Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monster Trailer

I've posted a video trailer for my book, The Monster of Perugia - The Framing of Amanda Knox. The trailer poses some of the many questions that remain about the travesty of injustice and crimes committed by Perugian justice authorities.

Just what is the special relationship between Prosecutor Mignini and the murderer, Rudy Guede? Why was Rudy repeatedly released after being captured for burglary? What was Mignini's real motive to frame Amanda and Raffaele?

An investigation should be demanded. Please help me spread that word by reposting the link to this simple, but important video.


Freedom at Last

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were finally freed from their wrongful imprisonment in Perugia, Italy on Monday, October 4, 2011 after nearly four years of confinement. They have returned to their homes, and are in the process of returning to their lives.

May Raffaele and Amanda live in peace and freedom and let love, time, and deep inner strength heal the wounds that they have been dealt.

It is now time for those who continue to believe in Amanda and Raffaele's guilt to pause, reset, and go, not just back to "square one," but to square zero.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are truly innocent, having played no role whatever in the murder of Meredith Kercher. Any rational search for justice should objectively review the solid evidence that this is so, and then that search should let go of bias and hatred, and move on.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, the campaign to smear Amanda has not missed a beat, going right on creating and broadcasting distortions and outright lies. The people responsible for that campaign did not take the time to consider that they have been wrong all along, they merely moved on to the next round of groundless innuendo, extracting statements out of context, and pure fabrications.

Also, meanwhile, the Perugian justice authorities that committed the many crimes against Amanda and Raffaele remain at large, and apparently not even under investigation.

I wrote The Monster of Perugia - The Framing of Amanda Knox in an attempt to help free Amanda and Raffaele and to set the record straight about two young people that have been smeared so much. I also wrote it to expose the corruption, incompetency, and craziness in Perugia that it might be stopped or at least combatted, and to develop larger themes about the human condition.

I will continue to work to combat the ongoing smear campaign and to expose its sources, and to call for investigations of the Perugian authorities that have so badly abused the powers vested in them. 

I want to congratulate and thank all of those who have played a role in the effort to free Amanda and Raffaele. It has been a difficult struggle against a powerful and often anonymous foe.

In the final analysis, Amanda proved to be tougher than Mignini.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Final Hours

We are now in the final hours of the endless trial, appeal, and incarceration of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Our hearts and our hopes are with them and their families. We will soon know whether the Italian justice system will finally and unequivocally move to correct this injustice, leave the travesty in place, or take some halfway approach.

Amanda and Raffaele are innocent. They did not murder, did not slander, did not conceal. A terrible crime has been committed against them by an out of control prosecution and media frenzy. They have been victimized by an unholy alliance of the incompetent, the corrupt, and the crazy. The only proper pathway is complete exoneration and freedom.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hunting the Hunters

Note: This is a guest posting by Krista Errickson, a journalist and former actress who has followed the case of Amanda and Raffaele extensively. 
It originally appeared in her blog, Woman on a Wire at http://womanonawire.blogspot.com/2011/09/unarresting-arrested-famed-fbi-profiler.html
The note below is her own.

This article was originally supposed to be run in Il Messaggero. It was given to me as an assignment, after the editor and legal expert of the newspaper saw the Maxim interview with famed FBI profiler, John Douglas, in their January 2011 issue.

When the article was turned in, my editor told me – “this article is too dangerous to print in Italy”.

So, for your reading pleasure, the article too dangerous for Italy.

Hunting the Hunters

There are two kinds of hunters: the hunter that waits and the hunter that tracks. The difference of two is the complexity of their hunting techniques though both aim for the same thing; bagging the prey.

Hunters who wait prefer to lure their prey into range. This is usually the preferred method of serial killers. They watch, and wait for the chance to pounce. Hunters who track their prey, involves a more detailed approach; knowing the specific differences, patterns and behaviors of the hunted, and calculate their next moves. John Douglas is of the latter. However, he pursues a different kind of animal: serial killers. He is the investigator and legendary criminal profiler known as “The Mind Hunter”.

When Douglas joined the FBI at 25 years old, no agents were interviewing captured killers. He began his study in prisons, speaking with hundreds of criminals to understand who they were, and what motivates them to kill. “They want to talk. Many are proud of what they accomplished. In my interviews, I try to make them feel comfortable, and speak with them in what they desire most; as a fan”. And they talked, one by one – from Ed Gein, (whose real life-adventures were fictionalized in Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs), Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, The Son of Sam, to Jeffrey Dahmer, among other nefarious, infamous criminals that have roamed the earth.

Manson is a great example of Douglas’s approach. “I’m 6’2”, Manson is 5’4”, Douglas says. “I knew he’d want to dominate the room. He stood on a chair during the entire interview. It seemed to make him comfortable, so I let him. All I wanted was information, that’s my goal”.

Pioneering modern criminal profiling 25 years ago in the FBI, Douglas helped create the “Behavioral Science Unit” (BSU). “My first office was in Detroit. Back then, we had about 800 homicides a year. It may be a terrible place to live, but for a young agent, it was a great place to learn”. Criminal Profiling has been an accepted method in American murder investigations since the late 70’s.

The job took its toll in 1985, when he nearly died. He came down with viral encephalitis; his body temperature reached 107 degrees, his pulsed raced to over 220 and had uncontrollable seizures. The tombstone was already etched with his name and the grave site chosen. It was years of physical rehabilitation. But Douglas was back on the job 5 months later to nab countless mass murderers before retiring in 1995. 

“It’s tough. You’re alone, with this extraordinary pressure, especially the in-between. Here I am trying to work a case, which in of itself takes  a toll; looking at what the murderer did, horrifying things, forcing myself to enter their twisted, sick minds, then add in the factor that you are not always welcome by local law enforcement, even hated at times – even with my background. It gets to you, it really does”.

 Bestselling author of over a dozen novels, books and manuals, he was the inspiration for Jack Crawford’s character in “The Silence of the Lambs” and probably ever other fictional protagonist that a screenwriter has used to sculpt their characters.

In addition, Charlize Theron’s company optioned Douglas’s biography, “Mindhunter” for HBO. Since retiring as head investigator for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime at the FBI, Douglas now travels the world hired by international and domestic law enforcement and defense teams who request his help in investigations.

