Monday, August 17, 2015

Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her False Claims #1

Posted by Chimera



The Dark Side stalks… Long post. Click here to go straight to Comments.

1. The Vibes Knox’s Book Gives Off

For my own earlier posting on the book, please see here.  Many other posters have rebutted some aspects as well.  There’ll be a combined master-version at the end of this road.

In 2005, Star Wars III, Revenge of the Sith, came out.  In it, the hero Anakin Skywalker started out as a Jedi Knight, and Hero of the Republic.

Without much reason or plausibility, he morphed to Sith Lord Darth Vader, and went on a destructive, power driven rampage.  He causes absolute destruction to everyone who ever cared about him.  ‘‘A powerful Sith you will become.  Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth ... Vader.’‘

Makes sense to me….(!)

In ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, by Amanda Knox, 2013, with addition in 2015, she starts off portraying this quirky, free-spirited, but serious and ambitious young woman, who wants to be her own person, study languages, and work as a translator.

Without much reason, or plausibility, she morphs into an immature kid, naive and oblivious, and engages in a campaign for casual sex.  She doesn’t seem to take the death of her ‘‘friend’’ seriously (other than it could have been her), and her actions cause absolute destruction to anyone who ever cared about her.

‘‘A freespirited skank you will become.  Henceforth, you shall be known as Foxy .... Knoxy.”

Makes sense to me… (!)

Knox’s book was written in the first few months after Judge Hellmann, probably illegally, let her walk, though her legal process was (and still is) far from done.

All sarcasm aside, my opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone she ever encountered while making the notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed Knox look squeaky-clean.  She includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others in the book.

None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda as well. All it really does it muddy the waters, which may be the real desired benefit to her.

Since the hardcover came out we have pointed in many long posts to specific “mega-lies” of Knox in the past, such as her “interrogation” claims. Amazingly on 9 June 2015 HarperCollin released a paperback edition, totally unchanged except for a nasty afterword added on..

With the book and its new afterword now fully translated into Italian for legal purposes,  skeptical readers in Italy and elsewhere can now start to really zoom in. This series of about half a dozen posts consists of my own dissections of Knox’s claims. ‘‘Tell-All’’ Memoir ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘! Or… is it her ‘‘Blood-Money’’ novel, ‘‘Waiting to Cash in’‘?

These will be combined with yours and any others for one master set of Knox’s lies. This post covers pages 1-67 of the 2015 paperback’s 482 pages. Much more here soon.

2. My Dissection Of Knox’s Claims

[Chapter 1, Page 6] ‘’ ... It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I realized I had a knack for languages and started playing around with the idea of becoming a translator. Or, if only, a writer.

When it came time to decide where to spend my junior year, I thought hard about Germany. But ultimately I decided to find a language and a country of my own—one my family hadn’t already claimed. I was sure that would help me become my grownup self—whoever that was.

Germany would have been the safer choice, but safety didn’t worry me. I was preoccupied by independence. I trusted my sense of responsibility, even if I sometimes made emotional choices instead of logical ones—and sometimes they were wrong.’

  • Well, if this had actually happened, it would have been a very grown up way to alter her life.  However, as she states very shortly, her real only interests are booze, boys and drugs.  So take this passage with a few ounces of salt.

[Chapter 1, Page 8] ‘’ ...As I began researching programs in Italy, I realized that having my dad’s support was fundamentally important to me. I’d never rehearsed any part in a play as hard as I had this conversation in my head. I wanted my dad to be impressed. I wasn’t at all sure what I would do if he said no. Once we were seated, I couldn’t wait a second longer. I started making my case even before the waiter brought us menus.

“Dad,” I said, trying to sound businesslike, “I’d like to spend next year learning Italian in a city called Perugia. It’s about halfway between Florence and Rome, but better than either because I won’t be part of a herd of American students. It’s a quiet town, and I’ll be with serious scholars. I’ll be submerged in the culture. And all my credits will transfer to UW.”

To my relief, his face read receptive.

Encouraged, I exhaled and said, “The University for Foreigners is a small school that focuses only on language. The program is intense, and I’ll have to work hard. The hours I’m not in class I’m sure I’ll be in the library. Just having to speak Italian every day will make a huge difference.” ...’‘

Like the last quoted passage, this sounds great—if it were actually true.  A few things stand out:

  • She began researching programs in Italy?  Well, she took a single course, so clearly didn’t research much.

  • She didn’t know the University for Foreigners was attached to the school at large?  Great research skills.

  • ’‘All my credits, would transfer’‘? Perhaps, if she actually took more than one.

  • ’‘I’d never any part in a play as hard as I had this conversation in my head?’’  Are you talking about your June 2009 testimony?

  • ’‘The hours I’m not in class I’m sure I’ll be in the library’‘...?  Are libraries still for reading and studying, or is Perugia different?

[Page 9] ‘’ ...I kept going. “I’ve been living away from home for almost two years, I’ve been working, and I’ve gotten good grades. I promise I can take care of myself.”

“I worry that you’re too trusting for your own good, Amanda,” he said. “What if something happens? I can’t just make a phone call or come over. You’ll be on your own. It’s a long way from home.”

Dad has a playful side to him, but when he’s in parent mode he can sound as proper as a 1950s sitcom dad. “That’s the whole point, Dad. I’ll be twenty soon, and I’m an adult. I know how to handle myself.”

“But it’s still our job to take care of you,” he said. “What if you get sick?”

“There’s a hospital there, and Aunt Dolly’s in Hamburg. It’s pretty close.”

“How much is tuition? Have you thought about the extra costs involved?”

“I’ve done all the math. I can pay for my own food and the extra expenses,” I said.

“Remember I worked three jobs this past winter? I put almost all of it in the bank. I’ve got seventy-eight hundred dollars saved up.”

  • Dad can sound like a 1950’s sitcom dad?  RS mocks his father in Honor Bound as well

  • You can pay for food and extra expenses?  Great, just as long as they aren’t booze and drugs.  Wait ....

  • You have $7800?  How did you burn through half of it in just a month?  Even with ‘‘a job?’‘

[Chapter 1, Page 11] ‘’ ... During senior year at my Jesuit high school, Seattle Prep, almost all my friends sent applications to schools hundreds of miles from home. Some even wanted to switch coasts.But I knew that I wasn’t mature enough yet to go far away, even though I didn’t want to miss out on an adventure. I made a deal with myself. I’d go to the University of Washington in Seattle, a bike ride from my parents’ houses, and give myself a chance to season up. By the time high school graduation came around, I’d already started looking into junior-year-abroad programs.

  • Well, give Knox credit for one thing.  She acknowledges in high school she is immature

  • She started researching programs in high school?  Wait a minute, on the last page, she says she began researching in 2nd year university.  Now she says she has been doing it for at least 2 years.  Which is it?

  • I guess with all the ‘‘seasoning up’’ (that might be a metaphor), we can now observe the serious student in action.

[Chapter 1, Page 11] ‘’ ... I was the quirky kid who hung out with the sulky manga-readers, the ostracized gay kids, and the theater geeks. I took Japanese and sang, loudly, in the halls while walking from one class to another.  Since I didn’t really fit in, I acted like myself, which pretty much made sure I never did.

In truth I wouldn’t have upgraded my lifestyle even if I could have. I’ve always been a saver, not a spender. I’m drawn to thrift stores instead of designer boutiques. I’d rather get around on my bike than in a BMW. But to my lasting embarrassment, in my junior year, I traded my friends for a less eccentric crowd.

I’d always been able to get along well with almost anyone. High school was the first time that people made fun of me or, worse, ignored me.  I made friends with a more mainstream group of girls and guys, attracted to them by their cohesiveness. They travelled in packs in the halls, ate lunch together, hung out after school, and seemed to have known each other forever. But in pulling away from my original friends, who liked me despite my being different, or maybe because I was, I hurt them. And while my new friends were fun-loving, I was motivated to be with them by insecurity. I’m ashamed for not having had the guts to be myself no matter what anyone thought.

Several contradictions are apparent here

  • Knox says since she never fit in, she just acted like herself

  • A few paragraphs later, she says she is ashamed for not having the guts to be herself.  Which is it?

  • She is drawn to thrift stores, and is a saver, yet blows through half her ‘‘savings’’ in one month.  How, if not gambling or drugs?

  • You make friends with a ‘‘mainstream, cohesive group’‘, yet are motivated by insecurity to be with them?

  • Knox is not clear how, not being herself hurts her ‘‘outsider’’ friends.  Were they jealous, or did she change?

[Chapter 1, Page 13] ‘’ ... Most of my other friends were male. We played football, jammed on the guitar, talked about life. After we smoked pot we would choose a food category—burgers, pizza, gyros, whatever—and wander around the neighborhood until we found what we considered the best in its class.

As I got ready to leave for Perugia, I knew I hadn’t become my own person yet, and I didn’t quite know how to get myself there. I was well-meaning and thoughtful, but I put a ton of pressure on myself to do what I thought was right, and I felt that I always fell short. That’s why the challenge of being on my own meant so much to me. I wanted to come back from Italy to my senior year at UW stronger and surer of myself—a better sister, daughter, friend.

  • You jammed on the guitar.  Did you ever learn more than 1 chord?

  • Most of your friends are male?  Guess we can all agree with that.

  • You felt pressure to do what is right, but always fell short? Huge understatement.

  • Perugia is the challenge of being on your own? You told your parents were grown up and had spent 2 years on your own.

  • You want to come back a better sister, daughter, friend? I thought the motivation was to learn languages and be a translator.  Though, to be fair, she could have multiple motivations.

[Chapter 1, Page 13] ‘’.... I received a blank journal and a fanny pack and tins of tea. Funny, irreverent Brett brought me a small, pink, bunny-shaped vibrator. I was incredulous; I had never used one.

“Until you meet your Italian stallion,” Brett said, handing it to me. She winked.

Her newest cause was to convince me to give casual sex a chance. I’d heard the same thing from other friends. It seemed to make some sense. I yearned to break down all the barriers that stood between me and adulthood. Sex was a big one—and the one that scared me the most. I’d bloomed late and didn’t kiss a guy until I was seventeen. I lost my virginity after I started college. Before Italy, I’d had sex with four guys, each in a relationship I considered meaningful, even though they had turned out to be short-lived.

I left for Italy having decided I needed to change that. For me, sex was emotional, and I didn’t want it to be anymore—I hated feeling dependent on anyone else. I wanted sex to be about empowerment and pleasure, not about Does this person like me? Will he still like me tomorrow? I was young enough to think that insecurity disappeared with maturity. And I thought Italy would provide me the chance to see that happen.

On the day I was leaving—in a rush to get to the airport and without a single thought —I tossed Brett’s pink bunny vibrator into my clear plastic toiletry bag. This turned out to be a very bad idea.

  • This is somewhat confusing.  A few pages back I read about this serious young woman who planned a study year abroad, and who had ambitions to be a translator.

  • Now .... what we get are Amanda’s rationales for wanting to sleep around.

  • (Whether the details are true or not), no one cares about your sex life.  We want to know what happened to Meredith.

  • You don’t want sex to be emotional, you want it to be empowering and about pleasure?  Okay, Ms. Arias.

  • And while tossing the vibrator in a clear bad may have been due to a rush in time, you know, you could have stored it in something else once you got to Perugia.

  • Yes, we know you turned out.  You don’t need to publish it.

[Chapter 2, Page 16] ‘’ ... We shared a joint, and then, high and giggly, we went to his hotel room. I’d just turned twenty. This was my first bona fide one-night stand. I’d told my friends back home that I couldn’t see myself sleeping with some random guy who didn’t matter to me. Cristiano was a game changer. We didn’t have a condom, so we didn’t actually have intercourse. But we were making out, fooling around like crazy, when, an hour later, I realized, I don’t even know this guy ...’‘

  • Wow, so you leave your sister Deanna alone to do a guy you met on the train?

  • And lacking condoms was the only thing preventing you from going all the way?

  • Wasn’t his real name Federico Martini?  Wasn’t he supplying you with free drugs in return for sex?

  • Out of curiousity, how do you think Deanna would feel, not only knowing this, but knowing you published it?  And you named her?

[Chapter 2, Page 19] Referring to a man who gave Amanda and Deanna a ride ‘’... I rode shotgun and did all the talking. On the off chance that he did anything crazy, I’d be the buffer between him and Deanna. As the oldest, I automatically reacted this way to any possibly dicey situation that included a sibling. I also felt safer when I had the illusion of being in control. Now, looking back, I see that I had a ridiculous amount of unwarranted self-confidence. Why did I assume I knew the way to a hotel in a country I’d been in once, years before, and a city I’d never been in at all? I hadn’t been in a physical fight in my life. What could I have done to protect Deanna if the ride had gone wrong?

  • Amanda says that she is too trusting, yet has fear about the man she and Deanna accepted a ride with.  Odd

  • You react this way to any situation that involved a sibling.  Yet, you just ditched your sister to go hook up with a stranger.  Please explain.

[Chapter 2, Page 22] ‘’ ... They said I wasn’t the first roommate they’d interviewed. A guy they called “totally uptight” was interested in renting, until he found out they smoked—cigarettes and marijuana. “Are you okay with that?” Filomena asked…’‘

  • You state earlier in the page that Filomena and Laura worked at law firms.  Yet, you publish that they are into marijuana, a great idea, given the socially conservative nature of law firms

  • Did you not also post a few photos of the 3 of you together as ‘‘friends’‘?

[Chapter 2, Page 23] ‘’ ... I couldn’t wait to return. But I’d also been chastened by my first trip to Perugia. A few days after Deanna and I got to Germany, I broke out with a gigantic cold sore on my top lip that Dolly and I figured must be oral herpes—from Cristiano. To my great embarrassment, Dolly had to take me to the pharmacy to find out how to treat it. I couldn’t believe this was the first wild thing I’d done in my entire life and—bam! I’d made an impulsive decision, and now I’d have to pay a lifelong consequence.

I was bummed knowing I’d have to take medication forever. Even more humiliating was that from here on out I’d have to explain to potential partners that I might be a risk….’‘

  • So, not only do you publish the fact that you ditched your sister to go screw a stranger, you now publish that you shared it with your Grandmother, and that you needed to get medication?

  • Yup, definitely the stuff Grandma wants to read about ....

  • Curiously enough, you leave out the part about getting arrested for throwing rocks in Seattle, and devote a huge amount of time to covering this casual encounter with Cristiano, or Frederico, or whatever his name is.  I would be interested to know your version of the Seattle ‘‘riot’‘.

  • Of course, if you wanted to talk about this guy supplying you with drugs, it would be interesting to know that as well.

[Chapter 3, Page 26] ‘’ ... But what drew laughs in Seattle got embarrassed looks in Perugia. It hadn’t dawned on me that the same quirks my friends at home found endearing could actually offend people who were less accepting of differences. A person more attuned to social norms would probably have realized that immature antics didn’t play well here.

So I was glad I could hang out with Laura, Filomena, and Meredith at home. Even though Meredith was definitely more mainstream and demure than I’d ever be, and Laura and Filomena were older and more sophisticated, I felt comfortable in their company. They seemed to accept me for me right from the start.

During my first month in Perugia I spent more time with Meredith than anyone else. I liked her a lot, and she seemed to enjoy being with me. I could already see us keeping in touch by e-mail when our year abroad was over. Maybe we’d even end up visiting each other in our hometowns. ...’‘

  • ’‘Quirks’’ such as publishing sexual topics involving family members?

  • If you realized these things, why did you not tone your behaviour down?

  • Antics such as bringing strange men home and disturbing the women you lived with?

  • You and Meredith became close?  Then why did she complain about you to her friends and family?

[Chapter 3, Page 30] ‘’ .... I didn’t let my mistakes keep me from getting to know my neighborhood or my neighbors a little better. Each time I went to the Internet café to Skype with DJ or chat online with Mom, I’d talk to the guy who ran it, Spyros, a Greek in his late twenties.  We talked about the same things that filled my conversations with my UW friends—mainly our ideas and insecurities…’‘

  • This is the ‘‘Spyros’’ that Knox put in her ‘‘list of suspects’’ November 5/6th, 2007.  Not entirely sure what he does to make Amanda think he is a potential murderer, he seems friendly enough.  Perhaps she will elaborate later.

[Chapter 3, Page 32] During dinner at his kitchen table my thoughts battled. Was I ready to speed ahead with sex like this? I still regretted Cristiano. But I’d also been thinking about what Brett and my friends at UW had said. I could picture them rolling their eyes and saying,  “Hellooo, Amanda. Sex is normal.”

Casual sex was, for my generation, simply what you did.

I didn’t feel that my attitude toward sex made me different from anyone else in my villa. I knew Meredith hadn’t been with anyone since her serious boyfriend in England.  Filomena had a steady boyfriend, Marco Z., in Perugia. And while Laura was dating and sleeping with a guy she thought was sweet but clingy, she encouraged sex outside relationships.

From the start, all four of us were open to talking about sex and relationships. Laura insisted that Meredith and I should just have fun. Filomena was a little more buttoned-up. She couldn’t understand how, with our history together, DJ and I could just be friends and inform each other about our romantic exploits over Skype.

  • What is the point of all this?  Amanda supposedly writes this book so she can get her story out, but so far, she just seems content to embarrass everyone she has come in contact with.  On the next page, Knox goes on to detail her next casual encounter, some guy named Mirko.

[Chapter 3, Page 34] ‘’... I walked back to the villa alone, feeling both exhilarated and defeated.

The next morning, I told my roommates I’d had sex with Mirko. “I feel conflicted,” I said. “It was fun, but it was weird to feel so disconnected from each other. Is that just me?”

Laura absolved me. “You’re young and free-spirited. Don’t worry about it.”

That made me feel a little better.

[on their next encounter…]

[Chapter 3, Page 34] I was too ashamed and embarrassed to go back to the café after that. Was there something wrong with me? Or was it with him? Either way, I couldn’t bear to run into him again.

I was alone with Meredith when I told her about fleeing from Mirko.

“I feel like an idiot.”

“Amanda,” she said, consolingly, “maybe uninvolved sex just isn’t for you.”

  • I have serious doubts that Laura, who was by Knox’s admission a serious woman, would say that.  At a minimum, Laura would likely have been annoyed to be hearing about this, at worst, somewhat alarmed by AK’s behaviour.

  • In any event, it partially confirms the story Laura and Filomena told about Amanda being an attention seeking exhibitionist.

  • Knox tells Meredith about another (almost) encounter with Mirko, and supposedly Meredith is very understanding…

  • More likely is that a professional woman, and a serious student, would be turned off by these antics.

[Chapter 3, Page 35] ‘’ ... We shared a house, meals, a bathroom. I treated Meredith as my confidante. Meredith treated me with respect and a sense of humor.

The only awkward interaction we had was when Meredith gently explained the limitations of Italian plumbing.

Her face a little strained with embarrassment, she approached me in my room and said, “Amanda, I’m sorry to bring this up with you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but with our toilets, you really need to use the brush every time.”

  • In Knox’s May 2014 interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox admitted that some of Meredith’s English friends had issues over cleanliness.  Seems odd, if this was the only awkward interaction

  • ...
  • Like before, why does she need to bring this up?  Unless Meredith was killed over a flushed toilet, it really is rather pointless and irrelevant.

[Chapter 3, Page 37] ‘’ ...Around our house, marijuana was as common as pasta. I never purchased it myself, but we all chipped in. For me, it was purely social, not something I’d ever do alone. I didn’t even know how to roll a joint and once spent an entire evening trying. I’d seen it done plenty of times in both Seattle and Perugia, but it was trickier than I thought it would be. Laura babysat my efforts, giving me pointers as I measured out the tobacco and pot and tried rolling the mixture into a smokable package. I never got it right that night, but I won a round of applause for trying. Either Filomena or Laura took a picture of me posing with it between my index and middle finger, as if it were a cigarette, and I a pouty 1950s pinup.

I was being goofy, but this caricature of me as a sexpot would soon take hold around the world.

  • Again, you know that Laura and Filomena work for lawyers, yet you publish accounts that claim they are involved in regular drug use?

  • With ‘‘friends’’ like these ...

  • Curious whether these photos actually exist, or are something her mind made up.

[Chapter 4, Page 39] ‘’ ... I went to school for two hours, five days a week. Besides grammar and pronunciation, I had a third class, in Italian culture. We all went home for lunch at noon, and I spent the rest of the day and night doing whatever I wanted. My teachers didn’t give homework, so I’d sit on the terrace or, when the days cooled, at my desk with a grammar book and a dictionary, making my way, one word at a time, through the Italian translation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

  • Knox says she has 3 classes: Grammar, Pronunciation, and Italian Culture.  Wait, was she not only doing 1?  Did she drop 2?  Which ones?

  • 10 hours a week (by her admission), is not really a full course-load in ANY university in Canada.  Is it in Italy?

[Chapter 4, Page 41] Like Juve, Patrick wasn’t interested in my work experience. Looking back now, I’m sure they hired me because they thought I’d attract men to the bar. But I was too naïve back then to get that. I still thought of myself as a quirky girl struggling to figure out who I’d be when I grew up. I now realize that the point of the job “interview” was to see if my looks were a draw or a liability.

  • Wow. a bit narcissistic, aren’t we.  Lumumba is nice enough to give you a job (without a work permit), and you think he just wanted to use you as a piece of meat to attract customers?

  • Well, coming from the woman who has casual flings and then writes about them, maybe it’s where your mind always goes.

  • And no, your looks are not a ‘‘liability’‘.  Your ‘‘creative writing’‘, on the other hand ....

[Chapter 4, Page 44] My job made me feel like a bull’s-eye in the middle of the chaos. Guys continually came up to me to flirt, saying they’d stop by Le Chic only if I promised to be there.

Brushing them off, as I would have liked, would have been bad for business. So I hoped my chirpy “You should come by” came off as inviting for Patrick’s sake and not too suggestive for mine.

  • Um… you are supposed to be promoting a bar.

  • And aren’t you the one (in your Diane Sawyer interview), you said she went on a campaign for casual sex?

[Chapter 4, Page 44] ‘’ ... But I could see why they didn’t come back. Le Chic didn’t get a lot of foot traffic, so the dance floor was usually empty. The bar felt forlorn—not exactly a recipe for a good time. Patrick was jovial and did his best to make it welcoming, but it was still noisy and dark inside and attracted a crowd of older men—often friends of Patrick’s—and not students.

There was nothing truly dangerous about Le Chic, but its seediness did hint at Perugia’s dark side. What I didn’t know when I arrived was that the city had the highest concentration of heroin addicts in Italy. I never heard about the high level of trafficking and drug use until I was in prison, bunking with drug dealers. During my trial, the prosecution and the media seemed to take for granted that our neighborhood was bad and our little villa a deathtrap.

Even without knowing this, my mom worried about my safety—a lot. One day, while I was e-mailing back and forth with her at the Internet café, she asked, “Who should I call if I can’t reach you?”

“We don’t have a home phone, but I can give you Laura’s number,” I wrote. “But honestly, Mom, I think I’m safer here than in Seattle. My friend Juve walks me home from work most nights, and Perugia is much smaller than Seattle. I’ve really made a lot of friends.”

“Okay,” Mom wrote back. “I feel better.”

I believed what I said—not because I had reason to but because I was in love with the city’s many charms. And I didn’t pick up on some obvious clues.

One night, when Le Chic was closing and Juve couldn’t walk me home, I saw an acquaintance of Meredith’s. I didn’t know his real name, only that Meredith and her girlfriends had nicknamed him Shaky because of the way he danced. He offered me a ride home on his scooter. I figured a friend of a friend was close enough to trust. I figured wrong.

  • Patrick’s bar isn’t doing well, but he is hiring staff—you—to help promote it?

  • Let me guess, you framing Patrick only helped attract business with the free publicity?

  • You didn’t know about Perugia’s drug problems?  Didn’t you choose that city BECAUSE there were drugs available?

  • While you pass yourself off as a hard worker, Lumumba said he wanted to fire you for laziness. Which is it?

  • The prosecution claimed your villa was a deathtrap?  Didn’t your lawyer, Dalla Vedova, claim that the police don’t know how to handle a murder case since Perugia hadn’t seen a murder in 20 years.  Your town (and home), can’t be a deathtrap if there hadn’t been any murders in decades.

  • You made a lot of friends? Why were you already considering leaving Perugia?

  • You’re in love with the city’s charms? You just said it was seedy, had heroin problems, and a dark side.

  • Juve and ‘‘Shaky’’ also appeared on your list of suspects that you gave to Rita Ficarra.  Why exactly did you include them?

[Chapter 4, Page 46] ‘’ ... Giacomo handed me a beer, and I pushed my way through the crowd to find Meredith. When we had rejoined the guys, they introduced us to a friend who, I’d later learn, had moved to Italy as a kid, from Ivory Coast. His name was Rudy. They sometimes played pickup basketball with him.  The five of us stood around for a few minutes before walking home together. The guys invited us to their apartment, but Meredith and I first stopped at ours to drop off our purses.

“Ready to go downstairs?” I asked her.

“You go. I’ll be down in a second,” she said.

When I opened the door to the downstairs apartment, Giacomo, Marco, Stefano, and Rudy were sitting around the table laughing. “What’s funny?” I asked.  “Nothing,” they said sheepishly.  I didn’t think another thing about it until months and months later, when it came out in court that just before I’d opened the door, Rudy had asked the guys if I was available.

A short time later, Meredith came in and sat down next to me at the table. The guys passed us the joint they were smoking. We each inhaled, handed it back, and sat there for a few minutes while they joked around in Italian. Tired and a little stoned, I couldn’t keep up with their conversation. After a little while I told Meredith, “I’m going up to bed.”

  • In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she claims to have never met Rudy.

  • In that same email, to claims to have crossed paths with Rudy once

  • In WTBH, Amanda, Meredith, Rudy, and the men downstairs get high together.  That is more than just ‘‘crossing paths’‘.

  • In the 2009 trial, there was testimony that Rudy Guede frequently visited the downstairs floor

  • Why would it be funny asking if Amanda is available?  It’s not like she is a loose woman or anything.

  • Meredith is your ‘‘friend’‘? Why leak these details?  Her family doesn’t want to hear them.

  • So, Rudy was interested in you?  Thank you for confirming a possible connection as to why he might have been upstairs in your [the women’s] floor.

  • Silly question: was Rudy the ‘‘South African’’ from the basketball court that you put in your list of suspects?

[Chapter 4, Page 49] ‘’ ...When we got home, Bobby followed me to the front door.

“Do you want to come in?” I asked.

“Are you sure?”

I nodded. This was the first time I’d invited a guy into my bed since I’d arrived in Perugia. We went to my room and had sex. Then we both passed out.

The next morning I got up before he did, got dressed, and went to make myself breakfast. Bobby came into the kitchen a few minutes later.

We were eating cookies when Laura came out of her bedroom. I’d never entertained a lover at the villa for breakfast, and it was awkward, despite Laura’s proclaimed sense of easy sexuality. All three of us tried to ignore the feeling away.

After breakfast Bobby left to return to Rome. I walked him to the door. He smiled, waved, and walked away….’‘

I didn’t feel the same regret I’d had after sex with Mirko, but I still felt the same emptiness. I had no way of knowing what a big price I would end up paying for these liaisons.

  • Again, I am not sure what Knox is trying to prove here.  Meredith, according to her English friends, found Amanda to be somewhat deranged and disturbed.  And here, Knox is confirming that Laura found this awkward, and it was only the first one…

  • Laura and Filomena reported that Knox brought MANY strange men home.  Seems AK is a little vague on the exact extent of this, maybe we need to ask her best truth… wait a minute! This is a murder case.  No one cares who Amanda slept with.

  • Perhaps Amanda’s roommates can see right through her.

[Chapter 4, Page 49] A few minutes later, Meredith came upstairs. She and Giacomo had slept together for the first time, and she was giddy. It had been a wild night at No. 7, Via della Pergola, but it turned out to be a one-time thing.

  • So, Meredith is your ‘‘friend’‘, and yet in your book you publish details of HER sex life?  Wow…

[Chapter 5, Page 51] ‘’ ... Later I would wonder what would have been different if this hadn’t happened. What if Meredith had stayed at the concert? What if Raffaele had gotten there in time to get a seat? Would we have noticed each other? Would he, naturally shy, have introduced himself without the excuse of a needed chair? Would never knowing him have changed how I was perceived? Would that have made the next four years unfold differently? For me, maybe. For Raffaele, absolutely.

But we did meet. And I did like him. Raffaele was a humble, thoughtful, respectful person, and he came along at the moment that I needed a tether. Timing was the second ingredient that made our relationship take off. Had it been later in the year, after I’d found my bearings and made friends, would I have needed the comfort he offered?

Waiting for the return of the quintet, we talked. His English was better than my Italian.

