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inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #26 of 60: tub of homogenous filth (tpy) Mon 7 Mar 11 12:09
    

thanks for your response candace. i feel so strongly that she is innocent, 
and a victim of the conservative and traditional italian justice system. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #27 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Mon 7 Mar 11 13:19
    
candace, do you feel there was a latent anti-american showtrial aspect
to the proceedings?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #28 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 21:31
    
Hi tpy,
If you feel strongly about Amanda, you may want to check out the
Injustice in Perugia site. Obviously the stories are pro-Amanda and
Raffaele, but they have a good forum and they try to honor all points
of view. A a near impossibility in this case, which is very polarized
(at least on the Internet). 
http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/Forum.html

Raffaele's sister operates this Facebook page. She scolded me one time
about one of my stories on my Facebook page. It was very Italian. 
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001382935225

Amanda goes back to court this week, so watch for more fireworks. 

Here are the upcoming court dates.As I mentioned earlier, Amanda is
also being sued for slander, in a separate trial. Her parents are being
sued for slander as well. Raffaele's family will soon go on trial for
leaking a crime scene video to an Italian TV station. 

Mar 12, Mar 26, Apr 16.

May 21 - DNA result hearing
Amanda and Raffaele
 
Feb 15
Slander
Edda and Curt
 
Feb 24
Supreme Court confirms Rudy Guede's 16-year sentence
 
Mar 28
Arbitrary publication of judicial acts
Sollecito Family - Francesco (Father), Vanessa (Sister), Mara
(Step-Mother) Giuseppe and Sara (Uncle and Aunt).
 
May 9
DNA experts turn in results
 
May 16
Slander. Amanda. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #29 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 7 Mar 11 22:11
    
Paulina, there was definitely a show trial ambiance. The Italians even
called it "The Amanda Show" (in English). That was the headline in the
Italian newspapers all across town. What you saw in court had little
to do with what was really going on. We saw jurors napping every
afternoon; the head judge talking on his cellphone. 

On the other hand, when I studied the transcripts, I saw that a lot of
work got done. Certainly every bit of evidence made it through the
trial. However (no offense, Rob, if you're listening)the end was only
too predictable. I'm sorry to say that. I'm an optimist, so I'm always
ready to believe, get disappointed, and believe again. The trial really
tested my patience. No trace of the 2 college students in the murder
room? Beyond a reasonable doubt? Really? 

As for anti-Americanism, no question that played a role,although it
wasn't the major factor. That would be Amanda's false confession. Very,
very hard to dig your way out of that, as any lawyer would tell you.
Better for Amanda if she'd never written or said a word after
Meredith's body was found. But she talked and talked. She wrote and
wrote. All of that hurt her in court, when it came back to her in
mangled form. 

Remember that Amanda got arrested in the final years of the Bush years
and that didn't help her cause. I saw a cartoon of her with Karl Rove
and they both had Pinnochio noses. We often heard references to the
Marines landing, Guantanomo Bay, American movies like Natural Born
Killer etc. 

But as one English reporter told me, Italians in general like
Americans. Think how many Italians have immigrated to our country and
still dream of making money there. So being American is a double-edged
sword.

Everyone was kind to me in Perugia and I have a very heavy American
accent. When they learned that I was from Seattle, they wanted to talk
to me, to explain that their beautiful city didn't deserve its bad
reputation. They would find me sources, suggest restaurants. It makes
me smile just thinking about it. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #30 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Tue 8 Mar 11 09:10
    
i sometimes have felt that in these situations, or ones analogous to them,
once the outrageous/untrue/wrong wrong wrong position gets staked out by the
powers that be, even though they might want to back down/out --- they see no
way to do so without losing face/institutional credibility.

do you feel that might be going on now?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #31 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Tue 8 Mar 11 15:51
    
Yes, Paulina, it's hard for all of us to admit that we're wrong. We
get stubborn. We won't consider other possibilities. Then you throw a
U.S. suspect into the trial and make her the center, and it becomes us
vs. them. Tunnel vision. Confirmation bias. It can happen anywhere. 

Some Italian reporters say this trial would not have taken place in
Rome, because people are more sophisticated and people wouldn't be so
judgmental about sex and drug use. Not that there isn't plenty of both
in Perugia. In any case, it's too bad that Italy doesn't offer change
of venue. That would at least create a sense of fairness--and that is
so lacking in this case, as I mentioned before. The court doesn't even
pretend. 

