Meredith Kercher: December 28, 1985 – November 1, 2007

 

MeredithLeftProfileToday, December 28, 2015, would have been a milestone birthday for Meredith Kercher.

Her murderers live on to celebrate birthdays and profit from their crimes. The only milestone in their vacuous, parasitic lives would be the day they repent, tell the world what they did, and ask the Kercher family for forgiveness.

Meredith’s father, John Kercher, wrote a book about his daughter Meredith: Our Daughter’s Murder and the Heartbreaking Quest for the Truth

Sadly, there has been no truth or justice for Meredith and her family.

Today, let us all light candles and build a bonfire of light for a young woman who, by all accounts, was herself a radiant light.

Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness ∼ ∼ Chinese Proverb

floating lanterns

Acquittal of Amanda Knox: Italian Supreme Court Presiding Judge Talks to Media

Judge Gennaro Marasca Speaks About the Verdict

[A word of acknowledgment to the translators — including Jools — of an article appearing in Corriere del Mezzogiorno on March 29, 2015. Your work is much appreciated.]

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Gennaro Marasca

Gennaro Marasca

A couple of days following the Italian Supreme Court’s acquittal this March of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (for murdering  Meredith Kercher), presiding Judge Gennaro Marasca of the Cassazione’s 5th Division was deluged with phone calls. Curious colleagues were blowing up his phone regarding the unexpected acquittal.  Marasca, the well-respected President of the Fifth Chamber Division of the Court, uncharacteristically granted the following original Italian interview to Corriere del Mezzogiorno on March 29, 2015.

The Murder of Meredith Kercher  — Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the evidence was insufficient

The doubts of Gennaro Marasca, the Neapolitan judge who presided over the Supreme Court of Cassation panel that acquitted the two defendants accused of the murder of Meredith in Perugia.

Someone like him, someone who has spent a whole career condemning ‘the judges who speak to journalists’ (the last time he did was on the board council of the Supreme Court, criticizing his colleague Antonio Esposito for the interview granted after the conviction of Silvio Berlusconi), someone like this is certainly not a magistrate to go for interviews — after the verdict that has split Italy sending [sic] definitively discharged Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, defendants in the trial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Yet, despite the [his] reluctance, the judge was unable to avoid the phone calls from colleagues and friends from Naples, all looking (in vain) for any details.

And now, the President of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court that issued the ruling two days ago is a magistrate from Naples — Gennaro Marasca, one of the best known “robes” in the city.  He, with the always [sic] courtesy, has limited himself to respond to everyone that the sentence will speak for itself, but that the decree of ruling issued at the end of the trial can already say many things.  What acquitted Amanda and Raffaele was the same identical manner in which the former senator for life Giulio Andreotti was acquitted — that is, applying the second paragraph of Article 530 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

There is, in this Marasca explanation, most of the reasons for the judgment, since the rule states that “the judge pronounces judgment of acquittal even when it fails, is insufficient or is contradictory evidence that the fact exists or that the accused committed it.”  And, not surprisingly, at the Palazzaccio [SC] Piazza Cavour in Rome, it is noted that an article of the law is rarely indicated (as in this case) in a decree of ruling of the Court of Cassation.

An Excellency

And to say {sic] that Marasca wasn’t even supposed to get to those courtrooms. — certainly not because of demerits (he is considered one of the best judges in Naples, and not by chance. On January 25th 2014,  the head public prosecutor of Nola, Paolo Mancuso, cited him among the “excellency” (together with Carlo Alemi. Giuseppe Fusco and Nino Vacca), but because his ambition – four years ago – was to be nominated prosecutor general of Naples.

He applied to the CSM [translator’s note: the magistrates’ governing body, but it was rejected. The reason? It so happens that, in the country where judges put their robes back on after doing politics, the magistrates’ governing body decided not to nominate him because “it can’t be ignored – as written in the motivation report – that Marasca has held for several years after 1994, the post of council member for the city” at the time when Antonio Bassolino was mayor.

