Re Depp v Heard damages hearing today. Good report here. Judgement entered: $10.4m to Depp less $2m to Heard. AH must post $8.4m bond plus interest to appeal, her lawyer balked but judge firmly insisted. Only known appeal grounds is judicial error, no neutral lawyer points to any. If appeal fails, Depp gets $8.4m instantly. Main media struck dumb?

Category: More hoaxers

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Strange Story Of Congressional Knox Supporter Apparently Becoming Over Aggressive

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Portland, largest city in Oregon, David Wu’s constituency; Mount Hood at back there]

A few months ago Oregon Congressman David Wu wrote a mean and inaccurate letter on Knox’s behalf

Now his own Congressional staffers are having to restrain him from becoming too over-the-top on other matters.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and—more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching—around potential voters and donors.

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period.

“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues that day. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else.”

Wu, however, remained defiant, sources said. He left the meeting and said he was going to a movie.

Unfortunate case. What a surprise.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/08/11 at 05:24 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The wider contextsN America contextMore hoaxersComments here (8)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Report Of The Decay Of The Hard Pro-Knox Party Line In West Seattle

Posted by Peter Quennell



Former HQ of West Seattle Herald

West Seattle Groupthink Under Strong Fire

The Seattle Salmon reports with some amusement on how the residents are increasingly speaking out.

They whisper at the local library branch, nod to each other in line at the Morgan Junction Starbucks, and even occasionally email their true feelings to each other.  What is this secret society?  It’s not the Masons, Scientologists or even the wily Northwestern Republicans.

No, this fearful group is West Seattleites who think Amanda Knox did it.  By “it,” they are referring to the 2007 murder in Italy of which she was convicted. Knox was raised in West Seattle and the community has rallied around her claim of innocence with a fervor that straddles the militant/cult divide.

But some in the community are not so sure and not so talkative about their doubt.  One resident who demanded anonymity told the Seattle Salmon, “It’s like a police state out here.  You have to go to the legal defense fundraisers ““ like six last year ““ or else you are ostracized at the Westcrest Off-leash area.”

Another said, “The groupthink is terrifying.  You step outside of it and you’re like the stupid Regular Seattleite who jaywalks through the all-way crosswalk at The Junction ““ you’re all alone and danger could come at you from any direction.  Plus they’d light your ass up on the West Seattle Blog. You’d have to move.”

Perhaps no surprises there. It has been a long time since pro-Steve-Shay comments on the West Seattle Herald have been in the majority. Yesterday he made this ludicrous claim.

Meredith’s father, John, who believes Knox is guilty and has a lawyer in the courtroom fighting to insure she and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito remain in jail.

These were the first two responses.

John Kercher’s lawyer is not ‘fighting’ anyone or anything. He has a legal duty to provide representation at the automatic appeal which Italy’s very liberal criminal justice system provides to all convicted criminals.

Your inflammatory, arrogant coverage of this legal process stinks. The US State Department doesn’t think there was anything wrong with the year-long legal process which convicted Knox and Sollecito of torture and murder, and neither do their victim’s family. Again, this doesn’t mean they are ‘fighting’, so grow up.

Mr. Shay atypically made only one glaring distortion in this article; The Kercher family lawyer is involved in the appeals process not to insure that Ms. Knox stay in jail, but rather to make sure the prosecution’s case is presented fairly and objectively, as was certainly done in the court’s verdict.

Not to make the lawyer sound one sided and intent on a path; there are way too many like Shay in the pro innocent Knox camp; this population has been known to lie and distort facts so as to exculpate their darling “West Seattle bred” Knox.

Nice work West Seattle.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rocco Girlanda ♥ Rocco Girlanda And Amanda Knox ♥ Amanda Knox?!

Posted by Hopeful


A little dream and art interpretation….

Rocco’s dream of being in a taxi with Amanda driving to JFK airport symbolizes his attempt to “take off to great heights” with Amanda.

Joining her in the same destination, but fearing himself as JFK who literally lost his head due to his politics.

Amanda is like Jackie who survived and went on to marry the richest man in the world. Rocco is the one who is “sticking his neck out”. Political suicide or assassination fear.

The dream image of the pink I-pod that Amanda hands to Rocco is an emblem of how he had hoped for much information out of her but the I-pod plays only one thing: Beatles. So she is very limited.

The I-pod being pink is a feminine symbol of Amanda but the “I” could also be referring to Rocco, too. He thinks, “I hope to get a lot out of this Knox connection but maybe it is very limited”.

This “gift” is limited, deceptive, like the gift she gave to Italian police with more lies in it. Rocco may feel he himself is limited like rock “˜n roll, only one style of music. Rocco “˜n roll.

When two narcissists meet, the two “I’s” try to fly.

AK’s favorite aphorism, “I know I’m not alone even when I’m alone.”””Jovanotti. Well, there’s an “I-full”. Three “I’s” in that saying and Jovanotti’s name ends with an i.  The ayes have it. Miss I-pod. Mister and Miss I-pod, say “I do”.

Rocco’s book includes Amanda’s colored drawings of what else, of course HERSELF, not once but twice, lest we fail to see the message. Why should anyone have expected her to draw a nature scene, a bird, flowers, anything outside herself?

The major message of the art: she shows the world her backside. Ha ha! Nothing new. Didn’t she show that in court? In this art, she gives us the back and the hand which equals a backhand.

She backhands us. She hides her face as usual. So, a slap in the face, or a backhanded compliment.

The hands are cut off yet still seem to be grasping or like they’re reaching out to squeeze something. “Cops wanna squeeze my brain” AK was overheard to say in early wiretapped conversations by police.

She colors the human figure (complete with German pigtails?) in a stained glass look. Pigtails represent a very childish hairstyle. It’s possible she wishes she could return to a time when she wore her hair that way.

Half the hair is pulled one way, half the other, a symbol her head (mind) is divided. The dots going down the back center part of the hair disturb me for some reason.

The many colors might represent many different emotions. Of course the figure is naked, the exhibitionist always.

Wasn’t she sending Rocco’s Italian-American organization childlike tracings of her hands in earlier correspondence?


Posted by Hopeful on 11/16/10 at 02:09 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Marriott PRMore hoaxersComments here (3)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Very Criticised Book On Knox Is Discussed By A Panel In Rome

Posted by Clander



[left to right: Mangani, Girlanda, Gramaglia, Thomas, Esposito]

On Monday 14 February Yahoo News linked to this post but we suspect Yahoo actually referred to this post which is our many many question (never responded to) to the Amanda Knox apologist Italian MP Rocco Girlanda

Our previous posts on Italian MP Rocco Girlanda’s energetic involvement with Amanda Knox can be found here and here and here.

Rocco Girlanda’s Italian-American Foundation organized a panel discussion of his book “Take me with you - Talks with Amanda Knox in prison” which took place on Tuesday of last week at the Palazzo Marini

Beforehand I had lunch in a bookstore next to Palazzo Chigi. One hour later I realized I had read half of Girlanda’s book. It’s a really easy read. Too easy.

It’s all about “me, me, me and more me.”  Sound familiar?.

Girlanda promotes himself (and his foundation) so much in the book that at a certain point I was not sure if the book was even about Amanda Knox. Girlanda and Knox are using each other.

Less than 40 people in total were present at the discussion. Sitting next to Rocco Girlanda were Giampiero Gramaglia (moderator, not involved in the case); Patricia Thomas (Associated Press), Pina Esposito (SkyTG24) and Cristiana Mangani (Il Messaggero)

Sabina Castelfranco (CBS) could not make it.

The Massei Sentencing Report was never once mentioned and rather extraordinarily it remained unclear throughout whether anyone on the panel had actually read it.

Meredith was first mentioned by name a full 35 minutes from the start of the debate.

I got the impression that Girlanda had read the negative comments about him that have appeared on the Internet - it almost seemed as if he was quoting from some of the comments I had read. His statements were watered-down compared to the stuff I’d heard from him in the last few days.

For example, when Gramaglia asked Girlanda if he thought that Knox was innocent, Girlanda said that he “does not know” and that “thankfully, it is not up to him to decide” reading this from his book.

We’ll see if that’s really his position on the case in the next few weeks.

Not once did he mention in the discussion that he wrote the book/is involved in the case because he thinks that he (or his foundation) has a role in US-Italy relations.

He said he recently purchased 4 laptops. Three were for his eldest children. The fourth one was for AK and he had it delivered to her a while back.

He had met yet again with Amanda Knox just two days before (that must be added to the number of visits) and he gave her a copy of his book.

The panel discussion had opened with a few sentences from Girlanda in which he explained that he started following the case after Senator Cantwell made her “anti-Americanism” claims.