  • So which happened first? Did you meet Raffaele because Meredith left, or did Meredith leave because you were interested in Raffaele? You are unclear here

  • Relationship?  You spent the last few chapters talking about casual sex?  Why do you need a relationship?

  • So, what exactly about Raffaele was a ‘‘tether’‘?

  • Do you typically sleep together in relationships, or just casual encounters?

  • Would the next four years unfolded differently?  For me, maybe, for him, definitely…?  So, you would have found other goons to help you murder Meredith?

[Chapter 5, Page 52] ‘’ ...When we stood up to leave, he asked for my number. In Perugia, where I’d gotten this question a lot, my stock answer was no. But I thought Raffaele was nerdy and adorable—definitely my type. He was wearing jeans and sneakers that evening. Like DJ, he had a pocketknife hooked to his belt loop. I liked his thick eyebrows, soft eyes, high cheekbones. He seemed less sure of himself than the other Italian men I’d met. I said, “I’ll be working later at Le Chic on Via Alessi. You should come by.”...’‘

  • Seriously?  You go on a campaign for casual sex, and you typically DON’T give out your number?

  • Raffy likes to carry knives?  Great, thank you for confirming it

[Chapter 5, Page 54] ‘’ ... Raffaele looked surprised, then pleased. “Do you want to come to my apartment and smoke a joint?”

I hesitated. He was basically a stranger, but I trusted him. I saw him as a gentle, modest person. I felt safe. “I’d love to,” I said.

Raffaele lived alone in an immaculate one-room apartment. I sat on his neatly made bed while he sat at his desk rolling a joint. A minute later he swiveled around in his chair and held it out to me.
......

The marijuana was starting to kick in. “You know what makes me laugh?” I asked.

“Making faces. See.” I crossed my eyes and puffed out my cheeks. “You try it.”

“Okay.” He stuck out his tongue and scrunched up his eyebrows.

I laughed.

By then, Raffaele had moved next to me on the bed. We made faces until we collided into a kiss. Then we had sex. It felt totally natural. I woke up the next morning with his arm wrapped snugly around me. ....’‘

  • Okay, we get it.  You hooked up with Raffaele, and on the first meet What is this, the fourth different guy you’ve written about sleeping with?

  • This whole thing about hooking up with strangers… you are still reluctant?  Or is this a relationship?  I can’t tell.

  • Sex with a knife carrying, pot-smoking Harry Potter is natural?  Okay, to each their own….

[Chapter 5, Page 57] ‘’ ... Raffaele looked at me seriously, appreciatively. “Will you be my girlfriend?”

We’d known each other for three days.

“Yes,” I said, feeling a tiny twinge that I took as a warning sign. This is moving too fast. Is Raffaele making too much of our relationship too soon? He’d already said he wanted to introduce me to his family at graduation, and he was planning our winterweekends together in Milan. We barely knew each other.

I couldn’t see how we would last, because we were a couple of months away from living in two different cities, and I was definitely going back to Seattle at the end of the next summer. Since a big part of why I’d come to Italy was to figure myself out, it occurred to me that maybe I should be alone, that I should slow things down now, before they rocketed ahead. But just because I thought it doesn’t mean I did it.

It was easy to shove my doubts aside, because I really liked Raffaele. He was sensitive, and I felt calm around him. And without any solid ties, I’d been lonelier in Perugia than I’d realized…’‘

  • You slept together on the first night, but aren’t sure if this is another quickie, or a relationship.  And now you are worried about moving too fast?

  • Three days later, Raffaele asks you if you want to be a couple

  • You are lonelier than you realized? Didn’t you tell everyone that you were having a blast, making all kinds of friends?

  • Figure yourself out?  You previously said you wanted (a) to learn languages, (b) work as a translator, and (c) that you wanted to do your third year abroad If you actually were doing (a), (b), and (c), you wouldn’t be so lonely, trying to figure yourself out.  You would be too busy.

  • Besides, weren’t you going on about how Meredith and Laura were such great people to be with?  Why do you feel ‘‘lonely’‘?

  • Definitely going back to Seattle? I thought you had all these ambitions abroad?

[Chapter 5, Page 57] ‘’ ... Being with Raffaele also taught me a big lesson about my personality that I’d tried so hard—and harmfully, in Cristiano’s case—to squelch. I was beginning to own up to the fact that casual hookups like I’d had with Mirko and Bobby weren’t for me. I like being able to express myself not just as a lover but in a loving relationship. Even from the minuscule perspective of a few days with Raffaele, I understood that, for me, detaching emotion from sex left me feeling more alone than not having sex at all —bereft, really. I didn’t know that this lesson had come too late to do me any good…’‘

  • You learned too late that casual sex with strangers can result in STD’s?  Did you not know, or just not care?

  • Did Cristiano (or I mean Federico Martini), have something else besides his looks? Drugs prehaps?

  • You realized after the fact that unattached sex leads to feelings of emptiness?

  • Why are you going through these ‘‘self-discoveries’’ anyway’?  Didn’t you have a full slate of ambitions, and amazing people living with you?

[Chapter 5, Page 59] ‘’ ... Around 12:30 A.M., when I met Spyros and his friends for drinks, I couldn’t get into the good time they were having. Even on a blowout party night, Perugia’s social scene didn’t do much for me, and the whole evening felt like a dud. It made me nostalgic for the sit-around-and-talk gatherings of friends at UW. I was glad when Raffaele came to Piazza IV Novembre to walk me home. By that time it was 1:45 A.M., and most of my eyeliner whiskers had rubbed off. Thankfully, Halloween 2007 was over.

  • Well, still waiting to hear what Spyros did that made you add him to you ‘‘suspect list’‘

  • Why does the evening feel like a dud?  You told your mother you have lots of friends.

  • You’re in the great town of Perugia, and you just want to sit around and talk?  Didn’t you have your fill in Seattle?

  • What is the real reason you are not enjoying yourself?

[Chapter 5, Page 61] ‘’ ... Raffaele and I were good at being low-key together. We chilled out in the common room and smoked a joint while I played Beatles songs on the guitar for an hour or so. Sometime between 4 P.M. and 5 P.M., we left to go to his place. We wanted a quiet, cozy night in. As we walked along, I was telling Raffaele that Amélie was my all-time favorite movie.

“Really?” he asked. “I’ve never seen it.”

“Oh my God,” I said, unbelieving. “You have to see it right this second! You’ll love it!”

Not long after we got back to Raffaele’s, his doorbell rang. It was a friend of his whom I’d never met—a pretty, put-together medical student named Jovanna Popovic, who spoke Italian so quickly I couldn’t understand her. She’d come to ask Raffaele for a favor. Her mother was putting a suitcase on a bus for her and she wondered if he could drive her to the station at midnight to pick it up.

“Sure,” Raffaele said.

As soon as she left, we downloaded the movie on his computer and sat on his bed to watch it. Around 8:30 P.M. I suddenly remembered that it was Thursday, one of my regular workdays. Quickly checking my phone, I saw that Patrick had sent me a text telling me I didn’t have to come in. Since it was a holiday, he thought it would be a slow night.

“Okay,” I texted back. “ Ci vediamo più tardi buona serata!”—“See you later. Have a good evening!” Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”

Our good mood was only elevated when the doorbell rang again at 8:45 P.M.: Jovanna had come back, this time to say that the suitcase hadn’t made the bus and that she didn’t need a ride after all. With no more obligations, we had the whole rest of the night just to be with each other and chill out.After the movie ended, around 9:15 P.M., we sautéed a piece of fish and made a simple salad. We were washing the dishes when we realized that the kitchen sink was leaking. Raffaele, who’d already had a plumber come once, was frustrated and frantically tried to mop up a lot of water with a little rag. He ended up leaving a puddle.“I’ll bring the mop over from our house tomorrow. No big deal,” I said.Raffaele sat down at his desk and rolled a joint, and I climbed into his lap to read aloud to him from another Harry Potter book, this one in German. I translated the part he didn’t understand, as best I could, into Italian or English while we smoked and giggled.

[Chapter 5, Page 45] We planned to break our routine the next day, All Souls’ Day, by taking a long drive into the countryside, to the neighboring town of Gubbio. The November 2 holiday wasn’t usually observed with as much fanfare as All Saints’ Day, but since it fell on a Friday in 2007, a lot of people, including us, were turning it into a four-day weekend. I thought, Italians having a good time again. And I couldn’t wait.

  • You remember playing Beatle’s songs for an hour.  Okay, do you remember which ones?

  • Silly question, I don’t remember Raffaele having a guitar.  Whose was it?

  • Raffaele had already called a plumber before?  Would be interesting to see a service record.

  • So… was this a minor spill, or was your house virtually flooded? How serious was it?

  • You live in this apartment? Do you not have a single towel?

  • If it had leaked before, why did you not have a mop, or at least a few extra towels?

  • You turned off your phone.  In Honor Bound, Raffy says he turned off his.  Is this normal?

  • You have a German Harry Potter book, and you are translating parts of it into Italian and English.  So much for barely knowing Italian.

  • Mentioning Jovanna may seem like an alibi… but the murder happened much later.

  • You are excited about not having to go to work?  What happened about being a serious person?

  • You are a language student, and you really didn’t know that a common Italian expression means something totally different in English?

  • So, AK and RS are about to head to Gubbio.  Sounds like a fun trip.  All Amanda has to do is go back to her place, shower, and grab some clothes, right?

  • How long were you planning to be in Gubbio?  How many changes of clothes would you need?

  • And of course, she adds details about sex, and how she got a scratch (I mean, hickey, on her neck).

  • Had you and Raffaele done any road trips before, or was this a first time thing?

  • Alibi, check. Excuse for scratch, check. Not being able to wait, check.

  • You said in your November 6th statement you didn’t remember if you read or made love.  Why don’t you remember?

  • If you and Raffaele were doing things that could cause a hickey, why don’t you remember making love?

  • You seem to have a very detailed memory of that night.  Why did you tell the police many different stories later?

[Chapter 5, Page 62, Knox letter to police]’‘Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”

Our good mood was only elevated when the doorbell rang again at 8:45 P.M.: Jovanna had come back, this time to say that the suitcase hadn’t made the bus and that she didn’t need a ride after all. With no more obligations, we had the whole rest of the night just to be with each other and chill out.

After the movie ended, around 9:15 P.M., we sautéed a piece of fish and made a simple salad. We were washing the dishes when we realized that the kitchen sink was leaking. Raffaele, who’d already had a plumber come once, was frustrated and frantically tried to mop up a lot of water with a little rag. He ended up leaving a puddle….’‘

‘’ ... This is what happened and I could swear by it. I’m sorry I didn’t remember before and I’m sorry I said I could have been at the house when it happened. I said these things because I was confused and scared. I didn’t lie when I said I thought the killer was Patrick. I was very stressed at the time and I really did think he was the murderer. But now I remember that I can’t know who the murderer was because I didn’t return back to the house….’‘

  • This has you receiving the message, replying, and turning off your phone BEFORE your dinner.  Which is it?

[Chapter 6, Page 65] On that cold, sunny Friday morning, I left Raffaele asleep in his apartment and walked home to take a shower and get my things together, thinking about our romantic weekend in the Umbrian hills. In hindsight, it seems that arriving home to find the front door open should have rattled me more. I thought, That’s strange. But it was easily explained. The old latch didn’t catch unless we used a key. Wind must have blown it open, I thought, and walked inside the house calling out, “Filomena? Laura? Meredith? Hello? Hello? Anybody?”

Nobody. The bedroom doors were closed.

I wasn’t alarmed by two pea-size flecks of blood in the bathroom sink that Meredith and I shared. There was another smear on the faucet. Weird. I’d gotten my ears pierced. Were they bleeding? I scratched the droplets with my fingernail. They were dry. Meredith must have nicked herself. It wasn’t until I got out of the shower that I noticed a reddish-brown splotch about the size of an orange on the bathmat. More blood. Could Meredith have started her period and dripped? But then, how would it have gotten on the sink? My confusion increased. We were usually so neat. I went to my room and, while putting on a white skirt and a blue sweater, thought about what to bring along on my trip to Gubbio with Raffaele.

I went to the big bathroom to use Filomena’s blow dryer and was stashing it back against the wall when I noticed poop in the toilet. No one in the house would have left the toilet unflushed. Could there have been a stranger here? Was someone in the house when I was in the shower? I felt a lurch of panic and the prickly feeling you get when you think someone might be watching you. I quickly grabbed my purse and coat and somehow remembered the mop I said I’d bring back to Raffaele’s. I scrambled to push the key into the lock, making myself turn it before I ran up the driveway, my heart banging painfully.

By the time I was a block from home I was second-guessing myself. Maybe I was overreacting. Maybe there was a simple reason for the toilet being unflushed. I needed someone to say, “Amanda, you’re right to be scared. This isn’t normal.” And if it wasn’t okay, I wanted someone to tell me what to do. My skittering brain pulled up my mom’s mantra: when in doubt, call. Forgetting the nine-hour time difference between Perugia and Seattle, I pressed the number sequence for home. My mom did not say hello, just “Amanda, are you okay? What’s wrong?” It was in the middle of the night in Seattle, and she was worried.

“I’m on my way back to Raffaele’s,” I said, “but I just wanted to check in. I found some strange things in my house.” I explained my reasons for worrying. Then I asked, “What do you think I should do?”  “Call your roommates,” she said. “Go tell Raffaele, and call me right back.”

  • So, you leaves Raffaele’s apartment, to grab some things to take back for your Gubbio trip?  Okay.

  • White skirt and blue sweater?  Well, you can’t really deny that, since you were photographed in it.

  • Didn’t you walk by Filomena’s room to get to the front door?  You didn’t notice the broken glass?

  • The front door is open, but you think nothing of it?  If someone was taking out the garbage, wouldn’t you have passed them?

  • You find blood in the bathroom sink (even 2 spots), and you don’t clean it)?

  • You see an orange shaped lump of blood, and you think it is Meredith ‘‘dripping’‘?  You leave the mat where it is?

  • You find ‘‘poop’’ in the toilet, which at this point probably smells rank, and don’t think to flush it?

  • And this ‘‘happens’’ to be the poop left behind by Meredith’s ‘‘sole killer’‘?

  • You notice both poop, and ‘‘menstrual blood’‘, and you don’t think to clean up either?

  • You are in a panic to leave, but you grab your coat, purse .... and a mop?

  • You think you may be overreacting, and you don’t go back to flush and clean the blood.  Did you not just say you were usually so neat?

  • And Mom doesn’t advise you to just flush the poop either?  Odd family.

  • When Edda Mellas testified at the 2009 trial, did she not say that Amanda thought someone had been in the house?  And that Meredith was missing?  Did Edda not tell her to hang up and call the police?  This account is VERY different.

[Chapter 6, Page 67] I called Filomena first and was relieved when she picked up. “Ciao, Amanda,” she said.

“Ciao,” I said. “I’m calling because when I came home from Raffaele’s this morning,  our front door was open. I found a few drops of blood in one bathroom and shit in the other toilet. Do you know anything about it?”

“What do you mean?” she asked, her voice instantaneously on high alert. “I didn’t stay there last night—I was at Marco’s—and Laura’s in Rome on business. Have you talked to Meredith?”

“No, I tried you first,” I said.

“I’m at the fair outside town,” she said. “I just got here. Try Meredith, and then go back to the house. We need to see if anything was stolen.” She sounded worried.

I called Meredith on her British phone. A recording said it was out of service. That struck me as odd. Then I pulled up Meredith’s Italian number. It went straight to voice mail.

By that time, I was back at Raffaele’s. He was in total vacation mode: he’d slept in and had just gotten out of the shower. I’d forgotten about our trip. “Hey,” I said, trying to sound casual, “does this sound weird to you?” I told him what I’d seen.

“Yeah,” he said. “We should definitely go over and look around.”

Over a quick breakfast, Raffaele and I talked some more about what I’d seen. “Maybe the toilet is just broken,” he said.

Even before we’d downed the last sips of our coffee, Filomena called back. “What do you see?” she demanded. Her panic was retriggering my own.

“Filomena,” I said, as evenly as I could, “we’re just leaving Raffaele’s.”

Ten minutes later, when we reached the villa, my stomach was knotted with dread.

“What if someone was in here?” I said, feeling increasingly creeped out. Raffaele held my free hand while I unlocked the door. I yelled, “Is anyone here?”

At first nothing seemed amiss. The house was quiet, and the kitchen/living area was immaculate. I poked my head in Laura’s room. It looked fine, too. Then I opened
Filomena’s door. I gasped. The window had been shattered and glass was everywhere.

Clothes were heaped all over the bed and floor. The drawers and cabinets were open. All I could see was chaos. “Oh my God, someone broke in!” I shouted to Raffaele, who was right behind me. In the next instant, I spotted Filomena’s laptop and digital camera sitting on the desk. I couldn’t get my head around it. “That’s so weird,” I said.

“Her things are here. I don’t understand. What could have happened?”  Just then, my phone rang. It was Filomena. “Someone’s been in your room,” I said.

“They smashed your window. But it’s bizarre—it doesn’t look like they took anything.”

“I’m coming home this second,” she said, her voice constricted.

Meredith’s door was still closed, just as it had been when I was home earlier. I called out, “Meredith.” She didn’t answer. Could she have spent the night with Giacomo? Or with one of her British girlfriends? Still, at that moment I was more worried about the smashed window in Filomena’s room than about Meredith’s closed door.

I ran outside and around the house to see if the guys downstairs were home and to see if they’d heard anything during the night. Outside, away from Raffaele, my anxiety soared. My heart started racing again. I pounded on their door and tried to peer through the glass. It looked like no one was home.

I ran back upstairs and knocked gently on Meredith’s door, calling, “Meredith. Are you in there?” No sound. I called again, louder. I knocked harder. Then I banged. I jiggled the handle. It was locked. Meredith only locks her door when she’s changing clothes, I thought. She can’t be in there or she’d answer. “Why isn’t she answering me?” I asked Raffaele frantically.

I couldn’t figure out, especially in that moment, why her door would be locked. What if she were inside? Why wouldn’t she respond if she were? Was she sleeping with her earphones in? Was she hurt? At that moment what mattered more than anything was reaching her just to know where she was, to know that she was okay.  I kneeled on the floor and squinted, trying to peer through the keyhole. I couldn’t see anything. And we had no way of knowing if the door had been locked from the inside or the outside.

“I’m going outside to see if I can look through her window from the terrace.”  I climbed over the wrought-iron railing. With my feet on the narrow ledge, I held on to the rail with one hand and leaned out as far as I could, my body at a forty-five-degree angle over the gravel walkway below. Raffaele came out and shouted, “Amanda! Get down. You could fall!”  That possibility hadn’t occurred to me.

“Please come in before you get hurt!” As soon as we got inside, we went back to Meredith’s closed door. “I can try to kick it down,” Raffaele offered. “Try it!” He rammed the door with his shoulder, hard. Nothing. He kicked next to the handle. It didn’t budge.

I called my mom again. “Mom,” I said. “Someone broke into our house, and we can’t find Meredith. What should we do?”

“Amanda, call the police,” she said.

My stepfather, Chris, yelled into the speakerphone, “Amanda, get the hell out of the house, this instant!”

While I was talking to them, Raffaele called his sister to see what she thought. She was a police officer in Rome.

  • You called Filomena first?  Wasn’t the first call a very brief one to Meredith?

  • So, you tell Filomena about the poop and the blood, and she doesn’t just say to flush/clean it?

  • You just ‘‘forgot’’ about your Gubbio trip?  I thought there was nothing to be alarmed about.

  • Raffaele’s first reaction isn’t to just flush either?  Okay….

  • You ‘‘opened’’ Filomena’s door?  RS, in Honor Bound, said it already was…

  • Filomena’s room looked like it had been broken into.  Why was there no glass outside, assuming the climb was possible?

  • So, you are incredibly alarmed by Meredith’s locked door, but tell the police it is no big deal?

  • You thought Meredith might be with Giaccomo, or her British girlfriends. Did you call any of them?

  • Did you tell the police about your efforts to look in through the terrace?

  • Raffaele is a kickboxer, yet he could not break it down?

[This post covers 1-67 of the 2015 paperback’s 482 pages. Much more very soon]

Posted on 08/17/15 at 06:00 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Justice System Comparisons #4: How Canada And Italy Shape Up Against The US

Posted by Chimera



A joint press conference of Italian and American crimefighters in Rome

Framing This Post

A major argument of conspiracy theorists like the one dissected in James Raper’s post below is that the Italian justice system is not very good, and often cruel.

In English only (of course) Sollecito and Gumbel tried that in Sollecito’s book and maliciously and self-servingly misled Americans a lot. Doug Preston has done the same. Here we nailed some of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s malicious claims. 

We have propagated an accurate take on Italian justice in numerous posts here. Between them they show that Italian justice IS very good, apart from occasional meddling which almost always goes nowhere. By comparison the US (which co-operates closely with both Italy and Canada) has more headaches with law enforcement and justice system (or systems) than quite a few other countries now.

My own contribution has been to show how in many ways Canadian justice resembles Italian justice and it is hard to say which is better or worse. See my past posts on this here and here and here.

This post and the next post in my series focuses on the US and Canada and some basic differences in those laws relevant to our case here.

Plus the highlighting of some notorious killers in both Canada and the United States of a kind which in fact in Italy are quite rare.

Who Makes the Laws?

One important distinction to make here:  In Canada, criminal law is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.  That means Ottawa makes the criminal laws, and is responsible to setting the sentences for each offence.  In a similar vein, Ottawa also can remove laws that are outdated, and amend the sentencing ranges for offences.  In the United States, murder and sexual assault are considered ‘‘state crimes’‘, and the respective states determine the laws.  This is why some states have the death penalty, and others do not.

While the American model, being state made, does in theory make the laws more closely reflect the will of the people, it makes for a very uneven set of penalties for crimes.  The Canadian model, by comparison, is uniform across all provinces and territories.

When is it First Degree Murder?

It is first degree murder when a killing is planned out.  However, many circumstances arise which are so aggravated that the government will consider them 1st degree, regardless of being intentional.  Also, depending on who the victim is, just the murder alone may result in s 1st degree charge.  This is a commonality between both Canada and the U.S.

In Canada

According to the Criminal Code of Canada Section 231(5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:

(a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);
(b) section 271 (sexual assault);
(c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);
(d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);
(e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or
(f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).[12]

In The US

The individual states have differences in their laws, but they are common in that planned or premeditated killings are particularly heinous and call for severe punishment.  Most states also have what is called ‘‘felony murder’‘, which is when someone is killed during the commission of a crime, such as rape, robbery, arson or kidnapping.

Generally speaking, killing of police officers, jail guards, and court officials is also first degree murder, regardless of whether those were planned.  I am not posting the statutes for 50 states, but you get the idea.

Take the Jodi Arias case for example.  Arias, in trying to fight off premeditation allegations, claimed that she did not bring the gun (a .25 automatic) to Travis Alexander’s house to kill him.  Prosecutors allege that Arias staged a burglary in her Grandparents’ home a week before to to provide cover.

Arias claimed that the gun was actually Travis’.  However, no gun was ever recovered from the home.  So, then if it was Travis’ gun, Arias must have stolen it from his house, making it a robbery.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez argued either Arias: (a) Brought the gun to Arizona, meaning it was premeditated, and hence 1st degree, or; (b) She robbed Mr. Alexander of his gun after killing him, which makes it felony murder, hence 1st degree. 

Note: in the 2013 trial verdict, all 12 jurors thought it was premeditated, while 7 of them thought it qualified as ‘‘felony murder’’ as well.

Federal v.s. State/Provincial Prison

Under Canadian law, whether a person goes to a Provincial or Federal prison is determined by the length of the sentence.  2 years is the cutoff mark.  2 years and above, the person goes to federal prison, whereas 2 years less a day and below results in going to a provincial jail.

For federal prisoners, in Canada, they are transported to Kingston, Ontario for ‘‘classification’‘. This can take months.  Then they are usually shipped off to other prisons around the country.  For provincial prisoners serving very short sentences (3 months or less), they may just stay in the local jails, while those serving longer terms are usually sent to other provincial jails.

Under American law, the difference between state and federal prison depends on the offence.  Sexual assault, assault, and murder are state charges, while the federal system is more drug trafficking and white collar crime.  This is likely why federal prison is seen as ‘‘easier time’‘.

Death Penalty Laws

Canada currently does not have the death penalty.

Several U.S. states still do, such as California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Virginia.  This is determined at the state level.

However, do not think that all Americans are bloodthirsty, and all Canadians too forgiving or soft.  Depending on the research poll, about 35-45% of Canadians do support capital punishment in some circumstances.  This is a significant minority.  And many Americans find the death penalty distasteful, as there is the chance to kill innocent people.

Sex Offender Registry

Both Canada and the U.S. have sex offender registries.  Concerning what happened to Meredith: Knox, Sollecito and Guede would all have to register if they were ever set free.  They would be registered for life, regardless if the crime happened locally or internationally.  The reasons are the same for both countries—namely to monitor sexual predators.

One key difference: in Canada, the S.O.R is limited to police use, while in some U.S. states, the public in general can look it up.  Without getting into a debate, I imagine the difference is which concern is more pressing: (a) Letting the public have the right to know and act; (b) Concerns about becoming a pariah, and potential acts of vigilantism.

Deportation of Foreigners

If someone came to Canada or the U.S. and committed these acts, they would be deported after serving their sentence.

There have been attempts to fight deportation, claiming the home country engages in human rights abuses, but hopefully, these will become harder to pull off.

’‘Cashing in’’ on the Notoriety, or Son-of-Sam Laws

Canadian provinces have their own laws, as do U.S. states and the federal government, but in content they are almost identical.  Notorious criminals (usually killers, but not always), cannot cash in on their ‘‘fame’’ in the form of paid interview, articles, book deals or movie deals.

Any such deal would very likely be forfeited either by a government challenge, or by a lawsuit from the victims or their families.  The proceeds from ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’’ or from ‘‘Honor Bound’’ would be seized.

Classifications of Crimes

In Canada:

Minor crimes are tried ‘‘summarily’‘
Major crimes are tried ‘‘by indictment’‘
Crimes which the prosecutor has discretion are called ‘‘hybrid offences’‘

In the U.S.

Minor crimes are called ‘‘misdemeanors’‘
Major crimes are called ‘‘felonies’’

Judge Alone v.s. Jury Trial

In Canada, a defendant has the option of choosing between a judge only trial (called a bench trial), or a jury trial if facing any offence that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years or more.  If the maximum penalty is 5 years or less, then it will be the judge only.  This cuts down on the amount of times jury notice is sent out.

In the U.S. (I don’t know all the cases), but there is usually more options to have the case heard by a jury.

Jury Deliberations

In Canada, jurors are sworn not to talk about their deliberations with their families, or with the press.  This ‘‘legal omerta’’ survives even after a decision and a sentence has been handed down.  In fact, it never expires.  Jurors who deliberated over cases 50 years ago cannot talk about it.  This works the same as with Italy.

This differs from the U.S., where (unless a specific publication ban is in place), jurors are free to talk and give interviews after the fact.  In fact, many jurors do give interviews after high profile cases are resolved.  If Genny Ballerini (who talked about the Florence appeal in 2013/2014), had been an American juror, it would have been okay to do.

Threshold to Getting an Appeal Heard

In all 3 countries: Canada, the U.S., and Italy, all defendants who are convicted have the right to pursue an appeal.  However, an important difference is made.

Canadian and American appeals are screened before the full appeal is heard.  They are checked for merit, and to review if their is any real likelihood of success.  This applies to both defendants seeking to have convictions overturned, and those merely seeking sentence reductions.  If the appeal appears to be baseless, it will be rejected, and the full panel of judges will not hear it.  If the appeal filed before Judge Chairi (later moved to Judge Hellmann), had been in a Canadian or U.S. court, the grounds would be so weak it would have been thrown out on review.

Italy, by comparison, automatically grants not 1, but 2 appeals to all defendants.  All they have to do is file for one.  Yes, a much lower burden, but it means that the appeals courts (and Cassation), are clogged by appeals, slowing everything down.

Makeup of Appellate Courts

Appeal courts in both Canada and the U.S. are comprised of a panel of judges.  This will usually be between 3 and 9 judges.  In Italy, the typical first level appeal is decided by 2 judges and 6 jurors (or lay judges).

Canadian, American and Italian Supreme Courts are decided by judges alone.

Agenda of Appellate Courts

Canadian and American courts are similar in that they are ‘‘paper courts’‘, not ‘‘evidence courts’‘.  They work from transcripts, not evidence or witnesses.  However, in Italy, at the lower appellate level, witnesses are heard, defendants can talk, and evidence can be presented.  It is more like another trial than a Common Law ‘‘appeal’‘.  But to be fair, an appeal to the Italian Supreme Court (a.k.a. Corti di Cassazione), is a brief hearing on the procedures, logic, and findings of the lower court, and is quite similar to a Common Law appeal.

