Friday, July 27, 2012

Heads-Up To The Amanda Knox Forces: A Case Showing How Closely The US and Italian FBIs Co-operate

Posted by Peter Quennell

Meet Doctor Mark Weinberger.

That report about his arrest in Italy was broadcast in 2009. We last posted on him here.

Weinberger was apparently a wildly successful doctor who ran a sinus clinic in Indiana and lived a wildly affluent lifestyle a few milers north outside Chicago. In 2004 he disappeared off his large yacht which was then anchored at a Greek marina, and for six years his (very impressive) wife Michelle presumed he was dead.

In the meantime she had found out that he had actually been running a huge fraud, scamming health insurance and the US government via false billing and unnecessary surgery (often botched) for many millions. And that far from being left comfortably off, she was financially wiped out.

In 2006 in absentia she divorced Weinberger and started over.

In 2009 Weinberger was captured in the Alps by the Italian equivalent of the FBI and returned to the United States as soon as his extradition was requested. In perhaps 99 percent of all US-Italian extradition cases, the fugitives are handed over by both governments very promptly. This sure wasn’t any exception. 

Weinberger began to lose the first of numerous civil suits a year ago, and on wednesday he pleaded guilty to 22 criminal charges in federal court.

His prison term is set at ten years.

One moral of the tale apparently still not learned by Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and their hapless ship of fools, so desperate for approbation, is this: much or most of the time it is the fine Italian equivalent of the FBI that they are misrepresenting and defaming.

In the past two weeks alone, we have seen new ramblings by Saul Kassin and Nigel Scott (engineered by Bruce Fischer) that to any informed lawyer are quite crazy. Kassin and Scott clearly didnt have the slightest idea WHO they were defaming or accusing of crimes.

Or how much more determined thier defaming makes the Italian FBI and other law enforcement agencies and the courts to give Amanda Knox (or Curt Knox or Edda Mellas) no special breaks.

The daffy Steve Moore first introduced this confusion way back here.  And of course Bruce Fischer, Curt Knox’s hotheaded chief hatchet man, sustains it up to this day.

Eighteen months ago, Chris Mellas (whose business in Seattle is doing well) sensibly recommended from Perugia that the Knox campaign should finally acquire some cool heads and some REAL experts, and toss the trouble-making grand-standers they had acquired over the side.

Perhaps predictably, Curt Knox (whose business in Seattle is doing badly) reacted red-faced and steaming, and shot this seemingly quite smart idea down. So the abrasive, misleading, very amateur campaign goes on.


Added. We are now told that Frank Sforza and David Anderson are in Seattle, and Sollecito will be there soon, to actually jack up the level of defaming in the RS and AK “we were the victims” books being written.

Wow. THAT is Curt Knox’s end-game?l He ran that one past Chris Mellas?  It seems universally believed in officialdom in Rome and Perugia that Curt Knox KNEW all along that Amanda did it. Apparently with good evidence.

What will he do if they charge him?


Now Michael Heavey gets back into the act too.

“He said the case against Knox didn’t make sense. He said his daughter described Knox as “a genuinely nice person. I know she does not have a mean bone in her body.”

“By the time Amanda Knox went to trial, this genuinely nice person who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body was already hated by the Italian people,” he said. “It’s literally a witch trial that would have taken place hundreds of years ago, but it happened right in front of our eyes.”

Hated! A witch trial!!

Questions for Mr Heavey: when exactly was Knox coerced? And how? And with what result?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/27/12 at 10:03 PM | #

In perhaps 99 percent of all US-Italian extradition cases, the fugitives are handed over by both governments very promptly. This sure wasn’t any exception.

Chilling reading if you’re an F of A.

Posted by James Higham on 07/27/12 at 11:09 PM | #

It is interesting to see an American Judge giving a certificate to a stranger based on his daughter’s reference.

The Judge should know that provability is a weaker notion than truth. I give Hellman credit for that!

Of course I understand that it is very important for AK to mobilize public opinion but this one takes the cake!

Posted by chami on 07/28/12 at 06:52 AM | #

Michael Heavey seems to have just publicly confirmed in the speech (Yakima is s-e of Seattle) that the PR campaign and US Embassy were instrumental in replacing Judge Chiari with Judge Hellman.

“After his support was echoed by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Donald Trump, the Italian embassy began looking into the matter and a new judge eventually was appointed to preside over the case.”

Rumored (angrily) in Italy but this is the first time we have seen it in print. Ambassador David Thorne is an Obama political appointee not a career diplomat and may have been easy to persuade.

The Italian “reporter” that was in Judge Heavey’s crowd is Frank Sfarzo and the English physician is David Anderson.

The other claim we are hearing (both could be true) for why Judge Hellman replaced Judge Chiari is that Giulia Bongiorno did not once again wish to go head to head with the excellent and well-qualified Judge Chiari.