Criminal Behavioral Profiling has also proved to be a useful tool in exonerating the wrongly accused or convicted, of which Douglas also dedicates his time.

Probably the most well-known of these was the JonBenét Ramsey case. The case is notable for both its longevity and the media interest it generated. The media and local law enforcement agencies considered the girl's parents and brother to be suspects. Douglas was the first to publicly proclaim their innocence, long before DNA legally exonerated them.

Douglas has worked on over 5,000 cases, hired by defense teams and domestic and international law enforcement to work on cases. Of those 5,000 cases, he’s never been proved wrong. “I think that’s probably the biggest pressure, is the possibility of being wrong and why I got sick”, Douglas tells me.  
Currently, he is working on the Knox-Sollecito case and West Memphis Three case, the name given to three teenagers who were tried and convicted of the murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, United States in 1993 by a prosecution team that put forth the idea that the only purported motive in the case was that the slayings were part of a Satanic ritual.

The case has received considerable attention. Their supporters believe the arrests and convictions were a miscarriage of justice and that the defendants were wrongfully convicted during a period of intense media scrutiny. The defendants remain imprisoned, but legal proceedings are ongoing.

In a recent article of Maxim, Douglas said he was convinced the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent.

KE: How do you analyze and create a profile in a case? 

JD: Criminal investigative analysis, or what you call “criminal profiling” is - the overall process whereby crimes are reviewed in their totality. It involves the process of criminal investigative analysis both by behavior and investigative perspective. We interpret the behavior before, during and after the crime and from that we develop strategies and profile the unknown offender. Then we assess the suspects, provide interrogation techniques.

One must be able to identify with both the victim and the subject in order to answer the investigative of formula of: why + how = who.

JD: The criminal profiling process alone does not convict anyone. The foundation of any case is a properly conducted, thorough and well planned investigation.  If the investigation is not good, the results will be tainted. Garbage in…garbage out!

KE: What did you know about the case beforehand, and what interested you? 
JD: I really didn’t know much about the case. Just what I read in passing – perhaps it’s just as well. It had extraordinary media attention, and it was controversial. There seemed to be strong arguments on both sides.  The public seemed convinced of either their innocence or their guilt. This always interests me.

KE: Did you speak with the Knox family?

JD:  No. I’ve never met them. The case was brought to me by a former FBI agent who strongly believed they (Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito) were innocent.

KE: Why did you decide to take this case, in particular?

JD: I thought I could come up with an analysis. I was interested to find the truth, and not be swayed by either side. In fact, whenever someone brings me a case, I tell them that my answer many not support their theories – you may not like what I have to say. . I act like the lone ranger; I give my opinion without caring about the politics. I don’t care how it really works out; in my mind, I am working for the victim. Part of my downfall, the viral encephalitis, was due, in part, because people do not always necessarily like me or my findings.

KE: Did you feel you had all the information necessary or at your disposal to make your conclusion?

JD: I will not do an analysis unless I am provided with all the information necessary.
I had everything I needed. In fact, even more than I have had in other cases. Fortunately, I also had the crime scene evidence collection tapes to view. Often in America, we only have photos of the crime scene and you can not clearly understand what is happening. There was more than enough to assess.

KE: What was your conclusion of the behavioral profiles you conducted?

From the profiles created, none of the behavioral or forensic evidence leads to Amanda and Raffaele. There is no history or experience related to violence or mental illness in their backgrounds. None of the behavioral or forensic evidence leads to Amanda and Raffaele. This is not a case of serial killers, cold blooded murderers. They used marijuana, but that’s not some hard core drug that will change a normal personality. There’s nothing is in the background of the kids. They should’ve walked out of there.

KE: What behavioral evidence should there have been?

JD: Well, fleeing for one. Which only Guede did. They would’ve been nervous, drinking heavily,

JD: Based on my experience, the crime scene does not indicate the presence of three individuals in the room where Meredith was murdered. What was done to the victim, the way in which the crime occurred, was not the result of three people. This can be concluded without a DNA test.

KE: And third suspect, Rudy Guede?

JD: Guede has the history; he was an experienced criminal, he had the motive (are you listening, Mr. Pisa?) and all evidence points to him. The crime scene does not indicate the presence of three individuals in the room where Meredith was murdered. It was brutal, bloody homicide, and it’s a reflection of his personality. And that behavior was exhibited at the crime scene, that’s his “canvas”; the result is his “artwork” of the subject.
You should be able to find other “canvases” of his like that – not necessarily homicide-but you should find a violent past in this person’s background. I know that he had committed some robberies, but I’ll bet money that there are more cases that he may have been involved with that remain unsolved. I don’t know, maybe before he came to Perugia – whatever he may have been escaping previously. Behavior reflects personality. And that behavior fits only Rudy Guede.
KE: What was the motive?

JD: The primary motive was burglary. But we have an opportunistic offender here. And that opportunity was presented when Meredith came home, and she became the victim of the opportunity.

KE: There are many who’ve said covering Meredith’s body with a duvet may prove that the murderer was a female.

JD: That’s absurd. There are different reasons why someone will cover a body. There is a certain sense of wanting to undo the crime. Guede didn’t leave after the crime, but he doesn’t want to look at her; that’s what happened in this case. It’s not that he didn’t feel good about what he has done; I can see that because of the way he killed her and sexually assaulted her. He’s a sadistic individual with a violent past. He put the blanket over her because he was wandering around the apartment and didn’t want to see her.

Sadly, this was a very pedestrian murder. And that’s not to diminish this beautiful woman’s life, Meredith. It’s not that complicated, crimes are not so complicated. After a week, I would’ve said, “Are you kidding me? You mean you haven’t arrested the guy?”

KE: In your professional opinion, what went wrong?

JD:  Let me first say, for the police in Perugia, they may only have the opportunity to see a case like this in a career. Unfortunately here, we see homicides like this all the time.
The first investigators didn’t know what they were handling. The collections and preservation of evidence was done incorrectly and led to contamination. Luckily we have the video and not only photos. You can see all the mistakes that they have done.

If I was brought in on this investigation, I would have told them they were on the wrong track.

KE: The media have been very interested and involved in this case from the beginning: do you think their role helped or damaged the investigator’s job and the judge’s assessments?

