inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #0 of 60: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Mon 28 Feb 11 20:10
    
This week we welcome Candace Dempsey to Inkwell.vue to discuss her
book, "Murder in Italy"

Candace Dempsey is the Italian-American author of MURDER IN ITALY, the
true story of Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student
convicted of murdering her British roommate. A Library Journal
Bestseller, it won Best True Crime Book 2010 Editor's Choice and
Reader's Choice awards. 

Since November 2007, Candace has covered this once-in-century crime
story on her seattle pi.com blog, featured on Newsweek.com and read
around the world. An award-winning journalist and travel writer, she
has discussed the Knox case on Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News
with Jane Velez-Mitchell,  KOMO TV, KONG TV, KING TV and many other
television and radio outlets. 

Interviewing Candace, will be Katherine B. Branstetter, otherwise
known as <kathbran> or <kathyb> on the WELL. Trained in linguistic
anthropology, Kathy is Helpdesk at The WELL.

Welcome Candace and Kathy!
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #1 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 28 Feb 11 22:05
    <scribbled by julieswn Tue 1 Mar 11 19:26>
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #2 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 28 Feb 11 22:24
    
Hi everyone,
I love to answer questions about the Amanda case, since I'm obsessed
with it. That and Italy. I'll start by telling you a bit more about my
book and perhaps that will spark questions. Then fire away. 

First, my favorite review: 
"MURDER IN ITALY is a real-life murder mystery, as compelling and
terrifying as any work of fiction." Femme Noir. 

That nails what I wanted to do. I hadn't read many true crime books
before I became enthralled with the Knox case, but had read many
mysteries. My Penguin editor mainly works on mystery books. We both
wanted my book to unfold like a movie, beginning on an Italian
Halloween, when everything was beautiful for roommates Meredith Kercher
and Amanda Knox. Meredith, an Erasmus scholar from London,  was
brutally stabbed to death the next night in her own bedroom. Police
arrested Amanda only a few days later, along with her Italian boyfriend
Raffaele Sollecito. 

So the book shows dreams turning into nightmares. It ends with the
conviction of Amanda and Raffaele. The verdict came down at midnight on
a dark Italian night and I was there. 

The case has everything: drugs, sex, beautiful people, murder, Italy.
I didn't have to make up a thing. In fact, my editor said I had enough
for eight books. I'm still blogging about the case, which is on appeal
and it's still thrill a minute; I have never run out of topics. 

http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/

People always want to know how I got into the case, what I think of
the Amanda Knox Lifetime movie, whether I think Amanda is guilty, why I
think the police thought she was guilty, what I think of her strange
behavior after the murder, whether I still love Italy.  They ask what
it's like to be in the midst of a media storm, to look up from a
half-finished chapter and see Hillary Clinton on TV, talking about the
Knox case. It's surreal to be in court and see the famous faces from
TV. Amanda's mom, Amanda, her Italian boyfriend. It's close up and
intimate in court. 

The entire book is in chronological order, with few flashbacks. Erik
Larson (Devil in the White City) advised me to do that, but it was 
hard. That meant I had to keep adding things to the front of the book,
up until the end, because we kept learning new things in court. I
thought it would never get done. But I also oved working on one big
project for 3 years, instead of doing one-offs as a freelance writer,
which is what I was before. 

I'm happy to discuss how to market a book, get an agent, build a
platform, use social media and so on to promote it. I teach "From Blog
to Book Deal" at conferences. In fact, I'll be teaching at the Whidbey
Island Writer's Conference in April. I'm also still on book tour. 

I love the Whidbey conference because I found my agent there. I
described that experience in an interview with Seattlest. I'll end with
that: Then please fire away with your questions: 
 
Q. Can you give me a rough timeline of how Murder in Italy came
together?

A. In February 2008, I pitched Murder in Italy at the Whidbey Island
Writers' Conference. By then I had many sources in Italy and the U.S.
and was working on the Amanda Knox case 24/7. At Whidbey I met thriller
writer William Dietrich, a Pulitzer-prize winning investigative
reporter, and he gave me tips on how to research a crime tale. He
referred me to his agent, Andrew Stuart, who sold Murder In Italy to
Penguin/Berkley Books.