We hinted in comments at that latter idea and surprise! Someone who appeared to be a defense staffer emailed from Italy (rather plaintively) several times to not believe our lying eyes.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/28/12 at 02:02 PM | #

Emails coming in between sarcastic and very angry about the defenses getting to pick the appeals judges (Cassation won’t like that) and the current convention of Hotheads for Knox in Seattle.

Frank Szfarzo and David Anderson are nothing if not huge hotheads with very big chips on their shoulders. Frank Sfarzo has been in trouble with the law, both recently and also, rumor has it, way back.

David Anderson was an expert in a trial in the UK who got it wrong and helped to convict someone. Since then he has blamed just about everyone but himself. He stood up at a meeting in Perugia and ranted incoherently. Apparently it was meant to be in favor of Knox.

Both are pathetic on the hard evidence.  Heavey we have often posted about, see link in right column. His espousal of Knox seem to blind him to the hard facts. He himself said he was disappointed at his public meetings where many make obvious they still think Knox did it.

The hotheads are not flying under the Italian radar, because we have plenty of Italian readers, not least in Rome and Perugia.  Maybe Curt Knox should fire Curt Knox. The #1 hothead ain’t helping his damaged daughter.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/29/12 at 06:06 PM | #

What I don’t understand is how a grown, responsible man who’s also a judge and a pillar of the community can base his opinion of a murder case on his daughter’s liking the suspect years ago during their school-days. It’s as if he’s got a gene for intelligence missing. Doesn’t he know that people change? Doesn’t he know that disturbed people can often appear quite charming and nice? (Ted Bundy, anyone?)

I find this aspect truly bizarre… and especially that Heavey would admit that his faith in Knox stems from his daughter’s opinion. His daughter is probably a wonderful person, and normally a good judge of character. But she probably hardly knows Knox now, and that’s the crucial element that’s missing here. She has NO idea who Knox turned into in the past 8 years since she was in high school.

It’s very odd that a judge would base his opinion on a murder trial on such flimsy evidence. How does he keep getting reelected?

Posted by Earthling on 07/29/12 at 08:03 PM | #

Hi Earthling. Right.

Bizarre for any American judge, elected or not, to be falsely accusing Italians of crimes.

USA and Italy both have laws against that. Heavey should bone up on the law.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/29/12 at 08:35 PM | #


It is not at all surprising - many criminals can be otherwise completely normal persons and many people will vouch for them. People may also dig out, post-facto, somethings they have noticed but ignored. It is something their own spouse or parents may not notice even. Many lawyers on this board will certainly agree. Looks and behaviours can be deceptive.

Sometimes people confuse- use friends when they mean acquantances- like most in schools, colleges and offices. If they were really friends, she would have come out openly in her support long ago.

It is not a question of changing, like changing into a new set of clothes- it is part of them- omnipresent in the background. You will never know what will cause them to cross over and cause some serious harm. We can of course do post facto analysis but we will rearely understand them completely. That is why it is best to take facts as they are. It is futile to fit them into your precast model. It will never fit.

If AK were really innocent, 2M dollar PR would not have been needed. Well, it has done more harm than good, in my opinion. Public opinion is a very finicky thing and so unpredictable. PR (basically advertising) can sell soap or sex, but public opinion is a altogether different beast. You can look at the election campaign and see what I mean…

I do not think he was talking as a judge but what the ...

marriage is not a word, it is a sentence

Posted by chami on 07/29/12 at 08:51 PM | #

Hi Chami

I do agree. Also Heavey’s daughter knew Knox in pre-drug days too and her drug-taking in Seattle and Perugia was apparently considerable. (That will be in her book… or not.)

Very few have stepped forward from her drug era to support her and after Knox’s involvement was reported some who knew her apparently said “that figures”.

If Heavey has met Knox lately, it would of course be in her post-drug-era with her victim act perfected.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/29/12 at 10:26 PM | #

Have you guys seen the comment from Steve Shay on this Heavey article:

“This article states that Judge Heavey’s daughter was a friend of Amanda Knox. I have spoken to his daughter and she told me that in no way does she want to associate herself with her father’s activities or Amanda Knox.

Steve Shay”


Posted by brmull on 07/30/12 at 01:43 AM | #

Great catch BR. So I guess people wont be lining up to be Steve Shay’s food taster… Good on him and good on Heavey’s daughter if true.

Good if Steve Moore’s and Bruce Fischer’s daughters could also detach themselves from their dads’ kinky slobberings over Knox. I doubt anyone around Knox’s age is swayed by her “I’m the victim” vibes.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 03:12 AM | #

Raffaele Sollecito, hastily followed by his father and sister, hops on a plane to Seattle. Then they all magically disappear.

Frank Sfarzo and David Anderson hop on planes to Seattle. Then they both magically disappear.

Seattle, um, is there something we ought to know? Five million disbelieving eyes?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 03:24 AM | #

This isn’t the first rift Shay’s had with PR machine. Remember when he spilled the beans on Sollecito’s last trip to the U.S. and Sharlene Martin had a hissy fit? (In the end he came and he went and nobody cared.)

