The Amanda Knox Story and the Role of the Media: David Marriott as Keynote Speaker

April 18, 2014

Empowering Communicators: Transforming Tools to Results April 9-11, 2014

“Join your PRSA Southeast District peers in Charlotte, NC, for the 2014 Southeast District Conference ..With the ever-evolving role of public relations, it’s more important than ever to stay current with trends, identify industry best practices and gain practical insight into the profession.”

With David Marriott lined up as its keynote speaker, the Public Relations Society of America sponsored a seminar at the UNC Charlotte Uptown Campus early in April.  For some reason, perhaps just lack of interest, the event flew under the social media radar. 

Screenshot (356)_MarriottKeynoteSpeakerBiographyDavid Marriott seems an unlikely choice to be lecturing anyone on transforming tools to results. His PR campaign for Amanda Knox is in shambles. His client is conducting her own PR campaign on social media and on her own blog.  The Italian courts are expected to charge Knox with additional counts of calunnia based upon statements made in her memoir. Now the authorities have more than a published memoir to mine for defamatory material. Known to enjoy speaking, journaling and creative writing, Knox has been active on her own blog, responding to questions and allowing what many regard as questionable content. Example: readers post meanspirited attacks on the Kercher family which remain unchallenged by Knox who records personal anecdotes herself on the topic, sometimes directly addressing the family. She also answers questions from readers about the crime itself. WHY does she do this?  Her case is still in process, and she’s aware that her memoir and other published material are at odds with her testimony.

These were my thoughts as I wondered how closely PRSA members followed Amanda Knox’s case. The tweets that emerged during David Marriott’s presentation would indicate…not closely — no, don’t think so. For those of us who HAVE been following it, there is no credibility in anything David Marriott proffers, especially as one who is advertised as a mover, shaker, formulator of successful strategies for empowering communicators and achieving results.

Screenshot (263)_MarriottKeynoteSpeakerPRSA

 

 

 

Screenshot (267)_MarriottKeynoteSpeakerPic

What do you think about David Marriott’s participation as keynote speaker for the Southeast PRSA Conference? Were you as surprised as I am that he was invited as an expert “communicator” in the Amanda Knox case?  Don’t hesitate to speak up in the commentary. We want to hear from you!

Until next time!


Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito: In Their Own Words, Part 3

April 15, 2014

I suppose a fair question to ask when meeting for the first time a person you are attracted to, is…”Are you seeing anyone?” Raffaele Sollecito forgot to ask this of Amanda Knox.  It is easy to see why he may have been confused.  Knox seemed interested in him. But was she?  After they met at a classical music concert, she invited him to the bar where she worked.  He hung around for a few hours and then offered to either walk her home OR, if she’d prefer, they could go to his place and watch a movie (RS pg 10).  As he describes them tearing off each others clothes before the opening credits had finished rolling, I can see why he may have been confused. If any of his account is remotely true, it appeared that the attraction was mutual.  Although Sollecito may have been thunderstruck upon their first kiss, “colpo di fumine,” Amanda Knox recalls their first kiss somewhat differently.  She tells us that this was the warmest, safest, the most “enveloped” she’s felt since August when she hugged goodbye the people she loved most.  Compared to the homesickness that she was feeling, he was a “soothing presence.” (AK pg 54)

KnoxSollecitoEdit_Knox.Sollecito.Creepy.editedIt’s not a surprise really, that they can’t agree on the events of their first night together. They rarely agree on anything in their memoirs – who approached whom, their feelings about their first kiss, how they spent their first evening together.  Amanda recalls as they were walking the streets of Perugia, she was trying to decide whether she’d like to see him again. They are only minutes from her home. She quickly broaches a topic, “Do you like marijuana?” BINGO! Finally, they have some common ground.  He declares it is his vice.  She repeats the phrase, liking the way it sounds in Italian.  She said he invited her back to his place to share a joint. She hesitates — she doesn’t know him. He is a stranger, but a stranger with marijuana! Off she goes. She recalls observing his immaculately-kept, one-room apartment while he rolled the joint. They exchange all their personal background information while they smoke.  By the time the pot begins to kick in, she begins her favorite form of foreplay — making faces at one another.

David Johnsrud (DJ) and Raffaele Sollecito

David Johnsrud (DJ) and Raffaele Sollecito

Within a couple of days, Sollecito would learn that failing to ask some very important questions of the-love-of-his-life-new-live-in-girlfriend — well, could come back to bite him.  He remembers finding her, chatting away with a guy on the computer. DJ, or, David Johnsrud, the guy she left behind. “Just like Meredith had left behind a boyfriend in England,” she tells him. “We’re not together anymore.” Sollecito is crushed and none too pleased. I believe that he came to realize that she wasn’t as “unfettered” as she claimed (pg 14).  Personally, I believe her priorities upon arriving in Italy were:  1) secure a place to live (Done) 2) begin her classes (Done) 3)  Buy a plane ticket from Italy to China to visit the “guy she left behind” (Done)  4) proceed to make DJ as jealous as possible by sleeping with every willing guy she could find (Working on it).

This revelation of another guy in her life came on the eve of their “first date.” Earlier, his father had suggested that he “romance Amanda,” so he planned a trip to Assisi.  He tells us he took her “anyway.” Obviously upset and brooding, he reveals his feelings on the subject of her cheating, while he describes their trip.  For him, it was absolute commitment or nothing.  He  discloses that for an Italian man, if a woman so much as looks at another man or thinks of another man, it’s cheating (RS pg 15).  Perhaps knowing he was upset with her explains the events of the next day, Halloween.

I’d always been curious about how these two spent Halloween — the night before the murder.  I believe when you have two people in a new relationship, then involved in murder — convicted of murder — how they spent their time together, every bit of it, is important.  To put it in perspective, Knox and Sollecito met on a Thursday night and by the next Thursday, Meredith was murdered. I’d heard a lot of rumors about a fight between Sollecito and Knox, or Sollecito and his father. Many believe there was a fight between Amanda and Meredith and some hints of a fight between Knox and her boss, Patrick Lumumba. Their accounts don’t dispel any of the rumors, but they are interesting and provide clues of how these two think and how they perceive themselves in this world.

Before he launches into the details of Halloween, Sollecito lays the seeds of his ” fog defense.” Perhaps Jodi Arias is more infamously associated with the fog defense. She conveniently developed a special form of amnesia that didn’t allow her to remember murdering Travis Alexander, presumably brought on by the trauma of murdering him.  Both Knox and Sollecito claim they are innocent and didn’t commit the murder of Meredith Kercher, yet they both claim the fog defense when any of their testimony is challenged.  They blame “environmental elements” for this fog. When questioned by the police, they blamed the marijuana they smoked for their faulty memories. This defense was developed by Knox and Sollecito years before the Jodi Arias trial. It should be noted that all three, using this defense, were convicted of murder.

Sollecito confides that he has trouble sleeping since meeting Knox.  He’s just not used to sharing his bed and space with another person.  He  reveals that he is frequently awakened and is up and down throughout the night, suggesting that it is further compounded by Knox waking up and rising at 5:00 a.m. every morning. She attributes this to jet-lag. (RS pg 16)

This day, Halloween, he remembers with startling clarity. It is the only day, since meeting Knox, that he remembers without excuses of being sleep-deprived, high or stoned, or that every day with Knox was so mundane, that all the details sort of fuzzed or blurred into one another.  He tells us that it is the first day since meeting Knox that they spent almost completely apart.  He goes to a friend’s graduation, then he spends the afternoon with another friend. He reminds us that Amanda had class. I had nearly forgotten that Amanda took classes! She hardly mentions this. He informs us that Italians don’t recognize Halloween, but it is a BIG DEAL for Perugia’s foreign students.  Does he want to take out his new girlfriend on what is sure to be a rocking party night? Meh…he’d rather work on his thesis. We never do hear details about Sollecito’s thesis — how he was progressing, when he thought he’d have it complete, topic sentence and thesis statement?  I suppose it wasn’t all that important to him. He tells us that Amanda came home and prepared for going out late that afternoon. She dressed, drew cat whiskers on her face and doodled a little abstract design on him. He reveals that she had hoped to spend the evening with Meredith but Meredith never responded to her text.  Besides, he confided,  Meredith’s friends didn’t like her.  He says that Knox then left to go to Le Chic. The honeymoon is over.  She is going out to party alone and he doesn’t even mention walking her to the door. [Make a note of this, for the next article.] He then recalls that he didn’t hear from her all evening, until she called him to walk her home, at 1:00 a.m.  He is not pleased to see her in the company of Spiros, the owner of the internet cafe. He confesses that Spiros is a little too familiar with Amanda for his liking. ( RS pg 16)

Tasteless "cat burglar" costume home in Seattle post-murder

Tasteless “cat burglar” costume home in Seattle post-murder

Amanda Knox tells us a different story, naturally. She informs us that Italian children don’t go door-to-door collecting candy, but Perugia CELEBRATES Halloween.  She kicks herself for being so involved in her “love life” that she neglected to get herself a proper costume.  She is excited as she digs around and finds a black sweater and pants. Sollecito helps her draw whiskers and viola! She is transformed into a kitty cat. Off she goes! Sollecito? Oh yes…HIM? He’s working on his thesis…

Knox begins her account of Halloween night with these words: “As it turned out, Halloween fell on the one Wednesday that Raffaele and I were together.” She ends this “recollection” with these words: “Thankfully, Halloween 2007 was over.”  Nothing that she tells us, as she relays the events of that night, sounds particularly traumatizing.  I find this whole tale suspect because she is obviously upset or angry, and she is pouting.  Her reason for going to Le Chic again doesn’t quite ring true. She tell us, “Still, in a college town like Perugia, Halloween offers an irresistible excuse for students to dress up in costumes and to party — and the local bars and discos go all out to oblige them. For clubs it is THE number one money-making night of the year.” (Her emphasis)  She explains that although it was not “her night, ” her boss, Patrick Lumumba, asked her to come to Le Chic. Given that it was “the” money-making night and the place was packed, I’m inclined to believe that Lumumba asked her to come in, TO WORK!

