Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The Much-Demonized Rudy Guede Is Back In The News And Increasingly Threatening
Posted by Peter Quennell
This description of Guede’s early days in the Ivory Coast and Perugia in the excellent Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson remains the ONLY one that fully checks out. Certainly not that by the dishonest PR shill Nina Burleigh.
Guede wasn’t especially an angel, and some in Perugia were iffy about him. But he had real friends, and up north he held a real job with a real career future, until that prospect imploded and sent him haplessly back to Perugia.
Late in October 2008 Judge Micheli discounted all that Guede ever said about his role in the attack on Meredith in various conversations and statements, and sentenced Guede to 30 years.
But Judge Micheli also concluded that there was no firm evidence either that Guede acted alone or that Guede was a drifter, drug dealer, knife wielder or burglar (Micheli was very sharp with one witness who claimed Guede may - may - have broken into his house).
In 2009 through his lawyers Guede enquired of the prosecution whether he might testify at the Knox-Sollecito trial.
But the prosecutions’ hands were already tied by the indictments and they (rightly) believed they had a really strong case regardless of anything Guede could add.
At the 2009 trial the defenses pussyfooted around and never settled for a firm position on Guede. They floundered in their subdued attempts to prove that Guede or somebody else unknown was the so-called Lone Wolf.
The Lone Wolf theory is really a zombie theory with so many stakes through its heart that no court will ever take it seriously.
Guede’s steadfast fallback position before and since was that he was only in the house on the night of the attack because Meredith invited him to come in and they began love-making.
At his late-2009 first appeal and also at Sollecito’s and Knox’s 2011 appeal before Judge Hellmann, he increasingly firmly pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito as the murderers.
Guede had been initially inclined to let sleeping dogs lie after he was mysteriously beaten up in the sex offenders wing of Viterbo prison, where prisoners are meant to be kept very safe.
But Judge Massei’s scenario of the attack on Meredith in his March 2010 Sentencing Report, with Rudy Guede as the lead instigator, really bothered him.
And in mid 2010 he became even more bothered when claims were made by a fellow prisoner the baby killer Mario Alessi that Guede confided that he really had committed the murder, along with two others. Not with Knox and Sollecito.
A very angry Rudy Guede in turn wrote a letter denying this which very rapidly went public.
In 2011 there was a tense confrontation in the Hellmann court (which several times descended into chaos) when this letter, in which by now Guede firmly accuses Knox and Sollecito, was read out for him.
Guede stuck to this position on the stand, and he was not required to face full cross-examination by the shrill, frustrated defenses because he was already convicted and no longer the one on trial.
Seemingly fed up with all the dirty tricks against him and the now-incessant Knox and Sollecito mantras in the media that Guede had acted alone, he has come out with another letter.
Italy’s AGI News Service has posted this letter to an unidentified recipient, along with this report.
(AGI) Perugia, February 11 “Against me are being repeated false imaginated reconstructions of the crime for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way, in the public eye and not just in Italy.”
He apparently also posted what he wrote in his own hand on the Facebook page “Legal processes and their surroundings”...
The letter is on a sheet of notebook paper handwritten and signed by Guede.
“To my regret I am again forced to take a pen and paper and write for the sake of the truth.. to all those thousands of people who still believe in justice.”
“They can not access all the pleadings and components of this sad and extremely complex legal case which was dramatically painful for those who lived it . My sentence and judicial reasoning have been for too long subject to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings.”
“Against me are made continuous false and imaginary reconstructions for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way in the public eye and not just the Italian.”
“In the final judgment, as far as I’m concerned about these false and imaginative reconstructions, is that I was acquitted of theft and simulation of crime, a fact that I never hear mentioned in the various journalistic reconstructions.”
“I also want to point out I do not accept in any way to be passed off and continually held up as a drifter, a thief, a homeless man, seeing my person and my dignity offended continually, denigrated and stereotyped by facts and things that do not realte to me… when I had a beautiful family and precious squeaky clean and friendly relations in Perugia.”
Fast-forward to today, where reports say that Guede is getting close to day-release for study purposes and may only be months away from making more evidence against Sollecito and Knox public.
Our posting lawyer TomM has looked at the issue of Guede being allowed out to study, and finds it regular and humane in this assessment.
I respect the Italian system of criminal justice. Just as I recognize that the Italian courts have much better information than anyone posting on the internet relating to the culpability of the defendants in this case, I also think that the people who oversee Guede’s stay in prison are better informed as to his fitness to be reintegrated into society. That he would be allowed out during work days to become better educated, returning to his prison cell at the end of the day seems to me a more enlightened approach than what we do here.
We used to have training programs in prisons. I don’t know that they were “cushy”, but they did work, so that when these convicts were released they were equipped with a marketable skill and rarely re-offended. But, the public thinks these were too cushy, so more Draconian circumstances and longer sentences are now the norm. It used to be people were sent to prison as punishment, now they are sent for punishment.
Sometimes when a prisoner who has spent his or her entire adult life in prison completes the sentence imposed, they have to be physically dragged from their cells, so ill-prepared are they for anything other than doing time. With no skills, social or job-related, they re-offend—surprise, surprise. Sometimes re-offense is for the purpose of being returned a world that, for all its dangers is, to them, relative safety.
While it is certainly true that prison doesn’t have much impact on sociopaths, the one thing they are attached to is money. Taking away their money does impact their behavior, so there is an alternative to killing them.
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Thursday, February 06, 2014
The Hubristic, Meanspirited Campaign: What Sort Of Life Has It Left Knox And Sollecito Now?
Posted by lauowolf
Had Knox and Sollecito simply told the truth to begin with, this case would have been only a nasty local story in Italy, with a bit of light coverage in Seattle and London. They would have had to accept some narrative that explained their involvement and their guilt, and they would have been sentenced accordingly.
They would then have served their time and gotten out. Eventually they would have gone on, perhaps, to live relatively normal lives.
After all, by the time they left prison virtually no one outside the families involved would remember, or much care, what they had done. Their criminal records would follow them forever, of course, but certainly there would have been no public repercussions for an obscure murder in Italy, years in the past.
People live with such pasts: they live their lives and create a future despite their pasts.
Instead, Knox and Sollecito have rendered themselves toxic for the rest of their lives. Everywhere they go, as long as they live, they will be recognized, whispered about, and pointed out by supporters, opponents, and even the relatively uniformed public.
Already, Sollecito’s Austrian side-trip was busted by someone who, predictably, recognized him. The intense paparazzi effect will eventually wear off, but years from now, whenever either of them does something simple, its effects will live on.
Apply for a library card – instant name recognition, walk through the airport - and someone will realize why that face is familiar. They’d better get used to it because some stranger will always recognize them. At their every life event, there will be a news alert, and someone potentially selling the story or a photo.
They and their families deliberately established an intensive PR effort for selfish reasons: in order to avoid the repercussions of a terrible act.
But this press creation is a terrible beast. Now that it is here it will need to be fed. Always. Get drunk in public - someone will have a cell phone handy; a marriage breaks up - the ex-spouse will tell all. (And, really, neither of them has the kind of money needed to live forever insulated from the vulgar public.)
For the rest of their lives, in everything they want to do, the whole did-they-or-didn’t-they narrative will be weighed in other people’s reaction: Would you hire either of them for anything? Would you rent them an apartment? Elect them to the school board?
All other things being equal, there will always be someone else available, someone equally good who has no awkward history. And everyone will know about that history; they worked hard to make it so.
And I’m not talking about the prejudice against ex-cons. That’s a real thing, and it will have its impact too. All convicted felons have real problems, after all, but few of them have achieved such notoriety, let alone embraced it. What I’m talking about is the impact of even old-news celebrity, of always now, and for the rest of their lives, being tabloid fodder.
Sure, there will always be people (Mad Pax?) drawn to the faux glitter of it all, but a life accompanied only by those wanting to share in your “fame” seems pretty ugly to me. What normal person wants the hassle of becoming involved with something like this?
Furthermore, they will never know when someone they think of as a friend might suddenly start thinking of a way to cash in. There might be a book in it, or at least a juicy article for a tabloid.
This isn’t meant as expressing any kind of sympathy for them at all, by the way. They have blood on their hands and horrors in their heads.
Eventually they may come to some kind of terms with their actions. Frankly, though, I hardly care, for it is not merely their crime that requires expiation. I have been sickened to see the unfolding ruthlessness and the sheer ugliness of their publicity campaign.
At its center their PR beast reveals an utter selfishness that is willing to appeal to the worst in their supporter through appeals to American xenophobia, to racism, and in smears against Meredith, Rudy, and Patrick, as well as the entire system of Italian justice.
The PR beast they created denigrates every other element in the case, while portraying the pair of them as young, innocent, and only guilty of a visible passion for each other and a naïve belief in the police.
This tactic required a media product for sale: the attractive young lovers. Their campaign has forced their names, and images and story in all our faces for years now. They and their families did this entirely voluntarily, and they have seemed to relish the attention it brought them.
They’ve been interviewed extensively, treated sympathetically by those who should know better, and altogether have had much more than their fifteen minutes of fame. But celebrity is a beast that turns on its own.
And, importantly, unlike other famous people – actors, politicians, authors and the like - there is no proper use for their fame. They have nothing real to share with us, only their story. It is, literally, all about them. And that is how it will remain.
They have become a narrative whose next chapter will always be told. The PR beast, for all its reach, will not be enough to keep them out of prison. But the cameras will be there the day they finally leave prison, in case we have forgotten their faces.
And there will be photos when they drive drunk. Or marry. Or divorce.
Their names are out there, waiting for the tagline, waiting for the joke. (“How bad is your new roommate? Well, at least she’s no Amanda Knox.”) There will be no end to it, ever. They will have no privacy, ever. Karma at work is a scary thing. They invited the beast into their lives, and now it will never leave them alone.
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. On The Pro-Justice Side…
This puts the faux Nencini “end-of-civilization-as-we-know” crisis into some sensible context.
The Italian system doesn’t exactly come out badly compared to say that of the US. Surprise, surprise: See here who agrees.
Comparatively speaking, Italy has a much lower crime rate than the US, a much lower murder rate, a highly professional un-elected police hierarchy, a much smaller court system, and a miniscule number of prison cells.
The mafias are now mostly backed into small pockets..
For reasons to do with Italian history pre-WW II the system keeps politicians very much at arms length.
Almost every other justice system in the world comes under the Prime Minister’s or equivalent’s control, and it his or her party that appoints the judges. The Italian system comes under the separately-elected and non-partisan President of the Republic.
All judges and all prosecutors follow a career path laden with checks and balances, learning exercises and tests. (At this the highly-competent and impartial Dr Mignini excels and he will soon be the attorney-general of a region.)
The number of Italians who are in prison at any one time is proportionally only about 1/5 that of the United States. Take a look.
It is not like everyone in Italy is impatiently waiting for the fatuous posse of Preston, Heavey, Fischer & Moore to turn up and save them from themselves. There is no problem there.
Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi) who reported for us on the Cassation and Nencini appeals has assembled these facts on what the Italian population actually thinks.
For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough” were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.
In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.
Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.
However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.
The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).
Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.
(My source is “Rapporto Italia 2012” by EURISPES).
2. On the Anti-Justice Side
In the past decade both corrupt politicians and the mafias have been remorselessly rolled back.
The Perugia Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2010 rebuilding following a huge earthquake.
The Florence Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the contracts for the high-speed rail links that pass through Florence and on.
