Premeditated Merlot Giallo di Perugia

Premeditated Merlot
This presentation isn’t dedicated to any particular subject related to the Giallo di Perugia. Rather, it addresses a few independent themes we’ve been dealing with over the last few days on the discussion thread. The situations presented here are related to ideas or event relationships which have arisen from the excellent multi-point-of-view, multi-timezone, and multi-cultural discussion resulting from Steve Huff’s True Crime Weblog on this tragedy: http:// www.truecrimeweblog.com/. Just to bring together a number of unrelated issues in this presentation, I have lightly set it against the recent Charles Mudede article in The Stranger: “The Education of Amanda Knox”. (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236). Any gentle humour or sarcasm which may be encountered in the presentation is first of all not meant by any means to trivialise the pain and suffering, and butal senseless murder that the victim experienced, nor to reduce her memory. (Since the victim has no means to reply to any comments herein or scenarios described in other presentations, and the repeated use of her name in this context would only further hurt anyone close to her, I refer to her simply as “the victim”.) Secondly, the humour or sarcasm is meant as a collective self-critique for all of us on all blogs who opine on the Giallo. I’m the first one to accept that any particular theory I have had at any given point in the investigation may have some or all elements subject to new or corrected facts (and that as the investigation and future trial(s) advance, there will surely be surprises for all). As for the title of the presentation: “Premeditated Merlot”, don’t read anything into it regarding the Giallo. The emphasis is more on the bottle of Merlot that Mudede’s colleague A. Birch Steen refers to in a peer critique which was almost as enjoyable to read as the original article: (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=503830) (continued)

Premeditated Merlot
No, I personally – at this point – don’t see premeditation in the Giallo. In fact, my expectation is that we’ll hear at some moment of the investigation or trial: “We have some important news: my son / daughter felt compelled by so much pressure to internalise knowledge they had of the crime executed by that real bad dude ... Of course they didn’t push the knife ... But they now recall who did and how it happened, and – you have to understand – all that pressure, that’s why they did this or that in the aftermath to the real crime”. Which may point to other crimes which form part of the overall Giallo. If and when we get to that point, we’ll see if it makes a real contribution, if it’s the whole truth or not so much so. In the Giallo di Perugia, ALL scenarios are valid for discussion. Those may go from “Lone Wolf” to conspiracy, and why not, with potential motivations which range from horse-play gone wrong, to robbery, to sexual, to Manga, to ... why not ... there have been satanic, voodoo and other such motivations for crimes in the past. As we go through the scenarios of what may have happened in the crime, with the objective to understand - not investigate -, the only moment which is truly important is the day when the evidence is presented, like in any other serious crime case. I can only hope that there will be one single ending, that justice is served to those responsible for each of the crimes which may be determined by the ILE. I am buoyed by the fact that the victim’s family has expressed confidence in the Italian justice system. - Kermit (11 February 2008) email: krmt123@gmail.com

Premeditated Merlot

Stop! Didn’t I use that in one of my stories last year? The one just before that Birch Steen guy sent me to study Emperor penguins on the Ross Ice Shelf? ... Better try again, just in case ....

Premeditated Merlot
My journalist ID says that this is unfounded and irrelevant crapolla, but my novel writing EGO says that it sounds great ... Hmmm ... Well, I just noticed that I’ve got masculine hands too ... Let’s try a totally different angle ... Farewell, great tale!

Premeditated Merlot

... Damn! Too corny and ambiguous. I’m losing it ... I need inspiration ... ambience, mystery, erotic grey-haired women built like buildings ... Wait! That’s it, there’s a Third Way to solving the Giallo: through Art. I feel it, let’s try one last time!

Premeditated Merlot

... You old smoothy. You still have your trademark touch. This will go down like a triple Drambuie chaser after four glasses of cheap Chianti, which were preceded by five Limoncellos as appetizers. I can already feel my throat tingling with anticipation ...