Canadian and American appeals courts are not there to ‘‘retry a case’‘.  Rather, the burden falls on the appellant (the party appealing), regardless of whether it is a prosecution or a defence appeal.

For a defendant appealing a conviction, the burden is on him/her to show that there was significant error that led to the conviction, such as:
-Evidence admitted at trial that should not have been
-New evidence emerges that shows innocence, or impeaches a prosecution witness
-Wrong legal procedures were applied at trial
-There was bias or prejudice from the court

For a defendant appealing a sentence, the burden is to show that:
-The sentence was unduly harsh
-It is inconsistent with similar crimes and circumstances

Size of the Nation’s Highest Court

The Supreme Court of Canada has 9 judges.

The Supreme Court of the United States has 9 judges.

The Supreme Court of Italy has about 300 judges.

Consecutive v.s. Concurrent Sentences

Until very recently, the law in Canada was that all convictions a person received for acts, (or a series of acts), ran together, or concurrently.  This changed to exclude multiple murderers, and the so called ‘‘bulk discount’’ they were getting.  In the past, even serial killers would be eligible for parole after 25 years.  No guarantees of parole of course, but the possibility angers victims rights groups.

The U.S. judges have much more lattitude in handing out consecutive sentences.

Mandatory Sentencing

Canada has mandatory sentences for many offences, including: 1st and 2nd degree murder, crimes committed using firearms, child sex offences, trafficking in drugs, and fraud (if the value is over $1 million).  The trend in the last several years has been to push for harsher penalties.

  -For murder, multiple murder sentences now run consecutively.
  -The minimum for crimes using guns was 4 years, it is now 5, 7 or 10 depending on number of previous offences
  -Child sex offences was 90 days (if by indictment), now it is 1 year
  -Discretion has been removed in sentencing drug dealers to prison for the most part
  -Major fraud has a 2 year minimum.  It never used to.

America also has mandatory jail sentences, including for minor drug offences,  Too numerous to list here, but there has been pressure to reduce these sentences to curb the swelling prison population.  Except for the Walter Whites (Breaking Bad) out there, dealing shouldn’t carry a longer minimum sentence than manslaughter.

Knox’s drug dealer, Federico Martini, should be especially grateful to have been in Italy.  Rather than the 28 months he got for dealing, had he been in the U.S., it would likely be closer to 28 years.

Plea Bargaining

In both Canada and the U.S., plea bargaining is available, (something not available in Italy).  Not only does a defendant usually have the option of pleading for lesser time, but but a lesser charge.  This can cause a quick settlement, especially if one is accused of an offence which carries a high minimum sentence.

While prosecutors and defence counsel can make a deal, the judge ultimately accepts or refuses it.

Plea bargaining in a single defendant case is one thing, but it is much more controversial to make a deal to testify against someone else.  The reasoning is that the person’s story can’t help but be shaped in an effort to please the prosecutors, and that it is in essence ‘‘buying testimony’‘.  Though state standards differ, corroboration is required, as a person cannot be convicted solely on the testimony of an accomplice.  There is also the risk of a conviction being thrown out if lies are discovered.

Guede offered to testify against Knox and Sollecito, but Mignini/Comodi refused to let him.  They didn’t need him, and even if they let him, there was the chance it would blow up in their faces.

Incarceration Rate

Canada: 118 per 100,000
United States: 707 per 100,000

****Incidentally, Italy’s rate is 100 per 100,000

Note: Those topics: (a) consecutive sentences; (b) mandatory minimums; (c) plea bargaining; and (d) incarceration rate; are closely related.

Recording of Police Interrogations

It is not required in Canada to record suspect interrogations, nor (although I don’t know each state) in the U.S.  There is no law in either Canada or the U.S. that witness interviews must be videotaped, often they end merely in statements being written up.

However, most police agencies have a policy of recording suspect questionings.  There are several reasons for doing it: (a) To protect against any claim of being ‘‘roughed up’’ by authorities; (b) To protect against potential claims of being misinterpreted; (c) To provide a full record of what happened; (d) To review later, as a video may be mined for further information.

Knox claimed she was ‘‘interrogated’’ by Perugian Police, and that she was targeted.  Odd, how Rita Ficarra had no idea she would even be coming to the police station.  (Sollecito had been called—alone—to clear up his alibi).  Knox started to work on a list of ‘‘potential suspects’‘.  When Sollecito backed off on being her alibi, Knox was asked to explain.  She then falsely accused Lumumba, and placed herself at the scene.  At this point her legal status changed from potential witness to suspect, and the questioning stopped.  Knox waived her warnings, and signed those statements anyway.

In the media it is misrepresented as being a ‘‘long, brutal interrogation’’ or a ‘‘series of interrogations’‘, and Knox complains of it lasting over 50 hours in her December 2013 email.  She also accuses Rita Ficarra of assault (part of her current calunnia trial), and Prosecutor Mignini of illegally questioning her without counsel. 

Again, how could the Perugia Police be setting an elaborate trap for Knox?  She showed up that night completely unexpectedly.  See the 18 part ‘‘Knox Interrogation Hoax’’ series.

Double Jeopardy Law

Under the Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms, section 11(h) says that a person who has served a sentence for an offence shall not be tried again, or a person finally acquitted shall not be tried again.  The key is ‘‘finally’‘, as in the parties don’t intend to appeal further

The 5th amendment of the U.S. Constitution says that a person shall not be put in jeopardy twice for the same offence.

The only real difference is that acquittals at trial in Canada may be appealed under very limited circumstances, such as wrong instructions at trial.  It CANNOT be a redo, but there must be a very serious legal error to redress.  Canadian prosecutors have a very high burden to meet.  Under U.S. law, a trial acquittal is the end, barring killing a witness or bribing a judge.

This does not apply to appeal courts.  In both Canada and the U.S. appellate court rulings may be appealed further.  Had Hellmann been a U.S./Canadian appeal judge, it would not be double jeopardy to challenge his ruling.

Canadian Charter v. U.S. Constitution

Italy goes out of its way to give defendants, but here is a quick comparison with the Western Hemisphere.  Sadly, as victim’s rights groups point out, criminals seem to have more rights than their victims.

The Canadian Charter, sections 7 to 14, and the U.S. Constitution, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments guarantee many of the same rights to criminal defendants

Canada: illegal searches would violate section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 
America: illegal searches would violate the 4th Amendment of the Constitution

Canada: one has the right to instruct counsel without delay, and be informed of the right under Section 10(b)
America: one has the right to a lawyer under the 6 Amendment.

Canada: cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited under Section 12
America: cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited under the 14th Amendment.

Canada: one can’t be forced to be a witness against themselves under Section 11(c)
America: one can’t be forced to be a witness against themselves under the 5th Amendment (taking the 5th)

Canada: retrying for the same offence violates Section 11(h)
America: retrying for the same offence violates the 5th Amendment.

Canada: demanding unreasonable bail violates Section 11(e)
America: demanding unreasonable bail violates the 8th Amendment.

Notes:
-The police obtained warrants before getting internet records, phone records, etc ...
-AK’s first 2 statements were inadmissible because she had no lawyer (even though she refused one).
-AK/RS complain about ‘‘hellish’’ conditions now, but not when the U.S. State Department checked in.
-AK only testified regarding the ‘‘calunnia’‘, but AK/RS used their ‘‘right to not respond’‘.
-AK/RS claim their ‘‘acquittals’’ should be the end, but 11(h)/5th doesn’t apply to appeals court that get further appealed
-AK/RS got multiple attempts to apply for bail

Notorious Killers In Canada

1. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka

Scarborough, Ontario—This case still leaves a bad taste for Canadians.  The couple murdered 3 teens, Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, as well as Karla’s younger sister, Tammy.  Bernardo was already a prolific rapist before meeting Homolka, but no one died until they got together.

Bernardo is serving life in prison and has been classified as a ‘‘dangerous offender’‘.  Homolka served only 12 years after testifying against him, in what was called the ‘‘deal with the devil.’’  Homolka claimed that she was forced to go along to help with Bernardo’s crimes, using the ‘‘battered woman’s syndrome’‘, although it has since been shown that she was a willing and enthusiastic participant.  Police speculate that there were other victims but no more additional charges were filed.

Though claiming her innocence, Knox has tried using the ‘‘I was browbeaten’’ line against Italian authorities.

2. David Bagshaw and Melissa Todorovic

Toronto,Ontario—A 15 year old girl convinces her 17 year old (almost 18) boyfriend to murder a rival, a 14 year old girl Todorovic had never met, Stefanie Rengel.  Todorovic threatened to withhold sex from Bagshaw unless he complied, and these threats went on for months.  When Bagshaw finally did kill Stefanie, he got his reward, sex.  While Todorovic never met Stefanie, Stefanie and Bagshaw had briefly dated.

Bagshaw, 4 days short of 18 at the time, lost his bid for a youth sentence, and received a life sentence.  In custody, he helped an inmate try to kill another.  Todorovic tried to claim she never meant for this to happen.  She received an adult sentence, life with a 7 year minimum in custody.  Both lost their appeals.

Todorovic was reportedly jealous Bagshaw had once dated Stefanie.  Knox was reportedly jealous Meredith started dating Giacomo.

3. Jeremy Steinke and ‘‘Jane Doe’‘

Medicine Hat, Alberta—Steinke was the 23 year old boyfriend of ‘‘Jane Doe’‘, the 12 year old who arranged to have her brother and parents murdered.  The girl cannot be named, as an adult sentence could not be imposed (she was under 14 at the time).  Given that 23 and 12 is considered pedophilia in Canada, there were concerns that the parents would have called the police.

The parents wanting to end the relationship was the apparent motive for the murders, although it is not clear why the brother, then 8, was killed as well.  The woman is currently serving the rest of her 10 year sentence in the community, while Steinke is serving 3 concurrent terms of 25 years to life.

The parents obviously disapproved of the huge age gap.  But to be fair—Raffaele Sollecito was a ‘‘kid’’ when he was 23.

4. Russell Williams

Tweed, Ontario—Williams was a colonel in the Canadian Air-Force and Commander of the Trenton Air Base.  He has since been given a service misconduct and kicked out.  In his early 40’s, he began breaking into neighbours’ homes and stealing underwear.  He later committed 2 sexual assault, but let those victims go, but committed 2 more but killed those victims: Marie-Frances Comeau (a military officer under his command); and Jessica Lloyd.

Williams plead guilty to 2 murders, 4 sexual assaults, and 88 break-ins, but will still be eligible for parole after 25 years.

A few gruesome facts: Williams suffocated Ms. Comeau by wrapping her head with duct tape, and made a video of it. 

Also, he told Jessica’s boyfriend (at the time worked under William’s command), that he didn’t have to talk to police without a lawyer.  He also dumped Jessica’s body where he knew her boyfriend hunted.  It seems likely that Williams was trying to frame him.  Perhaps Williams wanted Jessica’s boyfriend to be the one to find her, a bit like Knox wanted Filomena or Laura to find Meredith.

5. Cody Legebokoff

Prince George, British Columbia—Termed ‘‘Canada’s Youngest Serial Killer’‘, he killed 3 women: Jill Stuchenko, Natasha Montgomery, Cynthia Maas, and a 15 year old girl Loren Leslie, all by age 20.

When originally stopped, Legebokoff claimed the blood was from a deer he was poaching and had clubbed to death.  At trial, he tried to claim that a drug dealer X, and his two associates: Y, and Z did it, and that he was an unwilling participant.  That excuse failed, and he was convicted on 4 counts of first degree murder.

An appeal is pending based on the claim that the trial should have been moved elsewhere due to the publicity.  He complains it is impossible to be judged fairly.  But to be fair, he hasn’t sought out the limelight, given TV interviews, or signed any book deals.

Author’s note: I was in Prince George while the trial went on.  Yes, the town knew about it, but people still went about their lives.

Notorious Killers In The US

1. Gerald and Charlene Gallego

This couple committed a series of murders in California and Nevada.  They kidnapped women to become sex slaves.  Their victims included: Rhonda Schleffer, Kippi Vaught, Brenda Judd, Sandra Colley, Stacey Redican, Karen Twiggs, and at least 4 others.  When caught, Charlene turned against Gerald, claiming he was abuse, controlling, and had initiated everything.

In return for testifying against Gerald, Charlene was not charged in California, and only received 16 years, 8 months in Nevada.  She has since been released.  Gerald received death sentences in both states, but died before either could be carried out.  While Charlene received much more lenient treatment, there has been speculation that the sex slavery was her idea.

Since plea bargaining is illegal in Italy, neither Knox nor Sollecito could turn on each other for a deal.  They probably would have, if it was possible.

2. Douglas Thomas and Jessica Wiseman

Virginia—14 year old Jessica Wiseman arranged to have her 17 year old boyfriend Douglas Thomas murder Wiseman’s parents.  They were shot dead in their sleep.  Thomas apparently was so desparite for love that he was willing to go along with a girl who wanted away from her controlling parents.  While pledging to be with him at first, Wiseman abandoned him once he ‘‘served his purpose’‘.

Wiseman was tried as a juvenile, and released after 7 years, since she could not be held past her 21st birthday.  Thomas was executed 2 years later, after spending 9 years on death row.  This happened even as information emerged that Jessica shot her Mom, though it was never verified.  Though she was younger, it was widely viewed as unjust.

Knox, though not living with her parents, had problems in her home with the women upstairs.  Other options were available, such as moving in with Sollecito, or ‘‘re-negotiating’’ with Federico Martini, but Knox tried to solve her problem by getting rid of it.

3. Alvin and Judith Neelley

Georgia—this couple abducted a 13 year old girl, repeatedly sexually assaulted her, and injected her with Drano, hoping to poison her.  When that didn’t work, Judith shot her in the head.  Afterwards, they abducted a couple, Janice Chatman and John Hancock, brought them to a hotel to be tortured and murdered.  John was shot and left for dead, but survived, and was able to identify the Neelleys afterwards.

Judith was sentenced to death, but it was commuted to life without parole.  Alvin is serving a similar sentence.

A sick game they played, as if they were living out a fantasy.  Who else fantasizes violence?

4. Jodi Arias

Arizona—A California resident had a long distance relationship with an Arizona resident, until he rejected her.  Arias staged a break in at her grandparents’ place to get a gun,  went out of town to rent a car, got 3 5-gallon gas cans (so she wouldn’t have to stop), and turned off her cell phone (so it couldn’t be traced).  She went to Travis Alexander’s home, had ‘‘good-bye sex’’ with him, then stabbed him 29 times, slit his throat, and shot him in the head.  She then cleaned up, and went to her new boyfriend, in Utah, as if nothing happened.

Initially Arias said she wasn’t there.  Then she said 2 masked burglars did it, but she was afraid to identify them.  Next she said she didn’t know who they were.  At trial she claimed self defence, while invoking ‘‘battered woman’s syndrome.’’  The judge and jury didn’t believe her, and while she was spared the death penalty, Arias received life without parole.

Arias didn’t take rejection by Travis well at all, and neither did Knox take being stood up on Hallowe’en by Meredith.

5. Casey Anthony

Florida—Her daughter Caylee goes missing, so Casey goes partying (a bit like Guede did after Meredith’s death).  Prosecutors claim Anthony just wanted out of the responsibilities that came with being a parent.  Casey countered that Caylee accidently drowned.  Unfortunately, coroners were never able to positively determine the cause of death.

Although eventually acquitted of Caylee’s death, Casey was convicted on 4 counts of providing false information to law enforcement.  Among other things, Anthony made up a story about ‘‘Zanny the Nanny’’ possibly being involved to divert attention.  On appeal, 2 of those counts were overturned.  She is free, but keeping out of the public eye.  Anthony still has a record for lying, as does Knox.

6 Thomasdinh Bowman

Washington State—He shot another driver, Yancy Noll, in the head several times.  Bowman tried to clean up the crimescene—his car, and had his cellphone turned off.  When arrested, he denied involvement, but later changed his story to ‘‘self-defence’‘, claiming Noll attacked him in a fit of road rage.  Prosecutors claimed that this was planned, and that he had studied on how to get away with murder.

At trial, he was observed smirking and seeming to enjoy himself.  Knox likewise enjoyed the attention of her 2009 trial.  This attitude would come back to haunt him.  He was convicted of murder, and sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison.  He never expressed remorse to the family, just that he was ‘‘sorry they [the jury] didn’t believe me.’‘

Some Further Observations

Canadian and American laws are very similar in dealing with serious crime, with the focus being on punishment and deterrence.  Both countries have a bill of rights to ensure basic defendant’s rights are met, quite similar to what Italy has, but something many nations don’t offer.  Some main differences: (1) Canadian criminal law is made federally, while the U.S. states make their own laws for murder; (2) Canada has a much lower incarceration rate; (3) Canada’s sentencing laws are getting tougher, while U.S. laws are going the other way; (4) some states have the death penalty while Canada does not.

Both countries have their fair share of wackos, (pardon the non-technical term).  This is not an American problem, or a cultural problem, but a problem of having people who should not be walking freely among us.  While both countries do have ‘‘rehabilitation’’ as part of their sentencing guidelines, murder is a crime that must be punished, both to condemn the act, and to protect the public.

When faced with the prospect of a long mandatory sentence, or multiple, consecutive sentences, there is the reaction to plead out for lesser offences.  However, pleading guilty can have major implications, especially if giving someone else up for a lighter sentence.

Falsely accusing innocent people, or at least fictional people, seems fairly common by killers.  They do not ‘‘falsely confess’’ that other people did the crime, rather they ‘‘falsely accuse’‘.

Male-female killer couples occur in both countries, but almost universally, the female killer gets a much lighter sentence.  This is likely in part due to society willing to believe that the man is primarily responsible.  Also, these women have no qualms about blaming it all on the man.  The case of Knox getting a higher sentence than Sollecito or Guede seems to be an anomaly.

*******

Acknowledgements: A thank you to Yummi, Peter Q., and Cardiol.  Your feedback has altered the direction of this series.

Posted on 08/13/15 at 08:16 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

Posted by James Raper



Several of the numerous scientific witnesses; some evidence was behind closed doors

Overview Of This Post

Remember that Amanda Knox, a felon for life, served three years for framing Patrick for murder.

In my previous post I dismissed the claim which the British barrister FG (Fred) Davies pervasively made in Parts 1 to 20 of his mammoth series in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly that it was actually Guede and his team who had somehow framed Knox and Sollecito for a crime he alone committed and left all of Italian law enforcement bamboozled.

I now have Parts 21 to 26 as well, all of the series, and I wish to examine one more large area of cherrypicked facts and misinterpretations, along with Davies’s final conclusion.

First, Fred Davies’s Final Scenario

As anticipated,  Davies concludes that Knox and Sollecito should only have been convicted of the charge of simulating a burglary. He presents his own synopsis of what happened on the night of the murder which has both Knox and Guede present at the cottage for the murder, but not Sollecito.

Davies says it is Guede who sexually assaults and stabs Meredith. Knox, unaware of what was going to happen is horrified and scared out of her wits, retreating to her bedroom and locking herself in.

Davies says Guede flees, ignoring or unable to do anything about the fact there is/was a witness to his horrific crime. When it’s safe to do so Knox emerges and meets up with Sollecito.

Davies says that Knox, fearing that if she went to the police she would only end up being accused of involvement in the murder, persuades Sollecito to be her alibi, and to stage the scene to point to a burglar, and Sollecito, being the Honour Bound sort of chap he is, agrees to go along with this. Once they both embark on this course of action there us no turning back.

I trust that you are all duly intrigued with Davies’s scenario and panting to learn how and why he arrives at it. Unfortunately this will have to wait until another day if it is to be from me.

He has, after all, taken 26 Chapters in half a year to get to this point and I am not yet ready to deal with them comprehensively. Others here may contribute posts and discuss implications with the Criminal Law editor.

Fred Davies On Knife Or Knives

Whilst I guess most comments are going to be about the above synopsis, I am going to deal with his thoughts regarding the knives, these being quite central to his synopsis.

My argument below is supported by numerous previous posters none of whom differed markedly from Massei or Nencini. 

Davies in contrast is sharply critical of Massei. He simply excludes the Double DNA knife (Exhibit 36) as the murder weapon.

He is also critical….nay, I would have to say that he is outraged…. at Massei holding that Sollecito was responsible for the lesser of the two wounds, that on the right side of Meredith’s neck. He is critical of Micheli for not finding, as a matter of fact, that Guede was the one responsible for the wounds, using his own knife which has yet to be recovered.

Without more ado I will proceed to Mr Davies’ evaluation:

“The finding against Sollecito that it was he who inflicted two of the three wounds to Meredith Kercher using a pocket knife which was in his possession at the material time is deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”

Well, I was unaware that Massei had found that Sollecito inflicted two of the three wounds. In fact I am not aware of three wounds (unless he includes what is effectively a nick) , but if there were then Massei only attempted to attribute two, the one to the right of the neck, 4 cms deep and with a width of 1.5 cms, being attributed to Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

It did not cause any significant structural damage, unlike the wound to the left, 8 cms deep and 8 cms wide which had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken the hyoid bone. 

Is the rest “deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”?

“It could not have been part of the prosecution case that Sollecito used a pocket knife to subdue and stab Meredith Kercher. If it had why was Sollecito and/or Knox not charged with carrying the said pocket knife without justified reason? To recapitulate,, the charge alleged that the killing was achieved by means of………….and deep lesions to the left anterior-lateral and right lateral regions of the neck, caused by a bladed weapon (Exhibit 36).

The Massei Court’s finding strikes against basic principles of fairness which applies to all criminal proceedings. Put another way, a criminal court is not generally entitled to bring in a verdict which differs markedly from the basis on which the prosecution puts it’s case. This is because the defence would not be able to adequately prepare and meet such an unexpected contingency. In plain English the defence would be ambushed or taken by surprise. In this case the defence was ambushed and the defendants’ rights (Knox and Sollecito) were fundamentally infringed.”

Oh come on! Ambushed? Really?

OK, so the charge did indeed indicate that that both the right and left sided wounds were caused by “a bladed weapon to which Chapter B applies” (Exhibit 36) but the reality is that the defence always knew that Exhibit 36 (because of it’s dimensions and in particular it’s width 4cms from the tip) could not have been the cause of the wound to the left anterior lateral. That’s a matter of simple logic and in any event every expert and all the lawyers in the case agreed on that.

So the way the charge was erroneously framed in fact misled no-one.

Indeed had the defence thought so then they could have raised the matter. Mr Davies does not claim that Massei did not have the power to amend the indictment. If the court was unable to, or the defence chose not to raise it, either way thinking it was a clever appeal point, then it did not become one.

Indeed, Mr Davies will know anyway that in English law, by virtue of The Indictments Act 1915, courts can (and frequently do) order an amendment to an indictment at any stage (which includes during a trial) provided the amendment does not result in an injustice to the accused.  This is a practical necessity as it would be an affront to the concept of justice if defendants were to be acquitted on the basis of a mere technicality.

One might consider what amendment might have been made.

A possibility is that reference to the right-sided wound might have been excluded. It was the left-sided wound that was fatal, after all, and caused, as the prosecution would endeavour to prove, by a weapon which, as it happened, belonged to Sollecito.

The prosecution did, of course, maintain that it was Knox who wielded the weapon, but might, as an alternative, have also asserted that it was Sollecito. Indeed the framing of the charge leaves it an open question as to which of them did. They were charged jointly with having caused Meredith’s death.

The evidence that it may have been either (AK or RS) is a common feature of cases to which the English legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise applies.

The doctrine applies particularly to a case such as this in that no matter who actually wields the weapon the other participant in the common enterprise is deemed to possess the same level of criminal liability even if he did not know that there was a knife or that it would be so used. Being reckless as to that possibility is sufficient.

It is surprising how often how little is required to establish joint enterprise. Frequently the mere fact that the participants know each other and were there, and that the situation was a combustible one of the group’s making, is enough. The doctrine has come in for a great deal of justified criticism but despite this remains firm law.

My preference would have been to amend the indictment to refer to the right sided wound being caused by a bladed weapon, the blade being of indeterminate length but with a width of approximately 1.5 cms. It is the width of the wound that is salient because it is indicative of the width of the blade on the knife being used which, whilst also being indicative of the likely length of the blade, but without being sure, could be either a pocket knife (4 cms or more) or a flick knife (which could also be a pocket knife). 1.5 cms is about the width of the tip of one’s index finger, by the way.

Massei, and others, always refer to this knife as a pocket knife. However henceforth I am going to write “pocket knife“ to refer to the options of a pocket knife with a blade of 4cms or more, or a flick knife.

As to Mr Davies other point as to why Sollecito was not specifically charged with carrying a “pocket knife” without justified reason, I do not know, but since the framing of charges is a matter for the prosecution, one might as well leave the matter there.

In any event the lack of a specific charge does not in any way preclude a court from inferring the nature of a weapon from the pathology of the wound nor from identifying the probable assailant (as distinct from having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the culpability of a single perpetrator named in a specific charge of “carrying“).

Guede did not ever face a specific charge of carrying a weapon but that does not prevent Mr Davis from concluding that Guede had a knife and had stabbed Meredith. It seems that Mr Davies would have been quite happy for Guede to have been so charged and convicted on Professor Vinci’s (see later) dubious testimony.

In this last respect, however, Mr Davies could have more telling argument. Lets see.

“To infer that Sollecito had a pocket knife at Via della Pergola 7 on the fateful evening of November 1-2, based on the character evidence of four witnesses called for the defence, was to say the least highly unusual..”

I think the operative words here are “witnesses called for the defence”, amongst whom was Sollecito’s own father. Yes, highly unusual but then that is what happens when you do not vet your own character witnesses before cross-examination.

Sollecito’s proclivity for carrying a knife (usually a pocket knife) at all times (and indeed he had one on him at the time of his arrest in the Police Station) is highly relevant. These witnesses referred to a knife with a blade of about 4 cms, or perhaps 6 cms.

In addition Sollecito was something of a knife aficionado. The police found two specialist knives, a Spiderco and a 2004 model Brian Tighe. Neither of these can be connected to Meredith’s wounds but they are indicative of his affinity to weapons specifically designed to be used in a fight to maim or kill. Clearly a flick knife falls into the same category.

As to proclivity evidence against Guede one can refer to his brief possession of a kitchen knife acquired at and belonging to the Milan nursery (which he did not break into, he had been given a key).

There is, of course, Tramontano’s dubious claim (angrily dismissed by Micheli even though Guede was never given the chance to challenge this in court) that a black man broke into his property and, confronted by Tramontano, had pulled out a flick knife as he exited. Tramontano tried to claim the burglar was probably Guede based on a photo of him he had seen in a newspaper. If it really was Guede he was not carrying that knife with him at the Milan nursery 8 weeks later.

“Even if Sollecito was present at the scene of the crime (as distinct from being complicit), the court could not have been sure that any “pocket knife” in his possession, which incidentally was never recovered, had inflicted all or some of the injuries, the most cogent rationale being:

1. The prosecution could not prove the dimensions and the character of the knife were consistent with the injuries inflicted upon Meredith Kercher.

2. The Court paid scant regard to the totality of expert opinion as to the type of bladed weapon (or weapons) which had been used to stab the victim

3. The Court paid scant regard to the dimensions of a bloody outline of a knife found on Meredith’s pillow

4. Consequently the Court could not have been sure that any pocket knife and, a fortiori, exhibit 36 had been used to stab Meredith that fateful night.”

As to 1 above, we know that no suitable weapon was ever recovered but if the indictment had been amended in accordance with my preference then the prosecution would easily have proved that part of the indictment, relating as it does to the wound on the right side of the neck.

It is a reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities that the wound was caused by a “pocket knife” and if one accepts the presence of multiple attackers (which I understand is a judicial truth in the case even following the latest acquittal of Knox and Sollecito) then, again on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account all the other circumstantial evidence in the case, I submit that it is a reasonable inference that it was Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

The bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to culpability re the specified charge and is not to be confused with the elements.

As to 2, this simply is not true. I shall look at the totality of the expert opinion in a moment but suffice it to say that Massei spent a considerable amount of time in his Motivation detailing with and discussing the defence experts’ opinions.

As to 3, (and it was not on the pillow but the bedsheet) it was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outline (there was a dual outline, he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3). Davies does not mention a blade width but in fact Professor Vinci actually says 1.3 to 1.4 cms wide.

Taking these measurements as read, Davies points out that they are incompatible with either a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and Exhibit 36. I have no argument with that observation. It follows, he then argues, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Indeed (Davies does not say this, but I will) Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

This is worth looking at seriously as so far it is the only worthwhile point Davies has made.

First of all I have to say that I have searched for but have not found any rebuttal evidence or comment from the prosecution amongst the documents on the Wiki.  I do not even see a question on the matter in the cross-examination of Professor Vinci.

Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outline on the bed sheet.  He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements. But is Massei right? One does not have to be an expert to consider this.

First of all, here are images of the blood stains.






In the picture below the stained section of sheet is cut out for analysis the day after the discovery of the murder.

Did the prosecution overlook their own analysis of the stains? Did they deliberately do so after Exhibit 36 was found, 9 days later on the 12th November, to have Meredith’s DNA on it? Or did they always know that the stains established nothing?






The next question to be asked is whether we can see the outline of a knife, or rather a blade. I think the honest answer to that is, on balance, yes. We think we see the tip of a blade, do we not? Maybe two, maybe even three.

It is fairly clear that Professor Vinci takes the largest of the stains to be the hilt of the handle to the knife. Lining that up with what is perhaps the likely clearest possible perceived blade tip (being the middle out of a possible three I believe I see) then the distance to the perceived hilt is indeed something like the 9.6 cms which Professor Vinci has measured.

But there are problems. Here are two of Ergon’s photos from his posts here and here with Exhibit 36 superimposed on the stains in two different positions to reflect the supposed dual outlines.










The blob of blood in the bottom left of the pictures and it’s lesser moon at 1, or 2, o’clock are regarded as having come from the same position on the blade and so with that reference point the blade is positioned accordingly in each photo.

We can surely take it that Professor Vinci also sees the same duality. But if the bloody hilt is aligned to fit with “the moon” stain in order to get the 9.6 cms measurement, then what has happened to that large hilt stain when the knife is moved further to the left, and then dropped a bit, to align to the moon’s planet (the blob)?

It has either disappeared or become an edge. That doesn’t make sense if “the moon” is the lesser version of the blob. The blob has to come from the first positioning of the knife. Despite this, in the knife’s later position the volume of blood at the hilt has actually increased comparative to the knife’s first position. That doesn’t make sense either.

So maybe the largest stain pre-exists, even for perhaps a moment, the stains suggesting the blade outlines, but in that case we can throw Professor Vinci’s measurements out of the window.

Can we do without the blob and it’s moon? It’s all a lot less convincing without them. But in truth we cannot even be sure that they are related. Nor that the largest stain has anything to do with the hilt of a knife.

A further connected observation concerns Professor Vinci’s claim that the blade of the knife is 1.3/1.4 cms wide. Like the rest of his evidence I do not find this very convincing. I suspect that he has deduced this from the largest stain which has a length, he says, of 1.7 cms. It’s width could then be something like 1.3/1.4 cms.

If the width of the knife is represented by approximately 1.4 cms then, given the position of the bloody hilt relative to the tip of it’s blade, what are we to make of the two spots of blood in a horizontal line above? They look like the upper (or lower) edge of a knife but they can’t be without making the blade wider.

Why does it have to be the same knife anyway? The stains could be the result of two different knives collected and laid to rest in the same spot.

The blood stains are certainly bewitching - rather like seeing patterns in tea leaves at the bottom of one’s cup - but on the balance of probabilities I would not totally rely on anyone’s perception of them even, with all due respect, Ergon’s but his analysis is as good as anyone’s, and that for me is the point of it.

In short I think that Massei was probably right. These stains are suggestive but basically useless and the police/prosecution ignored them for that reason.

“Consistent with English law the Massei Court’s findings should be struck down as Wednesbury unreasonable. Where there is no evidence to support a finding of a court or the court has reached a conclusion which is irrational or perverse, in the light of the evidence adduced at trial, a conviction based on that part of the evidence cannot be sustained……….The Massei Court also appears to have violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial),”

Yeah, right.  The case to which he refers, Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1KB 223, is an odd and unnecessary one to pray in aid.  It was a civil case where the appellant sought judicial review in respect of a licencing decision. As a formulation of a first principle of natural justice it is, of course, unquestionable. However the claim that Massei reached a conclusion that was irrational or perverse is laughable.

It is at this point that one does begin to wonder whether Davies is indeed connected in some way with the daffy Nigel Scott (Sollecito‘s ex Lib Dem Haringey Councillor groupie) who similarly emerges with bizarre arguments.

Next, in his evaluation, we come to a numbers game as to who was for and against the incompatibility of Exhibit 36 with the fatal wound on the left side, but before I enter into that game I want to make a point about incompatibility.

A knife blade is only incompatible with a wound if the depth of the wound is longer than the length of the blade or if the width of the wound is shorter than the width of the blade at the relevant depth.

We can therefore establish that Exhibit 36 was not incompatible, a priori, with the depth of the wound.  The blade on Exhibit 36 was 17. 5 cms long and the depth of the wound was 8 cms.

Yes, I know that other arguments as to incompatibility were advanced based, in the main, on these measurements. These Massei logically deconstructed. In fairness to Mr Davies he did not advance them in his evaluation and so neither shall I.

I would also have to concede that Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is not incompatible a priori with the wound on the left side nor, even if it‘s length of blade was over 4 cms, with the wound on the right. Nor Professor Vinci’s knife either.

The same is true of the width of these knives.

It should however be recalled that the width of the right-sided wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the “pocket knife”. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36 - 8 cms from it’s tip - was twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”.

This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the right-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife“, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

Returning to our numbers game, Mr Davies puts it slightly differently from Massei. He says -

“And if that were not enough, of the 8 experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side. Professor Norelli could not rule out Exhibit 36. Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility)  - it will be assumed that he supported the prosecution contention, but in any event al the remaining four experts, Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out.”

In other words a draw but one of the prosecution experts is a bit “iffy”.

Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility“, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

“Non-incompatibility” is not hard to understand. It simply means not incompatible or rather, compatible.

Note that Mr Davies has Professor Cingolani lining up to exclude Exhibit 36. Massei disagrees and I agree with Massei. So, for what it is worth (and this is a bit childish I know) Mr Davies loses the game 7 - 3.

“And one final thought. If the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) were sufficiently compos mentis to dispose of the pocket knife …. Why did they not dispose of Exhibit 36?  By a process of deduction and logical synthesis the answer is plain for all to see: Exhibit 36 never left Corso Garibaldi and was not the murder weapon ”

Because it was on his landlord’s inventory of kitchen items? Indeed we don’t know for sure that the “pocket knife “was actually disposed of. All we know is that it was not identified and recovered by the police.

And In Conclusion

This is the second of my posts involving Mr Davies. I may not be disposed to do any more. I have to say that although he certainly provided some food for thought on this one, I have not been impressed with his analysis in the topics I have covered so far.

Others here have been tabulating other factual errors and forced arguments and as I mentioned at the start we may see them carry this a bit further.

Posted on 08/10/15 at 06:52 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, August 07, 2015

Our Book Experience: Knox PR Reaction Way Too Fanatical, Only Grows Suspicion She DID Do It

Posted by Nick van der Leek



Reporters, crime-book writers, and photojournalists, Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson


Overkill. A Sure sign of bad PR. As someone once said “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”

What’s interesting for Lisa Wilson and myself as True Crime authors and wrieters of Dark Matter and Deceit is that there are not only always two sides to every story, but two factions as well. 

When the one faction believes us not to belong to theirs, well, then there is war.  Mudslinging, slander, insults – everything except a genuine discussion of the case.

From where Lisa Wilson and I stand, which is hopefully in the middle and on the side of Lady Justice [who is blind, or blindfolded] both factions are mirror-images of each other.  Both sides are throwing stones, like the protagonists in the Middle East conflict, both have their grievances, and plenty of stones to throw. 

And like the Middle East, the two factions in the Amanda Knox case have been in a war of mostly words for years.  Who has won?  Amanda Knox seems to have eeked out some sort of victory, but though recently engaged, shows no signs of getting married, and it’s possible the wedding is off.

All is not always what it seems.

Before highlighting a few of our haters, I want to touch on a quick incident that happened on twitter literally in the last day.  We had one of our followers enthusiastically report on one of the books she’d read [on Jodi Arias] and promise to give a review the same day.  We get bad reviews and we get good reviews, and especially when a book is new, reviews matter.  When I followed up with a tweet and then a second tweet, our enthusiastic reader said she felt pressured and obligated and then blocked me on twitter.

What I’m trying to illustrate here is that even those you agree with our work aren’t necessarily above board themselves.  What we’re trying to achieve with our books isn’t merely justice in the court of public opinion, but we also want to encourage people to go out and live their lives in an honest, genuine and hopefully happily-ever-after way.  One of the ways we interrogate these cases is we try to fathom the underlying psychology of the criminals, and we try to understand these crimes as cautionary tales that we can learn from, and hopefully avoid spiralling into ourselves.

Which is why Lisa and I find the constant lobbing of stones and jibes a little unfortunate.  When I confronted one of our supporters with their constant ping pong [block, reporting, badmouthing etc especially on twitter], the response was:  but didn’t that debate suit you when we were reviewing your books.






We’ve love our reviewers to be honest, even when they disagree, especially when they disagree.  We’d hate our books to be part of a sort of football that is kicked about to score personal points for either side.  Our narrative isn’t intended to score points for either team, it’s intended to solve ‘the mystery’ of Meredith’s death.  Lisa and I see very little debate on that.  Maybe that’s fair given the time since Meredith’s death, but for me this is a crying shame.

I came into this investigation unsure of whom to believe.  When you see – as you see in the Middle East conflict – two sides engaged in a tit for tat battle, it’s hard to come away with a sense that either side is right.  It’s even harder to trust that either side is going to even be able to be unbiased and fair in their assessment of things.  Does that make sense?

Of the 30-odd books I’ve written and co-written with Lisa Wilson, DOUBT [on Amanda Knox] was the first to face accusations of plagiarism.  It became a lightning rod for haters and Pro Justice folk, and to date is my most reviewed book on Amazon by far.  To be honest, Amanda Knox’s fans are by far the most vindictive and malicious of the folk we’ve encountered through the course of nearly 20 True Crime books.  To be honest these people and their underhanded behaviour, even their language, don’t reflect well on their patron at all.

They descend on any criticism of Amanda in organised groups that tag team each other.  Do these people not have day jobs?  Because it’s hard to believe such tactical and practised viciousness isn’t bought and paid for.  Such frenzied attacks inspire responses, and there’s been a lot in the comments section under various reviews – good and bad – of DECEIT. Does that mean people actually read the narrative or are debating it?  In a few cases they are, and in a few cases people have contacted us and let us know where they have learnt something or where they disagree, and this is tremendously useful and helpful. 

But what about the plagiarism accusation?  It was at one time the most popular ‘agreed on’ review when DOUBT was published, so does that mean the plagiarism accusation was actually valid? Or was the accusation a cynical attempt by one side to throw a stone at another side because they didn’t agree with something.  Shoot the messenger in other words, forget the message. 

Why would someone ignore a message, ignore a narrative unless there’s an implied threat that it could be true? 

If it wasn’t true, would anyone really care?  But in the context of justice denied, the stakes are rather higher when truth and facts are obscured from the public view.  And then it seems, in order to defend the indefensible, one resorts to dirty tricks, like suppression of freedom of speech, and slander.  The biggest ironies are the accusations that we are profiting from the tragedy.

Or that we’re slandering someone in our books [that’s the real crime]. It’s ironic when a murder suspect and her boyfriend together earned $5 million for their books, and have numerous and very real slander charges they have faced. In Knox’s case she’s already been found guilty of her false incrimination of Lumumba.  Lumumba never got off because Knox said, “Oh, hang on, that’s not right, sorry I made a mistake, it wasn’t him.”  Lumumba got off because he had an alibi and someone from the bar came forward to vouch for him.  In Sollecito’s case he must still defend allegations of police conduct made in his book [and so must Knox’s parents.

Since Knox was found guilty of slander she served a few years for that.  She hasn’t paid restitution to Lumumba [who lost his job and moved to Poland] to date.  If Knox is innocent, why isn’t she suing the Italian authorities for wrongful imprisonment?  Lumumba did and got a hefty pay-out, so why doesn’t Amanda? Why aren’t we talking about that? But no, we – those of us writing books about the trial – we are the real criminals, we’re the slanderers, we’re profiting out of the loss of the poor victim [no not Kercher, Knox].  This is a crazy inversion of the facts, and only the intellectually weak actually fall for it.






Coming back to Pruett’s plagiarism accusation:  was it an exaggeration, was it a lie?  Was it based on real plagiarism?  Within a few days – subsequent to a phone call to Karen Pruett, and a lawyer’s letter delivered by overnight courier to her work address [she’s a hairdresser in Seattle]– DOUBT was once again available online.  We elected to remove any references we made to Pruett’s work ourselves [credited in every instance] and repackage the narrative without including references to Pruett’s timeline in a new book, DECEIT.  Of course then the accusation is that our views, since we haven’t referred to Pro Knoxers, is biased and unbalanced.  Interesting isn’t it: you quote them and they accuse you of plagiarism, you don’t quote them and they accuse you of being biased.

I only subsequently saw Pruett is endorsed on Amanda Knox’s own website, and was probably paid to research the timeline she produced for Ground Report, which is itself a site facing shutdown due to financial difficulties.  The first 80% of her research seemed fairly solid and reasonably unbiased, much of it did reference court testimony, but the last 20% [relating to the crucial timeline of the crime itself] became increasingly dodgy, and part of the original DOUBT narrative highlighted this. 

If Pruett had received a hefty payment for her timeline and someone had come along and analysed all of it only to find sections of it to be….well…wanting, well, no wonder she wanted herself excised out of her book.  No wonder she wanted the book blocked.  So was it really about plagiarism then [because I referenced all quotes to Pruett, and all her quotes were italicised] or was it about Pruett protecting Pruett?

In the end the blocking of the book [for a few hours, perhaps a day or two] by haters created curiosity amongst the Pro Justice folk, and this was invaluable PR for us. Upwards of 40 people asked for a PDF of the original DOUBT manuscript to be sent to them, and at least half sent through carefully considered reviews and feedback.  As a result of these reviews and the endorsement of Meredith’s supporters, when DOUBT returned as DECEIT it immediately sold like hot cakes.

Right now it’s currently in the top 20 in Amazon’s ‘Criminal Procedure’ category, and the interest in that book has encouraged us to write a second [DARK MATTER, #15 on Amazon] , and in two weeks we begin with a third [UNDER SUSPICION].  We plan on writing around a dozen more books on this case, and we hope by around midway we will have galvanised a real conversation, not around ‘libellous wankers’ or ‘plagiarism’ or ‘removing Jesus from the Last Supper’ but the most legitimate questions of all:

1. Did Amanda Knox get away with murder?
2. Can the courts in Italy [or the USA or SA] be trusted, even when the world is watching?
3. Is justice up for sale, is it a PR game? 
4. If it is, what can we do as the Court of Public Opinion?
 
As someone sympathetic to Meredith Kercher wisely pointed out in a recent review, the biggest mystery in this case is that it is a mystery at all. My suggestion is we do something more constructive than throw stones at each other.

Posted on 08/07/15 at 07:50 AM by Nick van der Leek. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, August 03, 2015

Melissa Todorovic Perpetrates A Grisly Jealousy-Driven Murder With Many Other Similarities

Posted by Chimera

The victim Stefanie Rengel, ambushed and killed with a knife; here her mother speaks out

1. The Jealousy Crime

Jealousy sparks a lot of crimes. This is from Toronto Life

It started as a joke. Melissa Todorovic and David Bagshaw fantasized about how they wanted to hurt and humiliate David’s ex-girlfriend. They talked about it for months and months, until the fantasy became a plan, and Melissa gave David an ultimatum: no more sex until Stefanie was dead. How two high school students became killers

On New Year’s in 2008, 14 year old Stefanie Rengel was ambushed, stabbed 6 times, and left to die in a snowbank.  She was still alive when a passer-by found her, but did not survive the night.

Her killer was David Bagshaw, 17, and in fact just 4 days shy of this 18th birthday.  It turns out that he had been pressured by his girlfriend, Melissa Todorovic, 15 at the time, to do this, or to be deprived of sex from her.  After letting Todorovic know that the ‘‘deed had been done’‘, she called Stefanie’s number 3 times to confirm.  When no one answered, she took it as proof this had been done.

Between Bagshaw and Todorovic, there were hundreds of emails and text messages on this topic, so once police suspicion fell on them and these records were pulled, it left no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what had happened.  Other evidence was gathered of course, but these messages were smoking guns by themselves.

Police believe that the topic had initially come up as a prank, and that on some level they fantasized violence against Stefanie.

2. A Very Disturbing Case

(1) Bagshaw and Stefanie had supposedly dated before (a non-sexual relationship), and it was chilling to see how viciously he could slaughter a young woman he once had feelings for.

(2) Todorovic considered Stefanie to be a rival (she had once ‘‘dated’’ her current boyfriend), but the two had never actually met.

(3) The brief, but completely savage nature of the ambush and killing.

(4) Bagshaw claimed his ‘‘prize’’ after Stefanie was dead—namely a romp with Todorovic.  Whatever ‘‘remorse’’ he may have felt with this act, he was still in the mood for sex.

(5) Bagshaw, in one of the messages, complained that he was approaching 18 years of age, and that he would be tried as an adult.  This shows that he understood in advance what the likely consequences were.

(6) Even though the messages went back and forth for months, apparently neither Bagshaw nor Todorovic ever stepped back to reflect on what they were setting in motion.

3.The Trial Outcome

At Bagshaw’s trial, his lawyer understood that he really had no defence to the murder charge.  He plead guilty to first degree murder, hoping to get a youth sentence from the judge.  Remember, he was a few days shy of 18.

It didn’t work, and the judge gave him an adult sentence of life, with a minimum of 10 years in custody.  Prosecutors argued that he ‘‘bought himself 15 years right there’‘, as he would have received a 25 year minimum had he actually been 18.  Bagshaw has confessed, and apologised to the family for doing this.

At Todorovic’s trial, her lawyer tried to claim that she never intended for Bagshaw to actually go ahead with it.  That argument failed as well, and as a 15 year old, Todorovic received a life sentence with a minimum of 7 years to be spent in custody.

4. More Background On The Case

Note: Initially, both Bagshaw and Todorvic had their identities withheld from publication, as both were considered ‘‘young offenders’‘.  The media had merely referred to them as D.B. and M.T.  However, since adult sentences have been imposed, that restriction has been lifted.

5. Comparisons Of Those Involved

  • Bagshaw was 17, Todorovic 15, Stefanie 14
  • Sollecito was 23, Knox 20, Guede 20, Meredith 21

  • Bagshaw’s lawyers (in pleading for a youth sentence), argued that he was Todorovic’s ‘‘slave’‘
  • Sollecito has been widely portrayed as Knox’s ‘‘slave’’ in the media.

  • Todorovic was jealous of a girl who had once dated her boyfriend
  • Knox was jealous that Meredith got a boy (Giacomo), whom she found attractive

  • Todorovic killed someone she had never met before
  • Knox killed a roommate that she ‘‘only knew for a month’‘.

  • Bagshaw plead guilty to 1st degree murder hoping to get a youth sentence.
  • Guede took the ‘‘fast-track’’ trial, to get 1/3 off, or at least avoid a possible life sentence.

  • Todorovic’s lawyer claimed Bagshaw did it all on his own.
  • Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers claim Guede was the ‘‘lone wolf’‘.

  • Cellphone texts and emails were used to nail Bagshaw and Todorovic
  • Lack of cellphone activity or computer activity (for Sollecito), raised red flags about the alibis of AK and RS.

  • Bagshaw claimed that Todorvic set it all in motion.
  • Guede and Sollecito have both claimed that the problems were largely caused by Knox.

  • Bagshaw, while pleading guilty, expressed remorse for the murder
  • Guede, while denying the murder, has expressed remorse.

  • Bagshaw and Todorovic had a sexual encounter as a ‘‘reward’‘, after Stefanie’s murder
  • Knox and Sollecito were still having sex after Meredith’s murder, and Knox was still trading sex-for-drugs with Federico Martini.

  • Todorvic has never expressed any real remorse for setting Stefanie’s murder in action
  • Knox, while claiming Meredith was ‘‘her friend’‘, made comments such as ‘‘shit happens’‘, and ‘‘I want to get on with my life.’‘

  • Todorovic and Bagshaw were found guilty (Bagshaw plead), and both lost their appeals at the Appeals Court in Toronto
  • Knox and Sollecito were found guilty at trial, but by judge shopping have had success in their appeals.
  • Guede was found guilty in the fast tract trial, and despite a sentence reduction, (getting 1/3 less than AK and RS), the conviction was upheld.


6. What Happened Next

Todorovic appealed her conviction to the Ontario Court of Appeals, and it was rejected.

Todorovic lost a bid to remain in youth custody for a year longer than she was to be transferred.

Bagshaw appealed his sentence (he had plead guilty) to the O.C.A., claiming it was wrong to impose an adult sentence on such an emotionally immature person.  It was rejected.

Bagshaw, while in custody, was charged with attempted murder, for helping to try to kill an inmate.  His excuse: he was pressured to do so, the same line he used in his murder trial

Posted on 08/03/15 at 11:00 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Did Guede’s Separate Trial REALLY Impact Negatively On The Other Two, As Fred Davies Etc Claim?

Posted by James Raper




1. Summary Of The Complaints

I want to write about the separate trials of Guede on the one hand and Knox and Sollecito on the other.

This feature has often been criticized by the apologists for Knox and Sollecito, and I was surprised to learn just recently that their gripe seems to have some support in learned establishments in the UK! Ahem.

The gripe concerns the Fast Track trial of Rudy Guede, and the consequent Supreme Court confirmation of his conviction, with the apologists arguing that these had an adverse and unfair effect upon the proceedings in which Knox and Sollecito were involved. It is based on the simple fact that Guede chose to be tried separately, this being seen as an unfair complication for the administration of justice in the Italian justice system.

There are a number of complaints that the usual apologists have regarding the separate trial of Guede. Most of these are in fact fantasies as I will address.

These complaints, or constant refrains, which some apologists fondly thought could form the basis of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in due course, can be summarised as follows -

    1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

    2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

    3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

    4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

    5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

    6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.


2. How Overall The Complaints Are Wrong

I think that we know what fast-track is by now, so I will not dwell on that. Guede’s trial was over relatively quickly. It lasted a month and likely consisted of about 3-4 hearings. There were just a few witnesses called.

The judge, Micheli, in addition, dwelt on all the evidence in the investigative file including witness statements and forensics. This was because Guede was charged with murder “in complicity with others” and because Micheli also had to make the decision whether or not to commit Knox and Sollecito to stand trial as the other accomplices.

Before I address whether or not there could be any justification at all for the apologists’ above complaints I would like to mention that learned quarter to which I referred at the outset.

I recently stumbled (with the help of the apologists’ website) across the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly website.

I was surprised to learn that various articles had been appearing on it under the heading of “The Brutal Killing of Meredith Kercher - A critical examination of the trials and subsequent appeal hearings of Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”

Lexis Nexis ( publishers and distributors of legal material to the legal profession in the UK)  describe Criminal Law and Justice as….”the leading weekly resource for criminal law practitioners and all those working within the courts and criminal justice areas.”

The articles are by an F. G Davies, described as a Barrister and listed in Anthony and Berryman’s Magistrates Court Guide as a Deputy Justices Clerk, North Cambridgeshire, in England. He is also a contributor and specialist editor to Justices of the Peace Law Reports.




Online image associated with an annual legal-fees guide which FG Davies edits


Here are two quotes I picked out relevant to this post about separate trials.

“This supports the writer’s contention made earlier that the holding of separate trials for co-accused was wrong in principle and law because the prosecution were alleging that at all three defendants committed the crime acting in concert”

And:

“It provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito who, by this time were suspected to be chief architects of the attack.”

It is of course perfectly true that in the anglo-saxon world Guede would not have had the choice to elect for trial separately from his co-accused. It might have made for a very interesting trial for everyone concerned if he had stood trial together with Knox and Sollecito, but for reasons I will explain later I doubt it, or that Knox and Sollecito would have gained any advantage from it.

Indeed separate trials had rendered a very specific advantage to the Knox and Sollecito camps in that Guede had already been convicted when Knox and Sollecito stood trial, a fact that their PR campaign and followers have drilled home at every conceivable opportunity.

But what on earth does it mean to say that “the holding of a separate trial [for Guede] was wrong in principle and law”?  .

Whose law? Whose principles? Just how deeply does the Deputy Justices Clerk delve into the respective systems of justice (and particularly the Italian one) for a comparative evaluation?

Certainly on the basis of a quick read of his articles I would say that he hasn’t delved very far at all. In fact I will go further and say that despite that he is capable of a detailed review of various aspects of the case he pretty much shares the same hostility and concerns based upon parochialism and ignorance to be found on the usual apologists’ websites.

So I will try to put him and the apologists right on how the Italians cope, as a matter of law, with any evidential difficulties that separate trials can throw up.

However, let’s start first with the assertion that the fast-track trial “provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito”? Is that true?

Guede admitted that he was present at the scene of the murder and he has always minimized his part in the attack, in fact denying that he had any part. This is all to be found in his statements pre trial. He would have minimized his part even if he had been tried with his co-accused and had given evidence. Given that he was not believed anyway, it is difficult to detect wherein lies the golden opportunity of a fast track trial.

It is also difficult to envisage what cross examination formula (and the point of it) would have been available to the Knox and Sollecito defence teams as to Guede’s minimal role or otherwise given that Knox and Sollecito maintain that they were not there and thus are hardly in a position to dispute Guede‘s version.

Did Guede load the blame onto Knox and Sollecito?  The answer to that is that he did directly implicate Knox but not Sollecito. Again this is all to be found in his pre-trial statements and interviews with the police and investigating magistrates. Whilst on the toilet he had heard the doorbell ring, Meredith call out “Who is it?“ and later say “We need to talk” followed by another woman’s voice, which he thought was Amanda, replying “What’s happening?“ He had also claimed to have seen, through Filomena’s bedroom window, a female figure with flowing hair and had recognised the shape as being that of Amanda Knox.

It might be useful at this point just to pause and remember when Guede could have been cross-examined on this by the Knox and Sollecito defence teams.

Guede was called to give evidence during the Massei trial but declined to give evidence. Not surprising given that he was appealing his own conviction at the time. This was heard two weeks after the conclusion of the Massei trial.

He then appeared at the Hellmann trial by which time he already had a definitive conviction. On this occasion he did respond to questioning and I shall look at this a little later.

3. The Specific Mistakes In Each Complaint

Let us return now to the apologists standard refrains as I listed them at the beginning.

1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

One might also add the staged break in and some others as well which were all considered by Micheli and endorsed by Massei.

However as at the conclusion of the Massei trial Guede’s first appeal was still extant and the Supreme Court’s definitive reflections on the multiple attacker scenario were still a year off. Nothing had been written in stone at that point. If the multiple attacker scenario became a tenet of the case then it would be more accurate to say that it became so because of Massei joining up with Micheli.

But let’s also take in the second refrain to consider alongside the first at this point.

2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

This really is pretty rich. So what? Knox and Sollecito were not on trial there. And what to make of the Massei trial which of course is when Knox and Sollecito then wheeled out their big guns; the expensive lawyers and experts in telecommunications, forensic pathology, forensic DNA, ballistics and footprint analysis?

The Massei trial may have taken its time but it was nevertheless (unlike Guede’s trial) a full blooded adversarial trial of first instance, lasting a year, with the prosecution producing each and every one of it’s witnesses for rigorous cross-examination by the defence.

It was Massei that confirmed the multiple attacker scenario on the basis solely of that evidence and with scarce a mention of Guede’s sentencing report. It is lame to argue that Massei was in any way constrained by Micheli’s reasoning on the matter though his judgement was indeed available.

However Massei did make the following observation -

“……the reconstruction of the facts leads to the unavoidable conclusion that he (Guede) was one of the main protagonists (writer’s note: no concession to Guede’s chances on appeal, then?); thus it is not possible to avoid speaking of Guede in relation to the hypothesised criminal facts. The defence of the accused in particular have requested the examination of texts concerning only Rudy, and have demanded the results, specifically concerning Guede of the investigative activities carried out by the police in particular. In fact they have expressly indicated Guede as being the author, and the sole author, of the criminal acts perpetrated on the person of Meredith Kercher.”

So here we see the defence making the running on Guede (without Guede being present as a co-accused to dispute anything) to include any and all evidence as to his alleged criminal background with the precise purpose of bolstering the Lone Wolf scenario, all of which was duly evaluated by Massei.

[One might think, in addition to the above, that Guede would have had cause to complain about the indictments for Knox and Sollecito, in that both were indicted, and subsequently convicted, with the crime of murder “in complicity with Rudy Hermann Guede”, although he still had two appeals left and theoretically (though not realistically) it was still possible for him to be acquitted of the crime. However the drawing up of indictments in separate trials, and how the judiciary would deal with an outcome such as above (which I don’t think would be difficult) would be a topic for another discussion.]