Also at Whidbey I met Erik Larson, the author of The Devil in the
White City and he advised me to write Murder in Italy in chronological
order, focusing on Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. That's what I did.

Instead of just reproducing the courtroom drama, I used the testimony
to weave a mystery story, a la Ann Rule of Seattle, my favorite crime
writer. The book unfolds like a movie, starting with a happy Italian
Halloween. I divided it into three acts, ending with Amanda and
Raffaele's conviction.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #3 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Tue 1 Mar 11 14:02
    
Welcome to Inkwell, Candace!

Your book is quite a read!  Since I read mostly on BART, I'm fortunate
I live at the end of the line, or I might have missed my stop.

I was aware of the case through the coverage on the morning news
shows, though I have to admit I flipped away from it quickly when they
got in to the endless: "How do you FEEL about..." questions.

I was glad to see the facts in your book instead of endless
*FEELINGS*.

I am curious why you think the police and judge acted the way they
did.  Is this just how the Italian legal system works? 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #4 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Wed 2 Mar 11 18:23
    
Great question, Kathy. And thanks for the compliment.

I tried to nail the police thinking in MURDER IN ITALY. First, they
truly believe Amanda did it. I've never bought the "railroading"
charge. But, like the prosecutor, they reason in a different way than
U.S. police officers. Voo-doo crime theory, some critics call it. 

Here, we gather evidence and then come up with a theory that matches.
There, they begin with the theory--in this case a violent, drug-fueled
orgy--and then look for evidence to support it. 

In the Amanda Knox case, they didn't even wait for the forensics. The
big honcho from Rome knew instinctively that she was the killer--and
boasted of that. Only five days after the murder, the Perugia police
arrested 3 people, perp-walked them in front of the world press, told
everyone they were drug-crazed sexual deviants and put them behind
bars. (U.S. honor student Amanda Knox, her Italian ex-boyfriend and her
boss at Le Chic, a local bar.)

Oops. A few days later they found a bloody hand print on a pillowcase
under the body. It didn't belong to any of the 3 people arrested. Did
that change the crime theory? No. They simply released one prisoner and
subbed him into the crime theory. So first they claimed that Amanda
and her Italian boyfriend wanted to have group sex with her boss and
her British roommate. Meredith Kercher, a charming, lovely Erasmus
school with whom Amanda had never quarreled. 

Next, they claimed that Amanda and her Italian boyfriend wanted to
have sex with drifter/burglar/possible dope dealer Rudy Guede (whom
Amanda had met once and Raffaele had never met) and her British
roommate. Meredith Kercher, a charming, lovely Erasmus scholar with
whom Amanda had never quarreled. 

Mix in Giuliano Mignini, who dreamed up the famous "sex game gone
wrong" theory of the crime. As I note in MURDER IN ITALY, he's the same
prosecutor who jailed the co-author of MONSTER OF FLORENCE, Mario
Spezi, and drove Spezi's co-author, Doug Preston, out of the country. 

In Italy, the prosecutor is in charge of the police investigation. He
tells them what to look for. That's been a disaster. No evidence
supports the sex game theory. There's no trace of Amanda in the murder
room. Everything points to Rudy Guede. But the police still think she
stabbed Meredith to death. They're angry because they can't prove it. 

As for keeping my feelings out, I'm pleased that you said that. I
wanted to let others talk and explain themselves. For instance, I was
in court when Amanda came in on Valentine's Day, wearing the famous
"All You Need Is Love" Beatles T-shirt. 

I was standing next to an Italian reporter and he said, "Oooh, Amanda
trying to be sexy again." He asked me what I thought. Well, how would I
know? Later, I asked her U.S. boyfriend, DJ, why she did it, because I
knew he'd talked to her. And that's what I put into my book, her
explanation. 

It's funny, but in my book proposal, I was in the book. But that
turned out to be unnecessary. It's such a spell-binding mystery. I
needed to stand back and let the story flow. 

