Injustice in Perugia
a website detailing the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito
Words of Support
Here is what some of Amanda and Raffaele's strongest supporters had to say regarding their motivation to get involved with this case. These heartfelt comments are listed in the order they were received.

The comments have been subjected to minimal editing because  this was an opportunity for others to tell their story in their own words. As you will see, some of the comments were written before Amanda and Raffaele were declared innocent, as these comments were collected over an extended period of time.

Jeff Beverly
I was a latecomer to the cause of Amanda & Raffaele. Virginia is a long way from Seattle and there was no local interest or reporting that I heard of. I was oblivious to the situation while they languished in prison before and during the trial. I just happened to be walking by a TV that day in December, 2009 and caught a brief national news report that Amanda & Raffaele had been found guilty. That was the first time I saw a picture of Amanda and I was incredulous. She didn’t look like a killer. She looked like a respectable and vulnerable young lady.

Contrary to what some would accuse us of, I don’t support Amanda just because she is an attractive white American young woman. But I confess that did make me more skeptical of the court’s finding. I think most people are more attracted to the causes of those with whom we share a racial, national and cultural identity. It brings it closer to home. “But for the grace of God, there is MY daughter/sister/cousin.” And if it’s a sin to feel sympathetic toward an attractive young woman, then mea culpa. I am only human.

My skepticism caused me to look closer at the case. I couldn’t dismiss it unless I was convinced that she had been fairly tried and judged. I started reading and studying about the case. I wanted to hear both sides and decide for myself what was reasonable to believe. I wanted to see a rational explanation and motive, but I read about satanic rituals and sex games. I wanted to see if there was believable and certain evidence, but I read about cartwheels, buying underwear, and wearing a Beatles shirt to court. The more I read, the more certain I became that the ridiculous and irrelevant nonsense was a smokescreen for lies and a complete lack of proof. Within a few days, I became convinced that Amanda had been framed and railroaded; and by extension, that Raffaele Sollecito was innocent as well.

I tried to imagine how I would feel in that situation. I was overwhelmingly concerned for Amanda’s physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I needed to reach out to others who shared my concern but didn’t know how. Amanda’s aunt, Janet Huff’s Facebook profile turned up in a Google search. I recognized her name from Amanda’s Defense Fund website and I joined Facebook so I could send her a message. She directed me to Amanda’s Cause site, and there I found links to the other groups.

I am grateful to all the other supporters who have become like family to me. They are some of the finest people I’ve never met. I may not accomplish a great deal of importance in this life, but one thing I will always be proud of: I supported Amanda & Raffaele.

Alexander Jackson
I am Alexander Jackson. I am a lawyer and live in rural Manitoba, Canada, where I have practiced law for about 25 years. I have two former careers, as a musician and a banker. Building my career and my practice took a great deal of time and work, so other than the obligatory involvements with Amnesty International and other groups, mostly to put on my CV, most of my "compassionate work" was done for paying clients.

In very early December, 2009, something changed and changed forever... and it wasn't this case. I read the Reader's Digest condensed version of the book, “The Bite of the Mango,” by Mariatu Kamara. Her story, and especially the triumph of the human spirit over the worst cruelty imaginable, hit me hard. I was still reeling from this when I happened to be watching the news of the verdict in Perugia. These things always hit me, because I really believe that it is a very sad thing when anyone must be punished. Some of the commentators spoke of an injustice and a wrongful conviction. This piqued my interest because, as a lawyer, I have seen this happen. I want to know why the legal system fails when it fails, so it can be made better. I care about the more philosophical and ethical aspects of my profession.

I researched the case. I read everything I could find and each new revelation, each new fact drove me to a steadfast belief that this was and is a terrible injustice. What is more, as I saw the tactics and behaviors of the Perugian authorities, I began to suspect this was no accident, but rather a deliberate persecution of innocent people. This combined with my still "raw" sense of compassion that arose from the story of Ms. Kamara, brought me to a point where I simply had to seek out others and do whatever I could to try to right this wrong. I realized that it was my duty, as a human being, to exercise the compassion I so recently found within myself, for the good of my fellows. I am sorry that I waited so long, both in this case and generally, to find my voice. Although I know my present capacity to help is limited by my health and professional obligations, I sincerely wish I had done more.

As time goes on, I see more and more what wonderful people both of you (Amanda and Raffaele) truly are. I also see clearly what wonderful families you have. I have faced attack from others who sought to destroy me and my family, although not to the degree you have suffered. I know what it means to have people who care and who are loyal in their support. I found I could no longer look away from the suffering of others. I know I can't help everyone, but I can help one or two people at a time and that is why I do what I do for justice in this case.

Amanda and Raffaele, I hope these words find you exonerated and released from prison, free to make your own plans and goals and to pursue your own lives. Because of distances, I have always doubted I would ever meet anyone else involved in this in person, -- you, your families or other supporters. Know, however, that in the same way as I would always help my son, I stand ready to help both of you in whatever way I can, if you ever wish to call upon that help. I wish you the most wonderful lives and the greatest happiness and success that it is possible for anyone to have.

David D. Kamanski, Esq. (aka Kevad)
I took a strong interest in the case early on after reading many online news stories in the days following the crime was discovered and continuing through January 2008 when they announced Raffaele's DNA was found on the bra clasp. At that time I was mostly saddened for Meredith Kercher and her family for the horrible loss that had occurred, however I was already suspicious that the reporting seemed very biased and unclear as to what really happened. The story had caught my attention right away because of three factors in my past history. As a college student and then again as a law school graduate I had traveled to Italy & Europe for almost 3 months each time, and I stayed in Italy approximately a month on each occasion. I shared the desire at that same approximate time in my life of both Meredith and Amanda to learn about other cultures, and see how other people lived their lives outside my home area. Also, as a father of a teenage daughter who very much wanted to go to Europe and indicated she wanted to spend a year studying abroad, I felt it might be important as a parent to try and understand what had happened, so that someday proper guidance could be given to my daughter to help her avoid this type of nightmare. Finally, as a long time attorney I often find it helpful to learn about complex legal issues that are in the headlines, although the only other time I done so this intently was for about 6 months I followed the Natalie Hollaway tragedy right before my wife & daughter took a cruise of the Caribbean Islands that summer.  However, over the next 22 months I only saw about 2 dozen news updates and perhaps a dozen online or TV video segments which did include Good Morning America, discussion of Amanda taking the stand in June of 2009, and a lot of discussion in November 2009 of the trial near ending. At that time I had understood that the prosecution lacked any real proof of guilt and that Amanda & Raffaele would be announced innocent. 

On the day of the trial verdict I heard it would be announced at midnight Italian time, so I closed my office here in Orange, California and headed to my mother's home to watch CNN whom I assumed would have live coverage. When I turned on the news the verdict was just being announced live, and I was really quite stunned, and for the first time I felt very sad for Amanda and her family. My mom could tell I was upset, and asked me what was wrong, and I replied, “I think the court in Italy just made a huge mistake, and an American college girl was just wrongly convicted of murder.”
Over the next few weeks I decided to review the online newspaper stories, going back to November of 2007, and going all the way through the trial. I then looked for web sites both pro guilty and against the verdict and learned of PMF, True Justice for Meredith, as well as the FOA and other pro Innocence sites. I wondered how I had such a strong feeling something was wrong, but thought perhaps I missed something that the court found compelling. As I noted all the websites, I read the current PMF discussion, saw many of their postings, and found their prior forum postings. As Christmas approached I was reading from May of 2008, through August 2008, and I continued to be baffled at the online positions of Michael, and Peggy as well as others, and each time I formulated some doubts about their facts, this guy kept posting almost exactly what I was thinking, like he was inside my head and saying; hey wait a second. That person's online name was Charlie Wilkes. As I woke up the day before Christmas 2009 I had pretty much decided that although there may be some facts I still don't fully know, I do know this; the prosecution had an obligation to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and they clearly did not do so. That day I went out to do last minute shopping at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, California. As I walked this nice outside Mall, everywhere I looked I saw couples that looked from behind to be short girl, with a taller guy, and they appeared to me to be just like Amanda & Raffaele. They were happy, they were holding hands or onto each other and they were free. I looked at my watch and it was near 3:00pm. I went back to my car several stories up in the parking structure and looked out on the pretty day at one of the main local sites present in Orange County, California facing east towards Italy called Saddleback Mountain, named because two peaks that look connected but are separate look just like a Saddle. I was really upset, very disturbed that an Italian Court could make such a huge mistake, and take away such a valuable gift of freedom. At exactly 3:00 pm, midnight in Italy and now Christmas day there, I took a picture of Saddleback, and being both angry and saddened, I said “Merry Christmas Amanda, I know you are innocent, I am so sorry you are locked up there in Italy, I am going to take the time, and do whatever I can to try and help!”

Several days later on about December 27, 2009 I wrote an e-mail to the FOA website, telling of my legal background, and my belief that the court in Italy had made a huge mistake, that they had not proven anything near the legal burden of proof, that I did not find the pro-guilt persons credible and that I supported efforts to free Amanda Knox. I received a reply a day or two later, and was really somewhat surprised that it was authored by none other than the one and only, Charlie Wilkes. I advised Charlie that I would spend the next few months as we waited for the Motivation report, reading EVERYTHING put out by True Justice for Meredith and PMF, and of course all the Pro-Amanda sites and I would get back in touch with him. In January of 2010 I saw a few Facebook sites, and joined along with a few sites Charlie told me to about over the next few months. He told me fairly soon a full web site would go up and soon Bruce Fisher did go up. Although I was not too active on all the Facebook accounts I joined, I did post with some regularity on Bruce's general blog. Eventually the motivation came out and I contacted Charlie for a copy and translation and the appeals which he sent, and then he advised of the AKRS website and had me join. I then was active on that forum as I read the motivation, and in May 0f 2010 I read the appeals. I saw many issues and also advised Charlie & Bruce of my belief that Rudy had been locked in the house given the broken front door key situation and also of the TMB issues. From the many links Charlie provided between April and June of 2010 I saw hundreds of police photos and videos, and learned of the many errors and mistakes they made. Eventually Bruce & I wrote summaries of the two Appeals and he posted them for all to read and see. At that point I was truly impressed with Raffaele & his attorneys with their appeal effort and truly understood just how innocent he was also. I then supported Steve Moore as he was fired from Pepperdine and continued to voice my thoughts on Bruce's Blog, Frank's blog, and more and more on Facebook. During the summer of 2010 it became clear just how many errors, mistakes and manipulations the cops, the prosecutors, their experts, the judges and the media had made. It became more of a certainty that not only had they failed to prove the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt, but that both Amanda & Raffaele were in fact 100% innocent. Accordingly, over the past year plus I have written and posted well over a thousand comments in support of Amanda & Raffaele's freedom. I have written to both, but primarily Amanda telling her of my hobby with digital cameras, and trips to Alaska, Japan and Palm Springs. I have written to Donald Trump, Frank many times, have helped with newspaper articles, read the independent experts report, and follow every hearing through the night. I remain very involved daily with the several Facebook sites, Frank's blog, Bruce's forum and add comments whenever possible to current news stories. I am so impressed with all the wonderful supports of both Amanda & Raffaele, as well as their families, and marvel at how we have shared so many great aspects online using now primarily Facebook so effectively. I have also met with several supporters for fabulous dinner and continue to offer my assistance in any way I can to help bring both Amanda & Raffaele back home safely. As an experienced attorney familiar with how courts function and how cases work, I see a lot of positive things now happening, and I remain always positive and hopeful that this major error in the Italian Judicial system, which so many have read about and know about, will be corrected, and Amanda & Raffaele will soon be released. As I stated on Christmas Eve, 2009, I won’t stop until they are free!

