The Nencini Papers

nenciniDay 8

Day 8, 17 December 2013

Master of puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
Just call my name, ‘cause I’ll hear you scream

Today sees the closing submissions of the Knox defence.

In the meantime, our master of puppets, Knox, has been busy, for an email arrives, via her counsel,  Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, dated 15 December 2013, Seattle, addressed to Florence Court of Appeal, to be read out in court,.  He reluctantly allows it, making it clear it has little value as the witness is not there in person.  ‘If you want to speak, come to the hearing’.

Ever eager to control the narrative, Knox forces her words into the mouth of the irascible Nencini rattles through the missive  perfunctionarily.  It could be she intended her attorney to read it out loud for her with suitable studied meaning.  One wonders what the court thought of the Italian grammar.  Several commentators have noted the English version Knox released to the press is different from the one in court.  The lawyers today are careful to not say anything about police brutality.

The emails can be read in full here on TMOMK

KNOX: I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people— Raffaele and me.

Ever the rhetorician, Knox believes her words to have magical powers.  She uses them as though they can cast a spell on the reader or the listener.  Her ‘mask of the assassin’ performance at the Massei trial comes to mind.  What is magic after all, but a play on the emotions, and these can be extremely powerful.

In her opening paragraphs, Knox wants the hearer to note her compassionate nature of doing this because she is afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction.  Already she is in a psychological negotiation with the Innocence Projects which proliferate across the USA.  One reason for this – aside from the much harsher sentencing in the USA and finality of the first trial –  is that lawyers and law students are obliged by their professional bodies to undertake a certain amount of pro bono work, and what better way, than having a captive audience on Death Row or in a penitentiary of correction.  Good deed done for the CPD.  In Knox’ opening lines, she is offering a subtle bribe: ‘I am supporting you, so now it’s your turn to embrace me as one of yours.’

There is a childlike quality in Knox’ naïve belief that if she says a thing, it becomes so.  She reassures these sharp legal eagles present that it’s not that she doesn’t respect them, but, hey, I actually have no respect for the guys who found me guilty.  Why?  Because, ‘Raffaele and I are innocent’.

It is reverse psychology; she and Sollecito have woven a strategy of exactly smoke and mirrors, throwing in their own dreamlike qualities of ‘fish blood’, ‘blurry green images’, and ‘sitting in front of the computer with a spliff ‘.  Now it is Mignini and the prosecution who are the pied pipers enticing us to follow their merry dance into the black heart of a mountain to be eaten by the minotaur.  Knox wants to charm us.  She lets us know she is with us in spirit, controlling the narrative, writing the script, developing the storyline.  JK Rowling has nothing on Knox when to comes to invoking magic spells, drama, hallucinations and haunting dreams.

She tells us she knows who the killer is:

KNOX: Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

Knox shows us that she believes a court is merely a debating society, divorced from the real world.  The email continues:

KNOX: Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false “confession” because of psychological torture.

This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guede.

Then comes Knox’ latest theme :

KNOX  In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

Here is a fascinating insight into Knox psyche.  She doesn’t tell us, ‘I was Meredith’s friend.  I was kind to her, helpful, generous, fun.  I never criticised her.  I never gave her so much as a dirty look.’

In Knox’ mind Meredith is answerable to her, not the other way round.  Taking the rule of thumb that when Knox says a thing, she means the opposite, what Knox is really telling this High Court of law with Italy’s best minds and wisest elders is:

‘Meredith and I were roommates for quite an appreciable length of time, about a month, but we weren’t friends and we fought.  She wasn’t kind to me or helpful, generous or fun.  She was always criticising me.  She gave me dirty looks.’

Amongst the mish-mash of faux indignation at being arrested and convicted, which reads like the kind of thing friends and family would have said to her:  ‘Of course you are innocent, it is outrageous how they treated you, etc.,’ we are made aware of Knox’ hurt – or is it pride – at her infamy.

KNOXI am not a psychopath.

There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; psychopath; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she—devil; Luciferina…”

I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or psychotic behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality psychopath. One does not adopt psychotic behavior spontaneously.

This then is Knox’ defence in lieu of an alibi or a legal refutation of the evidence.  ‘I did not…’  ‘I am not…’

She winds up with, ‘If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.’