Patricia Thomas stated that those remarks were “ridiculous” and that “anyone who has been to Italy or knows Italy knows they are not true”. In her words, “Italians simply love Americans” (vabbè, mo’ non esageriamo). Her spoken Italian is really good.

Girlanda stated that he is interested in the state of the prisons in Umbria and that is why he went to visit Knox in prison (in his words, his “first visit to AK was the first time I had ever entered a prison”) and that the book was written “by chance” after his numerous encounters with her.

He stressed numerous times that, as an MP, he has the right to visit prisoners.

We were told at the meeting that one American journalist has visited Knox in prison: Patricia Thomas. She was present during Girlanda’s very first visit to Knox.

Patricia Thomas described the prison. She said it is a lot better than many summer camps she had been to when she was younger. The food is amazing and she could not believe that they even have bidets in the cells. She said that she took a lot of flack for writing about this a few months ago.

Girlanda said in response that the men’s section of the prison is not as nice since it is overcrowded. He made no mention of whom he visited in the men’s section, if anyone.

Ms Thomas said she could not believe that Knox’s mom and sister were taking pictures of each other inside the Court (“as if they were tourists inside the Sistine Chapel”) only a few hours before the verdict.

She spoke very highly of the Kerchers. In particular, she spoke of Merdith’s siblings at the press conference after the trial. She described them as “beautiful, well educated and articulate”.

Gramaglia asked the 3 journalists sitting next to him how they would have voted had they been on the jury panel:

Patricia Thomas, who really did not want to answer this question, and showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that she would have acquitted Knox and Sollecito.

Pina Esposito said that, based on the evidence, Knox and Sollecito are guilty. She would have voted guilty.

Cristiana Mangani, who showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that Rudy Guede alone killed Meredith and that “Knox and Sollecito are in prison based on NOTHING” (yes, she said “nothing”, NIENTE). So, of course, she would have acquitted.

Ms Thomas said that Knox was “terribly handled by the PR firm and the lawyers”.

She said that in her opinion the lawyer Mr Della Vedova was hired for “opportunistic reasons” and that Mr Ghirga was “like a father who could not control his exuberant kid”.

She said that “AK’s PR efforts” should have focused on Italy and not on the US and she added that “it’s a good thing that this book has come out a few weeks before the start of AK’s appeal”.

At this point, the moderator Mr Gramaglia asks if anyone had any questions.

There was an ANSA journalist sitting in the first row who was really anxious to ask a question after Patricia Thomas made her remark about the book coming out “a few weeks before the start of the appeal”.

First of all he responded to Ms Thomas by saying that her statement that “it is good that this book has come out a few weeks before the appeal” is an insult to the Appellate Court. The ANSA journalist explained to Ms Thomas that the book would have no effect whatsoever on the Court.

He then asked Girlanda how he responds to those who are accusing him of exploiting the case and of being just another “puppy” in Knox’s hands (and by the tone of his voice and how he asked the question, it seemed as if he was one of those making the accusations).

Girlanda replied by saying that the proceeds of the book were going to his foundation and that he would not be involved when the board decides how that money should be spent.

Regarding the puppy comment, Girlanda replied “they can think what they want”.

Suddenly, no more questions were being taken.

[below Associated Press reporter Patricia Thomas who said she would have founnd AK and RS not guilty]


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony

Posted by Peter Quennell


We will be having several posts on this whole new development.

They will go further than what is published into the politics (as Girlanda is a politician), and the law.(as Girlanda may be subject to reprimand, and legally liable if his intrusion weakens Knox in any way).

We have been observing during the legal process of the past two years a series of what our psychologists believe are minor sexual deviancies or perversions all masquerading as the Amanda Knox White Knights. None of them ever really help Amanda Knox, and all of them heap hurt on Meredith’s friends and her for-ever-suffering family.

The professional psychological take across the board seems to be that if Curt Knox and Edda Mellas take the notion of kind parenting seriously, they would certainly allow no more of these damaging posturing phonies - each with an agenda they cannot possibly fulfill - within 100 miles of their daughter at this time.

Amanda Knox is clearly somewhat emotionally fragile, and she will have a very tough time getting through her trial for slander and then her appeal. There is in fact very little wiggle room for the defenses within the very tough constraints set by Judge Massei.

The defenses have a tough enough time of it already. They don’t need these deviant White Knights repeatedly trying to leap to the front of the parade. We now have the ugly smirking intrusion of Rocco Girlanda, yet another one intent on buoying Knox up to think she is some sort of goddess on the point of stepping out into an adoring world. And he, Mighty Rocco Girlanda, is her savior.

And for what? For Amanda to then come crashing back down at her next hearing, or back in the grim environment of her cell. Lift her up, crash her down. Lift her up, crash her down. Lift her up, crash her down.

Way to make Amanda Knox a basket case for life. She could even become completely catatonic.

And then what, Mr Girlanda? Would THAT be good for your career?

For the sake of Knox’s threatened remaining sanity, her parents should put in place some serious expectations management. Dont believe us? Ask ANY good psychologist and they will tell Knox’s parents the same thing. She does NOT need all these phony promises - where everybody else gets rich and famous. And she lingers on in her cell.

And after the damage he has already done, Rocco Girlanda should make a point of going far away. And if he doesnt, his wife and five children should make him.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/21/10 at 05:41 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Marriott PRMore hoaxersComments here (16)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Knox Slander Hearing Adjourned: Her Lawyers Make It Sound Like She Might Crack - Too Late?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Amanda Knox and her lawyer Luciano Ghirga in court last June]

The slander hearing was adjourned by Judge Matteini to Monday 8 November, after less than one hour.

Amanda Knox now knows she is not only facing the huge and detailed Massei Report and (vital to remember) the really huge volume of witness and expert statements and evidence exhibits and other documents to which it it links, which are for the most part only available in Italian.

Now she knows she is facing a bunch of hostile cops, as she was exchanging stares with all of them today in court. And if she continues to accuse them in court, she will be cross-examined, and pressed very hard to name which one or ones it was - while looking him or her or them right in the eye.

Quite some pressure. Mr Ghirga has just been reported as saying this about Amanda Knox’s state of mind.

“She has hardened herself, she has become more unhappy and less serene,” he said. “I hope we can help her to find her serenity back before Nov 24 and that she doesn’t lose her courage. This would not help us.”

And here is another report from another of her lawyers.

“She’s very down,” said her lawyer, Maria del Grosso of Rome. “I’ve told her to be tough. It won’t help to fall apart now. “

This all seems to imply that Knox just might decide to abandon the hard line encouraged by the PR campaign, which seems to be getting her nowhere except into more hot water, and move from her various conflicting stories and over now to something completely different. 

Something credible and consistent that actually sounds like the truth? Who knows?

Coming so late in the process, with Meredith’s family and friends already put through deep pain for nearly three years, it may not happen - at least not yet. Still, one consistent story if believed could affect her sentence and the conditions of her stay in prison if she does not win her freedom at appeal.

And some peace of mind for all those who have been hurt. All except one: her family’s very precious Meredith. Stay tuned.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Ultimate Immorality And Intense Hurt Of Blaming A Victim

Posted by Emma


Recent comments on boards frequented by supporters of Amanda Knox have taken an ugly turn. In desperation some have started playing the lowest game of all - the “˜Blame the Victim’ game. Not content with championing the murderers of Meredith Kercher, they now seek to denigrate the real victim of this crime after her death. Comments made about how she “˜messed up’, about how she must have let Rudy in to the house and, unbelievably, even about her family’s accent, have shown the real class of the Friends of Amanda, clearly frustrated at the recent publication of the damning Massei report. It cannot be emphasised enough what a powerful impact the Massei Report has had on public opinion. Meticulously translated over many weeks by a group of professionals at the Perugia Murder File, the Report has shown up the lies being propagated by Amanda’s out of control supporters. A number of previous innocenti journalists have privately admitted to now believing in the guilt of Amanda and Raffaele having read the report, distribution of which via all channels is more than 7,000 and continuing. The word is spreading; the evidence is overwhelming. All that is left now for the FOA is the empty rhetoric and tired arguments which have been repeated over and over. The desperation is showing in the latest outing of the hopelessly ill-informed ex-FBI “˜expert’, Steve Moore, who seems to be following a different case altogether. In his recent ABC interview he was not even able to name the victim, preferring instead to call her “˜the girl’.