JD: It absolutely damaged both. The media can shape the opinion of people. A single photograph seen out of context, can affect us. The investigators can also be responsible for leaking information to manipulate the media and thus public opinion.

KE: Do you believe the investigators made mistakes that subsequently diverted the course of the investigation?

JD: Well, that’s the entire story, isn’t it? First, there were too many people in those rooms.  They should have removed Amanda, Raffaele and anyone who was not part of the investigation team, and roped it off.

From the video taken from the crime scene, there were numerous mistakes. The investigators can be seen passing evidence, dropping it on the ground, using the same tweezers, not changing gloves, no protective caps to cover hair.  Any insider can recognize these errors. What the investigators have done may seem right "outside", they had their protective clothing, boots, but the cross- contamination of the evidence was more than evident.

KE: What is cross-contamination, exactly? 

JD: It means simply that evidence from anyone, anyone who came and went in those rooms have the potential to leave their DNA, prints, etc. and run the risk of being transferred microscopically.
 In this case, the prosecution allowed theory to rule over evidence

KE: The prosecution is adamant that DNA of Sollecito’s found on the bra clasp of Meredith’s. DNA of Amanda Knox’s is said to be on the murder weapon; on the knife’s handle and Meredith’s on the blade.

JD: It’s not the murder weapon. As far as I’m concerned, it hasn’t been found; probably never will. It doesn’t fit with imprint made on the bed sheet, or the wounds found on Meredith. The evidence collection video from December 18th shows a knife, randomly chosen, from Sollecito’s apartment and transported to the lab.

The video taken on November 2nd shows the bra clasp, very clearly on the floor of the crime scene. On December 18th, after already returning to the scene more than 16 times, the video shows the bra clasp, still there. It had already been kicked and shuffled around on the floor for six weeks. Secondly, the amount of DNA, supposedly, that was Sollecito’s is highly suspect.

Moreover, if that’s all the evidence you’ve got, two tiny pieces of DNA of the plethora that should have been there? Well, it’s simply ludicrous.

KE: Are these errors by the investigators more common in Italy than in other parts of the world?

JD: Are all the investigators in Italy incompetent? Are they badly trained? Absolutely Not! The training is probably good, very good. But in any profession people get careless, they can get lazy. But this does not mean that the system does not work. Look at the West Memphis Three case. Just because there was incompetency there, does not mean that all the investigators in Tennessee are incompetent.

KE:  You understand that the Italian officials might see your conclusions on this case as an external interference.

JD: No one in Italy, America or elsewhere in the world, likes anyone looking over their shoulders. But I think if an investigation has been carried out accurately, without errors, you should not fear the analysis of other professionals.

KE: What about Amanda’s confessions during the interrogations?

JD: To be interrogated from 10 pm until 6 am in the morning? These are not sophisticated young people – it would not take a dozen interrogators to break them. I know the tricks, I know what they do in there; I’ve done it. No one could hold up. I couldn’t hold up - especially over 5 days.

KE: Amanda, while under interrogation accused another man, Patrick Lumumba, why would she have done that?

JD: The police knew that they had negroid hairs at the crime scene. The interrogation tactics were used to have Amanda say what the police wanted. You get people to confess under this psychological torture.

KE: Do you think the prosecution acted based on prejudices towards Amanda and Raffaele?

JD: I don’t think prejudice is exactly correct. The prosecution had a theory from the beginning and continued with it – despite the facts. They discounted evidence that didn’t support their theory. Their theory was a threesome murder and they let this theory guide them.

KE: Manuela Comodi, lead prosecutor recently said that “the DNA doesn’t matter, because they have a ton of circumstantial evidence”.

JD: Circumstantial evidence is the weakest evidence of all.  Witnesses can be bought off, or bargain for favors, recollections that can’t be counted on...it’s fine to start with, in fact, so are hunches, so are theories, but that all has to go out the window if the hard evidence, and in this case, there’s an overwhelming amount of it, points in another direction. You can see the motivation of some prosecutors to win, no matter what it takes to win, even if truth doesn’t fit into your facts and figures.

This does not concern only Italy. During the West Memphis Three case, the prosecution team created a grand, theatrical scene in the courtroom. They stabbed a grapefruit with a knife to prove it was the type of a weapon that created wounds on the victims. They did this to influence the jury and win the case. Only later, during the appeal, it was discovered that the wounds on the bodies of the boys had not been inflicted by a knife at all, but by an alligator snapping turtle! (the children's bodies were thrown into a river).

KE: So, you’re saying you don’t think there was any “conspiracy” to convict Amanda and Raffaele?

JD: No. They began to panic when the evidence returned and didn’t match up to the other two; it was all going to Guede. Instead, they returned, over and over to the crime scene, even six weeks later – what was it? Why do you have to go back? Did you miss something? Did you get some new lead? Did you develop something in the lab, and now you have to find it? No. They had to go back because they were looking for something, anything, to fit their theory.

KE: When you mean “they”, are you referring to PM Giuliano Mignini?

He certainly spearheaded it. Speaking of behavior reflecting personality – he has similar behaviors of following theory over evidence in the past. He’s got win, no matter what; even if the truth doesn’t fit into the facts and figures. The Monster of Florence case is a great example.

I understand Mr. Mignini was under indictment for abuse of office, illegal harassment, and the wire-tapping of journalists relating for that case while prosecuting this trial. It boggles the mind why he was not removed from his office. Moreover, that he was/is allowed to continue to his duties.   

 KE: But the PM didn’t convict her, a jury did

JD: It’s the way the evidence was presented to the jurors. There was no evidence, there is no evidence.

Isn’t it strange that all the officers and technicians working on the case received medals and official recognitions? They were preparing the next jurors. When I saw that I said to myself, “aaah, they’re greasing the wheels”.

KE:  Do you agree with the court of appeals to give the DNA analyses on the evidence to third parties experts?

JD: Absolutely. The more the merrier.

KE: Do you trust the Italian justice system?

JD: It is not a question of trust in a system.  I may not trust certain individuals in a system. I am not here to create tensions between America and Italy, or to teach others how to do their job.

KE: Are you aware the two defendants said they trusted the Italian justice system?

JD: If I were in prison, I probably would say the same thing! Amanda and Raffaele at this time have no control over their lives. If they are released, they might express a different opinion.

