Friday, July 02, 2010

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

Posted by Peter Quennell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/02/10 at 07:18 PM in Various hypothesesPondering motiveItalian related


In that top image, she’s about to say something. What is it? I’ve been trying to figure that out for weeks. It might be of use to Sollecito.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/03/10 at 12:44 AM | #

Peter please let us know where we can watch this Knox segment when available but would it be in English?

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/03/10 at 04:16 AM | #

Hollywood central casting couldn’t have come up with two more degenerate, sleazy, shady characters such as Mario Alessi, convicted child murderer, and Luciano Aviello, a jailbird Neopolitan mafioso. Yet these are the stellar witnesses for the defense scrounged up that woulda-shouda-coulda spring convicted murderers Knox, Sollecito, and Guede! Freak show central. Unbelievable.

Posted by giustizia on 07/03/10 at 05:11 AM | #

The tragic murder of piccolo Tommaso caused the entire nation of Italy to mourn.

On April 1, 2006, Mario Alessi, his wife Antonella Conserva and another man, Salvatore Raimondi, were arrested for the murder of little Tommaso.

Two days later President of Italy, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi told the nation, “Every Italian family is crying for the death of Tommaso. Since last night when we learnt the terrible news, my wife and I felt a bone-chilling horror that took our breath away.”

Salvatore Raimondi was convicted and sentenced to twenty years.

Mario Alessi and Antonella Conserva were convicted and sentenced to 30 years including 2 years of solitary confinement during the day.

The 30 years sentence that was successfully sought by the Italian prosecutor in the case of Tommaso, shatters yet another myth being trumpeted by the Knox’s and FOA - that the 30 year sentence being appealed by Mignini for Amanda Knox, is due to vindictiveness.

Posted by True North on 07/03/10 at 05:27 AM | #

Hi True North. To misquote Judge Heavey “Mignini does not have a vindictive bone in his body”.

We know quite a lot about him and what the local people think of him and they take pride in his toughness in a country where it is tough to be tough as a prosecutor. He is very pro-victim and pro victims families and likes to see perps show contrition and explain what actually happened.

That AK and RS have not only not show no contrition, but have shown truckloads of narcissistc preening, and not the slightest real caring for Meredith and her family and friends or any remorse ever must be something he despises.

If the threat of a 30 year sentence gets through to AK or RS and they sing, then the remaining few adolescent groupies will find their swamp dried up and nothing for those frogs to croak on about.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/03/10 at 11:23 AM | #

I found on the net this article about Luciano Aviello which was published in the Il Mattino newspaper:

“The Meredith Case – A Mariano Clan Supergrass Pops Up: “Amanda Is Innocent”

By Gigi di Fiore

In the newsroom of the Mattino he seemed at ease. Luciano Aviello was [20 years ago] just over twenty years old, and had asked to recount his experience as a “streetwise youth in the Mariano Camorra clan”.
In an earlier time, a war was in full swing in the Spanish Quarter [of Naples] between the Mariano clan, the “picuozzo” [another name for this clan after the “picuozzo” or cord around a monk’s habit] and the Di Biase family, also known as the “faiano”.

The DDA (Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia or Distict Anti-Mafia Directorate) did not yet exist, but Federico Cafiero de Raho was already employed as prosecutor in the investigations into organized crime.

It was he who dealt with that bloody war. Twenty years later, Aviello had become a news-magazine character. Now in his own words, he claims to have a role in the Perugia trial for the Meredith Kercher case as a “decisive” witness.

On 19 April of last year, he addressed two little hand-written pages to the President of the Court of Assizes of Perugia, Giancarlo Massei. He declared himself ready to tell the truth, and revealed that he had twice given some friends of his the task of breaking the seals on the house where the crime took place.

On 31 March of this year, Amanda Knox’s defense team video-recorded the declarations made by Aviello, who is now 41 years old. As the weekly news-magazine “Oggi” writes, he said: “It was my brother who murdered Amanda [sic]. I can recover for you the knife used in the crime and the keys of that house”.

This fellow arrived on the third floor of via Chiatamone [Editor’s office of the Mattino] wearing casual clothes with pretence of elegance: he never retracts anything, always seeking to find suitable words to best describe his “revelations”.

Contact lenses, slim, a cousin killed because he was affiliated to the Mariano clan, Aviello spoke, revealing an outline personality, in a shadow world of braggadoccio, always on the sidelines of the dealings and violent acts of those in power among the clans of the Quarter at that time.

He ended up in jail, having confessed to a murder. It wasn’t true, but they had promised him 5 million lira, a lawyer and an annuity.

The clan didn’t respect the pact, and so he began to talk freely. Enticed by the good life, he began to act as a gofer/go-between selling “black lottery” tickets. He felt important. He earned 500 thousand lira per week.

It wasn’t bad. Then he did “embassies” [message-running], little services, but never great criminal leaps. The clans considered him “not very trustworthy”.

He was implicated in the investigation into the Spanish Quarter Camorra, and convicted.

Today, Federico Cafiero, now deputy prosecutor and DDA Coordinator for the investigations into the Caserta province clans, says of him: “He was altogether untrustworthy, although every so often he would invent a new one [new story]. A revelation, as he would call it, which would subsequently reveal itself to be out and out nonsense”.