Premeditated Merlot

“It's dusk. The fog is thickening. I'm looking for La Tana dell'Orso, a popular college bar/restaurant somewhere near the center of Perugia ...”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236 Had Charles been following the True Crime Weblog since the beginning, he would have been able to navegate Perugia with his eyes closed. La Tana dell’Orso (the Bear Cave) pub is one of the closest watering spots to the University for Foreigners. It’s at Via Ulisse Rocchi 32, which we know is the street which starts at the Etruscan Arch. Standing here at one of the corners of the University for Foreigners, we head for the arch ...

Premeditated Merlot
Sometimes we realise in the discussion thread that a news article from a month and a half ago has new meaning and so we go back to read it. Well, the same thing happens with the photos. Remember these two photos in sequence from the presentation on the suspects’ movements in the afternoon and evening before the Giallo? Well, there it is, after going through the Etruscan Arch, as we start to walk up the Via Ulisse Rocchi, the first bar we come across: La Tana dell’Orso.

Premeditated Merlot
Let’s stop in at the Tana dell’Orso, Charles Mudede-style. (From a web-ad:) “Under a dry-stone ceiling, right in the historical center, it's to be found the paradise of Bacchus itself: "la Tana dell'Orso" (the bear's den, literally) leads his guests to the discovery of divine wines, cheeses and cold cuts that they could hardly find elsewhere. The time spent here is often cheered up by music and in particular by jazz & blues songs and by italian tarantella.“

I would have a drink here, as did the victim, the suspects, and most of the student population of Perugia.

Premeditated Merlot
“I'm struggling to locate La Tana dell'Orso, but I had no trouble finding the cottage where [the victim] and Amanda Knox lived. It ... holds a stunning view of the Umbrian countryside and hills”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236
There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

Premeditated Merlot

There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

“l vecchio nome de Perugia era 'Peroscia' perche' me sa che gne sonava tanto bene ta'i forestieri, la nostra citta' era temuta perche' piena de coltellate alle spalle e vie scoscese e sguillanti, 'nsomma se 'ne stavi atento a come te movevi te artrovavi giu' pel bulagaio” http://www.politicaonline.net/forum/showthread.php?t=89946 Rough translation from local dialect: “Perugia has been known during the course of history because of persons getting stabbed in the back and dumped in the Bulagaio ravine”

Premeditated Merlot
There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

The stream at the bottom of the Fosso del Bulagaio starts below the cottage and cleanses the Northern Cwm.

Premeditated Merlot

“Just up the road from the cottage, I also found the stately building for Amanda's school, the Universita per Stranieri (translated: the University for Foreigners, or University of Strangers)...”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Well, we’re back to Piazza Gimana and the University for Foreigners. I don’t know how Charles could use the “Strangers” translation for the word Stranieri, out of the two Google Translation or Berlitz handbook possibilities (however he did his homework). The context if not the faces at the University should have helped him decide which term to use.

Premeditated Merlot

While we’re standing on this corner, looking at our 180 degree photo, let’s turn around and catch the other 180 degrees behind our back. The street below on the left (hugging the University building) is Via Fabretti where the rumoured laundromat is located. “I meet my first Tunisian woman in the Laundromat where several witnesses claim to have seen Knox and a darkish man ”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Premeditated Merlot

While we’re standing on this corner, looking at our 180 degree photo, let’s turn around and catch the other 180 degrees behind our back. The street below on the left (hugging the University building) is Via Fabretti where the rumoured laundromat is located. “I meet my first Tunisian woman in the Laundromat where several witnesses claim to have seen Knox and a darkish man ”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Via Fabretti

Corso Garibaldi

Premeditated Merlot
It’s not clear from Charles’ article if he walked by RS’s and RHG’s homes, just a few meters apart. But his excellent local photographer gave him this wonderful photo, maybe Charles didn’t realise what’s in it.

There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

Premeditated Merlot
It’s not clear from Charles’ article if he walked by RS’s and RHG’s homes, just a few meters apart. But his excellent local photographer gave him this wonderful photo, maybe Charles didn’t realise what’s in it.