These two individuals – Amanda and Raffaele, for them to commit this horrific crime and leave the crime scene that way – it was a massacre – and then hours later, be back at the crime scene, doesn’t fit. The fact that they were kissing - people looked at this as a sign of guilt, if anything; I look at this as sign of innocence. These are two young people who cannot fathom what has taken place. (It was so surreal) she thought she was going to stroll in and stroll out of there and justice would prevail.  But, it didn’t happen that way. Justice did not prevail.

This is like the Ramsey case. DNA eliminated the family as suspects. The family did not do it. Besides, I saw what had been done to the child, how she was sexually assaulted. Parents kill, they do. But not these parents.  Not in the way, and method that child was killed. They are not the type to kill their daughter. There are people on websites that hate me to this day because of the Ramsey case. I want to say to them “Give it up!” – but they just won’t do it”.

“I believe in Crime and Punishment”, Douglas adds. “I know Meredith’s family wants this nightmare to end, they want peace. But they have the person that killed their daughter: it is Guede. Only Guede”. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Landshark Park

The prosecution's closing arguments in the appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, Italy comprised a  rehash of long-since discredited claims. They stated, for example, that they had proved beyond a reasonable doubt in the first trial that "mixed blood" of Amanda and Meredith was found. That claim was based on a preposterous misinterpretation of the mundane fact that Amanda's DNA was in her own bathroom, a fact without meaning since every one of us has left our own DNA in our own bathrooms. Oh, and, also preposterous because Amanda had no wounds from which to bleed.

There is a term for statements like this that are not true. They are called "lies".  The prosecution lying to the jury and the press in this trial is nothing new, lies have been the core of their case. It is also not surprising that they have been allowed to lie without correction. In other courts such deliberate misstatements could lead to disbarment, but Italian jurisprudence is flexible and sophisticated about such matters, we are told.

What has been amazing is how many times they have gotten away with it. The first court bought dozens of Mignini's claims hook, line, and sinker, except when it could actually improve upon them. Most of the press, too, went along for years, on the joy rides of a "satanic sex cult" then a "sex game gone wrong" along with many other Mignini fantasies, even though there has never been  a shred of evidence presented to support them. 

Amazing as Mignini’s ability to get away with serial prevarication has been, it is not without precedent.

In Saturday Night Live’s famous “Landshark” skit, the imaginary creature of the Jaws cinema era told ridiculous lie after ridiculous lie, trying to gain entrance to its prey’s home.  No matter how cautious, savvy, or well-informed the victim, that clever and persistent Landshark would eventually devour them.

“Flowers,” announced the tentative, nasal voice at the door as the ominous Jaws theme music began.
“Flowers for whom?” the suspicious woman replied.
“Plumber, maam,” the voice inexplicably changed its claim.
“I don’t need a plumber,” the woman skeptically replied. “You’re that clever shark, aren’t you?”
“Candygram,” came the voice, testing out another approach.
“Candygram my foot! You get out of here before I call the police. You’re that shark and you know it!"
“Wait… uh… I’m only a dolphin, maam.”
“A dolphin? Well, okay….” she said, as she opened her door to Landshark doom.

The comedic setup here, the conceit, is the idea that anyone would be so stupid, after hearing three consecutive lies, as to believe the fourth lie from the same source. One would think, after all, that the source's credibility might be shot after being caught two or three times. Not with that clever Landshark, and its infinitely gullible foil.

And not with Mignini. After his original "satanic sex cult" lie didn't catch on, he switched to the sex game story. When that didn't gain traction it was a "vendetta" held by Amanda against Meredith. And when no one seemed to remember any malice to support that, Mignini claimed that Amanda committed murder for no reason at all, which was especially despicable. Now it's back to the sex game theory, because, well, you know how kids are nowadays.

It has only been after nearly four years of false imprisonment that doubts are finally being expressed by much of the press, and more importantly, by the appeals court.

After repeating, yet again, a slew of such Landshark-like claims in his closing, Mignini demanded that Amanda and Raffaele's sentences be increased to life in prison from the current 26 and 25 years, respectively. He also asked, as he has before, that these sentences include six months of daytime solitary confinement for Amanda and two months for Raffaele.

Such confinement can cause irreparable psychological damage and is meant to destroy the will of the prisoner.  Mignini's sadistic attempt to inflict this cruel, unusual, and senseless torture is a clear indication that these are the actions of a deranged prosecutor, and anything but the pursuit of justice.

There was a controversy a while back about the naming of two parks in the sister cities, Perugia and Seattle. Each city was supposed to name a park for the other. Perugia then named one of their parks in honor of Seattle, calling it "Orca Park".  Seattle was planning to name one "Perugia Park" until outrage was voiced by some who have observed the apalling abuse of Amanda by Perugian authorities.

"Orca" is not "Seattle" but I guess it's the thought that counts, and I've had one of those.

I propose that we, here in Seattle, name a park "Landshark Park" in honor of Perugia.

We owe them no less.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Media Lottery Draws the Golden Ticket

The allegations of phone hacking and other serious privacy invasions that are being revealed in connection with various news organizations within the Rupert Murdoch media empire are part of the media atrocities that were decried in the Monster of Perugia chapter entitled "The Media Lottery – Fifteen Minutes of Guilt".  The News of the World, Murdoch's flagship tabloid, has closed forever, and the scandal is now spreading to other parts of his vast media holdings like cheap newspaper ink.

Just today, Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Murdoch's media operations in Britain, was arrested for questioning.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/world/europe/18hacking.html?_r=1&hp

It even appears that political leaders, Scotland Yard, and various other police organizations were involved in aiding the hacking of private information of victims of crimes, including the 9/11 attacks and the abduction of a 13 year old British girl. News reporters actually deleted the girl's voice mails when her inbox became full, while she was missing, so that they could hear, and publish, more private messages from her friends and family. This gave her family hope that she was out there somewhere, listening to the messages herself – hopes that were savaged when it turned out that she had been murdered.

The News wasn't one of the worst papers as far as attacking Amanda was concerned, it merely sensationalized a terrible situation. It remains to be seen how many such attacks, if any, were launched against the family and friends of Amanda Knox. It remains for these investigations, on both sides of the Atlantic, to proceed and for trials to be conducted to determine before the guilt or innocence of these members of the tabloid media can be established. But these are clear and present indications of the devastating and unconscionable effects of extreme tabloid journalism on the lives of innocent people. 