But let’s consider the morality of those who post against Meredith in support of Amanda Knox. These are people who are not beneath smearing the memory and good name of a young girl who was brutally murdered. How did Meredith “˜mess up’? How is it that she, or any victim, can be said to be “˜responsible’ for what happened to them? All the evidence suggests that Meredith merely wanted to return home for study that night, prior to her lecture the following morning. She borrowed a book that she promised to return to her friend the next day. She was tired, having been up into the small hours having fun at a Halloween Party. She wanted a quiet night in. But if she had let Rudy into the house, invited him in, shared a drink with him? How does this show her having “˜messed up’? How would she be to blame in any way for what happened to her? The answer, as any card-carrying member of the human race will testify, is that she would not.

Victims are a favourite target for some. They “˜must have’ invited the attention”¦if they hadn’t been walking home in the dark alone”¦on and on. The fact is that Meredith was wholly innocent. She made no mistakes, she lived a good life. She was kind, warm, funny, studious, with a firm sense of her own moral boundaries and many good friends who were left devastated by her death. Recent comments about how she couldn’t have screamed, and she didn’t fight are deeply offensive. During a violent assault it is common for victims to freeze entirely. Perhaps it is a biological protective mechanism, as often seen in animals who sense overwhelming danger. Maybe it is simply the logical response to a situation where one is simply unable to fight back. Being physically restrained by another human being, and realising there is absolutely nothing you can do is an emotionally overwhelming experience. The brain is “˜flooded’ with sensations of terror and horror, which it is impossible to process at speed. Victims speak of an almost near death sensation, of “˜leaving their bodies’ and escaping into their mind during an attack. The instinct for many is to submit, in the hope that the pain will be over soon, that it is their best chance of survival. Often this leads to feelings of deep shame and guilt if the victim survives the assault. Blaming themselves for their “˜weakness’ in not fighting back deepens already severe mental scars. Perpetrators also use the victim’s inability to fight back as a form of defence “˜I had no idea!’ etc. This is why the victim blame game is so harmful. In order for justice to be done, and civilised society maintained, there must be a supportive climate for victims. Otherwise crime will not be reported and violent criminals will walk free, endangering everyone.

For a man to subject a woman to a violent assault is the most cowardly of acts, as the woman has no ability to fight back. For three individuals to attack a woman is utterly repugnant, particularly when one is a woman herself. The evidence is that Meredith screamed. The evidence is that she was unable to fight because she had her arms held behind her back while she was beaten and stabbed, for the amusement of others. Terrified and confused she must have felt a deep sense of betrayal and incomprehension as this attack escalated. Make no mistake, Meredith suffered in a way that is almost too distressing to contemplate. But to truly put ourselves in the position of the victim - the real victim - then we should perhaps, in a strong moment, make ourselves go there. It is only then that we can truly accept the full horror of this crime, and that the sentence handed down to the three convicted murderers is the only correct response of a moral society.

After the reporting of a crime it is essential that no blame be apportioned to victims, already struggling to recover from the trauma of assault. Suggesting that victims of violent crime are “˜to blame’, that they “˜messed up’, can only deepen the mental anguish they are feeling. In the case of a murder victim such comments cause untold distress to their shattered relatives. It is a cruelty of the highest order. A second assault.

What sort of person would blame Meredith for what happened to her? You be the judge.

Posted by Emma on 09/11/10 at 03:05 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Knox-Marriott PRMore hoaxersComments here (19)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Conspiracy Theorists Follow A Well Known Pattern - They ALL End Up Out Of Steam And Ignored

Posted by Stilicho



[above: conspiracy theorists don’t want you to believe that is an aircraft]

Conspiracy Theories And Those That Surround Meredith’s Murder:

What do the Apollo moon landings, the JFK assassination, the 9/11 attacks, and Meredith Kercher’s murder all have in common? 

They have each attracted the vigorous cult-like attention of conspiracy theorists.  Despite the cold hard fact that in each case there has been ample documentation to support what might best be called the official story. 

We know from independent and highly credible and very respected sources that the Apollo missions were successful, that a lone gunman shot and killed the US president in Dallas, that a terrorist group was responsible for hijacking of four aircraft, that the World Trade Center complex was destroyed by the subsequent fires..

And that Knox, Sollecito and Guede attacked and killed Meredith in her rented room in Perugia on the first of November in 2007.

Among the dozens of similarities between the Meredith case conspiracy theorists and others, we will focus on those made most apparent by the words and actions of those advocating for Knox and (occasionally) Sollecito.

A Commonality: Lack Of Any Coherent Alternate Narrative:

The court was obliged to create a logical narrative supported by the evidence.  That narrative, briefly, states that Knox and Sollecito encountered Guede after they found they had no obligations that evening, consumed drugs that lowered their inhibitions, and entered Meredith’s room. 

What followed was a sexual assault upon the young British woman, the active participation of each of the three accused, Meredith’s attempts to scream for help, and the silencing of the victim by covering her mouth, throttling her and finally stabbing her in the throat.  The three assailants then departed after locking Meredith’s bedroom door. 

Her mobile phones and keys were taken by Knox and Sollecito to be discarded in a remote location. Once it was apparent that the authorities had not responded to Meredith’s screams, Knox and Sollecito returned to the cottage to stage a break-in and to obscure as much evidence of their presence as was possible.

Those advocating for Knox and Sollecito have never supplied a coherent narrative to refute the official story.

Similarly, 9/11 truthers have never been able to agree on much apart from their strident belief that the official story simply must be wrong.  Various hypotheses have been advanced and withdrawn in the face of objections by scientists, engineers, and even rival truther factions. 

There is a no-planer faction that argues there were no planes hijacked and that all the video and film evidence was created in a government production studio.  There is a controlled demolition faction that argues government agents secretly wired unknown explosive devices in one of the busiest office buildings in the world while nobody noticed.  There are others who believe the leaseholder of the site ordered the demolition because of concerns about asbestos replacement.

When asked how Guede gained entry to the cottage, conspiracy theorists promote three main theories without selecting the one they all agree upon. 

They argue that Guede entered through Filomena’s window OR that Meredith let him in the house herself OR that he entered by unknown means and was there before she returned home at roughly 21:00.

Because conspiracy theorists are not constrained by the requirement for a logical narrative they will pick any of the three available and contradictory claims.

A Commonality: An Aversion To Respecting Good Science:

The Apollo moon landing hoaxes have a lot in common with the advocacy sites proclaiming the innocence of Knox and Sollecito. 

Apart from the development of the atomic bomb, there has likely been no human technological achievement so intensively documented as the Apollo programme.

Among the many claims of the conspiracists is the position that late-Sixties technology and instrumentation was insufficient or too bulky to allow the moon landings to take place.  They compare the size and power of 21st century computing hardware and software with that of 1969 and make their conclusions based on a perceived inadequacy of the previous era’s equipment.

In Meredith’s case there are several advocacy sites that criticise the scientific police on exactly the same basis. 

The techniques employed by (mainly) Dr Stefanoni, in determining the presence of Meredith’s DNA on a knife found in Sollecito’s drawer, are attacked partly because the equipment had not been used this way before. 

Just to be sure of their position, however, they add confidently that she simply could have faked the results or kept her tweezers in a beaker of Meredith’s DNA accidentally left in the laboratory.  It matters little to the unscientific mind of the conspiracy theorist that Stefanoni’s techniques were fully documented and observed by an independent party as required by law.

A Commonality: Lack Of A Credible Alternate Suspect:

Wrongful convictions happen.  There are dozens of them documented on a site operated by The Innocence Project, an American advocacy group.  Its banner proudly proclaims that 258 convictions had been overturned. 

The foundation seizes upon several important facets of wrongful convictions including DNA evidence and improper defence counselling. In almost all the 258 cases there is another common feature:  a credible alternate suspect.

JFK conspiracy theorists have never been able to establish a credible alternate suspect - and neither have Knox/Sollecito advocates. 

The latter have not yet gone so far as to accuse the Mafia, Fidel Castro, the Teamsters Union, LBJ, Nixon, the CIA and a man carrying an umbrella in Dealey Plaza.  But their attempt to establish Guede as the sole perpetrator accomplishes the same thing. 

Just in case the ‘lone wolf’ doesn’t make any sense, they are not beyond implicating even Filomena, falsely claiming that it is only her word against that of Knox that Meredith did not normally lock her bedroom door.

There was only one attempt to identify an alternate suspect and that was made by Knox herself.  She told police investigators that Patrick, her boss, was the killer. 

She is one step ahead of those proclaiming her innocence; she knew better than they that without another explanation it is she and Sollecito who remained the prime suspects.  She also knows, more than her supporters, that naming Guede instead would invite reciprocation.