 Justice was served: it’s our job

That episode is now forgotten. Marasca more than once has reiterated that “I like my job at Cassazione,” also because – he confided to some of his colleagues – it’s that place where “we try to apply the law sometimes forgotten in local offices.”  And as an experienced judge, Marasca has even been able to manage the sudden popularity in an Italy that was divided between those who exulted at the acquittal of Amanda and Raffaele and those who instead contested the decision. To those who asked him [Marasca] if justice had been served, he replied that a judge must base his decision on the elements of the trial and that, therefore, “justice had been served only because we did our job.”  Of course, the most simple solution would have been to annul the appeal and remand to a new trial, but the “insufficient evidence” was judged “difficult to be filled” even later.  And therefore – the president explained to the colleagues – if those are the elements, “what need is there to have a new trial?” [End]

 

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Cited below is the specific criminal code

Italian Criminal Code of Procedure Article 530 Paragraph (2)  Il giudice pronuncia sentenza di assoluzione anche quando manca, è insufficiente o è contraddittoria la prova che il fatto sussiste, che l’imputato lo ha commesso, che il fatto costituisce reato o che il reato è stato commesso da persona imputabile.

English Translation (Google)  The judge pronounces acquittal even when there is insufficient or contradictory evidence that the thing certain, that the accused committed it, that the action constitutes a criminal offense or the offense was committed by a person due The court judgment of acquittal even when it is missing, and insufficient or contradictory evidence that the fact there is, that the accused has committed, that the fact is a criminal offense or the offense was committed by a person eligible. [END]

Judge Marasca did deliver a brief oral statement to the press at the conclusion of deliberations on the night of March 27, 2015, but there is not an official summary, nor is the Dispositivo (verdict) published on the Court’s website.

Judge Marasca compared the Knox-Sollecito acquittal to the 2002 conviction of former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti (for murder), and subsequent acquittal. Rarely cited in Cassazione rulings, this code seems to be the catch-all for awkward acquittals.

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher

 

For Meredith.  RIP.

The Final Injustice: High Court Acquits in Meredith Kercher Murder

 March 27, 2015        

Corte Suprema di Cassazione, Palazzo di Giustizia

Rome's Palace of Justice, Supreme Court judges deliberate into the night

Rome’s stately Palace of Justice, Supreme Court judges deliberate into the night

 

Kristeva, our own citizen journalist, from Perugia Murder File, attended the hearing. The location of the hearings had been moved to the Great Hall to accommodate the large crowd, but cell phone use was banned.  This didn’t prevent Kristeva from finding a way to provide regular, timely updates, for which we’re all immensely grateful.

On that Friday, word had quickly spread that a verdict was imminent. Shockingly, Kristeva tweeted “Acquitted.” Kristeva is fluent in Italian. No mistake.

KristevaAcquitted03-27-15

 

KristevaNoMoreAppeals03-27-15

 

KristevaCalunniaUpheld03-27-15

 

Fom independent journalist Andrea Vogt who has been convering the case from the beginning:  

Continue reading

Is Amanda Knox Lying? Expert Lena Sisco Analyzes CNN Chris Cuomo Interviews

05/15/2014

Guest Blogger Lena Sisco, Certified Military Interrogator, Former Naval Officer, Body Language and Statement Analysis Expert, Answers the Question:

Is Amanda Knox Lying?

Lena Sisco, President of The Congruence Group in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is our guest blogger today! Ms. Sisco took time from her demanding work schedule, at my request, to offer her professional expertise in statement analysis and body language analysis. I asked her to analyze media clips of Amanda Knox, and Ms. Sisco generously agreed. Many readers have expressed to me an interest in professional analysis of Knox based upon the sciences utilized by the FBI, law enforcement and the military. Ms. Sisco’s biography reveals a long and distinguished background in serving our country, as a former Naval officer, as a military intelligence officer,  and in her capacity as teacher and trainer.