Excerpt from Chapter Nine of The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox
"In Shirley Jackson’s classic short story The Lottery, the residents of a small town participate in a lottery that no one seems eager to win.
“Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones...”
The entire town was involved, as if it were a square dance or a Halloween party but with less enthusiasm.
“The (men) stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed.”
The lottery slips were drawn from an old black box made from shards of an even older black box.
“Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.”
A brand new lottery box has finally been made, and it’s a beauty. It doesn’t have sides or a top, but it was surely built from shards of black boxes going back to ancient times. It is vast, and varied and even less fathomable than that ancient, black box. We’ll call it the “Media Lottery.”
When you won the lottery in Jackson’s story, your fellow townspeople stoned you to death. When you win the Media Lottery, the outcome isn’t much better.
To see how the Media Lottery works, let’s play a little game. To keep it from becoming personal, we’ll leave you out of it. The Media Lottery has selected a winner: Your daughter. You play Parent; they place Ace Journalists. This is the object of the game: Let’s see if the Ace Journalists can write articles full of lies claiming that your daughter has a wild sex life and murderous psychological makeup faster than you can refute them."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Seattle Weekly Interview

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Seattle Weekly Staff Writer, Curtis Cartier about the collapse of the prosecution's case against Amanda and Raffaele and what new tactics they were likely to employ.

Curtis did a great job of both capturing what I said, and of placing the information in an accurate context.
The latter has been sorely lacking in much of the reporting about Amanda's trial and appeal.

The article can be found here:

Stay tuned for an upcoming article about the independent expert's DNA report, a devastating analysis of the deeply troubling work of Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni of the Polizia Scientifica. This report not only dismisses the viability of the evidence as created by Stefanoni, it raises serious issues about the integrity of her work.

Frank Sfarzo's Blog Posts

Readers of this blog will know that I reposted some of Frank Sfarzo's Perugia-Shock blog posts after Mignini managed to persuade Google to censor his important reporting on the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito trial. His blog is running unmolested at this point, Here: http://www.perugiashock.com/
and there are also mirror versions of his original blog available. That's why I didn't think it necessary, and did think it potentially confusing, to keep his posts here.

On the chance that any further censorship attempts occur, I, and enough others, will get his work rapidly back online.

It may sound a bit melodramatic, but, those who are speaking truth about the injustice in Perugia will not be silenced by the little dictators there.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Failure to Protect Amanda Knox’ Rights Decried in Letter to Obama

Seattle, WA, USA – June 8, 2011

The Friends of Amanda Knox have written to President Barack Obama expressing their concern about the failure of consular officials to protect the rights of American citizen, Amanda Knox, convicted in Perugia, Italy, of murdering her British roommate and sentenced to 26 years in prison.

The letter sent to Obama on May 16, 2011 indicates seven areas in which Italian or EU law was violated by prosecutors and police in Perugia, Italy. Yet, the letter cites repeated assertions by State Department spokespersons that it was their obligation to safeguard those same rights. It was sent by Michael Heavey, a superior court judge acting in a personal capacity only, and cosigned by Thomas Wright, founder of Friends of Amanda, Dr. Mark C. Waterbury, author of The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox, and attorney Anne Bremner, spokesperson of Friends of Amanda. A pdf file of the letter can be downloaded here http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/ConsularFailureKnox.pdf

The letter calls for an investigation of the failure of the U.S. Consulate offices in Italy to take actions in support of Amanda Knox. That letter was copied to, and followed up with, a second letter dated May 20, 2011 and sent to more than 500 members of congress, and to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

This action comes only a few weeks after a letter written by the Committee to Protect Journalists to the President of Italy protesting actions of the same Perugian prosecutor regarding the treatment of reporters covering the case. The CPJ article and a link to the letter can be found at http://www.cpj.org/2011/05/italian-prosecutor-files-defamation-lawsuit-shutte.php. The CPJ investigation revealed that Perugian prosecutors and police used threats, criminal charges, and physical beatings to intimidate reporters covering the case. The prosecutor in the case recently obtained a court order forcing Google to take down a blog written by a critical local journalist.

Similar concerns were subsequently expressed by eleven prominent Italian lawmakers who signed a petition to the Italian Minster of Justice reaffirming that Knox was treated unfairly under Italian law (see AP article at http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=13691934). The group sent a letter to the President of Italy asking for his intervention. They have taken the extremely serious step of asking for the Italian Ministry of Justice to send inspectors to Perugia to investigate.

The letter to President Obama touches on many of the same points that have been raised by legal and forensic experts, former FBI agent Steve Moore, and others who have looked at the way the trial was conducted and been deeply disturbed at what they found. Prominent criminologist Paul Ciolino, who investigated the case for CBS news, called the conviction of Amanda Knox “the railroad job from hell.”

These voices, both in Italy the United States, and elsewhere form a mounting chorus of concern that Amanda Knox's human rights and rights under Italian law have been violated by a justice system in Perugia, Italy that is out of control. Why hasn't the State Department taken action to safeguard the rights of this innocent American citizen?   


Michael Heavey – sen34@comcast.net
Thomas Wright – tomonmercer@yahoo.com
Anne Bremner – abremner@staffordfrey.com
Mark Waterbury – waterbury.mark@gmail.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Amanda Knox: Traveler’s Advisory

By Mark Waterbury with attorney Anne Bremner

Note: As this article is going to press, two important developments in the appeal of Amanda Knox’s wrongful conviction in Perugia, Italy, have just taken place. A group of Italian legislators led by Rocco Girlanda has filed a petition with the President of Italy and the Italian justice ministry requesting an investigation of the conduct of the Perugian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, and others in Amanda’s trial. This important request for an investigation was read out loud before the Italian parliament.

The second development involves a letter to the President of the United States and copied to all members of congress that also requests an investigation, this time of the failure of the U.S. consular officials to fulfill their obligations to safeguard the rights of Amanda Knox under Italian law. We are co-signers of that letter, along with Judge Michael Heavey and Thomas Wright. Details regarding these letters are being released through other outlets. The following article is intended to provide additional information in a less formal format.