Joan James
My husband and I were in Tuscany at the time of the murder. When we flew home to Portland, OR from Milano, the magazine kiosks were full of tabloid newspapers. I bought a British paper and the more I read, the more bizarre it sounded...especially a young woman from Seattle...that's granola country (just like Portland)...anyway, it just didn't sound right. After I got home I followed the case and the more I read, the less I believed.  I really felt a connection to background is similar. It's not that I'm so smart and realized right away that she & Raf were's just that it didn't ring true and my stomach turned over when I read what she was going through. Like her family, I believed she would be exonerated and they both would be released. I was shocked at the verdict and that's when I really began to get involved and started posting comments, writing letters and finding groups like Injustice in Perugia. I read Candace's book and also forced myself to get through Nadeau’s. Obviously, Candace's book was objective, balanced and gave a clear picture of the situation. I won't comment here on Ms feelings about her are pretty well known as I post them wherever I can find a place. 

Candace Dempsey came to PDX and had a book signing at one of our local book stores. My husband and I attended and I had the opportunity to chat briefly with her which only made me more certain that we were witnessing a modern day witch hunt.   I had also read “The Monster of Florence”...just by chance I picked it up thinking it was about a medieval serial killer (lol). I was in a hurry and didn't read the fly leaf. As it turned out, I was riveted and then when I heard that Mignini, the psycho prosecutor in the book was also the prosecutor in Amanda’s case, I was stunned.

I got involved for a variety of I said; I felt a connection to Amanda as a fellow Pacific Northwesterner. I admired how hard she worked to get to Italy, the goals she had, her intensity and sincerity, her desire to mingle with Italians rather than stay safely with Americans, her slightly retro "hippy" persona (I'm a product of the hippy era)...just all the admirable qualities I found in her as well as those I found in Raf. One thing I remember vividly...the first time I saw the pic of them together outside the cottage. So many of the descriptions that came out of Italy said they were making out, smiling, ignoring the horror of what had happened inside...before we even read those descriptions and just saw the pic, my husband and I both felt that she looked totally traumatized and Raf was comforting her. I think that symbolizes the many differences in perspective (which I know were mostly created by the worldwide tabloid media) which have followed this case from the beginning.

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I admire what you have done for these kids. Your book was amazing, I read everything you write wherever I can find it and I just hope all the time and effort you and so many others have put into this will bear fruit in September. 

S. Michael Scadron
I'll try to be brief. I'm a bit of a Johnny Come Lately compared to many in AKRS. This case first grabbed my attention around the time of the verdict in Dec. 2009, so I missed out on the media frenzy of 2007-08. I was taken in my interviews given by Curt & Edda and in reading various accounts at the time (Egan's blogs and the Afterword to MOF), I found that the case made no sense. The more I read the less sense it made and the whole scenario seemed heart wrenching.
Until my retirement in 2006, I’d been a trial attorney at DOJ for over 30 years. As I’ve said elsewhere, logic is the crutch that carries me through each day, common sense my failsafe. And when senseless and cruel stuff like this happens I get upset. I came of age during the 1960's, a time of great change. My sense of justice, or outrage at injustice, was formed, in part, by images on our TV in the corner of our living room in our Manhattan apartment, showing protesters in Birmingham, Ala. beaten with clubs and dispersed with water hoses and dogs. I worked for 6 yrs at DOJ in the Civil Rights Division's Voting Rights Section before moving to the Torts Branch (Civil Div.). At Torts my cases focused, in large part, on the reliability of scientific evidence and I conducted a number of Daubert hearings (see Mark Waterbury’s book) trying to preclude the use of junk science in the courtroom. I witnessed how easily a judge -- not to mention a jury -- can be swayed by the lingo of science even where the scientific methodology is flawed.

I sent Amanda some books in Jan. 2010 with a short note and she responded. I continued to send letters to her in prison encouraging her to write her stories (I have, myself, taken up creative writing in retirement -- personal essays, short fiction and journalistic stuff -- as you know :)). I joined FB so I could post comments on Kelly's page (whatever happened to him anyway?) and posted comments on your pre-Forum discussion page. Eventually Joseph invited me into AKRS. (I don't mind telling you that it took me several weeks to figure out what AKRS stands for). I became obsessed with the case and continued with email messages to Amanda & Raffaele and wrote various articles, including the one published in CSMonitor. (My recent piece at the Ground Report blog site has over 6500 views and still climbing -- seems like a lot more activity than I could or should have expected -- got a hunch?).

One final thing, about certain physical challenges I've endured, which I've shared with Amanda and Raf and don't mind sharing with the group. You might call it my "kindred spirit" card. It's not so personal actually, as I'm working on a memoir I hope to publish  which I call Two Mountains, focusing on a neurologic illness that struck me soon after my wife, Terri, and I submitted Kilimanjaro, rendering me temporarily quadriplegic. For about 3 years I was bound to a motorized wheelchair unable to lift myself out of it w/o assistance. I was a 7 minute miler and avid hiker so, like A & R, my world was turned upside down. I worked hard with physical therapists and eventually regained the ability to walk. My mantra which I repeat in some of my messages to A & R is “We survive what comes over us, what finds us out of nowhere.” (A 500 word essay distilled from a chapter in my book which I also titled Two Mountains is in the current issue of 

Timothy Jake Holmes
How did I get involved with the FOAkrs Majestic-50? Initially I accepted Amanda’s guilt without question. They said they had a ton of proof; prints, blood evidence, footprints in blood. A CONFESSION. Clearly an American girl gone wild. However, as Amanda’s trial ground on it became apparent that the whole sordid story woven by the Perugian authorities and merrily perpetuated by the British tabloid press was based on innuendo, speculation and mean spirited gossip rather than any sort of real evidence, and I became really outraged. Every day I read in the paper of wars and famine, plagues, crumbling economies, spiraling deficits, Wall Street bail outs, a million things that I could do little or nothing to change. I, as an individual, can’t save the world, and it frustrates the crap out of me. But with this case, about a local girl, I saw that maybe I COULD help. So I went searching online for like minded people and found  I’ve never really enjoyed discussing true crime and this was no who-dunnit, but I was struck by a statement Bruce Fisher made in his introduction to the site. “This isn’t a place for debate. The time for discussion is over. Amanda is innocent. It’s time to act.” That kind of bold statement suited me fine and I signed up. Then one day I got a message from a guy I didn’t know. He’d read some of my writing on IIP and thought I might be interested in a VERY AMBITIOUS plan he had to assail a very entrenched and well fortified Guilter position and sent me a link to AKRS PD. I anticipated that the group was probably made up of a handful of Pro-Amanda bloggers that just wanted some private talking space. When I read the list of members, which includes a who’s who of the biggest movers and shakers in the grassroots pro-Knox movement, a light bulb came on over my head and I was both honored and flattered to have been invited there. Now it would take the Jaws of Life to pry me out of the group.

Shirley Anne Mather
How did I become interested in your Case? Well, I arrived here by happenstance, just like most of the other supporters. I have believed in your innocence from Day One and followed the initial trial very closely indeed. I felt that the pieces just didn’t fit at all. It just didn't make sense. I knew you were both innocent people and had nothing to do with the crime. When the Guilty Verdict was announced in Dec. 2009, my heart sank and my eyes filled with tears. I was absolutely heartbroken for you and your families.

This was a most serious miscarriage of justice and I just couldn't stop thinking about it and wanted to try and help in some way.  I searched Facebook and came across "The Free Amanda Group". I joined immediately and later became a member of many of the other Amanda and Raffaele Support Groups on Facebook. I have been an Administrator on “The Free Raffaele” Site for about eighteen months and have been on there almost every day.
I have read several books, written about the case and I have also read the information over at InjusticeinPerugia, along with many other articles.

Your plight affected me in a very profound way and not a day goes by when I don't think about you. I have written to you both on many occasions and hope that my letters have helped you in some small way. I have prayed for freedom and exoneration for you both each and every day.

I was overjoyed when the conviction was overturned on Oct. 3rd 2011. So happy and relieved for you both. The nightmare was over - you were free. At last, you had your lives back.

You will always have a very special place in my heart. I love you both. God bless you, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito - I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! You are an inspiration. Good luck, my friends. Sending you both much loving kindness.
I hope to meet you both one day.

Karen Pruett
Amanda’s dad Curt is a family friend and I learned of her arrest on November 8, 2007.  It was confusing and at first I wondered what she had fallen into. Vashon Island, where her dad grew up and her grandparents still reside, was rife with gossip; normal for such a small town. I did not personally know any of the family, but my in-laws knew all of them. As details spilled out in the press we learned that much of it was lies and that Amanda had been railroaded, she was 100% innocent of Meredith’s murder. I never doubted her innocence after mid-December 2007 and that knowledge made the debacle all the more painful.

My anguish and tears began in earnest by January 2008; I knew it was very bad and that she was in a lot of trouble. My heart broke for Curt and Cassandra and the rest of her family, but we could only stand on the sidelines watching and waiting. The media never came to Vashon, we were protecting Curt’s parents by keeping a low profile, but the fear of invasion was there as we watched what was happening to him in Seattle. It was surreal.

The guilty verdict in December 2009 was devastating. Seething anger; that is the only way I can describe how we all felt.
By August 2010, I finally met Curt and Cassandra at a party and realized in a brief conversation that chunks of information were missing because of the slanted media and informational blackout on Vashon. The next day I decided to buck family opinion and clandestinely began to research the case. As a long-time genealogist I applied my research skills and eventually found the police videos on YouTube and the Massei Motivation, I ignored all of the media outlets, considering them prejudiced. One hundred pages into the Massei, I knew exactly how Amanda had been railroaded and was furiously outraged.

After finding Mark Waterbury’s analysis of the Massei, I followed the trail to Injustice in Perugia and our Facebook pages. 
Embarrassed that there were fundraisers all over except Vashon, I screwed up my courage and asked Curt if I could do one. That opened the door to meeting his entire family, and Edda’s. I was completely taken by their warmth and giving natures, that they fully supported Raffaele and his family and that they were filled with sympathy for Meredith and her family. I was incredibly touched by their generosity and by all of the ways our lives had intersected over the years. Amanda was our catalyst and it clear that life will surprise you with amazing coincidences.

After Vashon’s benefit it was clear that Islanders hungered for information about Amanda and I began to write what I thought would be a couple of articles for the Vashon Loop, well I recently found out that I am a columnist! LOL!! My articles have put the entire Island solidly behind Amanda, Curt and his family and I don’t care if anyone else reads them; I do this for my friends. Recently I learned that Curt’s parents find out more from my column that they do from Curt and look forward to reading it, I am humbled and happy! But even my column was supported by all of my advocacy friends, your willingness to proof read and give suggestions has given me much needed confidence.

Because of Injustice in Perugia and all of the good people who are connected there, I found myself in a unique position to get succinct and correct information to share with Island neighbors. 

I see the hand of God on our shoulders, gently guiding us, setting each of us to a task and each of you who have helped my friends, have helped me. You have been a balm to a frustrated and troubled soul. We will soldier on together to the end and I know I am no longer alone. When Our Kids are home and the dust has settled I will always remember each of you and wish you well wherever life takes you. I am proud to have known everyone of you good people.

That you have been there for my friends means everything to me. We are all in your debt! Thank You Always!!

Michael Krom
Why did I get involved in trying to help Raffaele and Amanda get justice: I visited Perugia in August 2007 attending a Geosciences’ conference. Then in November I saw the news that Meredith Kercher a student from Leeds University, my university, had been murdered in the Italian town I had just visited. Over the next couple of weeks, the students who were on campus set up an impromptu shrine to Meredith in the centre of the university. One could not help but feel involved.

Like everyone else I then followed the news and the announcement that the police in Perugia had solved the case. Again, since I follow the news, and this was big news, I followed Amanda and Raffaele’s detention and the exchange of Patrick for Guede. At that point it did seem that in arresting Rudy, they had caught a person involved in the crime. However at that stage I did not know enough to feel uncomfortable about what was being done to Amanda and Raffaele.

Rudy was convicted which seemed to be correct. The trial of Amanda and Raffaele was covered but not in great detail, the usual media sound bites. Then came the verdict and at that stage my ‘gut’ feelings were already aroused and when I heard they had been sentenced to 26/25 years I said out loud to my son who had found out the news on his Blackberry, ‘That cannot be right!’ His comment back was ‘I thought you were supposed to be on the side of Meredith.’