3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

This is so lame by any objective standard, but it is amazing just how often this particular drum is beaten. However our Deputy Justices Clerk would probably subscribe to this. He develops an argument akin to this which he terms the Forbidden Reasoning (echoes of Preston’s “The Forbidden Killer”?) which is basically that Micheli made a number of errors which were then compounded in subsequent hearings.

4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

The evidence that implicated Knox I have already mentioned. It is not entirely decisive in that it is not a solid ID of Knox at the crime scene. At the Hellmann appeal Guede added this in an exchange with Knox‘s lawyer -

DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA—And therefore, Mr. Guede, when you wrote verbatim that it was a “horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox” what do you mean exactly? Have you ever said this?
WITNESS—Well, I… this, I’ve never said it explicitly, in this way, but I’ve always thought it.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA—And so, it’s not true.
WITNESS—No, it’s very true………………………………..............  So if I wrote those words it’s because I’ve always had them inside of me. It’s not up to me to decide who it was who killed Meredith, in the statement that I made in my trial, I always said who was there in that home that damned night, so, I think I’m not saying anything new……

In another exchange, this time with Bongiorno, Guede makes it clear that he is not planning to answer any further questions about what happened that night but this is because he has already stated (statements and recorded interviews etc), and stands by, all that he has to say about it.  Thus all that is taken into evidence perfectly properly. The matter is then left to rest by the defence.

Indeed it is difficult to conceive what further effective cross-examination could have occurred in this situation because clearly Guede would have responded with exactly the same answer each time.

The above exchanges also show just why it is unlikely that there would have been any fireworks had Guede been tried with his co-accused.

Guede would not have been obliged to give oral testimony any more than were Knox and Sollecito and in the event that he had done so (and I think it would have been in his interests to do so) his evidence would not only have been the same but it would have been subject to the same limitations, which would have been zealously protected by his lawyers, that had protected Knox when she gave oral evidence.

On due consideration it might have been a somewhat tetchy affair for the lawyers but it would not have been in the interests of any of the respective teams of lawyers for there to have been any surprises such as Guede moving from beyond what he had already said in pre-trial statements to a solid ID of Knox from the witness box. That wouldn’t have particularly helped Guede as it would have affected his credibility even further. They all had prepared positions to protect and Guede’s presence would be neither that much of an added threat nor an advantage for Knox and Sollecito.

5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

Now we are into the law, Italian law that is, and how it coped with separate trials of co-accused.

By this time Guede’s conviction, remember, had been ruled as definitive by the Supreme Court.

This is what Hellmann said about that -

“……. in truth, this judgement, acquired pursuant to article 238 and so utilisable under the probative framework only as one of it’s evaluative elements pursuant to article 192.…………….. already appears in itself a particularly weak element, from the moment that this judgement related to Rudy Guede had been carried out under the fast track procedure.”

It will be useful to consider some of Prosecutor-General Galati’s observations in the prosecution’s appeal submission and we can do this because the Supreme Court agreed with him.

This is what the Supreme Court said -

“The submission on the violation of article 238 …….is correct. Even though (Hellmann) obtained the final judgement pronounced by this court against Rudy Guede, after properly considering that the judgement was not binding, it has completely “snubbed” the content of the same, also neutralizing it’s undeniable value as circumstantial evidence on the presupposition that it’s profile was particularly weak, since the judgement was based at the state of proceedings without the enrichment acquired as a result of the renewal of the investigations hearing arranged on appeal, In reality, the court was not authorised at all, for this reason alone, to ignore the content of the definitive judgement.”

The enrichment referred to would of course have been the Independent Expert’s evidence (subsequently debunked by Nencini) and the Supreme Court also added that in any event article 238 was not impaired at all by the fact that the first instance trial was fast track.

At the end of the day this was just poor argument by Hellmann but it was symptomatic of the many flaws that underlay much if not all of his reasoning for acquittal.

More importantly for me and in addition to the foregoing the Supreme Court delivered a withering criticism of Hellmann’s understanding of circumstantial evidence and how to evaluate and treat it in its broad spectrum.

However, how can and what elements contained in the separate trial of one co-accused have any probative weight in the trial of the others?

Prosecutor-General Galati puts it like this. The Supreme Court’s rulings -

“have now settled definitively regarding the interpretation according to which finalised judgements can be acquired by the proceedings, as provided for by the indicated law, but they do not constitute full proof of the facts ascertained by them, but necessitate corroborations not differing from the declarations of the co-accused in the same proceedings or in a connected proceeding………………………………......
Naturally this confirmation is not directly used for the purpose of proof but as corroboration of other circumstantial pieces of evidence or of evidence already acquired, not very different from what happens when declarations of collaborators with justice corroborate each other.”

In the event the only material from Guede that really seems to me to have hitherto been extraneous to the first instance trial of Knox and Sollecito was the inclusion at the Nencini appeal of Guede’s partial ID of Knox at the scene and his evidence as to Meredith’s missing money, which were corroborative of elements of evidence that had appeared at the Massei trial; in the case of the missing money for instance, the missing credit cards and Filomena’s testimony that at a meeting shortly before both the murder and the day the rent was due Meredith had told her that she had the cash to hand and was prepared to hand it over there and then.

No such money was found at the crime scene. One suspects that these two elements would have been more prominent at the Massei trial, and have been motivated more attentively, had the three been tried together. In the event Guede’s partial ID of Knox was not even mentioned by Massei and Knox and Sollecito, in the absence of any evaluation of Guede’s evidence, were acquitted (not even motivated at all in fact) of the charge of theft in relation to the money and the credit cards.

Given the foregoing I would argue that Knox and Sollecito derived an advantage rather than a disadvantage from the separate trials.

Furthermore I would argue that the material from Guede’s separate proceedings was not particularly damaging given the overall context of the evidence already directly available from the trial of Knox and Sollecito (which received some but in truth did not require much corroborative confirmation from Guede’s separate trial) and which in itself was sufficient to found a verdict of “beyond reasonable doubt”, but it did supply some useful insight into a motive when of course Hellmann had found none and Massei had supplied a rather improbable one.

6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.

Needless to say this is what you get from desperate and deluded minds. Guede’s lawyer has explained why his client took his advice and the decision was perfectly rational and in Guede’s interests. Guede was entitled to a third off his sentence from choosing fast track though I am no fan of that. Furthermore I have explained why no particular advantage accrued to the prosecution from this choice other than that it probably foreshortened the time that a full trial of the three would have taken.

Posted on 07/30/15 at 03:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Why The Count Of Discredited Prosecution Witnesses Even Now Remains Down Around Zero

Posted by James Raper



As with all images on TJMK this image above will expand if clicked on


Just sifting through the latest drivel on Injustice in Perugia today and I came across this statement from one of their main posters.

“It was physically impossible for Capezalli to have heard any sounds from Meredith’s residence”.

Note : not that she was mistaken or that her evidence was unreliable but the bald statement that it was physically impossible for her to have heard anything.

Was she profoundly deaf then? If not, then why this assertion? Without some basis for this assertion then it is simply a dismissive slur on the credibility of the witness.

This happens to be the same poster who wowed that board with his claim that the Prosecution suppressed exculpatory evidence that would have cleared Knox and Sollecito.

Not that he supplied any proof. How could he?  It is axiomatic, of course, that if there was suppressed evidence then what it was would not be known. Nevertheless it was a ready springboard for calls from mindless idiots to have the Prosecution fully investigated and charged with perverting the course of justice!

Anyway, to move on, the purpose of this post is just to revisit (with pictorial assistance) Capezalli’s testimony (I shall call her Nara from now on) and see if there is even a scintilla of justification for the claim.

Now to be fair, Nara did say in her evidence that she had double glazing and maybe that is what he is referring to although for the life of me I don’t see why that would make it impossible for her to hear a scream outside.

But it’s worth investigating because it’s the sort of thing that does get repeated without further analysis and I have read others taking that remark at face value and doubting whether she did hear a scream and, perhaps more credibly, whether she would have heard the sound of someone running on the gravel of the cottage forecourt and up the metal steps from the car park.

Here is what she said -

“What happens is that getting up I’m going past the window of the dining room, because the bathroom is on that side, and as I am there I heard a scream, but a scream that wasn’t a normal scream. [A terrifying and agonising long scream as she describes it elsewhere] I got goose bumps to be truthful. At that moment I no longer knew what was happening, and then I went on to the bathroom. There is a little window with no shutters, none at all.”

Mignini then asks -

Q—Well, you go by the window and you hear this cry?
Ans – Yes.
Q – Then you continue to go towards the bathroom, you told me?
Ans – Yes.
Q – Do you open the bathroom window?
Ans – No.
Q – Explain what happened for us.
Ans – I haven’t any shutters on that window, I only have double-glazing so I can look straight out
Q – So you looked out of the bathroom window?
Ans– I didn’t open up because I had all the little succulent plants there for the light.

A little late in her testimony Mignini seeks to clarify her evidence -

Q– So you hear the scream, go to the bathroom, look out the window and you don’t see anything?
Ans – No.
Q – Then you go back to the bedroom?
Ans – Yes.
Q – When is it that you hear the noises you described, and then we will see what they are?
Ans – I hear the noises I described when I was closing the bathroom door, then I heard running, because that steel there [the metal stairs] makes a tremendous noise at night, then when you don’t hear cars going by or such like, I looked out but there was nobody there.
Q – From which way?
Ans – To the left and the right, and there was nobody there.
Q – Then you heard the scuffling?
Ans – The same, in the meantime I heard running on the stairs, from the other direction they were running in the driveway.

Much later Nara is helpfully (perhaps) cross examined by Dalla Vedova on her remark that she has double glazing, as follows -

CDV - How are your windows made?
Ans -  My windows are made of wood. They have double glazing and they have a shutter.
CDV - When you say “they have double glazing” do you mean that every single window has two panes, or are there two windows, one in front of the other?
Ans -  No, two panes in each side and opening in the middle.

Confused? What is she really describing?

Many moons ago Kermit put together a very helpful Powerpoint lambasting the behaviour and claims of Paul Ciolino, the American PI who appeared on CBS rubbishing the suggestion that Nara would have been able to hear anything. It is obviously Ciolino’s disreputable work that is the basis for the claim.

I am going to lift some stills from Kermit’s excellent Powerpoint and add to them some more from a (somewhat infamous) Channel 5 documentary, from which it will be clear that

(a) Nara doesn’t have double glazing, nor shutters, at least not at the back of her property overlooking the cottage. However there are shutters at the front and, for all I know, double glazing there but that is not of concern to us.

(b)  There is little reason to doubt that she would have been able to hear sounds outside quite well.

Let’s start.

Here’s a picture of the back of Nara’s property immediately above the car park.






Here it is again in relation to the cottage






In the first picture Nara’s first floor flat is shown circled. In the second, it is obvious that only the roof of the cottage would be visible from the first floor, as indeed she said in her testimony.

There are two further floors above. The top floor is the one to which Ciolino (and Pater Van Sant) gained access, having tried but failed to interest Nara. Nara in her evidence said that there was an apartment above which she rented out and I suspect that this was the top floor. The top floor undoubtedly had double glazing or double casements.

Below is one of the top floor windows. (We can see Ciolino’s reflection in the glass)






And here he is, standing in front of the same window whilst conducting his experiment with a couple of kids running along the road outside -






As we shall see it really was quite pointless conducting off-the-cuff sound experiments from there with the double casement shut tight

Nara said that her daughter also lived in the building so either the second floor was a separate conversion for her daughter or first and second were shared and the second was where their bedrooms were. That’s actually immaterial as it is the first floor that really interests us.

Here is a close up of the first floor. We can be sure because we can see Nara and the co-presenters of the Channel 5 documentary standing on the balcony.






We can see how large the windows are on either side of the balcony. As to the window on the right it is also apparent that this has been blocked up save as to four panes in the middle so that now there is only that smaller window there.

Let us now look at that window from the inside.






“One went up, one went over there” is Nara explaining to the Italian TV reporter the sounds she heard.

Clearly then she is standing inside her bathroom and the bathroom window looks over the car park. Indeed we can see her succulent plants on the inside window ledge as she stated in her evidence. Also, if we look closely, we can see that her wall is tiled or wall-papered with a tile design befitting a bathroom. Probably that wall is also made of little more than plasterboard.

One thing is quite certain though and that is that the window, which opens in the middle, is not double glazed.

Nara’s understanding however seems to be rather different. To her “double glazing” is (as she said to Dalla Vedova) “two panes in each side and opening in the middle”.

We can also infer that the large window to the left of the balcony belongs to her dining room. What she said, in effect, was that she was traversing the first floor (from left to right) from her dining room to her bathroom (being both on the same side, as she says). She heard the scream in her dining room.

The window there does not appear to be blocked off as it is to the right. Indeed I think we can see full length drapes or net curtains but certainly one would expect a larger window there and again, clearly, it is not double glazed.

So again, why would it be physically impossible for her to have heard a sound, particularly a scream, coming from the cottage?

It couldn’t be because it was too far away. We can see that from the pictures but also here is a handy GoogleMap calculation of the distance from her place to the far side of the cottage.






So that’s, say, 45 metres. Or 49 yards. Not far at all. Thanks to Yummi for bringing that up on pmf.org.

We should also remember that it was the 1st November which is a religious holiday in Italy in remembrance of the dead and therefore background noise was quieter than usual. It was also probably sometime around 11pm and the back of Nara’s property looks out on what is a natural amphitheatre in which noise will echo.

Nara Capezalli in fact came across as a compelling witness to what she heard that night and there is no way at all that it was physically impossible for her not to have heard that scream. Nor the metal stairs (“..makes a tremendous noise at night”….) just off to the right of her property and immediately below it.

On a personal note I was recently driven nuts by a manhole cover that had come loose in the road outside my bedroom window. Cars constantly drove over it and the noise kept me awake. The top floor of the car park would probably also act like a sounding board and the noise made by the stairs may also have come up through the stairwell we see immediately in front of her property. I am not so sure about the sound of gravel on the cottage forecourt being crunched underneath but already I am more than prepared to believe Nara on that score as well. Why not?

Finally, as we await the Cassation Motivation (whenever!) I seem to remember that at least one appeal point was the failure of the lower courts to accede to a defence request for audio tests to be conducted from Nara’s property.

Bearing in mind that Judge Marasca reportedly has stated that the ground for overturning the Nencini convictions was insufficient and contradictory evidence one wonders whether Cassation will say that a test was required, in the absence of which Nara’s testimony can be thrown into a pot along with other evidence somehow deemed “insufficient”?

If they do then watch out for them getting the double glazing issue quite wrong as well.

Posted on 07/25/15 at 09:11 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Amazon Reviews: Are Knox PR’s 1000 Dishonest Paid Reviews Losing Traction?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Amazon reader reviews may or may not dictate how the sales of a book make out.

Sales of the Sollecito and Knox books have been way below expectations despite dozens of glowing reviews - and by the way numerous repeats of the hoaxes and defamations.

At the same time sales of objective books on the facts of the case and the psychologies have been meeting expectations despite the absence of advertising or a paid-for PR campaign.

Here are some of the spontaneous review for the two books Deceit and Dark Maatter by Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson.

By atlantic 1 “atlantic1” on June 3, 2015

This is an exceptionally-well-written, complex (but lucid and fast-paced) account of the murder of Meredith Kercher (a British exchange student) in Perugia, Italy, and the unconvincing behavior and at times multiple stories of the main suspects: Amanda Knox (the American roommate), Raffaele Sollecito (Knox’s Italian boyfriend at the time of the murder), and Rudy Guede (Ivory Coast native adopted by an Italian family, currently the only one serving time in Italy for the murder).

Other characters are prominently featured, along with a lot of background information from reputable sources.

What I really liked about the book is that many links throughout the text (in the Kindle edition that I purchased) send the reader to outside documents (e.g., photographs) that would otherwise take a while to research (warning: some visuals are pretty disturbing, but one always has the option of not clicking on the link).

The book has a fluid style and is absolutely engrossing, I highly recommend it.

By Leigh on June 8, 2015

Nick has done a superb job in ‘Deceit’ of reviewing, combining, comparing, and contrasting vast amounts of information from many different sources on Meredith Kercher’s case. As someone who has followed anything and everything of substance I could find on the case since 2007—I appreciate his massive effort, and certainly agree, some amount of speculation is required. What is especially effective about Nick’s speculations is that they are based on confirmed ‘knowns’ about the case from genuine sources such as investigations, witness testimony, interviews with Meredith’s friends, housemates, and others who knew AK (rarely spell out AK’s name since I hold extreme animus for that wrongly acquitted psychopath!).

While I don’t agree with every speculation of Nick’s—I have many of my own—I do appreciate that he examines what’s real. For everyone trying to follow the case, it’s been difficult to sift through the exhaustive amount of subterfuge, deceit, and duplicity from rabid AK fan club members, a professional ‘damage-control’ PR / media manipulation machine, lazy mainstream US media lapdogs, and AK’s lying family—people and organizations who clearly would stop at nothing to defend their favorite two murderers. The worst of them always show up to deliberately hurl their vile insults and spew hatred at anyone who doesn’t howl about the great Italian conspiracy perpetrated against the murderer AK, or who don’t constantly drool like a fool over AK’s beauty and brilliance. The AK jerks are certainly out in force at trying to bring down this book—they try and destroy anyone who seeks to get the truth out about Meredith’s murder and AK’s direct involvement in her death.

By S. Gleason on June 7, 2015

Thank you for reminding people of the truth Nick. Wonderful book. A breath of fresh air. Please don’t listen to propaganda being posted here in the reviews. Listen to the abundant case evidence against all three. Justice for Meredith and her family.

By M Thomson “Elizabeth” on June 2, 2015

This book is a interesting and fast paced read. Suspicion builds naturally as the author follows the two defendants in the hours before and the murder. Their actions and changing alibis are well documented here. Amanda Knox falsely accused Patrick Lumumba in a very short time just after learning Sollecito said she went out that night. I wonder if the one star reviewers would rather you not know this.

By Margaret Ganong on May 25, 2015

The author has a good grasp of the facts and makes a case that is far more convincing than the two recently and bafflingly acquitted Knox and Sollecito have ever been able to do. Indeed, one of the most compelling reasons to read this book is for its effort to set the written accounts of Knox and Sollecito side by side, revealing the many ways they don’t add up and are at odds with one another.

By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I cannot wait for the next one in the series. There HAD to be more to this murder ... and I am now sure that there was more than one person involved. Poor Meredith ’ s family having to live with this. I just love the narrative that makes Nick’s books SO enjoyable.

By kris arnason on May 26, 2015

Nick van der Leek has written an extremely cohesive narrative about the tragic Meredith Kercher case. The author takes you through what likely happened that horrific night, and why Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito’s stories don’t add up, all the while providing the reader with hundreds and hundreds of hyperlinked images, news reports, and audio clips, etc. that have been consolidated, collected and embedded in this one narrative. Everything sourced, right at your fingertips. A must read for people like me who have followed this case from the beginning and folks just getting interested and want to learn all they can. Thanks Nick! Looking forward to more from you about this case!

By Caroline on July 5, 2015

I bought this book because of the reviews! I’ve never done that before but I’m so intrigued by the almost angry tone to all of these one star reviews. It just makes me wonder if a nerve was hit. Somebody’s hiding something maybe? Anyway, I just have to read it now. Will come back with full review when I’m done.

By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2015

Finally! An honest book of what really happened to Meredith Kercher! Can Nick interview AK & RS on TV in the USA? I am sure he would ask REAL questions!

By Jeff “jeffski” on May 26, 2015

It is a disgrace that Amazon allows these Amanda Knox trolls a platform to spread hate and abuse people simply because they write a review for a book that these people disagree with. Amazon must act on these known frauds/cyber bullies who suppress and insult/abuse people on forums/Comments section and social media.

This book is a excellent read and obviously hits a nerve with Knox’s followers as the negative comments and abuse/insults aimed at author prove. Please look beyond the rent a hate mob and read the book and come to your own conclusion.

By Columbo on May 25, 2015

This is an excellent true crime story with highly accurate and precise detail of how Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede all killed Meredith Kercher. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know the truth of this case in a very revealing and fast page turning account of what really happened in this case.

By Michela on May 30, 2015

Excellent read.

By Maria Chinnapan on May 26, 2015

A great read!, very down to earth appraisal of what may have happened. No nonsense and to the point

By MCD on May 31, 2015

Again this formidable true crime writer has come up trumps with an incredibly well researched interrogation of a crime that continues to baffle the world. The detailed sequence of events is painstakingly pieced together. I had only superficially followed this case when the news initially broke so have been fascinated by this book which has filled in many gaps and highlighted the inconsistencies in the behaviour of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, who said what, who lied about what, etc.

In addition to the bare bones of the case, the author’s classic approach is the use true crime as a melting pot of evil and the extremes of human nature. He asks unsettling questions about human behaviour, herd mentality, apathy and our place in society - a society where a crime like this one can and does take place and despite all the investigation, the waters are still muddied in the deeper pools.

For those who appreciate that truth is stranger than fiction and like to delve deeper into these cases, the author brings it all together for you, with a dollop of enriching ‘food for thought’.

By Truth Seeker on May 26, 2015

It is the behavioural evidence which has always bothered me about this case, and it has always seemed that everything said/done by the ex defendants had to be explained away or justified. The author has cross referenced the two versions written by them in their memorials, and needless to say, there are major discrepancies.

Unless we expose the inconsistencies, then the two will have literally got away with murder. Legally this may be the case, but analysis provided by this book goes some way to keeping the memory of Meredith honoured, and ensuring that there are some still fighting for justice for her. Do buy the book- it has none of the obfuscation and image management that we have been subject to in the past years.

By Ipsos Maati on May 30, 2015

Why is Amanda Knox panicked about this book, and why did she try to have it banned?

Deceit shines light on the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher, and the dishonest effort to free her.

Exonerated does not mean “innocent”.

By elizabeth on May 26, 2015

Deceit is a fascinating read no matter where you stand on the recent verdict. Fast paced but manages to bring a cohesive dialogue to days before and after the murder

By A. Futo “911 coincidence analyst” on May 26, 2015

Well written book by author Nick van der Leek, with all new research and links to original reporting and publicly available information about the murder Of Meredith Kercher.

Is Amanda Knox, the main suspect in the case, guilty of murdering her room mate as many believe, or was she railroaded by the prosecution, as claimed by her friends and family?

The author skilfully navigates the questions of motive, means, and evidence, starting with the premise that this is a case that begins with and is marked by many layers of deceit, as Knox first accuses an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, then must lie and keep on lying to distance herself from the crime she implicates herself with by admitting to her presence at the scene.

Her co-accused, Raffaele Sollecito withdraws then confirm her alibi, and the other person evidence shows was involved in the sexual assault that preceded the murder, Rudy Guede, also tries to distance himself by running away then denying her involvement, then accusing the two of them in a letter to the media.

The author’s hypothesis of what happened is based on a finely rendered psychological evaluation of Amanda Knox. No matter what the final decision will be, this is a case that will be discussed for many years to come. I look forward to his next book of the series.

By Leigh on June 25, 2015

After more than 7 years of following Meredith Kercher’s murder case closely as the saga has wound through the arcane Italian justice system, I am completely convinced that AK & RS are her two other murderers who have ultimately escaped justice. Their final acquittal has not changed anything for me. Yet I’ve been asked by others who have more than a slight interest as to why is it I’m so certain, what’s your 3-minute elevator speech? Well, an elevator speech doesn’t exist, but in ‘Dark Matter’ and its prequel, ‘Deceit’ and I hope, in more follow-up e-books on this case, a reader can get as close as possible to a comprehensive full-view, what-happened, tell-me-everything explanation without having to slog through over 1,000 pages of trial documents translated from original Italian and endless arguments from two deeply entrenched opposing sides. Trying to read through it all could easily take most of an interested person’s discretionary time for a lengthy period of their lives. And who needs that, right?

What’s special about ‘Dark Matter’ is how easy it is to read, how well the authors guide readers through crucial evidence while using a technique borrowed from Socrates—keep asking yourself common sense questions as you’re reading. ‘Dark Matter’ examines the early case from a big picture view—the most prominent evidence, the investigation, what happened in days before, and after Meredith’s murder, and what was the behavior like of those near Meredith? Then go further, examine what AK & RS wrote in their own books about the murder. Do they agree with each other or give themselves away by not agreeing in crucial areas? ‘Dark Matter’ creates these scenes while assisting readers in finding their own answers.

‘Dark Matter’ examines what is important to know, then asks readers to consider: ‘does it make sense?’ or ‘were these actions meant to deceive and lead investigators astray?’ ‘is there an innocent explanation?’ ‘does unusual behavior indicate guilt, youthful carelessness, or something else?’ ‘Dark Matter’ lays out salient evidence found during investigations, and continues to encourage readers to question its importance: ‘where does this evidence naturally lead?’ ‘can we tie the evidence and the behavior together to draw conclusions, and how do we do that?’

‘Dark Matter’ is exactly how I’d want someone to guide me through an enormous case if didn’t know much about it. Don’t tell me what to think, don’t try to persuade me towards your view—show me what is important to know—and I’ll decide for myself; in this, both authors excel.

One area where I completely disagree with the authors is their, what appears to be, complete acceptance of nonsense created by AK’s professional Seattle-based propaganda machine and American author Douglas Preston—these two parties had their own reasons to intentionally malign and destroy Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Their agendas were obvious to truth seekers—one sought to do ‘damage control and create a villain to take attention away from AK,’ the other, to leverage the murder to create interest in his own book.

Unfortunately this propaganda proved to be extremely effective, and was picked up by most US media outlets that then ran with the deception. Those who know the case from the pro-justice side are keenly aware of how this vicious, deceitful campaign against the prosecutor convinced tens of millions of Americans AK was an innocent who was framed. I hope the authors make an effort to learn how completely they have been deceived and correct these mistakes in future books in this series.

By JJ on July 3, 2005

Great book!! Highly recommended

By Sarah Breen on June 30, 2015

Research and writing are top notch! True investigative journalism into this controversial subject.

By Nicole church on June 27, 2015

I loved your book-you guys definitely did your research and systematically take the reader though some of the most damning evidence in this case. I was impressed at how you tied it all in with the theme of dark matter- very well done and thought provoking.

No need to apologize for your narrative;yes there are some f bombs but it made me respect you more for being authentic and your sarcasm is justified when it comes to this case. Like you both said it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. You do a great job calling bulls*** on both murderers using example after example from their own words(in court,interviews,diaries,etc)

I am sure this book has the murderers supporters all in a tizzy- it is easy to spot their attempts to sabotage your deservedly 5 star reviews with their 1 stars. Just look for lots of exclamation points and words in all caps then move right along to the honest reviews that will really help you decide if this book is worth reading- and it certainly is.

Looking forward to your next book and thank you for being the stars that shine light on the truth smile

By Columbo on June 26, 2015

Another really great book by Lisa Wilson and Nick van der Leek. In this easy to read and compelling book the key events, character aspects of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede and the most significant evidence against them are all objectively weighed and analyzed. Additionally, in a very balanced view, the case for Amanda Knox as promoted by her supporters is also reviewed so readers can make up their own minds. But there is only one conclusion: all three killers murdered Meredith Kercher (RIP). I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know even more about this case.

By kris arnason on July 5, 2015

Dark Matter is a must read for everyone wanting to know more about the murder of Meredith Kercher. Those who believed in the lies & cover up of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s multi million dollar PR campaigns will have their eyes opened after reading this excellent book.

By JJ “jj0388” on July 3, 2015

great book!! highly recommended

By A. Futo “911 coincidence analyst”
I read many crime books, and this is one of the really good ones on the case. Amanda Knox’s strange behavior and lies, accusing Patrick Lumumba, her relationship with Meredith, all reflected in the “Dark Matter” of her psychology.

She simply is not very believable in her book, and her media appearances have been disasters which is why she’s withdrawn in hiding. Her father hired a PR firm to manage her image, and in the process influenced many sad, gullible people who still try to negate any criticism. Even though Amanda Knox has ‘won’ her case, why are they still posting nonsensical, abusive reviews of a book they never read?

One example, but this is important to me. Her father said that Meredith gained advanced three levels in karate and would not have gone without a struggle. A testimony to her character, but a reviewer writes “that’s an orange belt, beginner’s level”. Sorry, but the people who loved her say she would have fought to the end. So why the lack of defensive wounds, if she was being restrained by only one person?

In the struggle, she managed to injure Amanda Knox, who left her blood behind in the crime scene. (A bloody nose, ear stud pulled out? Left her lamp behind in the room to assist cleaning?) She was photographed with a scrape on her neck, and the police photograph taken on arrest shows the long scratch which she only partially covered with makeup on November 02. Her adoring fans call that a “hickey”, lol. Perhaps Lisa Wilson can collect these reviews as insight into their “Dark Matter” as well?

