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The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth (Click to proceed) Important Questions for Real Reporters to ask writers Doug Preston and Mario Spezi “Whale.

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2 The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth (Click to proceed) Important Questions for Real Reporters to ask writers Doug Preston and Mario Spezi “Whale of a Tale”, this presentation’s theme song. Click on the icon to hear it.

3 Introduction I received a curious several days ago from – of all people – Douglas Preston, co-author together with Mario Spezi of the book The Monster of Florence and a champion of the cause to free Amanda Knox from being a suspect in the murder of her housemate Meredith Kercher, in Perugia on 1 November He explained that he wanted to write a “ piece ” about the “ Knox case ” and that he would like to do a 10 question interview with me. I get the feeling from his words that he and Spezi are going to be active over the next few months in the media promoting this cause (along with, I suppose, their book and future movie). I was surprised that he said he would “quote you accurately, honestly, and in context, and represent your views respectfully and accurately”. We all have in our memory Preston accusing me of “distortions, falsehoods, and crackpot opinion presented as settled fact. Kermit's open letter contains many out and out lies”, said Preston in April of 2011, when he also suggested erroneously that I hide behind a “screen of false IP addresses and various other hacker tricks” (what, has Preston tried to hack me?) and that I had “demonstrated a long history of falsehood and dishonesty”.“distortions, falsehoods, and crackpot opinion presented as settled fact. Kermit's open letter contains many out and out lies”, said Preston in April of 2011, when he also suggested erroneously that I hide behind a “screen of false IP addresses and various other hacker tricks” (what, has Preston tried to hack me?) and that I had “demonstrated a long history of falsehood and dishonesty”. Given that background, would you trust Preston? Silly me, I’m ready to give anyone another chance, so I suggested to him that the interview be two-way, and that question by question we each ask the other the issues that we wanted to clarify, and later publish or present the results where each sees fit. I replied in an extensive manner to his first question and asked my first question, concerning what appear to be significant errors and mistruths in the “Afterword” or epilogue chapter of his and Spezi’s Monster of Florence book. I had hoped that Preston would reply in kind, accepting my offer of a step-by-step mutual interview, and responding in detail to specific issues I had brought up. Unfortunately, he chose not to. He added, “ as for my 'objectivity,' I am a point-of-view journalist in this case. People know where I stand and they know my bad history with Mignini. I don't pretend to be objective ”. Should Preston really call himself a journalist or an opinion maker or a lobbyist? Why can’t people just respect the Italian legal process (which right now is out of the hands of Prosecutor Mignini, Preston’s perceived nemesis)? Just in case we have to resign ourselves to seeing Preston and/or Spezi on a regular basis, informing us once again of their opinion of Prosecutor Mignini, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at their “truths”, and what better place to do so, than the book they published together about the serial killer The Monster of Florence.

4 Introduction (cont.) The book is sold as a “True Story”, and while parts of it are historical facts related to the MoF murders in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the two authors also personally introduce themselves into the story. This is going to be an ongoing presentation composed of open questions and observations, where I periodically extend it by asking an additional question of those that I was going to propose to Preston by . The objective is to help readers make up their minds about how much they should take into account Preston’s self-described “ point-of-view journalism ”, if that concept actually exists as a part of that profession (it’s an imaginative euphemism, if you ask me). The first question I asked Preston (with all the detail sent to him) is the first question in this presention. Given Preston’s limited and condi- tional reply, I never got around to sending him the second question. While The Monster of Florence story is interesting, my own interest is in the Meredith Kercher murder case (and not in, as Preston calls it, the “Knox case”). Meredith’s life was cut short in a brutal manner. She seems to have been a wonderful person, and her family deserve sufficient respect as to let the wheels of Italian justice turn on, without persons with personal (often pecuniary) agendas throwing a spanner in the works. I recommend the following two sites for further information and debate concerning this case: True Justice For Meredith Kercher - Perugia Murder FileTrue Justice For Meredith KercherPerugia Murder File Any irony or sarcasm which may be encountered in the presentation or our discussions is not meant by any means to trivialise the pain and suffering, and brutal, senseless murder that Meredith experienced, nor to reduce her memory. I can only hope that there will be one single ending to this crime, that justice is served to those responsible for each of the crimes involved in this case. - Kermit (20 October 2012) ?

