Headsup: There are some clueless reports in main media about Dr Mignini meeting with Knox. It was really a smart move. Gives her a chance to come right, and pull back on the toxic book and paid talks. That right now might do her some good. This comment explains the carrot & stick.
Category: Various hypotheses

Monday, January 10, 2011

Scientific Statement Analysis: Amanda Knox’s Statement To The Appeal Court On 11 December

Posted by Peter Hyatt


As with the previous examples this analysis is cross-posted from Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK.

Amanda Knox made this statement in Italian at the opening of the second appeal hearing on 11 December. TJMK reported on the statement but I read no reporting or other analyses before completing this exercise.

Statement Analysis, for which the proper term is “Scientific Content Analysis” (SCAN), is best conducted in the original language. The Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation (LSI) conducts instruction in various countries in the native language of the country.

The translation was kindly done by a PMF Forum poster with native Italian.  In Knox’ case, her first language is English and not Italian. Should the original version in English be released by her team, we will do a more detailed analysis. To avoid error, we will employ only general principles.

Amanda’s speech in court:

...It would happen sometimes that someone would propose a subject to discuss among us, everyone giving their opinion. I liked to followed these discussions but I was uncomfortable about whether I should participate directly, because I’m not talented for discussions. Often I don’t succeed in expressing my convictions, at least verbally right at the moment.

In fact, of all my friends, I’m the weakest for this. That’s why, jokingly, my friend would usually jump on this, that my character was so peace-loving, and would challenge me with a little sentence: “Stand up for yourself Poindexter”, which means “Defend yourself, grind” [secchiona=someone who studies too hard, too serious]. It was a joke.

And inevitably, either I would answer, but the answer coming out of my mouth would get all twisted incomprehensible…incomprehensibly around itself, or, I just didn’t succeed in answering at all, because my mind would get blocked and my tongue would get all stuck.

I couldn’t do the thing that my friend often asked me to do, which was to defend myself. We have to imagine [Figuriamoci se io…not easy to render in English: maybe “You can imagine”] that I’m the weakest person in this room for expressing myself.

That’s why I ask for patience, because all this that I’ve prepared are the things that I didn’t succeed in saying to you yet. Or better, I find myself in front of you for the second time, but these are the things that I would like to have said already.

I ask you for patience because there have been opportunities to speak, but I was of few words. I believe that often words didn’t come to me, because I never expected to find myself here,

Note that in Amanda Knox’ address to the court, she spoke at length about how she feels she does not communicate well. Almost 25 per cent of her words are about her own speech.

Note that her initial accounts of what happened tested deceptive in statement analysis. (see prior analysis) The language she used suggested sexual activity and deception. She claimed to have been confused about details and here she dedicates a lengthy introduction to claim that although educated, she lacks skill in verbal communication and that she isn’t someone to defend herself. Note that when an innocent person is falsey accused, they find ways to communicate this plainly. In her magazine interview, as well as her descriptions of prison life, she does not show any handicap or disability in communication. Nor do we find any here, in her recent statement.

Next, we find her first denial:

“for I crime I didn’t do” (which may have been ‘commit’ lost in translation) Note that this denial has the first person singular, but is not as strong as identifying the action, rather than the classification of actions (crime). We look for a specific denial such as “I didn’t stab Meredith” or “I didn’t attack Meredith” as being stronger.

condemned for a crime I didn’t do. In these three years, I’ve learned your language, and I’ve seen how the procedure goes, but I’ve never gotten used to this broken life. I still don’t know how to face all this if not just by being myself, who I’ve always been, in spite of the suffocating awkwardness. I was wrong to think that there are right or wrong places and moments to say important things. Important things have to be said, and that’s all.

The only thing I am really sorry about now is that there are people to whom I should turn, who are not here, but I hope my words will reach them, because I am either locked in prison, or I’m here. And…I’m here.

Here she says that there is only one thing she is “really sorry” about: people she cannot see due to being in prison or court. “really” sorry would indicate other sorrows. Next, she then says she is sorry to the family of Meredith:

To the family and dear ones of Meredith, I want to say that I’m so sorry that Meredith is not here any more. I can’t know how you feel, but I too have little sisters, and the idea of their suffering and infinite loss terrifies me.

Note that “I’m so sorry” is found with the same sentence as “Meredith is not here any more”, which is minimizing. It is not just that Meredith isn’t present, she is murdered and will never be anywhere but dead. This minimization is noted among the deceptive and guilty; coupled with “I’m sorry” shows responsiblity.

It’s incomprehensible, it’s unacceptable, what you’re going through, and what Meredith underwent. [Long pause]

Note “what Meredith underwent” is to avoid much stronger language of being knifed, attacked, and brutally murdered. Minimization is noted.

I’m sorry all this happened to you and that you’ll never have her near you, where she should be. It’s not just and never will be. If you’re not alone when you’re thinking of her, because I’m thinking of you, I also remember Meredith, [5:00] and my heart bleeds for all of you.

It is likely that Meredith’s family did not wish to hear that Amanda Knox was thinking of them.

Meredith was kind, intelligent, nice and always available.

I hesitate to quote the word “available” as it sounds strange to the English language, and may not be what Knox said. “Available” in a sexual homicide, suggests willingness. It is noted here, but, again, with caution, as it may not have been the English word intended by Amanda.

She was the one who invited me to see Perugia, with her, as a friend. I’m grateful and honored to have been able to be in her company and to have been able to know her.

By stating that “she was the one who invited me” she may suggest that what happened was Meredith’s fault and is a subtle casting of blame. Again I caution the reader due to translation. Amanda Knox’ other statments, in English, should be considered more reliable. Yet, is there blame being cast here?

If Meredith was “available” when wanted, would she have been killed? Note the caution above of putting too much into this word, “available” since it may not have been the English word used. If it was, then under the circumstances, it is highly sensitive.

Patrick? I don’t see you. But, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, because I didn’t want to wrong you. I was very naïve and really not courageous, because I should have been able to endure the pressure that pushed me to hurt you. I didn’t want to contribute to all that you suffered. You know what it means to have unjust accusations imposed on your skin. You didn’t deserve what you went through. I hope you’ll succeed in finding your peace.

Amanda Knox implicated Patrick in the murder of Meredith, falsely, and here says that she is “sorry” but then blames others in the “pressure that pushed me to hurt you”; alleviating her of personal responsibility.

Note that although she claims to be unable to defend herself clearly due to language and communication limitations, she was clear when she implicated Patrick as Meredith’s killer.

Meredith’s death was a terrible shock for me. She was my new friend, a reference point for me here in Perugia. But she was killed. Because I felt an affinity towards her, suddenly, in her death, I recognized my own vulnerability. I clung above all to Raffaele, who was a source of reassurance, consolation, availability and love for me.

I also trusted the authorities carrying out the investigation, because I wanted to help render justice for Meredith.

She trusted the authorities carrying out justice but lied to them (see previous analysis) and blamed another.

It was another shock to find myself accused and arrested. I needed a lot of time to accept that reality, of being accused, and redefined unjustly. I was in prison, my photo was everywhere.

Note that she mentions her photo published. Journalists have written that she appeared, initially, to enjoy the attention. Her photo taken is important to her, which is why it entered her statement.

Insidious, unjust, nasty gossip about my private life circulated about me.

Note that this gossip was about her “private life” and note the order:

  • “insidious”
  • “unjust”
  • “nasty”

Living through this experience has been unacceptable for me. I have trusted above all to the hope that everything will be arranged as it should have been, and that this enormous error about me will be recognized, and that every day that I spend in a cell and in court is one day nearer to my liberty. This is my consolation, in the darkness, that lets me live without despairing, doing my best to continue my life as I always have, in contact with my dear friends and my family, dreaming about the future.

What allows her to be consoled is that she is closer to liberty with each passing day.

Now, I am unjustly condemned, and more aware than ever of this hard and undeserved reality. I still hope for justice, and dream about a future. Even if this experience of three years weighs me down with anguish and fear, here I am, in front of you, more intimidated than ever, not because I’m afraid or could ever be afraid of the truth,

Note that the subject tells us what she is not afraid of

...but because I have already seen justice go wrong. The truth about me and Raffaele is not yet recognized, and we are paying with our lives for a crime that we did not commit.

Note the order: “me and Raffaele” with regards to the truth

He and I deserve freedom, like everyone in this courtroom today.

Note the order: “He and I” with regards to freedom.

We don’t deserve the three years that we already paid, and we certainly don’t deserve more.

Note here that she uses “we” in regards to time served

I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. We did not kill Meredith.

This is a weak denial.

“I am innocent” is not “I didn’t do it” but then is weakened further by the use of “we”. She has the need to speak for him as well. This, along with “we” indicates that the two are tied together; whereas one cannot be guilty without the other being guilty; one cannot be innocent without the other being innocent.

I beg you to truly consider that an enormous mistake has been made in regard to us.

Note “mistake” regarding a conviction of murder. And note “us” continuing to tie herself to Raffaele

No justice is rendered to Meredith or her dear ones by taking our lives away and making us pay for something we didn’t do.

Note that here we have the denial of “didn’t do” but it is weakened by the pronoun “we”. “I didn’t do it”; first person singular, past tense, is strongest.

Of course, there is nothing to stop a lawyer from writing out a statement for her to read as we know in Statement Analysis, the “I didn’t do it” must be in the freely edited process of the subject, such as Richard Jewell, while the subject is speaking for himself, unrehearsed. When this is done, an innocent person will say that they didn’t do it, and accept nothing else.

The innocent person has no “we”, and has no need to minimize what happened because they do not have an emotional attachment (hate, rage, anger, etc) to the crime; therefore, the innocent person will often use harsh terminology, whereas we see, particularly in brutal murders, softer language, such as “I would never harm him” or “I wouldn’t hurt her” when talking about murder but ONLY while the person’s mind is choosing the words to speak.

This is the editing process that we all exercise. It must be free (this is why we note reflected language in interviews and why we are careful to ask open ended questions whenever possible).

I am not the person that the prosecution says I am, not at all.

Note that in an answer with the word “no” that each word that follows “no” weakens, even if slightly, the statement.

According to them, I’m a dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring and violent girl.

This is something we find in guilty statements where the subject frames truthful words together, such as “you think I did it”. (See the example in Scripture regarding the trial of Christ as “king” of the Jews). It is Amanda Knox who frames these words:

“I’m a dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring, and violent girl” comes within her statement. This is not something that innocent people do because they do not have the connection (emotionally or intellectually) with the description.

If someone says to you “you think I cheated on you!”, the wording shows an increased in the percentages that the subject cheated on you. It is not to be taken by itself; but upon the whole. If something is 70% likely, it still is 30% unlikely.

But when taken with other indicators, it can reveal if the person cheated. Note the innocents generally cannot connect themselves with guilty words in this manner.

Given the many indicators of deception in her early statements, it would appear that Amanda Knox is recognizing things about herself. It would be interesting to learn the Italian word for “girl” rather than “woman”.

Again, Statement Analysis is best conducted in the language of the statement.

Their hypotheses depend on this. But I’ve never been that girl. Never.

Note two things: previously, she stated that she has always been herself. Note also that she repeats the word “never” which increases the sensitivity of the statment.

The people who know me are witnesses of my personality. My past, I mean my real past, not the one talked about in the tabloids, proves that I’ve always been like this, like I really am,

Something may be lost in translation here, especially in the words ““that I’ve always been like this…” following the tabloids. It does not flow, which may suggest translation difficulty.

and if all this is not enough, I ask you, I invite you, I ask you to ask the people who have been guarding me for three years. Ask them if I have ever been violent, aggressive or uncaring in front of the suffering that is part of the broken lives in prison.

Knox offers her behavior in prison as proof that she is not violent. I do not think “in front” is meant as deceptive (as if she has been violent, just not in front of others) but is convoluted in translation.

The way to verify the meaning is to either ask her to explain it in English, or check not only her prison record, but interview other prisoners.

Because I assure you that I’m not like that. I assure you that I have never resembled the images painted by the prosecution.

Note “resembled”

How could it be possible that I could be capable of achieving the kind of violence that Meredith suffered? How could it be possible that I could throw myself like that at the opportunity to hurt one of my friends?

Note again the wording that is phrased. On general terms, the innocent do not frame guilty language within their sentences, even when posed as a question or an exclamatory statement.

...such a violence, as though it were more important and more natural than all my teaching, all my values, all my dreams and my whole life? All this is not possible.

That girl is not me. I am the girl that I have always shown myself to be and have always been. I repeat that I also am asking for justice. Raffaele and I are innocent, and we want to live our lives in freedom. We are not responsible for Meredith’s death, and, I repeat, no justice is accomplished by taking our lives away. [Whispers: “okay”] Um, thank you

We still not have have a strong denial from Amanda Knox.

Note that many words in her statement have been skipped here due to possible translation issues. She does frame words in a manner of guilt, but more reliable are her statements made early on, and to the press when she spoke in English. Italian Statement analysis would be better, though the analysts there must use caution as Italian is her second language.

What is best for our understanding is when she speaks English and the analysis is done in English.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scientific Statement Analysis: Knox’s Handwritten Note To Police On The Day She Was Arrested

Posted by Peter Hyatt



Above: Amanda Knox telling one of her three previous stories to the police outside the house several days earlier.

These posts analyzing key statements are adapted from posts on Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK. They are examples of the application of statement analysis, a powerful investigative technique with a very long history of success.

In Meredith’s case such analysis surfaces very telling patterns in the statements of those convicted and undergoing appeal, and also in the statements of those seeking to gain for themselves from the death of Meredith Kercher. 

This is an analysis of the transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.

This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.

The opening line appears deceptive.

Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.

note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.

I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”. This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words. Someone NOT at the crime scene would not frame these words.

Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming.

She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible. Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”). She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.

Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event.