Traveler's Advisory, Perugia, Italy
Americans traveling abroad are subject to the laws of the nations they visit. The rights that, at least in theory, U.S. citizens enjoy here at home do not apply. This poses problems of understanding due to language barriers and legal differences even when the visited country has a sophisticated criminal justice system. Matters can be far more difficult in places like Iran or North Korea, where politics, religious zealotry, and corruption far outweigh any balance beam of justice. Yet, at least in those extreme cases you know where you stand – on quicksand, but with the hope that the State Department will apply pressure on the local dictator to secure your eventual release if you are wrongly imprisoned.

As we’ve watched the unbelievable investigation, bizarre prosecution, and wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy, we have seen a situation that is more complex and nuanced, resulting in a kind of legal limbo. The problem is that while Italy is an advanced western nation, a critical ally on many global issues, it is saddled with a justice system that looks good on paper but that is, at least in Perugia, a work in progress.

The presumption of innocence, for example, is enshrined in the Italian constitution. Knowledgeable observers say, however, “they don’t get it,” relegating this fundamental principle to an abstract irrelevance. The idea that guilt is something that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, rather than conjectured as a possibility, is another newfangled thing that does not seem to have taken hold.
Then there is the corruption and the lurid media environment.

From The Economist, June 10, 2010: 
“…Italy is not like other countries. It is notoriously corrupt, so politics and justice overlap.”
“Something else to which Italians are largely oblivious is the routine trampling on the rights of suspects and others caught up in investigations. Information is selectively leaked to reporters before the accused come to trial, often creating a presumption of guilt that is difficult to reverse, whether in court or in the public mind. An example is the case of Amanda Knox, an American student, and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who were convicted last year of the murder of Ms. Knox’s British flatmate.” 

One of us (Mark) wrote about this in my recent book about the trial, The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 12, “Gulliver’s Travel Warning.”
“Legendary traveler Lemuel Gulliver had the misfortune to be caught in a violent storm at sea. Driven far off his course, his ship sunk, his shipmates dead and his lifeboat gone, Gulliver swam and waded till he happened upon an unknown island. Safely removed from the terrible weather, Jonathan Swift’s famous character awoke to find that he was captive and at the mercy of a perfect storm of political intrigue among a very little people, the 6” tall, Lilliputians.
Amanda Knox had the misfortune of having her roommate murdered while she was living abroad. The tragedy that befell Meredith could just as easily have happened to Amanda – a thought that weighed heavily upon her in the days after the murder. Having escaped that terrible fate, Amanda found herself held captive and at the mercy of a perfect storm of third world justice, corruption, and personal interests, all deeply entrenched in what is theoretically a first-world nation.
The language and culture barriers between Gulliver and the Lilliputians were immense. There had been no known contacts between their worlds, after all. He tried speaking half a dozen languages to them and got nowhere. There was an unfathomable gulf to cross, and yet…. Gulliver found ways to express his respect for his captors, who recognized and appreciated his mild disposition. Soon they were won over. They fed him, freed him, they got along with him, right up until he refused to slaughter their enemies from the neighboring island of Blefescu.
Amanda expressed her respect for her captors and her confidence in the Italian justice system. She has been a model prisoner. She was paraded through the streets when arrested, she had her picture displayed beside convicted mafia dons before she was charged, she was held in prison for a year before those charges were brought, she has been demonized in much of the Italian press, and she was wrongly convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Score one for the Lilliputians.”

Amanda doesn’t seem to be blessed with Gulliver’s luck, so we thought we would check on the job the diplomats have done ensuring her right to fair treatment under Italian law by reviewing the cables that reported on the case by the U.S. Consul in Florence. The cables were conveniently revealed by the Wikileaks organization. I wondered how the information reported in those crucial cables compared with what had actually happened to Amanda.  

In theory, Amanda has the full support of the United States’ Department of State, which has the responsibility to ensure that American Citizens’ rights under local law are respected. At least, that is what they say. In response to questions about what they were doing about Amanda’s ordeal in Perugia, State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said, “…it is the responsibility of our consular officials to make sure that American citizens are treated fairly under local law.” That seems clear enough.

With all of that in mind, the following is the first cable sent, in December of 2008, more than a year after Amanda was arrested after an all night interrogation by a dozen polizia detectives operating in rotation, speaking in Italian, and without being allowed an attorney. That interrogation, it was claimed, was not recorded, in another violation of Italian law.
DEC 08
 1. NAME: Knox, Amanda Marie
 9. CHARGES: Participation in voluntary manslaughter with aggravating circumstances of cruelty (potential maximum sentence: life imprisonment; however, in Italy “life imprisonment” equates to 30 years) ; Participation in sexual assault (possible sentence: 5 – 10 years) ; Simulated robbery (possible sentence: 1 – 3 years) ; Slander (stemming from Ms. Knox’s accusation against Patrick Lumumba ; possible sentence: 6 – 20 years) ; Possession of weapons (possible sentence: up to 1 year) ; Aggravated theft (possible sentence: 3 – 10 years) 
10. PLACE OF DETENTION : Capanne Penitentiary, Perugia, Italy
12. TRIAL/HEARING DATE:  January 16, 2009
That was the first cable sent after Amanda was paraded through the streets of Perugia in polizia vehicles with sirens blasting in a macabre kind of victory dance immediately after her arrest. It was after it was ruled that she could be held for a year in prison before being charged. It was after Amanda was relentlessly demonized by a rabid press, fed a continuous stream of news leaks, lies, and innuendoes from the prosecution and polizia, much of them illegal, all of them consumed by a jury that was not sequestered or enjoined against discussions in any way.

This cable, like all the rest, is a simple list of the starkest, and ultimately least informative facts about the arrest and prosecution of Amanda Knox. It is as if a lynch mob dragged someone away in full view of everyone, and all that was reported back was “Suspect was apprehended.” No mention of the white hoods, torches, or the terrified, innocent victim. Amanda Knox was in the process of the most conspicuous public lynching in decades, and yet the report gives no hint whatever that it was anything but justice taking its course.     