5 INDEX – Questions for Preston and Spezi Introduction 1.Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? 2. Please return – work in progress 3. Please return – work in progress …… n. Please return – work in progress Possible ANNEX 1 Possible ANNEX 2

6 QUESTION #1 for Preston and Spezi Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

7 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. Preston and Spezi seem to try to link occultist Carlizzi’s writings about the Meredith Kercher case, only through insinuation, to Prosecutor Mignini’s decisions that he made in the investigation. It’s like me saying: “the day that Kennedy was shot, Cronkite’s cousin made a large bank transfer.” You make the connection.

8 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda was not summoned to the police station on the evening of 5 Nov. 2007, as Preston and Spezi state. She went simply to accompany Raffaele, as Amanda herself states in her court testimony:as Amanda herself states in her court testimony “CP: For what reason did you go to the Questura on November 5? Were you called? AK: No, I wasn't called. I went with Raffaele because I didn't want to be alone. ” (CP = Carlo Pacelli, Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer AK = Amanda Knox) Preston and Spezi perhaps should have glanced over the court testimony before writing their rivetting Afterword. Didn't they follow the trial? 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

9 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda and Raffaele were separated and interrogated in different rooms, Mignini going back and forth between them, coordinating the questioning. Mignini was not present in the interrogation of Amanda which led to her incriminating herself and Patrick Lumumba in the murder of Meredith Kercher. Again, Amanda’s own courtroom testimony belies the “best-seller” words out there about Mignini:Amanda’s own courtroom testimony “AK: …. everything that I said, was said in confusion and under pressure, and, because they were suggested by the public minister [i.e. Prosecutor Mignini]. CP: Excuse me, but at 1:45, the pubblico ministero was not there, there was only the judicial police. AK: Ha. They also were pressuring me.“ (CP = Carlo Pacelli, Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer AK = Amanda Knox) I wonder who told Preston or Spezi that Mignini was "going back and forth"? It certainly sounds colourful, like something out of a fiction book, or a neat detective movie script starring George Clooney. I personally believe that unnecessary or untrue embellishments always kill the "True Story". 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

10 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda and Raffaele were separated and interrogated in different rooms, Mignini going back and forth between them, coordinating the questioning. …. Without a lawyer or interpreter present, eight detectives hammered away at the American student from Seattle. Exactly what happened during the interrogation is murky …. Until Amanda implicated herself at 1:45 a.m., no lawyer could be present as she was only a witness who just happened to have accompanied her boyfriend to the police station, as she herself admitted. At 1:45 a.m. Amanda implicated herself in the crime and she became a suspect. Questioning was suspended. As for Preston’s and Spezi’s accusation that Amanda Knox had no interpreter, this is a claim widely spread by the PR media campaign around Knox. The truth is that she did have an intrepreter, Anna Donnino, who testified in the court trial. (Did Preston and Spezi research the Afterword to their book by themselves, or did they have help? If so, who?) 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

11 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda and Raffaele were separated and interrogated in different rooms, Mignini going back and forth between them, coordinating the questioning. …. Without a lawyer or interpreter present, eight detectives hammered away at the American student from Seattle. Exactly what happened during the interrogation is murky …. During a total of fourteen hours of relentless questioning, threats, shouting, and physical abuse, Amanda reported that she had a kind of dreamlike vision of being in the apartment at the time of the murder …. She retracted the statement a few hours later …. As we have seen in the court testimony (I urge Preston and Spezi to read it through), Amanda ‘s accusation against Patrick Lumumba, and her admission that she was at the scene of the crime, came at 1:45 a.m. on the night of 5-6 November Her questioning had started around 11 p.m., after Raffaele had told police that Amanda’s alibi was not true, and that she had in fact not been present in his apartment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the night of Meredith’s murder. In total that’s maybe two and a half hours, or two hours and 45 minutes. The “14 hour interrogation” (and other even longer versions) before Amanda admitted to being in the cottage and accused Patrick have often appeared in the Knox media campaign. 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

