Meredith Kercher’s murder was very easy to solve; she was killed in Perugia, Italy, during a violent home invasion on All Saint’s Day in 2007. It was the Smear Campaign mounted against her innocent roommate, Amanda Knox, that made her case “complicated.”
Rudy Guede killed Meredith when she had the ill fortune to arrive home while he was in the apartment she shared with Amanda and two young Italian women, Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezetti. Guede surprised Meredith in her bedroom, he had been on the toilet in a bathroom at the front of the villa, and during the struggle he stabbed her in the throat. While she lay dying, in a malicious act of perversion, Rudy Guede stripped her and sexually molested her. Then he stole her money, keys, credit cards and two cell phones. He dumped the cell phones in a yard about a half-mile away where they were found the next day; he never used the credit cards. But he did blame Amanda for the theft of Meredith’s money.
That alleged theft became part of the Smear Campaign that haunts Amanda and her friend, Raffaele Sollecito, to this day.
A Smear Campaign, by definition, “is an intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual’s or group’s reputation, credibility, and character.” In essence, the Perugians intentionally and wrongfully presented these innocent students as murderers using the tabloid, mainstream and social media to smear their reputations in a global arena before their trials, thereby tainting judges, juries and public perception. Both students are still dealing with the effects of this calculated and heinous act.
Here is how it was done.
A simple search of “Meredith Kercher” in Google yields over a million hits, much of it is factually incorrect, and therein lays evidence of the Smear Campaign. Police targeted Amanda the day Meredith’s body was found and before a week was out they had set the stage for Amanda to take the blame along with her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele, and her employer, Patrick Lumumba, owner of a local club. Rudy Guede, the true killer, was substituted for Lumumba after his arrest in a sleight of hand.
The reasons why the police targeted innocent people are murky, but some speculate that the public prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, was seeking revenge on another American, Douglas Preston, for his part in Mignini’s own legal troubles shortly before Meredith died. Mignini was charged with Abuse of Office stemming from his targeting of Preston and Preston’s Italian associate, Mario Spezi. All because they wrote a book. Some think that Mignini was using the pretty American girl for a distraction from those same legal troubles, a “Hail Mary” to save face in Perugia and a sexy story about an American college girl was just the kind of distraction he needed for the wagging tongues. While others think that blaming the American Whore for the murder distracted the public from the gaff the Perugians had made a week prior when they allowed Guede a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
I think all of these elements played a role.
The days between the discovery of Meredith’s body (Nov. 2) and Amanda and Raffaele’s arrest (Nov. 6) are the most important because that is where the Smear Campaign was created and pushed on the media. By reviewing the very first news articles of November 2nd it is very easy to see the truth of the matter, poor Meredith was killed in a home invasion.
But there are a few things to remember as we follow the Smear Campaign’s path.
LEAKS BY PERUGIAN AUTHORITIES
It’s important to note that typically the Italian media was tipped off by the police before the British and Americans. Leaking to the news media is a given in Italy and police usually had a “pet reporter” or a “pet news agency.” The Perugian police department leaked so much information that the media remarked upon it.
In order to expedite reports the media uses Google or Bing translators and, more often than not, without correcting syntax, Italian to English translations switch the sentence structure, gender and certain words. Two infamous examples are when the British tabloids mistranslated Amanda’s June 26, 2011 appeal testimony and quoted her as saying that Guede “knows we were there, he knows we all got drunk that night,” meaning the night Meredith was the murdered. Amanda actually said, “We were not together that night and Rudy knows the truth.”
The other mistranslation was from an interview with the appellate judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, two days after he pronounced the Oct 3, 2011 innocence verdict. The tabloids reported that Judge Hellmann had said, “A truth that was created in the proceedings, but the real truth may be different. They may be responsible.” What Judge Hellmann actually said was, “The truth is that there is no proof to condemn Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Therefore they are innocent.”
COPY AND PASTE
This dandy feature of the computer age has become the bane of investigative journalism as the rush to feature Breaking News first has overwhelmed the need to verify facts. During 2010 and 2011, as I followed the reports out of Italy, I often saw a British tabloid reporter’s skewed article end up in my local papers verbatim, but with the tag line of “Off the AP Wire.” Because of Copy and Paste Americans did not know they were reading the British version of the National Enquirer as if it were from a legitimate source in the mainstream press. No self-respecting person that I know thinks anything a tabloid prints is true.