From then on a started to search the internet for more information and found IIP. The more I read the more I thought that a grave injustice had occurred. I started actively posting on the site and in particular wrote a post quite early on, on why the DNA analysis had to be wrong. The post was well received since it explained in layman’s terms why the knife DNA was wrong (You should never  increase the sensitivity of an analysis beyond the range of the instrument and method you used to make the sampling) and the bra strap was also wrong (You should never try to analyze a demonstrably contaminated sample). I not only read more and more but I then wrote to both Amanda and Raffaele. I was not surprised that Amanda did not reply but Raffaele did. I started to write to him. Fairly early on I asked Raffaele if there was anything I could do. It was then that I got contacted by a reporter from OGGI asking if I would do an interview. I hesitated out of respect for the Kerchers. Then John Kercher wrote an article in which he vehemently endorsed the conviction of Amanda and Raffaele making statements about the case which he simply should not have made. At that point I felt the other side needed to be heard and so I agreed to do the interview.

After the interview was published I received a series of wonderfully supportive e-mails from the group of people who were working to right this injustice. I also received a few e-mails from guilters some of which I still have not read. ‘Zorba’ wrote to the high ups in my university saying that I had no right to speak out and threatening vaguely what would be done if I was not dealt with. The university wrote back saying that as long as I was not claiming to speak on behalf of the university it was not their business – for which I am very grateful. Since then I have become part of the ‘inner’ circle and been made to feel very welcome. I was particularly pleased that the article was in Italian and therefore reached the most important audience, the Italians in general and the potential jurors in particular. I felt I did something to help turn the tide at that time.

Since then I have had a regular correspondence with Raffaele. It is a real old fashioned exchange of letters. I have been amazed how positive he has remained throughout this experience. Again I feel I have been able to help in a small way to make his life somewhat easier. In particular I have sent him copies of the most relevant posts from IIP and elsewhere which meant that he realized how many people were seriously involved in helping and support him and his family. I remember comments by Solzhenitsyn who said that knowing people were thinking about him made his imprisonment in Siberia less unbearable. At times I also sent posts to the main group to make sure that we all remembered that two of them have been wrongfully convicted and not just Amanda, who of course has been the media focus.

This text is supposed to answer why I got involved and why do I care so much. I have tried to analyze that myself. Part of it is a deep revulsion at the idea of anybody being put in prison for a crime they did not commit. Somewhere that came to me personally as being a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor. My parents were refugees from Europe in the late 1930’s and all their parents (my grandparents) perished in the holocaust. I am a university Professor and always try to go out of my way to help students if I can. Here Raffaele gave me the opportunity to get involved and to write to him to help him get through this nightmare. That has made me feel good. There is also a tremendous feeling of camaraderie generated by the internet group. The enthusiasm, the commitment and most of all the warmth, makes this cause something one can feel really positive about especially since communally it does appeal that we are contributing to a positive outcome of the appeal. When I read the guilters complaining that the DNA report looks to have had contributions from FOA I take that as a tremendous compliment to the group and what it has been doing even though my contribution has been rather small.

Nigel Scott
I read the newspaper reports of the crime in 2007. When Amada and Raffaele were arrested I remember thinking that this was an unlikely scenario. When Rudy was arrested in Germany and brought back to Perugia, I wondered what sort of crime theory would put them all together.

British tabloid coverage was way over what would be allowed in the UK for a domestic case but I don't read tabloids so most of this passed me by. The first article that made a real impact was a Sunday Times Magazine piece on June 15th 2008. Edda and Kurt's interview in that article was credible and given the statistically remote possibility that a girl from Amanda's kind of background could ever be involved in this kind of crime, I believed it. I followed the trial and was convinced that Amanda and Raffaele were innocent. I was shocked by the guilty verdict and though I have never been personally involved in campaigning against judicial injustice, I decided that this was one case I couldn't ignore. The level of corruption, intimidation and media manipulation was simply breathtaking and I promised myself that I would stick with this until they were both freed.

I began posting on the Injustice in Perugia website and after a while, Joseph Bishop invited me to join the Facebook group, which I was honored to do. I have been shocked by the tactics of the Wikipedia muppets and the members of TJMK and PMF. I had not witnessed this kind of mindless hate before. I like to think that I am a rational person so such displays of blinkered bigotry are hard to take. I have succeeded in getting several letters published in the UK media as well as an article about the case, which I wrote for a political magazine. I have also made countless comments on internet news pages.

I have tremendous admiration for Amanda and Raffaele's families and their persistence and dignity in their struggle as well as for the many supporters I have come to know through the Facebook group. And of course I feel for Amanda and Raffaele and the nightmare that they have been placed in by a deranged prosecutor and a corrupt system.  They have shown immense restraint and have kept cool through a terrible ordeal. I have no doubt that they will go on to have successful and happy lives and will be able to put this behind them. I also believe that they will use the experience to help others in similar predicaments in the future.

I would like to see the corrupt officials and sloppy editors and journalists who exploited and benefited from this case sued, humbled, financially penalized and made to apologize for what they have done.

Aside from all of that, I would like to see some good come out of all this.  I would like to see the Italian legal system reformed so that effective checks and balances exist to prevent cases like this from happening again. Last but not least, I would also like to pay a tribute to the innocent victim, Meredith Kercher and her family. As if their loss was not great enough, they were hoodwinked and conned by Italian prosecutors and lawyers who saw them only as a meal ticket without regard for the truth. May they find some peace at last and come to accept and understand what was done to innocent people in Meredith's name. I cannot find words to express what I feel about the leaches who exploited the Kerchers.

I am a husband and father from North London. I have two grown up sons. I was born and schooled in Wales. I have been involved in politics at a local level for most of my life and I am currently a local councillor and school governor. I work for a health charity.  My interests include music - mostly rock, jazz, blues, latin and country and football (soccer to those in the USA) and I support Tottenham Hotspur.

Paul R. Smyth
I got interested in the Knox-Sollecito case quite by chance. My wife and I were in Rome in May 2009 and so I was aware of the case and of the savagery with which the press treated Amanda and Raffaele. But I did not give the matter too much thought.  I don’t pay much attention to crime stories as a rule and, when I thought about it all, I thought Amanda and Raffaele were probably guilty. Why would I think otherwise? Italy seemed like a civilized country to me and the pair had good lawyers in what was superficially at least a fair and open proceeding. So when my wife later asked what I thought about the conviction, I said what I honestly thought: they were guilty. But Maureen suspected otherwise and uttered the fateful words: “You do research for a living; why don’t you take some time over the Christmas holidays and look into the case more carefully.”

And so I did. I expected to be able to report that Amanda and Raffaele were guilty in very short order. But things proved a good deal more complex than I imagined. I could tell within a few days that there were serious questions about the verdict and that the prosecution had not met its burden. But were Amanda and Raffaele actually innocent? That took a good deal more time to decide.

I read the National Academy of Sciences report on forensic evidence as a kind of useful background to my investigations and otherwise focused on the DNA evidence like a laser, reading materials from Bruce Budowle, the Crown Prosecution Service (UK) and the Forensic Institute in Glasgow. Soon after, I came across Mark Waterbury’s material on Science Spheres. These readings convinced me that the DNA work done by Stefanoni was very wrong and entirely off the rails. Some people may have been surprised that Drs. Vecchiotti and Conti were so harsh in their assessment of Stefanoni’s work. I honestly can say I was not surprised at all. The truth was there to see if you did your homework.

As I looked into other aspects of the case, I began to see a pattern developing: in every single instance, the defense was making the more plausible, research-based, convincing arguments. In January 2010, I found myself contemplating the utter absurdity of believing that there had been any kind of clean-up and decided that my views on the case were settled: the kids were completely innocent and had probably been framed. I immediately sent in the first of our contributions to the defense fund and began looking for other ways to contribute. I hooked up online with Jim Lovering, Candace Dempsey, and Joe Bishop and found my way on to Facebook and ultimately Injustice in Perugia.   The rest, as they say, is history.

While I am quite confident in my views in cases where I have done my homework, I have to say that I was enormously gratified and pleased when I opened IIP one morning and found the first of Steve Moore’s articles. While Steve certainly added to my store of information, I had worked out his basic themes for myself. It was the fact that a 25-year veteran of the FBI agreed with my assessment of the case that was especially reassuring and wonderful.
I would also say that the years I spent teaching and the fact that my wife and I raised two sons to adulthood in East Lansing, a city we shared with 35,000 undergraduates, influenced my thinking. I always enjoyed teaching college students who, like Amanda, seemed to have big plans and an intense love of learning. “Neat kids,” I called them—my highest term of honor. I also had a lively appreciation of what 20 year olds are like and knew that Amanda was a typical college student--just nicer and smarter than most.

‘Bob’/ ‘Sept79’/ ‘Maryville’
I was aware in November, 2007 of the American student in Italy who was arrested for killing her roommate. I didn’t give any real thought to the killing and arrest of the American other than the gnawing question of why would she have done this. After Amanda and Raffaele were sent to trial by Judge Micheli, I became interested in the case and started posting on Candace’s blog in October, 2008. As I mentioned previously, my first reaction in 2007 and again in October, 2008 was WHY? Why would these young students be involved in a sexual assault/murder? Why would this couple of 6 or 7 days want to participate in a sex orgy with a drifter and Amanda’s roommate? It made no sense whatsoever!

My first impulse is to seriously question an investigation when reading or hearing about some hideous crime where the accused is an unlikely person—something way out of character. When scientific evidence is tenuous at best and there is no believable motive, bells and whistles go off! After quite a bit of posting/reading activity on Candace’s blog and Perugia Shock, I was convinced of the innocence of Amanda and Raffaele before the start of the trial in January, 2009.

Heather Hales
I came to know Amanda and Raffaele’s plight the day before the 2009 verdict….  A grad student commented that “if they find her guilty, all hell is going to break loose.”…well it didn’t…..I dove into whatever I could find on the internet and soon found injusticeinperugia. What I learned there motivated me to try to spread the word and recruit as many people as possible to the cause. I think that I felt somewhat of a connection to Amanda as I was oversees for a year when I was just 18. I was running around having fun, what happened to Amanda could easily have happened to me if I had been at the wrong place at the wrong time!

I found myself thinking about Amanda and Raffaele all of the time. I read articles and comments. I because infuriated at the “guilters!” I still to this day cannot understand what motivates people to behave in such a hateful way and to believe in a ridiculous fantasy just for the purpose of smearing two young innocent people!

I have lost most of my tolerance for the guilters and spend much less time on the comment boards arguing with them. There really is no point and they will crawl back in their holes when Amanda and Raffaele are released. The truth is finally coming out and I can’t wait for them both to go home to their families. The ordeal has affected so many people close to the families and many who have never known them. I know that both Amanda and Raffaele are amazing people who will come out of this somehow better for it. They should never have gone through this at all! I hope with all my heart that the people who have been the guiltiest of abuse and dishonesty in this case will be brought to justice but I fear that will never be the case.

My heart and soul are with Amanda and Raffaele until they are home and also with all of the innocent family as well. I hope to meet you all in Seattle this fall!!!!

I knew nothing about this case until about a year ago when I saw a brief interview with Amanda Knox's parents on the Oprah Winfrey show. I had a passing interest in a couple of controversial cases in Canada that ended up with the convicted people being exonerated so I was curious about this one. I supposed that the parents were just not able to accept the truth about their daughter.

I Googled and Googled and Googled. My Googling produced very confusing results. I kept finding old news reports that convinced me they must be guilty. The fact that Raffaele phoned the Carabinieri police after the Postal Police arrived and then lied about it could only imply guilt. The fact that Amanda showered in a bathroom without noticing blood that looked like it had been sprayed on the walls with a fire hose had to be conclusive. The fact that she had confessed to the murder. The fact that they had found her footprint in blood in the murder room. The fact that they had found Raffaele's running shoe footprint in blood. All these had to be conclusive of guilt.