By GH2006 on June 22, 2015

This book is a perceptive analysis of the evidence in the murder case of Meredith Kercher. Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson take you through the court documents, statements made by the suspects as well as the DNA evidence among other things, which reveal the many lies and obfuscations by the public relations firm hired by the defendants as well as the ob-knox-ious murder-supporters who attack anyone who writes about the truth of this crime. (Shown by the flock of 1 star comments with long venomous attacks by haters who haven’t even read the book.)

Written with the same interesting, insightful, and at times entertaining way van der Leek and Wilson hook the reader in from beginning to end. I couldn’t pull myself away from this book that Nick generously gifted to me because this is not about making a profit for them but in getting the truth out there! (In stark contrast to the defendants who made millions selling their version of the crime.) Oh! And this book also shines a light on the way Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito obscure the truth in their own books. That was very interesting as well! I also enjoyed the first book DECEIT and looking forward to the next book! TY

By Bibliophile on June 21, 2015

Awesome humdinger of a book. This book will tell you the truth!

Posted on 07/16/15 at 06:36 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, July 10, 2015

The Milestone Book By Dr Andrew Hodges On Knox’s Driving Psychology “As Done Unto You” #1

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Who Put Knox’s Psychology Front And Center?

In fact Amanda Knox herself did.

Her turbulent history goes way back. She is on officlal record as having had a difficult and possibly damaging early childhood.  She herself describes her oddball faux-lesbian status at her high school, not of her own doing.  She has been referred to as brash, sharp-elbowed, a drug-using man-eater and risk-taker at the University of Washington.

Suggestive incidents she herself describes (when she is not disavowing them) on her way to Perugia only added to this.

At most, one in 100 American students arrive in Perugia with (1) no formal program via their university back home, and thus no supervision, (2) no enrollment in the University of Perugia - merely enrollment in a glorified language school, which demands less than 10 hours a week of study, (3) no European work permit, no financial grant, and few financial savings; and (4) an assured drug supply. But Amanda Knox was indeed one in 100.

Given her burn rate, her savings would have run out early in 2008. Her drug-supply arrangement began on the train, even before she arrived in Perugia. Around Perugia Knox was soon isolating herself quite relentlessly. With the drug taking and her choices of men to entice and all the people she ticked off, she showed early signs of a pending trainwreck. One of the very few who tried to give her comfort was in fact poor well-meaning Meredith.

Note Knox’s trajectory from the day after Meredith’s murder, where she was reported to stink of cat urine (an indicator of recent cocaine or crystal meth use) after claiming she had showered just 2 hours earlier, through her erratic highs and lows prior to her arrest, to her screaming fits and head-hitting at the central police station, to her endemic feuding with Sollecito, right through 2008 to her trial.






At the Massei trial in 2009 Knox herself put on a front as endlessly daffy - as epitomized in the Beatles T-shirt she wore, and her first interjection to the court, which was about her Bunny vibrator.

That might have worked as an “I am not all there” defense (possibly arrived at between the defense team and the PR scheme) but two things at trial totally destroyed prospects of that.

  • Her strident, sarcastic, callous two-day stint on the witness stand, which was seen on live Italian TV and reported as a disaster for her in Italian eyes here and here.

  • The closed court reconstruction of the exceptionally barbaric pack attack by three assailants, which took Italy’s best crimescene analysts a whole day to present and which made some in the court cry or feel ill; reflected later in a 15-minute video and in the prosecution’s summations. Throughout all of that, Knox herself and her hapless defenses had zero comeback and to this day have still offered no alternative.

From 2007 through late 2011 a number of further hard-to-explain-as-normal episodes took place in Capanne prison. Knox’s paranoid book Waiting To Be Heard says that black is white, down is up, she alone is normal, and everyone around her intends bad.

We have reported frequently and very fairly on all of this, with half a dozen psychologists posting, most especially SeekingUnderstanding, who has long argued Knox is in decline and years overdue for treatment (see especially the post here and post here and post here) surfacing essentially similar insights. That Knox has a lot bottled up and that she cannot stop signalling guilt is a recurring theme of our past Psychology posts here.

Those Americans and Brits who hopped on the PR-driven bandwagon for Knox on the psychology dimension almost all arrived several years after the PR campaign started its Orwellian mission.

Without a single exception ALL of them crash on the details. They leave enormous amounts out, and what they dont leave out is more often wrong than on-target.  One criminal psychologist Dr Saul Kassin was shown to be so seriously off-base that he has disappeared himself. 

The most factually inaccurate and psychologically badly-grounded takes on Knox and her defensive moves have come from John Douglas and others in the fading first generation of “ex FBI profilers”. John Douglas seemingly learned nothing from Kassin’s crash and burn - he repeats the extremely inaccurate and defamatory Kassin depictions largely verbatim. More about the bamboozled “ex FBI profilers” will follow later in this series. 





2. Introducing The Analysis Of Dr Andrew Hodges

Dr Hodges is at the forefront of his vital field now. He is impressively qualified, and widely networked in the crime-fighting community. He has a successful publishing track-record.

He describes his methods in full in his book subtitled The Secret Confession Of Amanda Knox and elsewhere. He arrives at a fair and and extremely detailed and not unkind analyses of both the presumed perp and those hangers-on who surround them.

Dr Hodges himself has suggested to TJMK that, as if he were at one of his presentations (he has presented, among other venues, at FBI Quantico), he should first let others with knowledge of the field speak about the book and about himself.

Accordingly, the rest of this first post consists of some reviews. Future posts in the series will include some book excerpts and some explanations of why various professionals who should have known better have simply misread Knox, John Douglas included.

Review In New York Crime Examiner

By Liz Houle
NY Crime Examiner

Dr. Andrew G. Hodges proves that Amanda Knox is guilty in his new book

July 8, 20157:06 PM MST

The police are investigating the murder of a young woman. They bring three people in for questioning, two males and one female. All claim to be innocent. After hours of questioning the suspects are released. The female goes home and types into the wee hours of the morning. She creates a spontaneous five page email alibi. She writes that she has to “get this off my chest.” She sends it off to approximately 25 people. Her email is addressed to “everyone” and describes her “account” of the last time she saw the murder victim. She writes that as she was “fumbling around the kitchen” when the victim appeared with “blood dripping down her chin.” Afterwards she and her boyfriend did a lot of mopping and cleaning up because they “spilled a lot of water on the floor. “

Later an autopsy would reveal that the murder victim sustained multiple cuts and bruises to her face and neck area by a kitchen knife. As the victim lay dying, a pool of blood spread out on the floor. The blood had been cleaned up afterwards, mopped up, by the homicidal maniacs who had killed her.

A practicing psychotherapist and nationally recognized forensic profiler named Andrew Hodges M.D, has written a new book, As Done Unto You, which decodes the hidden messages in the verbal and written statements of the murder suspects in the Meredith Kercher murder case. Dr. Hodges uses a “cutting-edge forensic profiling technique of thoughtprint decoding by accessing the deeper intelligence (unconscious mind) of suspects in criminal investigations.”

He writes on his website, ”I have learned that the human mind works simultaneously on two levels—consciously and unconsciously. The discovery of an unconscious super intelligence [super-intel] reveals that it reads situations in the blink of an eye and invariably tells the complete truth.”

In As Done Unto You he starts with a brief introduction to his methodologies followed by a hypothetical version of events based on the evidence and his findings. He reveals what unfolded the night Meredith Kercher was gang raped and slaughtered in her bedroom. His narration is graphic and has the ring of truth. Hodge’s comprehensive knowledge of this case including some lesser known facts renders his retelling as one of the most profound to date.

We know the who, what, where, when, how of Meredith’s murder so all that is left is the why, and this is what Dr. Hodges brilliantly addresses in his book. Investigators scrambled to find a motive or an immediate trigger(s) provoking Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede to rape and stab Meredith Kercher to death. Prosecutors debated over whether it was it a fight over Amanda Knox’s slovenly habits, indiscriminate sex life, or was it a robbery gone wrong? Hodges answers this riddle unequivocally in his book based on the murder suspects own statements.

Hodges explains, “Unquestionably there would have been two types of motives. Immediate trigger motives and far deeper time-bomb motives which caused such distorted thinking consciously.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 740-741). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.) There is most likely a list of provocations resulting from the quickly deteriorating relationship between Amanda and Meredith which was witnessed by many. Ultimately it appears that it was Meredith’s rejection of Knox on October 31st that set things off.

On Halloween night in 2007, Knox in her cat costume walked aimlessly around Perugia for hours - alone. She kept texting Meredith over and over to try and meet up with her. Meredith was having fun, partying with her friends and ignored Knox’s persistent texts. This rejection and abandonment on top of a series of earlier clashes with her roommate, unleashed the beast in Amanda - the repressed rage stemming from her early life traumas.

As Hodges explains, “Criminals are typically controlled by deeply buried unconscious emotional trauma which they re-enact on their victims. It’s well-documented that abuse victims often themselves become abusers.”

After the crime is relived in the first two chapters, the author then delves deeply into the inner world of the murderers unconscious. Analyzing their words, Hodges takes the reader through all of the reasons Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy found each other, their shared emotional baggage. All three had upheavals in their early life which brought them together and the toxic combination exploded into a group assault that went too far.

Hodges includes an intriguing and insightful description of the deeper meanings within photographs taken in the months leading up to the crime. This is followed by a methodical and intense study of the murder suspects writing in the rest of the book. In particular he focuses on Amanda Knox’s writing.

Dr. Hodges’s book is dense and full of observations which reveal much more than any other book about this case. Some of the insights that he discovers through thoughtprints include:

  • “ . . . [Knox] suggests they initially entered Meredith’s bedroom “together,” like storm troopers, to carry out maximum humiliation. This never started out as a one-on-one catfight.”(Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 243). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • “Amanda also implies . . .that she and Raffael both penetrated Meredith— as did Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found inside her. It was a gang assault. “Came out” suggests lesbian activity on Amanda’s part. In a later writing, Amanda will recall how people thought she was a lesbian in high school.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 3630-3633). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • “[Knox’s] super-intel continues to highlight motives – first the immediate trigger motives. Evidence clearly indicates Amanda had significant conflicts with Meredith, and she outright lied about those disagreements. Meredith’s parents, friends and roommates, however, knew about them.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Location 3132). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • Amanda certainly knew her parents were married on February 21, 1987, with her mother five months pregnant before Amanda’s birth on July 9. 1987. That meant she was conceived around October 9, 1986. Her utterly brilliant super-intel would have figured out in a heartbeat that it was sometime in November 1986 when they considered the abortion. That month would have had special significance to her and evoked an enormous unconscious anniversary reaction marking her near-death.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Location 4747). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

Over and over again, Dr. Hodges uncovers the distressing realities surrounding that night. Hodges work is truly groundbreaking. As if all of this weren’t enough, in the final chapters he includes the super-intel study of one of Knox’s most prominent supporters, Nina Burleigh, uncovering what she says in between the lines of her own writing.

As Done Unto You is a fascinating, intense and thought provoking look at the truth as only a psychiatrist and FBI profiler with a firm understanding of the Super Intelligence technique could reveal.

Thoughtprint decoding has proven to be an invaluable tool in criminal investigations. Similar to when DNA was first introduced, some people may be circumspect about it however in time it will prove to become critical in solving cases like the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Unfortunately, the Meredith Kercher murder case has been closed and due to the inability of the Italian legal system to confidently identify the multiple attackers, two of the three suspects have been acquitted. Hopefully Dr. Hodges thoughtprints become a part of future murder investigations like this one so that victims families get the closure and justice they deserve.

2. Amazon Reviews By Actual Readers

There are some PR-inspired reviews on Amazon which are so angry and so badly grounded that there is no way those reviewers had read the book. These are some appreciative reviews by those who did actually read it.

From a noted forensic psychiatrist and author (NOT funded by Knox & co.)

By malcontent on July 8, 2015

The “Knoxies” don’t want you to read this…but shouldn’t you make up your own mind? Written by noted forensic psychiatrist and author, this book provides unique insight into the minds of Meredith Kercher’s killers (note: plural). A fine analysis. Fascinating and well done!

Journalist Amanda Knox buries the lead in her own story: “I Confess - I Murdered Meredith!”

By Leigh on July 8, 2015

For those following Meredith Kercher’s murder saga for over seven years, the revelations from Dr. Hodges are not startling. Many of us have been able to read through the lines to find lies and see confessions—early on picking up on the importance of the Nov. 4th, 2007 middle-of-the-night email home to family and friends. I’m grateful to whichever person saw the truth buried there and decided to turn the email over to Perugian Police. Dr. Hodges shows in a very detailed manner exactly how AK’s confesses to her crime. AK selected the victim, manipulated co-conspirators in a pack attack, and struck the fatal knife stab herself. Readers keep in mind, AK is not reporting what actually happened in her many communications efforts, she’s creating a narrative—a story she’s telling in order to extricate herself from blame while confessing through ‘thoughtprints’ which once decoded, show how her unconscious mind is working below the surface.

Following Meredith’s murder, AK couldn’t stop talking, nor stop herself from making insensitive remarks, writing and writing, giving statements, writing ‘memorials’ to police, writing a prison diary, also letters, many letters. And following her 2011 release, doing interviews, writing a book, creating a web site, and positioning herself as wrongfully convicted. There was an abundance of materials for Dr. Hodges to examine. AK didn’t leave breadcrumbs, she left an entire bakery of evidence all over the place within her own communications, while maintaining consciously she was an innocent being persecuted by corrupt Italians.

Dr. Hodges offers several theories as to how AK may have suffered deep psychological wounds in her earliest life and childhood which could have contributed to AK’s instigation of violence against Meredith. According to Hodges, AK followed a ‘reverse golden rule’ so typical of wounded people—“Do unto others as was done unto you.” Throughout ‘As Done…,’ Hodges draws upon words used by AK in her communications after the murder to explain how AK’s deep pain contributed to AK’s decision to commit murder. Location 5827: “Amanda clearly describes the deep entitlement that often drives victims of abuse.”

Dr. Hodges is an optimist, and clearly in the ‘forgiveness business,’ much as Italian prison priest Father Saulo, Hodges believes AK is capable of confession, and desires via her super-intelligence, to confess. Location 6149: “The inescapable conclusion: she (AK) must confess. Her deeper moral compass will prevail.”

However, after watching the AK show for over seven years, I disagree that AK will ever be capable of confessing without a huge financial payoff to her after all legal proceedings are concluded. Self-atonement is meaningless to a narcissistic psychopath like AK—she doesn’t feel guilt—she feels fear of being caught, being found out, what other people think of her. Hodges wants AK to have a soul, but I think she’s empty—a vampire / zombie hybrid—desires to do harm and feels nothing afterwards. In fact, I think AK has not shown a desire to confess in her communications because of guilt, she wants to gloat, she’s proud of her murder, she wants to brag to everyone how she won in her battle with Meredith.

Appreciate how courageously Hodges takes on the gang of retired FBI agents who have voluntarily served among AK’s ‘White Knights.’ Hodges does an effective job at pointing out their errors, especially “the superficial attempts” of John E. Douglas, the retired expert profiler. Location 6244: “He ignores far greater forensic evidence—verbal communications in the forensic documents produced by all 3 ...—which he is not trained to decode.” Also found it interesting Hodges calls attention to an article by Malcolm Gladwell from The New Yorker magazine, Nov. 12, 2007, entitled ‘Dangerous Minds’ that comprehensively highlights the flaws in profiling methodology, still available online as of 7/8/‘15. Very interesting!!!

Dr. Hodges also takes on the lazy American media for spreading deception about AK for years and examines one reporter / book author’s lies and her inability to see, or decision to NOT see below the surface—that one is Nina Burleigh. Burleigh wrote a point-of-view fiction that sold well as non-fiction, that’s why we true justice seekers find her particularly disgusting. Based on our research during Burleigh’s early career as a reporter, Burleigh was eager to gain valuable cooperation and became a rather opportunistic and promiscuous leg-spreader—clearly she saw a kindred spirit in AK. Today, Burleigh routinely yells and rails against female sexual violence, real or imagined—maybe Burleigh’s super-intelligence at work in her own personal narrative? My take, not Dr. Hodges who sees a different set of wounds displayed by Burleigh.

‘As Done Unto You’ is a fascinating insight into the dangerous, criminal mind of a murderer—the more they deny, they more details they give away!

Don’t listen to those “one star” reviews, they’re all ...

By Aki on July 3, 2015

Don’t listen to those “one star” reviews, they’r all written by PR of the Knox entourage. The book is very interesting. Independently from some details that some may find subjective and enphatic on the part of the author, it’s basically a valuable and consistent analysis; deserves to be read, much more than any other recent book on the case.

Great Book!

By Columboon July 1, 2015

This a great book that I highly recommend for anyone following this ongoing case. And Amanda Knox did, in fact, confess to being at the crime scene when it happened when she said “I was there. I heard Meredith screaming.” Right there that is enough guilt for at least a conviction of accessory to murder. Amanda Knox should be doing life without parole right now and may still be sent to prison after the ludicrous acquittal is overturned in Italy. Following that her extradition will be expedited with two of her accomplices already in prison.

Among these readers are many who are driven by a great humanitarian interest

By Student Forever on June 29, 2015

The recent Amanda Knox case has taken on a life of its own. The task at hand facing the Italian court: who IS responsible for the brutal murder of British coed, Meredith Kercher studying abroad in Perugia, Italy? Kercher’s roommate and fellow student, Amanda Knox was clearly the centerpiece of this macabre drama; and still is! It appears that the final ‘not guilty’ verdict of the Italian Supreme Court has done little to quell the verdict rendered by much of the global public that has by compulsion joined the fray.

Many websites devoted to either her guilt or innocence have launched and staunchly attempted to prove their point of view. Book stores and magazine stands have provided a never-ending flow of information and commentary to inform both their casual as well as their more fervent true crime readers.

Among these readers are many who are driven by a great humanitarian interest. That is, those whose heart aches for the pain Meredith’s family have suffered through all the tragic ordeal, and still are left with the crushing question, “Who took the life of our precious Meredith, and WHY?!?” The sentence for this family is “life.”

Missing from the judicial pursuit of culpability has been the testimony of one very important witness: the unseen subconscious mind; the super intelligence of each person involved, especially that of Amanda Knox! This is the infamous 90% of the mind that we do not use, the all-seeing witness that processes and catalogs all stimuli, and which, by no surprise, becomes the most reliable witness for every aspect of this mystery.

The reason this testimony has not been queried to date is because the judicial system, both here and abroad, has not yet discovered the integrity and veracity of the source, and consequently does not look to it as star testimony. They don’t know this “deep throat” witness exists! Who can we approach to get the witness to the stand, and who can evoke the testimony? That is what psychiatrist Andrew G. Hodges brings to the table as a forensic profiler. He demonstrates how to listen to the testimony of the subconscious, revealing “an x ray of the deeper mind of Knox.” In this book, he shows us how this “expert witness” testifies on behalf of Meredith Kercher. She subconsciously drops bread crumbs as it were, in plain sight and sound of the trained de-coder. As her super intelligence gushes the truth, not yielding to the predictable efforts of one trying in vain to maintain a false narrative, the veil of the story is finally lifted.

As Hodges looks directly at the writings of Knox, her own testimony contained therein, it becomes clear to his uniquely trained forensic “eye” that Knox, in her own words, is the one responsible for Kercher’s gruesome death, and she is subconsciously wanting the truth to be told.

Hodges’ book is certainly about Meredith Kercher’s murder, but for me it was also a textbook of what one should know about the super intelligence we all have, and how profoundly it knows who we are.

Amanda: a good girl being framed?

By An Amazon Customer on June 29, 2015

Beginning in 2007 when we first heard news reports of murder charges lodged against American college student Amanda Knox in Italy, many thought she was a good girl being framed by anti-American Italian authorities and the equally anti-American European media.

However, once you learn the gory and often grisly details of the case, which are fairly presented in Dr. Hodges’ excellent book of analysis, you begin to question the party line of Amanda’s supporters, who still maintain her innocence despite the fact that the Italian courts have twice found her guilty of murder in separate trials. Yes, she has been cleared most recently by the Italian Supreme Court in the ping-pong game of Italian justice, which is still not completely over (the Jurists are reserving a slander-against-the-Court charge). But one still wonders what exactly happened when British college student Meredith Kercher had her throat fatally slashed in what looked to be a sex game gone bad—very bad.

Perhaps more than *what* happened, we wonder *why* someone like Amanda would be motivated to participate in so vicious a murder of her roommate, even if that act was fueled by alcohol, sexual tension, and/or drugs in the heat of the moment? Here is where Dr. Hodges, with his extensive experience in creating forensic profiles of serial killers, comes to our aid, using his proven method of linguistic “thoughtprint decoding” to ferret out Amanda’s deeper motivations, hidden in her unconscious mind. Dr. Hodges has worked on several high-profile murder cases, using his same well-established method, including the cases of O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, Natalee Hollaway. Casey Anthony, and the BTK serial killer.

Hodges explains how the killer inevitably leaves clues about his guilt in his/her actual words, and how to recognize and interpret these clues; Hodges’ method, though at times complex, is fascinating and understandable if you recognize that we do have an unconscious mind. This part of our mind Dr. Hodges calls “the super-intelligence,” which tries to get the truth out any way it can, while the conscious mind of the guilty person tries to spin the clues to exonerate itself (this is why the clues are partially hidden by the words, stories, images and outright denials the conscious mind uses in its attempt to obscure the ugly truth of guilt).

This book will fascinate you if you are willing to look beyond the surface facts and begin to understand the deeper motives of a killer.

Cutting Edge Science, Metaphysically Profound

By Pieder Beelion June 30, 2015

“There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails” C. S. Lewis

Yes. The conscience is hard on all of mankind, including Amanda. And so we must, even if subconsciously, come clean.

As Done Unto You is a shining example modeling how Christians should “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

The tone of the entire book is a blend of sobriety, truth and compassion.

I had previously written a review of Hodges’ book on Obama at Tea Party Nation: http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/book-review-the-obama-confession-by-dr-andrew-hodges-m-d

I salute the courage, vision, boldness and creativity of Dr. Hodges to produce work and research of this nature.

Dr. Hodges’ work holds out the possibility of uniting a fractured culture into a unified people upheld by a great consensus understanding of our unalienable rights.

Dr. Hodges is full of compassion toward Amanda in all her stages of life. This is a book about compassion and deliverance, not only for Amanda, for the individuals who read this book to understand the moral drama around which their own psyche aligns.

Whereas Physics routinely can perform near instantaneous calculations on dumb unconscious systems that are self-consistent to better than one part in 10^13 or more, Dr. Hodges’ psycholinguistics does not have the same analytical foundation and so ones requires much more time to perform his thoughtprint analysis.

Nonetheless I view Dr. Hodges’ work as breakthrough advancement in science and as one of the most exciting areas in research being performed in science. Science has been spending hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars on space programs and high energy physics which, after the hardware and software tested, points to a philosophical or even a theological quest,

Dr. Hodges’ work subtly invites the thought, “Maybe we didn’t need to spend all that taxpayer money.” Maybe the answers to who we are and the nature of our world are more profoundly found—not in a vacuum chamber decorated with sensitive detectors or in a space station telescope—but in the mind of each one of us.

The postscript is genius: It shows that Hodges is well-read and running circles around the opposition to the Knox-is-guilty thesis. It uses the opposition’s words against them and demonstrates the practicality of Dr. Hodges’ technology.

Finally the postscript is redemptive toward an opposing author, Nina Burleigh. It is a gift of tremendous value to her and something powerful for the reader to behold.  This is the book AmandaKnox does not want you to ...

A positive review

By Ipsos Maation June 30, 2015

This is the book AmandaKnox does not want you to read. I found it fascinating because it explores the possible subconscious tells connecting Amanda Knox to the murder of Meredith Kercher. Provocative and insightful.. Thank you, Dr. Hodges

 

Posted on 07/10/15 at 09:19 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Our Conclusions In “Deceit” & “Dark Matter” And How Our Journey Took Us To Them

Posted by Nick van der Leek





Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

One of the tremendously rewarding experiences we [my co-author Lisa Wilson and I] have as authors is our research forces us to set up camp around questions.  We spend time: mornings, afternoons, days, weeks, even months asking questions and pursuing answers.  The amazing thing when it comes to True Crime, especially popular crime, is those answers are out there. One merely needs to go out and make the effort to look for them. And keeping looking.  Seek and we do find!

What makes our narratives distinctive, I think, is that Lisa Wilson and I more often than not work as a team. How many other narratives have two authors, working from opposite sides of the Atlantic?  While Lisa provides a US perspective as a juror and a True Crime buff, I am more interested in the intuitive subtleties that underlie these cases.  The psychology, the economics, the motives. Human behaviour is fascinating, especially when it drives people to the extreme. I’m also intrigued by what these intuitions reveals about us, and society.

I wasn’t always into True Crime, in fact like Ann Rule I sort of fell into it by accident.  While Rule worked with Ted Bundy, I was facebook friends with the model Oscar Pistorius shot dead in his bathroom.  I didn’t intend to write a novel, I simply started asking questions, and then penned a 12 000 word magazine article [intended as a 4 part series].  That narrative eventually became my first bestseller.






Although I studied law and economics, I left the corporate environment to freelance fulltime as a photographer and writer. My great grandfather was a famous South African artist, and my brother and aunt are also both well regarded artists [and yes, freelancers] in their own rights too.  I guess there is something restless in my blood that makes we want to dig beneath the surface, to see expanded perspectives than what the media serves us.

I need to not only explore the world beyond my door, but represent it to myself and others in a constructive and meaningful way. I feel passionate about meaning above all, and it’s gratifying to find so much in so grim a setting where someone has lost their life.  When we honour them, when we remember them honestly, something unexpected happens: we also set ourselves straight, we also get ourselves [and society to some extent] back on track.

In terms of the Amanda Knox case, I stepped into the bullring for the first time in April this year.  I knew virtually nothing about the case other than it had been newsworthy around the world.  I knew ‘something’ had happened in Italy, and that Amanda Knox was somehow involved [or not] because she was a housemate of a murdered British girl [also a student].  Before I started studying the case I had no bias either way – I didn’t know whether she was guilty or not.  Based on the little media that came my way, there seemed to me to be equal parts bias that she was innocent and…suspicion.

As soon as I started examining the case, literally within a few minutes, my interest was aroused.  It was along the lines of: she’s hiding something.  It was also along the lines that I thought Amanda might be involved in some way, complicit in some way, but probably not involved in the actual murder.  How could she? Why would she?

Again, it is easy to ask these questions and then walk away from them without investing time in their answers. And when they do come they’re…well…stupefying.






While Lisa travelled to Italy to investigate this case first-hand, I started working behind-the-scenes on a narrative Lisa and I designed a framework for called DOUBT.  The plan was that Lisa would return and then we would work on the narrative together.  I got so caught up in my own research I started on the narrative and by the time Lisa returned from Italy DOUBT was done.  Interestingly, Lisa still wasn’t convinced of Amanda’s guilt when she got back, and we had one or two heated Skype calls while Lisa was still in Italy, where Lisa’s position was set to the default setting of most outsiders to the Amanda Knox case: “but there was no DNA.”

A lie repeated often enough eventually becomes if not the truth, then a kind of truism, doesn’t it? A truism isn’t the truth, it’s a platitude. It’s something you say to get rid of enquiring minds.

No DNA? Well, of course there is – at least five instances of it, mixed with Meredith’s blood.  What’s perhaps more bizarre, for example, is the lack of Amanda’s fingerprints in her own home.  A single print? How many of us could say the same about fingerprints in our own homes?  Our computers, door handles, kitchen areas ought to be splattered with prints.  Coming back to DNA, not only is Amanda’s DNA present, but so is Raffaele’s in Meredith’s bloody bedroom.

What is the chance that Raffaele was at the villa, in Meredith’s room, but not Amanda?  What was he doing there if Amanda wasn’t with him? And is it any surprise that Meredith’s bra, cut with a knife after the murder also had Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp? This is a guy who had a knife fetish, and who was carrying a knife at the time of his arrest?

In DOUBT [which was banned at first by strident Pro Knoxers and then resurrected as DECEIT] I identified 28 Red Flags.  These were singular signals that seem to show patterns of inconsistency.  Things just didn’t add up.  Indeed Amanda did seem to be [and still is?] hiding something.  In DARK MATTER Lisa and I joined forces. We brought a binocular lazer-like narrative focus to the four days of intense police investigation following the discovery of Kercher’s body at midday November 2nd, 2007.

In DARK MATTER we identified an additional 100 plus Red Flags [we distinguished these from the first 28 by calling them ‘Black Asterisks’].  In addition to these we listed several other Highly Suspicious Events amongst other increasingly odd behaviours – not only from Amanda, but Raffaele as well. It is when we pool all of these clues together that a picture begins to emerge.  Patterns emerge.  And suddenly the mystery becomes…less mysterious.