I still miss writing that book sometimes. It's so hard to let go.
That's why I'm following it on my blog, every twist and turn. Right now
it's the Amanda Knox Lifetime movie that's causing a stir. Next week
it will be something else, new and exciting. Some mysteries never end. 

My true crime blog. 
http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #5 of 60: . (wickett) Wed 2 Mar 11 18:48
    

Riveting.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #6 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Thu 3 Mar 11 08:53
    
candace, since the story keeps evolving/changing, what do you see happening
next vis a vis you and your book? would you perhaps negotiate an ebook
sequel at some time in next year or so?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #7 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Thu 3 Mar 11 10:01
    
Your explanation of the methodology of the prosecution is very
interesting, Candace.  

It makes me wonder what thoughtful Italians think when they watch
American or British courtroom stories--even American TV, like Law &
Order and Perry Mason. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #8 of 60: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Thu 3 Mar 11 12:44
    
As I read the book I wondered what might have happened if Amanda had
gone straight to the embassy and stopped talking. Also made me fearful
for young people living in other countries, not being really aware of
their surroundings.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #9 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Fri 4 Mar 11 00:05
    
Hi Paulina, 

I'd never thought of an ebook sequel, but that's a good idea. The
crazy thing is that in 2007, when I got my book contract, ebooks were
barely mentioned in my contract. Right before publication in 2010, I
remember my editor telling me that I needed to purchase extra photo
rights for the ebook (Yes, authors have to provide their own photosand
it's expensive. You also have to pay your own travel expenses.). 

For the first two months of publication, my book wasn't a Kindle,
because Penguin was fighting with Amazon about ebook rights for all its
books. The landscape has changed so rapidly that it's dizzying. Now,
most mystery books sell better online than in the stores. 

I've started a new book, an Italian travel book. Italy as an
adventure, ala Paul Theroux.That's what I was working on when the Knox
case turned me into woman interrupted. Writer's Rainbow just did an
interview with me about my Rome to Africa book, because I'd actually
been in class with that blogger before I got caught up in all this
craziness and could only write about the murder in Perugia. 
______________________

Kathbran, Italians love our TV shows, although they don't mistake them
for documentaries, and wish they had jurors like ours--people who have
a lot of power. Italian jurors are pretty much figureheads. The judge
deliberates with them and calls all the shots. In the Knox case, they
didn't even bother to discuss her guilt or innocence. Their only
mission, as they saw it, was to decide if she and Raffaele should get
life (30 years) or less, because of their youth. They felt they were
being lenient when the judge gave Amanda 26 years; Raffaele, 25.

The EU system legal does offer some cool things, like two automatic
appeals. The Italians didn't invent the system. They just interpret it
in their own unique way. The problem is that innocent until proven
guiltyhas been on the books in Italy only since 2006. As one Italian
journalist said to me: "We don't really get it yet."

Imagine Perry Mason where defendants could get up whenever they want
to and speak to the court. Both Raffaele and Amanda did that and it
helped jurors and reporters to get to know them better. The prosecution
portrayed them as drug-crazed, sex-crazed perverts, but the jurors
didn't buy that. They said both came from good families, were
hard-working and studious. They blamed the murder on the fact that both
students were without their parents, had smoked weed, and made a
terrible mistake. I was amazed when I read the judge's report. 

There's also something called a face to face. If two witnesses
contradict each other, they are called to the front of the court. They
sit across from each other and debate. That actually happened in the
Knox case.
_____________________________

Julie, if Amanda had gone to the embassy and stopped talking, she
would probably be at the University of Washington right now, in grad
school. It's fascinating to me that all of the victim's British friends
left the day after the murder was discovered. The sound of luggage
being wheeled across the cobblestones was loud that day. Meanwhile,
Amanda was questioned every single day until her arrest. 

Thanks everyone, for coming in. I had a rather glamorous day. The
Hollywood Reporter interviewed me about the Lifetime movie. 
http://bit.ly/fWOXDE
27 Fact Flubs in Hayden Panettiere's Amanda Knox Movie?

I also wrote an investigative piece on the case and it's getting lots
of attention. 