I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:

“in my mind” is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.

When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.

On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.

It may be that she and Patrick argued.

Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.

Weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.

I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.

However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.

We can only commit to what the subject commits; here, she took a shower, but wants everything else to be vague; indicating deception.

In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

“in truth” is used because she now wants to be believed as is the inclusion of minute detail after reporting memory failure. Sometimes liars add extra, minor detail, in the hope of persuading (see Casey Anthony description of “Zanny the Nanny”).

The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind WHILE giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went.

One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.

Lack of commitment to the events noted

After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).

Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.

“noticed” is passive. Passive languge indicates a desire to conceal and she is withholding information here.

Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.

A statement has 3 general portions:

  • an introduction
  • the event
  • post event action

It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.

Note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)

The next thing I remember

Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here

was waking up

Note verb tense

the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.

Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.

note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.

Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”

I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.

However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming.

But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.

Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.

We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.

But the truth is,

This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed

I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:

1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.

2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.

Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.

I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.

Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.

Honestly,

Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed

I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:

Note “can’t explain”

1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.

This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)

The truth is,

Noted

I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.

Someone; gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.

I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.

Lack of commitment noted; lots of qualifiers leaving room for a variety of explanations in order to “confuse”. Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.

First, she lists posible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.

2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating. And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.

3. I’m very confused at this time. My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.

[illegible section]

I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:

1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?

2. Why did I think of Patrik?

3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?

4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?

3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.

I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.

If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.

Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.

The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations.

She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.

Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph test. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Scientific Statement Analysis: Analysis Of Amanda Knox’s Email To Seattle Of 4 November 2007

Posted by Peter Hyatt





In my post below cross-posted from my own blog I explain what statement analysis is.

This is an analysis of Amanda Knox’s email to family and friends of 4 November 2007 We take no sides, and we attempt to have no preconceived notions. .If you go into the analysis wanting to see something one way or the other, you will.

Let the text speak for itself and use the same techniques here that you would on any statement. No one indicator is used to declare veracity or deception; but when taken on a whole, a picture emerges.

By Amanda Knox

This is an email for everyone, because I would like to get it all out and not have to repeat myself a hundred times like Ive been having to do at the police station. Some of you already know some things, some of you know nothing. What I’m about to say I cant say to journalists or newspapers, and I require that of anyone receiving this information as well. This is my account of how I found my roommate murdered the morning of Friday, November 2nd.

The last time I saw Meredith, 22, English, beautiful, funny, was when I came home from spending the night at a friends house. It was the day after Halloween, Thursday.

Note any inclusion of “shower” or “washing”, “water” etc is an indication of sexual abuse. We look for any repeat mentioning as highly sensitive and important.

I got home and she was still asleep, but after I had taken a shower and was fumbling around the kitchen she emerged from her room with the blood of her costume (vampire) still dripping down her chin.

We talked for a while in the kitchen, how the night went, what our plans were for the day. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Negation: In an open statement, when a subject tells us that “nothing” happened; or “nothing” out of the ordinary, it is a linguistic indicator that something out of the ordinary did take place, and that the subject is withholding information. We expect to be told what happened; or what was said; not what did not happen; or what was not said. This is noted for high sensitivity.

Then she went to take a shower…

Second mention of “shower” indicating high sensitivity. This means that “shower” is very important to the subject.

I began to start eating a little while I waited for my friend (Raffaele, at whose house I stayed over) to arrive at my house.

Note verb tense. When a subject tells us that they “began” something, we cannot say that it was concluded; here she “began” to “start” eating; repetition of an action increased sensitivity. Note also any inclusion of eating, watching TV, drinking coffee in a statement often indicates social activity. This would lead us to question whether or not subject was alone at this time, or was with another person there who is not mentioned.

He came right after I started eating and he made himself some pasta. As we were eating together Meredith came out of the shower and grabbed some laundry or put some laundry in, one or the other and returned into her room after saying hi to Raffale.

.

Note the pace of the account. The pace, or “lines per hour” in which a person writes an account of a day is a highly accurate tool of polygraphy; and can indicate veracity or deception. With pace, we note any skip in time

After lunch…

Temporal lacunae. Sensitive time period in which information has been withheld. 70% likely due to time stress (traffic, work, etc) but 30% is critical information deliberately withheld. Note the jump in time. )

i began to play guitar with raffael and meredith came out of her room and went to the door. she said bye and left for the day. it was the last time i saw her alive.

In domestic homicides; we always look for the inclusion of departure words. When it is important enough for the subject to tell us that the words “good bye” or “see you later” (etc), this is often an indicator that the person is dead, by this time in the giving of the account. It can also, sometimes, indicate the time of death.

After a little while of playing guitar me and Raffale went to his house to watch movies and after to eat dinner and generally spend the evening and night indoors. We didn’t go out.

Negation. The subject has told us what wasn’t done. This is an inidication that the subject did go out.

The next morning…

Temporal lacunae. In an interview, each jump in time is focused upon as being sensitive. We also look for unnecessary words. When an unnecessary or unimportant word is added, Statement Analysis teaches that it is doubly important.

i woke up around 1030 and after grabbing my few things i left raffael’s appartment…

“left” is an indication that the subject has withheld information, when it appears as an unnecessary connecting verb. For instance:

“I has a meeting at 1In order to go to lunch, one would have to “leave”; so “left” is unnecessary and often tells us critical information has been withheld. Crimes of theft are often solved by this one verb. In the above statement, a stolen item was removed from the office and hid in the subject’s vehicle; which is why he mentioned leaving AND he mentioned his car. As he wrote this statement, he was thinking about the theft and where in the car he hid the item, so while writing out the account of his day, it entered into his language.

“left” is 70% time related, but the 30% is critical; therefore, whenever unnecessary use of “left” enters a statement, our interview will focus upon it. 0AM in my office. I left the office in my car to go to Mcdonalds. I came back, ate lunch, and…”

and walked the five minute walk back to my house to once again take a shower and grab a chane of clothes.

The interview is going to focus upon sexual activity. Any word repeated is noted, but when a word is repeated this often and is associated with sexual abuse, the subject of sex, including unwanted sex (abuse) will be explored as possible motive.

i also needed to grab a mop because after dinner raffael had spilled a lot of water on the floor of his kitchen by accident and didnt have a mop to clean it up.

In Statement analysis, we highlight any use of “so” “since” “because” because a subject is supposed to be telling us what happened; not why something happened. If the “why” enters, it is noted as sensitive.

Here, we have both a shower and now the washing of a floor being so sensitive that the subject has a strong need to explain her action. We have the inclusion of “fake blood” as important enough to enter the subject’s internal dictionary, and now we have our 3rd mention of showering (something people do but don’t feel the need to mention) and now a washing of the floor. It is something investigators will focus upon.

So i arrived home and the first abnormal thing i noticed was the door was wide open.

We have another “so”, highlighted, and we have order mentioned (first) which will lead us to ask what the 2nd abnormal thing is to the subject.

Here’s the thing about the door to our house: its broken, in such a way that you have to use the keys to keep it closed. If we don’t have the door locked, it is really easy for the wind to blow the door open, and so, my roommates and I always have the door locked unless we are running really quickly to bring the garbage out or to get something from the neighbors who live below us.

always highlight (blue marker on the sensitivity chart) the use of “so” “since” “because” “therefore” (and even “and hence”) as sensitive, and note that what follows is an explanation of “why”; which may be an attempt to persuade; rather than report.

(Another important piece of information: for those who don’t know, I inhabit a house of two stories, of which my three roommates and I share the second story apartment. There are four Italian guys of our age between 22 and 26 who live below us. We are all quiet good friends and we talk often. Giacomo is especially welcome because he plays guitar with me and Laura, one of my roommates, and is, or was dating Meredith. The other three are Marco, Stefano, and Ricardo.) Anyway, so the door was wide open. Strange, yes, but not so strange that I really thought anything about it.

We have highlighted the door being open as sensitive because of the repetition, but notice now that it is no longer “abnormal” and is now “not so strange”. When someone reports what happened, it should be past tense; first person singular. Any deviation is noted. When someone uses the “why”, it is no longer a report of what happened, but an attempt to explain.

The inclusion of thoughts and emotions in honest accounts comes afterwards in a statement; not during. Note any inclusion as an indicator of deception.

I assumed someone in the house was doing exactly what I just said, taking out the trash or talking really quickly to the neighbors downstairs. So I closed the door behind me but I didn’t lock it, assuming that the person who left the door open…

Note: inclusion of something not done; also, doors locked, opened, closed; often associated with child abuse.

would like to come back in. When I entered I called out if anyone was there, but no one responded and I assumed that if anyone was there, they were still asleep. Laura’s door was open which meant she wasn’t home, and Filomena’s door was also closed. My door was open like always

Attempt to persuade; not report

...and Meredith door was closed, which to me ment she was sleeping. I undressed in my room and took a quick shower in one of the two bathrooms in my house, the one that is right next to Meredith and my bedrooms (situated right next to one another).

Everyone who showers undresses. When it is important enough to enter the subject’s language, it is vital to the account.

it was after i stepped out of the shower and onto the mat that i noticed the blood in the bathroom.

“noticed” soft, passive language.

It was on the mat I was using to dry my feet and there were drops of blood in the sink. At first I thought the blood might have come from my ears which I had pierced extensively not too long ago, but then immediately I know it wasn’t mine because the stains on the mat were too big for just droplets form my ear, and when I touched the blood in the sink it was caked on already.

There was also blood smeared on the faucet. Again, however, I thought it was strange, because my roommates and I are very clean and we wouldn’t leave blood in the bathroom, but I assumed that perhaps Meredith was having menstrual issues and hadn’t cleaned up yet. ew, but nothing to worry about.

inclusion of vaginal area noted, along with the constant repetition of shower; possible sexual motive

I left the bathroom and got dressed in my room. After I got dressed I went to the other bathroom in my house, the one that Filomena and Laura use, and used their hairdryer to obviously dry my hair and it was after I was putting back the dryer that I noticed the shit that was left in the toilet, something that definitely no one in out house would do.

I started feeling a little uncomfortable and so I grabbed the mop from out closet and left the house, closing and locking the door that no one had come back through while I was in the shower, and I returned to Raffale’s place. After we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen I told Raffale about what I had seen in the house over breakfast. The strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit left in the toilet.

Note that the blood is “strange”.  Any additional word is noted for sensitivity.

Door open ;and now a reason to clean up is no longer spilled water, but human waste.

Police would likely think that now a clean up of a crime scene is taking place. Cleaning up is strong to the subject.

He suggested I call one of my roommates, so I called Filomena. Filomena had been at a party the night before with her boyfriend Marco. She also told me that Laura wasn’t at home and hadn’t been because she was on business in Rome. Which meant the only one who had spent the night at our house last night was Meredith, and she was as of yet unaccounted for.

Filomena seemed really worried, so I told her I would call Meredith and then call her back. I called both of Meredith’s phones the English one first and last and the Italian one between.
The first time I called the English phone.  it rang and then sounded as of there was disturbance, but no one answered.

I then called the Italian phone and it just kept ringing, no answer. I called her English phone again and this time an English voice told me her phone was out of service.

Raffale and I gathered our things and went back to my house. I unlocked the door and I’m going to tell this really slowly to get everything right so just have patience with me. The living room/kitchen was fine. Looked perfectly normal. I was checking for signs of our things missing, should there have been a burglar in our house the night before. Filomena’s room was closed, but when I opened the door her room and a mess and her window was open and completely broken, but her computer was still sitting on her desk like it always was and this confused me. Convinced that we had been robbed I went to Laura’s room and looked quickly in, but it was spotless, like it hadn’t even been touched. This too, I thought was odd. I then went into the part of the house that Meredith and I share and checked my room for things missing, which there weren’t.

When this is noted as fact, it is a sign of deception. It is only apparent that nothing is missing; not a fact.

Then I knocked on Meredith’s room. At first I thought she was asleep so I knocked gently, but when she didn’t respond I knocked louder and louder until I was really banging on her door and shouting her name. No response. Panicking, I ran out onto our terrace to see if maybe I could see over the ledge into her room from the window, but I couldn’t see in. Bad angle. I then went into the bathroom where I had dried my hair and looked really quickly into the toilet. In my panic I thought I hadn’t seen anything there, which to me meant whoever was in my house had been there when I had been there. As it turns out the police told me later that the toilet was full and that the shit had just fallen to the bottom of the toilet, so I didn’t see it.

I ran outside and down to our neighbors door. The lights were out but I banged on he door anyway. I wanted to ask them if they had heard anything the night before,...

The subject wanted to conduct an investigation.

...but no one was home. I ran back into the house. In the living room Raffale told me he wanted to see if he could break down Meredith’s door. He tried, and cracked the door, but we couldn’t open it.

It was then that we decided to call the cops. There are two types of cops in Italy, Carbanieri (local, dealing with traffic and domestic calls) and the police investigators. He first called his sister for advice and then called the Carbanieri. I then called Filomena who said she would be on her way home immediately.

While we were waiting, two uninformed police investigators came to our house. I showed them what I could and told them what I knew. Gave them phone numbers and explained a bit in broken Italian, and then Filomena arrived with her boyfriend Marco-f and two other friends of hers. All together we checked the house out, talked to the police, and in a bit they all opened Meredith’s door. I was in the kitchen standing aside, having really done my part for the situation. But when they opened Meredith’s door and I heard Filomena scream “a foot! a foot!” in Italian I immediately tried to get to Meredith’s room but Raffale grabbed me and took me out of the house. The police told everyone to get out and not long afterward the Carabinieri arrived and then soon afterward, more police investigators. They took all of our information and asked us the same questions over and over. At the time I had only what I was wearing and my bag, which thankfully had my passport in it and my wallet. No jacket though, and I was freezing. After sticking around at the house for a bit, the police told us to go to the station to give testimony, which I did.