If my initial ‘gut feel’ was that Amanda was simply ‘hiding something’, by the end of DECEIT there was little doubt that there was a lot more going on than that.  In fact, I’ve suggested to Lisa that based on forensic evidence alone [if one threw away all the circumstantial evidence], Amanda would still a have a major case to answer to.  Conversely, if one took the entirety of circumstantial evidence, including the on-again-off-again alibi, and simultaneously threw out [ie ignored] the totality of forensic evidence, Amanda would still have a major case to answer to.  That’s my opinion.  Lisa’s too, now that she’s gone beneath the surface of this case herself.

The irony is this case is so large, so convoluted, so filled with spin and counterspin, that it is easy to get lost in the details. As we see so often in court cases, it is not a lack of evidence that is a problem, it is the volume of it that gets disconcerting, and frequently confusing.  Confusion and doubt [and ‘reasonable doubt’] go hand in hand.  Of course being confused by a lot of information is not the same as uncertainty based on a lack of evidence, or based on ambiguous evidence. The evidence isn’t ambiguous.

As such it is Lisa’s and my mission to demystify the eight years culminating in Amanda’s and Raffaele’s ultimate acquittal.  Our narratives, especially the first two or three in the series are probably better suited to newbies [people like us].  In THE IVORIAN, and the many narratives to come after that, Lisa and I expect to be as well versed as some folks on forums and resources like the incredibly valuable True Justice.org.

Before wrapping up, I’d like to share a final insight based on our experience writing another true crime series.  It may seem like Amanda Knox, Jodi Arias and Oscar Pistorius are three distinct individuals, with nothing in common.  But when we look closer we don’t simply see matches in certain defense schemes, we see entire patterns of conduct [including motive] overlapping, and doing so perfectly.

In South Africa we have a similar situation where the media profit out of stories on Oscar Pistorius.  They are reluctant to declare him guilty as that would be slaying a potential ‘cash cow’, and with book deals hanging in the balance [an acquittal is literally worth millions], the media are hedging their bets.

As a person involved in the media I am appalled at this, hence our eight narratives on Oscar, two detailing his motive and the method of what we speculate was premeditated murder.  In terms of Amanda Knox, we suspect a similar game play between the media and Knox.  Both seem to be involved in a kind of PR waltz which both stand to benefit from, if they can dance consistently to their own music.






It was once said of Lance Armstrong that one shouldn’t make Lance Armstrong angry.  Anger is what motivates Lance to win.  And then the punch line: ‘Beating Lance makes him angry.’  Lisa and I have been astonished at the level of organisation and aggressive militancy [and dirty tricks] employed by Amanda’s supporters.  If this was intended to dissuade us from writing, these folks couldn’t be more wrong.

We are not out to make money, Lisa and I, although we care that our narratives resonate and are successful.  What we really care about is justice.  The bottom line, whether one is a criminal, or the supporter of a criminal is you never look good trying to make someone else look bad. The venom and personal insults Lisa and I have endured in our reviews is impressive.  The strategy is clear – attack the credibility of the messenger [since the message itself is problematic].

Our credibility is simple to establish. For my part, I am a professional writer. I did not gain a twitter following of almost 14 000 based on bad writing.  I write in partnership with Lisa because her research is often deeper and even more thorough than mine.  For me our credibility is based on just two tests:  our personal standards and our level of honesty towards ourselves and others.  What distinguishes our narratives from all the others out there is the level of honesty – including self disclosure – both of us bring to our work.

This is because we care about something beyond justice. Besides wanting our readers to have a meaningful and genuine experience reading about these tragic crimes, we – as authors – also want to be enriched.  When we make it a personal journey, the insights and intuitions are truly rewarding. We find how these folks – not only the victim but also the perpetrators – are not so very different from us.  In this sense, if when we genuinely learn something from these true stories, Meredith Kercher’s death need not be in vain.


Follow Nick van der Leek on twitter @HiRezLife and Lisa Wilson at @lisawJ13

Please “like’ Nick van der Leek’s Facebook page.

Posted on 07/05/15 at 10:10 AM by Nick van der Leek. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, July 03, 2015

Rome Shocked - Seems Drafting Of Fifth Chambers Report With Poss Illegalities Not Even At First Base

Posted by Peter Quennell




The Illegalities

These are described in the Maori charges document and explained further in our post below.

In summary, Judge Marasca in his 27 March court ruling and 29 March Corriere interview illegally threw out the March 2013 First Chambers rulings. Plus he illegally accepted the appeal arguments on the evidence which he should not have.

He cannot do that in the sentencing report itself without reprisals being guaranteed.

The Tweet

Our first alert today was this tweet by the most reliable Italy-based reporter on the case.

Andrea Vogt ‏@andreavogt: Italian legal code (Art. 617) requires Cassation court to issue reasoning after 30 days. #AmandaKnox case due April 27. Why the delay?


The Rumor

On checking, word appears to be spreading in Rome that the Fifth Chambers may not even have got to first base.

On April 27 a draft of the report should have been filed with the Cassation Registry. But it apparently isnt even there yet.

The Code

Here are the relevant rules for the Supreme Court.

1. The Original

Art. 628 CPP

1. Conclusa la deliberazione, il presidente o il consigliere da lui designato redige la motivazione. Si osservano le disposizioni concernenti la sentenza nel giudizio di primo grado, in quanto applicabili.

2. La sentenza, sottoscritta dal presidente e dall’estensore, è depositata in cancelleria non oltre il trentesimo giorno dalla deliberazione.

3. Qualora il presidente lo disponga, la corte si riunisce in camera di consiglio per la lettura e l’approvazione del testo della motivazione. Sulle proposte di rettifica, integrazione o cancellazione la corte delibera senza formalità.

2. The Translation

1. Subsequent to the deliberation, the president or the director appointed by him draws up the motivation report. They observe the provisions concerning the judgment in the first instance, as applicable.

2. The judgment, signed by the President and by the writer, is lodged at the Registry no later than the thirtieth day after the deliberation.

3. If the president has done this, the court will meet in closed session for the reading and approval of the text of the motivation. On the proposed rectification, integration or cancellation the court shall act without formalities.


What To Expect?

The only legal and face-saving way out? Admit error, and if there are real grounds, refer the appeal back down to the Florence court.

Posted on 07/03/15 at 09:13 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Shot Across Bows Of Fifth Chambers Could Be Cause Of Delay And Possible Infighting

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



President Sergio Mattarella, right, might have the power to overturn Judge Marasca’s verdict

1. The Unexplained Delay Of The Sentencing Report

Judge Marasca and President Mattarella, a former judge, have similar reputations: they have both fought mightily to prevent bent outcomes. 

It has been put about in Italian legal circles that Judge Marasca is not exactly in love with his panel’s verdict. We reported talk in Rome that he held out for several hours on 25 March against a majority faction led by Judge Bruno.

Perhaps he remains a captive of the majority in what might be a tainted court - if it is, it would not be the first tainted court in this case. The Hellmann court is considered as such, as quotes below indicate.

Almost with no exceptions, Cassation routinely reports its appeal verdicts both fast and briefly. Often the reports are presented within several weeks. and most of them come in at under 50 pages. 

In Meredith’s case all of the previous Cassation reports came in well before their deadlines. The one that took the longest was the 74-page report of the First Chambers in 2013, annulling most of the Hellmann verdict.

That took 85 days. We are already 10 days beyond that. It will not be very long before the delay in the report really raises red flags. 

2. Judge Marasca’s Post-Verdict Interview

Judge Marasca is well known for not giving interviews and for letting his court statements speak for themselves.

Seemingly aware that his court statement on 27 March was already being questioned, and by some ridiculed, he did give this interview to the reporter Fiorenza Sarzanini for Corriere. Key quotes from it.

A further process could not ascertain the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher. The “proof used was so contradictory “it is impossible to overcome the doubts and inconsistencies…

The judges of the fifth section of the Court of Cassation were all agreed on canceling the sentence to 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox and Raffaele 25 years “without referral” [back down to the Florence court].

The panel chaired by Dr Marasca also considered “non-binding” the earlier ruling of the Supreme Court that in March two years ago ordered a new appeal trial [in Florence and annulled the Hellmann verdict]

These claims are contended in this new criminal complaint (see the Italian original here) and are rebutted most forcefully in the quotes from it below.

3. The Complaint In The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Hands

On 28 May the criminal complaint was filed by the Perugia prosecutor Dr Mignini and two lead investigators against one of Sollecito’s lawyers, Luca Maori, together with a reporter and an editor of the Perugia weekly Settegiorni Umbria.

The interview and editorial comments sliming the prosecution and the investigators were published back in January, two months before the Fifth Chambers ruled. They might be seen as one of many attempts to poison public opinion and to lean on the courts - in this case, the Fifth Chambers, which had the appeal.

The narrative describes some nasty lies of commission and omission by Maori and the magazine staff. We wont repeat them here. Impactful on a much wider plane is how the complaint characterizes the investigation and the prosecution of the case, and the various attempts to bend courts and so bend outcomes of the case.

It is highly significant that this complaint was filed by a Florence lawyer and with the Florence court. The chief prosecutor for Florence and its region Tuscany has been quoted as scathing of the Fifth Chambers verdict, presumably seeing it as a slap in the face to his own team which contended the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and perhaps an attempt to take the powerful Florence court down a peg.

The Florence court had made a large number of documents available to the Fifth Chambers. As this narrative is highly relevant, the law would have required the Florence Chief prosecutor to forward it. We can presume then that all the Fifth Chambers judges have the document available and, as it sets up a polarity, quite possibly the First Chambers judges as well.

4. The Significance Of The Complaint’s Various Phrasings

If we notionally divide the document into five parts, part (1) explains the people named in the rest of the document and their respective roles, parts (2) and (3) describe the main elements of the very complex legal process and mistakes that were made by the Hellmann court and the Fifth Chambers; and parts (4) and (5) go into detail about the case against Maori and his interviewer and editor.

The excerpts below are from parts (2) and (3). Anyone involved in the legal process would see rather rapidly that parts (2) and (3) could constitute a blueprint for legal action against the Fifth Chambers (such legal action is now allowed) and could also constitute a petition to President Sergio Mattarella, the head of the Italian justice system, who has the power to overrule a Cassation outcome.

[1] it appears necessary to highlight the circumstances, in fact and in law, left in the shadows by the interview and which render even more serious, frankly incomprehensible and above all without any justification on the basis of the complex course of proceedings, the defamatory statements contained in the article and the very grave and intolerable accusations launched with so much superficiality against the investigators and the 34 magistrates who had upheld the prosecution’s case against the 11 who had doubted it.

Noted above are the many lies of omission (some are listed below; we have a long list pending) that tend to be typical when the defenses and those who were in the dock and their supporters describe the case. Also noted are the 34 magistrates who handled elements of the case and did not abort the process. See the examples here and here.

[2] The two accused Knox and Sollecito had been arrested on the morning of 6 November 2007, under an arrest warrant issued by Dr Mignini, as the Public Prosecutor in charge, a decree promptly validated by the GIP Dr Claudia Matteini who had issued a precautionary custody order for imprisonment. The appeals of the suspects against this latter, as issued by the GIP on the request of the same Dr Mignini, had then been timely rejected by the Re-examination Court for Perugia and by the First Chamber of the Court of Cassation.

Noted above is one area subjected to numerous lies of omission. In fact many magistrates were guiding the process and the prosecution had no opportunity for independent initiative prior to trial. Dr Mignini did not have to do that interview with Knox, he did it at Knox’s own request, to give her another fair shot at clearing herself - which she failed miserably.

[3] As a consequence, the two remained in a state of preventative imprisonment until the decision of the Court of Assizes Appeal Court presided over by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, that is for almost four years and there had never been, by their defence, any application of revocation or substitution of the orders against the accused, Knox and Sollecito…

A legal omission by the defenses which might be considered an incompetent blunder, which contrasts strongly with Maori’s claim that the two were in effect being railroaded. The lawyers did not go the extra mile. 

[4] the Court of Assizes at first instance, presided over by Dr Giancarlo Massei, with Dr Beatrice Cristiani as Recorder, at the end of a very long and thorough trial phase, had sentenced Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox for murder and the connected offences and Ms Knox, in addition, for calunnia against Patrick Diya Lumumba.

The trial was indeed long and thorough. Some of the most compelling evidence was behind closed doors - another area for lies of omission. Knox did herself great harm on the stand, sounding flippant and callous and not at all consistent or convincing, which ultimately cost her three years for calunnia. During the defense phase the lawyers had little to present and sessions were shortened or cancelled. There was much railing against Rudy Guede, who was not in court to answer back to it.

[5] At appeal level, the Court of Assizes Appeal Court - inexplicably composed of the President of the Social Security [Welfare] Chamber [Hellmann] and of an advisor specialised in the Civil Chamber [Zanetti]—despite it being that the President of the Criminal Chamber, Dr Sergio Matteini Chiari, was presiding over a bench; in any case there not being present a magistrate from the competent criminal chamber —had acquitted the two but had upheld the conviction of Ms Knox for calunnia, setting the penalty as a good three years of imprisonment.

This is still being investigated - did the defenses request of Chief Judge De Nunzio that the president of the criminal chamber Judge Chiari be replaced by the wrongly qualified Judge Hellmann? Judge Chiari (who resigned over this) has himself claimed so. And why was the wrongly qualified Judge Zanetti there?

[6] In the course of the proceedings there had been two experts nominated [by the Court] who, amongst other things, had submitted their report ignoring the documents attesting to the negative result of controls on the presumed contamination of the knife and of the bra-clasp, documents adduced instead by the Public Prosecutor. This should have entailed the sweeping away of [=the complete rejection of] the same expert report but the Court, presided by Pratillo Hellmann, with Advisor-Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti, had ignored the grave error committed by the experts, an error which had been severely censured by the [Chieffi] Court of Cassation, First Criminal Chamber, in the decision handed down on 26 March 2013…

Investigation of Conti and Vecchiotti is also proceeding. They seem to have been bent and to have lied to the court - either that or remarkably incompetent. There is another quote strongly suggesting they were bent below.

[7] [Judge Chieffi] accepted almost all the grounds of appeals put forward by the Prosecutor-General and had annulled completely and definitively the acquittal decision, with remission (evidently upholding the grounds of appeal) to the Court of Assizes Court of Appeal of Florence which, in its turn, had fully confirmed the convictions of the Court of Assizes of Perugia.

There are many lies of omission about the annulment - one can find numerous quotes from the Hellmann court embedded in comments, articles and books - the Knox book goes on about how wonderful that appeal was without saying that none of it is of legal relevance now. 

[8] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same,—the latter constraint, as constituted by the jurisdiction of sole legitimacy, being understood—, for defect pursuant to Article 606 Criminal Procedure Code and limited to the grounds proposed by the appellants (Article 609 Criminal Procedure Code).

Here is a translation of Article 628 of the Penal Code:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.

The second paragraph of Article 628 clearly indicates the Fifth Chambers of Cassazione should absolutely not have accepted requests of appeal from AK and RS against the Florence verdict on those points that had been already decided by the First Chambers (the Chieffi court).  Those points decided by the Chieffi court, as per Article 628, cannot be appealed. Questions about them should be inadmissible.

[9] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

The Fifth Chambers seems to have clearly broken the law governing its allowed scope. It had no business getting into the evidence. If there was a perceived problem that should have been referred back down to Florence.

[10] from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

Well proven by the narrative. As we have frequently noted Knox was given six opportunities to liberate herself even before the 2009 trial began (try finding an equivalent of that in any other system) and failed all of them.

[11] the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

What the First Chambers said must stand. Surely all of the judges of the panel knew this very basic principle of Cassation. Be assured the First Chambers judges will be rubbing it in that this more junior panel has no right to reverse them.

[12] These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

Once again the emphasis is on how the First Chambers knew both the law and the case thoroughly, and the Fifth Chambers was seemingly adrift at sea.

[13] [Umodifiable principle]  the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[14] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [‘Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[15] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[16] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[17] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[18] [Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Some brilliant legal arguing. This seems to really make it impossible for the Fifth Chambers to override these firm ruling of the First Chambers .

[19] [Only by ignoring all of the above, in reading the misleading Maori interview, one could be] induced into thinking that errors upon errors had been committed by the officers and agents of the police taskforce and by magistrates convinced of the prosecution case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, then in fact of a “conversion” of the error into a knowing arbitrary act… One would have been led to think of investigators who, incurable in terms of these continual “denials”, falling prey to a kind of accusatory delirium which was by now running unchecked, would have continued to “persecute by prosecuting” two poor youngsters, contrary to any probative evidence, for the sole purpose of not seeing their initial reconstruction denied.

But see how Lumumba was checked out and released by the same team. Plus the same team worked on other cases which drew no accusations at all. It is significant to note that the Bongiorno & Maori team and Sollecito himself again and again dropped Knox in it, even in remarks made after the Fifth Chambers ruling on 27 March.

[20] for the readers it would have been difficult to be able to learn the details of the Kercher proceedings, [Maori and Lagana] launched themselves into making unbelievable, irresponsible statements, defamatory beyond any limit, statements which express an inexplicable rancour and bitterness towards the investigators in the Kercher case, from which, for the rest, especially Advocate Maori had given proof of from the start itself of his defence of Raffaele Sollecito

Maori falsely ascribed the “satanism as motive claim” to Mignini and seems to have been a party to other dirty tricks and loaded statements. At this point of the complaint the Curatolo testimony and knife evidence is re-emphasized as valid for their purposes and never undermined by the innuendo of the defenses. 

[21] Maori adds, repeating a singular idea repeated many times in the course of the proceedings and put to the Prosecution as the most significant expression of the error committed by the investigators: the guilty party, Rudy Hermann Guede, had already been secured by justice. Why continue to investigate the other contenders, when it had been found that it was Rudy who, no one knows why, would have been the sole killer and whose presence would have been incompatible with any accomplices?

As mentioned above, Guede was not at the trial in 2009 and so the defenses could freely rant on about him. Although some witnesses were devoted to trying to prove him a bad guy who must have acted alone, it went nowhere. The jury visit to the cottage showed them how ludicrous it was to argue that anyone would choose THAT window to break in. 

[22] Laganà knows nothing about the proceedings and plainly ignores: the calunnia by Ms Knox against Lumumba, the mise-en-scene of the burglary (which could have been realised only by someone who would have been afraid of becoming involved in the investigations), the genetic material of Ms Knox found a little bit below the handle of the knife and that of the victim in proximity to the point of the blade, the genetic profile of Mr Sollecito found on the clasp of Meredith’s bra, the systematic lies of the two, the traces of mixed blood of Knox – Meredith and the print of Sollecito’s foot stained with blood on the small mat in the bathroom next to the room where the murder happened, the traces revealed with Luminol, of the bare feet of Amanda and Sollecito, the witness who sees the two between 21.30 and 23.30 in Piazza Grimana, a couple of dozen metres from the murder scene, and Rudy’s accusations, just to mention a few examples.

Once again we see the theme common throughout the narrative of noting copious lies of omission - vital things simply left out which dont suit Lagana’s apparent purpose.

[23] [Maori] launches accusations against the press [although] the accused were able to benefit from a systematic information process in their favour and without any contradiction. One can see the case of, for example, the programme “Porta a Porta” which, in the months immediately preceding the Fifth Chamber judgment, had interviewed only Sollecito or his family and consultants, blatantly ignoring any requirement of an even balance, which instead had occurred previously, and all this in a programme on the public network..

This describes how even some arms of the Italian media became tainted and partisan and how the court officers were forbidden by the code of conduct from offering the kind of contradiction and rebuttal very common on American TV.

[24] Unfortunately, this procedural matter has been marked by pressures (often accompanied by menaces) and defamations which the investigators, themselves as well, have suffered in the media, by a very serious activity of disinformation and from serious attacks on the personal and professional reputation of the investigators by numerous organs of information especially in the United States (like in fact CNN), [and] by the extremely challengeable behaviour of experts who, beyond having “forgottten” the existence of negative controls, had been seen by Dr Mignini (and, according to what has been said to him, also by the biologist at Scientific Police headquarters Dr Patrizia Stefanoni), to be having a long conversation and in a “private” manner, with the defence lawyers of the accused, in particular with Advocate Maori, before the hearing in which the experts were to be examined and cross-examined had started. This had happened in particular on two occasions, both in Piazza Matteotti, in front of the law courts building, one time in front of the main entrance and a second time, further back, in the direction of Via Oberdan, while [on a third occasion] Dr Stefanoni and Dr Comodi had seen them together, amongst the various defence lawyers for the accused, in a bar.. 

This illegal mingling of supposedly impartial court-appointed consultants with the defense teams, described in public writing here for the first time, should have been enough to see Conti and Vechiotti dismissed as consultants from the case, and further down the road facing charges.

[25] there are letters addressed to Dr Mignini, the first on paper with letterhead from the Supreme Court [sic] of the State of Washington (in which place is found Ms Knox’s city of residence, that is Seattle), on the part of judge Michael Heavey (now in retirement after having undergone a disciplinary proceeding for having used Washington State Supreme Court letterhead in a “private” letter addressed to his Italian counterparts) which turns out to have been written also to other magistrates involved, under various roles, in the proceedings and which claimed, with absolutely inconsistent reasoning, the innocence of Ms Knox, asking his Italian colleagues in a pressuring way to “acquit her”; or the highly contentious and clumsily inexpert comments of satisfaction concerning the judgment of the Court presided by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, by authority of the Government of the United States, as, to cite a couple of examples, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, above all, with repeated interventions in the proceedings under way, Senator Maria Cantwell, of the State of Washington

Failures in fact checking shows up the very one-sided nature of American politics and media coverage. Judge Heavey even wrote to the Presidents of the US and Italy and copied those letters to Congress. Italian court officials are highly restrained from response to protect themselves. Even now many Italians officials dont even know what was being said in English about them and what they were being accused of.

[26] All this evidences the very particular climate in which the proceedings unfolded, especially that of the first appeal, introduced by a summary by the Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti in which the latter was not at all worried about affirming that in the proceeding that was then being opened the only certain thing was the death of Meredith Kercher, a phrase matching the one that the Recorder of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, Dr Paolo Antonio Bruno, pronounced according to what was referred to Dr Mignini by an advocate for the civil party.

What a remarkable coincidence. In the case of both statements this is not in accordance with the Italian appeals code. Frequent examples were quoted above of how the Fifth Chambers must accept the First Chambers rulings as givens, and the First Chambers in 2013 in effect ruled in annulling Hellmann that no appeal should be a whole new trial lacking the rather key prosecution part. Note that in March 2015 the Fifth Chambers heard at length from defense lawyers who had been seven years on the case - but no prosecutor from Perugia or Florence was even invited to be there.

5. And In Conclusion

This was a VERY solid case. As is said there, all the lists of evidence in the quotes above could have been longer. Here is a much longer list. Cardiol’s great four-part series on Certainties contains a long list. We have posted various other such lists of evidence, a list of hoaxes, and numerous lists of false claims, and many Powerpoints, and many questions for Sollecito and Knox. Plus even more lists via our right column here.

So it looks like the verdict could become unglued. Italian courts work to some extent on precedent and a tainted verdict could be a very bad precedent. Other prosecutors and judges will be getting similar messages to the judges, not least the judges of the First Chambers which normally handles the murder appeals.

Please read the posts on the fight for legitimacy here and here for more context to all of this.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 02:57 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, June 26, 2015

What No-Show Amanda Knox SHOULD Have Emailed Judge Nencini As Truthful Testimony in December 2013

Posted by Chimera



As the real thing really didnt work any better for Knox…


As is well known, Amanda Knox refused to attend her own appeal in Florence in 2013/2014.

This was a defence appeal by Knox herself and Sollecito against the 2009 conviction by Judge Giancarlo Massei’s trial court.  It was not a new trial, or a retrial, or even a prosecution appeal. It was an appeal DEMANDED by Knox and Sollecito.

While Knox refused to attend, she did send a long, rambling email to Lead Judge Nencini.  Judge Nencini tartly read out the email in court, and remarked that she could have delivered this in person and answered questions if she wanted it credibly on the record - after all, Sollecito was sitting right there and not scared out of his wits.

Kudos to fellow main posters Finn MacCool and SeekingUnderstanding for their original and well done posts on this ‘‘submission’‘

With a bit of fact checking, Knox’s email could have looked to the court and the media more like this.  Enjoy.

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

1. I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, even though I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and causation of Meredith’s injustice.

2. The Court has access to my previous declarations, and please disregard that whole ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ in which Cassation says i framed Patrick to divert attention, or that pending calunnia charge claiming I falsely accused the police to sabotage the court proceedings.  I trust you will not be blinded by these things to come to this verdict.  I must repeat: I am innocent.  Because repeating it will help dissuade you from studying my lies too carefully.

3. According to my lawyers: I am not a murderer, I am not a rapist, I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator, at least not until Cassation signs off on it. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night, (other than screaming, slit throat, and that the body was moved). I was not there for part of the time, and had nothing to do with it.

4. I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. Federico Martini is probably still pissed that I gave him up; the court and jail officials don’t like my book; and I think there is still an open warrant on me for calunnia.  Also, without any employment or housing references, staying here may be tricky.  I have faith in your judgement, but am worried you are so poor a judge you will be blinded my the Prosecution’s vehemence.  I remember Judge Micheli: he was the wise Judge who found Guede guilty; he was the idiot Judge who ordered Raffaele and I to stand trial as accomplices.

5. My life being on the line, at least until I get parole, and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve rehearsed this story and attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgement:

6. No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I define only that as the crime scene.  My DNA mixed with Meredith’s was in the bathroom and Filomena’s room, not Meredith’s.  Those bloody footprints cleaned away were in the hallway, not Meredith’s room.  Raffaele had one knife, and this other was at his flat, neither of which is Meredith’s room.  My lamp on Meredith’s floor had no fingerprints on it, and does not implicate me.  That DNA on Merdith’s bra, and bloody footprint on the bathmat only implicates my alibi witness (who refuses to be questioned), not me.  Those false alibis, false accusations, details I know about the crime, and phone records are not physical evidence, and did not happen in Meredith’s bedroom. Those ‘‘eyewitnesses’’ the Prosecution produced are not forensic evidence, and do not place me in Meredith’s room.

7. Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario, we made sure of that.  Heck, the police couldn’t even find my fingerprints in my own bedroom.

8. No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario, again, which I restrict to Meredith’s bedroom, and only actual physical evidence.  The prosecution has failed to explain how—with these restrictions—I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. Just because i spend a lot of time talking about it, and am a C.S.I. fan, doesn’t mean I know how to remove evidence.  That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual, or so C.S.I. has taught me. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. My analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

9. My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Yes, I wrote out a false ‘‘confession’’ that accuses someone else.  Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge. Dammit, give me some privacy.

10. My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence, if you think creatively enough. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance, because (in my November 4th email), the police wouldn’t let me leave.  I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call trying to think of answers for over 50 hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer, or at least someone who was ‘‘close enough’‘.  I never thought or imagined that repeatedly changing my story would fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed sex, Rafael ‘‘embraced’’ me; when I was scared of being exposed, I cried; when I was angry that it wasn’t working, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence, at least until I could find a new ‘‘best truth’‘; when I was trying to help, I evaded questions, consoled Meredith’s friends, especially her male friends, and tried to keep a positive attitude that this would blow over.

11. Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position, accompanying Raffaele to a witness summary session which I was not invited to. 20—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was, legally speaking, innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture, and I wasn’t. I was told I was a witness, then after I placed myself at the crime scene I was told I was a suspect. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew, and that questioning includes the time I was sleeping or getting tea.  I denied legal counsel- still The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it was inadmissible. In my memoir, WTBH; I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I told myself I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I told myself that if I didn’t succeed in ‘‘remembering’’ what happened to Meredith that night, I would never see my family again. I browbeat myself into confusion and despair, to sell to the media at a later date. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth, but again, that is not what happened here.

12. The police used tea and kindness to coerce me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which I let the police wrongfully interpret (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable.  After over 50 hours of rehearsing the questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

13. This coerced and illegitimate statement, which I dreamed up, was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship, (at least until I destroyed his life). This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander.  Judge Hellmann saw that this statement was coerced, and threw out my calunnia conviction .... I mean he increased the sentence .... never mind.The prosecution and civil parties are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

14. Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.  I’m not sure why this applies to my case, but damn, it sure sounds impressive.

15. This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone: Susan Smith and Casey Anthony ‘‘falsely confessed’’ that other people did it too.  And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

16. In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.  Roommates, not friends.

17. Meredith was my friend, not that I was her friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun, and in retrospect, I should have been more of the same.  She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look, even as I left the place a mess, and even when I flirted with her boyfriend, or she took my job at the bar.