But attempts of corrupt politicians and others to meddle in this case go on and on and on.
Knox and Sollecito may think it is for pure love of them. Think again. There are unsavory parties on the anti-justice bandwagon who if it suited them would disappear Knox and Sollecito in the blink of an eye.
Politics played a part in ex-MP Rocco Girlanda, a Berlusconi poodle, accessing Capanne Prison multiple times to slobber over Knox. As a member of the Justice Committee under former Berlusconi-party MP Giulia Borngiorno’s sway (hows THAT for a conflict of interest?) Girlanda (1) petitioned the President for Knox, (2) tried to cut the national police wiretap budget, (3) tried to get Perugia prosecutors investigated, (4) repeatedly appeared on TV and in other media to make false allegations, and (5) chaired several US/Italy “liberation” meetings.
Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has been wearing her member-of-parliament hat to stir up the (essentially toothless) Ministry of Justice against Judge Nencini. And to try to get the Council of Magistrates to give her client a break (Good luck with that - they wont move.)
The mafia backseat drivers (known about in Italy but not reported in the US) are there in a minor but pervasive way. Their roles were summarised in several places including this post here.
It is odd, to say the least, to see such self promoting reformers of the Italian system as Preston, Heavey, Fischer and Moore happily carrying water for the mafias.
So What We May Expect
Judge Nencini is a seasoned mafia fighter, and he is also a seasoned fighter of politicians who are corrupt and try to bend the system their way. But his record is very clear. Attack him for murky end - and he does not exactly back down.
From the point of view of Sollecito’s prospects, this faux storm looks like another huge wrong move.
Archived in Vital Must-Read Posts, Italian system v others, Officially involved, Police and CSI, The prosecutors, The judiciary, Supreme Court, Defense dirty tricks, Mafia playbook, Other cases, Others Italian
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Monday, February 03, 2014
Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?
Posted by Jools
Judge Nencini offers corrections
This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.
“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.
I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.
I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence. In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.
In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’
If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.
These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”
Context for those corrections
This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.
In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CMS rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.
Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CMS, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).
As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.
Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.
And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…
In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.
The later, longer interview
The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.
Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.
Posted 1 February
Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.
HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks
SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”
SUBHEAD2: “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”
By Fiorenza Sarzanini
“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”
It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.
You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?
“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court. You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason. We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.
And then the decision was unanimous?
“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”
Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.
“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”
Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?
“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles. We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”
Why didn’t you question Guede?
“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent. We didn’t think it was necessary. Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth. In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”
Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”
And this influenced your choice to convict him?
“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”
Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?
“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning. For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created. If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?
“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”
Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?
“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.
And you don’t believe that there were errors?
“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”
You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?
“She is legally in the United States. At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence. For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”
So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?
“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”
And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?
“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”
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Guide For Smart Media #1: Note Extensive Hard Evidence In Exceptionally Fair, Careful Legal Process
Posted by Media Watcher
Vital media history in 2009
In Italy and Europe generally the guilt of the two is almost universally perceived.
One reason is that although about 1/4 of the trial in 2009 was behind closed doors (quite the opposite of the “tabloid storm” and “show trial” Americans have been told about) Italians in particular got to find out about the long (15 minutes), remorseless, highly sadistic attack on Meredith.
Late in the attack, she let out a huge scream. It may have been then that Knox forced in the final stab. At the end Meredith was left lying on her back on the floor, in immense pain, with her hands clutching her neck, trying to stop the life-blood running out.
Meredith had been undressed post-attack, her phones had been removed to stop her calling for help, and her bedroom door was locked. Cruel and barbaric in the extreme.
US reporting from trial in 2009 was actually for the most part good. Andrea Vogt and John Follain and Barbie Nadeau and Ann Wise all did exceptional jobs. Even one of Seattle’s own newspapers (Hearst’s Seattle PI) ran many unflinching reports.
Italy’s foreign media portrayed a sharp and incisive prosecution, a defendant (Knox) who was a disaster in her two days on the stand, and a floundering, half-hearted defense, which was really spinning its wheels.
Vital media history in 2010
It was only in 2010, after trial, with an automatic appeal coming up, that the defense campaigns (acting largely illegally under Italian law) took advantage of a number of quirks in the situation to try to dupe Americans into believing the conviction was flawed.
The Italian system speaks mostly through its public documents, not police or prosecutors or judges, and the 2009 trial judge (Massei) issued a superb, very long explanation of why guilt was found, in Italian, in Spring 2010.
This compelling Italian document was posted online in Italy by the Justice Ministry in Rome, and widely read and summarised in the media in Italy itself. And so the logic and legitimacy sunk in.
In the United States, in sharp contrast, not one media outlet translated that report. Not one.
The only accurate translation into English was prepared by the Italian speakers and lawyers on our sister website, PerugiaMurderFile dot Org.
With US and UK media news cutbacks around the world, and especially in Italy, the media since has largely accepted the spin straight from the defense campaign, as exceptionally propagated by the Associated Press and a couple of “tame” networks in the US.
As a consequence, the coverage has become overwhelmingly biased in favor of Amanda Knox.
Today’s US media state of play
Misleading and false information about the prosecution case and the evidence presented has been repeated so often that many people now accept as fact outright lies.
This includes the absurd claim by defense attorney Ted Simon that “there is no evidence.” (Which ironically even Ted Simon himself disputed - see post below - in an NBC Dateline report that was taped before he signed on to represent Amanda Knox.)
It didn’t have to be this way. Reporters from the NYTimes, Rolling Stone, ABC, CNN, and others have done their readers/viewers a huge disservice, by distorting the factual record, and by supporting a false narrative in which it’s simply unthinkable that an attractive young woman could ever be caught up in a crime so heinous.
Which ignores the fact that shocking crimes have often been committed by people who seem incapable of such violence, which in this case means “too white, too young, too female, and with the types of connections - including to a King County Superior Court judge - that most criminals simply don’t have.”
Fortunately, Harvard’s formidable law professor Alan Dershowitz is among the many prominent attorneys who have reviewed the facts of the case more dispassionately and has said more than enough evidence was presented to support a guilty verdict.
Now the defense, with the complicity of much of American media, seems intent on fueling anti-foreigner bias in order to circumvent an extradition request from Italian authorities, which would come after the Court of Cassation finally signs off.
Pointers for smart media
As someone who has read through all of the available court documents and much of the media, and who has more than 25 years’ experience helping national media to understand complex, technical stories, here’s my take on the issues the media should consider as they continue to write about this case:
One - Formidable Legal Experts Say the Evidence is Strong
First off, before ever repeating or suggesting that there is a lack of evidence, remember that renowned civil rights attorney and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been on the winning side of 13 of 15 murder and attempted murder cases, has said that the evidence supports a guilty verdict and that none of this media frenzy would even be happening if Knox were not a young, attractive, white female. (include link here to Dershowitz on CNN).
Two - Italy’s Justice System Has Important Differences from the U.S.
As Dershowitz has explained, there is no “double jeopardy” because Italy has a three-stage process, and we are nearing the end of the second stage.
In this case, Knox was first found provisionally guilty by the trial court. An appellate court decision to reverse that decision was set aside by the Supreme Court and a second appellate court has now weighed in. Once this appellate court publishes its rationale, the decision is again subject to appeal. If appealed, the appellate decision will not become final until the Supreme Court weighs in.
Unlike in the U.S., at all levels of the three-stage judicial process (original trial, appeal, appeal to Supreme Court) in Italy, juries and judges are required to explain the rationale behind their decisions in legal documents. These documents are important and anyone who reports on this case should read the underlying source documents.
It is an enormous benefit for defendants to understand how and why a jury convicted, because it makes the chances of filing a quality appeal much higher. Italy does many things to protect the rights of defendants, and requiring juries to defend their decisions to convict are among them.
Three - Amanda is a Convicted Felon for the False Accusation
Because the Supreme Court has already affirmed the calunnia verdict for her false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, Amanda is now a convicted felon. Remember that Patrick Lumumba was a man she worked for and she stood by her accusation for several weeks, never formally withdrawing it. Lumumba was only cleared when his alibi was independently verified.
Four - The Questioning was Not Unusually Harsh
On the question of whether Amanda was treated unfairly and/or questioned harshly, in the aftermath of a murder, people are questioned fiercely here in the U.S. all the time. Amanda was not considered a suspect until she put herself at the scene of the crime and until her alibi(s) clearly conflicted with those of Raffaele Sollecito.
She was not a reluctant witness. In fact, she volunteered to answer questions on the night Sollecito was being questioned. (The prosecution asked him to come in alone.) Knox and Sollecito have each offered numerous, conflicting accounts of what they were doing on the night in question.
Five - Study the Cell Phone Evidence
The cell phone evidence is compelling. Few American media have paid any attention to the cell phone evidence, but the original jury gave it significant weight and it was discussed at length in the original sentencing report. You should read it.
Six - Look at the Photos of the Blood in the Bathroom
The DNA evidence is also compelling. There is clear evidence of Amanda’s DNA mixed in with Meredith’s blood in multiple places in the bathroom. The photos that show the amount of blood – all Meredith’s - in the bathroom Amanda and Meredith shared is compelling. Amanda has said she assumed the large amounts of blood were from someone being messy after having a period.
Once you take a look at the blood on the faucets, you realize that given the sheer amount of blood, a woman having a period would have had to stand up over the sink and drip blood from the pelvis down onto the handles to make that scenario real.
Instead, of course, given that Amanda herself said the bathroom did not have obvious blood earlier that evening, the blood had to have come from someone (and it couldn’t be Guede given that his footsteps led from the murder scene to outside) who was cleaning up after the murder and was covered in Meredith’s blood.
There is also mixed DNA of Meredith and Amanda in Filomena’s bedroom. No one has offered a plausible “innocent” explanation for how a blood spot with mixed DNA from Meredith and Amanda could have ended up in Filomena’s bedroom.
Seven - What was the Lamp Doing in Meredith’s Locked Bedroom?
A lamp from Amanda’s room was found locked in the bedroom where the murder took place. It’s difficult to imagine any scenario where a lamp would be taken from another room and locked into the scene of the crime other than that it was used to look for evidence during the cleanup and then inadvertently forgotten.
And again, keep in mind that Guede’s bloody footprints lead directly from the bedroom to the entrance of the flat. He took off just after the murder happened and never returned.
Eight - Rudy Guede Did Not Act Alone
The break-in was clearly staged and there was no credible defense argument given to refute that. Again, given that Guede’s footprints led directly from the scene of the murder to the front door, he clearly was not involved in any after-the-fact coverup/cleanup, which meant someone else was.
Nine - Consider Amanda’s Middle of the Night Call to Her Mom
Amanda called her mother in the middle of the night Seattle time before the murder was even discovered. It was the first and only time she’d done this from Italy. When asked about it, Amanda claims to not remember having made the call.
It defies credibility to suggest that it was mere happenstance that Amanda decided to call her mother after the murder, wake her up from a sound sleep, and then not remember she had done it. Instead, the far, far more likely scenario is that she realized she was in serious trouble and reached out to her mother instinctively.
And this happened before a body was even discovered.
Ten - “Contamination” Resulting in Sollecito DNA - How Again?
The defense claimed that there was contamination of the bra clasp and that’s why the DNA from Sollecito was not reliable. Contamination had to be the defense claim because there was no question that it was actually Sollecito’s DNA. Keeping an open mind, how would Sollecito’s DNA get on the bra clasp even through contamination?
