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Review Of The Amanda Knox Ebooks "Trial By Fury" and "The Forgotten Killer" by Douglas Preston


On Friday, March 27, 2015 the highest Italian Court overturned the overturned decision that had overturned the original guilty decision in the case against Amanda Knox and her then boyfriend. After spending four years in prison, being released because the decision was thrown out; then having another guilty finding against her only to have this decision declare that one null and void, she is now finally free to pursue her live and never look over her shoulder again; the Italian Courts will no longer be coming for her to try her for the murder.

Let's pretend that you are the judge on a capitol murder case. The prosecution is adamant that the defendant is a blood-thirsty killer, a deviant the likes of which few have ever seen. What evidence is offered to prove this claim? The fact that Amanda Knox had done a cartwheel in the police station while waiting to be questioned. Need more? How about the fact that while at the crime scene, she was seen to put booties on her feet before entering the room, and while doing so she "swiveled her hips" in a seductive manner. Not enough? Well, how about the fact that she was seen eating pizza a few days after the murder. Well judge; are you convinced of her guilt?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But these are simply a few of the "facts" presented in court to prove Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend were fiendishly clever murderers, a pair of sadistic sex-fueled killers.

Now don't laugh, I am serious. These situations and more are detailed in Preston's ebook "The Forgotten Killer"..

Giuliano Mignini

Giuliano Mignini

ebook The Forgotten Killer

In The Forgotten Killer, you get a glimpse behind the curtain of the Italian Justice System. The smoke and mirrors which were in play during the original trial are dispersed and dismissed, leaving you the reader able to view the facts of the case; not the wishes of the prosecution, nor the desires, nor the allegations. Just the facts.

An all star team of writers tackle this problem from various angles in the tidy little ebook. Douglas Preston is a writer whose talents I enjoy greatly for his works, both fiction and non-fiction. The fact that he had a run in with the same justice system a few years prior allows him to provide the reader with a unique perspective of what happened and how this system can work. In addition, though he is thousands of miles removed from the scene of the crime, he knows the adversary intimately. Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor in the Amanda Knox case is the same man who doggedly and infamously pursued Preston and Italian journalist Mario Spezi in the case which was documented in Preston's book The Monster of Florence. Preston well knows this man's behavior and resistance to facing the facts which are as plain as the nose on his face. In other words, why let a little thing like the truth get in the way of a trial?

Joining Preston here is another author I have enjoyed over the years; John Douglas, who was the FBI's original Profiler. He took the Behavioral Science section of the FBI to hitherto unknown heights, and was involved in some of the most famous (notorious) serial killers in American history. His books are fascinating and allow the layperson to see what makes a killer tick. In addition, he was the inspiration for FBI agent Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs. His co-author, Mark Olshaker, is involved here as well.

Steve Moore is a twenty-five year FBI agent and was trained by Douglas at Quantico. His input here is invaluable.

In addition, we have a Judge, Michael Heavey; Legal Expert Jim Lovering; Hollywood heavyweight Thomas Lee Wright; and even a letter to the Italian legal department after she was detained by them from Amanda Knox herself.

This work gives clear, concise, and incontrovertible proof that Knox is innocent. Far, far beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox

In this book, Wright begins by laying the groundwork for those who will follow. He sets the stage by providing the bones of the process, allowing those who follow to flesh out those bones. He does a fine job at this and by the time you reach the end of his chapter, you are convinced Knox is innocent. But we will not stop there.

Preston is up next and he admits that in the beginning he was a doubter, believing her to be guilty. A phone call from Wright supplied Preston with a single fact which gave him pause: who the prosecutor was. The facts that followed caused Preston to have a change of heart, and he came on board to assist in Knox's case. He then relays the facts of the case, including a 43 hour period of intense interrogation lasting 5 days which ended with a confusing admittance of guilt that had followed a final overnight blitz of no less than twelve detectives tag teaming her non-stop, with no food, drink or even bathroom breaks to be had. Yelling, screaming, name calling, even head slapping behavior achieved what simple police work could not: she signed their confession. But even that confession made little to no sense, and was destroyed shortly after it was gained.

Details such as DNA, blood, murder weapon and motive are brought forward and show who the real killer was. But again, even with that person in custody, charged, found guilty, and in prison, the Italian prosecution would not be swayed from Amanda Knox and her boyfriend. No evidence has surfaced which ties them to the crime and Preston shows you every misstep taken by the Italians in their misguided pursuit of Knox.

