didn’t understand too well and I was curious too as to what exactly he was saying - especially the part about needing a statement from an English-speaking person and the fact that Amanda said something about not giving statements.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/01/11 at 09:35 PM | #

The details of this interview are also featured in John Follian’s book. I am glad that the book has got some positive reviews on Amazon now. I brought the book from my sister’s Kindle and asked her to post a positive review for me.

For a while I truly regretted it due to the negative and offensive comments she started receiving from the Knox PR machinery. However, it seems to have balanced a bit now. A request from me, if anyone sees the Knox supporters resorting to name calling and offensive comments on Amazon and if you have an id, please do click on “report abuse”.

I was thinking about the above case (Jo Yeates) the other hand and I realised something. When it happened last year, I remember reading many comments from people questioning her boyfriend’s actions - why did he not call the police immediately, why did he not worry when she did not reply to his messages and calls over the weekend, surely there is something wrong etc etc. However, the police did not even place him on a suspect list once.

Turns out they were right, not only did he have nothing to do with it, but it is also pretty evident that he was really in love with her. He attends all the hearings, sometimes supporting her parents and seems to be still grieving. I am mentioning this to say that more often than not, the police and prosecutors do know what they are doing. The Knox and Sollecito supporters seem to think that the police go around arresting people based on their whims and prejudices.

I know that they may get it wrong sometimes because they are human too but end of day, most police forces in the world have the expertise and experience to distinguish normal eccentricities from abnormal behavior and guilt.

Posted by Sara on 11/01/11 at 10:30 PM | #

Thank you Vivianna, you did an excellent job.  I should know better than to put up something in Italian and not translate it.

@Sara I saw that in the American press yesterday,  today it is in at least 3 Italian sources. A bit tacky. or Amazon Because today on the UK site a lot of comments were deleted.

Posted by Miriam on 11/01/11 at 11:23 PM | #

Thanks Miriam. Yeah, it was and I am glad to see that the nasty comments (by one particular poster in particular) have been deleted now, hopefully because many people reported abuse.

And AK’s behavior is very tacky and very insensitive. The least she could have done was to give the Kerchers enough time to come to terms with the verdict.

Posted by Sara on 11/01/11 at 11:43 PM | #

AK’s behaviour.  Where’s her PR people to explain to her that maybe she should keep a low profile around the anniversary of MK’s murder?  AK really has no understanding of normal rules of behaviour.  Similar to her reactions at the Police Station no empathy or compassion.  She has reached a new level of ‘low’ imho, can she get any ‘lower’?!!

Posted by Sarah on 11/02/11 at 12:31 AM | #

Hey guys, does anyone know why John Follain’s book is no longer available on Amazon? It says “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock”. Peter, do you know what is happening? Has it run into any legal problems?

Posted by Sara on 11/02/11 at 01:58 AM | #

Normally it just means it is sold out for now, which is a good sign.

Posted by believing on 11/02/11 at 02:33 AM | #

Thanks believing. If that is indeed the case, I am glad. I was just wondering because for one, it was released just a few days earlier and I didn’t think it would get sold out so fast considering there are only a few reviews. On top of that, I did not know what Amazon’s standard message for sold out items it and the “if and when” message did sound that good to me. Anyway, like I said, if it’s indeed been sold out, I am very glad.

Posted by Sara on 11/02/11 at 02:37 AM | #

There are some fantastic discussions on the reviews of the John Follain book, which by the way sounds very interesting and I will have to get it.  However I did not see a single review on the American website and I think those of you who have already read the book might want to get one there with a review, because this is the website that the USA is going to read.

Posted by believing on 11/03/11 at 01:54 AM | #

Thanks for this believing - I shall post when I’m finished, it is a large volume and most people won’t post until they’ve read it at least once.

Posted by Melanie on 11/03/11 at 03:36 PM | #

Well done to Andrea Vogt on her very succinct article..

I was watching a programme on Irish TV last night about an 81 year old woman who was murdered by her [female] next door neighbour on Christmas Eve night in 2008 - yes you read it right, 81 years old murdered by her female next door neighbour. This woman [a pharmacist and mother of a two year old] called into this lovely woman’s home following a row with her husband. She drank a litre of vodka neat before battering the woman to death with a crucifix [breaking it in half] which was hanging over her bed, in addition to facial and head injuries 15 of her ribs were broken in a sustained attack. Sickeningly she was then stripped naked and sexually assaulted her with part of the crucifix. She was then covered with a duvet and her sitting room was ransacked [fake burgalry style]. She was left for her daughter to find the next day..

There was talk of phone records which implicated her and her husband refused to take the stand - apparently you don’t have to against a spouse. Her trial lasted two weeks and it took the jury one hour to find her guilty.

She was sentanced to 20 years on Tuesday last… does any of this sound familiar?

Posted by Melanie on 11/03/11 at 05:30 PM | #

That’s really unbelievable.  What in the world is going on with these horrible people?  Pure evil.  I suppose she had never been violent before?  20 years is way too little for such a crime.  She could get out much earlier and then batter someone else to death if she is so out of control.