Ms. Sisco is also a Lead Instructor at the Body Language Institute founded by Janine Driver, a well-known media commentator on the science of deception. Lena also provides media analyses on programs like Dr. Drew on HLN.

Here is Lena’s impressive biography directly from her website:

Lena+Sisco-300x300Lena Sisco is a former Department of Defense (DoD) certified Military Interrogator and Naval Officer who served in the Global War on Terror. She is the recipient of the Joint Service and the Navy/Marine Corp Commendation and Achievement Medals. Ms Sisco has 14 years experience in the field of Human Intelligence (HUMINT). She has worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency and partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in HUMINT Collection Activities. Ms Sisco has been training DoD personnel in interrogation, tactical questioning/debriefing, site exploitation, elicitation, counter-elicitation, cross cultural communications, HUMINT policy, detecting deception and behavioral congruency for over 10 years. In addition to instructing, Ms Sisco has developed courses and training curriculums and is Instructional Systems Design certified. She has experience in assessing individuals’ personality type preferences according to Jungian personality type concepts using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool in order for her to guide students to achieve the maximum learning experience in her classes. She also analyzes handwriting samples to help assess personality preferences. Ms Sisco is certified as a Body Language Institute Train-the-Trainer Instructor and instructs with Janine Driver. In addition, she is Six Sigma certified. Prior to her career in HUMINT, she received her Master’s Degree in Archaeology from Brown University and excavated overseas. She founded The Congruency Group in order to share her skills with DoD and Law Enforcement personnel and the private sector in order for individuals to achieve ultimate success in their personal and professional endeavors, put criminals behind bars and gather intelligence information to save lives. Follow Lena on Twitter 

Statement Analysis and Facial Expressions of Amanda Knox During Her Interviews with CNN’s Chris Cuomo

by Lena Sisco

Amanda Knox, accused, jailed and convicted for murdering Meredith Kercher on the evening of November 1, 2007, was provisionally acquitted by the first appeals court, returning home to Seattle in October 2011. Upon review by the Supreme Court of Cassation, the acquittal was subsequently annulled based upon a manifest lack of logic and other major points of law on March 26, 2013.

On April 29, 2014, the second appellate court upheld the initial conviction of Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Knox is now expected to file a final appeal to the Supreme Court. If the court decides to hear her appeal, it will only consider points of law. There will not be a retrial.

During the recent CNN interview between Chris Cuomo and Amanda Knox published on May 2, 2014 on You Tube

Amanda Knox continues to defend herself against accusations that she murdered Meredith Kercher. Knox answered Chris Cuomo’s questions slowly and methodologically, even six years after Meredith’s murder. Although you can see her struggling to carefully choose her words to plea her innocence, the words she used actually tell a different story. Below is an analysis of Amanda Knox’s statements during that interview and a look at her facial expressions in another interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that both indicate behavioral incongruence, when the body language doesn’t match what the words are saying. Continue reading

Amanda Knox Documentary: Is She Guilty?

BBC-Three Documentary 

DocumentaryTitleShotThe BBC-Three documentary “Is Amanda Knox Guilty? debuted on February 17, 2014, to rave reviews.  Initially available only in Great Britain, it is now featured on YouTube and various sites dedicated to justice for Meredith Kercher. It’s directed by freelance journalist Andrea Vogt in collaboration with filmmaker and producer Paul Russell.  Peacock Productions, affiliated with NBC, opened its London office last fall.

DocuPerugiaBeautifulDocuPerugiaHillsAndrea Vogt covered this trial from the beginning, from the time Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested in November, 2007. Vogt was subjected to vicious attacks by Team Knox merely for doing her job, bypassing the tentacles of Knox’s PR maestro David Marriott and his rigid control of the media.

DocumentaryMeredithBirthdayDocumentaryYoungMeredithThis film doesn’t disappoint in presenting a balanced overview of the past six-year legal process surrounding the brutal murder of Meredith.  Both sides, innocenti and colpevole, present their case. The narration is nicely done, enhanced by first-rate cinematography and a hauntingly somber musical score.  Really, this is a visual masterpiece with breathtaking views of Perugia.