But let’s look at more cables to be sure. Perhaps they were waiting for the actual trial to report back anything of substance. A month or so after the trial began the next cable was sent: 
FEB 09
12. TRIAL/HEARING DATE:  Trial is ongoing. Hearings take place every Friday and Saturday. The court plans to follow the same weekly hearing schedule in the foreseeable future.
Friday and Saturday… two days a week. That’s it. Bus schedules go into more detail.  The next cable, three months of blatant kangaroo court proceedings later:
MAY 09
          SUBJECT: Arrest Update: Amcit Amanda Knox
 12. TRIAL/HEARING DATE: Trial is ongoing.    Hearings take place every Friday and Saturday.   According to Ms. Knox’s attorney, the trial is being moved to an accelerated time-table and beginning June 4, hearings will be held three times a week, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
 18. ACCESS: ConOff and ConAsst visite Ms. Knox on May 14, 2009 at Le Capanne prison in Perugia, Italy.  
Note the numbers, mostly 12 or 18, denoting categories of information. There is no 1, 2, 3… in most of these particular cables, but only 10, 12, or 18. Apparently, 10 means “Where At,” 12 means, “Cursory description of the trial schedule,” and “18” means something like, “We had to skip a nice luncheon to go to some damned prison.”

It is a shame that only these few numbers were used. Diplomatic cables that briefly summarize the relentless destruction of an innocent life might benefit from using more categories. May I make a humble suggestion? How about assigning, say, 23 to “Defendant’s rights are being trampled beyond recognition,” and how about 42 for, “Prosecutor has been convicted of prosecutorial misconduct, but is still the prosecutor.” That would leave 36 to represent “Defendant has been relentlessly smeared by the world’s press,” and 78 for “The forensics were a travesty of pseudoscience.”

Three more cables follow, at roughly three-month intervals, in August, November, and December of 2009. They say nothing about the constant spread of misinformation by the prosecution, nothing about the fact that the prosecutor was under indictment for misconduct (convicted of same in January, 2010), nothing about the fact that the DNA evidence would never be admitted as evidence in any normal courtroom, and that the two star prosecution witnesses were drug addicts.   

One might argue, “So what?” Perhaps these reports are simple schedule documents, but here’s the thing. When asked about the trial after Amanda’s conviction in a December 7, 2009 briefing, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said “we haven’t received any indications necessarily that Italian law was not followed.”

I guess they weren’t paying attention. Adding insult to that injury, in response to a question that pointed out the tainted evidence, the non-sequestered jury, the problem prosecutor, Mr. Kelly asserted that “…Italy is a democratic country that has an established and transparent legal system.”

Which brings us back, full circle, to our opening point. If Amanda had been captured by a crazy prosecutor in North Korea, she might have had some support from State. In Italy, she has been on her own.

Here’s the takeaway lesson from all this. The next time you’re in a foreign country and a crazy, corrupt local prosecutor decides to make a career move by throwing you in prison for the rest of your life, you can count on your United States’ consul to dependably tick off the milestones as you rot in jail. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Italian Legislators Demand Investigation of Mignini and Co.

At last, folks in Italy are waking up to the outrageous misconduct of Amanda Knox's prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, and the judges, polizia, and forensics experts who have worked together with him to wrongfully convict Amanda and Raffaele. A group of eleven Italian legislators, led by Rocco Girlanda, who has met with Amanda many times, have filed a letter and petition with the president of Italy, and with the Italian justice ministry requesting an investigation of the mistreatment that has resulted in Amanda and Raffaele's wrongful convictions.

A request for this type of oversight, and for intervention from Rome authorities, is  considered an extreme form of sanction, and disapproval of how the process took place in Perugia. This petition adds substantial weight to the growing clamor for justice in Perugia, the release of Amanda and Raffaele, and the investigation and prosecution of those who have committed crimes against them.

An article in the Washington Post about this petition can be seen here:


Stay tuned for further developments in the calls for investigations, and for a detailed post on the subject of the violation of Amanda's rights under Italian law to be published here tomorrow, and in the Women in Crime blog with attorney Anne Bremner.

womenincrimeink.blogspot.com/  (to be posted Friday, May 27)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Frank Sfarzo's blog lives on, and on...

Giuliano Mignini has filed a defamation suit against Frank Sfarzo and succeeded in getting his blog, Perugia-Shock, shut down by google. This act of caving to a little dictator with fancy paperwork should be a shame and a discredit to all that Google has stood for over the years; access to information, civil liberties, doing no harm.

I immediately reposted some of Frank's most recent posts that had been censored by google on this blog as a source of information and an act of solidarity, and of defiance of Mignini's campaign to suppress the truth. With a mirror copy of his blog now available online, those posts are no longer needed here and will be removed (by me, without any coercion or anything).

Frank's many readers can continue to follow his very important on-the-scene coverage of the trial of Amanda Knox at the following site. In case this, too is shut down by Mignini, be assured that folks will rapidly restore it in some other location. The truth cannot be so easily crushed, Giuliano.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mignini Strikes Back!

Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, has managed to shut down Frank Sfarzo's Perugia Shock blog. Frank's blog has been a primary source of unsoiled information about the kangaroo court and framing process orchestrated by Mignini. Various people are now working to post mirror sites and they will be up shortly. This site will post selected excerpts from that blog and also other materials that show how Mignini has suppressed the facts, committed an outrage of injustice, and attempted to intimidate any journalist that dares to write the truth. He is truly the Little Dictator described in The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Little Dictator Comes Under Fire

In Chapter Thirteen of The Monster of Perugia, I compared prosecutor Giuliano Mignini to a little dictator who attempts to terrorize anyone who criticizes him. It begins as follows:

"In dictatorships and other totalitarian governments, it is a common practice to arrest people, conspicuously without reason, to threaten and intimidate them. This process disavows people of any illusions they may have about possessing civil rights or being entitled to due process of law. The fact that the charges may be frivolous, unfounded, or even nonsensical merely clarifies the bluntness of the exercise. Dictators do this for a reason - to maintain power.

From Mussolini to Idi Amin, dictators have secured their power in part by controlling and preventing criticism. By suppressing the harsh words of those who are not team players, dictators bask in a chorus of loving, supportive voices that reinforces their despotic rule. Although Perugia is too small a town to be blessed with a full-scale dictator, it is large enough - and its justice system troubled enough - to have its very own little dictator, Giuliano Mignini.