Just as an example, Amanda and Raffaele have been behind bars since
Nov. 2007. Italy usually offers house arrest, even to murder suspects.
Alberto Stasi, arrested about a month before they were (for the murder
of his girlfriend) has resumed his wealthy lifestyle and has even been
seen at chic ski resorts, while his case is on appeal. 

Another example: Until now, three years into the case, only one expert
has ever been allowed to evaluate the DNA evidence. At the pretrial,
do you know who was brought into court as a independent expert to
evaluate her work? Her boss! He said everything was done correctly.
Both claim that contamination has never occurred in the uncertified
Rome lab, not a single time.

I have some hope that this new judge will take a clear look at the
evidence and will not start from a position of guilt. That hasn't
happened yet. The pretrial judge said he started his thinking with "all
three suspects in the room." At the trial, the jury never considered
guilt or innocence, only whether the two defendants should get life (30
years) or a lesser sentence. They thought they were being kind when
they gave Amanda 26; Raffaele, 25. And Rudy is serving only 16. 

I do want to stress that injustice, if that's what this is, can happen
anywhere. In Seattle for sure. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #32 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Tue 8 Mar 11 16:20
    
Hi everyone,

Feel free to ask me about the very controversial Lifetime movie.
Hollywood Reporter has my 27 flubs. 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/27-fact-flubs-hayden-panettieres-163554

Big showdown this week. Amanda vs.the homeless man who claims he saw
her and Raffaele casing out her own house on the night of the murder.
He lives on a park bench and has somehow been a star witness in 3
murder trials, in a town where murders are rare. He's also confused
about what night he saw the 2 students. He mentioned Halloween costumes
when he first told his tale--and the murder occurred on Nov. 1.  

He'll come to court in handcuffs, because he just got jailed for
dealing heroin. And he's the star witness against Amanda Knox. 
I wrote about this showdown here: 
http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/2011/02/28/superwitness-against-amanda-knox-
put-behind-bars/
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #33 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Tue 8 Mar 11 16:45
    
The slander cases sure look like a system that's insecure about
itself.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #34 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Tue 8 Mar 11 18:03
    
i can imagine a scenario that might take place at some point in the not-so-
distant future when the media spotlight is gone --- that someone who is in a
position of authority in italy would grant a 'pardon' to amanda --- so the
question of the adequacy (or lack thereof) of the italian criminal justice
system and its particular conduct in this regard --- dont come under
scrutiny.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #35 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Wed 9 Mar 11 09:35
    
Ok, I'll bite:  What do you think about the Lifetime movie?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #36 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Thu 10 Mar 11 20:56
    
Paula, yes, I think that even now the Italians could find a
face-saving way out, since Amanda has been behind bars now for three
years, and say well, perhaps we made a mistake. 

Hi Kathy,
Well, actually I didn't hate it the way I thought I would. Hayden
actually does look like Amanda and I could see that she had done a lot
of thinking about her role and actually has a bit of talent. Marcia Gay
Harden did a good job of channeling Ellas Mellas, the "mother from
Central Casting," as the reporters call her. But it didn't actually
show all sides, only the various prosecution theories. 

Have you seen it? What'd you think? 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #37 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Fri 11 Mar 11 10:00
    
Candace, did you get access to everyone and all the documents you
wanted to interview for the case?  
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #38 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Fri 11 Mar 11 12:21
    
Yes, Kathy, I was able to get everything I needed to write the book,
because as I said in MURDER IN ITALY, the Italian courts leak "like
sinking yachts." 

As another reporter said, everything is supposed to be secret, and
everything is available. My editor said I had enough for eight books.
She usually edits mystery books so she was expert at deleting
fascinating tidits that were "tangential to the plot." I've recycled
much of that into my blog. Since the case is on appeal, I'm still
learning new things and getting new documents. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #39 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Fri 11 Mar 11 12:42
    
(No, I didn't see the movie.)
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #40 of 60: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 11 Mar 11 14:47
    
i read today that there are some attempted reforms being made to the italian
judicial system --- but reforms maybe intended to benefit berlusconi.
do you know anything about these, and how they might bear on amanda's case?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #41 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Sun 13 Mar 11 00:12
    
Paulina, I am not sure. It's very complicated and may not happen. No,
it won't have any effect on Amanda, since she's already in the court
system. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #42 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Sun 13 Mar 11 15:21
    
Do you think the University of Washington will consider any changes to
their year abroad program in light of this?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #43 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Sun 13 Mar 11 16:19
    
Kathy, the UW did hold behind-closed-door meetings about its study
abroad program and says it's made changes. I don't know what they are.
To be fair, Amanda could have studied at the UW's Rome extension on
gorgeous Piazza di Popolo, but she chose Perguia because you have to
use Italian there even to mail a letter.