Conclusions About Conspiracy Theorists

As briefly illustrated above, the length and depth of those being falsely implicated by the mostly anonymous Knox/Sollecito conspiracy theorists, untethered by the 80,000 pound gorilla in the room, the Massei Report, now knows few bounds.

This has now reached such levels of absurdity that they are increasingly being laughed at or, for the most part, ignored.  Nobody - really nobody - in either the Italian or American governments is paying them even the slightest attention. 

Meredith’s case is showing to the clear-thinking and objective world that Italy has an enviable justice system, that it is very careful and very humane, and that its scientific and forensic techniques are among the vanguard in applied criminal research.

And with no obvious way of obtaining special gains for themselves (or for that matter of hitting back against the anonymous attacks) the very fine police and investigators and prosecutors and judges and juries in Italy are doing the very best they can for Meredith.

Posted by Stilicho on 09/09/10 at 03:40 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The wider contextsN America contextThe psychologyMore hoaxersComments here (12)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Anne Bremner Case: Seattle Media Obtain Arrest Documents And A Video

Posted by Peter Quennell

This silent CCTV footage, released today, shows Anne Bremner being encouraged by King County police in the general direction of a breathalyser test.

Last Friday we posted on the plea and the sentence, but could not post most of the arrest document including quotes from Anne Bremner as it was heavily redacted by Bremner’s lawyers.

This redacting incensed the Seattle media as (1) otherwise she seemed to get off pretty lightly - she didn’t even lose her driver’s license - and (2) she started to deny that alcohol was the main source of her problems on the night of her arrest almost immediately after being sentenced. 

Now thankfully un-redacted again, the arrest records were released today, and in a good report Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle PI posted almost all of what was actually said. Some excerpts:

On the night of her arrest for drunken driving, prominent Seattle attorney Anne Bremner told the sheriff’s deputy who arrested her June 4 that she was the “attorney for Seattle police,” that she was “famous,” and that this “will be bad for you guys,” according to a copy of the officer’s report.

“I represent Seattle police, you can’t arrest me,” Bremner told one of the officers who assisted with the investigation. “You can’t arrest me. I represent Seattle and King County, you are making a mistake.”...

In reports released Tuesday, a King County sheriff’s detective contradicts the findings of a defense investigator used to bolster Bremner’s previous claim, since abandoned, that she was the victim of a hit-and-run crash.

The sheriff’s detective concluded that damage to the tires and undercarriage of Bremner’s BMW were “consistent with a raised curb impact.” Dents to the right side and rear of the car could, the detective continued, were likely caused by the car striking stationary objects at low speed.

According to the copy of arresting officer Deputy Brandon Moen’s report, Bremner was stopped shortly after midnight on June 4 after the officer saw her BMW driving on a flat tire at slow speeds in the 8300 block of Northeast Bothell Way in Kenmore. The deputy noted that her eyes were watery and bloodshot, she slurred when she spoke and that he could smell the “overwhelmingly strong odor of intoxicants on her breath.”

She told the officer she was coming from a dinner party but could “provide no information on how the tire got flat,” according to the report. According to statements filed with the court, the party was attended by lawyers and judges.

The deputy asked if she knew where she was and she “just stared blankly.” When he asked a second time, she replied: “I’m not going to play games,” according to the report.

When he asked how much she had had to drink, she said “not much,” and that she just had wine with dinner. She told the deputy she called 9-1-1 for help with her tires but was ignored, according to the report….

The records provided Tuesday include two 9-1-1 calls to Seattle police from Bremner about her flat tire. In the calls, she is unable to tell the dispatcher what street she is on. In one call, what sounds like her tire slapping the road can be heard.

Through GPS, the 9-1-1 calls were traced to an area near Fairview Avenue East and Lakeview Bouelvard along Lake Union. About 40 minutes later, a citizen called 9-1-1 to report seeing a car driving on a flat tire on Lake City Way Northeast at Northeast 145th Street, according to an officer’s report. Fifteen minutes later, Bremner was stopped about three miles away….

Nowhere in either recording does Bremner report a hit-and-run crash or request medical assistance. Instead, the dispatcher provided her during both calls with the number for the American Automobile Association, a roadside assistance service….

After the deputy arrested Bremner, she was handcuffed and placed into his patrol car. When she was taken to the police station, Bremner at first said she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to take the Breathalyzer test. She then said she would make the decision on “her time,” according to the deputy’s report.

“I instructed Bremner how to provide breath samples,” the deputy stated. “However, Bremner blew into the tube for only a few seconds and then stopped.”

He said he told her again that she would need to blow for about 10 to 15 seconds. She again blew into the tube, but “not even coming close to satisfying the machine’s duration requirement.”

The deputy reported she appeared to be trying to stall the process, and during another attempt at administering the test, the deputy heard a “sucking-type sound,” like she was sucking on the tube or sticking her tongue into the mouthpiece, according to his report.

“It was clear at this point that after multiple attempts to get Bremner to provide breath samples, that she was not putting forth effort and was therefore effectively refusing the test,” according to the deputy’s report.

The deputy reported that Bremner called him a Nazi and the “creepiest officer” she’d ever met. She also threatened “I will sue your ass” and “it’ll be bad for you guys,” according to the report.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/08/10 at 04:39 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (7)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

In The Seattle Media The Anne Bremner Case Continues To Reverberate

Posted by Peter Quennell


Maybe Anne Bremner should have quit talking while ahead. This thing continues to bounce around like a billiard ball.

1) Tim Haeck of Kiro Radio set out the terms of the sentence.

The 52-year-old attorney will do jail time and get five years probation but she keeps her driver’s license because she’s agreed to use an interlock device on her ignition. She’s required to blow into the device and the car will not start if she’s intoxicated.

Longtime DUI attorney Doug Cowan says Bremner’s sentence is normal for a first time offender. “That is the mandatory minimum sentence, the judge doesn’t have any discretion but to impose at least what was imposed in Bremner’s case. That’s what is typically given whether it’s after a trial or a person pleads guilty,” says Cowan…

Cowan says Bremner’s sentence is typical. She got a $5,000 fine, with all but $1,100 suspended. She’s on five years probation. She’ll attend an alcohol education class and listen to a panel of drunk driving victims.

2) In this radio interview first linked to by commenter Cath, which seemed to demonstrate a lot less class than her court statement, Anne Bremner seems to play down her alcohol level in favor of her bipolar disorder, and suggests that “in a perfect storm” the traffic officer may have wrongly reacted to a claimed very small alcohol intake.

3) Today Friday in a Seattle Times report by Sara Jean Green the King County cop presents a picture of someone who was severely alcohol-impaired when arrested rather than someone suffering a bipolar attack.

High-profile Seattle attorney Anne Bremner was belligerent during her arrest for drunken driving in June, calling the King County sheriff’s deputy a “Nazi” and the “creepiest cop” she’d ever met, according to a heavily redacted copy of the deputy’s report Bremner released Friday.

Deputy Brandon Moen wrote that he could smell an “overwhelmingly strong odor of intoxicants” coming from Bremner’s breath. As she was being driven to the King County Jail, Bremner, 52, threatened to sue Moen and called him a liar, the report says.

She began “hitting her head” on the plastic partition between the front and back seats in the police cruiser, apparently upset the deputy “wasn’t responding to her comments,” Moen wrote….

4) And also in Sara Jean Green’s report posted today, Anne Bremner and/or her legal team seem to be strongly backing down from a promised full release of the video and documents which the Seattle Times, Seattle PI, and two Seattle TV stations had requested the county courts to release - and presumably now could sue for. 

At the time of her guilty plea, her attorney Bill Bowman said Bremner would withdraw her legal challenge that sought to keep the documents from being released, and said records would be available by Friday.

But as of 4:30 p.m. Friday, Bremner’s case docket showed nothing had been filed with the state Court of Appeals to lift the stay that was keeping the records out of the public eye, according to King County sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. John Urquhart.

Instead, Bremner sent The Seattle Times a redacted version of the deputy’s report, partial video footage and audio files of two 911 calls she had made before her arrest. Her name and other information was blacked out throughout the report.

If the stay had been lifted, the Sheriff’s Office was prepared to release at least three reports from different officers, an officer’s handwritten notes, a report from an investigator who examined Bremner’s car, at least two e-mails, police radio transmissions, Bremner’s 911 calls, a 911 call placed by another driver who observed her vehicle, and video footage from several areas in the Kenmore police precinct, Urquhart said.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/04/10 at 06:00 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (9)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Anne Bremner’s Drunk Driving Mea Culpa: Now One For Meredith’s Friends And Especially Her Family?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Anne Bremner rather classily pleaded guilty today to drunk driving, in this King5 video above and this Seattle PI story.