Except that I had one advantage when deciding if they were guilty. By the time I was looking at these 'facts' a lot of time had passed. And each time I researched a bit further it turned out they were not facts. These ‘facts’ were false. And the trend was and still is that the prosecution's facts either did not stand up to scrutiny or were complete fabrications. And I began to question why the police were doing such a biased and unfair investigation. Guilty or not it was completely clear that Amanda and Raffaele were not being treated fairly. I was surprised; flabbergasted actually that so many people on the guilt side could not see this. I was certain that if this happened in Canada the prosecution and police would be crucified by the press and the public.

But I was also surprised by something else. The elephants in the room that nobody discussed:

The phenomenally improbable bomb threat phone call elephant the night of the murder. The one that allowed the police to search the garden of the house where the cell phones (and possibly keys) were dumped. The one the police say was a boy’s hoax.

The car in the driveway elephant the night of the murder. The dark one with old license plates. The ghost car with no occupants that nobody knows when it arrived or when it left.

The highly improbable broken down car opposite the driveway elephant the night of the murder. The one that ended up being towed away by a mechanic. The one that was there while the dark car was in the driveway. The one who's passengers were reported to be a couple with a baby but were actually two 'couples'. The one that the police originally withheld information on.

Did the police withhold information that they found the keys to the cottage when searching for the bomb? Did they use these to investigate the cottage that night?

And then there was the bad luck that Amanda and Raffaele had when the Postal Police coincidentally show up between the time Raffaele called the Carabinieri police and the time the Carabinieri arrive. And the even worse luck that the Postal Police incorrectly remembered their arrival time as being before Raffaele phoned the Carabinieri (more on this later). And there was a couple of obscure references to a police log book that had an entry regarding the dispatching of officers blacked out. Apparently not just lined out but obliterated.

And there were so many suspicious almost inconceivable things the police did. Like police experts wiping out hard drive alibi evidence faster than a hacker with attitude. Not collecting traffic camera videos from the area. The inspector saying he did not enter Meredith's bedroom when witnesses said he did and common sense would dictate entering to see if the person attached to the foot needed a doctor. Unless he already knew she was dead. And the police recording, bugging, and eaves dropping on everybody that could talk, grunt or fart but claiming they did not record the planned all night questioning of Raffaele and Amanda. And rushing out with a host of police to arrest Lumumba in the middle of the night based on Amanda's ‘if I were a fly on the wall’ statement. And Lumumba getting the same treatment. And Rudy having a history of armed burglaries and seriously threatening behavior that the police were aware of but did nothing about.
And to find out more about prosecutor Mignini and the police in Perugia I read the book ‘The Monster of Florence’. I probably would have been skeptical about the abuses of power attributed to Mignini and the cops except that:

1) by this time prosecutor Mignini had been prosecuted and found guilty of 'abuse of office' by an Italian court.

2) I could see the same things were happening in the Amanda/Raffaele case. One confirmed the other.

But the elephants in the room did and still bother me the most. I have had a few theories about them. All just theories. All have the police obtaining knowledge of the crime on the night of the crime. Possibly finding the keys in the garden where the cell phones were not found. Going to the cottage the night of the murder. Entering and finding Meredith's body. Possibly contaminating the crime scene. Possibly leaving behind evidence of their presence that would influence decisions about what/where to test later on. Possibly even being the source of the infamous scream. Possibly deciding to set up surveillance of the cottage. Possibly setting up cell phone monitoring of the residents of the cottage. Coming to an early conclusion of who was guilty when they saw Amanda arrive the next day, stay for a while, leave with a mop and return later with Raffaele and the mop. (I have read so many versions of that I am still not clear on the details).

And Mignini mentioned something in one of his interviews that piqued my interest. Something to the effect that he did not ask for the case. That the Postal Police got it because they were there first. And that got me thinking about the Postal Police incorrectly reporting an arrival time that preceded Raffaele's phone call to the Carabinieri police. Could it be that the Postal Police deliberately fudged the time they arrived just in case the Carabinieri claimed they should handle the case because they were contacted first? A turf war? A turf war got Mignini in trouble the last time. Could they have done something like that without realizing the consequences for the case? Or could they already be so convinced of Amanda and Raffaele's guilt that they would not worry about the consequences? And I read that the police never actually brought it up. It was a newspaper that actually pointed it out. Had the police not even thought about it? And how might that reinforce their desire to get a quick confession and ‘case closed’. And how many further actions could have been police attempting to cover up their own undisclosed involvement? Sort of like the story line of a ‘Threes Company’ sitcom.

As you can see I have many questions. And lots, lots more. Maybe one day they will be answered. Perhaps all completely innocently. That is fine. I am not locked to any theories. My hope is that the honest and honorable police and justices who investigated, tried and convicted Mignini for abuse of office the first time are looking into some of these things.

But one thing I am certain of is that Amanda and Raffaele never had even a hint of a fair investigation or trial. And I am almost equally certain that they are innocent.

Jason Leznek
It’s a daily occurrence to read something bothersome in the news. Natural disasters, war, and other tragedies constantly remind us how helpless we can be, especially when something bad happens on the other side of the world. When something good happens, we all want to be a part of it and benefit from it. When something tragic happens, it is human nature to divert ourselves from it, to make sure it doesn’t affect us personally. To not feel the pain others do. It’s a rare and blessed opportunity when an average person can reach out and put themselves into a tragic situation and try with all their might and passion to help someone who is affected by a tragedy.

When I first learned about the tragedy I thought about Meredith, of course, and how painful it must be for her family and friends. To this day, I pray for Meredith and her family each morning when I wake up. I then thought about the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito; I hoped they were innocent, that it was a strange set of circumstances they were accused of being involved in, and that it was a shame it was happening. And then, as I watched Amanda’s family tearfully expressing their feelings on the local television news, my thoughts turned to them…it became more than just an article on a web page. It became real. It became a family that could have been my neighbors. It could have been my family.

I’ve never involved myself in any business outside of my own. I’ve never reached out to a victim or a family affected by a crime or any other tragedy. As I learned more about the case against Amanda and Raffaele, however, I discovered very significant issues. I realized very early in my research they were not only innocent, but also very much targeted by a completely immoral prosecution and his team. The prosecutor himself was under indictment for similar misconduct in another case (he was found guilty) and should have never been involved in the case against Amanda and Raffaele. His lack of a moral compass or decency, his complete and utter disregard for truth and justice, his moral turpitude, his focus solely on making himself look good, and his total vendetta against Amanda, Raffaele, and their families was something I simply could not ignore.

Likewise, the behavior of his prosecution team and peers, including the head of the police investigation unit, his fellow prosecutors, and the forensics “specialists” showed either an utter contempt for truth, law, and process, or a total drowning in a sea of stupidity and incompetence. I fear they are the result of both.

With this knowledge, I needed to do something. I met a group of like-minded and passionate people through Facebook. We had the same goal yet with different backgrounds and skills. The bond we formed solely through the computer screen and keyboard is simply unprecedented. We each use the skills we have to drive the cause forward – to reach out to anyone who would listen and convince them of Amanda and Raf’s innocence. I met Amanda’s family, got to know them, and got to love them very quickly. I met Raf’s sister online, and we quickly became close friends. Very clearly, this was no longer simply a news story on the television. These were my friends literally being held hostage by a corrupt megalomaniac with the power to get away with it. This was my family being forced to live through a tragedy for four years, shattering their dreams.

I have deep and complete sympathy for Meredith’s family. I could never imagine what they have been going through – what they will continue to go through for the rest of their lives – in losing their angel. I also have sympathy for them that they have been sadly manipulated and misled by another power- and money-hungry prosecutor who has convinced them that they now have justice for Meredith, when in fact their tragedy simply continues and grows.

I know in my heart that this tragedy will be ending very soon. The truth will bring Amanda and Raf home, and bring closure to Meredith’s family. I have confidence that the Italian legal system will not only correct a terrible mistake, but also do the right thing and condemn those power-hungry and malicious “defenders of justice” who have given a black eye to truth and justice everywhere.

I cry when the families cry. I will smile when Amanda and Raf are home. I will live when their lives go on as they always hoped they will.

I looked into it last summer to answer a question: why was Amanda being charged with calunnia for saying she was abused in police custody when the tapes were not available and it might cause her to serve six years in prison even if acquitted in her appeal? I was astonished at the debate that had developed about an issue I knew virtually nothing about. I found the wrong site first and read avidly, then decided to try another source and found the JREF thread. It looked to me like there was a decent case to be made for innocence, but the Massei Report was being translated and I assumed that information was necessary to make a decision, thus I put the issue away and decided to return to it in the fall, when the report would be available and the calunnia trial was scheduled to begin. It was quite possible to me the case made in court could have been imperfect but the accused still culpable, and I wasn't interested in whether they were just not guilty by law, but actually innocent. Guilty people must go free sometimes lest imperfect justice systems be corrupted and make the far worse error, but it doesn't have to involve me.

Returning to the issue in October it seemed something had transformed the debate, it had gotten especially ugly and I didn't understand why after reading the Massei Report: it was pretty clear the case had massive holes in it that had to be papered over with dubious conjecture I found appalling from a detached standpoint, however I'd learned a new case could be made in the appeal and it wasn't being made, despite the fact I knew those opposing her innocence had doubts about the trial as well from my reading in the summer. I thus tried to make a case for guilt and found IIP to read about the interrogation, and had an epiphany reading her note, it was like she spoke to me through the confusion, all that I'd read came to me in a rush and I thought I knew what happened, though I figured there might be something out there that I'd missed. So I created an account at JREF to ask the last questions I had, the things I'd seen happening at the other site baffled me, as they seemed fun and interesting enough months previous and had done a lot of work on the case, now they resembled hate cult. That didn't square at all with what I'd read earlier, nor did it make any sense, they were just college kids regardless that might have made a terrible mistake, not evil tyrants worthy of the merciless contempt I was seeing.

Soon my last questions were answered, and again I was mystified at how people could spend three years on this case and not realize the truth, it was convoluted and obfuscated by the man engineering the railroad and the reprehensible press coverage, but it was a puzzle that could be solved. I also was embarrassed I'd ever thought them guilty and ashamed I'd thought of them as simply mind candy to play with in my abortive 'guilt scenario.' I also realized they'd been smeared, Amanda especially, which had caused me to lose all interest in politics that once enthralled me when studying the Enlightenment in college, as it seemed that's all that media in democracy amounted to these days. These were two perfectly nice young people who'd been abused and made into monsters in part by what was once the tools of knowledge and the road to freedom. I rediscovered something of my youthful idealism and perhaps I can employ what I've learned since in a worthwhile struggle.

Rick Bonin
I first took note of the Meredith Kercher case in June of 2009. The tabloids were in full assault mode against Amanda and Raffaele, and I recall thinking, “They really don’t look like the type to do this”. But like many, I just assumed they were guilty, otherwise why would they be arrested and on trial? My early web searches turned up mainly Guilter sites like True Justice for Meredith Kercher and Perugia Murder File, and we all now know how persuasive these liars can be.

The case really captured my curiosity, and as I continued to search the web, I eventually found sites like Friends of Amanda and Reading the endorsements by Amanda’s and Raffaele’s family, teachers and friends really turned my thinking around and I was virtually sure they had to be innocent. People that commit terrible crimes like this simply don’t have this kind of loving family or friends like Madison Paxton. Just before the verdict in Dec. 2009, I discovered the Facebook groups.  There I found others who felt like I did, but at the same time, I encountered the seedier side of the internet. In 2010 and into 2011, I devoured the books written by Candace Dempsey, Bruce Fisher, Mark Waterbury and Rocco Girlanda. These books, along with the Injustice in Perugia, Science Spheres and Perugia-Shock web sites, contained the facts I needed to strengthen my resolve. Even at work, I spent countless hours on Facebook, learning the facts of the case and defending the innocents against the Guilters, but also forming a bond with others like me who were standing up for Amanda and Raffaele and their families. Many, like me, had no connection whatsoever to these good people, but we all found ourselves fighting for them like they were our own family.

As I write this, most of the true Guilters have disappeared from the Facebook groups. A few of them even had enough character to stay around and admit they were wrong. I am really looking forward to celebrating the release of Amanda and Raffaele this fall with all my friends on Facebook. I think there will be a few virtual tears shed that day!