There was only one other spot of Sollecito’s DNA found in the apartment and that was a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt. Sollecito’s DNA was never near the bra clasp or near the equipment that was used to do the testing on the bra clasp at the time the bra clasp was tested.
In fact, at the time the DNA on the bra clasp was tested, it had been more than seven days since any DNA testing from the crime had been done in that lab and everything had been thoroughly cleaned. How did any DNA from Sollecito get transferred to the bra clasp?
And if you agree with the defense claim that “when it comes to contamination, anything is possible,” then you should consider whether that same standard should also be applied to the thousands of people in U.S. prisons who have been convicted of murder or rape in part on the basis of DNA evidence.
Eleven - DNA on Knife - Study the Analysis with an Open Mind
The DNA evidence from the knife was considered questionable because the method used was relatively new and frankly, some people didn’t seem to understand the underlying math/analysis that supported the conclusion that it was Meredith’s DNA.
Sollecito himself tried to create a plausible alternative scenario by claiming that Meredith’s DNA ended up on the knife when he accidentally pricked her on a night she had dinner at his flat. Except that that dinner never happened. He’d known Amanda only a week, and of course Meredith never went near Sollecito’s flat.
Twelve - Should the U.S. Abandon Its Treaty Obligations Because of Popular Opinion?
An Italian jury convicted Amanda Knox of murder in Italy, and that conviction has now been upheld by an Italian Appellate Court that reviewed all of the evidence. The decision has now been supported by renowned legal experts here in the U.S. who have also closely examined the evidence presented.
If the U.S. is going to refuse to extradite Knox on the basis of popular opinion which has been inflamed by shoddy reporting, then we should acknowledge that the court of public opinion is the only one that matters and perhaps we should consider whether the U.S. or any country needs jury trials at all.
Perhaps we should just poll the public after highly publicized trials and let that verdict be the one that stands.
We are ready to help
There are multiple other pieces of evidence and issues linked to here to consider beyond my list above. They are all here on this site and the Wiki and the two PMFs (links in left column above).
Content on those 4 sites is for the most part presented by successful, highly qualified lawyers and experts i(including some who are Italian) in all of the relevant fields.
If you are going to write on or report about this case, please consider starting by reading the actual court documents, beginning with the document that was written by the judge and jury involved in the original trial.
Relying on the defense PR team and on previously published media reports will not help you understand the case because so much of what has been reported is completely and wildly inaccurate.
Also you have a responsibility to get reporting on this case right because if and when Italy submits an extradition request for Amanda Knox, it’s important to not fan the flames of a potential international incident by blowing this case up into something it’s not.
It is is a murder trial where the weight of the of evidence is strong enough to convince a Harvard law professor who has worked on many murder cases that Knox’s guilt will likely be affirmed by Italy’s highest court.
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Saturday, February 01, 2014
Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz And Philly Lawyer Ted Simon Both Claim The Devil’s In The Details
Posted by Peter Quennell
Alan Dershowitz sees plenty of evidence against Knox. He really has absorbed the key details, and in this case, the devil is in the details.
Alan Dershowitz has spoken out quite accurately a number of times on the case previously, and he shows great respect for the carefulness of the Italian system.
Philadelphia lawyer and Knox advisor Ted Simon also thinks there is a devil in the details. Or rather, he did back in 2008 (below) before he got on the Knox payroll and his foolish mantra became “There is no evidence”.
Wrong. There is stacks of evidence that Knox was in that room - and it wasnt even tested for DNA.
- Why was her lamp in the room? Why cannot she explain that? Why are there zero fingerprints? Who wiped them? Who moved Meredith’s body? How did Knox’s and Meredith’s blood get co-mingled? In half a dozen different locations? Outside a locked bedroom door?
- Why are there footprints in blood outside the locked bedroom door of both Knox and Sollecito? Why do Guede’s shoeprints head straight out the front door? And if Knox didnt start to rearrange the crime scene, who staged the break-in, and why?
- And why do the various presentations in closed court in 2009 (all-day testimony by crime-scene and autopsy experts and a 15-minute video recreating the attack) which proved THREE attackers still remain unchallenged?
Those pesky details…
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Friday, January 31, 2014
Appeal Session #10 Images: The Attorney General Of Tuscany Dr Tindari Baglione Breaks The News
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
This help with translation happened right after Judge Nencini finished reading the verdict and sentences yesterday
Below: images of Lyle and Stephanie earlier in the long tense day
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Appeal Session #10 Images: The Two Judges And Six Lay Judges Deliver The Guilty Verdict
Posted by Peter Quennell
The sentences are 25 years in priosn for Raffaele Sollecito and 28.6 years in rpison for Amanda Knox including the 3.8 years for the calunnia already served. Each must also incur financial penalties.
Both may be locked in the sex offenders wings as both were confirmed convicted with a sex-crime component. Both may face further charges for false accusations of crimes in their books and in the media, as may some of their more strident “supporters”.
Few in the US and UK seem to realize, but the evidence presented at trial in the first half of 2009 was in fact overwhelming. In the US and UK it is probable no appeal would even have been allowed, as the appeal grounds were so flimsy.
Nothing was undermined at the Florence appeal. In fact the evidence became STRONGER as another trace of Knox was found on the big knife. Innuendo about DNA contamination was sharply rejected in face of zero evidence or even scenario.
Please read our case overview here which links to some vital posts and touches on several of the defense’s illegal tricks.
That includes the corrupting of the 2011 appeal, which is well understood in Italy but not registering with most US and UK media - Sndrea Vogt has begun reporting on part of it, the illegal meddling with the Hellmann DNA consultancy
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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Appeal Session #10: After Defense Remarks Panel Of Judges Reaches Its Decision: BOTH GUILTY
Posted by Peter Quennell
Verdict: Both are confirmed guilty
The Massei verdict is upheld. The sentences are 25 years for Raffaerle Sollecito and 28.6 years for Amanda Knox. Sollecito is to have his passport taken away.
For Knox they could issue a worldwide Interpol Red Notice for immediate arrest around the world, even before going for extradition, to stop her dishonest self-serving blabberings.
Take a look at our conjectures down the bottom of this post on the judges’ deliberations. Looks like we got One, Two and Four right and Knox will be named in the judges report as the prime instigator.
That will hardly help her resist extradition. And it will please Guede and Sollecito, who both always hint at that.
To CNN: yet again this is NOT double jeopardy. Read the extradition treaty. It was ONE valid trial (2009) and now ONE valid and failed appeal (2014). Not two trials.
Tweets from our main poster Machiavelli
26. All these many thanks are so warming and comforting; I’m glad my contribution was useful among the many others.
25. No measure taken for expatriation of Knox because she is a US citizen currently in her own country.
24. Passport withdrawn for Sollecito and movement restriction within the boundaries of the state of Italy. No restriction for Knox.
23. Ruled that Knox’s royalties belong to Lumumba,
22. Accessory penalties/settlements: established Knox stinks, ordered Dalla Vedova to change jobs… (!)
21. Her calunnia sentencing has been increased from 3 years (Hellmann-Zanetti) to 3 years and 6 months.
20. To be more precise: Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and 6 months. (She has already served four years).
19. Massei sentence confirmed (25y), Knox sentence increased to 28 years because of calunnia aggravation
18. Bongiorno very agitated
17. Five minutes and a half from a verdict?
16. Judge declared the verdict will be 3D and distributed goggles [?]
15. Sollecito was in the courtroom. Appeared nervous.
14. Said because of the greatness of their power they should acknowledge reasonable doubt.
13. Ghirga emphasized discretional power of the court. Said they have big power to acquit.
12. In point of law: Ghirga said evidence must be considered as a whole in compliance with SC, but assessment should find reasonable doubt
11. Said no blood on knife because of negative TMB and blood confirmatory tests.
10. Ghirga: cited the claims about picograms, said amount is not the point, the problem is test repetition and other conditions
9. Says bruise at back of head is compatible with frotal fight against single aggerssor (disagreement with Introna on this too)
8. Ghirga: Meredith’s blue sweater was removed before fatal stabbing, as for Torre’s opinion. Admitas he disagrees with Sollecito’s defence.
7. Ghirga talked about: Meredith’s blue sweater, an echimosis at back of her head, DNA laboratories and Stefanoni’s quantization
6. Ghirga recalled a small number of details of physical evidence and autopsy.
5. Dalla Vedova asked acquittal, did not specify, whereas Ghirga instead, talking later, invoked reasonable doubt.
4. D.V. says believes there are other Supreme Court rulings in his favor.
3. D.V. emphasized the single pieces of evidence should be assessed each one in parceled out, atomized way before considering the whole
2. DV focused on evidence assessment procedure, quoted SC rulings.
1. Dalla Vedova’s talking lasted a short time, and not very orderly.
Tweets from reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau
28. Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty. See more in The Daily Beast.
27. Kercher family members being briefed by lawyers and British consulate.
26. Sollecito must surrender all documents, passports, identification,
25. Its 25 years for sollecito and 28.6 years for amanda knox
24. Amanda Knox  guilty verdict upheld, sollecito  guilty verdict upheld.
23. Judges and jury enter.22. Huge security presence ahead of verdict including riot police outside and in public area of courtroom amandaknox tense
21. meredithkercher sister stephany and brother lyle have arrived in court for verdict.
20 Prosecutor Crini has arrived in court for verdict in amandaknox appeal
19. Clerk says between 9-930 local time judges will return. Says judges want “utter silence no shouting or clapping”
18. Court clerk says verdict will be delivered between 9 and 9:30 tonight.
17. Amanda Knox ‘Afraid’ Of Today’s Court Verdict http://thebea.st/LeteHD via @thedailybeast
16. Court clerk says at 8pm she will go back to judge to find out if and when they are ready to deliver verdict.
15. Court clerk says “presumably verdict at 8:00 but everyone come back at 7:00
15. Court clerk just announced that at 6pm local they will tell us when the verdict will be announced.
14. Mario Spezi, author of Monster of Florence, has come to court to hear amandaknox verdict.
13. Lawyers for amandaknox and sollecito, journalists already in courtroom ready for verdict that come come any time from 5pm Florence time.
12. Lunch has just been brought in to judges and lay jury deliberating amandaknox case. No wine.
11. Refreshments just delivered to jury members in amandaknox new appeal, espresso, cappucino and possibly a tea…
10. Judge in amandaknox new appeal says decision will not come before 5pm.
9. amandaknox lawyer asks court to absolve his client.
8. amandaknox lawyer says the dna on the knife attributed to meredithkercher can not be verified, can not be considered.
7. amandaknox lawyer Ghirga tells court they have to look at all the evidence to reach verdict, not value pieces here and there.
6. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t put two innocent people in jail to cover up mistakes of judicial system.
5. amandaknox lawyer tells judge: you cannot convict for murder in the name of Italy when evidence is ‘probably’ attributed to a defendant.
4. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t cancel out evidence, says Amanda’s rights were violated, she was in shock when she accused Lumumba.
3. sollecito in court by his dad who said they are all nervous for verdict over drinks with journalists at hotel bar last night.
2. amandaknox lawyer CDV says they are serene going into verdict because they believe in her innocence,
1. Court in session. One of the jurors wearing a shiny spangled skirt, rest dressed soberly.
Tweets from Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt
13. Meredith Kercher’s brother: It was the best we could have hoped for, but amanda knox verdict not cause for celebration.
12. amanda knox guilty verdict upheld. Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said he has called her. She did not cry. She was “petrified.”