12 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda and Raffaele were separated and interrogated in different rooms, Mignini going back and forth between them, coordinating the questioning. …. Without a lawyer or interpreter present, eight detectives hammered away at the American student from Seattle. Exactly what happened during the interrogation is murky …. During a total of fourteen hours of relentless questioning, threats, shouting, and physical abuse, Amanda reported that she had a kind of dreamlike vision of being in the apartment at the time of the murder …. She retracted the statement a few hours later …. Mignini also ordered the arrest of a third person whom Amanda “saw” in her vision as being the actual murderer – a person who had been suggested to her by her interrogators. The pro-Knox media campaign has often reported that Knox’s accusation that Patrick Lumumba killed Meredith was due to police pressure and Patrick’s name being suggested to her. Again, Amanda’s own courtroom testimony belies what Preston and Spezi have written about Amanda’s interrogation:Amanda’s own courtroom testimony “AK: So, there was this thing that they wanted a name. And the message -- GCM: You mean, they wanted a name relative to what? AK: To the person I had written to, precisely. And they told me that I knew, and that I didn't want to tell. … I was there hearing "Remember, remember, remember,“ and then there was this person behind me who -- it's not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me... GCM: "Remember!" is not a suggestion. It is a strong solicitation of your memory. Suggestion is rather... AK: But it was always "Remember" following this same idea, that... GCM: But they didn't literally say that it was him! AK: No. They didn't say it was him, but they said "We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him." GCM: So, these were the suggestions. AK: Yes. “ (GCM = Giancarlo Massei, presiding judge AK = Amanda Knox) 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

13 From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: “While Carlizzi blogged, Mignini forged ahead with the case. ….. During the early round of questioning, she and her boyfriend, Raffaele, told investigators that they had spent the night of the murder together at his house. But there was something about Amanda that aroused Mignini’s suspicions, and on the afternoon of November 5, he summoned Amanda and Raffaele back to the police station. Amanda and Raffaele were separated and interrogated in different rooms, Mignini going back and forth between them, coordinating the questioning. …. Without a lawyer or interpreter present, eight detectives hammered away at the American student from Seattle. Exactly what happened during the interrogation is murky …. During a total of fourteen hours of relentless questioning, threats, shouting, and physical abuse, Amanda reported that she had a kind of dreamlike vision of being in the apartment at the time of the murder …. She retracted the statement a few hours later …. Mignini also ordered the arrest of a third person whom Amanda “saw” in her vision as being the actual murderer – a person who had been suggested to her by her interrogators. The Italian courts would later strike down most of her statement as inadmissible, saying that it had been improperly obtained.” Maybe I’m wrong, but Preston and Spezi seem to be insinuating that Amanda’s statements to the police were obtained by illegal means. In fact the courts’ considerations concerning the admissibility of Amanda’s statements in her trial only concluded that her right to not declare against herself must be maintained. This was the case of her 1:45 a.m. statement, when she changed from being a witness to being a suspect. However, that statement was “properly obtained” and was used as evidence in the charge of falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba of murder, for which she has been found guilty and has served a prison sentence. Amanda prepared another statement at 5:45 but since she still didn’t have a lawyer assigned, the courts decided to protect her from having this statement used in court. 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

14 (cont’d) From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: Amanda’s two hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times, did not send a reporter to Italy to cover the case; instead, they hired freelance stringers in Italy. These stringers did little independent reporting, instead digesting and rewriting stories from the Italian papers. As a result, inaccuracies, distorted evidence, and outright falsehoods leaked by prosecutors and published in the Italian press (where journalistic standards are notably different) were republished in Seattle without fact-checking or independent verification. These “facts” were then picked up by some national news outlets in the U.S., which assumed that the Seattle papers were accurately reporting the story. In this way two respected American newspapers unwittingly subordinated their journalistic standards to those of a foreign country – and many Americans concluded Amanda was guilty. 1a. Do Italian journalists, after the support they gave Spezi when he was imprisoned and freed in 2006, agree with what he and Preston insinuate in the Monster of Florence Afterword about their professional standards and the “facts” they report? 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? Additional questions for Real Reporters to Ask Preston and Spezi: 1b. Doesn't Preston as a scarey monster fiction novelist feel a little shame that on one hand he (apparently) criticizes and accuses trusted reporting as being below standard, yet on at least two occasions he has run off to the journalism guild Committee to Protect Journalists (on behalf of Spezi and The Anonymous Perugian Blogger) for international support? 1c. Could any Italian or U.S. reporter count on Preston and Spezi to help and support him or her if the reporter got into trouble? Or do Preston and Spezi only offer support if the journalist supports their particular Monster of Florence and Amanda Knox theories? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (SPI) has had some of the best, most objective coverage in the USA from the beginning of the Meredith Kercher murder case, by a journalist today considered an expert on the the investigation and trials in the murder of Meredith Kercher. Her articles are balanced, fact-base reports. Her information is widely read, and the confidence and trust that the SPI and its readers have in her reporting is demonstrated by her continuing articles over the years that this case has lasted. She is one of the journalists who has attended most sessions of the on-going court saga and the seattlepi.com was one of the only American news outlets to make available original court documents and other records on the case she obtained through public records requests online as downloadable pdf documents. Where are the cut- and-paste "stringers" of the SPI if the newspaper had an Italian-fluent reporter on-the-spot in Perugia, talking to the principals of the case? I get the feeling that this sort of reporting doesn’t jive with Preston and Spezi … what would they prefer, a food-blogger or a truffle vendor instead of a real news journalist? How many sessions of the trials for the suspects of Meredith’s murder did Preston or Spezi attend?seattlepi.comone of the only American news outlets to make available original court documents and other records on the case she obtained through public records requests online as downloadable pdf documents