18. But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filament Romanal were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts, as proving motive it not necessary—anywhere.

19. I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.  That’s what men are for, to do the lifting for me.

20. This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.  Yes, i can positively disprove a theory I know nothing about.

21. It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent: phone records, false alibis, false statements, false accusations.

22. I had no Contact with Rudy Guide, even though I mention in my book having seen him twice, and a third time in the next paragraph.

23. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. I was having sex with Federico for drugs, which isn’t the same thing.  The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together, except my statement here. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. He has lived in Perguia for 15 years, and I am a student of Italian. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

24. I am not a psychopath.  That evaluation in 2008 was unfair, as I didn’t get a chance to prepare my spontaneous answers.

25. There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have enjoyed over the course of this legal process. In trial, in the media I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

26. I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. Throwing rocks at cars, writing rape stories, and staging break ins are not violent or anti-social.  I am not addicted to sex or drugs.  In fact, Federico Martini hasn’t given me any since I was arrested.  Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

27. This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their ‘‘evidence’’ against me, and my personal opinions about them. They want you to think I’m a monster because I am telling you they think I am a monster.  it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties think I’m both severely mistaken and wrong. I have condemned them without proof of wrongdoing, and I seek to convince you to condemn them without proof of wrongdoing.

28. If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. Never mind that this is my own appeal, and I ‘‘should’’ be demonstrating why the 2009 trial verdict is unjust.  If I had a case, there would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the mountains of physical evidence against me. But because this evidence exists that proves my guilt, I would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer (yet), I would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me as an innocent until proven guilty, but not as a monster.

29. The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against the Kerchers because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake, namely, that the murder was premeditated. Again, it is my own appeal, but they are persecuting me.

30. The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes, by people who won’t attend their appeal.

31. The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.  As proof of this, they called Raffaele to the police station (at his leisure), to clear up discrepencies in his alibi.  Then when he claimed I lied, Rita Ficarra then asked me for an explanation.  Those brutes!  Then they hauled in Patrick just because in ‘‘confessed’’ several times that he did it.

32. The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In spite of that, they still saw my mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon disproving my mistakes.

33. Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but Raffaele’s changing alibi and my false accusations, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, but of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox. We would not be here over six years later debating clues my lawyers claim are inconclusive and unreliable.  Had we plead guilty we would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

34. My accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years I have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should not take my life away. I beg you to see through the ‘‘facts’’ and ‘‘reason’’ of what I say. I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the ‘‘truth’‘. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice for them.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox

 

Posted on 06/26/15 at 11:43 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Real Victim: Will The Cassation Report Promised Thursday Belatedly Suitably Acknowledge Her?

Posted by Slow Jane





It was a gloriously sunny early summer’s day.

I stepped out of the tube onto Tooting Broadway, with throngs of shoppers overflowing the pavements and schoolchildren milling around the bus stops in groups.

Now here at last, in Croydon Cemetery, fifteen bus stops later, I found Meredith’s grave, startling in its unexpectedness, after walking for quite a while, hopeless at following directions, having originally gone to the wrong graveyard altogether, the day before.

My heart pounded as her name suddenly leapt out at me.

The burial site is beautifully maintained, with miniature pink and red rose bushes and set in the peaceful landscaped grounds, with evergreens and lawns.

I stood for a while overcome with emotion, quite alone, with nobody in sight all around.  I said a few prayers, including one pleading that Meredith’s murderers be brought to justice.  I quietly sang Psalm 23 and pondered how this beautiful, funny, bright young student had lived a life that was all too short.

A feeling of pain - for her mother Arline and father John, and Stephanie, Lyle and John and for all her family and friends - contracted like a taut elastic band across my chest.

I recalled how at her funeral service at St John the Baptist Church many of the mourners, including sister Stephanie and friends from Leeds Uni had carried a single white rose each.

Stephanie read out a poem she wrote, “ Don’t Say Goodbye”.  Her old school friends sang as a choir the requiem,  In Paradisum.  Two hymns sung at the service, on 14th December 2007, were ‘Abide with me” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”.

Meredith’s favourite record “With or without you” by U2 (below) was played.

As I sat on a creaky bench nearby under the shade of a gnarled old tree, I scribbled down the following lines:

    I came to pay my respects

    To Meredith Kercher so dear

    To all who knew her.

    Go gently into that night

    Enforced on you by the evil,

    Those who walk in the darkness,

    And you were in their path.

    Your light shines

    And the dark has not overcome it.

 

I write this article to reflect that this is about Meredith Kercher and her family and friends, and to reclaim the memory of her purity from the soiled agenda of the ex-defendants and the cruel IIP and FOA stalkers.

Stephanie Kercher had said, in response to Knox’s demand, on the launch of her “memoir”, that she be taken to visit Meredith’s grave, that Stephanie and her family just want a safe place for Meredith to rest in peace.

I cast my mind back to the news reports that broke in November 2013 that Raffaele Sollecito had nevertheless paid a “secret visit” to the spot.  He had been in London in March 2013.  He had the grace not to include pictures of the grave on his “London” Facebook page that he may have taken.

Newspaper reports reveal he was taken there by an “English friend” and left no flowers.  The “friend” who was quick to betray Sollecito’s “secret” is speculated to be one Nigel Scott, ex-Lib Dem Councillor in Haringey, and a purported member of the Injustice in Perugia advisory board, the rather grand name of a lobby of aggressive pro-Knox advocates.

Scott put up a picture of the grave in a tweet – hastily taken down – as the news broke.  He disparagingly refers to the grave as being in “poor condition”, with a temporary headstone marker. 

His co-campaigner, Karen Pruett, maintains a Find A Grave webpage for Meredith and was forced by demand from enraged supporters of Meredith Kercher’s family to take down the picture of Meredith’s grave, most probably taken from the Daily Mail.

Notorious FOA poster Lyn Duncan - who tweets under the name of @Annella - and others, left “tributes” after the acquittal, despite one of their party, Doug Bremner Jr, having referred to the Kerchers as “Nazis” and another mocking Meredith’s grave lacking a headstone as late as 2011, when Knox was first acquitted by Hellmann, as shown in the Daily Mail.

Time has shown how Scott’s, Pruett’s and other Knox chums’ characters speak for themselves.

Meredith’s final resting place is beautiful, in a quietly understated way.  The grave adjacent is of a Liverpool supporter aged 22,  who died around about the same time as Mez, who was 21.  It is very poignant to see.

Meredith’s headstone is fashioned out of marble and reads, “ We will always love you MEREDITH SUSANNA CARA KERCHER 28th Dec. 1985 – 1st Nov. 2007 Forever in our thoughts, always in our hearts.”

The temporary marker, so much derided by Knox’ supporters, remains at the foot.  I left some Sweet Williams in a flower container and slowly walked away, moved and changed by the visit.



Posted on 06/22/15 at 02:48 PM by Slow Jane. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Due To Content Wars And Objective Editors Forced Out, Original Wikipedia Might Not Survive

Posted by Peter Quennell


1 The New York Times Report

The New York Times reports today that the original Wikipedia may not survive. Better resources may take its place.

Today’s Times report (reprint sites here and here) says that one big reason of several why the Wikipedia is struggling now is that good objective editors have become very hard to attract.

2. The Hijacking We Observed

From 2010 onward, several of the relevant English-language Wikipedia entries were hijacked by the Marriott-paid thugs. No English-language entry we have read lately is reliable on the case.

Deliberate bias now appears again and again. What is simply left out - lies of omission - is now immense. In 2011 the founder of Wikipedia , Jimmy Wales, joined in - on the wrong side.

One of the effects of the deliberate bias he encouraged was to make many who read here no longer willing to contribute towards Wikipedia’s costs.

Another effect was that good objective editors downed tools and simply walked off.

In March 2011 one of the frustrated good objective editors, Gwaendar, arrived here and posted (first link below) a report about what he and his colleagues had faced.

A few days later (second link below) a translation by TomM and Skeptical Bystander of the main Italian Wikipedia page, still in very good shape, went up:


3. So The Meredith Wiki Stands

In May 2013, as Azoza describes in the post below,  Edward McCall and a team of editors and translators began the Meredith Wiki as an effort that stands proudly on its own.

If anything, the Meredith-case Wiki has been gaining speed. What Azoza described represents a fast doubling in size.  The volunteer team has grown too, with strong legal and Italian-language skills.

No bias in this freestanding Wiki has ever been proved. It simply carries dozens and dozens of the official trial and appeal documents, most of them now in English, for anyone to take away with them any meaning that they wish.

Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, on that huge and nasty hoax, which now has nervous publishers and Knox killer-groupies realizing they may have legal targets on their own backs, could not have happened if the hearing, trial and appeal transcripts had not been made available there first.

And there are many other truths lurking like landmines on the Wiki site.

Posted on 06/21/15 at 06:21 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Major Additions To Meredith Kercher Case Wiki To Provide Complete Impartial Overview in English

Posted by azoza



Image is of the very beautiful Perugia at night

Origin and mission

The impartial Murder of Meredith Kercher Wiki began in 2013.

The seed was people discussing how to overcome the flawed Wikipedia article of the case. That article relied on sources like Candace Dempsey, Nina Burleigh and American media. In other words, biased or incomplete sources.

In May 2013, Edward McCall set up the website, with the help of volunteer editors from the Perugia Murder File community. Its mission statement was:

Were Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede responsible for the death of Meredith Kercher? This wiki style site was created by a group of volunteer editors to inform the public about the case, by providing translations of original documents and evidence presented at trial.

This continues to be the aim of the Wiki: to make available documents and translate them properly. Our interest is not selectively posting documents, like the Knox campaign has done. We want to make all the facts available, without bias or selecting. We believe all the facts support the notion that all three defendants are responsible for Meredith Kercher’s murder.

Purpose of this post

The purpose of the article here is to let people know of recent changes to the website.

The Wiki is revised when new documents and translations continue to be received. Existing webpages are tweaked when time allows. Webpages are sometimes changed so information can be better presented. Or the website structure is changed when a significant page is introduced.

For example, a new page listing a lot of evidence was added in November 2014. This page can be directly accessed from the main page. That evidence list page has links to other sections of the website, like ‘wikified’ testimony, for easier reference. More links will be added and more evidence noted as more documents become available.

Major redesigns

The website had two major redesigns earlier this year. The main page was redesigned to provide clearer ‘at a glance’ updates. We did this primarily to keep everyone up-to-date with the March 2015 Cassazione decision. The boxes on the main page also note updates to other parts of the website. Also, we added buttons so any webpage on the site can be shared on various social media.

The other major redesign has been the addition of the ‘file library’.

Completing the picture

For those long familiar with the case, source material had been seriously lacking. There have been large gaps. The Knox campaign has posted some documents, but their ‘collection’ has always been incomplete. As examples:

1) The crime scene photos start at ‘dsc016’. What about photos 1 through 15?
2) No photos of Sollecito’s place, Guede’s place, via Sperandio or elsewhere
3) They posted many Massei transcripts, but not all. They never posted the 2nd day of Knox’s testimony, or the days when the Kercher family and consultants testified.
4) Some Massei transcripts they posted had pages missing.
5) They have posted many defense consultant reports, but few prosecution consultant reports.
6) They only posted a few Hellmann transcripts, but not all.
7) They only posted one Micheli transcript, but not the others.
8) Hardly any depositions.
9) A lot of police reports are still missing.

In the past six months, we have been trying to correct this. We have set up a file library, which will be the repository of as many case-related files as can be gotten. Files will ultimately include documents, photos, videos and audio- whatever is part of the public record of this tragic case. The files are made available as links for downloading. Eventually many will also be ‘wikified’ so anyone can do a word search through the documents. And when time allows, key documents will be translated.

There are thousands of files related to this case - too many to put on one page. A single file page would take forever to scroll and would be terribly confusing. So the library is structured into subsections. The basic idea is ‘nested boxes’. Once you select a section, you ‘drill down’ through pages to get to document links. Then you click ‘back up’ to the higher levels so you can move to other sections.

Some pages have a mixture of links to documents and links to subpages. These will eventually be simplified for clarity.

Not all file library pages have been created. More pages will be required as more files come in. Once the document files (PDFs) portion is nearly complete, pages will be reviewed and the library layout will be tweaked. At that point, when we’re comfortable with all the pages and their names, links will be added to allow browsing across sections or in sequential order. This hasn’t been done yet to avoid redoing a lot of work later.

A directory tree is a strong possibility too.

The seven sections

The library has over 900 PDFs and photos scattered across 7 major sections.

The 1st section

This section Context and people is empty for now. It will have photos of Perugia, the cottage, nearby locales and pictures of the people involved in the case. We are sifting through photos and erasing duplicates. Once that’s done, this section will quickly fill out.

The 2nd section

This section 2007 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2007, the arrest and crime scene photos and videos. As mentioned, not all crime scene photos and videos have been made public. We hope to gather as complete a collection as possible. Of course, anything showing Meredith Kercher’s body will be censored, in line with the wishes of the Kercher family, and to maintain dignity. In the past 1.5 months, we’ve gotten over 80 depositions of witnesses and other documents related to early investigations. Things like preliminary police reports and police correspondence. Here you can also find phone and prison taps.

The 3rd section

This section Arrest trials has filed related to the cautionary arrest trials. This includes the Matteini court, the Ricciarelli court and the 2008 Cassazione court, presided by judges Gemelli & Gironi. Files include court hearing transcripts, motivation reports and other files pertinent to these hearings. This is missing quite a bit still, but we hope to correct that.

The 4th section

This section 2008 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2008. While the murder was discovered on Nov 2, 2007, and arrests were made that month, the actual police investigation continued until the following year, finishing in June 2008. Files here include additional phone and prison taps, police reports from Rome and Perugia, additional depositions and other related documents.

The 5th section

This section Statements and writings contains writings and depositions of the three defendants. GKS = “Guede Knox Sollecito”.

The 6th section

This section Trials and Appeals and Reports is the largest section. We may revise or split this section further. Currently it contains all documents related to the main trials. All three defendants took part in the first main trial, the 2008 Micheli court. Micheli indicted Guede and found enough evidence against Knox and Sollecito. After the Micheli court, Guede’s trial path separated from the other two because he chose a fast-track option. So there are 3 subsections: Micheli, Guede trials and Knox + Sollecito trials. The Knox + Sollecito trials page has further subpages for the Massei court, the Hellmann appeals court, the Nencini appeals court. In this section, one can find court transcripts and reports, correspondence or depositions introduced during court proceedings. So a lot of files.

The 7th section

This section is extra material.This will contain documents, photos and videos indirectly related to the case. Things like interviews, documents on forensics, lab manuals, crime scene analyses, documentaries, related trials like the police calumnia trials, etc.

A few quick notes:

1. There are many versions of the Massei motivations report on the Internet. Most are missing two pages. Another version comes in four parts. We edited ours so this is a complete version with the ‘famous’ missing pages.

2. Similarly with the Borsini-Belardi motivation report. Many versions out there, most of them improperly OCR’ed, with sections missing. Our version is a scan version, not the OCRed one.

3. As noted before, recent additions include a lot of depositions of witnesses taken in the first week of police investigation. You can find these in the “2007 police work” page.

4. Police summaries of the crime scene surveys, and fingerprint reports, are at the bottom of that same page.

5. There’s a PDF containing a ‘5 volume’ police photo report. This PDF has photos of Via Sperandio currently not in the crime scene photos. But certainly those photos are part of the same Nov. 2007 crime scene photo survey. Anyway, you can find it in the Crime Scene page at the bottom. It’s called Photo-photographic-file-censored. We edited out pictures of the body, to preserve dignity of the victim.

6. Towards the bottom of the “2008 investigations” page, we recently added two police charts, and the first “shoeprint report” by Rinaldi & Boemia, which has more data on shoeprints. Their second report concentrated on the footprints.

7. We have the Cassazione March 2015 dispositivo. We will be posting that along with other documents shortly.

In conclusion

The file library is an ongoing thing. We hope to make real progress here, so everyone can look at all the facts of the case, not just a few picks. A bright light is needed on as much material as is possible to offer, in honor of Meredith Kercher, the victim.

When we post a new file batch, we add an update note on the Wiki home page.

The Meredith Kercher Wiki is committed to being the essential record of all publicly available documents and testimonies about the case, to benefit the general public and the media. Please circulate this widely, and check in regularly. There are more changes to come.

ADDED 12 JULY

On 2007 Investigations: Police work page
2007-11-03-Log-cellphone-KercherM-English.pdf
2007-11-03-Log-cellphone-Sollecito.pdf
2007-11-07-Log-landphone-Sollecito.pdf
2007-11-27-Police-deposition-Capezzali.pdf

On 2007 Investigations: Arrests page
2007-11-07-Prosecutor-notice-Request-to-validate-Arrest-Knox-Lumumba-Sollecito.pdf

On Arrest trials page
2008-01-21-Testimony-Bernaschi-Sollecito.pdf
2008-05-15-Motivazioni-Matteini-reconfirming-cautionary-arrest-Knox.pdf

On Arrest trials: KSL: Matteini trial page
2007-11-08-Testimony-Matteini-Knox.pdf

On Arrest trials: KS: Ricciarelli trial page
2007-11-30-Motivazioni-Ricciarelli-Arresto-Appello-Knox-Sollecito.pdf (forever missing Ricciarelli report)

On 2008 Investigations page
2008-11-08-Deposition-Monacchia.pdf

On Trials: Micheli court page
2008-09-16-Testimony-Summary-and-Rulings-Micheli.pdf (first Micheli hearing)
2008-10-27-Report-Fioravanti-Vodaphone.pdf

On Trials: KS: Massei and Cristiani trial page
2009-11-20-Closing-arguments-Mignini.pdf (forever missing)
2009-11-21-Closing-arguments-Comodi-Knox.pdf (forever missing- Comodi describes 3D reconstruction)

On Trials: KS: Hellmann and Zanetti trial page
2010-12-11-Testimony-Lawyers-Knox-Parisi-Maori-Ghirga-Vedova.pdf (missing Hellmann hearings)
2010-12-18-Testimony-Costagliola-Comodi-Perna.pdf
2011-01-22-Testimony-Lawyers.pdf
2011-03-12-Testimony-Mandarino-Pucciarini-Ciasullo-Bevilacqua-IniG-IniR.pdf
2011-03-26-Testimony-Brughini-Curatolo-Lucarelli.pdf
2011-05-21-Testimony-Napoleoni-Conti-Vecchiotti-Knox.pdf
2010-12-11-Court-doc-Zanetti-case-review.pdf

On Trials: KS: Nencini and Cicerchia trial page
2014-01-20-Testimony-Maori-Crini-Pacelli-Fabiani-Perna-Maresca-Donati-Colotti.pdf (missing Nencini hearing)

On Trials: Knox and Sollecito trials page
2015-03-30-Sentenza-Cassazione-Dispositivo-Knox-Sollecito.pdf (sentence, not motivations report)

Posted on 06/17/15 at 07:59 AM by azoza. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #4

Posted by Cardiol MD




1. SERIES OVERVIEW

This post continues a response to the March 27th, 2015 announcement of Cassation’s Fifth Chamber that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were Not Guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.

The Fifth Chamber’s Reporting Judge Antonio Paolo Bruno, was reported to have said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted”.

In fact Judge Bruno was wrong.

Post #1 and Post #2 and Post #3 reported dozens of Certainties contained in “the trials”.

As previously noted, the Existence, Timings, Durations, and General-Locations of all the telephone calls are a very fertile source of Certains, or Certainly-Nots. This is because civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K, use, and specifically did use in November 2007’s Perugia, the Coordinated Universal Time Protocol (CUT).

Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs.  It’s almost as if these November, 2007’s Perugia ‘phone users were wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).

(Uncoordinated Time-keeping could have resulted in wrong times being assigned to a telephone event)

2. MORE SUCH CERTAINTIES


(A) SOLLECITO’S PHONE

43. IT IS CERTAIN THAT SOLLECITO’S PHONE WAS EITHER AFFIRMATIVELY SWITCHED-ON, OR HAD-BEEN-MOVED, AT 6:02:59 AM, 2 NOVEMBER 2007

Therefore, contrary to the Defense “reasoning”, cited below, there is Certain proof that Sollecito’s phone was switched on or had been moved at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007, and that Sollecito &/or Knox were awake at that time, contrary to their assertions, which are Certainly false:

Nencini Page 158:

“If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing [142] reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.”

More in this case:

(B) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

Antonio Curatolo had testified at the Massei Trial that he had seen Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 in Piazza Grimana”

However, the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had rejected the reliability of Curatolo’s Testimony.

The SCC Panel, Annulling the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had, in turn rejected and annulled Hellman’s Analysis of Curatolo’s Testimony, stating on pp 67-69:

“The Hellmann Court of Appeal rejected the reliability of the testimony of Antonio Curatolo which, in the reconstruction of the First Instance Court, had been taken as a basis of proof that the negative alibi offered by the two accused was false,  and which constituted one of the tesserae of the mosaic which led to their being held to have been present at the scene of the crime.  Incidentally,  it is worth recalling that the First Instance Court held, via reasoning that was correct from both a legal and logical point of view, that the false alibi must be considered as evidence against [the accused],  to be placed in relation to the other elements of proof in the context of the entire body of evidence.

This method of analysing the testimony, as observed by the Prosecutor General submitting the appeal,  is absolutely subject to censure in that it displays a lack of the prerequisite thorough examination of the facts and circumstances,  so that the conclusion that was reached [by the Hellman Court of Appeal] – that in indicating the two accused students as having been present in Piazza Grimana, he confused the evening of 31 October and the evening of 1 November – clashes with ascertained facts that seriously contradict such an absolutely certain assumption,  so as to shed full light on the well‐foundedness of the charge that the justifying discourse is contradictory and thus manifestly lacking in logic (it was in fact proven by other facts that on the evening of 31 October that neither Knox nor Sollecito,  who were both occupied,  the former at Lumumba’s pub where she was preparing for the normal activity associated with the Halloween festival,  the latter at a graduation party,  could have been present in Piazza Grimana at around 11 PM).

The assertion that the sighting of the two young people by the witness should be shifted to 31 October (page 50 of the sentencing report)  because the context described was more suitable to that day than the next day,  since [the latter]  did precede the arrival of the Scientific Police but [50] [was] taken out of context,  is a manifestly illogical assertion, not only because it contradicts facts which unequivocally demonstrate that the two were not in the piazza on the evening of 31 October (a fact of fundamental importance in the context of the evaluations) and thus the impossibility of squaring the circle in the sense proposed, but also because it follows an utterly weak inferential rule.

Starting from the need to undo the knot of contradiction presented by the testimony (he saw the two young people the evening before the investigation of the Scientific Police and he saw them in the context of the Halloween festival),  the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  after having heard the witness testify a second time and after having verified that he erroneously placed Halloween on the night of 1‐2 November, they heard the witness reiterate that his temporal placement of the fact was anchored to the described presence of people who were all dressed in white and that, after midday on the day after he saw the two young people, he caught sight of the men in white in via della Pergola (a fact with a very high level of certainty, more than any other) together with the police: this notwithstanding, the Court reached the conclusion that his testimony could not be accepted due to the man’s deteriorating intellectual faculties and due to his lifestyle, since he was a detainee for drug dealing when he testified the second time and was a habitual heroin user.

Once again,  the progression of the argument emerges as obviously illogical,  in that the evaluation of the testimony should have been correlated (regardless of the conclusions, this being a discussion of evaluation methods)  to the unique objective fact of absolute reliability (the presence of individuals wearing the white suits, the day after the sighting of the two in the piazza, at a time earlier than 11 PM‐midnight) because that is a fact whose existence is certain, which was a unique identifying circumstance, which could not but remain imprinted on the mind more than any other; while instead, once again, character issues were considered and asserted, furthermore, without any scientific examination that could ascertain whether the man’s intellectual faculties had deteriorated.  Moreover, Curatolo showed up when called upon to testify,  in both the first and second instance trials and, even well after the fact, he never had any difficulty recognizing the two accused as those whom he had seen in Piazza Grimana the evening before he noticed the men dressed in white (whom he called “extra‐terrestrials”) and the police in via della Pergola.

The fact that he had been a homeless man who spent all day in the piazza was not a reason for dismissing him as an unreliable witness out of hand, at the cost of colliding with the accepted principles on the matter of the reliability of testimony.  In conclusion,  [51]  a contribution [that was]  expressed with certainty and noted in the trial transcripts of the witness, and again during his second testimony (“as certain as I’m sitting here” he said of having seen the two accused the evening before the day in which he saw the men in white suits and the police), cannot be circumvented by merely referring to the character of the author of the contribution; this would have required a process of evaluation through facts with equally strong probative evidence.

Moreover,  the opinion must be annulled and remanded, since the explanations of the reliability of the witness Curatolo are incomplete (as they did not take into consideration the facts that contradicted the conclusion reached by the Court), vitiated by an incorrect application of the laws governing the matter. The ‘precise and serious’ nature of the evidence provided by the testimony was dismissed in the [Appeal] opinion without testing its concordance with other evidence, on the basis of a conjecture (that the witness superimposed the evening of 31 October onto that of 1 November) that was not even confronted with the facts contradicting its conclusions”

In summary, this SCC Panel ruled that Hellmann’s Motivazione “must be annulled and remanded” because it ignored facts contradicting Hellmann’s conclusion, and incorrectly applied “the laws governing the matter”, “without testing its concordance with other evidence”, not even confronting Curatolo “with the facts contradicting (Hellmann’s) conclusions”.

Therefore:

44. IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO WAS PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV. 1st, 2007
45.  IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO TESTIFIED THAT HE SAW MEN IN WHITE SUITS, AND POLICE PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE MORNING AFTER HIS SIGHTING OF AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANI.


3. AND MORE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBTS


(A) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

The SCC Chamber’s reasons, given above, for Annulling And Remanding Hellmann’s conclusions re Curatelo’s misremembering the Date, in spite of his specifically remembering that it was the evening before he saw the Official Commotions relating to Meredith’s murder, justify the Conclusion that:

8. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT CURATOLO SAW AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV.1st, 2007 ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. A FEW YARDS FROM THE COTTAGE AT NO. 7, VIA DELLA PERGOLA, WHERE, IN THE SAME SPAN OF TIME, THE MURDER TOOK PLACE.


WITNESS MARCO QUINTAVALLE

Nencini p 156:

“Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.”

SCC. Annulling H/Z p 50

“In this case,  [the Defence argues that]  a re‐evaluation of the witness is not allowed,  given that his testimony was correctly examined by the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  knowing the lapse of time after which he offered his contribution to investigators. The witness’s statements were,  for the rest,  compared with those of his co‐workers, who referred to the doubts expressed by Quintavalle on the exactitude of his identification. There is therefore no lack of logic in the reasoning,  since the lack of logic must be manifestly perceived,  whereas minimal inconsistencies must have no influence”

SCC ANNULLING H/Z p 70-71

“In reality,  the notice taken of the witness’s statements, as pointed out by the Prosecutor General, is absolutely biased, since the sighting out of the corner of the eye referred to the girl’s exit from the shop, whereas the witness specified having seen her at a close distance (between 70‐80 centimetres), adding that she remained imprinted on his mind “because of her very light blue eyes”,  her “extremely pale face”,  and “a very tired expression”.

Moreover,  the witness clarified in his testimony that he became convinced that the girl who appeared in the newspapers was the one he saw in the early morning of 2 November 2007, given that the colour of her eyes could not be ascertained from the photo, but that he became certain once that he saw the girl in the courtroom. The selection made from the pool of information was absolutely one‐sided, which distorted the evidence to the point of making it appear uncertain, whereas the witness explained the reasons for his perplexity and the development of his conviction in terms of certainty.

As noted by the Prosecutor General in the appeal documents filed,  this portion of the report assumed relevance within the framework of the reconstruction and required an explanation based on an examination of the entire testimony; instead, through a process of unacceptable selection, only some of the testimony was considered to be of value, indeed, only that portion considered to be consistent with a [specific] conclusion, one that in fact required rigorous demonstration.

The result,  once again,  is blatantly and manifestly illogical. What is at issue is not a re‐evaluation of the evidence –  which is obviously prohibited by this Court, as the Defence for the accused has justly pointed out – but rather the need to point out a glaringly evident flaw that consists of an intolerable chasm between what is stated by the witness and what is acknowledged in the justifying arguments, on a point of significant importance, since it concerns the foundation of the alibi.

On this point also, the new judgment will have to be conducted in light of the preceding observations.”

Given the above:

9. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT MARCO QUINTAVALLE SAW AMANDA KNOX IN HIS CONAD SHOP AT AROUND 7:45 am ON 2 NOVEMBER 2007.

Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

To be continued, though we may need to wait until the end of June 2015 when SCC’s Motivazione is due.
Posted on 06/15/15 at 08:02 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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