11. amanda knox conviction upheld. sentenced to 28 years and six months. Sollecito to 25. Ordered passports to be taken.
10. Meredith’s sister and brother are accompanied by British consulate officials. A hush has come over the courtroom.
9. The family of meredith kercher has arrived in court to hear the verdict.
8. Even most experienced Italian court reporters not predicting what long wait for amanda knox verdict means. Could go either way
7. amanda knox verdict is expected at 9 or 9:30. Clerk reminds about the decorum expected:no applause, shouting, cheering, etc
6. Standing room only in Florence court as media, legal teams, public await amandaknox verdict (timing soon to be announced).
5. Judge and jury in amandaknox case have retreated for deliberations. Verdict not before 5 pm Italy time.
4. amandaknox Judge : we will not give a verdict before 17, after that,can come any time, but will announce with lots of advance notice.
3. Ghirga: We wait anxiously and seriously for justice for Meredith. But doing justice means doing it also for amandaknox and RS.
2. amandaknox lawyers are in court. Ghirga: “siamo fiduciosi, serene, emotionati.” (Roughly: “Trusting, calm, on edge”).
1. Verdict expected late today in amandaknox appeal….
Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt On Website
From The Freelance Desk
Amanda Knox is expected to wait out the verdict in her appeal at her mother’s Seattle home (likely with American television news networks present) while Raffaele Sollecito was in court with his father and a friend. Sollecito made no remarks upon leaving for the courthouse in a taxi, surrounded by a pack of cameras. Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, and brother, Lyle, are also expected in Florence today for the court’s decision, expected in the evening hours….
Conjectures on what the judges may be discussing
The panel of judges is in effect deciding now on positions that must be sustained in 2-3 months in a 100-400 page document that must be okayed by the Supreme Court.
This might be what the quite long (by Italian standards, they will have discussed the case intermittently) jury discussion today is focused upon. Here are four possible issues.
Possible issue one
As sharp Italian media are pointing out, Prosecutor Crini departed from the Massei scenario and suggested a different driver in one key respect.
Like Mignini and Micheli in 2008 he assigned the role of prime mover to Amanda Knox and not to Guede. (Nobody ever assigned it to Sollecito.)
Maybe hoping to give RS and AK a break the Massei jury (not neccessarily the judge himself) assigned to Guede the primary role in starting the attack, saying maybe he forced himself upon her.
Then maybe the other two came in from next door, and set about helping him to subdue Meredith.
They just happened to have two knives handy, and even Massei assigns the fatal blow to Knox.
Crini argued as more likely that Knox started to quarrel with Meredith over hygiene or drugs or money and the other two joined in and for 15 minutes the attack escalated.
In this Knox and not Guede is assigned the role of prime mover.
The judges may want to accept this and seek to assign Knox a harsher punishment accordingly.
(Neither court seems to have settled on a convincing reason for why the big knife was brought down from Sollecito’s house which looks to us at minimum forboding.)
Possible issue two
This relates to the scenario in the comment above. Judge Massei lopped five years off the routine sentences by conjuring up “mitigating factors”.
One such factor was the duvet placed over Meredith which Massei thought could be a sign of remorse, surely by a woman.
Many including psychologists never agreed with this. It could have been simply an aversion to all the blood, which Knox on the stand in 2009 chillingly described as “yucky”.
If so the sentences awarded could creep up beyond the durations decided on by Massei. Above 25 and 26 years.
Possible issue three
This is an alternative to One and Two above. The judges might think the crime was more like a manslaughter, an attack that ended in murder
But not intended as such and never agreed to by two of the attackers. In which case sentences could be a lot lighter.
Possible issue four
There are financial award considerations. How much to award to whom, plus maybe ways to ensure their payment in light of Knox blatantly stiffing Patrick..
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Continuing Enormous Strength Of The Evidence Which Defenses Seem To Have Abysmally Failed To Shake
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
What this Florence appeal is REALLY about
There is much confusion on this, sowed by various at-distance commentators who don’t read the Italian press or the excellent English-language reporters right there on the spot.
This is NOT a re-trial. This is a FIRST appeal by Sollecito and Knox against the guilty verdicts and sentences Judge Massei awarded them late in 2009. It is being repeated since their defense teams helped to bend the first (Hellmann court) iteration of the first appeal two years ago.
Since the end of 2009 they have been provisionally guilty of murder and other crimes, subject to final ratification by the Supreme Court, which has not yet occurred. Judge Hellmann decided to let them out and travel worldwide. Many think his decision on this was legally weak.
Was there prime-face justification for this appeal?
Under US and UK law many lawyers and judges think the judicial process could have stopped right there in the US and UK, because the grounds for appeal the defenses came up with in 2010 were essentially innuendo about DNA and little else.
But the pro-defendant Italian system unlike almost any other in the world allows appeals if any are filed to automatically go forward. So the bent, stretched-out and illegally wide-scope Hellmann appeal of 2011 was the first result.
Appointed apparently in illegal circumstances to replace the highly-qualified Judge Chiari (the lead-judge for criminal appeals, who then resigned) Judge Hellmann was ill-qualified at best - he was not a criminal judge and had handled only one other murder trial before, which he got wrong.
The annulment of the first first-appeal
The Supreme Court very rarely completely annuls any trial or appeal. But in this case in March 2013 it did just that, on a large number of grounds.
The 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court in Florence starts with the early-2010 Massei report plus new guidelines from the Supreme Court. Nothing else floated since early 2010 counts.
This case seems to break all records ever for (1) defamatory and dishonest PR; (2) dirty tricks, many illegal, by the defense; (3) dishonesty by those accused in two defamatory books and multiple statements to the press; and (4) greed and blood money while the process still goes on.
Contempt of court trials and investigations have commenced to push back, Amanda Knox is particularly at risk because her book contains false accusations of crimes (again) and she defies the Supreme Court in not paying Mr Lumumba his damages though she destroyed his business.
Suggested Reading: Part One
Sooner or later (no necessarily now) read all the must-read posts in this group here, all the open questions for Sollecito in this group here, and all the open questions for Amanda Knox in this group here.
1. Getting up to speed on the 2008 RS and AK charges
Our four-part summary of Judge Micheli’s report is the best thing to read (scroll down) especially Micheli’s argument that ONLY Knox had any reason to re-arrange the crime scene - she lived there and needed to point evidence away from herself.
2. Getting up to speed on the 2009 RS and AK trial
The prosecution performed brilliantly and left the defenses despondent and out-classed (paving the way for more dirty tricks in 2010-13) and we were told that two defense lawyers nearly walked off.
3. Getting up to speed on the Massei 2010 Report
The most vital read of all is the short-form version of the Massei Report by Skeptical Bystander and a team on PMF dot Org. If you have no time to read any posts, make sure to read that.
We had a large number of posts starting in 2010 checking out whether in all details the Massei Report got it right. Read this first take.
4. Getting up to speed on the crime-scene scenario
Vital to understanding the Massei court’s crime-scene scenario which Prosecutor Crini espouses, wade through this excellent reconstruction of the crime in a long Powerpoint by our lawyer James Raper with the Powerpoint whizz Kermit.
About Part Two
The next part of our most-recommended reading from 2010 to 2014 will follow after the verdict to help correct the ill-informed debate over whether Knox goes back to jail.
It hardens the case and in our view leaves no holes for RS and AK to wiggle through. We will point the post to those arguments that anyone tries to raise.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Strong Proof That Raffaele Sollecito Also Stabbed Meredith Kercher Causing The Lesser Wound.
Posted by Ergon
This picks up from from my previous post just below on the large knife that overwhelming evidence shows was wielded by Amanda Knox.
Sometime around Thursday, January 30, 2014, Judge Nencini of the Florence Appeals Court will be delivering the verdict of the court in the case of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, at which time all arguments regarding the knives, staged burglary, DNA and forensics, false accusation, wonky alibis, and reliability of witnesses will be rendered moot.
There will be nothing left but an argument about the legality of the process, and not the evidence, presented by the defenses if they choose to at some point in the fall of 2014 before Cassazione, the Supreme Court in Rome.
But, until then, we are left with the indelible image of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno a few days ago flailing with two knives in court, arguing (1) the kitchen knife doesn’t fit the major wound, and (2) there’s a missing knife, which she suggested was a pocket knife wielded by Rudy Guede.
In part I, I proved that the imprint of the knife on the mattress sheet matched the kitchen knife, in shape and dimensions. We have already seen in other articles here on TJMK, that there is a definitive match with Knox and Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the murder weapon, and now we know it was transported to the cottage, to leave its mirror image on the bed.
Here, in part II, is a recap of Massei on the knives and wounds inflicted on Meredith Kercher, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound.
Also we will have Frank Sfarzo and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds. And it will try to address what happened to the missing knife that inflicted the lesser wound on Meredith, and who might have wielded it.
Closeup of the stabbing end of the Spiderco knife shown at the top
Deliberate false claims
One of the many myths surrounding this case was that investigators had no reason to seize the kitchen knife from Sollecito’s flat, and when I showed the photos from Conti’s lab, with the deep scratches on it, that it may have been altered in some way, and denying that was where some of Meredith’s DNA might have been trapped. IIP even posted an out of focus picture some time back to prove that point.
Here is Frank Sforza on the late and unlamented Perugia Shock.‘ANY KNIFE COULD HAVE DONE THAT WOUND’
End of a Myth
Frank Sfarzo, Sept. 19, 2009
Quote: “It was introduced in the room, it was taken out of the box with all precautions, it was shown to them like a relic. They could have a look at it from a distance, and see, or believe to have seen, the groove into which the biological material of Meredith was found.” And:
“Amanda Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova brought him (independent expert Professor Cingolani) to say something very clear about the main one: any single-edge knife is compatible with Meredith’s larger wound.”
Here is Bruce Fischer on the error-ridden Injustice In Perugia.
Quote: “The knife was a common kitchen knife retrieved from the kitchen of Raffaele Sollecito. The knife was chosen from the drawer because it looked clean. (Editorial note: it was also, deeply scratched and nicked)
No blood was on the blade.
No DNA was on the blade.
The knife doesn’t match most of the wounds on Meredith.
The knife doesn’t match the bloody imprint left on the bed.
The photographic evidence shows that Raffaele’s kitchen knife is to (sic) large to match the bloody imprint on the bed.
At 4 cm from the tip the knife blade is 2.2 cm wide, while the injury (i.e. the small wound) is 1.5 cm wide. Raffaele’s kitchen knife could not have caused the wounds. The knife blade is also too long to have inflicted the large wound.” (Ed. note: Here they are conflating the dimensions of the lesser wound with the knife that inflicted the major wound, to cause confusion)
This is typical of the dishonesty of Bruce Fischer, who was only parroting what the defense experts had been saying in Massei’s court.
From the Massei Report
This is from the excellent PMF translation.
P. 99: The witness (investigator) recognized it when shown Exhibit 36 as that same knife (pages 176 and 177, hearing on February 28, 2009). He remembered that in the drawer there were other knives, but he collected what was later indicated as Exhibit 36. It had the following dimensions: blade 17 cm. and handle of dark colour 14 cm. He recalled that in Sollecito’s bedroom they found another knife whose total length was 18cm, with an 8cm. blade.” (This would be his Brian Tighe pocket knife, the Spyderco flick knife was seized from his person when he was arrested)
P.135: The stab wound corresponding to the injuries on the right side of the neck was indicated as being a little wound of very small dimensions with a very small path. The path of the wound is 4cm long and only 1.5cm wide. The blade used to make this wound must have had a width of 1.5cm at 4cm from the point. This blade only entered 4cm into the neck “because it encountered the angle of the jaw” (page 33 of the transcripts).