Michael Charles Becker
I was following it from a distance until the trial was half over and felt the odds favored Amanda and Raffaele being acquitted. I became involved with the case after the verdict, which left me shell shocked. I did not sleep the whole night of the verdict and spent the whole time on the internet trying to see if I had missed something and they could possibly be guilty. I quickly found all of the main players and found the whole tone on PMF and TJMK to be snide and repellent and FOA, Perugia Shock and Candace Dempsey's blog, plus the ridiculous case blog, and Science Spheres to be what shone out as the truth. I kept at the research for the next several days and was really wrung out and exhausted staying up every night, fitting in things during work.

I assembled my own timeline and main doc with links and quotes and info in a similar structure to what Bruce set up later in IIP mainly so I could keep my facts and sources straight when commenting online and I kept correcting it and adding to it day by day. I collected a lot of information from all the sites and a lot from comment section on Candace's blog - read ALL of them and had a history lesson in the War with the guilters and met all the names so to speak on both sides. Frank's blog had a similar dynamic but wilder. Somewhere along the line I coined the term "Guilters" and Bruce picked it up (and credited me, thanks Bruce!) and explained it on IIP.

Cathleen Krepps
My reasons for why their case touched my heart are, of course, personal: I had a beautiful blonde, blue eyed, funny, intelligent daughter (like Amanda) who travelled Europe and studied in London for a year. She never thought she was beautiful (she was) and did not see how many men sighed over her. She had a wonderful attitude toward the world - there were adventures to be had, and a stranger was a friend you had not yet met. She met people and ran into adventures and lived life fully. She died of an inoperable brain tumor.

As a parent I know the all-encompassing frustration and deep deep sadness of NOT BEING ABLE TO PROTECT your child. Amanda was caught up by her own belief in the goodness of people, and her belief that people would believe her. Her parents did not for-see evil in this awful case because they knew their daughter and her honest and earnest self, and besides, why would they suspect the police?

Of course these same reasons apply to Raffaele- He is a good kid, out for an adventure, and having fun. He met a beautiful girl and they had fun together.  How could two ordinary good kids be caught in this nightmare? What puzzles me is that people don't realize that murderous sociopathic personalities do not arise out of a vacuum - there are signs all along during childhood. In Amanda's and Raffaele's case - there is NOTHING that would indicate crazy orgy murderous actions are in their future. They both have families and big groups of friends who believe them and love them. There are no neighbors who came out saying "I always thought she/he was a bit off, weird or creepy" NO! And those people love to come out and be interviewed. But not in this case.

The sad thing is that because these kids are caught in this web, most people think, then, that they must be guilty because they were caught in this web. Circular and crazy- lazy thinking.

I personally know what it is like to be caught in a government web: I submitted bills for services to the US government which were paid. I thought I was following all the rules, which were hard to understand. I reviewed and reviewed the rules, and was paid for several years. Then I asked for help just to be sure I was doing it correctly, and was turned in by a whistle-blower who wanted some of the action. Whistle-blowers get paid part of proceeds collected from these cases. Never mind that I had asked for help all along. I was threatened by millions of dollars in fines. We resolved it and I admitted no guilt. My lawyer is now a federal judge who still thinks I got the short stick in this case. So I do know the feelings that the world thinks I was a crook, that there was no way out, my reputation was shot, and that no one believed me.

When I read different comments by people about Amanda and Raffaele (actually mostly about Amanda-interesting that) on other sites I see many hateful words. People will see what they believe, not believe what they see. So, their belief that these two were guilty (never mind there was NO evidence in the room where the murder took place-- what did they do-- float??) will color everything they hear/see/read. They dismiss any contrary evidence because they simply cannot see it. It won't register.

I sincerely feel for Meredith's parents. This case became about Amanda and Raffaele, not poor Meredith. I am sure they feel push/pulled and want to think Meredith put up quite a fight and that it did not take only one crazed man to kill her. They will need to continue to believe that Amanda and Raffaele were involved.

I worry about Amanda and Raffaele for the time when they are released. I pray they can heal from the damage, and begin to trust the world again. It is hard to think that some in the world think you have committed a crime, even though you know you have not. I pray that these kids will be able to move forward. I hope they choose constructive actions and not let the scar of these years dictate their actions in a ‘I will show them’ kind of mentality. That is they will not decide to do bad things because the world thinks they are bad anyway. I worry about the pressures of books and movies and those greedy people who come out of the woodwork on these kinds of occasions. But then they come from good families and will have lots of support. They have my support and my belief that they are good people. I pray that is enough.

In the late ‘70s I was enrolled at the “Stranieri” in the Etruscan Archaeology course they run every summer. Like Amanda, I am from the West Coast, had worked various jobs to save the money to do this, and was delighted to be in Perugia. It was one of the most important experiences of my life and I still consider myself very fortunate to have been able to achieve it. Much like Amanda, I think.

When I first read the headlines about AK and RS, I was intrigued because of my own Perugian experience. I--like most people--assumed that they must be guilty. Why?  Because, like most people, I had no reason to doubt the Perugian authorities. Horrible story but, if one believed the news media, these were two drug-addicted (and probably sociopathic) kids. Terrible stuff happens (as in the Manson case) when drugs are involved.

When I went on line to look into the story, I found TJMK and PMF. And I was immediately struck; i) by the venomous and emotional attacks on AK and RS; ii) the irrational, evidence-free assertions of their guilt; and iii) the vicious attacks the “guilters” mounted against any poster who even hinted at the possibility of innocence or had the temerity to ask for evidence.

It was unclear why these complete strangers to AK and RS felt so strongly about them and were so convinced of their guilt. It seemed bizarre that utter strangers were so angry and worked up about a case in which they had no personal stake.

I tried to learn more about the huge PR campaign of the Knoxes that the “guilters” alleged, but was unable to find any trace of it on the internet. I visited Anne Bremner’s site numerous times, looking for evidence of this juggernaut, but could find no information about it whatsoever. I began to suspect that there was no such campaign.

Then I watched an interview with Doug Preston, in which he described his experience with the prosecutor in the “Monster of Florence” case. I read his book and became very skeptical about Mignini's motivation in the Knox-Sollecito case.
I caught an interview on You Tube with Barbie Nadeau and was struck by her obvious assumption of guilt on the part of AK and RS; aren't journalists supposed to keep an open mind about the stories they cover? Yet it was completely obvious that Nadeau was actively pushing their guilt, through innuendo and a distortion of what I now knew to be the facts.

Then I discovered IIP and Perugia Shock and was able to study the facts of the case.  I became persuaded by the factual evidence presented there (i.e. the lack of evidence) that Amanda and Raffaele could not have committed the crime. And I now am convinced that there was an outright conspiracy mounted against them by the Perugian authorities, led by Prosecutor Mignini.

I think that my change of attitude towards the case parallels that of most people who believe in the innocence of the two; people who take the time to look at the facts and stop paying attention to media lies and distortions ultimately have to conclude that AK and RS are innocent. So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Thanks, and best wishes.

Andrew Lowery
First off, how I came to be doing this is related to what I was doing before; I'd spent my entire life as an artist of one type or another, mainly as an actor but sometimes as a composer, and I'd gotten a gig with a Shakespeare Festival that was going to Florence to perform. It was going to be one of those gigs where we all played a bunch of different parts (to cut costs) but I'd never been to Italy so what the heck? Anyway, we performed for several weeks and during that time I fell absolutely in love with Italy. It’s difficult to explain what can happen to you there; let me just say that when you see the Duomo for the first time it does something to your head. When the time came to leave I looked at the rest of the Company and said “Home? Where's that?” With that I tore up my ticket and officially became an American Ex-Pat. I was pretty broke but I didn’t care; I was sleeping on the banks of the Arno and sometimes in Hostiles but I didn’t mind; my ‘sense’ was I’d left the prudery and puritanical sensibilities of conservative fanatacism behind. I felt free really for the first time and honestly I had no idea how dangerously naïve this kind of thinking could be, (rather I should say, “I was so intoxicated by the environment that I’d momentarily forgotten. Really, I’m old enough to know better but trust me – it’s an easy place to let your guard down.) Eventually I met someone who hired me to write copy for his company's website and also to work up a theme for an exhibition they wanted to create for their art gallery in Florence; in short order I moved into the gallery and the great adventure had begun. Over the next months we did an enormous amount of work together and I continued to absorb myself in the city of Florence - which is overwhelming. At any rate - after about 6 months something came up back in the states and I was forced to return home.

I read the first reports of a study-abroad student being murdered there and I was very, very sad. In my own naiveté, which I imagined mirrored that of the kids involved, I had come to believe the finer sensibilities of Italy, with all of its cultural sophistications, was a buffer against such crimes as these. Some of my favorite times there had been spent talking with Intl. students so I felt I knew these kids, what their dreams were and when I heard they had arrested an American student for the crime I just thought it was all such a waste, such a tragedy. Then a story floated up out of the investigation that this was a “sex Orgy” or some kind of “ritual” with something “satanic” involved. I’d seen these kinds of accusations before right here in the States and most of them turned out to be fueled by an odd alchemy of hysteria, zealotry, ambition and professional incompetence. My sense was, “Nah. Some things definitely wrong with this.” At the center of the gathering storm were two unlikely looking murderers, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and when they started snagging and publishing harmless looking (to me anyway) pictures lifted from their websites and marketing those as some kind of evidence of psychopathic behavior it was pretty clear to me that this was an investigation that had gone out of control. I let things rest there thinking it was something that sounded like it was going to work itself out but it never did; the case was progressing, I started searching around the web when I came across the Friends of Amanda site which provided information and insight into the case as well as into Amanda herself that simply wasn’t available anywhere else. Her story made me heartsick so I put together the first video, “Amanda Knox in her Own Words” and used pics of her set against her shaking voice as she tried to explain what was happening to her in front of the court. When I’d heard that after she made this heartrending and emotionally devastating statement the prosecutor belittled her and accused her of crying “Crocodile tears” I dedicated myself to helping her any way I could right there. Many others have heard this very moving statement and have had the same reaction.

So there was Candace Dempsey’s wonderful blog where many, many remarkable and intelligent people constantly analyzed the case (she had been smart enough to close it down to keep the howlers in the 'guilter culture' out so some serious discussions could be held). Between articles and posts and monitoring the blog and working on her book it seemed she was going 24/7.

I found out later that yes, indeed she was; her contribution to all of this, including writing the first articles defending Amanda and Raffaele and bringing many, many new supporters into the fold, really can't be calculated. It's a privilege to call her a friend. At any rate I was concentrating on putting short films about the case together and posting
them on the teatro33 YouTube channel and ‘around’ when I noticed a scientist was posting his grave misgivings about the prosecution’s case on Frank Sfarzo’s blog. At the time Frank's board wasn't monitored and he was viciously attacked; it was really something to see. Finally he gave credentials to try to keep doubters at bay but, as in most cases like this, ‘facts’ don't matter. He eventually gave up and started his own blog with an article called LCN DNA Profiling Part I, Canaries in the LCN DNA Mine. This was a profoundly disturbing analysis of the use of LCN DNA in the case and it covered many, many bases that had not been covered in the media at all. I started communicating with him via email and decided to have the articles translated into Italian and featured on a site “”. I wanted the site to look really, really special so, not being a web designer, I used a spectacular flash software design package available from and worked for many hours to make the overall look as artistic as I could; the point was to appeal to Italian sensibilities. I believe Barbie Nadeau was so confused by this effort she once wrote something like “...supporters even put up a site that has nothing to do with the case...”. We kept the site up in that form until the end of the first trial when she was convicted. That was a terrible moment.