IN THE BEGINNING
As news broke of Meredith’s death on the afternoon of November 2, 2007, the reports were sketchy, saying only that a British student had been murdered in Perugia, Italy. The media discussed Meredith’s “semi naked body in the bedroom,” “foreign exchange student,” “a window had been broken,” “two Italian roommates and one American roommate,” “police were led to the murder scene because a neighbor had found her cellphones.” And that her parents found out she was dead from her “father’s colleague at The Mirror.” Tabloids will call the murderer a “maniac” and that Meredith was “butchered.” The students and residents in Perugia were terrified and the police were under great pressure to find the killer and bring him to justice.
THE SMEAR BEGINS
On November 3, 2007; we begin to see the first elements of what will become the prosecutorial theory, the so-called Mountain of Evidence. The word “Maniac” is introduced, insanity is a common smear tactic. The Mirror reported that “police had ruled out a theory that she disturbed a burglar as nothing was missing from the apartment.” This statement is important because it plays directly into the “Staged Break-In Myth” that will become a keystone as the prosecutors use it to insinuate that Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy staged a burglary to throw police off track. La Repubblica said, “she knew her killer,” also a keystone, as we see later when the police use the theory that Amanda is the “killer” with absolutely no proof.
A Smear is all about influencing the uneducated public.
On November 4, 2007, we begin to see the police dropping hints that will become part of the Sex Game Gone Wrong theory and they repeat that Meredith “knew her killers,” further imprinting that point deeper onto the public consciousness. Note here that the reference is plural, this keystone will become part of the “multiple attackers” theory advanced by the prosecution and will also become part of Rudy Guede’s 2010 Judicial Truth.
The Guardian reported that “Police say British student may have known her killer because the door of the cottage had not been forced and her bedroom window was 30 feet from the ground.” This will be used to insinuate that “only Amanda could have opened the door to the killer.” Another prosecutorial theory. Another point of reference BEFORE any confessions or any forensic evidence is processed. Another element illustrating an active Smear Campaign in progress.
La Repubblica reported that “forensic scientists have confirmed that the girl has had sex before her death” and “And investigators do not rule out that there may have been two involved in the violent attack on the girl.” “The two” meaning Amanda and Raffaele, the police are setting the stage for the “Multiple Attacker” Theory which will be released to the public, three days hence, with lights and sirens blaring.
Most interestingly, though, is the beginning of the Sex Game theory two days before the arrest of Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick. ” Meredith has struggled with the murderers – or killers – which would have forced her to have sex.” “Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini coordinating the investigation and investigators are back at the farmhouse of the crime. A visit that made me think of a turning point because with them was a young woman, it seems one of the friends of the victim.” A reference to Amanda. Then the chief of police, Arturo De Felice, said that “all investigative tools, strengths, and skills have been put in place to arrive early to the solution.”
We now know that “tools, strengths and skills” means “feelings and intuition” as the police will use in their own defense as to how they came to the conclusion that Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick were involved in the murder. These conclusions did not include actual evidence left at the crime scene by the real killer, Rudy Guede.
Frankly, their intuition did not include ANY actual evidence.
One important note is that in 2012, Giuseppe Castellini, the director of The Giornale dell’Umbria, wrote an article for “The Criminal Archives” discussing the Meredith Kercher case. He mentions in regards to November 4th, “The impression is that the circle is tightening. Arrests are expected. Meanwhile (the police) wrecked any attempt to interview Amanda and Raffaele.” The implication in this statement is that the reporter recognized that the police had already targeted the students as being involved. Castellini also mentions a “North African,” clearly the police have decided upon Patrick Lumumba as well, but the reporter was not sure whom they meant until after Lumumba’s arrest.
THE CIRCLE TIGHTENS
On November 5, 2007; we see the beginning of what will become the Satanic Element as Halloween is introduced to media. The Independent reported that “One theory is that she had made a date at her house with a man she had perhaps met during Halloween festivities the previous night. Whoever he was – if it was a man, as seems overwhelmingly likely – she knew him and let him into the front door of the pretty villa where she lived with three other female students, a few yards from the main university building. Her three housemates were all away on Thursday evening, and spent the night elsewhere.”
One wonders if the police had already spoken to Rudy Guede, as this quote from The Independent WILL become his alibi.