Amanda Knox, shy, demure, afraid of crowds and loud, noisy parties

Amanda Knox, shy, demure, afraid of crowds and loud, noisy parties

This Halloween story, to me,  just supports the rumors that she fought with someone that night. Raffaele? Meredith? Her boss? As she enters the crowded club, Juve, her coworker, criticizes her costume. He tells her, her “costume is supposed to be scary.” Why was her costume supposed to be anything if she was to be a “guest” invited by Patrick. She says that she seated herself and Patrick poured her a glass of wine, (Lumumba was serving free red wine that night.)  As she is taking in all the noise and the busy crowd, she recalls making her way to the bar.  Costumes, she says, creep her out. She tells us she was frightened by the crowd, roaming through the streets of Perugia. Here, Knox tries her hand at what I call the “Sollecito Spin.” Throughout his book, when Sollecito tells a story that is a LIE, he’ll interrupt himself and start spinning his story, off in another direction, entirely… distracting us.  Here I see Knox attempting his technique. She begins to tell us — and the prosecution – that Meredith did indeed reply to her text that night and that it was no big deal to her.  She texts the only other person she knows in Perugia, Spyros.

Amanda Knox is described by all that met her as a loud, good-time seeking, often-requiring -to-be- the-center-of-attention kind of gal.  Yet, she tells us she isn’t really into the bar scene, She’s not a drinker and that the noise of the crowd is getting to her.  She’s a quiet one, preferring the sit-down-chit-chats she used to have with friends in Seattle. She tells us she catches Patrick’s eye, and she mouths to him. “I’m leaving.” He gives her a knowing nod, and off she goes into the night. Alone. Into the crowded street that had just frightened her.  To hunt down Spyros, and go drinking with him –  until Sollecito, who somehow knows how to find her, arrives at 1:45 a.m. to walk her home. 

Meredith, RIP,  enjoying happy times with good friends

Meredith, RIP, enjoying happy times with good friends

 

“Thankfully Halloween 2007 is over.”

I hope you are reading along, as next we’ll cover the murder night. Until then…

Amanda Knox: Harry Rag Answers Questions About the Murder of Meredith Kercher

April 08, 2014

Justice4Ever welcomes Harry Rag as a guest blogger for a Question and Answer series of installments dispelling myths, lies and PR-driven propaganda surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher.  Emblematic of our blog’s mission  to victims of crime and injustice, Meredith remains front and center.  Our community of readers is equally committed to her cause, so it’s especially gratifying that Harry has agreed to take time out from his busy schedule to spend this time with us. 

Under this pseudonym, Harry Rag is a featured writer for the website True Justice for Meredith Kercher (TJMK), along with its sister sites, PerugiaMurderFile (Org) and PerugiaMurderFile (Net).  The Meredith Kercher wiki rounds out the three most comprehensive resources available.  He has written extensively about this case dating back to the time Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested for the vicious assault and stabbing death of 21 year-old Meredith in Perugia, Italy, on November 1, 2007. 

With so much misinformation swirling around the internet about the trial and conviction of Knox and Sollecito (the Guilty verdict upheld by the appellate court in Florence January 31, 2014) , it can be daunting to sort facts from fallacy.

Question One

Amanda Knox supporters claim that there is “no evidence” linking Amanda Knox to the murder of Meredith Kercher.  How would you respond to someone new to the case who might be persuaded of this argument.

Harry Rag Answers

Amanda Knox gave three different alibis which all turned out to be false. Judge Paolo Micheli, who presided over Rudy Guede‘s fast-track trial, pointed out her changing alibis and he said that repeatedly lying to the police will always be considered a certain indication of guilt.

It should be noted that Knox lied before and after her questioning on 5 November, 2007, so her lies cannot be attributed to police coercion or brutality.  There is no evidence that Knox was mistreated.  Her interpreter, Anna Donnino, testified that she was not hit or coerced.

There are more pieces of incriminating evidence against Knox (6) than against Guede (5). According to the prosecution experts, there were five samples of Knox’s DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.  Even Amanda Knox’s lawyers conceded that Knox’s blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood.  In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were bleeding at the same time.  After the trial in 2009, the Kercher’s lawyer,  Francesco Maresca, said the mixed-blood evidence was the most damning piece of evidence against Amanda Knox.

Double DNA Knife

Double DNA Knife

Amanda Knox’s DNA (36a and 36i) was found on the handle of the double-DNA knifeDr. Patrizia Stephanoni and a number of independent forensic experts — Dr. Renato Biondi, Professor Giuseppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson, Professor Greg Hampikian and Bruce Budowle — have all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA (36b) was on the blade.  Vieri Fabiani, a lawyer representing the Kercher’s,  noted that there is the possibility of one (1) in one (1) billion 300 million, that the DNA on the blade does NOT belong to Meredith.

Dr. Stephanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after handling Meredith’s DNA. This rules out contamination in the laboratory.  Meredith had never been to Solleciito’s apartment so contamination away from the laboratory was impossible.

Amanda Knox’s bare, bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol in the hallway and in her own room. Two samples of Meredith’s blood were also revealed by Luminol in Filomena’s room.  One of these samples (L2) yielded the DNA profiles of Knox and Meredith. Judge Massei concluded that Knox had tracked Meredith’s blood into the room.  It certainly could not have been Rudy Guede‘s because his bloody footprints led from Meredith’s room right out the front door of the cottage.

At the 2009 trial, Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini said the key to the mystery lies in Filomena’s room, where the window was broken from the inside, not the outside.  Several witnesses said there were shards of glass on top of clothes on the floor, meaning the window was broken after the room was ransacked.

In his witness statement, Raffaele Sollecito categorically stated that Amanda Knox was not at his apartment on the night of the murder.  After Knox was informed that Sollecito was no longer supporting her alibi, she repeatedly admitted she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed.  At the trial in 2009, Sollecito refused to corroborate that Knox was at his apartment.

The Italian Supreme Court judges ruled that the first appeals court failed to make the very important link between Amanda Knox’s false accusation against Diya (Patrick) Lumumba and the murder.  Judge Massei said Knox freely accused him of murder despite the fact she knew he was innocent to deflect attention from herself and Sollecito.  Knox repeated her claims that Lumumba killed Meredith in her written statements of 1:45 a.m., 5:45 a.m. and her handwritten note to police on 6 November, 2007.

Knox’s lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, claimed Knox made the false accusations because she was stressed.  However, Prosecutor Luigi Riello, asked the Supreme Court why, if she was stressed, did Knox not retract her statement the next day, confirming that Lumumba was innocent. Instead, she requested pen and paper and wrote down the very same story.  He said she was coherent when she accused Lumumba, and that she did not withdraw her accusation in the following days and weeks.  Recalling an intercepted conversation between Knox and her mother, Edda Mellas, Judge Massei said that Knox was aware that the Lumumba accusation was unjust.

Prosecutor General Galati observed that Knox knew specific details of the crime that she could only have known by being present when Meredith was killed.  According to multiple witnesses at the police station, Knox claimed to have found Meredith’s body, that Meredith’s body was in the wardrobe covered by a duvet, that Meredith’s foot was sticking out, that Meredith’s throat had been cut. and that there was blood everywhere.  The fact is that Knox and Sollecito were out of the field of vision into Meredith’s room when her bedroom door was kicked in. 

In his appeal, Dr. Galati asserted that Knox described the spot where Meredith was murdered and the state of the body, the room and the injury to Meredith’s throat.  Galati concluded that Knox knew everything because she was in the room at the time of the murder.  The Italian Supreme Court judges who annulled the 2011 acquittal, acknowledged that Knox was aware of these details and that Judge Hellman, who presided over the appeal, had ignored these facts.