I was in a room for six hours straight after that without seeing anyone else, answering questions in Italian for the first hour and then they brought in an interpreter and he helped my out with the details that I didn’t know the words for.
They asked me of course about the the morning, the last time I saw her, and because I was the closest to her, questions about her habits and her relationships. Afterward, when they were taking my fingerprints, I met two of Meredith’s English friends, two girls she goes out with, including the last one who saw her alive that night she was murdered. They also had their prints taken. After that, this was around 9 pm at night by this time, I was taken into the waiting room where there was various other people who I all knew from various places who all knew Meredith. Her friends from England, my roommates, even the owner of the pub she most frequented.

After a while my neighbors were taken in too, having just arrived home from a week long vacation in their home town, which explained why they weren’t home when I banged on their door. Later than that another guy showed up and was taken in for questioning, a guy I did not like but who both Meredith and I knew from different occasions, a Moroccan guy that I only know by his nickname amongst the girls “shaky”.

Then I sat around in this waiting room without having the chance to leave or eat anything besides vending machine food (which gave me a hell of a stomach ache) until 5:30 am in the morning. During this time I received calls from a lot of different people, family mostly of course, and I also talked with the rest. Especially to find out what exactly was in Meredith’s room when hey opened it. Apparently her body was laying under a sheet, and with her foot sticking out and there was a lot of blood. Whoever had did this had slit her throat.

They told me to be back in at 11am. I went home to Raffale’s place and ate something substantial, and passed out. In the morning Raffale drove me back to the police station but had to leave me when they said they wanted to take me back to the house for questioning. Before I go on, I would like to say that I was strictly told not to speak about this, but I’m speaking with you people who are not involved and who cant do anything bad except talk to journalists, which I hope you wont do. I have to get this off my chest because its pressing down on me and it helps to know that someone besides me knows something, and that I’m not the one who knows the most out of everyone.

At the house they asked me very personal questions about Meredith’s life and also about the personalities of our neighbors.

1) How well did I know them? pretty well, we are friends.
2) Was Meredith sexually active? Yeah, she borrowed a few of my condoms.
3) Does she like anal? wtf? I don’t know.
4) Does she use Vaseline? for her lips?
5) What kind of person is Stefano? Nice guy, has a really pretty girlfriend.
6) Hmmm…very interesting….weìd like to how you something, and tell us if this is out of normal.

They took me into the neighbors house. They had broken the door open to get in, but they told me to ignore that. The rooms were all open. Giacomo and Marco-n’s room was spotless which made since because the guys had thoroughly cleaned the whole house before they left on vacation. Stefano’s room however, well, his bed was stripped of linens, which was odd, and the comforter he used was shoved up at the top of his bed, with blood on it. I obviously told then that the blood was defiantly out of normal and also that he usually has his bed made. They took note of it and ushered me out. When I left the house to go back to the police station they told me to put my jacket over my head and duck down below the window so the reporters wouldn’t try to talk to me.

At the station I just had to repeat the answers that I had given at the house so they could type them up and after a good 5 and a half hour day with the police again Raffale picked me up and took me out for some well-deserved pizza.I was starving.

I then bought some underwear because as it turns out I wont be able to leave Italy for a while as well as enter my house. ...

Note the inclusion of “underwear” as unusual. Another indicator of sexual activity as part of this event.

I only had the clothes I was wearing the day it began, so I bought some underwear and borrowed a pair of pants from Raffale.

Spoke with my remaining roommates that night (last night) and it was a hurricane of emotions and stress but we needed it anyway. What we have been discussing is basically what to do next. We are trying to keep our heads on straight. First things first though, my roommates both work for lawyers, and they are going to try to send a request through on Monday to retrieve important documents of ours that are still in the house. Secondly, we are going to talk to the agency that we used to find our house and obviously request to move out. It kind of sucks that we have to pay the next months rent, but the owner has protection within the contract. After that, I guess I’ll go back to class on Monday, although I’m not sure what I’m going to do about people asking me questions, because I really don’t want to talk again about what happened. Ive been talking an awful lot lately and I’m pretty tired of it. After that, Its like I’m trying to remember what I was doing before all this happened.

From Dr. Paul Eckman: failure to remember is flagged as deceptive in criminal investigations.

I still need to figure out who I need to talk to and what I need to do to continue studying in Perugia, because it is what I want to do.

Anyway, thats the update, feeling okay, hope you all are well, Amanda

Posted by Peter Hyatt on 12/25/10 at 05:12 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesStatement analysisComments here (0)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Scientific Statement Analysis: Example Of Someone Telling A Truth Albeit A Very Bizarre One

Posted by Peter Hyatt

[Above: an early video report before Elizabeth Johnson made the statement about killing her baby son]

These posts which are cross-posted here from Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK are examples of the application of statement analysis.

This is a powerful investigative technique with a very long history of success. It surfaces some very telling patterns in the statements of those convicted and undergoing appeal here, and also in the statements of those opportunists seeking to gain from the death of Meredith Kercher. 

For starters, let us examine a statement that was later proved by other evidence to be true.

When this story first broke, we at Statement Analysis viewed Elizabeth Johnson’s words and oncluded that Baby Gabriel was dead; even though shortly after law enforcement announced that they have credible evidence that he was still alive.

Yet, Elizabeth Johnson’s statement was to the contrary; though the sample we had to work from was small..

At that time, we only had a portion of what Elizabeth had to say but recognized that her words were not chosen from a vaccum, but for a reason. The latest release has more of the original statement made by the mother to Baby Gabriel’s father.

PHOENIX—For nearly a year, there has been no sign of baby Gabriel. Elizabeth Johnson, the boy’s mother, maintains that she doesn’t know where he is.

But in a phone conversation obtained by CBS 5 News, Johnson said what had only been seen in a text message: That she killed her son.

The source of the recording requested to remain anonymous.

Johnson was on the run in December 2009 in Texas. And in spiteful detail, she explains to the boy’s father, Logan McQueary, what she did to her boy.

“Where are you and where is Gabriel?” asks McQueary.

“Gabriel is in a Dumpster,” Johnson responds.

We first notice the straight language spoken by Johnson; no qualifiers, no threats, no additional words. In fact, the economy of language suggests veracity.

“No, he’s not,” said McQueary.

“You want to talk to girls, that’s the price you pay,” said Johnson.

Note the word “girls” in Johnson’s language as she speaks of her peers and rivals: they are “girls” not “women” and certainly not a “mother”.

At the time of the call, McQueary and Johnson had recently broken up. They shared joint custody of their son, Gabriel.

“I killed him this morning,” claimed Johnson.

First Person singular; past tense. We should believe what Elizabeth Johnson told us, including the time of death. Note the absence of deceptive indicators for those readers who now understand Statement Analysis.

“No, you didn’t,” said McQueary.

McQueary cannot accept this statement. This is typical denial from innocent family members. This is why verb tenses are so important when dealing with a missing child: an innocent parent will not use past tense; but a parent who knows the child is dead (while reported missing) will slip into past tense language:

Susan Smith: “my children needed me”

Casey Anthony: “Caylee loved the park”

Misty Croslin: “I loved her like my own”

McQueary is not involved, in any way, in the disappearance of his son. Like all innocent parents, he cannot accept the death. For some innocent parents, it can be years, if ever, that they can bring themselves to use past tense language.

Note that McQueary’s language is straight forward without qualifiers or sensitivity. He is hit with truth, and he cannot accept it.

Johnson responded with, “I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t do it alone. You made it impossible for me to have my own life. You made it impossible for me to have Gabriel. You were going to take the only thing I had left. You wanted to take from me. You wanted to make me miserable. So find some new girl to make your new baby.”

Here, we see continued ownership with first person singular which is not overdone with sensitivity. This is what a truthful statement looks like. When sensitive repetition does enter, note what it is associated with: not what she did but why she did it. The “why” of what she did is sensitive.

Note also that she blames the baby’s father; typical of guilty killers unable and unwilling to take responsibility. This is motive that is common: if I can’t have him, no one can.

What is sensitive, regarding the killing of the baby is “impossible” and “I couldn’t do it”; note that these are things that could even prove deceptive: she didn’t have to kill the baby; she “could” go on; this is the sensitivity found within the statement: the casting of blame after acknowledging the murder: she killed the baby (truthful/lack of sensitivity) but won’t accept responsibility (deceptive/sensitivity noted).

These words are truthfully spoken. There is no deceptive indicators within the statement regarding the actions she took. We do not come upon sensitivity until it comes to Elizabeth blaming the baby’s father. This means that the actions described are true (first person singular, past tense, no qualifiers, no additional words.

Note again: The economy of words is frighteningly stark.

In the call, McQueary tried to learn exactly where Johnson was so he could lead investigators to her.

She told him she destroyed all of her identification and even called herself a ghost.

McQueary wanted to know his son was OK, but he didn’t want to agitate Johnson anymore than she already was.

“Don’t you care about me? All you care about is Gabriel. And he’s gone now. You know what I’m capable of and you pushed me anyway. You destroyed my life,” said Johnson.

In the statement is found “I’m capable of” after “he’s gone”. There are no indicators of deception to analyze. She also said “all you care about is Gabriel, using his name while he is associated with McQueary. Note “care” is present tense; which, to the father, it is a present tense emotion. There is no imbalance within her words that we note in deceptive statements.

“You know what I am capable of” is her attempt to assert that what she said is true. Note that she does not have to use exaggeration nor hyperbole nor even qualifiers to make her point: She has a quiet confidence that is found in truthful statements. As groteque as it is under the circumstances, truthful statements do, in deed, contain a “quiet confidence” about them. Even as she is attempting to persuade him that she killed Baby Gabriel, she eludes confidence.

There are no indicators of deception.

I wish there were. I wish she was lying and I could highlight the deceptive indicators.

“I haven’t destroyed anything,” said McQueary.

“Yes, you have, Logan. You made me kill my baby boy,” said Johnson.

first person singular, pronoun ownership of the action of the verb. Note that even as she blames him (sensitivity noted above) here there is only slight increase in sensitivity as she calls him her “baby boy”. It is slight.

After she was arrested in Florida, Johnson told investigators she did not kill Gabriel, but rather arranged for him to be adopted by an anonymous family.

McQueary told CBS 5 News that he hopes his son is alive, but the call showed how determined she was to hurt the father of her baby.

“You made me do this,” Johnson tells McQueary.

“this” shows Johnson’s closeness to the murder. It is a single and small word that places Johnson, linguisticly, close to the murder itself. She could have said, “you made me do that” which would have showed some distance, and perhaps, had given readers hope that Gabriel is alive. She did not. .

“You did not hurt Gabriel,” said McQueary.

the father is denying, and uses his son’s name. Note also the minimizing “hurt” rather than killed. Does this mean that McQueary is being deceptive?

In a sense, yes.

If “denial” is untrue, it is, technically, deceptive. By minimizing “kill” to “hurt”, it is likely that Logan McQueary is supressing the growing fear that his son is dead.

It is not “guilty deception” but rather the natural minimization and denial of the innocents, who are unable to accept the death of a child. For the innocent, there is an inability to understand or comprehend how a human could do such a thing. We saw this same reaction, early on, by Jesse Grund, when he realized that Caylee wasn’t missing, but was dead. Since he could not murder a child, he struggled to accept that anyone else, including Casey, could. “That’s not the Casey I knew” he said.

It is a natural, self preserving denial that comes from the projection of an innocent heart and mind.

“Yes, I did. I suffocated him. I suffocated him and he turned blue. I put him in a diaper bag and put him in a trash can,” said Johnson.

This is also true. Notice:

1. first person singular, “I” is used appropriately; one per sentence. Additional use of “I” within a sentence can show anxiety. Here, it is a sign of confidence.

2. past tense verb appropriately used. Present tense language can creep in to those who are fabricating the case.

3. sensory language (she said he “turned blue”). Sensory language can be an indicator of veracity, especially when interviewing children. The recall can be sight, smell, touch, taste, or audible, and it accompanies the memory. This one indication is a strong and powerful point that Baby Gabriel died of suffocation and was likely wrapped in a diaper bag, and thrown into trash.

Note also:

4. no fake placement of emotions in the “perfect” place as deceptive people do, and only one repetition (“suffocated”) indicating sensitivity. When someone is fabricating, they will often include emotions in the “perfect” place: “and as I was putting him in the trash, I thought…”. This is something deceptive people do in order to persuade (see analysis of Tiffany Hartley’s liberal use of emotions/thoughts placed in the part of the statement where emotions would have been voided due to adrenaline)

There is little to analyze because she is telling the truth. The indicators are that she killed the baby in the manner described.  Elizabeth Johnson isn’t expected back in court until Jan. 24 2011. Johnson is accused of kidnapping and custodial interference.

Posted by Peter Hyatt on 12/24/10 at 06:13 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesStatement analysisThe legal followupsUS etc relatedComments here (7)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report: The Timeline For Events Before, During, And After The Night #2

Posted by catnip




The Masssei Timeline After Midnight 1 Nov

We continue here from Post #1 These two posts list all of the events precisely timed in the Massei Report. Page numbers shown in brackets are those in the original Italian version.

There are plenty of mentions of imprecise occasions and general time periods, such as when Rudy told Giorgio Cocciaretto about liking Amanda (p26) or when lawyer Palazzoli found out their stolen computer had been recovered in Milan (p33), but they are not listed here.

Please click here for more

Monday, November 22, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report: Motive In The Meredith Kercher Case And Its Addressing In The Report DRAFT

Posted by James Raper

superceded by revised post 12 april 2011


I have read the Massei Report which in the main I thought was excellent. He was incisive with his logic, particularly, though not exclusively, with regard to the staging of the break in and how that necessarily meant that Amanda was present at the scene when the murder was committed.