DocuStephanieLyleDocuFrancescoMarescaVogt and Russell packed a lot of information into one hour, including graphics of evidence and forensics, and interviews with many of the principal figures. Interspersed throughout are sit-downs with Stephanie and Lyle Kercher, displaying their usual dignity and graciousness. For the prosecution, there was Giuliano Mignini and the Kercher’s lawyer, Francesco Maresca

DocuKnoxHandwrittenLettertoPoliceA special feature of the documentary was the first-time airing of an audio recording of Mignini’s interview of Knox at Capanne Prison. John Follain covered this exchange in his comprehensive book A Death in Italy, It’s disturbing listening to Knox cry and shout over Mignini, effectively shutting down the interview. The questions relate to her false accusation against Patrick Lumumba, the topic that predictably evinces in Knox a defensive and combative reaction. Pay special attention to her last statement before the interview concludes.

DocuDavidBalding

The nuclear bomb annihilating the longstanding attacks on the Italian Scientific Police was delivered brilliantly by Professor David Balding, internationally-renowned forensics expert from University College, London. At the invitation of the Italian Forensic Association, he wrote an independent review of the forensic analysis on the controversial bra clasp. Professor Balding’s expertise is Statistical Genetics.  In a modest, simple manner, he offered a concise explanation in layman’s terms affirming the strong representation of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp. He dismissed the cross-contamination theory as irrelevant to the genetic material on that clasp deposited by Raffaele Sollecito.  It’s believed that Raffaele sliced off Meredith’s bra clasp, perhaps after fumbling to unclasp it  Here’s a direct quote from Dr. Balding [not part of the documentary]:

SpaldingDNA

Knox's blood on bathroom sink tap

Knox’s blood on bathroom sink tap

In direct contrast to the pleasant and succinct Dr. Balding, Dr. Sarah Gino was interviewed in her capacity as forensic consultant to the Defense. Staccato-like, Dr. Gino uttered scientific gibberish. In a voice-over translation, Dr. Gino dismissed the case forensics, especially the damning mixed-blood evidence. Try to keep a straight face at the following theory

“In the case the test was done for blood. But was the test done for saliva? No. So we can’t know if inside that mixed trace there was blood because it had been demonstrated or just saliva.

“Or maybe there was blood from both of them, but what does that mean? Maybe someone had a bloody nose one time and then another moment someone cut their finger and put it down and their blood got mixed.”

 

Mixed Knox-Meredith blood DNA in bidet

Mixed Knox-Meredith blood DNA in bidet

DocuLuminolFootprintUnless Amanda Knox brushed her teeth in the bidet, that red stuff pictured around the drain is her blood comingled with Meredith’s. The luminol graphics clearly show Knox’s bare footprints – and one of Sollecito’s – in the bright stuff that is Meredith’s blood.

SCENA DEL DELITTO DI MEREDITH KERCHER, STUDENTESSA INGLESE UCCISA A PERUGIA IN VIA DELLA PERGOLA,One of the few weak points of the documentary was the failure to counter criticism of the 46-day delay in collecting the bra clasp, coupled with accusations of cross-contamination. Bremner cites the delay at every opportunity to discredit case forensics. Understandably, producers had to distill material to fit into the one-hour format but the bra clasp fiasco mandates a full explanation. It was indeed an epic blunder for the Scientific Police to leave the clasp behind, but they couldn’t just return a few days later to finish the job. Italian law allows both sides to send witnesses to observe evidence collection, which requires coordination of schedules. Defense representatives could not be scheduled until December. This factoid is NEVER acknowledged by the pro-Knox group who prefers to scream incompetence. The cottage was sealed off as a crime scene throughout the interim with only pre-authorized access to investigators. Moreover, did any of the defense consultants object to shoddy procedures, dirty gloves or cross-contamination? NO. They were outside in a specially equipped mobile unit observing the entire process on video.