During the first months after the conviction more and more people were finding out about the specifics of the case, starting their own support sites and blogs and otherwise getting onboard. Among these were highly credentialed professionals at the top of their fields, (like Dr Waterbury) and they all were upset enough about what was happening to these kids that they made time in their incredibly busy lives to help them out; they all have their own reasons but in the service of the greater good this case was about superstition vs. rational thinking; it had to be fought and it had to be won. One of these was an ex-FBI agent named Steve Moore. He’d written a series of articles for IIP and Bruce contacted me and asked me to put the site together featuring translations of Steve’s blistering attack on the prosecution’s case. If ever there was a glass ceiling that held the truth about Amanda and Raffaele’s insane prosecution and conviction for murder in the peripheral vision of the general media it was Steve who shattered it to pieces and brought the case to center stage. So the site went back up featuring translations of Steve's articles along with Marks. Then there were hundreds of mail-outs of press releases to Italian media (which produced, as far as I know, nothing.)

There's much more but that’s the beginning of it and then some I guess. Sorry; I just kind of got going but I must say I’m very proud to have been a part of it and to have helped in whatever small way I did; most of all though I’m proud of Amanda and Raffaele. I believe if it weren’t for their light at the center of all of this tragic mess many of us would have given up hope; while I know the converse is obviously true it must also be said that it was they who lifted us and while they may never understand this I know it to be true. The rest - thank God - is now history.

Chris Halkides
I first become interested in this case when I read how much latitude the prosecution had basically to make things up in its closing remarks. However, what really got my attention was when nine DNA scientists wrote or signed a letter which took the prosecution’s forensic case to task. It was very disturbing to me to see that crucial information was withheld from the defense. That is the opposite of good science. I stayed involved because I thought that my scientific training could help bring these issues to light.

Here are some of my take-home messages from this case. First, we should not believe the prosecution or the media when they broadly engage in character assassination. As in the Duke Lacrosse case, the defendants in no way, shape, or form resembled how the prosecution and some elements of the media portrayed them. Second, the existence of DNA evidence does not give the members of the jury license to check their brains at the courthouse door. DNA is still the best forensic evidence there is, but it has its limitations.  Third, in the United States the appeals system is barely functional, and we have plenty of wrongfully convicted people in this country who would benefit from the kind of support that were rightfully shown to Amanda and to Raffaele. Fourth, if we allow the presumption of innocence and the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt as the bar for conviction to continue to erode, we will get exactly the criminal justice system that we deserve.

Jim Lovering
I followed the Meredith Kercher murder case from the start. After a few months, I could see that the police had staked their credibility to a false accusation and were scrambling to save face at the expense of two innocent people.

In March, 2008, I stumbled on Candace Dempsey’s blog and read her interview with Doug Preston, who had an earlier run-in with Giuliano Mignini. Preston confirmed everything I was already thinking about the case.

I started posting on an Internet board that was dominated by people who believed everything the tabloids said about Amanda and hated her accordingly. I tried, in vain, to point out the many problems with the case. This got the attention of Chris Mellas. When he realized I lived in the area, he invited me to his home. I have since become friends with him and Edda and gotten to know Amanda's entire family. I went to Italy and met Amanda in prison.

When I got involved in the effort to help Amanda and Raffaele, I expected that they would be convicted in the first round of the legal process. But I also believed sustained public interest would eventually bring the force of reason to bear. I figured it would take at least five years, but I underestimated the power of the Internet and social networking. I did not realize how many intelligent, motivated people would devote their time to the quest for justice. I will always take satisfaction in knowing I was part of a team that helped correct a terrible mistake.

I must make a little premise to make better understand my personal moral position regarding the Perugia case. My native town is found not far from Perugia it-self, they share the same awareness about history and traditions, making them two provincial adversaries, with two hearts and one mind.

Having said that, I want to add that an event like the one occurred in Perugia to Amanda an Raffaele, made some rumor around the region, making my-self to sympathize immediately with them, I must confess that although I was born in Italy, I am somebody in full disagreement with some aspect of the Italian way of life, and it came natural to identify with their predicament, these sentiments, especially knowing the social and political stand which this case implied.

The Italian public is quite used to this kind of crime stories, and before they take position to support one side or the other, they want to make sure not to bid on the loser, here it is like a life game, some may win, some may lose and sometime the truth it is only a chance, but the unclear circumstances which brought this young couple involved deeper and deeper in being suspected of the hideous crime, built in my mind a sense of rebellion.

Because, the evidences seemed right away vitiated and fictitious, and the hype of the media on speaking about it in a prejudicial manner, made them even more trivial and inconsistent, but “dura lex set lex”, which means “the law is hard but it is the law”, as the antique Latin’s used to say, and Amanda and Raffaele had to experience on their shoulders the hard meaning of such locution.

For one thing, the profile of Amanda and Raffaele was not that like the one as described by the prosecution, I saw double when I heard they being so infamously depicted as two monsters, but the picture was not there, I was perplexed about why he would not take account of the young age of the couple, from a parental and psychological point of view.

Actually the whole behavior of Amanda before the police gave me the first enlightenment of her innocence, but an occult power worked against her, and instead interpreting this irresponsible side of her personality as youthful and ingenuous, they went heavy on her, messing up not just the right order of the investigation, but also her precious existence.

Now the rest is history, thanks god they were able to affirm their absolute foreignness to the facts they had been imputed, and I sincerely hoped that one hundred percent, it did not make sense differently, now I am pondering about their judicial situation, was it better to get a sentence with a reasonable doubt in the first trial and just set free waiting for the appeal, or spend 4 years in jail to get a full acquittal? Big question, only Amanda and Raffaele know the answer.
It is well known that the Italian judiciary system works slow, because the character of Italians is litigious, which fill the courts with any sort of complains, but if you are patient and tenacious, eventually you are able to resolve your rights, but again, for some people may be an excruciating experience, and Amanda and Raffaele proved it to extreme.

Colin Connaughton, London
Like most people, I read about the murder of Meredith Kercher in the media shortly after it happened. I saw the media reports soon after about Amanda and Raffaele sharing a kiss outside the house which the police had cordoned off as a crime scene. I was shocked by the animosity displayed in the reporting against Amanda and Raffaele. The couple struck me as being two ordinary and nice looking young students who were disoriented and stunned by the terrible events which had occurred. Like ordinary good people they were making the best of it and it was obvious that Raffaele was trying to comfort Amanda who was clearly upset.

When I learned that Amanda and Raffaele were arrested for the murder I was so skeptical that I nearly laughed. There was no way that those two nice students were involved, I thought. And what on earth could be the motive? It didn't make sense. I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that police are sometimes like a lot of people in this world. They like to take the easy option and they are sometimes inclined to suspect people just because they happen to be close by. I’ve seen examples of this in my own life. I decided to wait for the evidence which I knew in advance would be flawed or non-existent. In the meanwhile I was dismayed to read silly tabloid reports about 'Foxy Knoxy' and her so-called 'antics'. To me, the so-called ‘antics’ were perfectly normal behavior of innocent but individual people. Guilty people would try to blend in, keep a low profile, and do whatever they could not to attract attention. I was shocked again when the judge made public statements, long before the trial started, about what (in his view) had happened and that Amanda and Raffaele were guilty. How could he possibly know what had happened and how could he be allowed to talk like that before the trial had even started? So I decided to do some research and perhaps help the side of innocence in what was clearly a trial by media.

I became interested and got involved with this case for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was the simple incredulity that a young from a seemingly normal background would become involved in such a lifestyle was very difficult to believe. What really pushed my buttons were several; I was a young female soldier stationed in a foreign country (18 in Germany) and watched a friend of mine get into trouble with the German Polizei over what was basically cultural misunderstandings. The trouble that she got into was nothing remotely similar to what these kids have gone through, but I can see how it could have gotten very out of line very quickly. Additionally, I have hosted quite a few foreign exchange students and have seen firsthand how cultural issues can become blown out of the water very easily. What has kept me involved has been the remarks made by many that it is "obvious" that she has been guilty all along solely based on stories and remarks made by journalists and persons perceived to be in charge have made. If anyone has ever been falsely accused of doing or saying something that they did not (which I have been), having others stand up for you is invaluable. I think that there are some personalities that for whatever reason attract a certain amount of scrutiny that the norm does not generate. I'm not sure if this is a particular zest for life, a way they carry themselves, or what exactly the issue is, but it happens. I've been told more than once that I probably would have been burned as a witch if I had lived in a different time, simply because I tend to march to the beat of a different drummer. I think it very likely that Amanda embodies this as well.

Funnily enough, I first became involved in the internet discussion of this case as a loose believer in the guilt of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. I'd read a book (Darkness Descending) which seemed at the time to make a strong case for guilt (although I subsequently discovered that there were a number of crucial inaccuracies in the book), and I thought I would scan the net to seek answers to a few questions that were in my mind. I soon discovered three things: firstly, the facts of the case were not as I had believed; secondly, the available facts did not support an argument for guilt; and thirdly, there was an intensely polarized debate taking place on the internet about the case.

The more I read - and participated in - the online debate, the more I realized that people on one side of the debate were broadly interested in open discourse, objective analysis, and critical thinking. In contrast, most on the other side of the debate were closed-minded, dogmatic, fiercely defensive and logically unsound. The former group represented the pro-acquittal (or pro-innocence) standpoint; the latter group were the pro-guilt faction. The more I learned and participated, the more certain I became that Knox and Sollecito should never be convicted of Meredith Kercher's murder, and that in fact they were most likely completely innocent. And I suppose I feel a small twinge of pride at having been a proponent of acquittal (and, increasingly, of innocence), but I defer totally to Bruce and his group for their unrelenting determination and devotion to articulating and advocating a just and rightful cause. Thank you for your huge efforts.

Gilbert (AKA European Neighbour)
A few remarks about myself: I am an architect in Vienna, Austria, half a century fulfilled. We have four children, three girls and one boy. Our eldest daughters (twins) are now a few months older than Amanda in November 2007 (for me still very young, although officially “adult”). I missed the first two years (barely remembering short news about VERY strange accusations four years ago by sources from a) police, b) tabloids c) Italy, therefore enough reasons to think like ????????). I got informed a few days before the verdict and consequently I was immediately shocked by the insane decision. I began to write letters to Capanne and Terni. It has resulted in me becoming a regularly pen pal with Raffaele, because he wants to exercise German language. I joined IIP early, nickname european neighbour.

Being European: Europe is a work in progress from a union to a federation or something similar new, therefore I felt responsible for an insane incident in a neighboring “federal state” and a European disgrace. I had to learn that we made progress in economic issues, but regarding justice systems there is still confusion and especially Ital has many flaws, also confirmed by rankings of the ECHR, which includes all European states also outside of the EU! But there is unfortunately a disadvantage of being American too: The assumed change of the American as the victim of the assault and the English girl as the victim of the judiciary would obtain a different result: To defenders of the Italian system (unjustified) arguments like death penalty, high incarceration rates, Guantanamo etc could not be provided.
Doing the first time: Regarding AKRS I did some things the very first time in my life: I did neither write letters to unknown persons in prisons before, nor I wrote letters to newspapers or to the mayor of Perugia who even responded etc, nor I joined Facebook and last but not least I didn’t join an internet forum before.

About IIP: Initially I didn’t appreciate an additional blog because I would have preferred to improve or to enlarge an existing blog I already noticed: From Mark’s science spheres to Sforza’s Perugia shock and especially Jim Lovering’s FOA. I was primarily interested in information about the further proceedings, not so in “evidence”, because discussing it is to me nearly insulting intelligence. But after I got rather soon a pen pal of Raffaele I realized that even he or Bongiorno would not be able to predict further developments because of the unpredictability of the Italian system. After the rearrangement of the IIP site in May 2010 I joined rather early to the forum. I never cared about the background of this site or of Bruce Fisher himself, if he is real or if it’s organized by Marriott or Simon etc, never mind, the more the better. Occasionally I could provide contributions and I have always appreciated to be in good company, because most of the members are decent and honest.

Black and white: In most issues I prefer the color gray, being ambiguous, looking at something from different sides etc. But in this case the two sides are exceptionally clear: There isn’t even a little fire which causes smoke because there is only fog. It’s simple instead of complicated, either good or bad, intelligent / stupid, honest / dishonest, true / false, sophisticated / primitive, enlightened / superstitious, open minded / provincial, emancipated / misogynist, scientific / illusionary, polyglot / monolingual etc. And I am still wondering why people can even consider and why media can still rely on the latter parts.