Vieri Fabiani stated at the second appeal in Florence that Amanda Knox knew a black man (Rudy Guede) was involved in the murder and that is why she falsely accused another black man, Diya (Patrick) Lumumba.  She knew that Meredith had screamed a loud and piercing scream, and that Meredith was mortally wounded by having her throat cut.   

====================

Harry Rag has presented a thorough, informative analysis in response to our question.  He offers an impressive recall of the expert testimony.

Greg Hampikian and Amanda Knox

Greg Hampikian and Amanda Knox

Did anyone notice Professor Greg Hampikian’s name?  Hampikian’s name is often cited by Knox apologists for his support of her defense as demonstrated by his controversial publicly-funded Knox research at Boise State University (BSU). Read here to learn how journalist Andrea Vogt has been denied access to Hampikian’s correspondence with the defense, information she requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).  BSU lawyers claim release of the requested information would jeopardize ‘economic trade secrets’ protected by Idaho state law.

 

RIP Meredith

RIP Meredith

Readers, what do you think? we want to hear from you. If you have any questions you’d like to ask Harry Rag for future installments, you can leave a comment or email me directly at CaliDeeva@justice4ever.com.

Until next time,


Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito: In Their Own Words, Part 2

                             KnoxPsycho2_edited             When I set about reading these two memoirs, Waiting to be Heard: A Memoir and Honour Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, I formed some fast impressions. First, I hope that Raffaele Sollecito doesn’t gamble, or at least doesn’t play poker.  He has a tell that can be seen from space and as for Amanda Knox, she is absolutely unable to talk about anyone but herself. 

SollecitoHarryPotterSollecito begins with a firm stance.  He is innocent, sucked into this mess by his association with Knox, a rabid prosecutor and a media hungry for scandal. Unfortunately, his “story” doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  I’m convinced both authors seemed compelled to get their stories out there as soon as possible after their acquittal.  It was apparent that neither saw the possibility of their 2011 acquittal being reversed on further appeal Both of them are familiar with the Italian judiciary system, both had lawyers who would have advised them that the acquittal would likely be appealed by the Kerchers (which it was).  Both knew that it was a system that actually is more favorable to the “guilty.” With each appeal, the evidence is reviewed by a new judge, co-judge and citizen lay judges [jury], increasing the likelihood of finding a sympathetic ear. 

Sollecito’s book is rife with inconsistencies and outright fabrications. He has a habit of telling us what others are thinking and feeling, things he could not possibly know. Throughout his memoir, Sollecito tells us what motivates and what the characters he introduces, are thinking.  How fortuitous it would be if he had actually been able to know what Amanda Knox was really thinking or feeling, before she busted his chops in front of the world. He describes their relationship as a “cross-cultural love affair.”  He goes on to tell us, “Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.”  He will tell us throughout his book that her behavior was concerning to him, too. “Amanda is from Seattle. She was considered eccentric in Seattle, which prides itself on its eccentricities,” says Candace Dempsey, author of Murder in Italy. Knox considers herself, “quirky and nerdy.” She tells us breaking into spontaneous song, walking down the street, “like an Egyptian or an elephant,” is something that she is just compelled to do.  She can’t help it.  Those who know her found it endearing, Dempsey tells us. They would dismiss it with…’that’s Amanda!”

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher

I felt I had to temper both their memoirs by referring back to John Follain’s A Death In Italy, touted as the definitive account of Meredith Kercher’s murder. Countless hours interviewing everyone involved in this case, his book is used and quoted by folks that believe in Knox’s guilt as well as those who believe that she is innocent. Sollecito tells us: he fell hard and fast, had limited experience with women, was confounded with Amanda Knox, and… he claims to be a romantic.  He describes their first meeting, saying he felt giddy and in love. With Sollecito “baring his heart and soul to her,” she claims to be thinking, “maybe I’d be better off alone. (AK pg 57)  Raffaele supplies motive on the second page of his preface: Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night  and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.”

Sollecito recalls his first meeting with Knox.  In his version, he boldly approaches her. (RS pg 5)  She lets us know, that she saw him first and gave him the green light to approach.  She can’t even let him have thatAs he recalls waiting for her to get off work at the bar, Le Chic, the first night he met her, he portrays himself as the guy who buys all the drinks for his friends.  He recalls that he accidentally broke off a piece of the couch where he was sitting. He implies that Knox looked fearful that her boss, Patrick Lumumba, might blame her.  (We will soon see that Patrick is the one who should be afraid of Knox.)   He repairs the couch with a flourish, to the applause from everyone at the bar, becoming her hero.  ( RS pg 7) Except that she recalls…NONE of that!  Instead she reveals something rather interesting. Earlier, she tells us that she is confused by what her boss expected of her, She tells how hard the job was at the bar, That at times, she felt used and cheap or even in DANGER from the responsibilities expected of her. (AK pg 42) Her boss, tells us a different story.  He felt she was overly flirty and coming on too strong to the male patrons. She didn’t like cleaning tables and was inattentive to the needs of  the customers. Until the night Rafaelle Sollecito enters the bar.  Suddenly she knows what is expected of her.  She writes this: “It was the first time in my lackluster waitressing career that I did exactly what Patrick had asked for all along: I magically materialized at Raffaele’s table well ahead of his last sip.” (AK pg 53) Interesting  Ms. Knox!  When it benefits you, then you understand. She had no incentive until that point to perform her job. How many times will she tell us one thing in her book and then turn around and refute all that information herself.  I suppose “one of us” might not be bright enough to keep up.

Sollecito tells us he is a child of wealth. His father provided nicely for him while he attended college.  No struggling for existence while trying to attend his studies.  His father provided a nice apartment and he had just bought a new Audi A3, half a graduation present from his father and half he paid for from the income some rental properties brought in from his mother’s estate. (RS pg 14)  His father held the purse strings and made all his decisions for him…until he met Amanda Knox.  He tells us he kept her a secret for as long as he could, but with his father calling every day, all day long, the secret soon was out.  He tells us this is typical behavior of Italian families.  Always in each other’s business, especially after the death of his mother.  Constant, relentless contact. 

His father, Dr. Francesco Sollecito, was not opposed to his relationship with Amanda, as much as he feared she would interfere with the writing of Raffaele’s thesis (RS pg 12.)  Nearing the end of his studies, all that was left was for him to write his thesis, due a week before his graduation.  With that deadline looming large before him, he doesn’t buckle down and strive to complete it.  He meets Amanda Knox.  As soon as Papa gets wind of Amanda–zero doubt that Papa tightened and withdrew the purse strings altogether.  Motive for murder?  Certainly not.  With a four-day weekend ahead of them, no cash on hand could dampen their plans–and they had plans — a day trip to Gubbio.  They shared a fondness for recreational drugs that Papa wouldn’t approve of, and the drugs definitely were not cheap. Amanda Knox had dwindling funds and a job that wasn’t bringing in the income she needed.  She had been relegated to passing out flyers outside Le Chic, twice a week, while she learned a little more about the business. This was a requirement of her job that she was told about upfront, and she was aware that she would not be paid.

KnoxStare3A fun, four-day weekend and they were broke. In her memoir, Knox has difficulty talking about anyone or anything other than herself. She wants to convince us that she and Meredith were friends. The reality is that she really knows little about Meredith, no more than a casual acquaintance would know. As she “introduces” Meredith in her book, she can only compare their likenesses. She tries to take Meredith down a peg or two, in “our eyes,” even in the introduction. She writes: “Meredith, a longtime Italophile, had been crushed when her British university turned her down for the program abroad, but she fought that decision and won. Maybe that’s why we each brought once-in-a-lifetime determination to our experience.” (AK pg 26)  Note how different is John Follain’s version of this event, as relayed in his book, A Death In Italy (Pg 9): “However, Meredith’s plans were almost ruined when she was mistakenly enrolled in a course which had no year abroad. Meredith didn’t give up and helped to resolve the problem.” Knox unwittingly displays her envy of Meredith’s life from the beginning. She envies her looks, her ability to form fast and true friendships. She even tells us that Meredith was enrolled in the better university. Knox kicks herself when she realizes that her self-paced, pointless, unchallenging course of study leaves her unfulfilled, restless and bored. Meredith was there on scholarship, she didn’t have the financial worries that Knox did. 

Much has been made of Meredith’s dislike of Amanda’s slovenly bathroom habits and the public display of her pink bunny vibrator. In Follain, we learn what Knox and Sollecito have omitted, that the other roommates also had issues with Amanda. (Chapter 4)  They were concerned about some of the strange men that she brought home — not the sexual part, but uncomfortable that she brought strangers into their home. They found her need for attention irksome.  She would interrupt their television shows by coming into the room and strumming the guitar, strumming the same chord over and over. She would interrupt their entertaining by walking into the room unannounced and perform her yoga as though they weren’t there.  She would insist on “speaking in Italian,” even though she couldn’t speak it well and to others who didn’t speak Italian at all.  One evening she tagged along with Meredith and her friends to a night club.  For no reason whatsoever, Amanda poured her drink over the head of the disc jockey.  She was thrown out.  Meredith begged and made excuses for her until they allowed her to return to the club. Meredith didn’t want to leave her friends, but didn’t like the thought of Amanda being cast out alone into the night.