RS’s flat

There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

Premeditated Merlot
It’s not clear from Charles’ article if he walked by RS’s and RHG’s homes, just a few meters apart. But his excellent local photographer gave him this wonderful photo, maybe Charles didn’t realise what’s in it.

RS’s flat Via Canerino, RHG’s alley, and access to Parco Sant’Angelo pathway to mobile phone house

There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

Premeditated Merlot
It’s not clear from Charles’ article if he walked by RS’s and RHG’s homes, just a few meters apart. But his excellent local photographer gave him this wonderful photo, maybe Charles didn’t realise what’s in it.

One of hundreds or thousands of dumpsters in Perugia

RS’s flat Via Canerino, RHG’s alley, and access to Parco Sant’Angelo pathway to mobile phone house

There aren’t too many photos that accompany this article, but they’re all fantastic. Photo credit : Fabrizio Troccoli, “freelance photographer for local Perugia papers”

Premeditated Merlot
Skeptics of the possible involvement of RS and AK (and supporters of that scenario, too) are puzzled why some of the Giallo evidence (the supposed DNA tainted kitchen knife, the mobile phones ...) didn’t follow the same fate as AK’s supposed sweatshirt / polar fleece and disappear, for example by getting thrown in the garbage. Perugia is a clean town and there are garbage containers all over the place. One poster suggested that, unlike the sweatshirt / polar fleece, the knife could be a “souvenir”. I think that’s fringe thinking, but then again, we should be prepared for surprises in this case. As for the mobile phones, well, maybe they were ditched, but just not well enough ....................

DUMPSTERS

Dumpsters

RS’s Audi A3 in front of Police Station

Girl’s gate

Premeditated Merlot

Remember this slide from one of the first presentations, where it was clear that – during the hours when the door in the city wall at the end of Via Canerino is open – it would have been easy for someone who was in the area of RS’s or RHG’s homes to run out and ditch the mobile phones in Sra. Lana Elisabetta’s lawn – why there, goodness knows it makes no sense. RHG’s house RS’s house
(110 Giuseppe Garibaldi) (26 via Canerino)

Etruscan arch

University for Foreigners

Sra. Lana Elisabetta’s house/gardin
(5bis via Sperandio)

Basketball court on Piazza Grimana

Lawn at Sra. Elisabetta’s where phones were found

Girls’ house

Door in city wall at end of via Canerino

Premeditated Merlot

Remember this slide from one of the first presentations, where it was clear that – during the hours when the door in the city wall at the end of Via Canerino is open – it would have been easy for someone who was in the area of RS’s or RHG’s homes to run out and ditch the mobile phones in Sra. Lana Elisabetta’s lawn – why there, goodness knows it makes no sense. RHG’s house RS’s house
(110 Giuseppe Garibaldi) (26 via Canerino)

Etruscan arch

University for Foreigners

Let’s stand right here. Careful of the cars
Lawn at Sra. Elisabetta’s where phones were found

Sra. Lana Elisabetta’s house/gardin
(5bis via Sperandio)

Basketball court on Piazza Grimana

Girls’ house

Door in city wall at end of via Canerino

Premeditated Merlot

Here’s another 180 degree photo. We’re standing on the road in front of Sra. Elisabetta’s house, which is behind the photographer (the road here appears curved, that’s the effect of the 180 degree image, it’s actually straight in this section). Right in front of us is the handrail of the pathway which slants upwards towards the left, and reaches the door in the wall further along. Could one of the suspects, or an as yet at large suspect, have ran down this path, thrown the phones into Sra. Elisabetta’s yard, and ran back up the path to return to the Corso Garibaldi neighbourhood, back through the door again, up in the city wall? In this image, the first thing which we realise is that the whole north side of Perugia outside of the town wall is on a steep slope which is almost as angled as the nearby Northern Cwm (the ravine where the girls’ cottage is located).