Posted by believing on 11/05/11 at 05:10 AM | #

Hi believing I can’t believe the similarities in the two cases:
1. Both academic people.
2. Both under the influence [of drink or drugs]
3. Simulated sexual attack
4. Simulated burglary
5. Covered the body with a quilt
6. Both gave several version of the story
7. Issues with telephone records
8. Both of the victims were in their own homes

Barbie Nadeau mentions in Angel Face that it is female murderers who cover the body, presumably in an act of contrition

Posted by Melanie on 11/05/11 at 10:55 PM | #

I just read the book “If I Did It, Confessions of a Killer” which is basically OJ’s confession to the crimes except that he says, which perhaps is true, that he sort of woke up at the scene of the crime covered in blood and saw the dead bodies there and had no idea what had happened.  He however had the ability and presence of mind to then quickly get back to his mansion, sneak in through a side path, catch a limo to Chicago and make a flight within a very short time period afterwards.  Although awful in terms of the crime, It’s really a very interesting book and explains everything from his own point of view and you realize what kind of man he was, very self-centered and controlling and yet he sounds like Mr. Nice Guy in the book.  He really wanted to tell the story and to show that nothing was his fault but at the same time he couldn’t help wanting to write this book to tell ‘his side of the story’ and he didn’t even hide behind an alibi, but described more or less what actually happened that night in detail, except to say he had no idea how the two ended up dead, just that he had a knife and was at the scene.  There must be people who go into these rages which may or may not be fueled by drink and drugs who can batter someone or kill someone and then sort of wake up from that rage and think, ‘what have I done?” and then perhaps feel remorse or can’t believe it.  And maybe then they convince themselves of another version of the story.  As you said I have never heard of someone covering up the victim afterwards like that and it is interesting that it is usually done by females. Maybe instead of remorse it is just to block the actual victim from their minds.

Posted by believing on 11/07/11 at 06:07 AM | #

Yes, I agree. I don’t think this was pre-meditated.. I really believe it was a situation that got out of hand..

Posted by Melanie on 11/07/11 at 11:38 AM | #

Convictions are supposed to be hard. There’s enough people railroaded into a conviction with no evidence to go around.

It does actual victims no benefit if innocents are being put in jail. Already we are seeing the lowering of standards of proof for certain crimes (primarily sexual assault), in order to increase convictions. It is not the right way to go about doing things.

If the prosecutors say they are overworked, I am all for hiring more. If they say that criminals are getting smarter, then they need to get smarter. More education, more research, I think that is the answer.

The goal should not be to make convicting someone easier. The goal is to convict the right person for the right crime, not just convict someone for something.

In the strangulation example above, the porn should not have mattered. Otherwise, every soldier ever that gets accused of gun-murder would get convicted solely because he “knows how to use guns”, without any other evidence.

I think what bothers me the most is this excuse:

“He was manipulative of the police by virtue of his own in-depth research on the internet to keep one step ahead of the investigation prior to his arrest and then made very selective admissions surrounding the circumstances of Jo’s death which sought to cast her in an unfavourable light – even when he was giving evidence to the jury.”

So basically a guy with (I think) no forensic or legal background managed to outsmart the police and prosecutors? This seems incredibly shady.

It is terrible that murderers like AK got off. But if we make it a goal to just “convict”, it leads to a dangerous slippery slope from which there is no recovery. Furthermore, she wasn’t exactly a devious mastermind either. I can’t explain her acquittal as well as you guys, but Ted Bundy, she was not.

Posted by razvan on 12/09/11 at 12:06 AM | #


I agree it would be nice if police had the resources to conduct every investigation perfectly, but that’s not realistic. You probably heard Stefanoni testify about the thousands and thousands of cases her lab processes every year.

The powers-that-be want law enforcement that is just good enough to protect them from the rabble, without being so good that a high-priced lawyer can’t get someone off on a technicality.

Posted by brmull on 12/09/11 at 03:28 AM | #

P.S. I agree it’s possible to go too far. For example the Law of Parties in Texas deals with the chronic problem of establishing who did what when a murder is carried out by a group of people, by making everyone present or involved in the crime eligible for the charge of murder, and potentially the death penalty.

Posted by brmull on 12/09/11 at 03:35 AM | #


You do have a good point about the resource glut, but consider a few things:

- How much money is spent in chasing recreational drug users that do absolutely no harm to anyone. Marijuana specifically receives an unholy amount of attention. I remember hearing that over 50% of all US inmates are there for drug use. That’s simply absurd.

- A lot of the serious violent crimes are solved relatively quickly. The real serious and difficult-to-solve crimes should have enough people working on them.

- I still cannot believe that a simple criminal can outsmart career prosecutors and police. Again, Ted Bundy’s aside, most murderers and rapists and the like aren’t exactly Mensa members. I have listened to a lot of ex-cops give speeches on how to protect yourself from police duress and disrespect of your rights. Their general gist was that during most of their investigations, it was rather easy to determine what happened, and most people confessed. Again, this isn’t scientific proof, but just saying.

Anyway, I hope this is not getting too off-topic.

Posted by razvan on 12/09/11 at 06:13 PM | #

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