The only victim in this incident, very fortunately, was Anne Bremner’s pride and self-image. No actual person got hurt.

Very different from the strident campaign she has run on TV and via her creation, the now-hapless Friends of Amanda. That misguided effort over two-plus years which misled so many and bred so much false hope caused a lot of real hurt in England and Italy.

The much-praised Massei sentencing report has now methodically shot down every one of her claims, and it shows how competent the investigation really was and how fair Amanda Knox’s trial and verdict.

There is pretty well zero chance of the verdict being overturned on appeal. Amanda Knox’s lawyers and Knox herself now seem to realize this.

How nice then if, while Anne Bremner is in an apologizing mood, she offers a similarly classy mea culpa to the Italian authorities. And to Meredith’s many friends, who have had a very tough two-plus years.

And especially to Meredith’s poor family.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/02/10 at 04:17 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (18)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is The Campaign That Ranted Against Italy For So Long Now Fearing An Italian-American Backlash?

Posted by Peter Quennell


This bizarre Seattle PI blog post suggests that the Knox PR campaign may now fear a major Italian-American backlash.

Really?!

Not exactly surprising, after first stirring up so much anti-Italy hate - remember “third world country” and “keystone cops” and “kangaroo court” and “saving face” and “anti Americanism” and “tabloid journalism” and on and on?

Not to mention “evil Mignini” hoodwinking everyone in Italy all the way up to the Supreme Court with “satanic conspiracies” that work easily in a “catholic country” implying everyone there is too prudish or simply not very bright?

When did they ever say anything about Italy that was actually nice? Or restrain their forces from being over-the-top nasty, as with the venom the white knights STILL direct toward Mr Mignini?

Really GOOD PR people seek to merely shade the truth.

They don’t ever build a campaign around a really big lie, because when the really big lie comes down, it really comes crashing down and ALL is lost. A result worse than if there had been no campaign at all.

Proof?  Read the many hard, angry and incisive comments right under that blog post. And we know that Italian Americans now are showing some sure signs of having had more than enough.

Not exactly a PR man’s dream. 

Added: Important Breaking News

We all already know that the US State Department up to and including Hillary Clinton not only finds the Knox campaign ludicrous and very unhelpful -  they also regard it as xenophobic.

Now the chief of staff of an Italian-American member of the US Congress in Washington DC (not, obviously, David Wu’s chief of staff) has sent us this request.

He would like to get every possible example of the sliming of Italy and the Italian officials on Meredith’s case, including the sliming of Giuliano Mignini.

Please could our readers email or post here below any examples you may know of? We may create a new TJMK page just for them.

This may factor into political races in November, and there may be a political motion in the US Congress to stop this vile anti-Italy campaign dead.


The Anne Bremner Case: The Seattle Times Posts A Tough No-Nonsense Editorial

Posted by Peter Quennell


The post directly below this brings the case up to date.

The Seattle Times has been taking a strong principled stand in its court motions and in its reporting. Now this strong editorial indicates that the Seattle Time stand is resonating with the vast majority of Seattlites.

They presumably want to see Anne Bremner treated precisely as they would be in a like case. And their kids safe and out of harm’s way from any drunk drivers.

Respect the state’s open-records laws in DUI case of Seattle attorney

Do not allow creative arguments employed to evade the state’s public-disclosure law, in a case of suspected drunken driving, be used to compromise its intent.

Creative, aggressive lawyering intended to deny access to public records is an insult to citizens who have made open records and open government a priority in Washington.

Seattle attorney Anne Bremner, 52, is inventing arguments to stifle release of a deputy’s report describing her June arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.

However mortified she might be by the events of early June 4, personal embarrassment is not an exemption under the state Public Disclosure Act.

A King County Superior Court judge cleared the report, and selected law-enforcement videos, for release, but the decision was immediately appealed by Bremner’s lawyer to the state Court of Appeals in Seattle.

Another challenge is based on the apparently creative application of a King County District Court administrative rule procedure. Invocation of the rule comes out of the blue, especially for the King County Sheriff’s Office, which releases 17,000 case reports a year under state law and has never heard that argument used.

The Sheriff’s Office can withhold reports if release might compromise an investigation, but that is not a factor with Bremner.

Access to reports is couched in terms of release to the news media, but it fundamentally represents a conduit to the public and citizens with their own legal issues. Tamping down those rules serves no one, especially the philosophical and practical importance of transparency in government.

The court system showed an abundance of caution by shifting the judicial review to the Spokane appellate court, away from the professional and personal ties between the local bar and bench. The physical distance can be cut by teleconferencing, but an appropriate measure of detachment is maintained.

Release of the deputy’s report is routine and should be treated that way.

Rules and procedures are created for orderly, uniform application of justice, not to allow their exploitation to hide things from the public.

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/26/10 at 03:23 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (5)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amid Growing Seattle Criticism, Anne Bremner Tries Another Move To Keep Video And Records Hidden

Posted by Peter Quennell





Click above for the new Seattle Times report and the rapidly-proliferating (currently all negative) comments. Here’s the key passage.

Bremner’s attorney, Tyler Firkins, filed a motion Monday in King County District Court in Shoreline, seeking to use a rule that governs which records the court can release to bar the Sheriff’s Office from releasing the report. A Superior Court judge already has ruled the report can be released under the state Public Disclosure Act, a decision that Bremner is appealing.

At issue in the new motion is a rule known as Administrative Rule for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction No. 9, or ARLJ 9, which exempts district-court officials from releasing police reports unless they have been admitted into evidence, incorporated into a court pleading or have been placed into public record. In district court, a police report isn’t considered evidence unless it is submitted as an exhibit during trial or a plea hearing, something that hasn’t happened in the Bremner case.

According to Firkins’ filing, Bremner is seeking to have that rule extended to the Sheriff’s Office to prevent it from releasing the report.

“We release 17,000 case reports a year under the [state] public-disclosure statute and we’ve never heard this argument in the past,” said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart.

Our lawyers here remark that that state and county rules would trump any local township rules. Seattle is pretty well certain to see all those records. Especially as the case is now moved to the Spokane Court of Appeals, which at 280 miles away from Seattle should be safe from the attempted exertion of any influence. 

Our previous posts and comments here and here explain how this development involving Anne Bremner goes to the guts of the motives and credibility of the most ardent pro-Knox TV talking-head in the U.S. Good people in the US she may have influenced or misled may number up in the millions, not to mention those hurt in Italy and the UK. 

Many of the comments under this and previous Seattle media reports come from other lawyers, first-hand or second-hand, who obviously believe that Seattle deserves very much better. This is one.

Some lawyer friends with combined experience of 60 years say they have never seen this kind of flagrant abuse of court rules and the appeals process by someone for whom the facts and evidence are so clearly damning. It appears the appeal to the Seattle appellate judge was a brazen attempt to capitalize on the influence of friends on the system. Appears this judge could smell the unethical ramifications and wisely passed it on.

The tenacity of the prosecutors, the Sheriff’s office, and the Superior Court judge to treat this self proclaimed important person with big connections the same way others are treated is commendable. They may not be invited to the next party of drunken judges and celebrity barristers. The state FOI statute clearly trumps a local court procedural housekeeping rule.

And this is another.

Kudos to the Court of Appeals Commissioner for transferring the appeal to Spokane, to the Kenmore Prosecutor for (finally) filing charges, and the Sheriff’s Office for standing their ground on the evidence as they see it.

I just hope the transparency and even-handedness continues, that influence doesn’t rear its head behind the scenes, and that justice prevails in the end.  This has become a much bigger issue than just a DUI charge.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/25/10 at 06:30 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (3)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Could Knox Campaigner Anne Bremner Be Facing A Prison Term And Disbarment?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Anne Bremner has just been charged with drunk driving in Kenmore north-east of downtown Seattle. 

Our legal friends observed loud legal warning bells going off for Anne Bremner when they reviewed an apparent long list of past driving transgressions in the comments under this post.

One remarked that if she is shown in court to be a serial law-breaker, and an unrepentant danger to the public, a judge could (actually, he said should) really throw the book at her. That may even be for her own good. 

A few days ago there was a hearing concerning a certain “Jane Doe” who wanted suppression of a police dash-cam video of a driver apparently drunk and some police records of an arrest by King County police.

Both of the main Seattle newspapers in addition to two Seattle TV stations were now wanting the records and video unsealed by the court.  That particular Jane Doe seemed to adopt a surprisingly aggressive attitude toward the King County police, demanding the arresting officer’s service record for one thing.

Louder legal warning bells were observed going off.