P.147: Professor Vinci testified at the hearing of August 18, 2009. He considered the subject of the “bloody stains” found on the undersheet in Meredith Kercher’s room. In relation to these stains, on the basis of graphics given in the report dated June 30, 2009, he asserted that the knifeprint found on the undersheet in Meredith’s bedroom could have been made either by an 11.3cm knife blade, or by a 9.6cm knife blade together with a mark 1.7cm long left by the handle of the same knife. In either case, the blade could not be wider than 1.3/1.4 cm. (Ahem)
P. 154: Prof Cingolani: He clarified that irregularities present on the blade, on the edge of the blade, could have created the rippling in the wounds.
P. 157: the examination of the wound on the right part of the neck, which had absolutely incompatible dimensions: 1.5cm long and 0.4cm wide with a depth of 4cm.
p.164: she was therefore struck on the right latero-cervical region with a single-edged blade which produced a wound with dimensions of 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a penetrating depth of 4cm: an action not relevant in determining the cause of death but intended, as before, to subdue Meredith Kercher’s resistance.
p.166: the width of the (kitchen knife) proximal third [blade one third of the distance from the handle] is 3cm.
p166: Along the edge, there was evidence of irregularities in the form of thin ridges at 2.2cm and at 11.4cm from the tip.
p. 167: The experts and consultants who were examined during the course of the trial, taking into examination the various wounds present on the neck, excluded the compatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 and the wound inflicted on the right latero-cervical and having the following dimensions: 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a depth of 4cm in an oblique upwards direction. They in fact showed that the confiscated knife, at a distance of 4cm from the tip, has a width of approximately 3cm and thus almost double the 1.5cm width of the wound, a width thus incompatible with the dimensions of the blade of this knife.
p.172-3: In relation to the above, the thesis of the incompatibility of the most serious wound and the knife Exhibit 36 is held to be unacceptable, though this knife is incompatible with the 4cm-deep wound, as we have seen. Nor does this conclusion contrast with the circumstances illustrated by Sollecito Defence consultant Professor Vinci in his report relating to the ‚analyses of the haematic stained shapes discovered on the mattress cover in Meredith Kercher’s room‛.
p.175: The reconstruction offered by Professor Vinci certainly appears suggestive. Some doubt remains in the reconstruction of the dimensions of the knife derived in relation from the marks found on the bed sheet. If these marks indeed derived from the knife placed on the bed sheet, then they should in fact have been more abundant, and should have outlined the shape of the knife with greater precision, for the following reason: the knife, if it was placed on the bed sheet, was placed there immediately after it had been used to strike Meredith; therefore, the fresh and abundant bloodstains present on the blade should have been imprinted onto the bed sheet in a more evident and copious way than is actually appreciable. It cannot in any case remain unobserved that, if one of the knives used had a blade length of 11.3cm, or else 9.6 cm – according to what was indicated by Professor Vinci in the conclusions to his report – the argumentation set forth to sustain the incompatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 would not, on this alone, have any foundation.”
For the record, here are the paragraphs from the English translation of the Massei Report where Patricia Stefanoni describes the streaks and scratches on the double DNA knife and locations where samples were taken.
Judge Massei (on pg. 196) wrote about forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni:
“She specified that trace B had been taken from a point on the face of the blade; she added that no biological trace was visible to the naked eye. However [she added that] “under considerable lighting, a series of streaks were visible to the naked eye. These streaks ran parallel to the upper part of the blade, therefore, more or less, they were parallel to this side [of the blade] and towards the point they went downward and, therefore, they followed the shape of the point. These streaks, anomalies in the metal, were visible to the naked eye under intense lighting” (page 95 of the transcript). Still in regard to the visibility of these streaks, she specified that they were “visible under good lighting by changing the angle at which the light hit the blade, since obviously the blade reflects light and thus creates shadows, making imperfections visible”.
The samples taken from the handle, in the points indicated with the letters A, D, F were taken in order to verify the possible presence of DNA by the person who grasped that knife. In particular, for sample “A”, a particular point had been chosen, “in which there’s the hand-guard” (page 95) and therefore, in all likelihood, the point where there was the most friction between the hand that grasped the knife and the handle. This sample yielded the result of Amanda Knox’s genetic profile.
The other samples yielded negative results, except the one taken from the blade, from the “scratches and streaks visible under good lighting, by changing the angle of the lighting with regards to the blade” that yielded the genetic profile of the victim (page 96 hearing May 22, 2009).”
And now we know: Dottora Patrizia Stefanoni got it right.
And some disagreement amongst the experts: p.291-2: Professor Cingolani had in fact noted and declared the following: “in the second lesion, the one that is 2 centimetres deep and 1.5 centimetres wide from corner to corner, the only thing that we are tempted to do, [albeit] in an absolutely amateurish/unprofessional way, because we only have photographs available, is to measure, assuming that only the tip entered, how wide the blade is [at a point] 2 centimetres from its tip: it is precisely 1.5 centimetres wide!”
My own investigation
Here is my initial close examination first posted on PMF dot Net last summer.
Ergon Post subject: INVESTIGATION OF THE KNIVES USED IN THE MURDER Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:42 am
Investigation into the death of Meredith Kercher-THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED
The murder of Meredith Kercher was particularly bloody and brutal. Reading through Massei, pages 109- SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF THE FORENSIC RESULTS through to 158-173, THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED we are reminded of the brutality with which the attack took place, the sexual assault by more than one person, the restraining, the defensive wounds on Meredith’s hands, the torture by more than one knife, restraining by a hand over the mouth when she screamed, (even while she bled to death) and two major knife wounds, one to the left of the throat, the other, to the right. Massei rightly concludes, as did the Supreme Court, that more than one attacker was involved, and, per Massei, there was more than one knife used in the attack. The defense experts tried to draw attention away from the kitchen knife, but, reading through Massei again, I saw how they dropped clues to what the dimensions of the second knife might have been.
We know that Raffaele Sollecito had a fetish for violent porn, that he had an expensive collection of knives, and his many alibis for the night in question have been thrown out by the court. From my studies of criminal psychology, from reading both Amanda and Raffaele’s books and watching videos of their court appearances and television interviews, their psychopathology seem apparent not only to my eyes, but even to the general public that must have looked at them and decided their story somehow did not ring true, and refused to buy their books. There are indeed certain neurological deficits apparent in their demeanor that renowned German neurologist Dr. Gerhard Roth postulates shows up as a ‘dark patch’ in brain scans of all those who display criminal behaviour, and even, “The second type is the mentally disturbed criminal who looks at his world as threatening. A wrong look, one false move, he can explode and become a killer,” he said.
I was shown videos of the crime scene, and able to observe the wounds in Meredith’s neck. The scenes of the room in which the murder took place and, the neck wound, were truly horrifying to me, and showed the extent of the attack. Those images still sit in the mind, but also, cause me to want to get to the bottom of this mystery, hence, my work on the case.
I believe, observing the photos I already posted in the Evidence Files that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon that struck the fatal blow that night. I also believe, reading the pathologist’s report, that the blade that was stuck in Meredith’s neck, in the right latero-cervical area to a depth of 4 cms, was Raffaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe pocket knife, photo also in the evidence files. Yes, no DNA or blood was sampled from it, but that only indicates it was successfully cleaned that night. My reading of Sollecito’s pathology is that he would not want to dispose of the knife he used, it being very expensive and also as an extension of his fetishistic ego. One other thing I asked to look at: The high resolution photos I posted of the bed show the outline and dimensions of two knives. I believe that both images are of the kitchen knife that struck Meredith in the left latero-cervical to cause a cut of 8-9 cms in depth, and a length of 8 cms (p. 167)
There are two exhibits of the mattress cover, one marked “J” and the other, “O”, both displaying the approximate size and dimensions of the kitchen knife, which I will explain when I post the photos. The first, “J”, has more blood because I believe the knife was placed there first and wicked on to the sheet, causing the distorted splotch at the end. By the time it was moved to its final position by the purse, “O”, it retained just enough blood to leave a clearer, indelible impression.
It was a butchery.”
One last point: Rep. 33A/B/C/D were four samples taken from a black-handled folding knife. It tested negative for blood, but, in one sample, the DNA profile matched a mix of Knox and Sollecito. The other samples were negative. Stefanoni: pp. 103-104
Looking at the images produced by my illustrator, and taking the average of the two estimates of the wound depth, 2 and 4 cms, one arrives at a blade width of 1.5 cms at 3 cms length from the tip of Raphaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe collectors knife, on which, coincidentally, both Amanda Knox and Sollecito’s DNA was found.
Raffaele Sollecito stabbed Meredith Kercher, causing the lesser wound. And my personal opinion? It was with the Brian Tighe knife, and somehow both he and Amanda Knox got their DNA on it around the same time that night.
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Monday, January 27, 2014
An Investigation Into The Large Knife Provides Further Proof That This Was THE Knife
Posted by Ergon
This is the first report of an investigation (the second part follows soon) of the kitchen knife used in the murder of Meredith Kercher, RIP.
Specifically its compatibility with the imprint of a bloody knife found by police investigators on her bed under-sheet which as you will see here seems possible to prove.
- Reference files are from very high definition crime scene photos not in general circulation.
- Grateful thanks to the volunteers of the Meredith Kercher community who assisted in this production
Florence Court of Appeals
This is our poster Machiavelli, tweeting from the Florence courtroom on November 26, 2013:
“(Prosecutor Alessandro) Crini stated that this kitchen knife was compatible with the knife print on Meredith’s bed sheet”.
And this is from the defense summing up on January 09, 2014:
Bongiorno: “It’s too big, not the murder weapon.”
“Bongiorno shows a picture with an envisioned “knife” (pocket knife belonging to Guede?) together with the print on the bed sheet.”
“Nobody brings a “small blow with a big knife” “You don’t use half of a big knife” (she says)
Genesis of an investigation:
To recap: evidence was been presented at the Massei court of the first instance, which accepted that the kitchen knife, containing both Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade (trace B) and Amanda Knox’s DNA on the handle (trace A) was the weapon that struck the fatal blow to Meredith Kercher’s throat.
At some point after the attack, the perpetrator, Amanda Knox, puts it down on the bed, leaving “hematic stains” (bloody imprints) on the mattress.
The court concludes the shape of the imprints are compatible with the kitchen knife. It also concludes, based on the size of a lesser wound that a second, smaller knife caused the wound on the other side of the neck, and, the impossibility of accepting that a single weapon inflicted both wounds.
This is what it boils down to now, as we come to the final arguments of this case on January 30, with a decision to be handed down by the court later in the day:
- Was the kitchen knife found in Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen the murder weapon that killed Meredith Kercher on November 01, 2007?
- Did the killer leave behind proof in the form of bloody imprints on the under sheet covering Meredith’s bed?
- And is the defense trying to divert attention away from it, even though the image on the bed fits the dimensions of the kitchen knife?
- And pointing to a second knife, not ever found?
This article (to be followed by part II) was prepared to offer answers to these questions.
As someone with a keen interest in photography, I know we see things in photographs that are not always apparent to the naked eye.
Where before we had all been misled by low definition photographs released by the defense to obscure incriminating details, I was able to obtain and view the high definition photographs shown here that proved that indeed, the bed imprints matched the seized kitchen knife, exhibit 36.