However, I thought that he was rather feeble in his coverage of the defendants’ motives as to the attack which led to this brutal murder. Perhaps he thought it better to stick with the indisputable evidence.

Since this pointed to a sex attack, he surmised that Guede had a go at Meredith first, and then - because the stimulation was too much for them - he was joined by Amanda and Raffaele. This works but does seem a bit weak. There were, to my mind, undoubtedly other factors at work, and it is these which I wish to address.

For instance, Massei asks, though he says we can not know, had Amanda egged Guede on as to the “availability” (my word, not his) of Meredith during or prior to their presence at the cottage?

Frankly the answer to that has to be “yes” since it is a bit difficult to figure out why Amanda and Raffaele would otherwise wish Guede to join them at the cottage. I doubt that Amanda and Raffaele would have wanted Guede around if they were just going there to have an innocent cuddle and sex and to smoke cannabis, as Massei implies.

The evidence is that Raffaele hardly knew Guede and in the presence of Amanda was very possessive about her. If he had known of Guede’s interest in Amanda he would have been even less keen to have Guede around.

Also, if all was so innocent beforehand, then why would Guede have tried it on with Meredith and then pressed the situation in the face of her refusal to co-operate, knowing that there were two others there who could have come to her assistance?

The answer is of course that Guede knew full well in advance that there would be no problem with Amanda and Raffaele. He had been invited there and primed to act precisely in the way he did, at least initially. Why? Well there is plenty of evidence as to why Amanda, in her mind, may have been looking for payback time on Meredith. Come to that later.

What does not get much attention in the Massei Report, other than a terse Not Guilty at the end, is the matter of Meredith’s missing rent money and credit cards and whether Amanda and Raffaele stole them.

It is as if the Judge (well, the jury really) felt that this was a trivial issue that brought nothing much to the case and thus it was not necessary to give it much attention. And indeed there is no summation of or evaluation of that evidence.

Now that does surprise me. Of course there may have been some technical flaw with the charge and the evidence. But in the absence of any comment on this then we do not know what that may be. What I do know is that the matter, if proven, is not trivial.

A theft significantly ups the stakes for Amanda and Raffaelle just prior to the murder and produces a dynamic, which, threaded together with a sexual assault, makes for a far more compelling scenario to murder.

It also leads one to conclude that there was a greater degree of premeditation involved : not premeditation to murder but as to an assault, rather than the more spontaneous ” let’s get involved” at the time of the sex attack as postulated by Massei. An Italian lawyer could tell us whether this would have added extra time on to their sentence. It is worthy of consideration.

What is the evidence? What evidence was before the court? I do not have access to trial records, only what I have read about the case in the book “Darkness Descending” and on the True Justice for Meredith website. Therefore I stand to be corrected if I misrepresent the evidence or if my interpretation of it does not met the test of logic.

There were two lay witnesses who were compelling in the trial. The first was Filomena Romanelli, the flatmate and trainee lawyer. If there was anyone who was going to ensure that the rent was paid on time, it would have been her.

She gave evidence that the rent being due very soon she asked Meredith about her contribution of 300 euros and was told by Meredith that all was OK because she had just withdrawn 200 euros from her bank. Filomena assumed from Meredith’s reply that the balance was already to hand.

Is there a problem with this evidence? Is it hearsay and thus inadmissible under Italian law?

Perhaps it is not enough by itself because of course had Meredith not in fact withdrawn the money from her bank, or sufficient funds to cover the stated amount, then that would be a fatal blow to that part of the theft charge. Her bank manager was summoned to give evidence, essentially to corroborate or disprove Filomena’s testimony.

I do not know what exactly that evidence was. One would assume that at the very least it did not disprove her testimony. Had it done so that would, as I have said, been fatal. It is also unbelievable that Massei would have overlooked this in the Report. I am assuming that Meredith did not tell a white lie and that the bank records corroberate this.

There may of course be an issue of timing as I understand that the bank manager told the court that transactions at a cash machine are not necessarily entered on the customer account the same day . However that does not seem to me to be significant.

One must also think that the bank manager was asked what other cash withdrawals had been made if the credit cards were taken at the same time as the money. I understand that there is of course a caveat here: my assumptions in the absence of knowing exactly what the bank manager’s evidence was.

It would be useful also to know how and when the rent was normally paid. It sounds as if it was cash on the day the landlord came to collect.

We do know that the police did not find any money or Meredith”˜s credit cards. Had Meredith, a sensible girl, blown next month’s rent on a Halloween binge? Unlikely. So somebody stole it. Again, just as with the fake break in, when according to Amanda and Raffaele nothing was stolen, who and only who had access to the cottage to steal the money? Yes, you have guessed it. Amanda, of course.

Does the matter of missing rent money figure anywhere else? There is the evidence of Meredith’s phone records which show that she rang her bank late on the evening of her murder just prior to the arrival of Amanda, Raffaele and Guede.

Why did she do this? What do you think? What is the first thing you do when you discover that your credit cards are missing? Obviously have a good look round. Then you ring your bank to put a stop on them. It may have been that she was not actually able to do that at that time of night. But worthy of further investigation.


The missing money also figured in the separate trial of Guede. He made a statement which formed the whole basis of his defence. Basically this was that he had an appointment with Meredith at the cottage, had consensual foreplay with her and was on the toilet when he heard the doorbell ring etc, etc.

What he also added was that just before all this Meredith was upset because her rent money had disappeared and that they had both searched for it with particular attention to Amanda’s room. Now why does Guede mention this? Remember this is his defence. Alibi is not quite the right word. He had plenty of time to think about it or something better.

His defence was moulded around (apart from lies) (1) facts he knew the police would have ie no point denying that he was there or that he had sexual contact with Meredith : his biological traces had been left behind, and (2) facts known to him and not to the police at that stage ie the money, which he could use to make his statement as a whole more credible, whilst at the same time giving the police a lead. He is shifting the focus, if the police were to follow it up, on to the person he must have been blaming for his predicament, Amanda.

If all three, Amanda, Raffaele and Guede, went to the cottage together, as Massei has it, then Guede learns about the missing rent money not as referred to in his statement but because Meredith has already discovered the theft and worked out who has had it and challenges Amanda over it when the three arrive.

Perhaps this is when Guede goes to the toilet and listens to music on his Ipod. After all he is just there for the sex and this is all a distraction.

I expect, however, that Guede’s “evidence” was not a factor in the jury’s consideration. Neither Guede’s lawyers nor those for Amanda and Raffaele wanted Guede to testify at the trial, for obvious reasons Without Guede testifying his statement would have been objectionable if not inadmissable.

I would have thought, though, that the prosecution could have brought him in as a witness, with the agreement of the judge, to testify as to the missing rent money only. Guede and his lawyers might well have agreed to this on the basis that such limited questioning would not have incriminated him further and might well have had a beneficial effect in his appeal. Convicted criminals often give evidence in court. What weight is attached to the evidence of a convicted criminal is a matter for the jury.

As the prosecution have appealed Amanda’s and Raffaele’s sentences, asking for lengthier terms, could they produce Guede now? I don’t know.

When were the money and credit cards stolen? According to Amanda and Raffaele they spent Halloween together at Raffaele’s and the next day went to the cottage. Meredith was there. Meredith left at about 1pm to spend the evening with her friends and Amanda and Raffaele left at about 3pm.

This is according to Amanda and Raffaele of course but probably likely because if the money had already been stolen Meredith may likely have known with different consequences for everyone. So Amanda and Raffaele could have stolen the money and credit cards after she left - the day of her murder.

Incidentally Filomena testified that Meredith never locked the door to her room except on the occasions she went home to England. Meredith was a very trusting girl.

What motive had Amanda for wanting the money apart from the obvious one of profit? There are numerous plausible motives.

To fund a growing drugs habit which she shared with Raffaele? Not an inconsiderable expense for a student. Both Amanda and Raffaele explained their confusion and hesitancy as being due to the fact that they had been going rather hard on drugs.

To embarrass Meredith vis a vis her landlord and the other flatmates? Because Amanda’s own financial circumstances were deteriorating and to fund her own rent contribution? She was probably about to be sacked at Lumumba’s bar and to add insult to injury would likely be replaced by Meredith. In fact Meredith was well liked by all whereas Amanda’s star was definitely on the wane.

That must have irked Amanda. Filomena testified that Meredith and Amanda had begun to have issues with each other towards the end.

With Meredith’s money both Amanda and Raffaele could have afforded something a little stronger than the usual smoke and I speculate that they spent the late afternoon getting stoned. Did they use the credit cards? If they did then it was probably small cash withdrawals but the likelihood is that they did not as in the limited time prior to Meredith’s death they had the use of her ready cash, and after her death the safer thing was to destroy them.

Of course Amanda was still an employee of Lumumba and she would have to turn up that evening for work, but perhaps she no longer cared all that much about the consequences.


Again I speculate that she and Raffaele met Guede before she was due at work, discussed Meredith’s “availability” and Amanda, Raffaele and Guede agreed to meet up on the basketball court at Grimana Square between 11 and 11.30pm, by which time Amanda would expect to have got away from the Le Chic bar.

What else did Amanda and Raffaele have in mind when arranging the meeting or when thinking about it afterwards? Guede was of course thinking about sex and that Amanda and Raffaele were going to facilitate an encounter with Meredith later that evening.

However Amanda and Raffaele had something else on their minds. The logic of their position vis a vis Meredith cannot have escaped them. They had taken her money and credit cards whilst she was out. Had she not already discovered this fact then she would in any event be back, notice the money and credit cards were missing and would put 2 and 2 together.

Very probably Meredith had not already discovered the theft because, spending a quiet time with friends, she had no cause to use her credit cards. What would happen? Who would she tell? Would she call the police? How are they going to deal with this? Obviously deny it but logic has its way and the situation with or without the police being called in would be uncomfortable.

They decided to turn the tables and make staying in Perugia very uncomfortable for Meredith. Now the embarrassing, for Meredith, sexual advances from Guede were going to be manipulated by them in to a sexual humiliation for Meredith.

Meredith was not going to be seriously harmed but as and when they were challenged by Meredith over the missing money, as inevitably they would be, she was to be threatened with injury or worse. Knives come in useful here.

She would likely then give up her tenancy at the cottage, perhaps leave Italy. Whether that looks like the probable and likely outcome I leave you to judge, but just how much of this would be precise and careful planning given, as seems likely, that Amanda and Raffaele were going hard on the drugs?

They were not in a position to act any earlier than they did. They knew that Meredith was away with her friends and probably would not come home until much later. Amanda was expected at Lumumba’s.  Guede was not available until the pre-arranged time.

In the event Amanda did not have to go to work. She and Raffaele were at a loose end until the time of their pre-arranged meeting with Guede. They got to the basketball court early. They had to wait for him. They could not ring him as he did not have a phone.

We know Amanda and Raffaele were on the basketball court (some of the time if not all of the time) between 9.30 and sometime just before 11.30pm. This is because of the evidence of a Mr Curatolo, the second compelling lay witness. He testified to seeing Amanda and Raffaele having heated arguments, and occasionally going to the parapet at the edge of the court to peer over.

What were they looking at? Go to the photographs of Perugia on the True Justice for Meredith website and you will see. From the parapet you get a good view of the gates that are the entrance, and the only entrance as I understand it, to the cottage.

So why the behaviour observed by Mr Curatolo? They may have been impatient waiting for Guede to arrive. Were they actually to go through with this? One might speculate that Raffaele was not actually as keen on it as Amanda.

Was Meredith at home, alone, and had she found the money was missing and had she called the police or tipped off someone already? Who was hanging around outside the entrance to the cottage and why?

There was, apparently, a car parked at the entrance, a broken down car nearby with the occupants inside awaiting a rescue truck, and the rescue truck itself, all present at different times. Amanda and Raffaele did not wish to be observed going through the gates with these potential witnesses around.

We, of course, cannot know for certain what went on in the minds of Amanda and Raffaele and account for much of their movements between the time of them leaving the cottage at, they say, 3pm and their departure from the basketball court at around 11.30pm. It has to be speculation but there is a logical consistency to the above narrative if they had stolen Meredith’s money and credit cards earlier that day, and their meeting up with Guede just before 11.30pm does not look like a co-incidence.

From there on in to the inevitable clash between Amanda and Meredith over the money and credit cards, the threats and intimidation by Amanda and Raffaele to scare her, the sexual assault as part of that, and the tragic death of Meredith.

In a civil case in this country, the standard of proof is “the balance of probabilities” rather than the higher standard of (to paraphrase) “beyond reasonable doubt” in a criminal case.

If my earlier caveat about the bank manager’s evidence not disproving that Meredith had withdrawn her money is unnecessary then, at the very least, on the balance of probabilities, it is proven that Meredith had that money, and the credit cards, and that Amanda and Raffaele had stolen them from her. Some might think (I do) that it is proven on the higher standard too.

It is a shame that the Massei court did not consider and evaluate all of the evidence before it.

It did not need to fear that by doing so it may have been including something which others might consider eminently appealable,  since the evidence and reasoning on which it did convict Aamanda and Raffaele of murder was sound and impeccable.

Addendum : There have been a great many useful comments on this post. As a consequence I accept that the scenario outlined above requires at least two modifications and these are in my last comment below.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Report Students Studying Abroad on Average Double Or Triple Their Alcoholic Intake

Posted by Peter Quennell


American embassies and other nations’ embassies abroad get to hear of hundreds of cases a year of students who got in over their heads.

In the past couple of years, there have been TWO notorious murders by foreign students in Florence alone. Florence is about one hour’s drive north of Perugia. The embassy simply shrugged and moved on as Italian justice worked its careful process through.

Both perps happened to be American, and both were high. There were no cries in those cases of anti-Americanism. Howvever, there was some troubled talk in Italy of the excesses foreign students go to.