There is no sign in Kenmore (as there is no sign in Perugia) that going head-to-head with good police officers really does pay off. Now the Seattle PI is reporting she is indicted..

High-profile attorney charged with drunken driving

By Scott Guttierrez

Seattle-PI Dot Com Staff

Prominent Seattle lawyer and TV legal analyst Anne Bremner has been charged with drunken driving, according to court records, despite her claims that she suffered a head injury in a hit-and-run accident and was mistakenly arrested.

On June 4, Bremner, 52, was stopped in Kenmore after driving on three flat tires. She was returning from a dinner party at a judge’s home in Seattle. The charge was filed Wednesday in King County District Court in Shoreline. Her arraignment is set for Sept. 1.

Bremner, a partner at Stafford Frey Cooper who often represents police officers accused of misconduct, has been fighting the release of the police report stemming from her arrest after it was requested under open records laws by several local media outlets, including seattlepi.com.

King County Superior Court Judge Laura Inveen ruled last week that most of the records should be made public.  The judge, however, immediately stayed that decision as Bremner’s attorney announced an appeal of the decision.

Bremner claims police failed to respond to two 911 calls some time before her midnight arrest in Kenmore and, in a statement submitted to the court on her behalf by her doctor, alleged that she was manhandled by the sheriff’s deputy. In a complaint filed under the name “Jane Doe,” her lawyer argued she would suffer “substantial and irreparable harm to her personal and professional reputation if the unsubstantiated DUI allegations” were made public….

She has been one of the most vocal advocates for Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student convicted of killing her roommate in Perugia, Italy. Knox’s attorneys are appealing…..

To support their contention that Bremner suffered a head injury, her attorneys in the filed a statement by local psychiatrist Dr. Philip Lindsay.

Lindsay wrote in court documents that Bremner had been the “victim of a hit and run driver at 50 mph and had suffered a concussion,” and argued that the deputy who stopped her in Kenmore “rushed to judgment.”

“She was mistakenly arrested for DUI based solely upon the symptoms of traumatic brain injury,” Lindsay wrote the court.

Attorneys for the county called the doctor’s statements “grossly misleading” and contended Bremner never reported a hit-and-run crash or head injury until well after her arrest.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/18/10 at 11:17 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (26)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Anne Bremner Arrested, Locked Up, Now Complaining (Surprise, Surprise) The Cops Got It Wrong

Posted by Peter Quennell


Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner was arrested and locked up for apparent drunk-driving and now seems to be scrambling for arcane excuses.

What a surprise. Here is the report by Sara Jean Green of the Seattle Times with some very beleagured PR spin among the generally pretty sarcastic and hostile comments. 

Bremner is a showboating Seattle lawyer who injected herself into Amanda Knox’s case nearly three years ago.  She created a notoriously inaccurate website on the case and more than anyone set the Friends Of Amanda alive.

Ever since the FOA have made their mainstay in commentary on the case disingenuous misstatements of the evidence and the contemptuous sliming of Prosecutor Mignini and seemingly pretty well all things Italian.

Bremner herself was featured in a TV network rant about Italian cops disturbing the crime-scene (the upstairs apartment where Meredith and Knox lived) when in fact they were filmed clearing the way into the downstairs apartment (where Meredith and Knox did not lived).

Her claims and smears over the past three years have been immensely hurtful to a very large number of people in Italy and the UK, and the general thrust of the FOA campaign was thoroughly disliked by Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia. .

It is hard to see how her muddled and often very nasty claims ever did Amanda Knox any good. This sounds like poetic justice for sure.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/06/10 at 02:13 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxers from 2007Knox-Marriott PRMore hoaxersComments here (32)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oregon’s David Wu: Another Opportunistic American Congressman That Takes An Anti-Italy Stance

Posted by Peter Quennell


Are there REALLY no Italian-Americans in Oregon’s Congressional District 1 (map below) which is Mr Wu’s political district? 

Would someone please ASK him?!

This undated take on the case by David Wu, a letter to a constituent, was posted a few days ago on the New York Daily News website.

We already know that the Italian justice system has been almost excruciatingly fair, that the evidence is massive and conclusive, and that there is a snowball’s chance in hell of the US federal government even raising this case with the Italian government.

Let alone using any actual political capital to try to spring Amanda Knox in face of what was a fair trial.

Nevertheless, complete with nasty attitude, errors, and illusory claims, Congressman Wu’s letter is being feverishly spread around by the adolescent Knox groupies. Together with the claim that somehow, therefore, Amanda Knox’s support is growing. 

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the fair treatment of Amanda Knox, an American student who was found guilty in an Italian court for killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, while studying abroad in Italy in 2007.

I appreciate knowing your thoughts on this important matter. In December 2009, Ms. Knox, a native of Seattle, was convicted by an Italian jury on charges of murder and sexual violence. During the trial, the prosecution claimed that Ms. Knox killed her roommate with the help of her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and an Italian drug-dealer named Rudy Guede. Ms. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

I was saddened by the verdict, and I agree that many facets of the prosecution’s case against Ms. Knox raise serious questions about her guilt.

In April 2009, Ms. Knox’s attorney, Ted Simon, stated before national media, “There’s brand new information presented as part of Amanda’s appeal by another person…that states for the first time that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not present or were not involved.”

Mr. Simon said that he is confident that new evidence in the 200-page appeal of her murder conviction will force Italian courts to take a hard look at the validity of her prison sentence.

Although the United States government’s ability to influence Italian criminal procedure is limited, I believe that Ms. Knox deserves a fair trial, especially in light of the defense’s new evidence.

I will be closely monitoring Ms. Knox’s appeal, and I will seize any opportunity to stand up for the values of fundamental justice and the rule of law. Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me.

As this tragic case plays out on the international stage, I will keep your views in mind.  If I may be be of additional assistance, please call my Oregon office at 503-326-2901 or 800-422-4003.

With warm regards, David Wu Member of Congress

Below: Congressional District 1 is David Wu’s home district


Friday, June 18, 2010

Why UK Media Deniers Like The Independent’s Amy Jenkins Come Across As Bigoted And Nasty

Posted by The Machine




“I can’t personally prove that Amanda Knox is innocent but I would bet every penny I own that she is.”

Bet away, Amy Jenkins.

The meme that Amanda Knox was being railroaded or framed was not too difficult to whip up in the United States.

Amanda Knox was not the first to get some Americans exercised over the notion that foreign meanies were picking on an American “just because he or she is American”.

Historically there have been a few cases for real. And it was easy to research the US dimensions of Meredith’s case in Seattle, and much harder to research the London, Leeds and Perugia dimensions. London, Leeds and Perugia are over there and in Perugia the language is Italian. 

But in London it is much easier to research Meredith, and to nail down the truth about this case.

Meredith was an exceptional person, with a very bright future ahead. And Amanda Knox probably had underlying issues even before she left Seattle, she was certainly on drugs and quite possibly an addict, she was running desperately short of money in Perugia, she quite possibly thought she had been fired because of Meredith, and in her relations with Meredith (and the other two girls in the flat) she was already like oil and water.

Meredith’s family have given some interviews with reporters who won their trust (you can see an image of one in this post) and people who knew Meredith in London and Leeds have talked about her with reporters who won their trust (you can see several in this post).

So it is always a real shock to read those stridently anti-evidence, anti-prosecution, anti-Italy, and frankly anti-Meredith pieces being pushed by a BRITISH journalist.  .

There have been maybe half a dozen British media deniers so far, and the online comments below their reports usually point out in spades how they got many many hard facts wrong. With the exception of the frankly peculiar Peter Popham of The Independent, toward whom not even one good journalist seems to have respect, they are then heard from on the case no more.

But their pieces hurt, and they do real damage. They are hurtful to Meredith’s friends, they have to be very hurtful to her family, and they are hurtful to Italy, the cause of justice, the memory of Meredith, and (in terms of equal and opposite reaction) to Amanda Knox herself. In Italy they do her no good whatsoever.

One of the WORST was this recent article in The Independent by the London-based freelance writer Amy Jenkins.


False claim: Amy Jenkins’s qualifications

Usually she writes about lifestyle, and particular about her own, concerning which she seems to have endless fascination - her articles are usually riddled with “I’ and “me” throughout. The photo below, with her kid for a prop, was actually posted with one of them.

Needless to say, these pieces don’t require very much in the way of research.

Here are some of the non-qualifications for Amy Jenkins to, all of a sudden, for the very first time, focus her attention on a foreign crime.

  • She appears to have no history of criminal research and no special knowledge of the law (she dropped out of law school in the first year) 

  • She has never stepped foot inside the courthouse in Perugia or attended any of the many court sessions.