Giacomo Silenzi, Meredith's Boyfriend

Giacomo Silenzi, Meredith’s Boyfriend

Meredith6_editedKnox was just learning the guitar and insisted on lessons from the shy, downstairs neighbor, Giacomo.  At first he fancied Amanda [he later stated that he was never attracted to Amanda. She was too loud and flirty compared to Meredith] but then turned his interest towards Meredith. In one of her few descriptive efforts, Knox clearly is attracted to Giacomo: “Of the four, Giacomo, tall and sturdy like an American football player, with pierced ears, buzzed hair, and doe eyes, was the quietist and shiest. He played the bass, studied Spanish, and spoke English better than his roommates. Compare this to Knox’s description of Sollecito: “But I thought Raffaele was nerdy and adorable–definitely my type. He was wearing jeans and sneakers that evening. Like DJ [David Johnsrud], he had a pocketknife hooked to his belt hoop.  I liked his thick eyebrows, soft eyes, high cheekbones.” (AK pg 53)  I’m sure the only thing that Sollecito heard was–”like DJ…  In Follain, we learn that Meredith is conflicted.  She liked Giacomo,  but wasn’t sure that she really “wanted to get involved” with anyone in Italy, knowing that she would be leaving at the end of her school year.  She was stung and insulted by a comment made to her by Knox…”I like Giacomo too but you can have him.”  She felt she didn’t need Knox’s “permission,” to be with anyone.  (pg 36)

All throughout his first meeting with Amanda, Sollecito expresses reticence. Ordinarily he would think that a girl that would take up with him, walk alone or go to his apartment on the first meeting, was a girl of loose morals. This was his Italian upbringing he says.  He is conflicted and torn.  He wants to believe that Knox is different. That she is gentle and genuine. Or maybe he simply wanted to get laid.  He ignores his upbringing and inner warning bells. He is smitten and unable to resist her.  Knox practically moves in with him, from the moment she meets him. They both say that she only “went home to change clothes or to shower.”  She tells us his shower is too small.”– although, more than once she describes showering with him, in his shower. Cleaning her ears and combing the tangles from her hair.  More intimate than sex, she writes. Sollecito’s father is apparently privy to this intimacy.  He tells his son that he treats Knox more like a doll than a human being.  Yet, when it suits Knox, she tells us that she must go home to shower, because his shower is too small. 

In this next installment, we’ll discuss the night of Halloween. The rumors and the innuendo., and of course, what Amanda and Rafaele said…in their own words.

 

 

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito: In Their Own Words

      I really enjoyed the resulting conversations that the last speculative piece inspired — all of your questions and of course, more speculation!  I’m happy to begin a whole new series, In Their Own Words!”  I’m comparing the two memoirs — not just the key and pivotal moments that they recall from their trial testimony — but their thoughts and feelings about the crime and each other.  I found them both compelling and enlightening. Moreover, reading their words, strengthened my conviction about their guilt.

CaliDeeva and I feel strongly about encouraging our readers to know our sources and to form their own opinions from these sources.  So with that, I feel I must justify what some may feel is promoting or soliciting their books.      

Amanda Knox in courtroom

Amanda Knox in court

Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito in court

I know that I’ve wondered about a few things that may never have answers.  I can accept that.  I do search for answers wherever I can find them.  Unlike other people who share my conviction that Knox and Sollecito are guilty as charged, I’m not averse to reading their books or memoirs. I understand the arguments as well.  In our country, people who have been convicted of murder should not be allowed to profit from that murder.

Buying used books sort of circumvents that.  So I tell myself: Someone else has already paid for them. When I buy them used, I’m merely paying the middle man.  Folks often say, “I wouldn’t read that drivel, it’s all a pack of lies!”  Again, I understand that Knox and Sollecito were operating under the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, as well as many years to “perfect their stories.”  I expect to be lied to... I also see their books as testimony, just as binding as anything they’ve said in court.  No claims of duress or being beaten into these words.  They wrote them – no need to claim they wrote these things in a rush or without giving it a lot of thought.

David Marriott, Publicist to Amanda Knox

David Marriott, Publicist to Amanda Knox

One of my questions that has not been answered by reading their memoirs centers around the hiring of a public relations firm by the Knox family.  This occurred three days after Knox’s arrest.  Why?  If Knox really was a model citizen and “honors” student, why would they need to promote this?  Why create an image that supposedly so strongly already exists?  Wouldn’t they first hire the best attorney that they could afford?  But that came after hiring the best PR money could afford.  If you want to cite the Casey Anthony family and the circus that they were, exploding all over the media, I’ll have to remind you that the murder of Meredith Kercher occurred in the fall of 2007, and the murder of Caylee Anthony occurred in the summer of 2008.

I’m not setting about making more victims in this sad case.  This is not about scandal.  The Knox family, along with their PR firm, have taken a proactive (preemptive?) stance, some would say an aggressive campaign of promoting an image of the family and Amanda Knox, as well as her version of events.  Why in general, but why so early would they need to so aggressively promote the “truth”?

Curt Knox, Amanda, Edda Mellas in media interview

Curt Knox, Amanda, Edda Mellas in “Daybreak” media interview

In researching this case over the last year, I’ve had to pour over every article I could find, every video and interview, both the older and the new,  as well as watching the trial and every report available.  Daunting!  I’ve read Follain, a few others, and excerpts from every book on the subject.  Some would think this was a disadvantage, trying to catch up, instead of following along, ALL along.  Actually, it made the inconsistencies much easier to spot.  Some things were fairly consistent — twenty-year old Amanda Knox, honor student from Seattle, not from your typical “broken home, ” but from a family that cared and welcomed the children of both homes into each of their households.  One big happy family.  That’s what we were told. Regardless of who was doing the reporting,  I noticed that when reporting the divorce of Curt and Edda, Amanda’s parents, the age of Amanda Knox readily changed from each report.  Some reported that she was a old as ten years…four, three, two …to the ambiguous, very young.  Some even gave an exact year the divorce occurred, 1989…1992.  Why was it that these news sources couldn’t seem to get this part of the story right? 

I haven’t read Angel Face: Sex, Murder and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox by Barbie Latza Nadeau, but I’ve read excerpts and have seen the core arguments from her book, thrown back and forth, over and over.  Also, in her articles for The Daily Beast, she paints quite a different picture of this family or at least the split between Amanda’s parents.  According to Barbie, the divorce was not amicable, Amanda’s mother struggled to get child support from Curt, who went on to marry his “mistress” Cassandra.  As this was the only source of acrimony between Edda and Curt that I was aware of, I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought — not until I began to read Amanda Knox’s book.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas

In Waiting to be Heard: A Memoir, Knox tells some very interesting facts about her family. She says that her parents “split up” when her mother, Edda, was pregnant with her younger sister, Deanna.  This was the first I’d heard about this.  Why would she be so specific about this detail?  Mom was pregnant when they “split.” Was she possibly pointing out that her Dad was a cad, or was she trying to tell us something more?  Did they actually divorce during this time frame?  Very sad!

For me, this isn’t an ethical or moral issue; it’s a legal issue. For a pregnant woman, divorce in Washington State may not have been legal until 2005.  Not until the case of Shawnna Hughes did anyone attempt to challenge what many felt was an outdated and antiquated law.  If the female was pregnant, the divorce would not have been granted until after the birth of the child — IF it was known that she was pregnant.  Why would Edda have to struggle for support with a mandated court order?  It was a child-centric law. The child was born, paternity established. visitation and support, all ironed out…then divorce granted.  Even if they followed the law and waited until Deanna was born before they sought a divorce, the question begs, why would they separate during this time? Why was the divorce so DIRE?  Is it possible the public relations firm was hired to protect MORE than the image of Amanda Knox?  She also” apologizes” to her father for lying to him. which also felt like a backhanded slap.  She felt like such an outcast as her stepsisters grew up and got their own bedrooms while she was relegated to the couch when she stayed over.  She told him she was too busy with her activities to stay over anymore.

Knox begins her book with the verdict, Colpevole – Guilty, but as soon as we leave the prologue, we backtrack to her giddy presentation of her year-in-Perugia plan to Edda and Curt. She is thrilled to see her parents sitting together, with her, civilly sharing a meal in a restaurant. This is a first for Knox. You can feel her excitement and enthusiasm leap off the page.  She is announcing an independent decision to two people who are finally, after nineteen years, behaving like adults.

This is the last you will see of the bubbly, free-spirited Amanda Knox in her memoir.  Despite claims that her arrest and “wrongful conviction” caused her massive personality change, she already appears dour and sour upon arrival in Italy.  Despite her claims of having fun, happy with her decision, her words don’t support  this.  I realize that those who believe in her innocence would argue that yes, Knox was traumatized by Italy.  It would be difficult for her to see anything about Italy as a good or fond memory.  Fair enough.  However, when you realize that to believe Knox, you must believe that every person she meets betrays her and is now lying, her story takes on a different tone.