And a lot of tightening up by the colleges who send a lot of students abroad, including the University of Washington (Amanda Knox’s college) and Pepperdine University (Steve Moore’s former college - this helped to seal his firing.)

Amanda Knox is one of the rare ones who shrugged off all home-college supervision, presumably with the okay of her parents. Meredith was closely watched over by the Erasmus scheme, which sadly did not save her life.

Now the University of Southern California’s student newspaper carries this report on one root cause of students facing foreign judges.

Students traveling abroad can keep glass half full

By Kelsey Clark of the Daily Trojan

According to researchers at the University of Washington, American college students who study abroad are likely to increase “” even triple “” their alcohol consumption while traveling internationally.

Students over the age of 21 doubled their intake of alcohol from an average of four drinks per week on campus to eight drinks per week abroad, according to a study published in the October issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The overall increase in surveyed students’ alcohol consumption was 105 percent, while those underage students tripled their drinking with an increased consumption of 170 percent….

By consuming alcohol in excess, particularly in an unfamiliar country, the risks for students are greater than those traditionally associated with a night of drinking at USC.

Though instances of injury, crime and sexual abuse do occur as a result of binge drinking at USC, such severe ramifications are comparatively rare within the university’s party culture. Some of the more prevalent woes are students who slept through class because of a hangover or ruined a cell phone by jumping in a pool.

But students who travel abroad must take additional precautions as the heightened risks include becoming lost, getting pick-pocketed or otherwise taken advantage of.

And of course bumping some poor innocent person off.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lifetime’s Knox TV Movie: Is A Shallow Callous Narcissistic Girl Being Played By…

Posted by Peter Quennell


Is a shallow, callous, narcissistic girl being played in the movie by another shallow, callous, narcissistic girl?

It is certainly looking like that right now.

Hayden Panettiere, now involved in the filming of the Lifetime TV movie in Milan and Rome (they are avoiding Perugia - it seems too many people there take strong exception to this film) has STILL not reached out to Meredith’s family or her friends.

Or showed the slightest concern for the real hurt that this misleading glamorizing of Amanda Knox, the convicted killer of the REAL victim, Meredith, is causing here.

This is Andrea Magrath in the Daily Mail.

In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Panettiere said she had not met Knox, who is appealing her conviction.

‘I wish. I know the Italian government is being pretty protective of her, her lawyers are being protective of her, which is pretty understandable. ‘It’s something I would like to do (meet her) but I’d be more surprised if it happened than if it didn’t.’

Panettiere said she was ‘floored’ and ‘flattered’ when she was asked by director Robert Dornhelm to play Knox in the film. She added: ‘They called me up and asked me to do it.

I’m so privileged to play the role. It’s a really great story and a very controversial one. ‘The way the script is written is very well done, in a way that I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with.

‘I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be a really tough project to do but it will be good.’  Panettiere revealed the film will only show events up until Knox’s conviction.

It is NOT just “a really great story”. It is actually for-real, and a highly talented woman-on-the-go, Meredith Kercher, who was outstripping Amanda Knox in all possible dimensions, died very horribly here.

And what exactly is so controversial? Apart from the thousands of mistruths about the hard evidence spread around by a million-dollar campaign? Hayden should try reading the Massei Report.

Also it was Amanda Knox’s own lawyers who banned Hayden from Capanne. Sollecito’s lawyers continue to threaten to sue to stop the movie dead until after the second appeal - which might drag on for years.

Alistair Foster in the London Evening Standard also has a brief report. The post is notable for the sharpness of the comments of Kermit who is a frequent poster here. Most of the comments under both these reports are very critical of the film.

Will the Lifetime TV movie try to reflect the actual cold hard facts, as detailed at great length in the Massei report? A good question for some journalists to be asking of the actors, writer and director. 

Along with why, precisely, doesn’t Hayden Panettiere reach out to the Kercher family? And to Meredith’s friends? 




Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/28/10 at 06:11 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesMovies on caseComments here (16)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is The PR Campaign Finally Now Pushing Amanda Knox Very, Very Close To The Edge?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Things seem to be getting increasingly tough for Amanda Knox.

We have already posted that she seems increasingly adrift. Now consider all that is about to hit her.

1) Next week a book of interviews with Knox will be release by an Italian politician, Rocco Girlanda (image below), who we hear comes across as more than a little obsessive toward her. 

We are told that an active Italian MP is in fact legally forbidden from meddling in an ongoing case, and it seems he started the interviews with Amanda in Capanne without her even realising she was being recorded. Who knows how this book will come across in Italy, and how she will then be regarded?

2) Next week also the slander trial of Knox’s parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, may get under way in Perugia. We have posted repeatedly lately on what seems the real reason why Amanda Knox accused Patrick Lumumba: Sollecito had just destroyed her alibi.

Only very much later did Knox start to claim that she was driven to make her demonstrably false accusation because she was being harrassed by an interrogator. This is supported by no witnesses at all. The tough confident insouciant Amanda Knox who took the witness stand last June did not manage to make this claim sound remotely credible.

In the echo-chamber occupied by such shallow grandstanding self-servers as Steve Moore (Machine’s post below) this belated accusation somehow morphed into Prosecutor Mignini himself leading the harrassment, which was said to go on for hours and hours, with no food, no water, no lawyer, and no interpreter present in the room.

So Amanda Knox herself and her two parents are now facing their separate slander trials - Knox’s own trial will recommence in November. All three seem to be between a rock and a hard place. Either they must look all of the cops right in the eyes and say “Yes you did this” or visibly freeze or melt down emotionally on the witness stand, and end up facing possible legal punishment.

3) The Sollecitos increasingly seem to be going their own separate way. The Sollecito family trial for illegally releasing an evidence video to Telenorba showing Meredith naked at the crime scene (which stirred considerable dislike for them all across Italy) will recommence on 24 February in Perugia. Raffaele’s sister Vanessa, who was fired from her job in the Carabinieri (federal police) for trying to get politicians to use their influence for Sollecito, will also be facing her own hearing.

As we have explained so many times before, Raffaele Sollecito has NEVER endorsed Amanda Knox’s final alibi - that she was with him at his place all night. The Sollecitos do NOT like Amanda Knox or her family, and they have no time at all for the strident anti-Italianism of the PR campaign, which has done them nothing but harm.

4) Amanda Knox is now said to be pretty desperate to talk in person or on the phone with Raffaele Sollecito. This has just been approved. For each, it will be their one approved phone-call a week, and it will be monitored.

Although some of the Italian media have made light of this - that this may be a sign of love’s hot embers - the far more likely explanation is that Amanda herself and the inner Knox team are desperately worried that Sollecito could cut them adrift, and come out at appeal with a show of penitence and even a sort of explanation.

So Knox reaches out to Sollecito now in what seems to be growing desperation.

5) Hayden Panettiere is hanging around in Rome waiting for the shooting of the Lifetime movie to begin, grinning vacuously for the cameras as she thoughtlessly heaps still more pain on Meredith’s family and her friends and shows zero concern for the real victim.

To their considerable credit, Amanda Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia seem to have taken a strong dislike to Hayden Panettiere, and to the timing of the Lifetime movie. We have just now heard that they have said no to a request from Hayden Panettiere to meet with Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison. This film is likely to stir enormous controversy unless it sticks to the facts, and the facts hardly seem to favor Amanda Knox.

6) There is less sign now than there ever was that the US Rome Embassy or the State Department are inclining to intervene, even if there was an obvious way open. They know the case from end to end and they believe last year’s trial was a perfectly fair proceeding.  Just a couple of weeks ago the State Department did move actively to help some other Americans in foreign trouble, but in light of the strident anti-Italianism and the Massei Report, it just isn’t going to happen here.

7) The depth and detail and precision of the Massei Report is a nightmare for the Amanda Knox defence team. Even if all the DNA and other forensic tests are repeated, the result are very unlikely to be fully in their favor, and there’s a real chance new tests will work against them.

And now we are hearing that the opportunistic prisoners Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello, one of who claims he was a cellmate of Rudy Guede who heard him confess, and the other who claims he is the brother of the “real” murderer, may STILL be the defense’s star witnesses at the appeal starting late in November. Both are very much reviled in Italy for their crimes, and each has a known history of lying.

So good luck to the Knox defense team with this one. Their appeal statement seems weak and disjointed. Amanda surely picks up on their despondent vibes, which hardly helps in her own struggle for emotional stability. 

***

So what do we ourselves hope for here? We hope that Amanda Knox finally breaks. Not calamitously, of course, but in a totally new direction. Maybe a shorter sentence for her. And certainly relief to the thousands this cruel senseless act toward Meredith has so very much damaged.



Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Controversy Over The Lifetime Movie Seems To Be Stirring Some Needed Changes

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above The President and CEO of the A&E network and Lifetime TV Abbe Raven]

Our various previous posts on this controversial movie can be seen here.

This movie became so controversial so fast because Meredith’s mother Arlene spoke up sharply to the free-lance reporter Nick Pisa (one of the most energetic reporters on the case from Perugia who we often quote from here) about the convicted killer Amanda Knox being idolised like this, while her daughter Meredith, the real victim, was the one long overdue some compassion.

There is still no reporting of reaching-out to Meredith’s family in London. Such arrogant callousness toward the family of a victim who died cruelly and needlessly in immense pain would have caused a firestorm if that victim’s family had been living here in the United States.

But Lifetime and the production team do seem to have come so far as to have realized now that this is not a black and white case, at least not in the way that they were originally thinking. And that the original TV movie concept might do them at least as much harm as good.

The lawyers for Amanda Knox in Perugia are still being quoted in the Italian media as disliking the timing of this film. If it causes Raffaele Sollecito and his own legal team to finally separate (we believe the relationship is now dangling by a single thread) and he hangs Amanda Knox out to dry, she and her legal team would have headaches like nothing they so far imagined.

The Italian authorities - including the Italian equivalent of the FBI in Rome - are clearly very tired of being ignorantly mischaracterized for what the Massei Report shows (in face of an unmistakable crime scene rearrangement and a lot of blown smoke) to have been a very strong case that would have ended in “guilty” in almost any courtroom in the world.

Lifetime have accordingly renamed the movie Tangled rather than The Amanda Knox Story. And there are suggestions that the movie will now depict how the three killers got in over their heads, rather than how two of them were framed in the middle of a blissful love affair.

Lifetime TV say the film is selling well around the world and could be broadcast on the Lifetime channel in the US as soon as next March. It will be shot in Rome and, presumably, in Seattle where Amanda Knox grew up.

Director Robert Dornhelm (image at bottom) in interviews here and here still sounds like he swallowed the “railroaded and framed” kool-aid, and he sounds quite ignorant of Massei. But he says he will not “weave his point of view” into the film’s final result.

Writer Wendy Battles does not seem to have given any interviews, but she works in a fragile occupation as a freelance, and there are many ready to take her place if she slips here. Her filmography is exclusively of the cliffhanger who-dunnit kind of TV series, and character development and love stories don’t seem to figure in it prominently if at all.

The actress Hayden Panettiere, a former child actress,  is now known mostly for one recurring TV role, that of a bubbly and rather ditsy cheerleader in ABC’s long-running and now-concluded Heroes series. Actresses who become prominent so young (she was in her teens for most of the series) seem to have a real problem keeping their life and career on the tracks. There are other actresses with real acting skills and very bright mentalities (Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, and Anna Kendrick) who’ll leave her in the dust if she gets this one wrong.

The Lifetime channel would seem to be a strange vehicle for this movie if it is intended to have any more clout in the US than the passively-received Oprah Winfrey show - which has twice the audience, by the way. Lifetime is watched mostly by women without college education, and as it often seems anti-men (it is quite rare for a woman to be the villain) it attracts not many male viewers at all.

There is no sign that Lifetime TV has been gaining in audience share lately, and its immediate parent the A&E network is not the respected powerhouse network it once was. Hostility toward Lifetime grew considerably last year, when its anti-man bias caused it to depart wildly from known facts. 

If you are inclined to provide Lifetime with helpful advice to get the movie right, emails are usually not nearly as effective as written letters. The Lifetime headquarters where decisions on this movie are made is located a block or so west of Times Square in Manhattan.

    Lifetime Television, 111 8 Av @W 16th St New York, NY 10001 212-641-3300

The officers of the company are as follows. The President and CEO of A&E and Lifetime is Abbe Raven (image below), the CFO is James Wesley, and the Chief Marketing Officer is Bob Bibb. In the Lifetime operation Neil Schubert is the Senior VP of Publicity, Julie Stern is the VP of Production, and Sandy Varo is the VP of Reality Programming.

Lifetime and A&E are owned 50% by Hearst Corporation (which also owns the Seattle PI) and 50% by the Disney Corporation (which 100% owns the ABC network). The Seattle PI hosts Candace Dempsey’s blog.

It also carries Rome-based reporter Andrea Vogt’s sharp, accurate and incisive reporting on the case. Good source if the team want to get all the facts correct.


 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/05/10 at 05:04 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesMovies on caseComments here (16)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Knox Movie: Hardening Suggestions Panettiere & Dornhelm & Battles Have Been Sold A Total Dog

Posted by Janus



[Above: wannabee Amanda Knox impersonator actress Hayden Panettiere]

For three days the Knox machine in Seattle said nothing about the Lifetime movie.

On Monday Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia had said the proposed Lifetime movie was a bad concept badly timed. and lawyers for Sollecito indicated that this movie would be stopped by legal means as it could hurt them a lot more than it could ever help.

Maria Del Grosso, a lawyer who works with the criminal lawyers Amanda Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova, reached by telephone by Adnkronos, called the idea “at least inappropriate”¦. you can not think about making a film when the case is judicially still open”¦. when you remove all this tension, we can work better on the appeals.”

Finally on Thursday there came a very muted claim of denial of involvement from the Knox machine in Seattle in the form of a Facebook Causes message apparently signed by Deanna Knox - a rather sad low-traffic page that, by the way.
.