I wonder if FOA and IIP will pull Shay from their “trusted reporters” lists. I suspect this is not the last defection as innocentisti have stopped focusing on the win so much, and are starting to realize the sort of low-lifes they’re in bed with.

Posted by brmull on 07/30/12 at 03:28 AM | #

Raffaele Sollecito would like to stay in America, presumably because he thinks the Italian Supreme Court will revoke or invalidate Judge Hellmann’s verdict and that he will be ultimately convicted of Meredith’s murder.

Frank Sfarzo’s court case regarding a domestic dispute which ended with a resisting arrest charge is set for October.

Posted by The Machine on 07/30/12 at 03:38 AM | #

“I wonder if FOA and IIP will pull Shay from their “trusted reporters” lists.”

Steve’s new comment now would make sense if Steve was yanked from the trusted list back then. Though he was loyal to AK he surely must have smelled a rat at her being locked in the attic since she came back.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 03:40 AM | #

Reader comments under the Seattle Times story oh Heavey that brmull linked to six comments above seem to be running rather heavily against AK.

This helpful timely tip was just added to the bottom of the main post above:


Added. We are now told that Frank Sfarzo and David Anderson are in Seattle, and Sollecito will be there soon, to actually jack up the level of defaming in the RS and AK “we were the victims” books being written.

Wow. THAT is Curt Knox’s end-game?l He ran that one past Chris Mellas? It seems universally believed in officialdom in Rome and Perugia that Curt Knox KNEW all along that Amanda did it. Apparently with good evidence.

What will he do if they charge him?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 12:35 PM | #

Yes, comments are definitely running against Judge Heavey. One said, “he has brought dishonor to the judiciary.”

I erased a lot more I wanted to say out of a last vestige of respect for judges. The ones in Italy come to mind.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/30/12 at 04:40 PM | #

There are some excellent elected judges in the US but they are all more free to go their own way than the judges in Italy. So performances tend to be variable.

In Italy all judges on a career stream with the Ministry of Justice. They have tough entry thresholds and training, and gazetting (wide public notification) when they move from post to post so anyone can appeal. Plus they have to put their reputations on the line each time they issue the sentencing reports and their trial outcomes face two automatic levels of appeal.

Obviously our estimations of Judges Hellman and Zanetti are dwindling sharply, not least because shady manipulation went on to get at least one of them in place, and they were both short on experience in criminal trials and murders and DNA cases, and taking their judgment apart as Cardiol is showing is like shooting fish in a barrel.

But they really were outliers, and Dr Galati is already giving them a pretty terrible come-uppance in his Cassation appeal which absolutely roasts them. Judge Zanetti normally handles minor civil trials and he has already scampered off to Terni. As for Judge Hellman… he seemed embarrased at his jury’s outcome and roasted by Italian opinion. He cant feel too thrilled.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 05:06 PM | #

Strange and good to relate, but I notice there is less of Knox in the Seattle news than ever before. This is in response to Micheal Heavey of course who increasingly comes across as a none event. Also There is an ever present ground swell of anti Knox sentiment to which the only responses are screams of “Guede Guede” by perhaps one or two miscreants. lastly has anybody seen a recent photo of Knox anywhere? I have scoured the web ‘Nothing’ except a small pic of her looking like a hunted animal which of course she is. Time is not on her side either because her looks will fade rapidly, such is the fate of the unpunished guilty and her innocence card will be unplayable.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/30/12 at 05:21 PM | #

Yet more anonymous jibes against the Italian system, quoting Judge Hellman as gospel, under this crisp sharp Gather post on why RS and AK face a strong appeal.

It’s becoming unusual to find comments by the conspiracy nuts in the majority, and their comments there by for example “Frank Giordano” are decidedly 2008.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/12 at 08:50 PM | #

I think we have ample confirmation of the theory that Marriott’s “genius” move of having Knox go into hiding while attempting to profit from the murder of Meredith Kercher is backfiring immensely. And of course, egotistical (to the edge of deranged) boasting from the likes of Judge Heavey and the Knox camp doesn’t help when even complete fools readily point out the abundance of flawed logic.

The Knox camp had absolutely nothing to gain or protect by enforcing a policy of no-visibility and silence. In fact, they really ought to be brandishing photos of Knox walking across the UW campus with books in hand, and socializing with fellow students at soccer games and other sporting events, or going on hiking and climbing adventures with all her friends in the Cascades or Olympics (although it may be best to avoid accounts of climbing the likes of Criminally Insane or Satans Little Helper over at the Feathers climbing area that Knox once frequented in eastern Washington).

Instead, a year of freedom will soon pass with absolutely no evidence that Knox is the accomplished, bright young go-getter they have attempted to portray. Apparently anyone who knew her as an acquaintance, and who wasn’t part of her in-crowd, understands this and wants nothing to do with her or the PR effort.

All we are left with is the ghostly image of a reclusive Ghost Writer’s Assistant, and this only serves to confirm the general suspicion that Knox and her family are hiding something big.

Posted by Fly By Night on 07/30/12 at 10:45 PM | #
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