Knox’s memoir reeks of alibi building. She mainly addresses points of contention, questions that have been raised along the way. Instead of telling her story –  the story of a happy, carefree girl who is thrilled to be in Italy and excited about her studies — she concentrates on dispelling what others have said about her.  We see no descriptions of the wonderful country where she couldn’t wait to spend a year, no descriptions of the people who would come to figure so largely in her life.  We don’t know if she was enjoying her classes. She brings it up once, to let us know that other students got the time wrong for class. She was early, so to her, they were all late and all wrong. She was there to study, but we see that school barely merits a mention in her book.

Patrick Lumumba in his bar Le Chic

Patrick Lumumba in his bar Le Chic

Patrick Lumumba gives her a job because she’s short on money within a month of her arrival. She doesn’t perform well on the job.  Instead of firing her, he lightens her responsibilities and still she blames him, the bar, even the customers for her poor performance. This is from a person who claimed that she worked three similar jobs back home to earn the money to BE in Italy. I believe that Knox had unrealistic expectations about what her life in Italy would be like.  Her disappointment — at times despair — overwhelms her.

The people in her story lack dimension.  She brings them into the scene, they say something and then she puts them away.  Her characters have a purpose…to tell HER story.  Poof, then they are gone.  She believes she adequately dispels any “rumor or misunderstanding” about things with just her words.  I said it, therefore it must be true.  Disputing these “false notions” as her theme,  the book doesn’t read fluidly.

KnoxSollecito2Raffaele Sollecito is an open book by comparison.  He gives us the motive on page two of the preface.  In future installments, I will compare their words and their versions of events. We will see that Sollecito, in recent weeks, is already changing his story. In his book, Honour Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, he is “tricked into implicating her,” he says. Now, it appears that for some reason, he doubts her story.  Maybe she DID disappear for a while that night?  He tries very hard to create a story that makes him the more “honorable person,” that he was merely dragged into this story because he dared to take up with Amanda Knox.  He tells us in his book that he is innocent and so is she., and that he would never implicate her because that would not be the truth.  He wrote his book assuming that in the next appeal process, he would be found Not Guilty. Now that it appears there is a very strong possibility he could spend his life in prison… it would seem that he in no longer… Honor Bound.

Join me for the next installment!

Amanda Knox and Darlie Routier: Women who Kill

DarlieRoutierGlamorShot

Darlie Routier

Amanda Knox, typical courtroom demeanor

Amanda Knox

               It might seem an unlikely comparison. Could these two women, their crimes and circumstances separated by a decade, have much in common?  Yes.  Darlie Routier was the topic of a recent Discovery ID program, interviewed by German filmmaker Werner Herzog.  Although Herzog appeared sympathetic to Routier, the program prompted my memory of just how horrific this crime was.  Also, I was struck by many commonalities between Darlie Routier and Amanda Knox.  Both were convicted of brutal stabbing murders, both left bloodsoaked victims and crime scenes, and both exhibited very similar behavior. 

Seattle student Amanda Knox, now 26 years old, was convicted in Perugia, Italy, as one of three accomplices in the 2007 stabbing death of her British roommate and ERASMUS scholar, 21-year old Meredith Kercher.  While readers here are likely well-versed in the case history of Knox,  the Routier case may not be familiar to those residing outside the States.  It was a shocking crime and rocked the entire country. 

Darlie Lynn Routier, of Rowlett, Texas,  was 26 years old on June 6, 1996, the date she murdered her two young boys, Devon, 6, and Damon, 5.  Of course, there was a wide age discrepancy between Meredith and the Routier boys, and she was unrelated to her murderer, while Darlie victimized her very own flesh and blood.  But a closer scrutiny of both crimes reveals many, many similarities.

Amanda Knox and Darlie Routier were tried, convicted, and both are now exhausting their appeals. Amanda Knox’s final appeal in Florence, Italy, will be determined on points of law and not new evidence. Darlie Routier petitioned a Texas US District Court challenging the prosecution’s theory of the case, the handling of the evidence by police and the alleged lack of assistance of counsel. 

DamonRoutier

Murder weapon placed on kitchen counter by Darlie Routier

Murder weapon placed on kitchen counter by Darlie Routier

Sometime after 2:00 a.m. on June 6, 1996, Darlie Lynn Routier was allegedly asleep on the couch of the downstairs family room of the couple’s Rowlett, Texas home. Her two young sons were reported to have been sleeping on the floor just a foot or two away from her.  Although Routier has given various versions of events, the short story is that she was asleep, awakened by Damon “tapping her on the shoulder, saying ‘Mommy, Mommy” while she saw the back of a man walking through her kitchen. Some versions include the man trying to “mount her” first.  She then followed him through her kitchen, into the utility room and garage, where he disappeared into the night. Darlie “saw him” drop a bloody knife on the utility room floor. She picked it up and placed it on the kitchen counter.

Observation: Darlie Routier and Amanda Knox share intermittent memory lapse syndrome, offering various alibis to police and prosecutors. As you will see, both purport to have problems with reality, with what is real, imagined, dreamed, could have been true, what is the best truth and in Darlie’s case, what could be “assumed” is true. 

The Routier brothers looking very solemn for two little boys

The Routier brothers looking very solemn for two little boys

Although Devon and Damon Routier suffered massive and mortal stab wounds, Darlie claimed Damon was standing, following her while she gestured for him to stay behind.  Focused on the intruder, turning on the kitchen light, she saw blood on her nightshirt and realized she had injuries.  Yelling for her husband, she saw that her young sons were  covered in blood  — although whether Damon was “still standing” at this stage is unclear. Indeed, the medical examiners (one for each boy) ruled that they suffocated from blood filling their lungs and painfully bled to death. Darlie, on the other hand, never stopped talking from the time responders arrived throughout the paramedics arrival, attending to her and transporting her via ambulance to the hospital. Paramedics testified she did not appear to be in shock, her vitals were stable, and she never once asked about her sons. Medical staff backed this up, also testifying that Darlie communicated at great length about herself but never once asked about her sons. The woman is a monster who, just like Amanda Knox, has never expressed remorse or genuine concern for their victims. 

Darlie hospitalized

Darlie hospitalized

The medical personnel treating her reported that her wounds were superficial, definitely not life threatening, and could have been self-inflicted.  Her wounds easily treated, doctors would have released her in a day or two, but they wanted to protect her from a media onslaught and possible emotional trauma from her sons’ murder. They kept her an extra day. Her attending physicans and nurses testified that Darlie volunteered considerable and evolving details about the intruder and how her own fingerprints were now on the murder weapon. No one asked her for that information and the staff found her behavior odd. There was NO reference to her sons the entire time.

Observation: Both the Knox and Routier crime scenes were bloody, and their victims died terrible deaths, their lungs swimming in their own blood, ultimately bleeding to death after brutal knife assaults.

Darin, Darlie and their three boys

Darin, Darlie and boys

Darin Routier, Darlie’s now ex-husband, claimed that he and their infant son, Drake, slept upstairs unharmed through the attack.  Both adults in this household slept through a vicious and deadly knife attack on two young boys. Personally, I believe Darin was complicit in this crime, possibly “assisting” Darlie with her self-inflicted wounds. He acknowledged planning a fake burglary in the prior weeks, an insurance scam designed to net them some much-needed cash.  But Darin insisted that no one would be home when the “burglary” took place. He claimed to have given up on the plan.

On this night, however, everyone was home. Darlie, a light sleeper, not only slept through the slaughter of her sons a few feet away from her, she claims to have slept through the intruder’s infliction of her own wounds. This particular intruder was a very lucky man.  He was able to inflict numerous and deep knife wounds on TWO young boys, who must have been so silent throughout that their mother, sleeping just a couple of feet away, slept right through it. He was even luckier that she slept through his knife assault on her and the prelude to a sexual assault (the “mounting” and fighting she sometimes/sometimes not recalled.)  Indeed he showed his gratitude by dropping the murder weapon and leaving the premises despite leaving a live witness (Darlie) who could now identify him and send him to prison.

At some point, Darlie placed an emergency call. Read here for the complete 911 call transcript, a call lasting 5 minutes, 44 seconds.  For those who prefer not to read the accompanying statement analysis, ignore the commentary, but please read her words because they are important, revealing her priorities. Before the paramedics arrived, police officer David Waddell was the first responder.  The immediate crime scene, and the behavior of Darlie and Darin Routier, is described here in the testimony of Officer David Waddell.  Warning: graphic and disturbing content.

Observation:  Knox and Routier both asserted law enforcement incompetence and charged that they were framed by investigators.  Knox and her supporters have impugned the integrity of the Italian justice system and the entire country, insisting she was brutalized and targeted as a naive young American woman. Ironically, Darlie Routier was investigated, tried and convicted here in our own domestic justice system ten years prior to Meredith Kercher’s murder, yet her complaints mirror Knox’s – excluding police brutality.