“to all those who follow my sisters case and have heard about the new lifetime movie. here are some facts that we know now.
1.) yes, as it looks right now lifetime is making a movie about my sisters trial.
2.) yes, it looks like Hayden Panettiere is playing my sister in this movie.
3.) no, Hayden Panettiere has not visited my sister in italy, nor has Hayden or any of the ptoducers have had any contact with the family.
4.) will this movie follow the facts….at this point it is hard to tell, from reading news on it, so far it looks like it wont, calling my sister guiltridden and an infamous killer which none are true, we shall see how the tabloid lifetime comes up with.
till later this is all we know. -Deanna Knox”

Claim 3 would appear at first glance to be unambiguous. However, it does not exclude the possibility that some other people from say Lifetime have, for example, sat with the Knox machine, maybe for many hours. And in any case, which branch of the extended family is Deanna Knox referring to? The Knox branch, the Mellas branch, the Huff branch, or all three? Like many Knox statements, this one begs more questions than it answers.

Claim 4 also seems unambiguous. However, Deanna has clearly not been “reading news” with a great deal of care, since the attributed quotes were not made by the movie-makers - they were made by neutral media reporters writing up the story.

There seemed three possibilities in this instance: Firstly, that Deanna was a bare-faced liar. Secondly, that she is being kept “out of the loop” by other family-members and the Knox machine. Thirdly, that she really was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But now the CBS website is reporting that, contrary to earlier reports, Amanda Knox’s lawyers are not attempting to stop the movie being made. “Sources close to the case” (most followers of this case could have a good guess about who those “sources” might be) “told CBS News’ 48 Hours producers that Knox didn’t know about the film and has no plans to oppose it.

So it seems Mr Ghirga and Mr Della Vedova might have been told to please shut up. 

It is now only Sollecito’s legal team that wants to stop it - and do they ever; see the post directly below. They have immense powers to do that.

Meanwhile we are hearing from an entertainment industry source that the script may not adhere at all closely to the truth, and may in fact in fact be a conspiracy theory snow job, with Italy and its meanie officials once again as the villains of the piece. (Good luck Lifetime in all the slander suits that will fly in face of such xenophobic and libelous rubbish.).

There are basically three components to the Amanda Knox story.

1) Amanda Knox’s life growing up troubled in Seattle and what the books say about it was described on Thursday here. 

One problem with any movie that Curt Knox and Edda Mellas do not tightly control is the reports that are already out there (including in two of the books) of extreme family friction before and after the divorce - Amanda was not much more than a toddler at the time of the divorce.

Narcissistic sociopathy and narcissistic psychopathy, which psychologists have speculated Amanda might to some degree have (tests done on her in prison during the hearings were not released. but they helped sway a judge to not grant house arrest or bail), can apparently be triggered by early childhood trauma.

Another problem for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas if they do not control the film is the reports of Amanda’s quirky behavior over the years, which continued at the University of Washington and also in Perugia. It was most especially noticeable in the three days after Meredith’s murder, as her sentencing report points out, and again when she was on the witness stand in June 2009. And she has admitted to using drugs - in fact, she used that as a part of her defence.

2) Amanda Knox after she arrived in Perugia, where she had an almost uniquely unstructured and very under-funded student arrangement, where she had only a very light study load (especially compared to that of Meredith), where she was undoubtedly on drugs and possibly hard drugs (cocaine), where she was losing any friends in Perugia fast because of her loud abrasiveness, and where she was in danger of even losing her vital job - probably she thought she HAD lost it on the night, which would have sparked an angry storm in her just when Meredith died. (There are posts on all of these aspects here on TJMK.)

3) Amanda Knox and her team at trial. Amanda Knox and her mother did NOT do compellingly well on the stand, and the defence phase of the trial (unlike the prosecution phase) was weak, halting, indecisive, slow, and absolutely lacking in knockout punches. By the time of the verdict in December, Italian sympathy was hovering around zero.

Told truthfully, none of this - none - make her look like an attractive all-American girl. She was an apparently troubled person on drugs who was, with good reason, found guilty of a very vile murder.

And that’s it.  This is not a patch on Meredith’s inspiring story - the super-achiever Meredith was the REAL victim here, in case Lifetime forgets. The less talented and less focused and less popular Knox was not a victim, ever, in any sense of the word. Except maybe in her own home.

Lifetime really seems to have the victims back to front.

Good film makers like Robert Dornhelm and Wendy Battles should really be taking this description above, and the Micheli and Massei Reports, as their point of departure, not the made up “facts” and ludicrous explanations of conspiracy theorists who have already done so much to anger half of Italy.

Especially if Dornhelm and Battles (and Hayden Panettiere) don’t want to see the lawsuits flying (there are several more slander suits already rumored to be in the works).

Meanwhile, in South London, the pain and misery continues for the family of Meredith Kercher, and an arrogant unfeeling Lifetime Television has still not bothered to respond to their very real and heartfelt concerns. 

Common decency dictates Lifetime SHOULD have contacted Meredith’s family before this movie project passed step one. Since they chose not to do so, common decency now dictates that it becomes a matter of priority. That means reaching out to the Kerchers, today.

Their Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, has worked long and hard for them. He is easy to contact, and he will surely be happy to discuss the issue with Lifetime, and protect the Kerchers’ interests and make their feelings known.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Entertainment Industry Buzz That Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Might Be Connected To Distasteful Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell



[joint images of Panetierre and Knox posted yesterday by Huffington Post]

We’ve heard buzz from a couple of sources in NYC that Amanda Knox’s parents might have had a hand in this Lifetime movie of Amanda Knox which is being raced into production.

One remarked that it was “informed speculation” and that some proof could be on its way to leaking out. Reports like this below in the Chicago Sun-Times that Hayden Panettiere has already visited Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison help to fuel the speculation. It seems very unlikely that she would have gained such access, if she did, without Knox’s parents assisting.

Former “Heroes’’ star Hayden Panettiere has visited Amanda Knox in prison in Italy - part of her preparation to play Knox in a TV movie.

Also fueling the speculation is the deafening silence of Amanda Knox’s family and friends in Seattle, in the face of the various Perugia lawyers’ very strong protests about the movie (see the post below) which we presume was genuine, and not simply blowing smoke in an orchestrated sort of way.

One problem with any movie that Curt Knox and Edda Mellas do not tightly control is the reports that are already out there (including in two of the books) of extreme family friction before and after the divorce - Amanda was not much more than a toddler at the time of the divorce.

Narcissistic sociopathy and narcissistic psychopathy, which psychologists have speculated Amanda might to some degree have (tests done on her in prison during the hearings were not released. but they helped sway a judge to not grant house arrest or bail), can apparently be triggered by early childhood trauma.

Another problem for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas if they do not control the film is the reports of Amanda’s quirky behavior over the years, which continued at the University of Washington and also in Perugia. It was most especially noticeable in the three days after Meredith’s murder, as her sentencing report points out, and again when she was on the witness stand in June 2009. And she has admitted to using drugs - in fact, she used that as a part of her defence.

And another problem is the sheer depraved cruelty of the crime, chillingly described in the Micheli and Massei Reports.

Filming is now said to start next month, although the point of that is not obvious if it is not to be aired before the second appeal, as the Perugia defence lawyers have said they will insist on. On how long that second appeal might take, our poster Cesare Beccaria points out that it could drag on for years.

Appeals should be faster, but not necessarily.  In Italy the problem would be in Cassazione (3rd instance on law) where they can send the trial back to appeal for even a small procedural error. The case could go back and forth from appeal to Cassazione for years. Only Cassazione can confirm the verdict.

Media reports on the movie have all seemed to us pretty cool toward it. They have included phrases such as “all 3 convicted for murder, sexual assault, and obstructing justice”, “killer”, “convicted murderer” and so on. Only one used the inaccurate term “accused”. 

Comments posted under online reports on the movie seem to have been very strongly pro-Meredith and her family, after the compelling outcry from her mother in London, and often strongly anti Amanda Knox, who seems to command almost no online sympathy or support any more.

None of Hayden Panettiere’s fans seem too thrilled. .In fact nobody who is a friend or fan of Hayden Panettiere seems to be speaking up to say this is a great career move for her, and at least some think she is being used - being duped - to misleadingly influence public opinion and maybe the court.

Finally, here is part of the description in Wikipedia of Lifetime Television which is certainly one of the most controversial cable TV channels in the United States for its incessant focus on one or other victim - which, in the case of the present film, may very well NOT be portrayed as poor Meredith.

Because of the obvious feminine slant to the network’s programming, Lifetime is often jokingly referred to as The Estrogen Channel, or “Wifetime” and many criticize the network’s over-reliance on formulaic made for TV movies, including the “women in jeopardy” or “woman scorned” theme common on films produced by the network, archived product which aired on the major networks in the 1980s and 1990s, and outside producers airing their work on the network.

Other comedy programs have satirized Lifetime’s sometimes sentimental programming. Family Guy once parodied their slogan, making it Lifetime: Television for Idiots, and in an episode had one of the main characters make a Lifetime-like film which oversimplified those themes, along with a film starring Valerie Bertinelli, called “Men are Terrible and Will Hurt You Because This is Lifetime”.

On August 27, 2009, A&E Television Networks, the owner of A&E Network, History and others, acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services. Though the channel is owned by another subsidiary company operated as a joint venture, Lifetime and its networks remain under the co-ownership of The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, though NBC Universal became partial owner of the Lifetime channels as well since NBCU already was a part owner of A&E Television Networks.

This movie REALLY should have been about the real victim Meredith, as her mother compellingly complained. THAT is normal Lifetime territory, not doing special pleading for her convicted killer. Hayden and writer Wendy Battles, please read up about Meredith, and see if you still feel the same way.

Read this post for example about what a super-high-achiever Meredith really was, and what a huge loss to the world her death is. And read the Massei Sentencing Report (link at top here) on how very, very cruel and depraved this crime against her really was.


[Below, second from left, is said to be Lifetime scriptwriter Wendy Battles]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/23/10 at 02:29 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesNews media & moviesMovies on caseKnox-Marriott PRComments here (11)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Could Movie Depicting The Real Knox And The Real Meredith Be A PR And Defense Disaster?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Already one movie is in the works. That one will be based on Barbie Nadeau’s excellent little book Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox

That British movie is likely to stay pretty close to the truth, Meredith as the real angel, and Amanda as at least in some degree the scary opposite. Barbie Nadeau seems to be in no doubt that Amanda was fairly convicted, but she also seems to think maybe there were factors going back to Amanda’s childhood (as did Paul Russell and Graham Johnson in Darkness Descending) that could have kinda set Amanda up, and could have been prevented by parents who cared.

Now we have this new made-for-TV movie (post below) by the Lifetime cable channel (with Oxygen, it has the largest ratio of women viewers) which for now at least is starring the popular actress Hayden Panettiere.

In 2003 the beautiful South African actress Charlize Theron (images above) who had previously played super-cool and super-sexy roles, played the Florida serial killer Aileen Wuomos in the movie Monster. If anything, Charlize Theron played Aileen Wuomos as more scary than she really was - and Charlize Theron won an Oscar for the portrayal.   

Kathy Bates, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman also did very well playing roles strongly against type, along with quite a few others. An actor’s dream, to pull this one off.

Could Lifetime and Hayden Panettiere now have in mind a movie rather like Monster? Playing Amanda Knox as she really seems to be - only more-so?

This has already struck the Knox and Sollecito defense teams as not only possible but a real danger. One that could influence her first appeal late this November, and help to sink her second appeal late in 2011.

From today’s Italian Libero News website.

Lawyers for Amanda Knox and Rafael Sollecito announce a battle with the script of a film for television on the personal life and trial of the two young adults convicted in the first degree for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Maria Del Grosso, a lawyer who works with the criminal lawyers Amanda Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova, reached by telephone by Adnkronos, called the idea “at least inappropriate…. you can not think about making a film when the case is judicially still open…. when you remove all this tension, we can work better on the appeals.”

The same opinion was expressed by Luca Maori, Sollecito Raffaele’s defender with Ms Giulia Bongiorno, who said to AGI “I am absolutely opposed to a movie when the appeal process, expected to be long, has not yet even started.”

“It is unthinkable” added Giulia Bongiorno “to make a film when there is still an open case uncrystallized in truth. If the movie comes out before the end of the process of appeals, we will ask for its seizure,” said the lawyer.

Well, Amanda Knox’s parents and their PR manager David Marriott did want to push Amanda Knox out into the hard limelight, too sanitized to ever successfully pass the giggle test in the long run.

Now they and Knox’s (and Sollecito’s) long-suffering Perugia lawyers may be facing the first of a series of swings the other way.


Gullible, Callous, Or Simply Out For The Money? A Good Reporter Should Ask Her

Posted by The Editor


In fact, please ask actress Hayden Panettiere if she even knows the name of the victim? Does she even know that there WAS a victim?

Click above for the Daily Mail’s report. Meredith’s family are understandably deeply upset, and this decision to play an apparent charming psychopath convincingly convicted of a VERY cruel crime hardly bodes well for Panettiere’s career.

The family of murdered student Meredith Kercher yesterday criticised plans to turn her death into a Hollywood film. The movie will focus on Amanda Knox, the American student jailed for 26 years for the killing.

Actress Hayden Panettiere, best known as the cheerleader in the TV series Heroes, has been cast as “˜Foxy Knoxy’ in the film, called The Amanda Knox Story, which is due for release next year.

The Kerchers’ lawyer Francesco Maresca said the family was unhappy that a Hollywood version of the 2007 murder is being made.  He said: “˜It is inopportune as the trial is still on going with two further appeals.’