Lisa Rieger
I’m still scratching my head over the way I got wrapped up in this case, which was Facebook. The same type of social networking that was detrimental to Amanda and Raffaele in the press.

I got involved late. When I heard the guilty verdict of the first trial, I didn’t even know Amanda was still in jail. I thought her case had been resolved over a year before without trial, but I recalled immediately the tender kissing scenes that had been played continuously on TV back then. I felt confused – I wondered what the evidence was so I started researching. Even after almost a yearlong trial I was amazed how hard it was to locate accurate facts about the crime and shocked to see how the evidence presented by the prosecution evolved over time. Most articles were drenched with sensationalism.
I would have to say that what spurred me on further was the extremely shoddy journalism, not only in the tabloids but also by supposedly educated people at formerly quality sites such as The Daily Beast and Newsweek. In those sites I saw good, hard-working family and friends of Amanda and Raffaele vilified. I saw people like Douglas Preston, Frank Sfarzo, and Steve Moore ridiculed for their hard work not only in the press but also on hate sites run by mostly anonymous posters. I’m just scratching the surface of the totality of the hateful posting I read based on falsehoods perpetuated by a frenzied mob of “journalists.

I did lots of posting of information I found about the case to the Free Amanda Knox site on Facebook where later I saw Bruce Fischer posting. A few months after that he asked for all those links to my sources. Later he created the excellent site “Injustice in Perugia”, an incredible source of information.

I emailed Dr. Mark Waterbury with some questions I had about the case and he replied. Through emails we got to know each other a bit  and  I then  did  research on articles in Italian and British tabloids written immediately after the murder along with  the work of some other journalists over time, and sent my findings to him. He wrote the book “Monster of Perugia: The Framing of Amanda Knox.” Dr. Waterbury graciously listed me in his acknowledgments page for some of the interesting facts I found. I was thrilled.

I want to thank Amanda and Raffaele and their families. I learned so much because of what happened in Perugia. Also for their strength of character through almost four long years, showing us all that perseverance pays off, and making it so clear to me personally that time really does march on even through terribly dark times. I wish nothing but the best for them both for the rest of their lives.

Lisa in the UK
The news about Meredith's death was extensively reported in the UK, as was Amanda and Raffaele's arrest. I kept wondering what it was all about. The story as reported made no sense at all. I could not see why two highly intelligent, good looking young kids from good homes with everything to live for would team up with a deadbeat drifter who they barely knew on the spur of the moment to kill their friend Meredith in a bizarre, satanic sex game; it was absurd. I hunted for the facts and found that there was extensive evidence tying Guede to the crime and nothing at all to implicate Amanda and Raffaele other than the highly suspect knife and bra clasp. After the guilty verdict in '09 I felt devastated. I had stayed up that night with my Mom hoping for a NOT GUILTY verdict.  I could not sleep all night thinking of how Amanda and Raffaele must feel, not to mention the anguish of their families. I began writing a letter to Amanda immediately and sent it off to her in prison. I rang radio stations to speak out about what I saw as a huge injustice. I wrote to Senator Clinton to urge her to give Amanda's family support and my Mom and I made numerous calls to the Italian Embassy in London to voice our concerns about this unsafe verdict. Via Facebook, I got in touch with fellow supporters and Friends of Amanda. I continued to write to Amanda regularly throughout. 

Peter Popham interviewed me for the In dependant newspaper in October 2010; that is where the photo of me in the FREE AMANDA T-shirt comes from. Hopefully my quote, “Common sense tells me that if there are four people in a room and there is a big struggle and one person gets stabbed in the neck, there's going to be an enormous amount of blood and an enormous transfer of DNA, and it shouldn't be very difficult to tie those people to the scene. And the fact that there is absolutely nothing to tie Amanda and Raffaele to that room at the time of the murder seemed to me to indicate that they are innocent.” got through to people. 

They always say that we are not individuals but are intrinsically linked and yet in this rat race of a world, one always feels very separate and alone. However working for this cause has given me a tangible sense of our interconnectedness. When Amanda and Raffaele were found guilty: I felt it as if I was there, as if I was them. As they waited for the Appeal Court verdict, I once again felt their tension, their dread and their hope as if we were one. And now I share their excitement for the future and joy at being free as if I am again part of them. This ordeal had shown so many of us, that we are not alone and together we can achieve so much.

It is quite obvious to me that the Knox's are an amazing family and Amanda an inspirational person. Her heartfelt thanks to all of us who saw through the lies and who sought the truth and spoke up for her was incredible... It was a pleasure to be on board and I will never forget the folks I met during this campaign.
God works in mysterious ways indeed!

Werner Gompertz
When the news was reporting the murder in Perugia in Nov. 2007 I did not pay any attention. Another murder, and the police will deal with it, I thought. It was not until summer 2010 that I started to pay attention, when a friend of mine expressed his outrage about the innocent girl falsely accused and convicted. His outrage was heightened by the thought that the American State Department did nothing to help. That made me start reading about the case, and, while at first I found a babble of voices with different claims all over the Net, the one constant was that the comments on blogs were for the most part intensely hateful. Anyone expressing the possibility that she may be innocent was reviled. I had never felt such intense hatred for anyone, no matter how despicable their deed. I also discovered that the hatred was not based on any sound reasons. There were quite a few references to those “demon eyes” that told you she had to be a murderer. Then there was the oft expressed opinion that, even if she is not guilty, she has to be imprisoned to make up for Guantanamo or American treatment of third world people in general. There were mentions of Cavalese and of the arrogance displayed by American tourists who visited Europe. That is when I decided to investigate for myself and once I discovered the Injustice in Perugia website, I knew my confusions would be resolved. Steve Moore's articles were very compelling, and then I continued to learn more details, such as the facts about the insane prosecutor who accused all sorts of people of being devil worshipers and jailed those who disagreed with his theories. Then I read Monster of Florence and I realized that Mignini was even crazier than I thought. Doug Preston’s book was only tangentially related to the Kercher murder, and only at the end. Preston did not write with a view to influence anyone's mind in the Kercher murder case, though he helped me to understand the conditions in that region which led to the culture of corruption that produced the injustice. Guilters often ask how it could be that the Perugian authorities would go to so much trouble to frame an innocent American student.  I often refer them to Monster of Perugia and a few have actually taken my advice and read it, and it may have changed a few minds.

I must add that my convictions were strengthened by arguing on various blogs with some very determined guilters. When I was first challenged with the statements that supposedly proved Amanda was lying, I admit I did not have the answers. Even the bald assertion, “Innocent people don't lie” challenged me and I had to dig deeper. So I learned about false confessions, and about the Reid technique. I must admit that my strong traditional views about punishment have been tempered by a realization of how easy it is for the police to get a confession based on their interrogation techniques. If I needed any more convincing after reading Mark Waterbury's book, it came from reading that guilter bible, the Massei report. I actually felt bad for Massei and thought what a pitiful excuse for a judge he must be. His reasoning was no more logical than that of the commenters on blogs who used the drugs-and-sex-games theories to construct the most absurd and fanciful scenarios.

With the court decision freeing the captives, we all rejoiced. Yet the struggle continues, with Ann Coulter and Nancy Grace still spreading falsehoods that are passed on to their adoring but clueless fans. As Candace Dempsey said, “Some people won't take ‘innocent’ for an answer.”

That, briefly, is my journey from indifference to understanding. I never for a moment considered the possibility that Amanda and Raffaele are anything but innocent once I focused my attention on the case about fifteen months ago.

I recently joined the Facebook cause in support of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, two students studying in Perugia, Italy who were convicted last year (unjustly, I believe) of murdering Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher. Shortly after I posted the link to my profile, a friend pinged me back with the following message: “You’re still on about that?”
Several months ago I had shared my interest in the case with this friend, mentioning that I thought the two had gotten a raw deal and expressing hope that their conviction might be overturned on appeal.

That this friend would now be surprised (and, from her tone, incredulous) that I still followed the Meredith Kercher story took me aback. Oddly, I felt defensive; as though my interest was somehow suspicious and I had been caught red handed engaging in a shameful self-indulgence. In the finest tradition of thin-skinned petulance, my mind began cycling through the list of arguments that justified my fascination and proved - proved, I say - that every right-thinking person should be as interested in the Kercher murder as I am.

It was as I completed about the twentieth lap in the course of concentric circles I was walking in my office that I realized that I had actually been muttering under my breath and gesticulating at invisible debate opponents who’d taken up seats in the bleachers of my mind.

For whatever reason, the Meredith Kercher story has gotten under my skin. An inclination to midnight monologues directed at my dog (who, by the way, now agrees with me) and my cavalier use of the term “right-thinking person” are symptoms of just how deeply this story has wormed its way into my mind. Intellectual honesty compels me to concede that they might not be healthy symptoms. Moral honest compels me to admit that I’m hooked.

My interest is, admittedly, odd. I do not know Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito personally, nor am I acquainted with anyone who does. While they are convicted of horrible crimes, Meredith Kercher’s murder is not outside of the normal “bandwidth of horror” presented to each of us every day on the evening news. Third world infant mortality, sex trafficking from the East Block, the plight of baby seals or bigotry in my own home town all, arguably, produce victims more worthy of my time and interest. Yet every day I find myself doing a Google search on “Amanda Knox” to catch up on the latest developments.

What I learned about the evidence supporting the couple’s arrest and conviction appalled me. In fact, my Kercher-meter now reads a bright red “Mad as hell”

So, why do I care? For me, the story has become about more than Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito or even, Meredith Kercher. For me, the story is about how human beings can be wicked.

It is about how human beings can auger themselves into untenable positions, and become so invested in their own dogma that the option of sending two innocent young people to prison for a quarter of a century is preferable to admitting that they were wrong.

Margaret G Ralph
On a usual November morning in 2007 my cell phone was bouncing around on the kitchen table; that infamous day Amanda Knox was being questioned by Italian Police Authorities in Perugia, Italy.

Three consecutive text messages were from my daughter, Meghan asking me: “Did I see the news on TV?” “Did you see Amanda Knox” “Mom, she’s being accused of murder!”

Since the beginning of November 2007, the time of Amanda Knox’s arrest, I have been a devoted supporter for Amanda and Raffaeles’ Innocence. I never doubted her innocence or faltered from this belief.
The days following the horrific news I literally spent hours watching my home videos taken during the 2 years Meghan and Amanda played soccer together for Seattle Prep.

I did not see a player who “needed to be the center of attention” nor did I see a player who “stood on the sidelines displaying odd behavior”. In fact in the fall of 2005, Amanda Knox was recognized by Division AA as ‘Top defender’ from Seattle Prep High School and quoted in the Seattle Post Intelligencer Newspaper as a “dedicated and solid team player.”
I remained anonymous in my unwavering support for Amanda and Raffaele so that I could also honor the privacy of my children. My son Brendan was attending Seattle Prep at the time and he participated in writing letters to Amanda during those first 2 years before her trial. Whenever possible, I donated whatever I could whenever I could and I continue to post my beliefs of their innocence and the overturn of their appeal, on many U.S. and UK blogs.

“My thoughts were, given Judge Mignini was in in a position to decide the ultimate fate of Amanda’s and Raffaeles lives, then Judge Mignini owed it to Amanda and Raffaele to “look into their eyes” and hear and listen to Amanda and Raffaele speak the truth in their own words …

Judge Mignini could not bear to do this one act and by NOT doing so, this told me that Amanda and Raffaele did not deserve to have their fate of their lives decided by such a despicable coward.”

I am no longer anonymous and haven’t been for over the last 2 years and will forever stand up and defend their innocence. I deeply came to love and respect both families and look towards Edda as an amazing mom and Curt and Chris as amazing dad and step-dad; most profoundly has been the impact that Amanda has had on me personally; the courage, integrity, and the spirit within her soul that defines what it truly means to be an amazingly solid human being.
All your supporters I have been privileged to meet (either in person or through cyberspace), love you unconditionally and this love has bonded us together for life!