Officer Waddell’s supervisor, Lt. Matthew Walling, soon arrived on the scene followed by other investigators. All shared the impression that there was no evidence of an intruder, believing that the murders were an inside job. Nothing was adding up. Darlie Routier’s pricey jewelry remained neatly placed, untouched and visible on the kitchen counter beside her purse. They noted her odd behavior.  She didn’t budge from the kitchen area, speaking loudly, preoccupied with her fingerprints on the knife [later identified as another knife from her own knife block] and repeatedly speaking of the intruder. Officer Waddell couldn’t determine whether she was on the phone or not, a cordless phone which would have allowed her the freedom to move out of the kitchen.

DarlieBoysCrimeScenePics_editedDespite his numerous requests for her to place towels on Damon’s back, she ignored him — although she had a wet towel placed around her neck. Routier would later testify (again, repeatedly) that she “didn’t know what she was doing,” that she didn’t recall the 911 conversation, but she disputed the officer’s testimony that she ignored her dying sons. Selective memory?

Obervation:  Both Amanda Knox and Darlie Routier staged scenes for mystery intruders and burglars.  In the former, an upstairs bedroom window was shattered from inside. The ground outside, a steep drop from the window, was undisturbed. Knox told the postal police that someone had broken into this room, her roommate Filomena’s bedroom, and that the carabinieri had been notified.  Phone records confirmed that her lover of a week, Raffaele Sollecito, placed the emergency call to the carabinieri AFTER the arrival of the the postal police who were only there concerning Filomena’s stolen cell phone. Sollecito told the carabinieri that there was a burglary but “nothing was missing.”  Concealing Meredith’s murder from them, Filomena arrived home unexpectedly and insisted that Meredith’s locked door be forced open.

Darlie’s staged scene involved the window screen in the Routiers’ garage, slashed with a knife from her own kitchen.  Investigators determined that an intruder could have easily removed the screen – no need to cut it.  Darlie testified that she was aware of leaving the garage window open, but couldn’t provide an explanation for why she opened it. There was no evidence to support a stranger assault and murder. Blood was contained within the house – no blood on the window presumed to be the entrance/exit used by intruder, no blood on the sill or outside. The ground was undisturbed. With the exception of a smudged, fragmented fingerprint* that was not identifiable, forensic testing revealed that the copious blood and DNA belonged to Darlie, Devon and Damon.

Darlie authorized the exhumation of her sons’ bodies to have their fingerprints taken [footprints were taken of the boys at autopsy, but it was not routine then to take fingerprints of small children.]  The boys, buried holding hands, with knives placed in their casket, were subjected to the indignity in death of having their small hands cut off to obtain the prints.

* Updated forensic testing was ordered at the request of the defendant in 2008 yet the results were not reported and the case lagged indefinitely. The District Court Judge expressed impatience. Excerpted from the Altoona Mirror on January 29, 2014:

Chief Judge of the Western District Fred Biery has now granted the request for the Routier case to remain in the federal court.

He stated, “The parties should be advised, however, this court will not continue to retain this case on its docket indefinitely without some indication the parties are seriously pursing relief in the state courts and further delay in this disposition of this case is reasonably necessary.”

The judge ordered that beginning June 30, he wants to see status reports on the DNA testing every 180 days.

Darlie Spraying Silly Sting on murdered son's grave

Darlie spraying Silly String on murdered sons’ grave

In the next installments, we’ll look at many more comparisons between the two women, their crimes, their personality traits.

Both had financial problems preceding the murders. Both crime scenes revealed cleanup efforts illuminated by presumptive testing with Luminol. Both claimed forensic contamination of evidence. Both women offered written statements to police and left a virtual library of written material that only served to complicate their defense. Both named innocent men for their crimes, and both can’t get their stories straight. In Darlie’s case, she still seeks to find the murderer, reminiscent of OJ Simpson. Both are loud extroverts seeking media attention, Darlie going so far as to invite neighbors and the media to Devon’s graveside 7th birthday party mere days after the boys’ murder [now known as the Silly String party].  The public, and later the jury, were appalled to see this gum-chewing, laughing, prancing mom spraying silly string all over the fresh graves of her murdered sons. Darlie fans explain away her behavior, insisting that the solemn graveside prayers of a minister preceded her silly string antics. True. And her behavior was disrespectful and self-absorbed, or they would be promoting it at every opportunity. Everyone grieves differently.

Amanda Knox and Darlie Routier have families, friends and strangers dedicated to proving their innocence,  Amanda Knox even hired a PR firm. Her victim, Meredith Kercher, was largely forgotten as the media focused exclusively on Knox, until a group of dedicated volunteers provided translated court transcripts and testimony accessible to the public. Meredith’s supporters launched a massive and successful campaign based on evidence, truth and telling Meredith’s story. As for Darlie’s innocence campaign, read the following excerpt below from an early interview with her then-husband Darin:

If Darin Routier and Darlie Kee still mourn inwardly, they are outwardly readying for battle. Darlie Routier’s family stands staunchly behind her claim of innocence, but it is her husband and mother who have seized the torch and are running with it. The two have appeared 10 times on nationally televised talk shows. They have printed bumper stickers and created a toll-free phone number ( (888) 883-FAIR) appealing for donations and information that could help “find the person who attacked Darlie and murdered her children.” They have drawn the support of a Mesquite church, Morningstar Life Ministries, death-penalty opponents and, just a month ago, a wealthy Waco insurance executive.

“We are the underdog,” Darin emphasizes. “As far as the courts and half the people in the United States are concerned, she’s a convicted baby killer.”

RIP Devon and Damon

Devon and Damon, RIP

Meredith Kercher, RIP

Meredith Kercher, RIP

Sadly, Devon and Damon Routier have fallen into oblivion.  While Amanda Knox and Darlie Routier manipulate the media and seek to overshadow their victims, we are here to present the facts that support their convictions for coldblooded murder.  Dedicated to the cause of justice, we won’t let Meredith Kercher be forgotten. And we can be the quiet, steady voice that advocates for young Devon and Damon Routier.

What do you think, readers? As always, we want to hear from you. Join me next time!

CaliDeeva


Holly Bobo Murder: Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

           Zachary Adams Retains Attorney, Pleads Not Guilty at Arraignment

HollyBoboZacAdamsGrinThe man indicted by a Grand Jury for Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and First Degree Murder of 20-year old Holly Lynn Bobo has pleaded Not Guilty at an arraignment held today in Decaturville, Tennessee. Zachary Adams appeared in court with his newly hired attorney Jennifer Lynn Thompson. Rejecting a court-appointed lawyer, his family gathered enough funds to retain an attorney known primarily for representing a mother who sent her 10-year old adopted son back to Russia.

Meanwhile, investigators are still searching properties and highways adjacent to the suspect’s residence, as reported by WSMV-TV Nashville:

Meanwhile, investigators appear to not be finished looking for clues near Adams’ property. Search crews and dogs showed up again Saturday off Highway 69 in Decatur County near his Adams Lane home.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirms it requested Shelby County Emergency Services to search there in connection with Bobo’s murder. What they can’t say is what they were looking for this time around.

So far, the TBI has yet to indicate whether any remains have been found in the case.

It’s interesting that Adams wore a bullet-proof vest at the arraignment. Seems Tennesseans don’t like him much? (Sarcasm of course.)  He continues to be held without bond, with the next status hearing scheduled for April 9. Holly’s family was present in the courtroom, her mother crying near the end of the hearing. Also present was Holly’s father and brother, Clint. Clint, who unknowingly witnessed Holly’s abduction while gazing out his window, endured suspicion and vicious social media accusations of being involved in Holly’s disappearance. He thought Holly was arguing with her boyfriend who was known to be turkey-hunting that day. The hunting camouflage clothing would be expected under the circumstances. Did the abductor/killer know this? The harassment and suspicion directed at Clint is just part of the collateral damage of Holly’s murderer(s).

Last Saturday, hundreds of local citizens participated in a memorial ride for Holly, with many Justice for Holly signs and posters in view. A closely-knit, church-going community, residents have kept vigil for the last three years, and are now enveloping the family in love and support.

I expect in the following weeks, updates on the property searches should reveal important information and evidence supporting the indictment of Zachary Adams. This is a man with a lengthy history of repeated brutality, particularly against women. The charges against him state that Holly’s murder occurred during the perpetration of the kidnapping, which I interpret as taking place during the actual abduction or soon thereafter. It is unknown if additional suspects will eventually be named, and investigators haven’t revealed whether her body – or body parts) – have been recovered.  Investigators remain circumspect and diligent in their pursuit of evidence.