Did Amanda tell her parents she was at the murder scene? Read it and
find out!
http://bit.ly/hVjBZl

It's the book tour that will never end!
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #10 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 4 Mar 11 09:32
    
i guess was thinking the ebook thing only because you are still so invested
in/intrigued by the case --- so some sort of sequel seems like a good idea.
it's not that i like ebooks necessarily, just in this environment... and the
story keeps unfolding
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #11 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Fri 4 Mar 11 10:18
    
I'm glad to see that there are some good things about the legal system
there.

I didn't see the Lifetime movie, did it have any impact on the case?
or was it later?  Might it have an impact on the appeal?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #12 of 60: Chris (cooljazz) Fri 4 Mar 11 16:46
    

 Hi Candace,  it has been difficult to not hear about this case in the
news.

  The news I heard a few weeks ago, was that the Italian courts(?)
were taking Amanda's parents to court for making critical comments
about the case.  Are the parents in Italy and in court. Is it possible
they could go to jail as well?

And what are the terms of Amanda's sentence. Is she in jail with no
hope of parole or vindication?  
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #13 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Fri 4 Mar 11 23:19
    
Paulina, I thought your ebook idea was genius. It just had never
occurred to me before. I like the idea, since I've been blogging about
the case all the time since the verdict and new things have happened.

Kathy, so far Italians can't see the Lifetime movie, not widely
anyway, although even Amanda could see the trailer--in her jail cell.
She said it made her physically ill. They cut one murder scene when the
victim's family objected. So it's hard to tell what impact it will
have. I think a "guilter" movie would have been devastating because
they'd think, oh, look, even the Americans think she did it. But it did
try to walk a thin line. 

Chris, yes, this case is hard to ignore. Imagine writing a book with
the TV on in the background and--what's that--yet another new
revelation about Amanda Knox. For me, it's been especially intense
since I live in Seattle. 

Amanda's step-father lives in Italy fulltime because he's a tech guy
and can work anywhere. Her mother and father travel back and forth.
It's difficult. She can have visitors twice and week and they want to
make sure that she's never alone. She was only 20 when she went in.

Amanda has 26 years, but just like here, she won't have to serve all
of that. Hard to say how many. But it's scary. She has 2 automatic
appeals, so there's hope. She'll be back in court next week for her
first appeal. If she loses that, she can appeal to the Supreme Court of
Italy. Her sentence could be overturned then. 

Her parents will get fined, probably. Jail terms are very unlikely. 
They haven't even been attending the proceedings. 

You can watch the movie for free here, for a limited time. 
http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/amanda-knox-murder-on-trial-in-italy
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #14 of 60: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 5 Mar 11 06:27
    
Not about the case, but this statement stopped me in my tracks:

"But I also loved working on one big project for 3 years, instead of
doing one-offs as a freelance writer, which is what I was before."

I've always considered myself a freelance writer, some of whose
projects are books. I guess this is kind of meta, but I'm surprised
that you don't think of yourself as "what I was before" after writing a
book. Comment? 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #15 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Sun 6 Mar 11 01:54
    
Hi Ed,

Ah it's funny how writers reveal ourselves like that. Positively
Freudian. I did used to be a freelance journalist, but now all I can't
wait to write another book. That's what I meant. I remember I interview
this former exotic dancer one time who was making a lot of money on
the Web, displaying erotic photographs. She said her husband has told
her, "You can't keep giving it away one night at a time." I thought
about that for years before I found just the right book project. 

Are you a writer yourself? Very astute of you to notice that.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #16 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Sun 6 Mar 11 02:08
    
Here's my all-time favorite insult about me and my Amanda Knox book,
Murder in Italy. 

"Candace Dempsey is a world class jerk. However, I appreciate her book
about the case because it does represent a lot of facts and a
"scrapbook" of the case. 

"She is a cobra."--Melody Adams
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #17 of 60: Robert Stevenson (robstevenson) Sun 6 Mar 11 03:53
    
Hello everyone,

My first post on Well, and it was this conference that lured me in
(down the Well?).