The Independent continues: “Leaks from the police inquiry indicate that the police are confident that she had sex with the man before being killed. There were no signs that she submitted to intercourse after a struggle, though it is possible she was forced to agree after he pulled a knife. One theory is that after being forced to have sex she told the man that she would sue him for rape – whereupon he killed her.”
Further reinforcing Guede’s alibi. Note that Guede was not identified by police, through fingerprints, until November 19, 2007. And that only his prints, in Meredith’s blood, were found in several places in her bedroom. No one else.
La Repubblica introduces the public to more of the Sex Game theory when it reported that Meredith was “Raped by more than one man” and “Meredith has struggled to defend” and “The investigations are continuing unabated for three days and are concentrated on a small group of people.” The “small group of people” lends credence to Castellini’s observation that the police were focused on Amanda and Raffaele.
La Repubblica continued with “It seems she was raped by more than one. Maybe by two people. Meredith Kercher has two big bruises on her cheeks. Yes, it may have been in two. While one abused her, it is likely that the other clamped down on her mouth by squeezing her jaws. Because whoever raped her held her down with his right hand only.”
This is a direct reference to the autopsy results.
La Repubblica also says, “Only further analysis can say in a few days if the organic matter taken in the girl (meaning the vaginal swab which will later identify Guede) belongs to one or two individuals. For now only hypothesis. But the signs on body suggest more than one. The first results of the autopsy on British student with her throat cut in Perugia, tell a atrocious story. What began as a consensual sexual encounter “then degenerated.” The girl had to suffer under the threat of a smooth knife blade, “4:00 to 5:00 centimeters long “. Or maybe it was a simple “non-serrated kitchen knife.”
Here we see a reference to what will become Raffaele’s kitchen knife.
Also, “since the door was not forced, some wonder who lent the keys?” This refers to the police later insisting that Amanda had to have opened the door to the killers in and, again, another reference to friends: “The second track of investigation focuses on her small group of friends.”
THE AFRICAN CLUBBER
This is also the day a black man is introduced and one wonders “How did they know to look for a black man?”
“There are suspicions about a North African cook, one who works in one of the pubs frequented by the English students in Perugia, Meredith and her friends. “It’s the kind of cut throat” that makes investigators suspect Islam.”
It’s possible that only the fingerprint evidence would have been processed at this point, it is fairly easy to get and is usually processed first. If that was the case then the police knew Rudy Guede was involved, it was his fingerprints in Meredith’s blood that went to court as evidence against him. BUT he was nowhere to be found and perhaps that is why Patrick was targeted.
THE EVENING OF NOVEMBER 5TH, BEFORE THE ILLEGAL INTERROGATIONS
At this point let’s review what is being said about the Murder. In three days the police have hypothesized that Meredith 1) Knew her killer 2) It could be someone she met at a Halloween party and had “made a date” with 3) There is more than one killers 4) She was forced to have sex or raped 5) She was held down 6) She was stabbed with a smooth blade knife 6) She struggled with her killers 7) Police are focused on a small group of friends 8) Some one must have lent out the keys to the apartment 9) Police were looking for a black man who frequented pubs 10) Perugia’s Public Prosecutor, Guiliano Mignini is at the helm of the investigation and it is he who told reporters that “sex was forced.”
All of this was in the news the DAY BEFORE the illegal interrogation (late evening Nov. 5) and arrest of Amanda, Raffaele, and Patrick (Nov. 6).
What you are seeing is the perfect example of the police fitting innocent people into a scenario that they have created. At this point, they have NO IDEA what anyone will confess to, but as we saw with the interrogations, that didn’t matter. Come hell or high water they would get something, anything, to use against the students, no matter how ridiculous or illegal.
The Perugians also know the 1) Amanda’s mother was due to arrive the next day 2) Amanda’s cousin in Germany was asking her to come to Germany 3) Raffaele’s sister was Carabinieri 4) Raffaele’s father was asking him to come home. 5) That Amanda’s employer was a black club owner named Patrick Lumumba.
And during this time, November 2 – 5, Amanda and Raffaele are being relentlessly interviewed by the police, answering the same questions repeatedly at all hours of the day and night. The 54 hours in 3.5 days becomes proof of a Softening-Up technique used by police to get suspects into an extreme state of exhaustion prior to an interrogation. Their phones were also being tapped. This is not how “witnesses” are treated. And police scheduled 12 officers for the interrogation, proving a concerted, not spontaneous, effort to ensnare the students.