On the day Holly disappeared, Clint Bobo described a disturbing account of seeing Holly and her abductor facing each other, seemingly in a kneeling position, engaged in a verbal confrontation although he couldn’t hear the exact words. They quickly headed for the wooded area adjacent to her house. Was a stun gun or similar demobilizing technique used? I say yes, although wounds could have been inflicted to frighten her into submission. Her blood was detected in the garage/driveway. Taking place so early in the morning while Holly was departing for her nursing classes and her abductor’s  camouflage attire demonstrate this was no random kidnapping.

RIP Holly

RIP Holly

We’re always interested in reader feedback. What do you think about Holly’s abduction and murder, the indictment against Zachary Adams?

Until next time, CaliDeeva


Holly Bobo: Kidnapped and Murdered

A Family Grieves, the Community and Nation Mourn Holly Bobo

holly-bobo-gallery-14On the morning of April 13, 2011, 20-year-old Holly Bobo disappeared into the woods adjacent to her family home in rural Decatur County, Tennessee, never to be seen again. Holly, a nursing student, was leaving for classes around breakfast time. Her brother unknowingly witnessed the last moments she was seen alive as he gazed out the window that morning to see Holly walking into the wooded area around the house, accompanied by a man dressed in hunting camouflage. Thinking it was Holly’s boyfriend, he was not alarmed. I can only imagine his anguish in retrospect, knowing this was likely his sister’s murderer.

For the last few years, Holly’s family has searched for her relentlessly, keeping her image and story alive in the media. Remarkably, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) “said the Holly Bobo investigation has historically been one of the most exhaustive in terms of time, resources and cost.” The Bobo family demonstrated how a family is galvanized to find their missing loved one, unfailingly pursuing every avenue available to find her. This is how innocent people behave. Compare to the behavior of numerous families of “missing” or “abducted” children making headlines in recent memory. Caylee Anthony, Baby Lisa, Isabel Celis, Ayla Reynolds, Aliayah Lunsford…the list goes on in a tragic epidemic of dysfunction, abuse and blatant criminal activity in concealing coldblooded murder. I will write about some of these cases, particularly Isabel Celis, Lisa Irwin and Aliayah Lunsford. Margie is our resident expert in the Casey Anthony case.

Zachary Adams, charged with Aggravated Kidnapping and Murder of Holly Bobo

Zachary Adams, charged with Aggravated Kidnapping and Murder of Holly Bobo

Back to Holly, within the last week, a shocking series of events in her disappearance led to the indictment and arrest of Decatur County resident 29-year-old Zachary “Zach” Adams.  A Grand Jury was convened on Wednesday, March 5, resulting in an indictment of especially aggravated kidnapping and first degree felony murder. The Grand Jury was presented information not released to the public which must have been horrific enough to warrant “especially” aggravated kidnapping. Investigators are certain that Holly is deceased but have not said whether her body has been recovered as of this writing. Her family is devastated. They’re receiving an outpouring of support on social media from around the country. The messages posted for them on Twitter reveal just how many people followed this case, praying and hoping that Holly would be brought home safe and alive. That was not to be because of this grinning freak who brought harm to an innocent woman just living her life and, as a nursing student, trying to make this world a better place. 

Part of Zach Adams Lengthy Arrest Sheet

Part of Zach Adams Lengthy Arrest Sheet

Residing not far from Holly’s family, Adams has a 13-page criminal record. Are not his photo and rap sheet chilling? Really, it strikes terror in my heart to contemplate what Holly endured with this psychopath, meth manufacturer and drug dealer/user. How long had he been stalking her? The kidnapping was planned, perhaps with accomplices, but details haven’t yet been released. I’m not sure if he’s talking or has shut down, deferring to a lawyer for any communication.

Here’s what is known about his capture. Arrested on charges unrelated to Holly’s kidnapping, he sat in jail while investigators executed search warrants and gathered evidence. There was a MASSIVE search effort conducted for Holly. Last Friday, search warrants were executed on various properties, including the property where Adams resides.  His property was thoroughly searched by a crew of investigators, seen in Adams’ backyard with a cadaver dog, shovels and other search equipment. Vehicles were impounded. NewsChannel5 Tennessee published this quote by the District Attorney General Hansel McCadams:

McCadams from the 24th Judicial District said his office believed they could prove Bobo was taken forcefully from her home without her consent. Based upon the evidence that we have before us, we also feel that she was killed in the perpetration of that kidnapping,” he said.

McCadams said his office would consider seeking the death penalty.

Holly in her student nurse uniform.

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney’s office and the FBI mobilized to execute an investigation with force and precision. I feel nothing but admiration for this DA and County investigators. In my view, it was sheer brilliance to jail Adams on unrelated charges [of course, this guy had a lengthy rap sheet and outstanding charges], while they gathered the information needed for the kidnapping and murder charges. So many jurisdictions seem to be frozen in inaction and hesitation, letting “persons of interest = perpetrators” go free instead of charging them with even minor charges to ensure they’re taken into custody while investigators build their case.

Read here for the remarkable back story of the twists and turns leading to the arrest of Zachary Adams. Next week should bring more press releases from the DA’s office which has already announced that with sufficient evidence, it will consider the death penalty.

holly-bobo-gallery-9My mind has turned  often to Holly in recent days. In her brief life, she touched many people with her interior and exterior beauty, intelligence and zest for life. Let’s keep her family in mind and heart in these next days and weeks which are sure to be agonizing for them. This case is moving so swiftly, there may be updated information even now. If readers have details, please feel free to leave updates in the commentary. As always, we want to know what’s on your mind, and welcome your comments!

RIP, Holly

Until next time, CaliDeeva

 

Casey Anthony Deposition: You Can lead a “Horse” to Water…

Casey Anthony at bankruptcy court March 4, 2014

Casey Anthony at bankruptcy court March 4, 2014

Amid a flurry of enticing promises of jaw-dropping controversy and startling revelations, the January 23, 2014 deposition of Casey Anthony was released to the public on February 25, 2014. The Orlando, Florida woman had been indicted and stood trial for the 2008 murder of her two-year old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony. In 2011, she was acquitted of the more serious charges: first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and aggravated child abuse. She was convicted of four counts of lying to law enforcement. Later this ruling would be overturned and the charges of lying would be reduced to just two counts. While Anthony and her attorneys celebrated a “victory,” there is a basic explanation for the ruling. Anthony was questioned by law enforcement in two separate interviews conducted several hours apart. She DID have the opportunity to reflect on and consider her answers, and she repeated some of these same lies in the second interview.

The court rejected Anthony’s assertion of double jeopardy, or that she felt she was under arrest at this point, and that she had not been Mirandized [properly informed of her rights under the law]. It was concluded that she was guilty of a single act of lying on two separate occasions. In other words, the court found that when Anthony answered questions in the first and second interviews, everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. What a victory!

Caylee Anthony

Caylee Anthony

The January 23 deposition was connected to the civil suit filed by Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman who claims she was defamed by Anthony’s false claim that a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez had kidnapped Caylee. To law enforcement, Anthony gave two different accounts of this “kidnapping.” In one version, she claimed that she dropped her daughter off at the “nanny’s” apartment at the Sawgrass Apartments, as she often did, while employed as an event planner at Universal Orlando. In the other version of the kidnapping, she claimed that she was physically attacked by Gonzalez and Gonzalez’ sister at a local park. According to Anthony, these two women stole her baby. These were just two of the many different accounts that Casey Anthony gave law enforcement.

Anthony was briefly employed by a Universal subcontractor photography kiosk, taking photographs of visitors arriving to the park. In fact, she had not been employed at Universal for years. Her own lawyer, Jose Baez, would state in court that Anthony dressed every day to go to a nonexistent job. Indeed, one of the lying charges centered on that event planner job. During the initial investigation into Caylee’s alleged kidnapping, Anthony led police detectives through several buildings at Universal until finally, as she neared her “office,” she stated, “Okay, you got me, I don’t work here!”

Casey2This case attracted international interest. Because of this, Gonzalez was wrongly identified as the woman who kidnapped little Caylee. In her civil lawsuit against Anthony, Gonzalez claims that she lost her job, her apartment, and that she and her young daughters were harassed and threatened by the public. In the 107-page deposition, one of Gonzalez’ attorneys, Keith Mitnik of Morgan and Morgan, attempted to “extract the truth” out of Anthony. He planned to demonstrate that Anthony had many opportunities to exonerate Gonzalez of any culpability.  This Zenaida Gonzalez [Anthony referred to her as Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez] was not the fictitious nanny who cared for Anthony’s daughter while Anthony was employed at her fictitious job, and she was not involved in the fictitious kidnapping.

Casey Anthony was unwilling to admit this during her incarceration and was just as unwilling to do it during her deposition. Anthony introduces a new word into her vocabulary–assumption. Broad assumption, general assumption, in some of her answers she actually used the word appropriately. She also demonstrated to Mitnik  that with the aid of her attorney, Cheney Mason, she could refuse to answer some of his questions with impunity and without valid grounds…just because she felt like it. She was insulted with Mitnik’s insinuations that she was lying or capable of lying. She also accused him of making a “general assumption,” when he concluded that she was upset with her mother, although she had just told him that she was upset with her mother  Anthony even uttered this precious tidbit to Mitnik….