In Rome, she would have lived with other students in safe lodgings,
although murders occur anywhere. She could also have gone to the Umbra
Institute in Perugia, which has 400 students, mainly American, and she
would have gotten to travel around Italy and also vacation anywhere in
Europe, even Eastern Europe. However, she wanted to spend all her time
with Italian students, and that's hard to do at the Umbra Institute.
You  do travel around in a pod of students from your own country.

Where the UW goes wrong, IMHO, is that they don't help students find
safe housing. There should be a list of approved dwellings and warnings
about seedy neighborhoods. A foreigner often can't tell the
difference. I'm always surprised myself. 

Amanda was on her own, studying at the U. for Foreigners. I would have
jumped at the chance to live in the cute little cottage where the
murder occurred, with its fabulous view of the Umbrian hills. Like
Amanda and Meredith, I had no idea that Perugia has very serious drug
and crime problems. The cottage is outside the protection of the city
walls and isolated on a hill, dimly lit at night, with a faulty front
door and windows too easily broken.

Both Amanda and Meredith saw it on a beautiful warm day, when none of
these flaws were apparent. They weren't looking to live a wild life.
They were both hard-working, middle-class scholars who didn't even
throw parties, not a single one. They had no way of knowing that drug
dealers haunt that neighborhood and the parking lot across the street
is a gathering place for criminals, as is the basketball court. It's
chilling when you locate the cottage on a city map. They were steps
away from real danger, mostly at night. What a tempting target that
house is for burglars. Other houses on the hills have high walls and
beware of the dog signs. Not the house of horrors.

Still, their roommates were both legal trainees in their late
twenties. Four nice strong Italian boys lived in the flat downstairs.
They called them "our protectors." 

The timing of the murders is also chilling. Eight people lived in the
house, upstairs or down. On All Saint's Day, when Meredith was
murdered, all six Italians were either out of  town or staying
elsewhere. That left the two beautiful foreign girls alone that entire
holiday weekend. Amanda went to Raffaele's house.

As an Italian blogger pointed out, Meredith was murdered the first
time she spent the night alone in the cottage.

Again the timing: They'd met Rudy Guede briefly about two weeks
before; after which, an intruder was spotted was spotted in the garden
twice--once by Meredith, at around 9 p.m. (She would die somewhere
around that time on Nov. 1, 2007). 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #44 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Mon 14 Mar 11 12:19
    
Did anything significant happen on the March 12th court date?
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #45 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Mon 14 Mar 11 22:09
    
Yes, the defense did a great job of discrediting the super witness
against Amanda Knox, a homeless heroin dealer who claims that he saw
her and her boyfriend hovering near the crime scene on the night of the
murder. It was a freezing night in Perugia, he had cozy apartment
nearby, they'd been lovers only 6 days, but this witnesses claims they
out at a seedy piazza for two hours. 

See Amanda Knox vs. the heroin pusher
http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/2011/03/11/amanda-knox-vs-the-heroin-pusher/

  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #46 of 60: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 17 Mar 11 10:14
    
Thank you for a very interesting look at both the story of a crime and
the Italian justice system, Candace.  It's been a pleasure reading
this interview.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #47 of 60: Kathy (kathbran) Thu 17 Mar 11 10:56
    
Yes, Candace, thank you for talking with us about your book.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #48 of 60: . (wickett) Thu 17 Mar 11 17:11
    

Thank you for the insights into the Italian legal system.
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #49 of 60: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Thu 17 Mar 11 19:13
    
Yes, thank you so much for this conversation. While the attention of
Inkwell has moved on to a new discussion, this topic will stay open
indefinitely for more discussion of the book and the Amanda Knox  case.
Thanks again, Candace, and everyone who contributed, for an
interesting discussion. 
  
inkwell.vue.403 : Candace Dempsey, "Murder in Italy"
permalink #50 of 60: Candace Dempsey (candace777) Sun 24 Apr 11 23:45
    
It was a honor. Thanks for your perceptive questions. I enjoyed my
time in the spotlight! 
  

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