15 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? (cont’d) From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: Amanda’s two hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times, did not send a reporter to Italy to cover the case; instead, they hired freelance stringers in Italy. These stringers did little independent reporting, instead digesting and rewriting stories from the Italian papers. As a result, inaccuracies, distorted evidence, and outright falsehoods leaked by prosecutors and published in the Italian press (where journalistic standards are notably different) were republished in Seattle without fact-checking or independent verification. These “facts” were then picked up by some national news outlets in the U.S., which assumed that the Seattle papers were accurately reporting the story. In this way two respected American newspapers unwittingly subordinated their journalistic standards to those of a foreign country – and many Americans concluded Amanda was guilty. Mignini’s arrest of Amanda Knox proved to be premature. The crime scene had yet to be analyzed. Crime-scene investigators collected a great deal of forensic evidence …. When the preliminary crime-scene analysis came back several weeks later, it did not point to Knox, her boyfriend, or the third person arrested with them. It incriminated an entirely new person: a drifter named Rudy Guede … Again, I wonder where Preston and Spezi got their information from concerning the early days of the Meredith Kercher murder case. If they weren’t following the case at the time and didn’t know, a fast google today shows that within days of Amanda’s and Raffaele’s arrest, the scientific forensic results pointed towards the young couple, and that this information was available in news media at the time.

16 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? (cont’d) From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: Amanda’s two hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times, did not send a reporter to Italy to cover the case; instead, they hired freelance stringers in Italy. These stringers did little independent reporting, instead digesting and rewriting stories from the Italian papers. As a result, inaccuracies, distorted evidence, and outright falsehoods leaked by prosecutors and published in the Italian press (where journalistic standards are notably different) were republished in Seattle without fact-checking or independent verification. These “facts” were then picked up by some national news outlets in the U.S., which assumed that the Seattle papers were accurately reporting the story. In this way two respected American newspapers unwittingly subordinated their journalistic standards to those of a foreign country – and many Americans concluded Amanda was guilty. Mignini’s arrest of Amanda Knox proved to be premature. The crime scene had yet to be analyzed. Crime-scene investigators collected a great deal of forensic evidence …. When the preliminary crime-scene analysis came back several weeks later, it did not point to Knox, her boyfriend, or the third person arrested with them. It incriminated an entirely new person: a drifter named Rudy Guede … ….[Mignini ignored] the fact that Guede did not know Amanda and Raffaele "Amanda and Raffaele never laid eyes on Rudy, never met with him and never hung out with him... didn't know him.” CBS Evening NEWS - 19 June 2009CBS Evening NEWS "There’s no connection. So, we have a big problem. This is all a police generated fairy tale." CBS 48 Hours CBS 48 Hours - 10 April 2008 CP: Good morning, Miss Amanda, I am Carlo Pacelli, I am the defense lawyer for Patrick Diya Lumumba. A little remark: I will try to keep my questions in simpler Italian. May I start? AK: Thank you, yes. CP: You know Rudy Hermann Guede? AK: Not much. CP: In what circumstances did you meet him? AK: I was in the center, near the church. It was during an evening when I met the guys that lived underneath in the apartment underneath us, and while I was mingling with them, they introduced me to Rudy. CP: So it was on the occasion of a party at the house of the neighbors downstairs? AK: Yes. What we did is, they introduced me to him downtown just to say "This is Rudy, this is Amanda", and then I spent most of my time with Meredith, but we all went back to the house together. CP: Did you also know him, or at least see him, in the pub "Le Chic", Rudy? AK: I think I saw him there once. CP: Listen, this party at the neighbors, it took place in the second half of October? What period, end of October? 2007? AK: I think it was more in the middle of October. ……. CP: On the occasion of this party, Miss, was hashish smoked? AK: There was a spinello that was smoked, yes. CP: At that time, in October 2007, did you use drugs? AK: Every once in a while with friends. CP: Which substances were they? AK: Marijuana. Once again, the best source of information to contradict the an anti-Mignini claim is Amanda Knox herself. A weekly earlier than the Private Eye’s statement, Amanda was testifying in court: (12 June 2009)Amanda was testifying in court And yet again (and again and again), I wonder where P&S got their information from concerning the Meredith Kercher murder case. The pro-Knox camp has often repeated the talking point that Amanda didn’t know Rudy Guede, co-suspect in the murder case. Preston’s friend (or – if he wishes to deny it – acquaintance) Chicago Private Eye Paul Ciolino has made a habit of underlining the absence of prior interaction between Amanda and Rudy.