Miss Kercher’s mother Arline said it was insulting for the film to be named after her daughter’s killer. She said: “˜I don’t see how they can make a film called The Amanda Knox Story when the story is really all about my daughter. It’s all very odd.’ A spokesman for the Knox family said they had no knowledge of the film, which is being aimed at a U.S. audience.

It will focus on events leading up to Miss Kercher’s death in November 2007 and the subsequent lengthy trial of Knox….

Producers of the film,which is being made for TV, said the Foxy Knoxy story was perfect movie material as it featured an “˜all-American’ girl at the centre of a murder involving sex and drugs.

The script for the Lifetime channel in the U.S. is being written by Wendy Battles, who has penned episodes of CSI New York and the crime show Law and Order.

The 21-year-old is one of the most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood.

An all-American girl? How much do they really know about her? Drug habits and all?  Readers can discuss with fans and Hayden Panettiere’s managers on her forum on the popular and influential IMDB board.

At least one gushing fan there simply can’t wait for the movie.

Posted by The Editor on 09/21/10 at 02:11 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesMovies on caseComments here (13)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That Widely Watched LA7 TV Interview With Giuliano Mignini - Herewith A Full English Translation

Posted by ziaK

This is a translation of the YouTube video posted by my fellow poster True North two weeks ago.

Many readers asked for a translation of what Mr Mignini said in that interview, and True North, who has pretty good Italian but is not a professional translator, requested some help from the translation team. The sound of the video is not always crystal clear but this appears to accurately reflect what was said. 

Male interviewer: In the biological evidence, is there any one item which is the one which you consider, especially in terms of the trial, to have had the most value?

Giuliano Mignini: I think that, in terms of the trial, the most important were the knife, the bra hook and also the biological traces in the bathroom. From the point of view of the trial, the knife certainly links the two defendants and the victim. Therefore it was (interrupted).

Andrea Vogt: There was low copy number, and that’s not normal, is it, to use DNA when there’s low copy number?

Giuliano Mignini: However, I hold that those traces were nonetheless indisputable traces. That is, there was not an absolute huge amount, in terms that are perhaps more understandable [ndt: to an Italian speaker, “low copy number” is not necessaryily understandable, because it is an English term]. The trace might be really high, with a high quantity, or it may be very low, but however the trace may be, it was never reasonably explained in any other way. That knife was never touched by the victim. She was never (inaudible: possibly “at Raffaele’s”] during the period that the two young folk, the two defendants, knew each other. It was a very short period: we think the relationship was (inaudible) or a week.

Male interviewer: Certainly. However, (inaudible) limited, either a contamination in the place of the crime or a contamination in the laboratory? This is not meant as a criticism of the work, however it is a danger that we technicians have which we must confront.

Giuliano Mignini: Yes. Well, that point about the knife comes from the specific questions of Professor Finsi himself, and of the Superintendant (Parebiochi?), and it was clearly shown that that knife was collected with absolute”¦ that is, there was no possibility of exposure to contact [with the victim?]. Because it was found in Raffaele’s house and it was take with all precautions. This was shown in (inaudible). I was keen to show that (inaudible) that knife.

Andrea Vogt: Also the hook was very controversial because you found it 46 days after.

Giuliano Mignini: Yes, yes. I know. I understand. This, alas, can happen when there are places that are so full of objects, full of”¦ When one is doing an analysis of this type, it can happen that (inaudible) is moved. However, it remained within that room. And (Andrea Vogt interrupts). And then, if there is contamination, that means that Sollecito’s DNA was somewhere within that room. We’re still there (i.e. at the same conclusion). I think that all the evidence was limited [ndt: to the one place?], and the first findings were of an investigative nature. In particular, that includes the numerous contradictions made by Knox. Which were then repeated during the investigation, during the interrogation in jail, and in my opinion also during the questioning and counter-questioning in court.

Andrea Vogt: I want to talk a bit about the motive.

Giuliano Mignini: As a first impression of the [inaudible: crime?] it was clearly, it appeared clearly to be a crime of a sexual nature. It was extremely clear. A young woman, killed in that way, and almost completely stripped/naked.

Male interviewer: Excuse me, but on the contrary, at times I have heard attributed (inaudible) a different reason, a fight which ended badly, and then instead a transformation of the crime to put forward the idea that it was a sexual murder. Also because, in fact, the position of Rudy, who was however found guilty, also from the beginning changed a bit. There’s his responsibility.

Giuliano Mignini: Also Rudy gave indications which then changed a bit. Rudi too, for example, said that there was an appointment with Meredith. Then in later interrogations he said that Meredith had asked for him to be there, and (Male interviewer interrupts: The reconstruction [by Nabil?]: what could have happened?). Yes, according to me, there was a situation, a progressive situation of disagreement between the two girls. That seems undeniable to me.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Italy’s LA7 Is Running A Series On The Rare Phenomenon For Italy Of Female Criminality

Posted by Peter Quennell


Italy’s LA7 network is running a five-part series on notorious crimes in Italy involving women.

Compared to the US and most of Europe, Italy has only a small fraction of its population in prison at any one time. And an even smaller percentage of its female population. The involvement of women in serious crimes is rare in Italy - and the subject of considerable public interest. 

The first segment (which is not yet on YouTube, although we have hopes that it will be) two weeks ago focussed on Amanda Knox’s involvement in the murder of Meredith. It was very highly rated.

The excellent American reporter Andrea Vogt was a main presenter, as she is throughout the LA7 series, and the Knox segment included interviews with Prosecutor Mignini and the lawyers for Knox and the other two perps.

The third segment, which aired this week, involved Antonella Conserva. You can see her in the image above and briefly in the LA7 report in Italian below.

She is married to Mario Alessi, who claimed earlier this year, to wide ridicule, that he had encountered Rudy Guede in prison, and that Guede had thoughtfully shared with him that Knox and Sollecito were not at the scene of Meredith’s murder.   

Antonella Conserva and her husband, Mario Alessi were convicted four years ago of the kidnapping and murder of a baby (“Tommy”) and, although she was not even present when her husband murdered Tommy, she was sentenced to 30 years.

That is generally accepted in Italy as a reasonable sentence. This could be the new sentence for Amanda Knox, revised upward from 26 years, that the prosecution might win on appeal.

Absent any confession and show of contrition, which seems to us the smart way for Amanda Knox to go, reaction in Italy would probably be neutral or positive.

Like the name “Tommy” everyone in Italy knows the name “Meredith” and no last name is required. Speak up, Amanda.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/02/10 at 07:18 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesPondering motiveItalian relatedComments here (14)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CNN Report On The Money Transfers That Bankrolled Van Der Sloot’s Trip To Lima

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/10/10 at 09:32 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesThe wider contextsItalian relatedComments here (7)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Questions For Knox And Sollecito: Ten From Daily Beast As Knox Calunnia #2 Trial Starts

Posted by Peter Quennell





This Daily Beast report indicates that the cancelled jailhouse TV interview with Amanda Knox was a lot more firmed-up than Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas, seems to have claimed.

And it outlines the first phase of Knox’s Calunnia #2 trial which is based on charges brought by the interrogating police, all of whom testified at her trial that she was treated well during her interrogations as a witness and suspect. .

Click the image or link above above for the fine reporter Barbie Nadeau’s full article on some issues Knox has never been able to account for, including Knox’s callous skipping of Meredith’s memorial service.

The ten questions are all very tough, and each would also have been asked by the jury. Here they are:
.:

It’s back to court for Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle native currently serving 26 years in prison in Italy for sexually assaulting and murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

This week, Knox is expected to attend a preliminary hearing on slander charges lodged against her for accusing Perugia police of abuse. During her testimony at her murder trial last June, she accused the cops of slapping her on the back of the head during an interrogation just days after Kercher’s body was discovered in November 2007.

The police deny hitting her, and Knox’s own lawyers have never filed charges for the alleged abuse. If she is convicted of slander, a judge could add six years to her sentence….

Knox’s resurgence in the headlines was to coincide with a joint jailhouse interview she had granted to ABC News and the Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s Matrix program. But the bureau of prisons denied the interview in the final hour, effectively silencing Knox indefinitely.

A high-profile jailhouse interview with Knox is considered the Holy Grail by journalists covering the case, and the American and Italian networks have been vying for a chance to ask Knox a few questions on camera. Now it is unlikely anyone will get an interview before Knox’s appeal hearings this fall.

But if we did, there are a few questions we’d want her to put to rest.

1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito turn off your cell phones at the same time the night of November 1, 2007 and on again at the same time the next morning? You told the police that you and Raffaele slept late the morning of November 2, 2007, but phone records show that you both turned your phones back on very early that morning. How could that be?

2. Why were you bleeding? Your lawyers agree with the prosecution’s findings that at least one of the spots of Meredith’s blood found in the house where she was killed had your blood mixed with it. Your mother told me that you had your period. Your stepfather told others that your ear piercings were infected. Which was it?

3. Once you realized your mistake in blaming Patrick Lumumba for Meredith’s murder, why didn’t you tell the authorities? You told your mother that you felt bad about it, so why didn’t you alert an official so Patrick could be set free?

4. Why did you go with Raffaele to the police station on November 5? You were not called in for questioning. Did you realize at that time that you were both under suspicion?

5. Why weren’t your and Raffaele’s fingerprints found in your house after the murder if the two of you had spent time there that morning and the day before? Only one half-print on a glass in the kitchen has been attributed to you, yet you have claimed that you took a shower there that morning. How did you spend so much time there and leave virtually no trace?

6. Why did you take the mop and bucket from your house over to Raffaele’s house? You told the prosecutor during your testimony in June 2009 that you took the mop and bucket to his house to clean up a leak under his kitchen sink. But by your own testimony, the leak was miniscule and could have been easily cleaned up without it. What were you really doing with the mop?

7. What would you do differently if you had a chance to rewind the clock back to November 3, 2007? Would you go to the memorial service for Meredith? Would you still have gone to the police station with Raffaele? Would you have left for Germany when your aunt asked you to?

8. What do you think happened the night Meredith was killed? You have professed your innocence. Who do you think killed her and under what circumstances?

9. What do you really think of the Italian justice system? You told an Italian parliamentarian that you got a fair trial, and you even thanked the prosecutors for trying to solve the mystery of Meredith’s death, but your supporters at home in Seattle maintain that the Italian system is corrupt and unfair. What is your real view?

10. Is there anything you wish you would have said in court during your trial? You talked about your vibrator and about how you did not want an assassin’s mask forced on you. But in your final appeal after the closing arguments on December 4, 2010, why didn’t you say the words, “I did not kill Meredith Kercher?” Raffaele did when it was his turn to speak. Why didn’t you?

Our posting soon of the judges’ sentencing report will open up dozens of new questions for Knox. Such as: “How did you track Meredith’s blood into your own room and leave three traces revealed by luminol?”


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Chilling Killing Propensities Of Sollecito’s Various Knives

Posted by SomeAlibi



[click for larger image]

The few rather puerile websites trying to make the case that Knox and Sollecito were framed all have this one thing in common.

They are all of them a mile or more wide on the facts of the evidence - but only a millimeter or so deep.

Time and again on some point of evidence TJMK and PMF have gone far, far deeper than they have - and from then on, on that particular point, deafening silence is quite usual. Here is one very good example, on TJMK, highly incriminating in itself, and highly suggestive of when and how Edda Mellas first realised her daughter was guilty.

On that point of hard evidence, almost enough to incriminate Amanda all by itself, there has never been any real comeback. The PR campaign’s Wizard of Oz moves on. 

Now we advance another in-depth analysis. This time it focuses on the really deadly nature of Sollecito’s various knives, and we’ll await the comeback if any with interest.

In effect, the deniers’ argument made is that Sollecito is not a collector or an aficionado, just a young man who might need to cut an apple with a pocket-knife. And he’s certainly not a hardcore knife collector, collecting fantasy-wish-list knives.

Carrying a pocket-knife above a certain size in public is illegal in Italy. But ignoring that technicality for a minute, let’s examine the knives of Raffaele Sollecito which were impounded during his arrest. Three knives, moving up in degrees of interest, not counting the very large knife prosecution witnesses identified as the murder weapon.

Knife Three

Take a look at the image up the top here. This knife actually hung above Sollecito’s bed.

It is a replica combat knife. The heavy t-bar protection is designed to protect the hand of the knife-user from slipping onto the blade when being used to stab another person, as well as to protect the user against another blade.

Blood grooves exist for only one purpose - as they imply, they are there for when one stabs someone deeply with the knife: they allow the blood to run out down the grooves. This breaks the seal and suction of the enclosing wound around the blade which makes the knife far easier to withdraw

That knife is specifically designed for stabbing people as well as cutting sentries’ throats etc. The female arm in the picture is Amanda’s by the way (you can find the zoomed-out version showing all of Amanda in the PMF gallery), as it was taken when she was being shown the knife in court.

She must have recognized it, of course, since it was from Raffaele’s bedroom, and would have been a rather noticeable discussion piece within view whenever Knox was in the room or laying on the bed.

Many teenagers and young adults put the objects of their highest interest and infatuation, from bands to film-stars, on their walls. Raffaele chose to put a knife designed for killing people on his wall.

It would be a lurking and incongruous presence on a small student-sized bedroom wall in the minds of the vast majority of people. The question of Raffaele’s degree of attraction to knives such that he actively chose to mount a replica combat knife on his bedroom wall doesn’t appear to need much further discussion.

And yet, it’s actually only less than a third of the equation as it was only a replica. Now let’s turn to two real knives - his so-proclaimed pocket knives - which Raffaele confirmed in his own words that he carried on him every day for years, and which tell a more subtle and deeper story.

First, consider what is the meaning of a pocket knife to you.

The phrase “˜pocket knife’ has been translated from the Italian from the transcripts / press coverage. For many, including myself, this will have conjured a mental image of a Swiss Army type knife or a simple blade and indeed this is the prevalent definition of a conventional pocket knife.