Writing from the UK we have a different perspective from much of the
American coverage of this case.  The British student who was killed is
obviously the centre of attention for the media here, although much has
been written in the press about the US's fascination with Amanda Knox
and the seeming inability to countenance that she may have comitted the
murder.  I feel a little uneasy about discussing things here, Candace,
as I haven't read your book, but much of your language in these posts
is very "loaded".  

There seems to be an absolute blanket coverage of Knox and only one
mention of the victim.  Much of the focus on Knox on the posts here is
couched in 'victim' language - 

"Amanda has 26 years, but just like here, she won't have to serve all
of that. Hard to say how many. But it's scary. She has 2 automatic
appeals, so there's hope."

<sorry, as a newbie here I'm not sure how to retrieve earlier posts I
read in order to quote them here>

Much of the American press coverage seems to centre around th curious
prurient double standards of the media consuming public - at once
descriptions of group sex and 'perverts' and at the same time saying
that a 'good american girl' (ie white, middle class, educated,
attractive) would not have a more sinister side.

These things (non gang-lad murders) often seem reported din the papers
by people who knew the guilty party - "Oh I'm sure s/he couldn't have
done this, s/he was such a nice neighbour/colleague etc."  However,
crimes of passion through the ages have shown we can't always tell what
people are capable of from their 'public' persona.

OK.  That was it for my first rambling contribution.

Rob!
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #18 of 60: . (wickett) Sun 6 Mar 11 13:22
    

Welcome, Rob!

If you are using the web interface, Engaged, click on the red "see all
responses" at the top of the screen showing the new responses.  That will
show you all the responses in that particular topic.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #19 of 60: Paula Span (pspan) Sun 6 Mar 11 14:50
    
Hello Rob and Hello Candace,

(Yes, Ed is a veteran freelancer and author.)

I'm always interested in process.  How did you learn about the Italian
criminal justice system, not just the way it functions but the underlying
assumptions?  And which parties were willing to work with you and which
stonewalled?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #20 of 60: tub of homogenous filth (tpy) Sun 6 Mar 11 16:43
    

what i took away from reading your book is that she really didnt do it. I 
didnt follow any of the american press when it happened but the british 
press seems really predisposed towards thinking amanda is guilty. did you 
mean to have the book biased in either direction? 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #21 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 00:14
    
Hi Rob,

Thanks for stopping in. Always great to get British point of view. We
have some excellent British journalists working this case, including
Peter Popham, John Hooper, and Nick Squires. Not all are convinced of
Amanda's guilt. Many people have reasonable doubt. It's not black and
white. 

I liked that you brought up Meredith--a beautiful charming girl. Yet
the fate of victims is to fade a bit each year, a journalist said about
this case, especially when they die young. We struggle to say
something new about the victim, but even for the families, the stories
grow old, the edges blur. We cannot create new memories of Meredith
Kercher or anyone who is gone. 

Yes, the cameras follow Amanda, because she's still alive, still
creating headlines. She's a young, beautiful U.S college student hauled
into court every few weeks like a Mafioso in chains. The paparazzi
love her for that, if nothing else. 

I find that in real life, people have complex feelings. If Americans
and Brits met in a jury room, I think we'd all get along. And, please,
Americans don't think a white, middle-class girl could be a killer?
Have you seen our movies, from Fatal Attraction to Natural Born
Killers? Followed the Casey Anthony case? We love to think that the
girl next door could be evil. But in real life, women seldom kill. And
they almost never kill each other. So you need good solid evidence if
you're going to convince a jury that you've got a case.

Instead we got months and months of Amanda's vibrator, her college sex
life, condoms, joints, bathroom habits, shower habits. 

If Americans think Amanda is innocent (and it's not universal), it
needn't be about ignoring facts. As U.S. reporters point out, the
forensics don't support the prosecution theory: a four-way, spur of the
moment, drug-fueled sex game that ended in a horrific, brutal
stabbing--all of this in a room the size of a handkerchief, where only
Rudy left a trace. The DNA on the alleged murder weapon is sketchy and,
only now, after three years of battles, being given independent
testing. The knife couldn't have inflicted the killing wound and
doesn't match a bloody imprint left on the bed. It tested negative for
blood. In short: The knife wouldn't have made it into a U.S. Court.
Same for the trace of DNA tying Raffaele, Amanda's ex-boyfriend, to the
crime. As described in MURDER IN ITALY, many of the "super witnesses"
literally seemed nuts, like the Albanian coke dealer who claimed he met
Amanda and Raffaele--months before they even knew each other. 