“I said it. That doesn’t mean that those were my words whatsoever.”

Nothing really new or startling in the world according to Anthony.

CaseyAnthonySnickersDepositions, by their very nature, can be contentious and confrontational, with fireworks and shouting on both sides. This was mild and tame by comparison – no fireworks, minimal name-calling or swearing.  Casey Anthony lying, even under oath, is nothing new, but merely an indication that she is indeed, alive and breathing. [Throughout her trial, the depth of her lies inspired the phrase: If her lips are moving, she's lying!I was amused by Cheney Mason’s use of the word “scandalous” to describe Mitnik’s questions…is that a valid objection?  Even in Florida? Also, I can’t help but notice that Amanda Knox, in her most recent blog, “Perugia, ti voglio bene,” also referred to the Meredith Kercher murder as a scandal! I find it an extremely odd choice of words in both circumstances.

In Casey Anthony’s deposition, she refused to answer any question regarding her daughter, Caylee, even if she had previously answered the same question worded somewhat differently. If Mitnik added the word Caylee, Anthony pleaded the Fifth Amendment OR simply refused to answer the question AND/OR threatened to walk out. There were a few revelations in the deposition though. When she answered the question regarding the “nanny,” she stated that HER Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez was indeed a real person! Despite the prior claims of her attorney, Jose Baez, that “Zanny” was one of Anthony’s “make-believe friends,” Anthony claimed that her Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez babysat Caylee on one occasion. She went on to answer that she met her through ex-fiance, Jesse Grund. Grund is a real human being, not one of Anthony’s make-believe friends. When Mitnik asked her if she was aware that Grund had been questioned by law enforcement regarding this subject, she stated that she “wasn’t sure.” OOPS!

Cheney Mason giving the "finger salute" to press and public on the evening of Anthony's acquittal

Cheney Mason giving the “finger salute” to press and public on the evening of Anthony’s acquittal

With neither of the attorneys agreeing upon what were appropriate questions and whether or not Anthony can be compelled to answer the questions, the deposition ended with the agreement to let the judge decide. The March 4th, 2014 ruling came swiftly, leaving both sides disappointed. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, K. Rodney May ruled that “For now,” Anthony does not have to answer questions regarding Caylee, but she must answer questions as they relate to her ever-changing story regarding her false allegations that Gonzalez kidnapped her daughter and whether she ever cleared Gonzalez of this defamation. Cheney Mason expressed concern to the judge that if Anthony is forced to answer these questions, she will be at risk of facing federal perjury charges!

In “hiding,” Casey Anthony spotted relaxing beachside, perhaps studying for her next deposition?

In the next deposition, Judge May instructed Gonzalez’s lawyers to call him immediately if Anthony continues to refuse to answer these questions. He said he would make sure she answers them.  So it seems that Anthony will be held accountable for the stories that she told federal investigators, who were brought into this case under the federal kidnapping statute. The Federal Kidnapping Act, or the Lindbergh Law, allows federal law enforcement to more effectively deal with kidnappings than state, county or local authorities, because they have national law enforcement authority.

This case has been analyzed and scrutinized relentlessly. Public outrage has never truly died down and the mere mention of her name reignites the passionate outcry that she pay for her crime. She will. Not by mystical Karma  but by the justice system that we hold dear. There have been many theories regarding why or how she got away with murder, whether through cover-ups, bribes or corruption in the legal system. The unfortunate, uncomfortable and more frightening truth may be that Casey Anthony was judged and acquitted by a “jury of her peers.” For ONCE, the system actually managed to throw together twelve people who are truly Anthony’s peers. Did they believe that she did nothing wrong? That children are disposable and easily replaced? Did they accept that Anthony, as a young woman, made some mistakes but she shouldn’t have to pay with her life or pay any consequences at all?

RIP Caylee Marie Anthony

RIP Caylee Marie Anthony

Casey Anthony didn’t testify in her murder trial.  It’s unclear whether this Florida jury was confused or simply agreed that her actions reflected how THEY WOULD ACT in her situation. The few media interviews with her jurors demonstrated that they didn’t understand what constituted reasonable doubt or understand their role as a juror. They misunderstood or didn’t care about jury instructions, and clearly didn’t know they WERE required to pick up those little pencils and connect those dots.

The lies Anthony told and her ever-changing stories astounded us all. Her acquittal rocked the nation and rippled around the world. In law, there are many avenues leading to justice.  Her attorneys cannot continue to manipulate the system at every turn. They’ve merely demonstrated exemplary stalling tactics and nothing more.

Horses may not always drink when you want them to, but they will eventually, drink.

Is Amanda Knox PR Buying SPAMBOT to flood Twitter?

       How Desperate is Amanda Knox for Public Support? BOT Tweets are Generated Every Few Minutes 24/7

It took a few days for me to recognize an emerging pattern of continuous pro-innocence tweets. It was the same message, word for word, tweeted by random names. Foolishly, I even responded once or twice. Expecting a typical heated reply, instead…Crickets, I had chatted with a computer!  More tweets appeared almost simultaneously, all with the same precise wording.  Take a look:

Screenshot Bot TweetsAll the users were new accounts – with the exception of a couple of prominent Knox supporters – and upon closer scrutiny, all revealed the SAME nonsensical messages, same spelling errors, same topics: I’m hungry, Follow me please?, I’m so tired, can’t get out of bed, I luv you, honey and other disjointed, sometimes jumbled letters making them inscrutable, all-over-the-map tweets with no responses. I learned that they are programmed to tweet various messages to give the appearance of human interaction. ROBOT!

What exactly is a Twitter BOT? Not knowing much about this phenomenon, I did some research. BOTs are not real people, of course, but computer generated frauds. Who creates them? One popular method is executed with ingenuity and persistence. Humans monitor Twitter for abandoned profiles, fill in the gaps with fake profiles and photos, and voila, a new user is created. The extra work on the profiles increases their value. The creator sells the accounts in an underground Twitter market. Buyers are motivated by a desire to inflate their popularity or promote their message by buying these fake spam accounts. During the summer of 2013, there were 20 million fake  accounts for sale on the blackmarket! Clearly, Twitter is swamped with BOT accounts, unable to keep up with the resilience and creativity of those who promote spam and sell it to a voracious buyers’ market. 

KnoxSiamoInnocentiKnoxParodyWhy would Amanda Knox, her promoters and fans have a need to resort to BOTs?  A wild guess would be that her tweeted black and white Siamo Innocenti  selfie was a major fail. She ended up the laughingstock of social media with numerous parodies of Knox and the white sign she grasps… in her tasteless ripoff, by the way, of similar images in efforts to free journalists trapped in Syria. She does impulsive things that time and again backfire and damage her cause.

The We are Innocent caper (notice how she self-servingly included Raffaele) hurt her credibility, already damaged following the Guilty verdict that was upheld by the Appellate Court in Florence in January, 2014. Then there was the BBC Three release of the Is Amanda Knox Guilty documentary. Anyone on Twitter following the airing of the documentary witnessed an onslaught of angry tweets from people who felt they’d been duped by Amanda Knox and the media into believing her alibis. The tweets were not restricted to the States, with many in the UK expressing the same outrage. Her supporters were few and far between.

Meredith4There was a time that Amanda Knox PR reigned supreme on social media. Supporters of justice for the victim, Meredith Kercher, were berated and insulted. As the evidence and translated court transcripts were made available (thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers), the tide turned. Knox supporters were reduced to defending their tired, unverified opinions. Now in a subordinate position due to laziness and a mistaken belief that the language barrier precluded access to source documents, Knox fans were forced to regroup. If you logically surmise that they formed a rebuttal strategy based on a rigorous review and debate of evidence, you would be mistaken. When the evidence is clearly stacked against the perpetrators of a crime, all that left are ad hominem attacks and distraction from said evidence. There is No Evidence became a peculiar battle cry of Knox defenders considering the vast amount of evidence. Personal attacks escalated against supporters of justice for Meredith. Visits to pro-innocence forums revealed a disturbing obsession about personal identities and strategies to “out” pro-justice defenders. I myself have been scrutinized and defamed on those forums, and Knox supporters have descended in full force here on my blog ostensibly to discuss the case but they quickly revealed their true intention…to bully and intimidate.

DocuMeredithGraveI cannot imagine that threats or harassment would deter any of us from our mission of presenting the facts surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher. Many of our readers have been victimized in a similar manner, sustaining brutal personal attacks and even threats. Yet here we are, even stronger and more determined to tell the story of Meredith and other victims of violent crime. Their stories deserve to be told.

Thank you to our loyal readers who inspire us with their personal stories and dedication to crime victims. Margie and I are strenthened and encouraged by your support.

Candles burning brightly for true victims of injustice

Candles burning brightly for true victims of injustice

Until next time!  CaliDeeva