Through all the emotions we (your supporters (share together we also NEVER LOST SIGHT OF MEREDITH KERCHER and we acknowledge and pray for Meredith and her family always.

Thank you Amanda and Raffaele (and families) for teaching me that Truth is not only Love but Freedom.

Mark C. Waterbury, Ph.D.
Over the years of Amanda Knox’s wrongful and unlawful incarceration I was impressed by her gentle responses to the often hateful acts directed at her, and by what appeared to me to be her efforts to remain herself, despite immense pressure to conform to various and sundry dark expectations. To me, her famous, “All you need is love” shirt made perfect sense. She seemed almost grimly determined to respond to hate with love, believing that her love would carry the day in the end. I hoped that she was right, but felt that she could use a little help along the way.

I followed the newspaper coverage about the events in Perugia, Italy from when the news first broke of a murder under unusual circumstances. I recall reading that a young woman, a local college student, was the roommate of a murder victim. When that woman was arrested for the crime, my concern grew because it didn’t seem probable. When Rudy Guede was subsequently arrested for the same crime, I was relieved that finally matters had been righted, but of course, it did not happen, and the Perugian authorities performed their famous swap out. The path things were on did not make sense in some fundamental way.

Wanting to learn more and frustrated by the superficial mainstream press coverage, which typically devoted three quarters of each article to reciting the prosecution’s charges, leaving very little room for real content, I looked for better news sources online and found the difficult-to-follow but cleverly written Perugia-Shock blog of Frank Sfarzo. After several months I made some anonymous comments in that blog, providing brief analysis of some of the forensic evidence from a scientist’s perspective. Immediately, they were attacked, not merely criticized, on every imaginable basis. The attacks appeared to be an attempt to bully me, along with everyone else who questioned the evidence, into silence. From that point, of course, I had to learn and write still more.

Reviewing technology has been one of my jobs and passions over the years, and much of what I saw set off my pre-wired alarms: Exaggerated claims, misrepresented results, I saw the trappings of science without the substance. The forensics results were being manipulated, and so, too, it appeared was the rest of the case. This thing on the other side of the world, in another culture and language, was just plain wrong.

I had no standing in the matter and no platform from which to speak, but I began to think about how I might play the role of the butterfly of the butterfly effect flapping my wings to tamp down a hurricane, in this case.

Towards the end of 2008 I set up first blog on the case, a simple, free website at www.freeaman.001webs. It gave me a place to post information that I thought would be useful without wasting time responding to scurrilous fire. It became a kind of a chess game for me, trying to use my words to deflect events. By the summer of 2009 I had set up and written a series of articles about the DNA evidence under the heading “Canaries in the DNA Mine Shaft.” Those articles were distributed to thousands of people by an early Facebook group and on other blogs, including one in Italian.

Soon after those articles I first met Chris and Edda Mellas, and their frankness and demeanor further convinced me that Amanda was no wild child, but a good, kind young person caught up in a whirlwind of self-serving officials and sleaze merchants.  
I learned that the Italian people respond better to things that are written with some flair, rather than to recitations of fact. Also, there were already website resources that carefully went through the evidence, so I decided to lean toward a dramatic, and some would say melodramatic style while at the same time trying to add value from my scientific background. The material seemed to lend itself to using outrageous analogies, because that seemed the best way to capture the shear outrageousness of what was taking place. After writing a dozen or so articles, and still not feeling like I had shown the whole picture or done all that I should do, I began work on The Monster of Perugia – The Framing of Amanda Knox, working on it full time. I had never intended to write a book on the subject, it was almost as if it had written itself in my subconscious. At times that process was tremendously difficult, but the effort brought me back to my writing, and for that I will always be grateful. 

Diane Lutz
I was much like Amanda when came to study in Italy in 1979 as part of a summer abroad program. I returned to Italy in 1986 and I have been living here ever since. I now have a teenage daughter. Why did I get involved in this case? I got involved for a few different reasons. I could have been Amanda. My daughter could have been Amanda.

I love Italy and the Italians and this case continues to break my heart. Although I only found out about the case in the summer of 2010 I couldn’t believe the character assassination and deception that was unfolding in the media. I was incensed especially by the reports of the expat American journalists who said so many things about the trial, about Amanda and Raffaele and about Italy that I knew were inaccurate and misleading. I felt I needed to do something since I was living in Italy. I attended 5 hearings. I hope the encouragement I gave to Madison by the way of a smile and a hug helped in some small way.

Sarah Snyder
My involvement in Injustice in Perugia taught me tremendous lessons both about the power of a group and an individual. Before we organized into a grassroots group of supporters there was little hope we would have made much impact alone. By becoming an organization it lead down roads of greater direction, action and an actual goal of seeing the wrongful convictions overturned. Fighting against the early perceptions from an international media witch hunt and the lies of a corrupt prosecution, police and forensic team was a herculean task. Concerted efforts were made to counter all the lies and misinformation that had been spread online and in papers. We became the foot soldiers in changing and educating public opinion on this case. Letters were sent, contacts made, press releases distributed and articles written on topics not covered in the press. The group dynamic made this possible. Through the group there was camaraderie, numbers and we were not in the struggle alone. There were brainstorming sessions to bounce ideas off of each other, encouragement to give things a try and ideas on what we could do to help. Injustice in Perugia played a large role in informing people of what a ridiculous and corrupt case of injustice this was and our efforts helped create a tide of change in people understanding what went down in Perugia.

Injustice in Perugia also showed me the power of an individual voice. We all can do more than we may realize. Many of us stepped out of our comfort zones and took chances in our efforts to help in ways we had no prior experience. Many jumped in knowing that someone had to do something and it can’t be left always to other shoulders. Everyone helped in the best way they could, with their own individual talents and skills. I met some of the finest, most intelligent and kindest people I have in my life in this group. It was an honor to work with them in helping to correct this injustice.

Doug M
I first heard about the Murder of Meredith Kercher shortly after it occurred, although I did not pay too much attention at the time. I read a few newspaper reports, which said that a young woman was killed as part of a violent, drug fueled sex game. My initial reaction to this was disgust and a bit of sadness. I thought: “What are kids getting involved with these days?”, and did not really take much interest beyond that.

As time went by, I was vaguely aware there was a trial, and assumed the three people charged were guilty. In my mind, it was still a story about these students who were into strange acts, including violent sex where people were threatened with knives, and hard drugs. Not very pleasant to read about. However, at around the time of the 2009 verdict in the first trial, I started seeing some stories and online comments where people were saying that Amanda and Raffaele were not guilty of the crime. I did not understand that, they were there for the sex game, right? How could they be innocent? So I started reading up on the case, mostly to try to understand how there could possibly be a question, especially when the murder was committed in the home that was shared by the victim and one of the defendants.

The more I read about the case, the more confused I became. The facts were much more unclear than I had expected, especially when I learned that Amanda and Raffaele were claiming they were not even present at the crime scene. What!? That shouldn’t be hard to prove. Rudy Guede’s story of being on the toilet when another man came in and killed Meredith was obviously not true, but what actually happened? I got more interested – it was becoming a mystery. I started reading everything I could find on the case, but could not understand how the guilty verdict was arrived at. “I must be missing something”, I thought, because a court found them guilty. I kept seeing people online saying “read the 400+ page Massei motivation report, that will tell you about all the evidence that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are guilty”. There was so much vitriol toward Amanda and Raffaele, but particularly Amanda. So I downloaded and printed the whole Massei report, and read it over 3-4 days. Much to my surprise, on each point of evidence, the judge would accept the prosecution version of what it meant, and dismiss the alternative explanation given by the defense. The farther I got into the report, the more confused I got – where was this convincing evidence that these two people were even there, much less killed anyone? When I finished the report, I had to go for a walk and think, because I was astonished at what I had read. I didn’t know for sure what happened, but I was sure that report did not explain any clear case that Amanda or Raffaele was involved in any way.

Now I had to understand what was going on. I read two books on the case, and read all I could find about the case online, including the arguments from those convinced of guilt, and innocence. Although I was sure the court did not have proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, people kept talking about Amanda’s “confession”, and how she accused an innocent man. So I read Amanda’s statements, and was shocked at how they had been interpreted. These were obviously not confessions or accusations – she was clearly confused. I read transcripts of Amanda’s interviews and watched tapes of her testimony, and became more and more alarmed. I realized that Amanda and Raffaele were not only innocent, but at every step the facts had been completely twisted – this was not just a misunderstanding, they had been manipulated and railroaded.

Now that it had become clear to me what had happened, I felt compelled to do something about it. It was disgusting to see people campaigning to keep Amanda and Raffaele in jail, when they hadn’t done anything wrong. Well, if those people could post online, telling lies about these two kids, I could help by countering those posts – the truth would be my weapon. When I first came across the “Injustice in Perugia” website, I thought the name was kind of strong, since no one could be sure what had happened in this case, right? But the more I learned, the more I realized there was a true injustice, and we had to change it. I am not an attorney or DNA expert or scientist, but by using the internet, I could educate people on the case, and hope that, in some small way, I could help to change things.

Along the way, I found there was a wonderful group of people that had come to the same conclusion that I had, and were also trying to set the record straight about what happened to Amanda and Raffaele. It was rewarding to see the slow but steady change in the media stories, and online blogs and comments. These were not comparable to actual court testimony, but the hope was if people everywhere could be made aware of the true facts, it could only help to eventually turn the tide. Watching the guilty verdicts overturned on live TV was amazing – I was so happy for Amanda and Raffaele and their families. What hell they must have gone through! It was hard enough just being involved in the online campaign to free them – the drama was unbelievable, and I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the families. Yet I am so pleased that Amanda and Raffaele are free, and I hope that those of us who campaigned on their behalf had some role in that. I am very impressed by the people who built web sites, blogged, posted pictures, links, wrote articles, and posted counter arguments to the people who were illogically arguing for guilt. We were all accused of being paid shills in some PR campaign, but what really happened is that there was a small army of people who simply wanted to right a wrong, for no pay other than the satisfaction of doing the right thing.

They say, “The truth will set you free”, and in this case, it has! Although what happened to Meredith Kercher will always be a tragedy, at least that tragedy is no longer made worse by unjustly imprisoning two of her friends.

Although I have written about this case as an abstract lesson in human rationality (which it certainly is), and although being involved in it provided an opportunity to for me to exercise my foreign language skills, it was also about more than those things. It was about a couple of fine people -- Amanda and Raffaele -- whom I found to be worth caring about. 

Everything I learned about Amanda from her family and friends -- and from Amanda herself when she spoke -- indicated strongly to me that she could easily have been a friend of mine, if only our paths had happened to cross. In fact I could empathize on some small scale with her predicament, since I too would no doubt have been considered “odd” by certain kinds of people. Like her, I am a devotee of languages and music; and, having once upon a time lived in the Seattle area myself, I feel an affinity with the open, adventurous culture of the Pacific Northwest . Over the past year and a half or so, I have had the opportunity to get to know Amanda through correspondence, which more than confirmed my impression that she is an intelligent, interesting, warm and caring person. I am proud to call her my friend.

Likewise, Raffaele is a person to whom I can relate in many ways; and every indication from anyone who has ever known him is that he is a high-quality individual and about as good a friend as you could ask for, not to mention being about the least likely person in the world to be involved in such a terrible crime. I could not stop thinking about how awful it must be to be Amanda or Raffaele under these circumstances; and both of these people, I thought, deserved passionate advocacy from people beyond their immediate circle of family and friends. How could I “go on normally” while people like this were locked up in a cage? After all, if it had been me instead of them (as it could easily have been), I would certainly have hoped that at least someone out there would have felt similarly.

So, while my belief in Amanda and Raffaele’s innocence follows strictly from impersonal reasoning about what the evidence implies, my “involvement” has had a large personal component. I genuinely like Amanda and Raffaele, and taking up their cause been a pleasure.
Supporters in Seattle gathered to hear the verdict
Additional Resources
Professional Analysis
Injustice in Perugia
The Appeal
The Victim
Meredith's Killer
Wrongfully Convicted
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