17 (cont’d) From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: Amanda’s two hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times, did not send a reporter to Italy to cover the case; instead, they hired freelance stringers in Italy. These stringers did little independent reporting, instead digesting and rewriting stories from the Italian papers. As a result, inaccuracies, distorted evidence, and outright falsehoods leaked by prosecutors and published in the Italian press (where journalistic standards are notably different) were republished in Seattle without fact-checking or independent verification. These “facts” were then picked up by some national news outlets in the U.S., which assumed that the Seattle papers were accurately reporting the story. In this way two respected American newspapers unwittingly subordinated their journalistic standards to those of a foreign country – and many Americans concluded Amanda was guilty. Mignini’s arrest of Amanda Knox proved to be premature. The crime scene had yet to be analyzed. Crime-scene investigators collected a great deal of forensic evidence …. When the preliminary crime-scene analysis came back several weeks later, it did not point to Knox, her boyfriend, or the third person arrested with them. It incriminated an entirely new person: a drifter named Rudy Guede … ….[Mignini ignored] the fact that Guede did not know Amanda and Raffaele Mignini did not, however, release Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele …. Already under indictment in the Monster of Florence investigation, Mignini was in a precarious position; to admit he had made such a catastrophic mistake might end his career. Probably the best indication that Mignini wasn’t making a “catastrophic mistake” in how he led the Meredith Kercher murder investigation is found in the sentencing report written by Judge Giancarlo Massei following the first trial’s guilty verdict against Amanda and Raffaele. I urge the reader to download it and consult it. the sentencing report written by Judge Giancarlo Massei What would be “catastrophic” about releasing a suspect held in detention if the evidence was not sufficiently strong enough? This happens all the time. Why, if that had been the correct decision to make (and it would not have been) might it have ended Mignini‘s career? There was and is a case against Amanda, Rudy and Raffaele. Several independent levels of judges have confirmed this, starting off with the decision to keep the suspects in preventive prison while the investigation was being carried out. Whatever the final result may be of a possible final appeal to the Supreme Court following the appeals court verdict, it is clear that Mignini had a solid case destined to give rise to a trial. 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