These photographs, first posted at Perugia Murder File Evidence Files have been circulating for some time, with members trying to match the knife to the bed imprints, but not, in my opinion, being able to match it exactly.
First, note that the killer placed a knife on two separate locations on the bed, marked by reference cards “J”, and “O”. (Reference photos below.)
I discarded “J”, because there was too much blood there to form an accurate measurement. The killer lifted the knife and then placed it at “O”, which gave a better image, but even then, did not match exactly. Still, it was clear the images looked like a kitchen, and not, a pocket knife as alleged by the defense.
Looking at the reference photo, I saw a double image of a knife blade at “O”. (see where there’s a curved edge of the blade? That’s what convinced me there might be a double image there)
My opinion is the knife shifted slightly when it was placed there, hence the double image, which now made a perfect match with the kitchen knife, in both instances (see reference photos).
So I got a professional illustrator and other skilled people people to do the scale drawings and produce the video you see above which seems to provide conclusive proof the murder knife was placed on the bed.
Image 1 above (click for larger image): Bed II (Image J and O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)
Image 2 above (click for larger image): Knife II (Image O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)
Image 3 above (click for larger image): FOTO5BIS (Conti-Vecchiotti lab, Mar. 22, 2011)
Image 4 above (click for larger image): Knife-Bed-Vector-AllScales (To prove the scales used to match the images)
Image 5 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-lower-hi (The knife’s first resting position at “O”)
Image 6 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-upper-hi (The knife’s final resting position at “O”)
There are only four more days left till the Florence Appeals Court under Judge Nencini issues its verdict. It must of course consider ALL the evidence, of which there is a preponderance that indeed suggests the verdict will, as would be proper, be guilty as charged.
Part II will be ready ASAP. It will be a recap of Massei on the knife, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound. Also will have Frank Sfarzo’s misdirection and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds.
Happy as always to do my share for justice for Meredith Kercher.
Archived in Public evidence, The two knives
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Saturday, January 25, 2014
How Many Extraditions Do The US And Italy Refuse? Approximately Zero, When It’s To Each Other
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Ex-fugitive Florian Homm above and below in front of his palatial Mallorca Spain home]
The State Department and FBI collaborate more closely with their Italian counterparts than with almost any others in the world.
Italy is a very loyal political ally to the US and has helped out a lot diplomatically and militarily around the world. The FBI and their Italian counterparts in Rome have officers permanently embedded from one another and there are dozens of transactions going on all the time..
Extraditions both ways take place without fuss at the rate of a few a year, which the State Department and Justice Department are not inclined to fight. A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court in Rome declined the final appeal of fugitive swindler Florian Homm and sent him on his way to the US.
Homm had many millions to pay top lawyers to fight his extradition case. But he still lost.
It is the CIA and Pentagon overtly or clandestinely exercising special military privileges that is the cause of the two standoffs. NOT the Department of State, which has made clear it is not too thrilled.
Contrary to broad confusion in the US (fed by biased stories from Colleen Barry of the Associated Press) the Florence appeal is not a second or third trial of Knox.
It is a FIRST appeal, actually filed by Sollecito and Knox, on the same lines as any American first appeal, after the previous Hellmann appeal was furtively bent, and then scathingly annulled. Knox has been in provisionally guilty status since late in 2009.
So double jeopardy absolutely does not apply.
The one REAL difference between this appeal and any American appeal, which seems over Colleen Barry’s head, is that this appeal request was automatically allowed. Any American appeal judge (except Heavey, who serially gets the hard facts wrong) would have thrown the flimsy appeal grounds out.
It may take up to a year, if Amanda Knox chooses to waste more big bucks on lawyer fees - their batting record for that is pretty dismal so far, though, and a confirmed-guilty verdict in Florence next week might be only the start of more legal strife. False claims in her book will soon see her back in court.
But it seems 100% likely that Italy will “get their man”. To a rapidly increasing number of Americans, Italy’s gain would also be the US’s gain.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014
Another Good Reason For Italy To Immediately See RS And AK Locked Up If 30 Jan Verdict Is Guilty
Posted by Peter Quennell
The explosive story of Kelsey Kay
Radar Online is an American celebrity-news website owned by the American Media group in New York.
It is ranked at about the 500th most popular site in the US. Starting yesterday, Radar Online has been advancing a story with a video by an ex-girlfriend of Sollecito, Kelsey Kay (image above) who lives in Idaho.
Kelsey Kay is claiming that while in the US in several of his 2012-2013 stays Sollecito was seeking a way to get married in a hurry, supposing that being a US resident would somehow keep him safe from Italian law. At first glance Kelsey Kay seems compassionate and smart and she paid Sollecito some money and it is not obviously that she is drumming up any for herself. She sized him up accurately in retrospect. So here we go.
Foxy Knoxy BETRAYED: Ex-Lover Raffaele Sollecito Turns On ‘Evil B*tch’ Amanda As He Faces 26 Years For Meredith Kercher Murder — And Knox Won’t Help Him Beat The Rap
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were branded a modern-day Romeo & Juliet when they were both imprisoned for the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher. But now, Sollecito is turning on the woman who was once his only ally, branding Knox an “evil bitch” who is “selfish, mean, [and] cruel” — all because she wouldn’t marry him in a scheme designed to keep him out of prison!
As Radar has reported, Sollecito proposed to Knox in March 2013, hoping she would marry him and help him flee the retrial and potential reconviction for Kercher’s murder. When Knox refused, he turned to his online pen pal, Idaho woman Kelsey Kay to air his anger.
According to a new report in Star, Sollecito told Kay Knox was “a selfish, mean, cruel girl,” and an “evil bitch.”
Now Kay tells Radar, that was only the half of it.
“I think his feelings were hurt,” Kay explains. What’s more, she says, it seemed that Sollecito felt Knox was obligated to help him because of the couple’s unique history.
“He came across very entitled, like he had saved her [during the first trial] in Italy by not turning on her,” Kay claims, “and that maybe she was obligated to do the same for him.”
“I’ve read text messages … between the two of them,” Kay says. “The text messages were [often] him texting her and her not responding. And he portrayed that to me as she was insensitive, and didn’t care.”
But in the few messages that Knox did send Sollecito, Kay says, she seemed like an entirely different woman than her ex-lover claimed.
“There were some [texts] about them not being able to marry, and [Amanda] explained herself in a very elegant way,” Kay reveals.
Sollecito’s responses, however, were “more desperate, needy,” Kay says…
The Knox-Sollecito kabuki dance goes on
Going back to the very night they were arrested Knox and Sollecito have never been fully as one.
In early statements they each quite openly placed suspicion on the other, and Sollecito retained this high-ground position right through the 2009 trial to its “guilty” end, slyly suggesting he had the upper hand.
At trial in 2009 the distancing continued. Knox became so desperate about this that she wrote Sollecito frequent “love letters” and finally quite publicly asked justice authorities if they could meet (it was denied).
Their lawyers danced the same kabuki dance. Read this series by a Rome lawyer who watched every feint on TV.
In January 2012 the prosecution said they would appeal the Hellmann outcome to the Supreme Court. They KNEW the outcome had been tainted by the defenses - as, later, so did the Supreme Court.
Two months later this happens. Sollecito suddenly rockets off to Seattle - with his family in hot pursuit.
No marriage with AK resulted, but what did result, six months later, was Sollecito’s dishonest book, which shows all the signs of channeling the Seattle-centered FOA loonies, and none at all of the hard facts on the ground.
Six months later Knox’s own book appears.
In the two books, Knox and Sollecito not only tell different versions of their truth - they each reveal some exasperation with the other, and it reads in both books like their amazing love affair back in 2007 would have soon ended on the rocks.
In the short period they were together in Perugia, Knox continued messing with other boys - both in Perugia and (with her old boyfriend) in Seattle - while Sollecito stayed home and sulked.
The titles of both books (Honor Bound and Waiting To Be Heard) were themselves big lies - but Sollecito’s is probably the bigger lie.
The prosecution did NOT ask him to roll over on Amanda - they had no need and no legal right - as even Sollecito’s own dad on national TV confirmed (“That was made up.”) and Sollecito’s one and only claim to be “honor bound” had been that he had resisted.
Thereafter Sollecito and Knox seem to have met again in Seattle and maybe in London and New York. But still no peace of mind or mutual joy at the end of the road for either, as this post and this post strongly demonstrate.
And legal residency in a country is of course not a barrier to perps convicted in other countries ending up back there and behind bars. The US sends its own nefarious citizens-by-birth to face foreign justice on occasion. Very naive.
Knox and Sollecito both self-admitted flight risks
Ten days ago in a breaking-news box we posted this:
Breaking news. UK media quote Amanda Knox as saying she may go on the lam if guilt is confirmed. (Remember this is HER appeal. She opened this can of worms.) However the US/Italy extradition treaty and official US paper trail give her zero reason for comfort, and an extradition request would immediately put her in a US jail to stop her going on the lam. An Interpol Red Notice would make her unemployable and subject to worldwide arrest.
Now the poster Jackie on PMF dot Org (a lawyer) has posted this:
I think the Kay Fiasco bears directly on the proceedings underway: IF the texts can be authenticated, and IF there is a guilty verdict, those exchanges will make it all but impossible for RS’s lawyers to argue that he is not a flight risk.
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Monday, January 20, 2014
Appeal Session #9: Sollecito Team Concludes, Prosecutor Crini Rebutts Defenses’ Claims
Posted by Peter Quennell
4. Tweets by freelance Andrea Vogt
14. Sollecito defense on bra clasp: For us, the condition of the room and conduct of the forensic police tells us there was contamination.
13. Judge interrupted Sollecito lawyer with a booming “No!” saying wiretapped conversations of Sollecito family not to be discussed this trial.
12. Maresca: Whatever you decide, we believe justice will be done & all elements considered in depth. We will serenely accept your decision.
11. Kercher attorney Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to amanda knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.
10. Fabbiani, attorney for Meredith’s brother, urges court to look beyond motive. Perna for her sister: one person alone did not kill Meredith.
9. Lumumba attorney Pacelli concludes with this phrase to the jury: “Convict liar Amanda, the diabolical slanderer.”
8. Presiding Judge Nencini has cut Pacelli’s amanda knox monologue short. Says going off track. Pacelli promises to finish in 5 min.
7. Lumumba’s attorney Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on amandaknox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.
6. Prosecutor asks (in case of conviction) cautionary measures so defendants can’t flee. Options are: passport, house arrest or arrest.
5. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence.
4. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time. Only in Italy!
3. Sollecito attorney: The only things certain are the death of Meredith Kercher and the presence of Rudy Guede in the house that night.
2. Sollecito attorney: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.
1. In court, Sollecito attorney Maori contesting prosecutor’s arguments point by point. Knife, bathmat, alibi, witnesses. Afternoon rebuttals.