Translated: ‘I cannot bring myself to admit, even to myself that I have made a terrible mistake’, perhaps?

The email, as planned, grabs the news headlines.  Knox has become a media junkie.  The English-speaking media dance to her narrative.  She is the master of puppets.

Ghirga addresses the court.  He begins by criticising the forensic methodlogy.  He claims there were insufficient amplifications of the LCN DNA samples.  For example, Dr Stefanoni carried out a ‘make or break’ run on one sample.  He disputes that the imputed double DNA knife is the murder weapon.

GHIRGA: And the material on the blade? Is it blood or not blood? We see the analysis, the Combur test was done. Negative. There is no blood.  Yet there is starch, right here (holding up knife) on this trace. What does that mean? That the knife was not subject to cleaning. It was in domestic use.

He seizes on Crini’s change of motive from Massei’s, understandably, in my view, as it undermines the prosecution case.

GHIRGA:  The prosecution’s alleged motive for the homicide keeps changing. Evil for evil’s sake. No. Money? No? lack of cleanliness? No.  The flush? No. She killed her without motive? No. No, It was necessary to have a motive.  You need a motive.

Under Italian law, unfortunately, the courts are obliged to construct a motive.  Whilst it maybe simplest to say, ‘It was a row that escalated’ over a domestic dispute, it doesn’t ring true to me.  Who gets a kitchen knife and tortures another over a piece of crap in the toilet pan, or even a theft.  Personally, I think Massei’s ‘futile motive’ nearer the mark, a completely meaningless one; a teenage style thrill kill, no doubt predicated on festering jealousies and resentments and social rejection.  It doesn’t help that Crini changed it.

Ghirga says a few more words about his scepticism that this was the murder knife and that his client was not present at the murder scene.

Next, Dalla Vedova makes his submissions.   He, too, makes a simple refutation of the evidence similar to that of Ghirga, and discredits the prosecution witnesses.  Dalla Vedova launches into a long spiel about how Knox HIV results were supposedly ‘leaked’.  Nencini expresses impatience and asks if there is any paper trail that proves his claims, that a prison doctor falsely told her she was HIV positive out of malice.  Dalla Vedova concurs it is just a theory.  Truth is, Knox’ Prison Dairy was offered to the press by Knox’ own circle, in exchange for selectively positive media reports.

‘Skeptical Bystander’ of Perugia Murder, a forum that is now defunct, claimed that she had been offered this diary and she turned it down.  As Knox herself states, in her Prison Diary, that the doctor told her not to worry, as it was probably a false negative.  It seems to me, nobody forced her to reveal her sex partners.  Knox’ list was her own idle doodling, in the full knowledge, of course, prison officers would read whatever she writes.  It’s interesting to see what is missing from the list.

Dalla Vedova claims the laptop hard drives were ‘fried’ by forensic police.  Curatolo is deemed an unreliable witness because his mind is ‘confused’.  He accuses Guede of using his letters and writings as a form of ‘judicial strategy’.  The time of death is a problem:

DALLA VEDOVA: The fact that there is no certain time of death is problematic, as it is a fairly easy piece of data to analyze today. At 21:10 Raffaele and Amanda finish watching Amelie. At 22:13 Meredith’s cell connects to a cell tower at Parco Sant Angelo. 50 minutes is simply too little time for all of the scenario to unfold that the prosecution alleged.

The defence claim that Meredith was dead shortly after arriving home, just after 21:00 is also problematic, as it means Guede hung around the cottage for over an hour, until at least 22:13, which seems unlikely, if he was just there to burgle and rape.

Finally, Dall Vedova’s last point:

DALLA VEDOVA When we first saw the bra clasp on Nov. 2 it was white. 40 days later it is gray.

When there is a doubt, when there is uncertainty, we have to stop. We have to raise our hands and say the trial has failed. We have to acquit.          

In short, the defence says there is no motive, it is obvious that it was a crime perpetrated by Guede alone.  There is no trace of Knox in the murder room.  The entire investigation is incompetent.  Stefanoni’s results are unreliable.

There was a rush to judgment.

Bongiorno is not here today for Sollecito.  The next hearing is set for 9th for Bongiorno’s defence of her client and 10th January for rebuttals and deliberations.







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