18 (cont’d) From the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: Amanda’s two hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times, did not send a reporter to Italy to cover the case; instead, they hired freelance stringers in Italy. These stringers did little independent reporting, instead digesting and rewriting stories from the Italian papers. As a result, inaccuracies, distorted evidence, and outright falsehoods leaked by prosecutors and published in the Italian press (where journalistic standards are notably different) were republished in Seattle without fact-checking or independent verification. These “facts” were then picked up by some national news outlets in the U.S., which assumed that the Seattle papers were accurately reporting the story. In this way two respected American newspapers unwittingly subordinated their journalistic standards to those of a foreign country – and many Americans concluded Amanda was guilty. Mignini’s arrest of Amanda Knox proved to be premature. The crime scene had yet to be analyzed. Crime-scene investigators collected a great deal of forensic evidence …. When the preliminary crime-scene analysis came back several weeks later, it did not point to Knox, her boyfriend, or the third person arrested with them. It incriminated an entirely new person: a drifter named Rudy Guede … ….[Mignini ignored] the fact that Guede did not know Amanda and Raffaele Mignini did not, however, release Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele …. Already under indictment in the Monster of Florence investigation, Mignini was in a precarious position; to admit he had made such a catastrophic mistake might end his career. …. Weeks and even months after the crime … they have (so far) been unable to recover any trace of Amanda’s DNA at the murder scene or on the victim’s body, and only the most ambiguous and doubtful trace of Raffaele’s DNA, on an item that was hopelessly contaminated by the police. Again, I refer the reader to the sentencing report written by Judge Giancarlo Massei following the first trial’s guilty verdict against Amanda and Raffaele. There is a summary of an abundant quantity of evidence, from DNA, to other scientific forensic evidence, to a large set of circumstantial evidence.the sentencing report written by Judge Giancarlo Massei By the way, what Preston calls an “item” is a piece of Meredith Kercher’s bra strap, ripped off in all probability after she was already killed, as part of a staging of the crime scene. Raffaele’s DNA sample was very strong. While the court’s experts Conti and Vecchiotti suggested in a generic manner that contamination could have taken place at the crime scene, there was no logical way to take Raffaele’s DNA from a cigarette butt in the kitchen (the only other identified sample of his DNA) to Meredith’s bedroom. 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case?

19 (cont’d) Finally, let’s take a look at this tale from the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: On October 10, 2008, only a week before he was to present the case against Amanda, Mignini held a hearing in Perugia about the Narducci case …. but the biggest surprise on that day in October occurred outside the courtroom and did not involve the Monster case – but Amanda Knox [Kermit: excuse this interruption, Mr. Preston, but did the surprise of 10/10/2008 involve Meredith Kercher, or Raffaele Sollecito or Rudy Guede, too?]. A little before noon, during a break, Spezi left the tribunal in Perugia and crossed the sun-drenched piazza to grab an espresso at a sidewalk café. A few moments later a timid and exceedingly nervous young woman approached. “I’m a fellow journalist here in Perugia,” she said quietly. “Could I speak with you a moment?” Spezi invited her to sit at his table. She looked about furtively, as if to check if she were being followed. Then she lit a cigarette with a trembling hand and, stumbling over her words, blurted out: “I hope they don’t see us together!” “Excuse me,” Spezi asked, “but who is ‘they’?” “Them, the police. Mignini’s men …. My name is Francesca Bene,” she said in a rush, “and I work for a small newspaper here, the Giornale dell’Umbria. Last July I made what I thought was a real scoop about the case of Meredith Kercher. I learned that the morning of the murder … a young man well known in Perugia as a drug addict and dealer was seen washing himself in the public fountain because he was all covered with blood and also had a big cut in one hand. He was out of his mind, screaming, ‘I killed her. I killed her.’ …. The very day I published that story, I was summoned to the prosecutor’s office and interrogated by Mignini’s men – in particular that big policewoman, the same one who interrogated Amanda Knox …. She’s violent; she scares me.” …. The connection, if any, between the bloody man … and the murder of Meredith Kercher remains largely uninvestigated and unknown. Rough translation: “The young man spoken of in the (Giornale dell’Umbria) newspaper had been subjected to close scrutiny and a number of investigative activities. These verifications allow him to be excluded from being related to the crime.” This tale about local Perugia reporter Francesca Bene could start to seem a little truer to the real facts if Preston and Spezi had been a little more careful with the dates. The publishing by her newspaper of her report of the young man screaming on the day Meredith’s body was found, was in May 2008, not July as P&S state. I don’t know why Preston and Spezi write here that Bene’s article and any followup on what it reported was suppressed. In fact, it was well reported in the Italian press at the time, and was dismissed as being irrelevant to the Meredith Kercher case … (October 10, 2008) Preston and Spezi’s under- standing, a few months later Reality, May of 2008