3. Tweets by our main poster Machiavelli
[At this point Machiavelli signed off]
62. Crini: Nencini asks the clerk’s officer to write down formally the exact terms of prosecution request to issue cautionary measures [if verdict guilty]
61. Crini says his conclusions are unchanged. Prosecution suggests arrest decrees are issued immediately if defendant(s) is(are) guilty
60. Crini points out the crime and motive originate from group dynamic.
59. Crini: Bongiorno had pointed out that anyway Sollecito should be accounted only for what he had done (implicit: not what Knox did)
58. Crini: The excessive and too quick reaction to a situation of rising argument is typical of group reaction.
57. Crini: Argument about cleaning was also reported by Meredith to her father John Kercher
56. Crini: Massive rejection of English [girls] testimonies is “weak” on the part of defence; tensions and dislikes in the house are recorded on paper
55. Crini: Movite cannot be assessed preliminarily as if it was a piece of evidence to be discussed
54. Crini: if you need to prove a crime, it is opportune to detect a motive, but a motive is only a plausible conjecture not basis for deduction
53. Crini: Bongiorno called all English girls ‘unreliable’ (because English, maybe coached by lawyers etc.)
52. Crini calls ‘amusing’ Bongiorno comparing her client with captain Schettino
51. Crini: Some thoughts about the motive.
50. Crini: It makes no sense to say the large kitchen knife is ‘incompatible’ with the big wound.
49. Crini: To the court: can you imagine a ‘surgical operation’ with a small knife producing a wound with clear margins on a live struggling victim?
48. Crini: it is difficult to produce an 8x8 cm large wound with a small 8cm long knife, it would produce at best a wound with irregular margin
47. Crini: The blade hypothesized by defence from the bed sheet stain is anyway larger; these are anyway conjectures. Datum is compatibility
46. Crini: thinking you can preemptively deduce the size of the blade from bed sheet stain is ‘unrealistic’
45. Crini: The “double knife theory” is based on the small size of the right wound, experts point to a likely much smaller knife with thin blade.
44. Crini: no defence wounds, no fight bruises, nothing under nails, bruises indicate forced restraint of victim; how she was immobilized
43. Crini: Massei court did not decide about attribution of pillowcase shoeprints, Crini objects Vinci’s finding, thinks prints are too small
42. Crini: Knox defence: says when Guede leaves palm print on pillowcase leaves a signature
41. Crini: Bongiorno called the murder scene “flooded” with Guede’s DNA. Crini points out his traces in room indicating he had free hands (no weapon)
40. Crini: The defences also dealt thoroughly with the use of the knife, wounds, blade size
39. Crini: The dynamic of the crime. Maori attributed all traces to Rudy Gede alone
38. Crini: All alleles of the victim were found in a scratch on the knife blade. Human DNA is normally not on knife blades
37. Crini: Vecchiotti admitted there was a scratch on the blade
36. Crini: The same defence experts did not object to the attribution Y haplotype of Guede found in the victim’s vagina
35. Crini: Calls Vecchiotti’s reasoning on bra clasp “a priori”, dismissed for reasons totally general and vague. Doesn’t read Y haplot. and X together
34. Crini: Points out a passage where Vecchiotti’s report misquotes police findings inserting the word “only”, built a strawman
33. Crini says let’s look at the Conti-Vecchiotti report, to see what it says, if you can subscribe with the report.
32. Crini: Tagliabracci in 2008 objected to quotes of prof. Gill calling them “too recent”
31. Crini: Objections referred to Low Copy Number are obsolete, and also partly undermined by the RIS report
30. Crini: Calls “embarassing” Bongiorno when alleges the police was wrong in attributing stains to cat’s blood
29. Crini: Disproves Bongiorno’s allegation that the clasp was stepped over.
28. Crini: Novelli rules out there was contamination in laboratory, as well as tertiary transfer in situ.
27. Crini is “pleased” the defence did not attempt to allege laboratory DNA contamination. Points out findings by Novelli
26. Crini: report says had there been internet surfing or writing activity, this would have resulted as obvious.
25. Crini cites arguments about computer expert reports, hearings of 14 Mar 2009 and Dec 2010 say further investigation is unnecessary
24. Crini: Maori omits to quote pieces of Curatolo’s testimony.
23. Crini will deal with Maori’s “theory of alibi” only very briefly
22. Crini says defence arguments on bathmat print are conjectures. Rinaldi is actually same person who correctly attributed shoeprint
21. Crini: Bathmat print: compatibility assessment can be done on what is measurable
20. Crini: Guede knew the hous and apartments, would have chosen logical entries and logical behaviour, Crini calls burglary theory ‘not credible’
19. Crini: alleged small wounds on Guede’s hand, inconsistent with absence of his blood on scene
18. Crini: Talks about Bongiorno’s criticism to staged burglary scenario - the scenario of Guede already inside apartment
17. Crini says police report timings, records of CCTV video camera and phone calls are ‘consistent’
16. Crini does not see corroboration of alleged 7-minute late clock error of CCTV. The 13.29 call was from Carabinieri HQ and don’t change anthg
15. Crini tris to “strain” the timing of police arival to favor the defence, to see if scenario fits. Considers possible CCTV time error
14. Crini: Sollecito calls Carabinieri too late, also because last phone call to Romaneli was at 12.38
13. Crini: Call to Sollecito’s sister, and then Sollecito’s call to Carabinieri at 12.51-45. Crini: this timing is late independently from Battistelli
12. Crini: Battistelli arrives on foot about 10 minutes eariler than postal police car
11. Crini wants to look better at some arguments about Sollecito’s declarations to postal police. Battistelli recalls 12.35 consistent with CCTV
10. Crini talks about Sollecito ‘sidetracking’, talking about statements to postal police
9. Crini: Knox’s Calunnia also contains details that have external corroboration and she could not have deduced from simple burglary scenario
8. Crini: A Calunnia is itself incriminating (require strong defence explanation), but Knox’s Calunnia also contains furth incrimiating details
7. Crini: Knox maintained her calunnia against Patrick over a period of several days. Crini points out the logicality of Cassazione argument.
6. Crini: Knox statements: ‘Patrick had sex with Meredith’ and ‘there was a loud scream’ were new elements, unrelated to known facts and not retracted
5. Crini: On calunnia, Crini points out that there was an argumentation about Knox defence about usability of Knox’s statement. argument is wrong
4. Crini: Theoretically all defense points could be replied to, Knox’s Calunnia, Sollecito statements to police, the staged theft, the mat print; DNA evidence
3. Crini says he will talk briefly only about a few selected points, without repeating himself, and without discussing old arguments again
2. [After the break] Prosecutor General Crini begins to reply.
1. [After the break] Sollecito entering the court, asked what he expect, says “no comment”
2. Tweets by reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau
44. Judge especially hard on Sollecito sub lawyer, reprimanding her for introducing new arguments when she is only supposed to be refuting.
43. Sollecito sub lawyer argues no DNA from Meredith Kercher on bra clasp w/Sollecito’s DNA, failing to mention she was wearing the bra..
42. Six years of Kercher trials and some lawyers still pronounce the K in Knox.. “ka-nox” as Sollecito’s sub lawyer just did.
41. Kercher lawyers finished, now Sollecito lawyers up for rebuttal, but both his principal lawyers had to leave early.
40. Kercher atty Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to Amanda Knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.
39. Kercher lawyers ask court to consider all the previous testimony they say proves more than one person killed Meredith Kercher.
38. Lumumba lawyer says his client has not received any of the €22k he is owed by Amanda Knox even though the slander conviction is final.
37. Judge reprimands Lumumba lawyer for veering off course, he is only to discuss slander aspect of case, not murder itself.
36. Lumumba’s atty Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on Amanda Knox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.
35. Lumumba keeps referring to Amanda Knox as “the American”, says she had a penchant for drugs, alcohol, sex.
34. Lumumba lawyer calls Amanda Knox a “diabolical slanderer” …
33. Lumumba lawyer says Amanda Knox substituted Patrick for Rudy Guede.
32. Court back in session with Lumumba lawyer up. Sollecito back in court after break.
31. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence. Amanda Knox
30. Prosecutor focused on knife, says traces of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox are valid.
29. Sollecito staring at prosecutor as he delivers rebuttal, jury taking notes, judge listening intently, journalists trying to stay awake.
28. Prosecutor in new Amanda Knox appeal says motive in murder is never simple and clear, like murder itself is complex.
27. MeredithKercher lawyer says her brother and sister plan to come for verdict Jan 30.
26. Prosecutor just referred to Amanda Knox as “la nostra Knox” as he tries to refute defense arguments.
25. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time.
24. Prosecutor making brief rebuttal, pushing Sollecito and Amanda Knox back together after Sollecito lawyer clearly tried to separate them
23. Sollecito just told group of reporters he was not sure if he would come for verdict.
22. Sollecito lawyer finished. Judge asks lawyers how much time they need for rebuttals. 15 minute
21. Sollecito lawyer says his client is not guilty. Does not mention Amanda Knox in final moments of closing arguments.
20. Sollecito atty: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.
19. Sollecito lawyer tells the court they can only accept that Meredith Kercher was murdered and that Rudy Guede is the lone killer.
18. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno has just arrived in court with three male assistants.
17. Sollecito lawyer says Sollecito was never with Guede, Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. Says testimony that they were was false.
16. Sollecito lawyer working to discredit witnesses. Says store owner who says he saw
15. Judge in response to Sollecito lawyer asking if jury is tired: if we are tired now we will have to kill ourselves by the end of the day.
14. Sollecito in court today. Will he come for verdict on 30th?
13. Sollecito lawyer lays out why homeless man in park who testified he saw Amanda Knox and Sollecito arguing night of murder is unreliable.
12. Patrick Lumumba also absent from court today.
11. Judge in Amanda Knox new appeal rarely looks at Sollecito lawyer, writing notes, scrolling tablet, but minimal eye contact.
10. Sollecito lawyer on mass media tangent, says the “super witnesses” for prosecution in earlier trials were all for show.
9. Judge in Amanda Knox 2nd appeal asks for clarification on hard to follow techie evidence.
8. Sollecito lawyer showing computer records for Raf’s computer access, says access was human, not automated. Jury squinting at slides.
7. Sollecito lawyer moves on to Raf’s computer, how computers belonging to Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher were all “accidentally” destroyed.
6. Sollecito lawyer back on break in. Frequent reference to Guede “the real assassin”. No mention of Amanda Knox at all yet.
5. Sollecito lawyer focusing on staged break in.
4. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno not in court this morning.
3. Sollecito lawyer Maori says luminal also picks up fruit juice, not just blood. Judge taking notes.
2. Sollecito lawyer showing slides of famous footprint on bathroom rug in Meredith Kercher blood.
1. Sollecito lawyer now summing up in Florence, then rebuttals. Verdict expected Jan 30.
1. Tweets by reporter for La Nazione
46. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito) : “In a process based on circumstantial evidence motive is the glue of the whole thing.”
45. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito defense) begins.