DocuPatrickPatrick Lumumba speaks several times throughout the hour, finally afforded the opportunity to reclaim his dignity and tell the shocking story of his arrest, two-week jail confinement, and the devastating impact it had on him personally and professionally.

DocuKnifeMeredithDNADocuEvidenceShotRudy Guede’s participation was clearly explained, demonstrating the impossiblity of Guede as lone assassin. Manuela Comodi, Mignini’s co-prosecutor, explained the logistic impossibility of one person restraining Meredith’s wrists [no zip ties were used] while inflicting a massively bloody assault with two separate knives, one each inflicting blows to both sides of the neck. Meredith was strong and had some martial arts training. This is one of the most important messages to convey, and the documentary conveyed this truth strongly and clearly. The production may have been perceived as just a bit kinder to Rudy than warranted – my opinion only – but this minor flaw was overshadowed by a really splendid presentation of events.  

DocuMeredithRoomFor those who haven’t watched the documentary, make sure to listen carefully to the narration following the guilty verdict in the first instance trial presided over by Judge Massei. For those who have watched, watch it again because Andrea brilliantly has the narrator encapsulate the Knox family strategy following the trial and their return to Seattle. The family is angry. Edda Mellas is captured yelling at husband Chris who was busy getting into a confrontation with someone off camera. Curt Knox is filmed with hand raised to the press yelling “Push back!”  Hypocritical much coming from a family that manipulated and used the press to their advantage?

Raffaele Sollecito has a permanent smirk throughout the trial

Raffaele Sollecito has a permanent smirk throughout the trial

 

Why is Amanda Knox's mouth gaping? It's an odd and unattractive mannerism

Why is Amanda Knox’s mouth gaping? It’s an odd and unattractive mannerism

The narrator states that upon the family’s return to Seattle, they “immediately started preparing her (Amanda’s) appeal, drafting legal, forensic, media and political support from the US and Italy to strengthen the Defense team.”  Here commenced a period of time when the Knox family, friends, political supporters and PR team set about a major manipulation of the press, maligning the Italian justice system, hiring their own forensic experts and selectively filtering news to the public. Whatever else was done behind the scenes can only be guessed, but their efforts succeeded in influencing a judge to preside over a farcical appeal later thrown out in its entirety, annulled by the Italian Supreme Court. The Supreme Court motivations report is fascinating and disturbing, revealing incompetence and failure of the appellate court to follow points of law.

Rudy Guede's jeans found in his apartment by police

Rudy Guede’s jeans found in his apartment by police

Following the initial guilty verdict also was the Defense’s deliberate focus on Guede as the sole perpetrator. From the time the investigation commenced, it was never considered by any of the judges or the police that he could have acted alone. The Defense, however, began a campaign of seeking out potential snitches from prison inmates and convicted criminals. Rudy denied ever confiding guilt to fellow inmates [he’s been beaten up by prisoners], but that didn’t stop the Defense from pursuing this strategy. Rudy Guede was ultimately convicted of murder and sexual assault but the sentencing report rejected the possibility that he acted alone.

DocuNenciniReadsVerdictWith the annulment of her first appeal, Knox elected not to attend the second appellate process in Florence over which Judge Alessandro Nencini presided. A new prosecutor, Alessandro Crini, asked for guilty verdicts and a maximum sentence for both defendants.  Amanda Knox received 28 years, six months [additional time for calunnia against Patrick Lumumba], Sollecito received 25 years. Both still insist on their innocence.

DocuCottageFogDocuPerugiaEnding with the beginning, the program featured the cottage in a series of images shrouded in an eery mist. The location seems remote, despite the nearby highway and car park. Meredith was isolated that night, and couldn’t possibly suspect the danger surrounding her.

Undisputed is that Meredith was tracked down, imprisoned in her own bedroom, sexually assaulted, manhandled, tortured, strangled and butchered.

Brava, Andrea Vogt

DocuMeredithGraveRIP Meredith.