Let’s actually have a look at Raffaele’s “pocket knives” courtesy of pictures posted by poster Jools on PMF. These knives were impounded, one from the apartment and one, unbelievably, from Raffaele’s person at the Questura.

In the case of the latter, even Raffaele saw this as a devastating “own-goal” as we can read from his diary entry of 7 November 2007; “I’m not even able to offer guilt, given my deep fu**ing stupidity for the fact that I smoke cannabis I even forget what I have eaten and also for that I carry behind a knife to nock the tables and the trees and I carry it so often that I brought it also to the police headquarters.”

Knife Two



[click for larger image]

This is a 2.9 inch blade drop point, near spear point knife. At first glance (apart from the mark on the clip which should be ignored and was benign), the deniers camp might say “Well, look at it - it’s just a pocket knife even if it looks a bit sharp and so on ““ look, it’s even got a cute clip for the pocket, like on a pen.”

Let’s start there. The clip is actually a reversible one ““ it can be taken off and re-screwed to the knife to the user’s side / orientation of preference. This is already a proper knife rather than a cheap shop pick-up.

More obviously, the half-serrated edge to the blade for cutting is an active design (and purchase) feature.

Third, the “˜grind’ on the top the blade shows an aesthetic sensibility to the design but also serves a functional purpose for a cutting or stabbing use in terms of reducing friction.

Fourth, the serrations or (quite aggressive) “˜jimping’ on the top of the handle, just behind the blade are there to provide thumb grip.

Quite a lot of design features on this knife for a casual “pocket knife” one might think.

Which leaves us with the odd bar code thing at the top edge of the blade and the indistinct logo on the blade. Let’s see what that logo is with a little enhancing;



[click for larger image]

“˜Brian Tighe Design’. Brian Tighe?? Google sets us straight on who he is.

“You’d need a calculator to count the number of custom knife-makers who have jumped into the tactical fray over the past five years. You can tally the cream of the crop on two hands, being sure to earmark one of those digits for knifemaker Brian Tighe. In a matter of just a couple of years Tighe (pronounced “Tie”) has risen from the rank and file of edged weapons artisans to the rarefied air of the top 10 elite.”

A look at Tighe’s site shows that his own company’s knives sell for 500 dollars and up. He is a globally feted knife designer whose wait list for his knives was as high as seven years at one point.

So the design of the knife here is actually that of a noted master knife maker. Almost something one might collect, one might say. As loaded as Papa Doc Sollecito is, did Raffaele really spend over 500 dollars on such a knife?

Well no, actually, he didnt need to. This is a Columbia River Knife & Tool produced 811x series knife bearing Brian Tighe’s name. CRKT are a dedicated knife company who specialise in working with the world’s leading knife designers and producing the knives for a bigger market but still as proper aficionado pieces.

At this level of knife, there are extensive magazine, web and “˜user’ reviews. Knives like this are tested for resilience and sharpness including things like edge-on paper-cut tests where paper is cut through just like a razor from the side of a piece of paper held by one hand.

Such a knife is able to catch the edge of the paper and then slice straight through the width of the paper side-on without any tension in the paper. That’s what a knife like this is capable of. A “pocket knife” to me sounds like something picked up for 10 or 20 euro. The current model that replaced Raffaele’s now out-of-series model sells for about $80 at retail. Here’s the actual 2004 model that Raffaele had i.e. the same as the one above;



[click for larger image]

Worth looking at that for a second or two… Oh the bar code? It’s not a bar code, it a rectangular thumb stud you flick the knife open with. When you do, the knife goes to a locked position unlike many “pocket-knives”. In English speaking knife circles, these knives are not generally referred to as pocket-knives but are called “Tactical Knives” which are a cross-over of usage knives for outdoors / cutting etc but also for personal “protection”.

So, in addition to the wall-mounted replica combat knife, one of Raffaele’s daily carries (see diary / testimony) was a designer thumb-flicked locking tactical knife with jimping, top blade grind, switchable clip and a razor sharp edge costing about 80 bucks. That you can only carry in your pocket. Illegally. Some apple-cutter.

Let’s take a look now at the most worrying knife of all…

Knife One

At first glimpse, this “pocket knife” looks quite martial arts like, given the hole and the weird top edge of the blade and the spider logo.



[click for larger image]

The logo marks this as a Spyderco knife ““ a large premium knife manufacturer of tactical and many other types of knives. This particular model is a Delica4 Emerson Opener retailing for about $109.95rrp. Of particular note about this knife is the hole and the top edge. The hole, a Spyderco feature, allows a thumb to flick the blade open very quickly. This knife is about speed.

But actually the thumb hole is not the real speed feature ““ that is reserved for the top edge curl.

This is a truly specialist feature known as an Emerson Opener or “wave”. The idea is that the curl in metal catches on the edge of a pocket edge on drawing the knife and opens it immediately (see videos below).

This is a speciality feature licensed from Emerson knives ““ Emerson being another feted “˜name’ knife designer. The wave is only present on two of Spyderco’s 330 knives listed on their website ““ the Delica and the ¾ inch larger sister knife the Endura (“the best self defence knife in the world” according to one enthusiastic teenager on youtube). That’s how specialist it is.

The job of the wave feature is to provide the fastest opening knife in the world bar none ““ faster than a flick or spring knife in fact. This video (many similar to be found) gives a rather disturbing insight into what the real attraction of owning this knife is to a hardcore knife knut like Raffaele; (remember when you watch this for the first time that the knife is closed inside that pocket and also enable the sound on the embedded player below by clicking off the mute)

If I thought my son had a penknife, but then actually saw him with this, we would be having a very long chat..

“Enough!” the deniers say?! “You’ve still got it in for Raffaele haven’t you?” they say?! Despite the replica combat knife on the bedroom wall, the designer Brian Tighe Design CRKT drop-point and the Spyderco Delica4 with wave design)?  “You’ve used prejudicial phrases like “hardcore knife knut” haven’t you?” they say?!

Sorry, but don’t look at me. They’re not my words.

They’re the words of Spyderco itself on its own webpage. See here and below. 



[click for larger image]

Raffaele was out to impress Amanda and by his own admission both obsessive about her and a hardcore stoner. He also thought knives - proper knives with exclusive features by name knife designers not pocket knives were fascinating.

As with all of this case and any case, you REALLY need to look at the detailed evidence.

The overwhelming prevalence of skin-deep level of analysis / downplaying of this case by much of the deniers camp will lend and always has lent itself to people dismissing serious evidence as inconsequential based on their lack of understanding of what actually is in question.

The “mere pocket-knife” impression of Raffaele’s interest in knives is a clear case in hand. Raffaele’s father testified in court that his son carried a pen-knife. Some pen-knives or pocket-knives these really were…

As always with this case, when you take the time to look at the real detail, the reality you find is something far more disturbing…..


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

From The Book Darkness Descending: The Insights On Rudy Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above and just below: Abidjan, the very attractive West African city where Rudy Guede was born and where he lived until he was five.

Darkness Descending includes this well-researched and revealing portrait below of Rudy Guede and the two traumatic experiences that really threw him: his moving in with the Caporali family, and the collapse of the restaurant in northern Italy which briefly employed him.

No claims here about Rudy Guede being a drifter or drug-dealer or dangerous knife-wielder or petty criminal.

None of those things are confirmed by the record or the Micheli report, and few or none in Perugia or Italy generally seem to believe Rudy Guede was the sole perpetrator or even the main perpetrator of Meredith’s death. 



(Above: the downtown of Abidjan, the economic and former political capital of the Ivory Coast)


From Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson (Pocket Books) pages 292 to 296

Unlike Amanda and Raffaele, the background of Rudy Hermann Guede seemed to inspire a degree of sympathy in readers and viewers.

At least once the undercurrents of reactionary racism had run its course and readers were able to identify with Guede the individual.

Guede had been dragged up a virtual orphan. He seemed to be luckless, directionless, prone to following others into trouble, his carers said. He’d never had a paternal figure to look up to or guide him.

That, and the fact that once he’d been caught he seemed to be at least trying to tell the truth about his involvement with Meredith, gave him a certain credibility.

He was often given a fair hearing in the papers for not trying to evade guilt by changing his story. Editors and readers seemed to appreciate that he had not relied on high-powered family connections to duck out of one of the most tragic cases that had ever come before them.



(From Piazza Italia at the south end of the walled city - Rudy Guede first lived off there to the south-east)

Guede came to Italy in 1992, when he was five years old. His father Roger had emigrated from the Ivory Coast a few years before at a time when the Italian economy needed new manpower to fuel the country’s post-industrial boom…

Roger Guede had trained as a teacher in the former capital city of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan, where his wife still lived with little Rudy, but in Italy he found work as a bricklayer.

Life was hard because of exploitation, denial of workers’ basic rights and rampant illegal labour.

After five years he was granted a regular resident’s permit and returned to Abidjan to his wife, to see if he could take the young Rudy back to Italy with him. She agreed that in Italy he would have a chance of a better life.

Roger and Rudy found a flat in the shabby low-lying suburb of Perugia called Ponte San Giovanni. The neighbourhood was not at the top of the hill, with its wide vistas, ancient buildings and air of academia.

Roger’s life had no room for aspiration or fanciful gap-year adventures. He settled for a seedy new-build on the valley floor near the railway station. An unhealthy stream meandered through the projects like a sewer.

Still, it was better than the shanty town where Rudy’s mother was eking out a bare existence.



[Shots here and just below of Ponte San Giovanni, the town just to the east where Guede first lived]

New to immigration, Italy’s attitude to race relations has often been schizophrenic. Far-right extremists have been known to whip up dissension. But in Perugia, a small community like many that made up the backbone of Italian society, Roger and his son were welcomed.

His presence stimulated the lively cutiosity of Italians, not their hostility. The kindness of his neighbours and the willingness of social services to offer him childcare were proof of that, and he was free to hit the road to find building-site work.

During these absences Rudy was fostered by local families. One of his first full-time carers was a Mrs Mancini, who had been his maths teacher at school. She never lost interest in him and was to be like a second mother.

Rudy also struck up a lifelong friendship with her son Gabriele and another schoolmate, Giacomo Benedetti. The fabric of a closeknit Italian working-class community felt like a protective cloak and Rudy thrived.

His teachers and foster families all say that he was a quiet child, well behaved and responsible. He had moments of daydreaming stupidity, but no more than other kids.

He was good at basketball - tall, athletic and serious. The local professional basketball team was sponsored by one of Italy’s most successful companies, Liomatic, who manufactured coffee dispensers - a link that would later change the course of his life.

One day, Rudy’s dad went home to Abidjan to renew his passport, but civil war broke out when he was in the country and instead of spending two weeks away from his son he was trapped for six months, as strife raged in the Ivory Coast.

Back in Italy, the social services stepped in with a view to formalizing Rudy’s foster status and finding a long-term home for him.

Rudy was unhappy but he coped with the loneliness and uncertainty with admirable courage. He didn’t complain. And he was soon rewarded. Astonishingly, he was catapulted into the heart of one of Italy’s richest families.



[Another shot of Ponte San Giovanni, where Guede in his early days apparently lived happily]

His change of fortune was like something out of the plot of the musical Annie. Rudy had met one of the Caporali sons at basketball. Now the family wanted to officially take him in as one of their own. He never lived with Roger again.

The change wasn’t smooth. Rudy found it difficult to adapt. When he moved out of Ponte San Giovanni, he lost touch with many of his old friends, which he found particularly hard.

They had been the bedrock in what had so far been a rather unstable family life. He soon missed the informality, the lack of pressure to succeed and the maternal bonds that Italian families are famous for.

It wasn’t long before his new father figure, Paolo Caporali, was calling Rudy ‘an inveterate liar’. He skipped school and spent his time in front of the television or on PlayStation. Caporali’s wife and kids were much kinder in their view:

Rudy was introverted and shy. He lied to protect himself, but not maliciously to hurt others or gain personal advantage.

The move from a poor area to the home of the super-rich Caporali family had confused Rudy and, to some degree, had embarrassed him.

His basketball trainer Roberto Segolini said Rudy was friends with everyone and never missed a training session. Where he could prove his worth and show success to his new high-status family, Rudy thrived.

With such a chequered school career, Rudy would find it hard to find a job that suited him once he left school. But at the age of nineteen he went to stay with an aunt in Lecco and landed a job as a waiter in Pavia.



[Shot of Lecco north of Milan where at age 19 Rudy Guede moved to live with an aunt]

Finally, he had found his way. He was ecstatic. He was now going to prove that he could knuckle down and stand on his own two feet. He thought about learning the trade and one day opening a restaurant.

But as soon as he settled in, the rug was pulled from under him - his employer was arrested and the business folded.

To someone with a fragile view of himself, this chance setback took on a great and doom-laden significance. Rudy blamed himself and worried about how he would explain his bad luck to the Caporalis.



[Shot of Pavia south of Milan where Rudy Guede worked as a waiter till the restaurant collapsed]

Confidence shattered, he fled back to Perugia in shame. It was July 2007 and the beginning of the long summer that would end in tragedy.

The Caporalis were desperate to bolster his self-esteem. In August they found him a gardener’s job at a restaurant they owned out of town.

He stayed with the Mancinis, where the father and mother made sure he got up early to catch the bus. But the rot had set in; he wanted to live where the excitement was.

He was distracted by the scallywag antics of the lads in Perugia, who never seemed to work but always had money, and by the beautiful students from allover the world who were descending on the University to find digs and party.

Amanda and Meredith would be among them. Once he failed to go to work for a whole week, claiming he had flu and snivelling unconvincingly over the phone. He was sacked.

He lived off his savings until 2 November, when the murder and his doomed getaway would end any hopes he had of turning his life around.



[Shot of Mainz on the Rhine between Frankfurt and Bonn where Rudy Guede was captured]


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