As for my 26 year remark: There's no trace of Amanda in the murder
room. All evidence points right at Rudy Guede. Bloody hand print on
victim's pillow. His DNA on her jacket, purse, bra. His DNA inside her.
His bloody shoe print by the bed. He went to a disco after watching
Meredith bleed to death, by his own admission, and then he fled to
Germany, where he threw away his bloody pants and shoes. 
Yet Rudy got only 16 years. Amanda has 26; her boyfriend, 25. The
prosecution doesn't think that's enough. They've asked for 30 years
with nine months of solitary confinement. They're also suing Amanda and
her parents for slander and hauling her boyfriend's family into court
as well. 26, 25 years, not enough? In America, this comes across as
"piling on," as Dan Abrams, a lawyer and producer, said on MSNBC.
It feels personal, like a vendetta. 

I love Italians. It grieves me when they don't even try to show a
sense of fairness. This also grieves me in my own country, which I love
equally well.  

In the U.S. and Italy, you're supposed to be innocent until proven
guilty. The standard is supposed to be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Did we see that in the Knox case? Could Amanda be innocent? That
drives the story. Les Miserables, the damsel in distress, the princess
in the tower. Injustice is an age-old, powerful theme in movies and
literature, because injustice is everywhere. My Italian grandparents
always said that if we saw injustice, we should speak up. That's very
different than not being able to imagine Amanda as guilty. Surely we're
better thinkers than that. 

I appreciate what you said about the victim, Meredith Kercher, and she
is one reason I got into the case. Look at the cover of my book. Her
photo is the center and the cobblestones recreate her last walk home. 

I had complex reasons for being drawn to this story. One of which I
wrote about months into the case, when I finally got the courage.  

"The truth is I can all too easily picture Meredith’s final hours," I
wrote. "I’m far from the only woman who can say that.

"Yes, I’ve experienced Act One of Meredith’s tragedy. I can easily
imagine her terror and helplessness.

"Violent crimes are committed for that reason. So the victim will
occupy that undreamed of place. So she will understand what it means to
be held down, to literally be at the mercy of another individual.

"It is not Perry Mason, what happened to Meredith. It is neither
Agatha Christie nor Hercule Poirot. Meredith’s life ended like a
smashed clock. Nobody can know her now. She will visit her family as my
younger sister does, only in dreams."

http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/2008/02/21/meredith-kercher-one-
murder-too-many/

When I heard about the murder, I'd just returned from Italy myself. I
live in Seattle, Amanda's hometown. I was stunned to learn that a
British student had been murdered in Amanda's hometown and that a
Seattle honor student was the prime suspect. Then I saw Meredith's
sister on TV, talking so eloquently just days after the murder. I wrote
this. 

http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/2007/11/10/meredith-kercher-murder-in-seattl
es-sister-city/

I'd like to say that the British press and commenters on my blog
wanted to talk about the victim, but alas. The British press created
Foxy Knoxy. Their early stories are a festival of girls gone wild. I
could give you hundreds of examples. Just go back and read the archives
in the Daily Mail and The Times of London even. Shocking. Meanwhile,
my readers wanted Amanda lynched. They literally said that. They said
it was too bad that Italy didn't have the electric chair. This was only
a week or so after an arrest.

I'll leave you some typical British headlines, from the Daily Mail
and, yes, Times of London, the quality press. Do you see any focus on
Meredith here? I write a story about her every year on the anniversary
of her death. So do the Italians. The British, no. 

