Monday, January 17, 2011

The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox

"Amanda Knox left her home in Seattle for one year of study in Perugia, Italy in the fall of 2007. Three months later Meredith Kercher, one of her roommates, was brutally murdered in the cottage they shared with several others. Amanda and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested just three days later and convicted of the murder two years after that. Unless her sentence is reduced or overturned on appeal, Amanda will not return home until the year 2033. She will be 46 years old and will have spent the prime of her life in Italian prisons.

Amanda Knox is innocent."

So begins The Monster of Perugia, which I wrote to tell the story of the framing of Amanda Knox by powers within the justice system of the small city of Perugia, Italy. After Amanda and Raffaele have spent more than three years in prison, many people have now learned enough of the truth behind the lurid headline deceptions to realize that Amanda and Raffaele Sollecito, her boyfriend at the time, are clearly innocent of the crime.

What most people still do not begin to understand, however, is that these wrongful convictions were not a matter of justice taking its course – frustrating, slow, but beneath it all fair. The wrongful convictions of Amanda and Raffaele were the result of deliberate acts perpetrated by corrupt and dishonest people. Those people have abused their powers of office, they have savaged the lives of innocent young people and racked their families and loved ones – and they should be brought to justice.

By drawing on historical and literary allusions I have shown what has happened in the most powerful terms available to me. Many other commentaries have drawn back from the brink of speaking the full truth about what has happened in Perugia. The truth in this matter is extreme, it is outrageous, at times it is unbelievable. No tepid terms can describe this travesty fully.

The Monster of Perugia has only been shown to very few readers, but strong reactions are already beginning to come in. The following are two of the first:

Douglas Preston, bestselling author with Mario Spezi of The Monster of Florence, which described the investigations of a series of murders in the region of Florence, Italy, and which involved the same prosecutor as this case said this.

"The Monster of Perugia is a fascinating book, essential for anyone interested in the horrific case of Amanda Knox. Waterbury, an expert in forensics and the scientific evaluation of evidence, shows how virtually all the evidence used to convict Knox of murder was fraudulent, manipulated, and concocted. He makes the clearest case yet that she was framed by powerful Italian authorities intent on covering up their own mistakes. I highly recommend this well-written, clear, gripping, and ultimately infuriating book."


Another reaction comes from Thomas Wright, author and founder, FriendsofAmanda.org (FOA).

“This book presents a visionary overview of the Amanda Knox case unlike any other. It meticulously records the folly, spectacle, and outrageous injustice lurking behind an Italian facade. Though his insights cut like a scalpel and aim a high-powered microscope at every questionable detail and procedure, Waterbury is more than a scientist. The real power of this presentation lies in its organizing principle, pointing out the historical and literary precedents to be found at every turn.

He proves his main theorem unequivocally - that although the monstrous wrongs committed against Amanda Knox happened on Italian soil, they can absolutely happen to anyone, regardless of country or culture, anywhere, at any time. By the end, Waterbury makes us understand what it's like to be an entirely innocent victim of a corrupt system. He tells us the truth and calls us to action.”

If you want to learn the truth about this case, if you want to understand just how far supposedly educated, civilized people have gone to advance themselves at any cost in other's suffering, you will want to read The Monster of Perugia

This site will provide a focal point for news about the book, which will be available this month (Late January, 2011) through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, and other outlets.

11 comments:

  1. Mark, are you arranging to have this translated into Italian and distributed one way or another in Italy? We all need to know this, but the change will be made by Italians. Wonderful work!

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  2. I'm honored to be your first comment. Good luck with the book i look forward to picking it up.

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  3. Patrick, there are discussions underway about translation to Italian, and also links to Italian publishers are being explored. Look to this site for news about developments on that. The Italian courts will be making the ultimate decisions, but what we say here, in whatever language that is clear, does have an impact. I am hopeful that my book will help to galvanize awareness and action on both sides of the Atlantic.

    CD-Host... missed it by that much, but thank you.

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  4. Mark, thank you! I'm really looking forward to this book! Your blog posts have consistently alerted me to new facts and absurdities.

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  5. Mark, so looking forward to reading your book. Are we getting close to the release date on Kindle? I just finished reading Bruce's book and I need another fix :)

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  6. Rick, the manuscript is in final processing now. It will probably be available as a Kindle (www.amazon.com) publication this weekend (there is some uncertainty in their processing time). Thank you for your support and I hope you will find it thought provoking.

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  7. Just downloaded it from Amazon. Can't wait to get started. Nice job Mark.

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  8. Mark,

    I finished your book yesterday. Great job! While Candace Dempsey does a phenomenal job at “telling the story”, your work did an equally phenomenal job of pulling the story apart to explore the nature and mechanics of the injustice done to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. The book was beyond compelling, and I truly enjoyed it.

    Where you lost me a little was your exploration of a possible thesis about what was “really” going on in Perugia. While you were very clear about the fact that it was only a thesis, I guess I’m just naturally suspicious of conspiracy theories. I have to admit that the thesis you presented was compelling; which, to my mind, means either 1) there might be something to it, or 2) in being compelling, it merely meets the principal requirement for being a juicy conspiracy theory.

    Where I do agree with you, however, is that it took more than Mignini to put Knox and Sollecito in jail. Individual police officers, forensic investigators and interrogators who worked the case, witnesses who provided unreliable, yet damning testimony and judges who jumped through ridiculous hoops of half-logic to further Knox and Sollecito’s incarceration all played their part. Whether they did so as part of a grand conspiracy or simply thought they were “doing their jobs” as members of an insular and clubby backwater community, lots of people up and down the hierarchy did their bit.

    The large number of people involved represent a large number of failure points in the prosecution’s story. Maybe I’m naïve, but I want to believe that given the number of people who had to be involved, there aren’t at least some who have trouble sleeping at night. Men and women of good conscience who thought, at the time, that they were doing their jobs but now recognize that they actively participated in a horrible injustice. The interrogators, for example, know exactly what their instructions were, know whether or not a recording of the interview was made and know the tactics they used. In short, they know that Amanda’s version of events is more accurate than what was presented by the prosecution in court. Including the interrogator, that makes thirteen people who really know what happened. I want to believe that at least some of them think back from time to time on that night and feel a little sick inside. My secret hope is that they, or someone else like them one day finds the courage to raise their hand and explain exactly how and why they participated in the Knox / Sollecito witch hunt.

    All of this notwithstanding, great job on the book! I’m sure, as was the case with Candace Dempsey’s book, your work will contribute significantly to the dialogue.

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  9. Wald, I presented my theory of the crime in an effort to put forth a preliminary explanation of what has really gone on in Perugia. As I explain (and you understand, but I'm just explaining here) it is only a theory, and now we need to put forth other theories, test them, try to find information that supports or refutes them, so that we can build our understanding of the terrible injustices that have taken place in Perugia and bring it to an end. That will be a process, and many witnesses are not cooperating as you point out. I believe that facade will crack at some point, and calling them out, as I do in my book, is one part of the effort to turn their circle the wagons approach into a round of finger pointing and revelations about what has really taken place. Thank you for your support!

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  10. I was wondering when this book would be available in hardcover or paperback. I've read the description and the reviews for the kindle version and I'm very anxious to get my hands on a hard copy

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  11. Thank you, Carrie. Monster of Perugia will first be available in real print form through an eStore link later today, and will be available directly through Amazon.com in about a week. I'm doing everything I can to make it available ASAP because of the timing of the appeal, so that's why its out in ebook form rather than waiting for the print version. Check back here for more information later today, Tuesday, February 22.

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