In hindsight, it is clear that Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick were already “Suspects” and the police were creating a murder scenario into which they will fit.
Any good Smear Campaign has a “Set Up” period where the seeds are sown, so to speak. When a target is identified the bystanders already have some information imprinted making it easy for them to become angry with the person, even if there is no proof of their involvement. For example, the Vietnam War was vilified in the press long before the soldiers became targets for the public; service members were identified as “baby killers” even if they had never engaged in such heinous behavior. The American people had been programmed to hate the soldiers, not the government who sent them to war. It was a par excellence distraction for congress. So it was for Amanda and Raffaele, the Perugian authorities set up the Sex Game Gone Wrong theory for two days, November 3 and 4, before they had any confessions and before most of the forensics had come back.
On November 6, 2007, the morning after the illegal interrogations of Amanda and Raffaele, the media headlines screamed “Meredith friend ‘confesses’,” “Murdered student died during sexual attack, say Italian police” and “Three arrested in Meredith investigation.” Within the articles we find the Sex Game theory again, but this time Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick are attached to it.
They say, in part, that Meredith “died fighting off a sexual attack, Kercher appeared to have been killed because she refused to take part in violent sex, attacked by more than one assailant, they also claimed she had arranged to meet a North African man at the rented apartment where her body was found, Amanda Knox is resentful of her friend-roommate, poor Meredith, intimidating sexual intercourse should be considered violent in nature.” Again the police add the North African man before they have arrested Patrick.
So the Perugian authorities have Set Up their Smear, singled out Targets and, by their selective leaks to the media, have Mode of Transportation for the Smear Campaign, all in less than a week after Meredith was killed. All before results of the evidence gathered at the crime scene came back.
Perugia is glad to have what they believe are the killers off the street and the police are heroes. Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick are shocked and confused by what has happened to them and are now trying to explain that they are innocent, but what they don’t know is that everything they say and do from this point on will be twisted and used against them.
From the first week after Meredith’s murder we can now see a rush to judgment based on nothing more than prejudice against Amanda Knox and a blatant willingness to use anyone connected with her to further the police agenda.
Patrick Lumumba was extremely lucky that Guede’s DNA was found in copious amounts at the murder scene and that he was captured. Or, despite his alibi and if the prosecutor’s behavior is any indication, he would have remained in prison to face trial with Amanda and Raffaele. After Guede’s capture and substitution, Patrick then joined the police and added another dimension of the demonizing of Amanda. He loudly protests that she called him murderer, completely ignoring the fact that the police who beat him are the same ones who forcefully coerced her into making the statement that implicated him.
Patrick’s suing of Amanda provides more ammunition for the Perugian Smear Campaign.
The police tell the press that the students “changed their alibi multiple times” while leaving out that it was they who used the coerced visualizations as confessions. They also “neglect” to mention that Amanda’s poor command of Italian is the reason she continually reframes questions and answers in an attempt to make her self understood. She has no idea that the police really don’t care what she says, they needed a “guilty person” and she is it so they will twist her words to suit their agenda.
In reality the students have consistently told the same story except for a few hours during the interrogations.
THE SMEAR CONTINUES TO GROW
The “Haters” earned their moniker by exposing the ugly underbelly of the Internet. These anonymous bullies have rallied around the Perugian prosecutors and enabled their continued persecution of Amanda and Raffaele by spreading the original elements of the Smear Campaign with embellished add-ons. Alternately called “Guilters” and “PGP” (pro-guilt people, pro Guede people) these individuals have taken online bullying to dizzying new heights.
By 2013, thanks to the efforts of the Haters, the Smear Campaign has added a multitude of factoids like the “47 Stab Wounds Myth” and the “Amanda Never Apologized to Patrick Myth.” A Ground Report contributor complied a list of 40 Myths and that list is still growing.
The 47 Stab Wounds Myth is by far one of the worst example of the cruelty these people encourage as Meredith’s injuries have been purposely twisted to insinuate that she had been stabbed 47 times. In reality she suffered 47 bruises, abrasions and cuts (including the fatal wound). This lie has been embroidered to say that Amanda “pricked” Meredith with a knife to torture her before finally killing her. There is absolutely no credible, concrete evidence to back this up, but the bullies don’t care.