20 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? (cont’d) Finally, let’s take a look at this tale from the Afterword of The Monster of Florence: On October 10, 2008, only a week before he was to present the case against Amanda, Mignini held a hearing in Perugia about the Narducci case …. but the biggest surprise on that day in October occurred outside the courtroom and did not involve the Monster case – but Amanda Knox [Kermit: excuse this interruption, Mr. Preston, but did the surprise of 10/10/2008 involve Meredith Kercher, or Raffaele Sollecito or Rudy Guede, too?]. A little before noon, during a break, Spezi left the tribunal in Perugia and crossed the sun-drenched piazza to grab an espresso at a sidewalk café. A few moments later a timid and exceedingly nervous young woman approached. “I’m a fellow journalist here in Perugia,” she said quietly. “Could I speak with you a moment?” Spezi invited her to sit at his table. She looked about furtively, as if to check if she were being followed. Then she lit a cigarette with a trembling hand and, stumbling over her words, blurted out: “I hope they don’t see us together!” “Excuse me,” Spezi asked, “but who is ‘they’?” “Them, the police. Mignini’s men …. My name is Francesca Bene,” she said in a rush, “and I work for a small newspaper here, the Giornale dell’Umbria. Last July I made what I thought was a real scoop about the case of Meredith Kercher. I learned that the morning of the murder … a young man well known in Perugia as a drug addict and dealer was seen washing himself in the public fountain because he was all covered with blood and also had a big cut in one hand. He was out of his mind, screaming, ‘I killed her. I killed her.’ …. The very day I published that story, I was summoned to the prosecutor’s office and interrogated by Mignini’s men – in particular that big policewoman, the same one who interrogated Amanda Knox …. She’s violent; she scares me.” …. The connection, if any, between the bloody man … and the murder of Meredith Kercher remains largely uninvestigated and unknown. … and if Preston’s Italian wasn’t up to snuff in 2008 (a year before he published the edition of his book with the Afterword), then he also could have read of this happening in the extensive reporting at the time in the English language press. (in the Kercher trial it was clarified that the young man in question on the day after Meredith’s murder had had a lover’s quarrel, and was screaming into his mobile phone: “I will kill the bitch”. It was reported in these terms by The Times in May 2008) This tale about local Perugia reporter Francesca Bene could start to seem a little truer to the real facts if Preston and Spezi had been a little more careful with the dates. The publishing by her newspaper of her report of the young man screaming on the day Meredith’s body was found, was in May 2008, not July as P&S state. I don’t know why Preston and Spezi write here that Bene’s article and any followup on what it reported was suppressed. In fact, it was well reported in the Italian press at the time, and was dismissed as being irrelevant to the Meredith Kercher case … This is where the private army legend starts … “Mignini’s Men” sounds like Hogan’s Heros, The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean’s 12, etc. You have to have imagination to believe that Mignini commands his own police force beholden to him, and that no one else knows exists, except for Preston and Spezi.

21 1. Why does the Afterword of Preston’s and Spezi’s book The Monster of Florence appear to be full of errors and insinuations, in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case? CONCLUSION: As I mentioned in the Introduction to this presentation, Preston did provide a brief “answer” to my first question (so brief and put-offish that it was deeply disappointing). With all the examples that I provided him of apparent errors or misrepresentations of fact (who knows, maybe there’s some logical explanation) in his and Spezi’s Afterword to The Monster of Florence, this is all he could say: “ I am always willing to correct errors in what I've written and I will correct any in the next edition of Monster. I'll take a good look at each one of your comments here and if warranted make a correction. ” Time will tell if he will keep his word. I guess I shouldn’t complain, as this reply is an advance from Preston’s stance a year ago, when he proudly crowed: “ Before publication [The Monster of Florence] was minutely vetted by no less than five attorneys in two languages in Italy, the U.K., and the United States. Since publication, it has been read by millions of people in many European languages. In all that time, and with all the millions who have read the book, not one significant error of fact came to light. Mario Spezi and I stand by every single assertion of fact in that book today just as strongly as we did when it was first published three years ago. ” Source: CPJ Source: CPJ All I can suggest to Mr. Preston is that if he and Spezi used 5 lawyers to do fact checking in the book and they didn’t google up half the things presented here (concerning only a single chapter!) on their first day of work, then the authors should fire the lawyers and ask for their money back. Additionally, my personal advice to Preston and Spezi is that if they want to be considered authors of “True Stories”, they should not count on their readers to be the ones to discover their errors and set them straight.


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