  • She hasn’t had full, if any, access to the the prosecution’s 10,000 plus pages of evidence.

  • She obviously hasn’t read the Micheli report of January 2009 or the Massei report of March 2010.

  • She seems not to have a clue who the true victim Meredith Kercher really was or reached out to any of the very handy UK sources.

In other words, Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the real facts of the case. She seems to be knowledgeable ONLY about the list of spurious facts disseminated by the FOA, the PR campaign, and the adolescent bunch of Knox groupies..

Any even half-competent journalist would surely have enough common sense and cynicism not to accept what they are told without question, and would independently check all their facts to make sure they are accurate and reliable. She didn’t.

Any even half-competent journalist would also make sure to research all dimensions of a story before settling for a point of view - especially for a very strident, inflammatory, libelous and hurtful one. She didn’t.


False claim: “No forensic evidence”

If any proof was needed that Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the case, she provides it right up front by bizarrely and erroneously claiming that that there is no forensic evidence.

If she had actually bothered to read the judges’ sentencing report, which has been available to the public since 4 March, she would have known about all of this forensic evidence:

  • The double DNA knife which had Knox’s DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

  • The detailed medical reports that led the judges to conclude that Meredith must have been stabbed with two different-sized knives.

  • The evidence of countless forensic experts who testified that Meredith was attacked by multiple attackers.

  • The five instances of Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations of the cottage.

  • Knox’s DNA had united with Meredith’s blood into one single streak on the basin and bidet which means they were deposited simultaneously.

  • Knox’s bare bloody footprints which were revealed by luminol in the hallway.

  • Three traces of Meredith’s blood in Knox’s room which were revealed by luminol.

  • According to two imprint experts, the woman’s bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith’s body matched Knox’s foot size. It was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

  • Rudy Guede’s visible bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the cottage which means he couldn’t have staged the break-in in Filomena’s room or gone into the blood-spattered bathroom.

  • The abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp which proves that Guede and Sollecito were both involved in the stripping of Meredith and her sexual assault.

  • The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat which matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possible belong to Rudy Guede.

The forensic and other evidence against Sollecito also implicates Knox. Computer, mobile-phone and forensic evidence provided irrefutable proof that Sollecito’s and Knox’s alibis were false and that they had lied repeatedly to the police.






False claim: “There was no motive”

Actually there were PLENTY of possible motives for Knox at minimum starting a violent taunting of Meredith, and the Miss Represented website suggested a while back that both Sollecito and Knox may have fantasized it.

And while Amy Jenkins seems to think that the prosecutors have to prove a motive in order to secure a conviction, prosecutors in America, Britain and Italy DON’T have to prove a motive. One of the reasons for this is that no-one apart from the murderer or murderers ever really knows for definite why they killed their victim.

Judge Massei suggested the motive was “erotic sexual violence” and that Knox and Sollecito were acting under the influence of drugs, but he could have advanced no firm conclusions and his reasoning and verdict would still remain intact.


False claim: “No previous trouble with the law”

One of the reasons why Amy Jenkins thinks Amanda Knox is innocent is because Knox had no previous legal record. This is argument is quite frankly ridiculous. There have been countless murders throughout history committed by people with no previous record. And in fact Amanda Knox DID have a record.

Perhaps the reason why Amy Jenkins claimed Knox had no previous record was to highlight Rudy Guede’s alleged criminal background?

It seems to be totally obligatory for all Innocenisti journalists to sooner or later refer to Rudy Guede as a “drifter” and a “drug dealer” and to claim that “his DNA was all over” Meredith or the crime scene. Amy Jenkins is no exception:

“Rudy Guede was a drifter and a minor drug dealer. He was on the run and his DNA was all over the murder scene.” 

These two sentences are straight out of the FOA’s handbook. The same terminology has been parotted over and over again by Innocentisti journalists. It seems so obvious that the PR campaign and/or the FOA are spoon feeding these gullible journalists with lines.

Amy Jenkins is clearly ignorant of the fact that Rudy Guede had lived in Perugia since the age of five, and he had his own apartment. Also that he didn’t have a criminal record for drug dealing or any other crime at the time of Meredith’s murder. And also that his DNA was NOT all over the crime scene - there were in fact very few traces..

Amanda Knox is the only one of the three who had a record at the time of Meredith’s murder. She was charged with hosting a party that got seriously out of hand, with students high on drink and drugs throwing rocks into the road, forcing cars to swerve. She was fined $269 (£135) at the Municipal Court after the incident: Crime No: 071830624.

Raffaele Sollecito also had a previous brush with the law. He was stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a small quantity of drugs.


False claim: “Amanda Knox had no lawyer or interpreter”

Amy Jenkins further betrays her ignorance of the case by making the following claim: “She was interrogated with no lawyer and no translator present. She made a phony confession.”

Precisely as in the US or UK, the police weren’t required to provide Knox with a lawyer in the first (quite short) interrogation, because she was being questioned as a witness then, and not as a suspect.

And in fact Knox WAS provided with an interpreter, Anna Donninio. Anna Donninio’s testimony was widely reported-on by the British and American media. In fact Knox herself spoke about her interpreter when she testified at the trial. She says it right here in the video - she actually says the interpreter was trying to help her..

This was very widely reported. If Amy Jenkins had followed the case in the media, she would have known about this. Ten minutes in the archives of The Independent would have turned this fact up.


False claim: “Amanda Knox’s confession was phony”

Amy Jenkins claims that Knox made a phony confession. Hoever it did not escape the judges’ and jury’s attention that Knox’s several confessions contained significant elements of the truth.

  • Knox claimed that she was in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder, which was corroborated by Antonio Curatolo.

  • She claimed that there were three people at the cottage when Meredith was killed: herself, Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba.

  • The police were already suspicious of Knox and Sollecito, but they were not aware that there was a third person.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted before the results of Dr. Lalli’s autopsy report were presented to the court on 8 November 2007.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted by an African man.

  • Knox claimed that she heard Meredith screaming. Nara Capezalli and Antonella Monacchia testified that they heard a loud scream on the night Meredith was murdered.

  • Knox stated she heard thuds and this would explain how Meredith received wounds to her skull. The prosecutors believe that Meredith was banged against the cupboard.

And Amy Jenkins has completely ignored the fact that Amanda Knox made a false and malicious accusation against an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, and NEVER withdrew it while he was inside..

Knox admitted that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison, in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.

She and her mother both KNEW that her accusation was inaccurate and unjust and that she was responsible for it. However, she didn’t recant the allegation the whole time that Lumumba was in prison.


False claim: “Knox was charged because of frivolous behavior”

Amy Jenkins here willfully misrepresents the prosecution’s case by suggesting that they they thought Knox was guilty simply because she turned a cartwheel at the police station:

“she turned an inappropriate cartwheel. In a Catholic country, it’s clearly not such a leap to go from there to stabbing your room-mate in the neck during a violent sexual assault ““ because that’s the leap the prosecution made.”

So the anti-Catholic venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Knox wasn’t found guilty because of an “inappropriate” cartwheel and it is not mentioned anywhere in the judges’ sentencing report.

Jenkins reveals a simplistic and superficial knowledge throughout of Italian law. “If convicted of this “slander” the Italians will add six years to her sentence.”

This claim is simply not true. Six years is the maximum sentence. It’s not automatic.


False claim: “It was all because of a need to save face”

“However, at this point the rumour mill about Knox and her boyfriend had been in full flood for 18 days and the authorities had already put Knox behind bars….  To save face, Knox and her poor boyfriend had to be somehow levered into the frame.”

So the anti-Italy venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Amy Jenkins didn’t even attempt to provide any counter arguments to the mountain of forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Instead she put forwards a silly conspiracy theory:

The notion that several police departments in Perugia and Rome, the three interpreters, and more than TWENTY different judges, including the judges of the Italian Supreme Court, are involved in some huge, sinister conspiracy to frame two innocent people (one of whom is Italian) so that they can all of them save face, is utterly preposterous - and almost certainly it is libelous.

Diya Lumumba was released from prison because unlike either Knox or Sollecito he had an airtight alibi and there was absolutely no forensic evidence linking him to the crime scene. But if the authorities simply wanted to save face they could have kept him in prison instead.

It’s unforgivable for Amy Jenkins or any other journalist for that matter to get basic facts wrong about the case when they can read official court documents.

There is some very bad news on the horizon for David Marriott and the FOA: the judges’ sentencing report will soon be published in English - and very widely disseminated.. They won’t find it so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible, lazy, bigoted journalists like Amy Jenkins in the future.

If Amy Jenkins has even the slightest decency, she will apologize to Meredith’s family and friends.