It’s all about the Smear.
In June 2013 these statements appeared: “Given the narcissistic personality of Knox, I sincerely believe that if not for all the limelight she received for murdering Meredith, Knox would have gone on to become one of the most infamous serial killers of our time, which brings me to another trait of all serial killers, regardless of motivation: They bask in the limelight. Please tell me how this does not describe Knox.”
Accompanied by this ridiculous statement, again, there is no basis in fact. This Hater shows no shame in setting up another blatant falsehood to be gobbled up by his fellow trolls, “Wait a second. Seattle and environs are practically a breeding ground for serial killers and nobody knows exactly why. I suspect it’s at least partly because of the rural “feel” to the city. You have to live on the Left Coast to really understand what I mean because movies and documentaries don’t do it justice. There are several indicators that Knox had been engaging in high-risk behaviour long before she embarked on her “campaign” in Europe. I think the Seattle Police should look very closely at unsolved murders, sexual assaults, and knife attacks from the middle of the last decade. As with their Vancouver counterparts, the city police are often overwhelmed with their caseloads. In Canada, there is fortunately a national police force to help with this problem but even they could not prevent the enormity of Robert Pickton’s crimes. I am not alone on this board in thinking that Knox had almost certainly done some trial runs of what exploded into full-fledged murder in Italy. Seliber and Lither know more about these trial runs than they are admitting in public.”
The Haters fly off into all manner of tangents as can be seen by this decidedly strange post, “And the night of the murder, November 1, 2007, saw Saturn and Venus in the house of emotional excess, Uranus in the house of sudden death, and Jupiter/Pluto, in the sexual house, in an almost exact T-Square to each other. The close conjunction of Pluto to the Milky Way’s Galactic Center shows the potency of this murder in attracting the public imagination, and also, the trigger for the murder. But Astrology is just one of many tools in Humanistic psychology. It shows patterns, yes, but mainly it gives a picture of motivations and stages of development. And sometimes, it tells us what might happen. For me, there are many tools: Psychism to know, and other tools to understand. So I will say this about all four: Amanda Knox’s profile is that of the self destructive individual who will fall from ‘the shattered tower’ due to her associations with others. Btw, her July 09 birthday is the same as OJ Simpson’s and they Both Wielded Knives, hmmm! Raffaele Sollecito has powerful friends who won’t be able to help him. He almost had it too easy, and his drug use took him into some deep dark spaces. Note he wasn’t just using cannabis, but more likely a potent form called skunk weed, plus heroin and cocaine. Rudy Guede may actually turn out to be a sympathetic individual. His is the one chart I see that leads to redemption and indescribable potential. He is, quite frankly, the most believable of the three, even though he did lie, and he was rightly found guilty.”
This is typical jargon on the Hater websites, Perugia Murder File and True Justice for Meredith Kercher, prime examples of how the lies and misinformation that the Perugians created are continually perpetuated. The Haters use that material to create lurid and sordid fantasies as well as false personae for the innocent students.
I hope that psychologists are taking note; I would think they’d find these bullies a fascinating study into the Mob Mentality on the Internet.
THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN WORKED
Everything that the public learned about Amanda and Raffaele from the Perugians was wrong, it was prejudiced and it should never have been used as fact. The media never did investigative work until months after their arrest and the result is that the public began with the wrong set of facts.
That is why the Smear Campaign has been so effective. And so confusing. This whole case has become a monstrous jumble of facts interspersed with intelligent sounding factoids. It’s never been more evident than the recent interviews with Amanda and Raffaele when we saw questions that centered on “behavior” and not evidence. That is because the Perugians used “behavior” as a central theme in their Smear Campaign, when seen in context Amanda and Raffaele acted normally for the situation, but this long-running smear has made them SEEM abnormal. The public, in response, had focused on them while ignoring the abusive behavior of the Perugians.
Distracting the public from the truth is the sole reason for a Smear Campaign.
By forcing Amanda and Raffaele to answer inane questions about their “behavior,” the Perugians have effectively used the media, or even the average person, as an agent of their Smear campaign. It keeps the focus off of them. When the public understands this Smear Campaign for what it really is, lies designed to put innocent people in prison, perhaps then they will help put an end to the wholesale persecution of Amanda and Raffaele.
Unlearning the Smear Campaign’s corrosive factoids is the first step.