Premeditated Merlot Steep northern slope falling away from city walls

Approximate location of Sra. Elisabetta’s house on straight section of road

Path down through hillside Parco Sant’Angelo outside of city walls to road in front of Sra. Elisabetta’s. RHG’s place

RS’s place

Gate in city wall

Premeditated Merlot

Slippery when wet, which is often with the mists rising from the ravine Livestock at large Beware of icing conditions Curves ahead

If they came by foot to ditch the phones here, I can’t imagine why. There are dumpsters all over town that the mobile phones could have disappeared into, and within 24 hours the phones would have been unlocatable in some landfill garbage dump somewhere. And if the perpetrators felt the phones would be less locatable outside of the city walls, then why throw the phones on the lawn of the only house around? (For our American friends, it’s like a murder occurs in Des Moines, Iowa, and the perpetrators decide to throw out evidence in the countryside, but travel specifically to, and deposit it on, the doorstep of Uncle Joe’s farmhouse, when there is ample uninhabited range land all around – it makes no sense). Anyways, back to the image, the second thing which we realise is that the north side of town on the slope is kind of inhospitable and dangerous: look at those traffic warning signs.

Premeditated Merlot

Reference point “B” Reference point “A”

• Just as the 180 degree photo from the University for Foreigners was actually one half of a 360 degree photo, let’s look at the other side of the road. • First of all, Sra. Elisabetta’s place. At least her driveway entrance. You can’t see her house – isolated on this lonel stretch of road – for three reasons: 1) it’s on a slope and her roof is lower, 2) there are trees and bushes, and 3) probably because of car accidents given the pracarious driving conditions, an earthen embankment protects the house from prying eyes and out-of-control vehicles.

Reference point “B”

Reference point “A”

Premeditated Merlot

Driveway

Broken fence from some car accident Reference point “A”

Protective earth embankment

Approximate location of Sra. Elisabetta’s house on straight section of road

Premeditated Merlot Reference point “A”

• I have an alternative possibility concerning how the mobile phones got ditched, which is neither better nor worse nor less speculative than any other: • Imagine that a black or white car (or any other color – night lighting is poor, it’s hard to tell the colour what with the orangey-yellow anti-fog, low-consumption street lamps) comes careening around the curve at Reference point “A”. The driver shifts down then shifts up his peppy car’s gears, as he negotiates the curve. He started in the parking area of the girls’ cottage, drove up onto the Via Sant’Antonio, went down Via del Bulagaio, out of the old walled town through the Porta Bulagaio, then onto this isolated stretch of road which joins with Via Sperandio, and is itself sometimes called – perhaps incorrectly - part of Via Sperandio. • He and the front-seat passenger are anxious, exhilarated, nervous, stoned, paranoid. Someone may add, “and lovin’ it”. Or another may say, “feeling threatened and scared for their own safety”. Or another, “simply impossible”. • They have some things they need to get rid of, fast. The curvy part of the road - which when taken at speed throws the driver and passenger back and forth – is behind them. “Throw out the phones, as hard as you can”, says the driver to the passenger. Problem is, is that the time it takes the passenger to roll down the right hand window, and throw two small mobile phones together over the falling edge of the ravine, is the time it takes to place the car squarely beside Mrs. Elisabetta’s home. Maybe the driver and passenger realised this. Maybe they

Premeditated Merlot

The Albanian Superwitness

Premeditated Merlot

The Albanian Superwitness

• This nameless superwitness intrigues me. I hope he has all sorts of details like the number of fillings in the suspects’ teeth, as otherwise he won’t be given much credit. • Sorry to always repeat my observation about the slopes, ramps and hills of Perugia. These people look like they are on a trek to Mt. Everest. • That little silver coloured Fiat Punto (I believe it is) is parked on the top of what was (and still is right there) the old wall. Via Sant’Antonio starts there and has to ramp down, now outside of the old wall, to level out beyond the girls’ house (way off to the right and behind the photographer). • The Fiat is right where Mr. Albanian would have parked (if he actually did). That’s dense foliage to be hiding in.