Posted by The Machine on 06/18/10 at 06:44 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedThe wider contextsHoaxers from 2007More hoaxersComments here (22)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amazon Reviewers Of New Dempsey Book Don’t Seem Universally Impressed

Posted by Peter Quennell



Click above for the Amazon customer reviews - there are nine reviews right now.

Oddly, the several reviewers that rate the book five stars are all writing their very first Amazon review - and their.language reads suspiciously similar.

In contrast, the reviewers that rate the book only one star seem to be genuine enough - all of them have a previous track-record of Amazon reviews.

So perhaps we could quote from a couple.


*********

By Amazon reviewer Norbert

Public Relations Spin by a Knox Family Acquaintance

Friends and family may appreciate this book for its sympathetic portrayal of convicted killers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Unfortunately, Ms. Dempsey’s bias is so obvious that she lacks all credibility.

Readers interested in truth and justice would be wasting their time here; this book is 100% spin. It constructs a kind of alternate fairy tale universe in which Knox and Sollecito are innocents abroad ... in a “holiday mood” on the morning after the murder.

This imaginary place is full of Italian stereotypes: Raffaele’s proud and loving parents, the bumbling & malevolent police, the paparazzi, the courtroom crucifix, and a demented prosecutor.

Ms. Dempsey’s between-the-lines message: the black guy did it!

Candace Dempsey is a Seattle-based food & travel writer who happens to be acquainted with the Seattle-based Amanda Knox clan. She is essentially a member the Knox defense team. And she’s moved way beyond her pay grade.

With a superficial knowledge of Italian and one or two visits to Perugia, she pretends to be a competent crime reporter.

The intention of the book (aside the profit motive) is to portray Knox as charming innocent abroad - while ignoring or distorting the mountain of evidence and testimony that led to a unanimous first degree murder conviction by an Italian jury on December 4, 2009.

Essentially “Team Knox” is trying to do for Amanda Knox what F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran did for O. J. Simpson.


*********

By Amazon reviewer Retired Farmer

Blatantly Biased, Shallow, and Inaccurate Version of Events

This book is the third one I have read on the Knox Case, and by far the worst.

The Seattle based author is apparently convinced of Ms Knox’s innocence and makes every effort in this book (and in her Seattle newspaper blog) to bring all readers to the same conclusion.

She does so by deliberately overlooking… irrefutable, obvious facts to the contrary .

Many have reported that Seattle based Ms Dempsey’s Seattle newspaper blog, and now her book pretty much totally conforsm to the media briefings and talking points of the large Seattle based public relations firm that the Knox family employed to publicly paint a favorable impression of Ms Knox and to promote a belief in her innocence here in the US.

This firm tightly controls access to the Knox Family, and very selectively allows very few approved spokespersons to speak with authors and reporters in the US media that the PR Firm works in.

Ms Dempsey apparently believes few of her readers are aware of the PR Firm and their self described ‘sometimes unorthodox’ methods.  I say this because she promotes herself and her book by bragging about this Family access.

In fact, many have observed that she has sadly and shamelessly traded her objectivity for this Knox family access.

My suggestion to interested readers is to now obtain a good translation of the Motivations Report written by the Judges.

You will see for yourself the true reasons that Amanda Knox has been unanimously convicted of this horrific murder, as well as the innumerable inaccuracies and blatant bias in Ms Dempsey’s shallow, self serving, erroneous, dry and dreary version of these events.

Finally, IMHO, the PR Firm, their minions and some Seattle zealots have grossly distorted book reviews, ratings, and comments on this site, as well as engaging in some sad school yard name calling.


*********

By Amazon reviewer M C Rogers

Author is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family

Potential readers of this “story” would be well-advised that Ms. Dempsey is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family and approved by the PR firm hired by the Knox/Mellas family. This is hardly an unbiased piece of work.

Throughout the book, self-proclaimed feminist Dempsey refers to Knox and Meredith Kercher as “girls”.

She does her best to portray the victim, Meredith Kercher, as a stuck-up prude, and Ms. Dempsey paints Ms. Kercher’s British friends with the same brush, instead asking us to believe that Amanda Knox and her family somehow knew Ms. Kercher better than even her friends did.

Ms. Dempsey, while all throughout her blog on the subject, decries the tabloids and their treatment of the case, uses quotes from the Daily Mail to make what she must consider overwhelming proof of the family’s PR missive.

Readers have the right to know Ms. Dempsey’s ties to the family of Amanda Knox. For her to not make this connection known is deceptive and portrays Ms. Dempsey’ attempt at serious journalism in a very negative light.

Don’t waste your money. Take that $7.99 and make a donation to an organization that works hard for women who are victims of rape and abuse. RAINN is a good one, as is your local women’s shelter.

Dempsey is a woman who followed the victim’s family around, taking sneaky photographs of them.

Shameless.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/29/10 at 05:31 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesNews media & moviesMore hoaxersComments here (21)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rome Panel On Meredith’s Case: Seems To Have Been Shallow, But Of No Comfort To Knox Apologists

Posted by Cesare Beccaria



[Above: IAF president Rocco Girlanda - a wannabe Italian David Marriott?]


The outrage that directly led to the creation of TJMK late in 2008 was the deliberate attempt to disappear Meredith and to replace her as the “real victim”.

Reversing that horrible trend and ensuring Meredith is revered, and at the end of the day granted her true justice, has always been our main mission. We have also worked to reverse the horrible sliming of Italy (a country Meredith loved and so looked forward to) and the officials and the trial process.

As far as we can see no English-language media have better explained the impressive Micheli Report and the impressive Italian system and the powerful evidence of guilt. Or for that matter lately shown Italy in such a positive light.

Ideally, if it had wanted to spread actual understanding, the Italian American Foundation Rome panel yesterday should have covered much of that same ground.

As far was we can see, it didn’t. And there seems to have been little mention of Meredith.

But at least the panelists seem to have come up with no new criticisms. Today Italy looks no worse, and Knox’s position looks no better. And the panel was inconclusive on what might have happened differently in the United States. (We reckon the outcome would have been identical but the sentences would have been Life.)

Andrea Vogt reports for the Seattle P-I on yesterday’s doings. Key excerpts below.

1) On the Italian American Foundation panel

The gathering was not so much an exercise in legal theorizing as one to smooth the hard feelings between Italy and the United States over the trial of one American college student. It’s a case that has spawned books, Websites and congressional involvement.

In fact, experts decided they couldn’t say what would have happened in an American trial.

“The only answer is, it is impossible to answer this question,” lawyer Anthony Sistilli told the audience, according to ANSA Italian wire services that covered the forum. “We do not want to retry the case. We want to help bridge the gap of understanding, which is our mission for this meeting.”...

“Trial outcomes are unpredictable. You really can’t guess what the outcome would be,” Arcabascio, who is co-director of the Florida Innocence Project, told the crowd. “But reasonable doubt is a standard of proof we use in both countries.”

Arcabascio also noted that sequestered juries are still used in the United States, but less and less common due to the high cost….

“No-one had any intention of bringing up criticisms,” said Rocco Girlanda, president of the U.S.-Italy Foundation told seattlepi.com. “Our scope was simply to compare the judicial systems and trial processes of Italy and the U.S.”

2) On Amanda Knox in prison

Girlanda ended the evening on a light note, saying that perhaps after the case’s expected appeal, the association would even have the chance to have a “special honored guest,” meaning Knox.

He also mentioned that the association is continuing to meet regularly with Knox in prison. Italy-USA Association officials said that prison authorities have called Knox’s behavior in Capanne “exemplary.”

Though she had requested work in the prison laundry, she has been given a less menial task with the prison commissary. Her job, according to foundation officials who meet with her, is to take orders from the various cellmates about what they want from the prison store. Inmates are able to buy items such as candy, cheese, soda or other small shopping items.

There are also some must-read paragraphs by Andrea Vogt on the very fishy commercial aspects of IAF president Rocco Girlanda’s role in the case. Is he seeking a PR contract?

Rocco Girlanda, who is also a parliamentarian and PR consultant, has been criticized before for raising false hopes for Knox apologists, and yesterday he did it again.

Andrea Vogt also reports on the state of Seattle-Perugia relations (with links to some Facebook pages), on the new books on the case, and on a new pro-Sollecito website, apparently created by a certain Chris Mellas.

What a surprise.

Low-traffic low-traction and generally highly inaccurate apologist websites, all with a nasty sneering tone, seem to be springing up like wildflowers these days.

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Below: IAF president Rocco Girlanda at right with fellow parliamentarians outside Capanne Prison, after visiting Amanda Knox.



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