Psychopath Amanda Knox Snared by Her Lust and Her Lies
I Fired Foxy Knoxy For Flirting With Customers
Foxy Knoxy's boyfriend: 'Amanda was detached from reality'
Pictures of the moment Foxy Knoxy went shopping for sexy lingerie the
day after Meredith's murder
New Meredith suspect: 'I had sex with her on the night she died, but
then fought the REAL killer'
"Foxy Knoxy Reveals her Lesbian Trauma,"
"Knox e-mail tells of Meredith's 'vampire blood'" 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #22 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 00:58
    
Hi Paula,
Nice to see you here. Now to your questions! 
1. You said: I'm always interested in process.  How did you learn
about the Italian criminal justice system, not just the way it
functions but the underlying assumptions?  

*I had a great desire to learn all about it, so I studied up. Anything
Italian fascinates me. The laws are available online. In court I 
I always sat with the Italian reporters and that was the biggest help.
There are things that only they can understand, probably what you mean
by the "underlying assumptions." So I was always asking, why do they
do this? Why that? I try to let other people talk in my book, as much
as possible, when trying to explain things. I drew a lot from the
Italian reporters. So you hear many voices and opinions. 

I remember there was a long debate about whether Raffaele had said
"Let's go home and have HOT sex," to Amanda while she was buying new
underwear in a store. I couldn't understand that debate. And an Italian
reporter said that "hot" means "violent" sex in Italy. So I put that
into my book. 

Blogger Frank Sfarzo was also a huge help. He lives in Perugia but
writes a blog in English and he enjoys explaining how the law is
supposed to work and how it plays out in this case. Like me, he's still
blogging it. You can get his updates here. 

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/

2. And which parties were willing to work with you and which
stonewalled. Here is the shock, everybody was willing to work with me,
even prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who is suing at least eight
journalists. I'm Italian-American, and that helped a lot. I was
considered somewhat of a novelty act, so many people wanted to talk to
me. In fact, the only person who ever said no to me was a British
reporter, Nick Pisa. He is usually a friendly guy but he got haughty
when I said I wanted to interview him for my book. I've never figured
that out, because he's on TV all the time, he gives interviews to
everyone. He was one of the first reporters on the scene and played a
major role in the Foxy Knoxy story. So I wanted to know how he did it.
What methods did he use? I was able to get around that. I found an
interview he'd given to an obscure graduate student in Ireland. Nick
described how he'd gotten Meredith's name before the other reporters,
how he  raided Meredith's Facebook, Amanda's Facebook, Raffaele's etc. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #23 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 01:15
    
hi tpy
you asked:  did you 
mean to have the book biased in either direction? 

Good question: I'm a big fan of Court TV. You can tell that a reporter
has a certain viewpoint but they never really say. For me, that's the
best kind of reporter. They're saying, well, I'm no fool. Sure, I have
opinions. But I'll give you both sides. You decide for yourself.

It's not the reporter's job to say innocent or guilty. That's up to
the jury. I'm a storyteller, not a crusader. I read a book on the Duke
Rape case and had to put it down. The writer was so angry about the
injustice that he forgot to tell a story. It was shouting from
beginning to end.  

I'm happy that my book was written right after the verdict, because it
has the freshness and rawness of a writer who doesn't know for sure.
I'll talk to anyone. I'll read any document. I'm prepared to be wrong. 

I've had many dark nights of the soul over this case. What reporter
hasn't? It's a sad story all around. The collateral damage from a
murder is very hard to watch. Even reporters who hate Amanda were upset
when the verdict came down and we had to listen to the screaming of
Raffaele's step-mother.  

P.S. The British press is not nearly as negative toward Amanda as they
once were. Some of the most famous tabloidistas have switched sides,
even Nick Pisa. Of course he could always switch back. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #24 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 01:17
    
Rob, I want to leave this with you. 

It's Meredith Kercher in a music video shot in London shortly before
her murder. We didn't see this until nearly 2 years after her murder.
We didn't even know about it. Her family gave permission for its
release, timed around their own court appearance. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL3n8RmfICc
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #25 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 02:23
    
Rob,
A British friend just told me that he couldn't see the musical part of
that video.

Try this page 
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/680039-music-video-starring-meredith-kercher-on-yo
utube
  

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