Like these other figures, Mignini has taken extraordinary measures to suppress criticism. Mignini has gone on a prosecutorial rampage, filing an ongoing barrage of defamation charges against many of those who dare to oppose him. This assault has a clear goal: to intimidate and silence that opposition and allow Mignini to remain as Public Minister." - The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox

Now the Committee to Protect Journalists, perhaps the most important international organization that is dedicated to preserving press freedom by protecting the press itself, has sent an open letter to the President of Italy denouncing the rampage of wrongful prosecutions being launched by Mignini. 

"Dear President Napolitano,
The Committee  to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending the rights of journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned about local authorities' harassment of journalists and media outlets who criticize the official investigation into the November 2007 brutal murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in the central Italian city of Perugia. CPJ is particularly troubled by the manifest intolerance to criticism displayed by Perugia Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who has filed or threatened to file criminal lawsuits against individual reporters, writers, and press outlets, both in Italy and the United States, in connection with the Kercher murder investigation as well as the investigation into the Monster of Florence serial killings."

The letter, which was sent to numerous authorities in Italy and the United States, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, describes the threats, bullying, and physical assault inflicted by members of the Perugia Flying Squad polizia on Frank Sfarzo, writer of the Perugia-Shock blog which has criticized the bizarrely conducted investigation, prosecution, and conviction of Amanda and Raffaele. He has now been charged with crimes that have been fabricated just as outrageously as those against Amanda, her family, her lawyers, Raffaele, his family, and his lawyers, and other people who have expressed the truth about the ongoing injustice in Perugia, Italy. 

Anyone having any remaining doubts about whether the Perugian justice system has gone out of control, and remains out of control to this day, should read this letter at the following link to the Committee to Protect Journalists website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Amanda Knox: The Case for Innocence

Last night the Film Studies Program at Seattle University hosted a forum of experts on various aspects of the Knox/Sollecito trial in Perugia, Italy. The forum was moderated by Tom Wright, the founder of FriendsofAmanda.org, and included Candace Dempsey, Steve Moore, myself, and Paul Ciolino, in that order. A video of the entire forum is at the link below, created by the West Seattle Herald. It was a great opportunity to be part of that forum, and to get a chance to discuss the DNA profiling tests performed on Raffaele Sollecito's kitchen knife. That portion of the video begins at around 1:07 (1 hour and 7 minutes) in the segment.

Amanda Knox: The Case for Innocence

After an excellent introduction by Edwin Weihe, Ph.D., the S.U. Director of Film Studies, Tom Wright frames the issues and introduces the rest of the panel participants. Candace Dempsey discusses the background of distorted early media attention to the case, Steve Moore compares the crime theory development of the prosecution to mistaking a horse for a zebra, I speak on DNA, and Paul Ciolino closes by diving into the corrupt behavior of the Perugian authorities in his inimitable, take-no-prisoners style.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Monster of Perugia on youtube

I've set up a Youtube channel for readings of excerpts from The Monster of Perugia and other news coverage and appearances. The readings are of the first sections of each chapter, about a page or so, to give a preview and overview of the material.

The MoP youtube channel now includes the entire Seattle University Forum presentation in "bite sized" segments, each less than 15 minutes long. This allows direct access to the speakers without trolling through very large files.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Little Dictator and Frank Sfarzo

Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor of Amanda Knox, has a record of filing charges against people who criticize him. I list some of Mignini's targets in The Little Dictator, Chapter 13 of The Monster of Perugia. Well, Mignini may be at it again.

Frank Sfarzo, writer of Perugia-Shock and based in Perugia, has been writing some very frank and hard hitting columns about the behavior of the polizia, prosecution, and courts Perugia, and in Italy in general. These columns, which can be read at  http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/, may be triggering another attack in Mignini's prosecutorial rampage. As described in Frank's latest post, "A Bus Named Desire," Frank first heard of rumors that he would be arrested, and now has been summoned to appear in Mignini's office on Monday, March 14, 2011.

Many of us are observing this situation and are prepared to do what we can to make it very well known should this represent a continuation of the outrageous and ongoing prosecutorial misconduct of Public Minister Giuliano Mignini.

Our concerns are not only with Amanda and Raffaele, but with all of the victims of the Monster of Perugia.  It must be brought to a halt.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

West Seattle Herald coverage

Here's a nice article in the West Seattle Herald about my interview on the Marty Riemer show. The reporter, Steve Shay, was one of the first people threatened with defamation charges by Giuliano Mignini in the current trial (he accused many people before this). Mignini said that he wanted to see the WSH shut down because of the article. What terrible things were in it? Shay quoted people as saying that Mignini seemed to be mentally disturbed... Perhaps those people had a valid point.

WSH Article

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monster of Perugia Now Available in Print Form

The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox is now available in print form through Createspace, Amazon.com's print-on-demand partner. Click the following link Purchase MoP to go to the eStore or purchase directly through Amazon.com by following the link that is to the right. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MoP Press Release

New book charges corruption and incompetence in the trial of Amanda Knox

“The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox” comes to startling conclusions about the “trial of the century.”

Redmond, WA February 18, 2011 – “The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox” by Dr. Mark C. Waterbury explores the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, Italy and concludes that corruption may have played a more central role than cultural differences or incompetence.

This infamous trial has drawn fire from many observers for charges of satanic sex crimes, a kangaroo court atmosphere, and the theatric performance of a prosecutor who may well be mentally ill. Yet, even the most outspoken observers have drawn back from telling the full story of the framing of Amanda Knox. “The Monster of Perugia” is a work of literary non-fiction that is unlike any other book about the events surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher. Couching his narrative in terms of analogies from literature and history such as “The Lottery,” “1984,” and the Salem witch trials, Dr. Waterbury examines a miscarriage of justice and the media circus that has exploited it.

Douglas Preston, bestselling author of “The Monster of Florence,” which describes his own encounter with the same prosecutor wrote, “‘The Monster of Perugia’ is a fascinating book… I highly recommend this well-written, clear, gripping, and ultimately infuriating book." Another reviewer wrote, “Mark Waterbury's groundbreaking work has emerged as perhaps the defining commentary on the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito…”

“The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox” is available now in ebook form through amazon.com and other distributors, and is coming soon in trade paperback form. See www.monsterofperugia.com for more information.

About the Author: Dr. Mark Waterbury is a materials scientist, engineer, and writer with extensive experience at a wide swath of forensic science and technology and at observing the behavior of people in powerful positions.