44. Sollecito defense : “The Meredith’s bra clasp was contaminated as evidence “
43. Sollecito defense : “It was Rudy Guede who entered through the window after breaking the glass “
42. Sollecito defense : “There was no misdirection in statements of Sollecito “
41. Now it’s up to the defense again, Sollecito team begin their final responses
40. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “On the blade there are traces of the victim “”
39. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “Hellmann appeal, the acquittal was a pre-cooked judgment“
38. Lawyer Francesco Maresca (Kercher family) begins
37. Lawyer Perna (Kerchers) “Wounds on the body victim compatible with the knife found at Sollecito’s house “
36. Lawyer Perna (Kercher family) begins
35. Lawyer Vieri Fabiani , one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, the Kercher family
34. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Judges, sentence the liar Amanda , the devilish slanderer “
33. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Meredith could not stand Amanda“
32. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda is on Lumumba’s mind constantly “
31. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda hoped Lumumba slander would not be discovered “
30. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “the defense of Amanda was rancorous and non-existent “
29. Lawyer Carlo Pacelli (for the plaintiff Lumumba) begins.
28. Crini: “If Sollecito and Knox are condemned then precautionary measures should be decided to ensure execution of the sentence”
27. Crini: “There were tensions in the house for reasons of hygiene ”
26. Crini: “The absence of sure motive is not a defensive threshold “
25. Crini : “At the scene there was no contamination “
24. Crini : the prosecutor carries on his indictment reaffirming the validity of the clues
23. Crini : the prosecutor continues rebuttal, the Tuscany Attorney General Dr Tindari Baglione enters the court
22. Crini : “Slander of Lumumba in itself is an important element “
21. Crini : the Prosecutor General starts his rebuttal
20. Sollecito’s father::”That’s understandable , too much stress”
19. Sollecito :”I do not know if I’ll be in the courtroom on the day of judgment
18. This ends the argument of Maori (defense of Sollecito )
17. Maori: ”The only possible verdict is an acquittal”# meredithnazione
16. Maori: ”In the various processes motive , time, and the murder weapon changed ontinuously”
15. Maori: ”The witnesses who say that Raffaele and Rudy knew each other, said things false”
14. Maori:”The witness Quintavalle for many days after the murder of Amanda did not speak”
13. Maori: ”The witness Quintavalle speaks thirteen months after the fact”
12. Maori: ”The witness Curatolo is unreliable , wrong date and report things that are false”
11. Maori: ”Some witnesses have had access to financial sinecures”
10. Maori: ”The witnesses are characters created by the mass media”
9. Maori: ”At 21.26 Sollecito opened from his PC the cartooon Naruto”
8. Maori: ”At 21.10 there was interaction Sollecito with his pc”
7. Maori: ”Analysis of the computer shows that Sollecito ‘s alibi is true”
6. Maori: ”No simulation , glass window broken by a stone from the outside. No glass outside”
5. Maori:”No simulation of theft. Blinds on window with broken glass were not closed”
4. Maori: ”The bloody footprint on the bath mat is not Sollecito’s foot”
3. Maori: ”Meredith was killed at 21”
2. Maori: ”The kitchen knife is the murder weapon . Wounds are not compatible”
1. The hearing begins : now it’s up to the lawyer Maori
Archived in The trials, Prosecution's case, The appeals, Florence appeal, Public evidence, The two knives
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Friday, January 17, 2014
False Claims In Bongiorno’s Summation: That The Wound “Proved” Sollecito’s Big Knife Was Not The One
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
The post below this one illustrates how Bongiorno in about half her arguments tried to demonize and mischaracterize all of Perugia, as if somehow Perugia itself had become the real villain in forcing a rush to judgment and wrong conclusion. In fact Perugia took a huge hit from Meredith’s murder but has acted gracefully and competently ever since.
This post by several of us after discussion in Comments is the first of two on Bongiorno’s claims about the large knife. The second one will follow next week by Ergon.
There is no question in our minds but that this IS the murder weapon. It was proved convincingly by way of the DNA tests done by the Scientific Police and Carabinieri. Here we prove it by way of human physiology and the autopsy.
Waving two knives with a manic expression, Bongiorno claimed that the the large knife in evidence was far too large for the wound in question - and anyway, anyone intent on murder would have easily pushed the large knife right through so there was no intent of murder anyway. Bongiorno dismissed the possibility that hyoid bone could have somehow stopped the blade, prevented it from penetrating, as the bone is not resistant enough.
The surface location of the hyoid Bone is shown in the Illustration above; its front is only a few millimeters below the skin: The hyoid bone is loop-shaped like a C, open at the back; this Hyoid loop encloses part of the airway:
The hyoid bone curves around the upper airway at the base of the tongue, and is also called the tongue-bone or the lingual-bone. It is located between the mouth and the larynx; therefore during inhalation air passes through the hyoid loop before it passes through the larynx, and during exhalation air passes through the larynx before it passes through the hyoid loop.
The hyoid is an integral factor in the swallowing, breathing, and phonation mechanisms. If transected in such a way as to connect its part of the airway directly to the atmosphere, as it was in this case, swallowing, breathing, and phonation will be seriously impaired, as they were in this case.
The coexistent bleeding from the also-transected Right Superior Thyroid Artery accelerated Meredith’s death, more by the drowning-effect of inhalation of the blood into her lungs, than by the loss of circulating-blood alone.
Both the hyoid bone and the jawbone are mobile, which is why we can chew, swallow, talk, smile laugh, and sing, the way that we do, each of us in our own unique way.
The Massei Prosecution Reconstruction depicted the killers making cuts obliquely from behind.
The fatal cut started on the Left, but crossed the midline to the Right.
Both the Right Superior Thyroid Artery, and the nearby Hyoid Bone, were severed but from Massei, it is not precisely clear where the hyoid loop was severed, and it seems that the cut did not include the midline skin; The Florence Appellate Court will have access to the relevant records.
Here is why the hyoid could not have damaged any knife:
It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot even scratch a harder substance.
[To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]
As pointed-out recently on TJMK, some confusion has arisen, caused by a quotation in the Massei Report, where on p371is written: ”…a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone…”
The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted by” did not mean it was stopped-by the jawbone:
Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”
Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “at” the jawbone.
Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone would halt the knife in this case, the jaw would just roll with the strike, depending on the angle of attack. [The force was not even enough to mark the jawbone itself!]
Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife.
When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken or dislocated, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.
If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action.
[Look at your own kitchen carving knife. It probably has no marks caused by striking chicken thigh bones. It will have fine parallel scratches created in the manufacturing process.]
Any implication-in, or inference-from the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade is a figment of an uninformed imagination.
The kitchen-knife, found in Sollecito’s apartment, with Meredith’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle, is the weapon that killed Meredith.
Archived in The three defendants, Raffaele Sollecito, The trials, Defense's case, The appeals, Florence appeal, Public evidence, The two knives, Crime hypotheses, Spurious Lone-Wolf
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Mignini And Giuttari Win Final Round In Spurious 2010 Conviction By Rogue Prosecutor And Judge
Posted by Peter Quennell
Poison pill sown in 2006
The entire edifice of the Knox PR campaign was always built on a foundation of sand.
Years ago, the wannabe real-crime-reporter Doug Preston was shaken to the core when Dr Mignini and others figured out with the help of court-authorized wire-taps that he and Mario Spezi were planting evidence and using fake IDs to frame someone they had wrongly concluded was the “real” murderer in the Monster of Florence case.
In uncalled-for retaliation (he got off very lightly and could have faced a prison term) Preston went back to the US and, safe there, wrote a nasty and largely fictional book. He repeatedly claims it was really the cops and specifically Dr Mignini not Preston & Spezi who were dumb and blundering in not sufficiently investigating and charging the “real” murderer.
Fast-forward to 2008
Almost nobody in Italy supports Preston’s and Spezi’s “solution” to the MOF crime which they seemed to hope would bring them big bucks and whole new careers. That solution is widely regarded as a joke and there is voluminous evidence against it.
Nevertheless, Preston’s MOF book is published in the US, demonizing Mignini in great detail.
Knox PR aide David Marriot and his media pet poodles and online thugs, including the wild-eyed Paul Ciolino of CBS and the bizarro Frank Sforza of Perugia, were all over the notion that it was Mignini and not Preston & Spezi who had done something seriously wrong.
The mafia always has an interest in taking Italian justice down a peg, and opportunities were increasingly seen here. The mafia’s various useful idiots in the US (John Douglas, Saul Kassin, Dempsey, Burleigh, Steve Moore, Michele Moore, Heavey, Fischer, Doug Bremner, Hampikian, Halkidis, and some others) who have plagued a correct understanding of the MOF and Perugia cases all helpfully all piled on.
Fast-forward to January 2010
The purpose of the Florentine investigation against Mignini and Giuttari was obviously a pretext, a ploy aimed at blocking the seemingly very threatening Narducci arm of the MOF investigation. In fact it was a pretext for the rogue Florence prosecutor seizing the Narducci case file back from Dr Mignini in Perugia and burying it out of sight.
Nevertheless, the demonization of Mignini became even more shrill, multiplied globally by the gullible Joel Simon of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists in foolishly protecting the proven liar Frank Sforza who is now facing THREE trials.,
Fast-forward to November 2011
The Florence appeal court reverses the 2010 convictions because the case was brought by the SAME rogue Florence prosecutor who was caught on tape meddling in the Narducci investigation and who was one of those (there were others) trying to slow it down or destroy it.
Fast-forward to January 2013
The Supreme Court scathingly endorses that reversal. The attempt from within the Florentine court to de-legitimize the Narducci arm of the MOF investigation was from now on definitively at a dead end.
The investigations and trials of those who had for mysterious reasons been hampering the Narducci investigation were also put back on track by Cassation. Most threatened is Doug Preston’s mate Mario Spezi. He seems headed for a prison sentence for sure, leaving Preston (a major meddler in Meredith’s case) also legally very exposed..
Fast forward to April 2013
Dr Mignini is promoted, gaining very high marks in a competitive process. From this point on he will handle only appeals, and when Dr Galati retires (expected soon) Dr Mignini is expected to be the #1 prosecutor of the Region of Umbria.
Fast forward to summer 2013
The Turin prosecution office finally obtains the investigation file on Mignini and Giuttari from Florence as the Florence appeal judge and Cassation had instructed.
The investigation file should have been sent in November 2011 for action leading to full closure on the substance, but the Florence prosecutors illegally sat on it, presumably fearful of what could happen to him.
The Turin prosecution office had little interest in re-opening what seemed a dead-end and frivolous case. If this was what Mignini and Giuttari had wanted, the charges could have been dropped, but without any court finding of “not guilty”.
However, Dr Giuttari and Dr Mignini explained that they wanted a court finding of “not guilty” on the merits of the case. They WANTED the Turin court to read the evidence and to make a final ruling.
Fast forward to today
The Turin court did meet. Andrea Vogt posted this report.
For those keeping track of the various “sideshows” in the Amanda Knox case, a Turin court Wednesday definitively acquitted Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini of three charges against him in connection to his investigations into the Monster of Florence case. The court shelved another three charges because the statute of limitations had expired. One abuse of office charge involving the wiretapping of a La Stampa journalist will be heard in court on March 18, but its statute of limitations appears to expire just days before, so it is unclear if the case will go forward. None of the matters relate directly to the Amanda Knox case, but they were often referenced by the prosecutor’s detractors.
And what next
The Italian justice system protects its senior judges and prosecutors from criminal defamations intended to obstruct justice with some powerful measures. They were originally intended to keep the mafia in its place as defamation of police, prosecutors and judges is one of its mainstays.
All of the false claims about Dr Mignini are still out there. Preston’s book is still on sale. So is Burleigh’s, Dempsey’s, Fischer’s, and John Douglas’s. Joel Simon’s seriously wrong claims are still online. Not one has recanted or wound back.
Knox and Sollecito each repeated the baseless claims at length in their books, and even embellished them. Michael Heavey parrots them to the State Department. They are the main crutch of Bruce Fischer, Steve Moore, Michele Moore, Doug Bremner, and so on.
However, the required pushback by Florence prosecutors and others has begun, and with today’s ruling will accelerate. Frank Sforza is already on trial for calunnia and the Italian justice system is quietly zeroing in on many others, all the book publishers included.
On March 14 the magazine Oggi which published many of Amanda Knox’s baseless claims in Italian must appear in court in Bergamo. Knox and Sollecito themselves may find a heap of new legal troubles after the appeal verdict is announced on 30 January.
Numerous posts by Kermit and Yummi still need to be linked to.
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