Such as when he said that he knew where Angela Calentano was to be found, or that he knew the hideouts of the main fugitives of the D’Alessandro di Castellammare clan.

For his “revelations” against Tiziana Maiolo, ex president of the Justice Commission of the Chamber, he was hit with a trial, in 1997, for calumny.

Two years ago, he fired off his biggest tale yet: he accused a public prosecutor from Potenza in the famous trial on “dirty robes” between Catanzaro and Salerno. He was given an audience by the prosecutor Rosa Volpe in Salerno.

He had announced revelations. His contradictions were immediately exposed.

On those occasions also, the sources of his stories were newspaper articles or gossip with his cell-mates. Such as Raffaele Sollecito, or Gennaro Cappiello for the “dirty robes” investigation.

A compulsive liar, a seeker of publicity?

Twenty years ago, Aviello seemed to be a self-centred person, proud to present himself as a witness to “important facts”. But he never managed to arrive at a scheme of constant collaboration.

For various crimes, he has so far served 17 years in jail. Now the Perugia case appears. Who knows?

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/03/10 at 04:09 PM | #

Ah tempusfugit! Such good translation, we had it posted already 2-3 weeks ago, but do keep them coming?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/04/10 at 01:41 PM | #

Hi Tempufugit and others who asked:  Our poster Cesare Beccaria has obtained some good video from the LA7 show on Meredith’s case mid-June and will post it maybe starting tomorrow (July 4 here today and we are all on the road)(I’m cruising Maine coast) with some translation.

The video is Andrea Vogt interviewing Mignini, Ghirga, and Biscotti in Italian. Glad to see she gets this very high prominence on Italian TV as she has reported on Meredith’s case really superbly.

Theres a brief very high impact non-verbal comment showing the sadness of Meredith as found in her room and then Knox kissing Sollecito right outside. The Italian media didnt need to demonize Knox, she did a great job of it all by herself.

Her obvious weird enjoyment and smugness for 3 days after Meredith’s death and again when she took the witness stand were not lost on 99 percent of Italians. They think she’s a cruel killer and for them she is in the right place.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/04/10 at 02:06 PM | #

Amanda Knox shockingly exposed exactly what was troubling her mind after Meredith’s death, as exemplified in these closing remarks from her concocted long email,

” I still need to figure out who i need to talk to and what i need to do to continue studying in perugia, because its what i want to do.
Anyway, that’s the update, feeling okay, hope you all are well, amanda.”

Posted by True North on 07/04/10 at 06:26 PM | #

7/4/10 Happy 4th of July!

“Angel Face” by Barbie Nadeau tells a lot about professional constraints and power struggles. As a journalist she’s limited by libel laws. 

Barbie says of Mignini pp. 90-96, “Mignini is not the evil figure described by Preston. Nor is he the deeply religious, humble truth seeker he claims to be. He is somewhere in the middle.” P. 175 Curt’s wife Cassandra slipped and fell to the ground in front of Mignini who graciously helped her up. Mignini has studied the Knox family, analyzed their phone intercepts and body language in court.

Barbie mentioned that Valter Biscotti dashed to Germany to offer Rudy legal services, pro bono. He makes his money on big name cases selling access to his clients. Italians call him “The Jackal.” p. 107-108

Barbie thinks the defense lawyers were not unified. “In the last months of the trial…Bongiorno rarely even showed up….Her state-funded driver in his black Mercedes was always waiting outside the courthouse to whisk her back to the parliament hall in Rome. Meanwhile, Luca Maori, Raffale’s other lawyer, was on trial himself for involuntary manslaughter because he accidentally killed a motorcyclist in a car crash.”  p. 154

P. 195 Sollecito family “believe passionately that their son suffered from being tried together with Knox.”

Barbie thinks Dalla Vedova tried to protect AK’s parents from troubling evidence, using the language barrier. P. 149 “Carlo says there is no mixed blood evidence,” Edda once told me over a beer at the Joyce Pub.” “But there is,” I told her, explaining the 5 spots and where they were found.” Then Edda said Carlo told her that was wrong and wouldn’t be accepted in court.

The journalist’s job of telling the truth, an unenviable task. Truth’s like a pinball game, never know where the ball will hit.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/04/10 at 08:28 PM | #

Hi Peter, sorry I wasn’t aware that Il Mattino article had already been posted. Can’t wait to watch the LA7 show vid though!

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/04/10 at 10:42 PM | #

Barbie Latza Nadeau has written a new article on the Daily Beast website. Interesting….

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/05/10 at 04:21 AM | #

Reading True North post yesterday, I wonder if we know anything about her expressing fear in her emails? I know she said “It could have been me” somewhere, but I would expect that in her emails to home, she would discuss that. In her place, I would have been terrified to have been so close to be murdered - of course, she had good reasons not to be - and would go on and on about it, being for example thankful that I spent that night at Raffaele’s place etc…

Is there anything about that?

Posted by Patou on 07/05/10 at 04:11 PM | #

Hi Patou, I have never detected any genuine fear expressed by Amanda Knox - either in her email or diary writings.

On the contrary, from what I’ve been able to observe, Knox’s trial testimony transcripts and video tapes of her trial testimony - where she spoke confidently in Italian and English, exuded an air of indifference, arrogance and contempt.

Posted by True North on 07/05/10 at 11:59 PM | #
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