Premeditated Merlot
Let’s get back on topic. And the topic is Charles Mudede’s article.

“Across the street from the University of Strangers, I spotted a sunken basketball court ...”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Basketball court in Piazza Grimana

Premeditated Merlot

Just as Bill Clinton would say “It depends what your definition of “is” is”, I would say to Charles, it depends what your definition of “sunken” is. Perugia is built on slopes. From above, the basketball court may look a little sunken, but from below, it looks like the raised deck of an aircraft carrier.

Premeditated Merlot

Just as Bill Clinton would say “It depends what your definition of “is” is”, I would say to Charles, it depends what your definition of “sunken” is. Perugia is built on slopes. From above, the basketball court may look a little sunken, but from below, it looks like the raised deck of an aircraft carrier.

Premeditated Merlot
Let’s get back on topic. And the topic is Charles Mudede’s article.

“Across the street from the University of Strangers, I spotted a sunken basketball court ...” “... and a newstand.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Newstand

Basketball court in Piazza Grimana

Premeditated Merlot

“At the newsstand, I read on the cover of a local paper, La Voce di Perugia: "II Dna di Raffaele trovato sul reggiseno di Meredith"—Sollecito's DNA had been found on Kercher's bra.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox”
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236 http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Premeditated Merlot “It's not hard to see why Amanda Knox first looked for a job at La Tana dell'Orso. The business has some similarities to the last place she worked in Seattle, the World Cup cafe in the University District .... On the day I visited the World Cup, just before leaving for Italy, I had the luck of meeting an old friend ”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Premeditated Merlot

“I still don't feel like I've reached the story's essence, so the next day I leave the hill and travel down, down, down to Capanne Prison, a 20-minute drive from Perugia ... The purpose of the trip is to get me as close as possible to Amanda Knox.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

.

Girls’ house

Capanne Prison

Premeditated Merlot Premeditated Merlot

“We arrive. The prison's parking lot is huge and harsh, and across the street from it is a complex of grain silos that do not have about them the air of joy you expect from a place that stores food, glorious food. The main building of the prison is bulky and bleak, and the gate, like the tall wall that stretches out into the flat countryside, is as attractive as sandpaper.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

Administration building

Prisoner modules

I assume that this smaller and independent block is for women, and that AK is here.

Exercise patios / courtyards

Premeditated Merlot

Capanne Prison is a new facility, finished in 2005. In fact, some satellite images still show it under construction.

Back in 2005, there was a opening party, with distinguished guests, speeches, references to state-of-the-art, etc.

Premeditated Merlot

“An hour later, something does happen! The father of suspect Raffaele Sollecito emerges with his new glamorous wife—she is blond, wearing a mink coat, black gloves, and winning the late rounds of her battle against the undefeated forces of time.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http

://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=50

Premeditated Merlot

Just a fast reference to RS’s Prison Diary: (Nov. 7, 2007) “I am writing from a cold and damp isolation cell, there are peepholes in every corner where staff can watch even while you do your needs in the bathroom. The bed is made of industrial sponge, the television can not be used, the bathroom is really filthy and I am requesting them to come and clean it. Today I had an extra blanket and so at least when I sleep, I am warm. Outside the window there is a concrete jungle, and beyond a huge empty open area, there’s the armed guard on the surveillance tower. In the midst of this sad and depressing general panorama, on the horizon you can see a hillside cottage. Well, that far-off house away above the plains wrests from me a shy smile of hope.“

I think RS is referring to this estate –”Villa Montefreddo”, sitting on a hillside above the farmland plains below.

Premeditated Merlot “The reporters call it a good day and leave. And I... I do not leave, yet. I stand around and stare at the building beyond the gate. It is the absolute negative of the realm of the students, Perugia, where everything is unreal and students get away with almost anything; this is the graveyard of the best that youth has to offer.”
Charles Mudede in “The Education of Amanda Knox” http
://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236

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