Douglas and Olshaker are next and take a professional, detailed and analytical FBI approach to the crime. They walk you through the crime, step by step, and explain to the reader what the crime scene shows. In somewhat dry FBI-speak they give you "just the facts", explaining them to you in a fashion easy to understand. By the time you finish their chapter you are left shaking your head and wondering aloud "Just how blind was this court?" You see the Modus Operandi and Signature points of the case as described by experts in the field and the difference between the two are easily discernible to the reader. Each of the facts and pieces of evidence brought forth by the prosecution is laid bare to the reader until all that remains is a wisp of nothing clenched tightly in the prosecution's hands.

Douglas does, as he does so well in his previous books, a fantastic job of "profiling" what the killer would do, both before and after the crime. He is THE master at predicting what someone will do, who that someone is, and where they will be. It is uncanny how he is able to step into their persona and supply the details that break the case. As he relays the details as to how the murder occurred, and by whom, you are there in the room and able to see how each act is committed.

Steve Moore picks up the gauntlet next and provides his qualifications (which are impressive) and his conclusions. He lays bare the lies of the prosecution having viewed the video made of the crime scene investigation. As he states, these "professionals" are more like the Keystone Kops in this unedited video, showing better how not to than how to proceed with a crime scene. Seemingly common sense acts like not walking through the blood at the scene, thereby contaminating the scene with additional blood-soaked footprints moving around the apartment; handling multiple evidence with the same tools, cross contaminating the evidence; and perhaps the most egregious act of all, the fact that the police had not collected all of the obvious evidence at the scene before releasing it from their control. A purse belonging to the victim which had bloody fingerprints all over it was left behind, as was a piece of the victim's bra, also soaked in blood. Both of these and more were found at the scene after the police had collected all they wanted and released the scene; some six weeks after they released it. Imagine an American homicide in which the police left valuable and crucial evidence behind at the scene.

Moore walks the reader through the long interrogation sequence providing details which will shock the reader. Details such as the fact that there is a law in Italy which require that all interrogations be videotaped, and no part, not one single minute of Knox's interrogation was videoed. He then walks you through the interrogation techniques which were used to befuddle a young girl into giving them what they wanted, regardless of the facts.

Judge Heavey and Jim Lovering are next, providing a view from the bench. They examine the original court's decision and the acquittal. Their view is invaluable for they provide the perspective needed to see what the mindset was within the court at the time of the decision.

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The final chapter is left for the second victim in this case, Amanda Knox, A detailed, heartfelt letter to the Court of Appeals from Knox shows the reader a well spoken young lady as she declares her innocence. This is perhaps the most impressive chapter of this work, as Knox comes across as an intelligent and polite young person who is adamant as to her innocence. She details much of what occurred during the early days of the investigation and provides her view on them. By the time you are finished, you will be far, far beyond that shadow of a doubt required to find her innocent.

Along the way you are introduced to someone who knows what really happened that night: the actual murderer. Rudy Guede is a man from the Ivory Coast of Africa who lived in the area, was known to the friends who lived together in the apartment, and who had not only the skills, but the motive and opportunity to commit this crime. His DNA was found at the scene in numerous locations, he admitted to it, was found guilty, and is in prison serving sixteen years for the crime.

And the prosecution knew this the entire time. They know it today, and they STILL conducted another trial and found Knox guilty! Guede even stated for the record that Knox was not involved in any way, shape or form yet the Italian courts have ignored every piece of evidence proclaiming her to be innocent, and focus on non-existent proof and ridiculous claims to the contrary.

Trial By Fury

This is a short ebook, one easily consumed in less than an hour. That is if you read it straight through without stopping. As for myself, I read, backed up, read again, backed up another time or two and read it again and again. In some sections I read it four, five or more times. It has taken considerably longer time to understand it completely, and to come to grips with its contents will take longer yet.

Trial By Fury opens with excerpts from various blogs, websites and other locations from around the Web. I will not repeat them here except to say they are extremely disturbing to me for the sheer ferocity of the verbiage used.

The author has opened the door to a new world to me, one that I may have been aware of yet never really thought of. I was aware of cyberbullying and the concept of someone using the anonymity of the Internet to say things to others which they may not be willing to say to someone's face. I have felt strongly about this for some time now, this ability to be ferocious, harsh, mean-spirited to the point of utter and complete hatred without being in the vicinity of the person they are attacking. With the advent of cell phones which have Internet access from anywhere at anytime people are able to hide behind the veil of cyberspace and attack without fear of reprisal.

In Trial, Preston does not research the trial of Amanda Knox, nor does he examine the evidence as it is laid out by the prosecution or the actions of the defense; rather this is an exercise in the actions of those who are not a part of the Amanda Knox case but who are more than willing to voice their opinions and woe unto those who do not agree with them.

One of those individuals who have learned that these people mean business is Steve Moore. Moore contributed to the previous book The Forgotten Murder. He was a twenty-five year veteran of the FBI before retiring and going into the private sector. When he learned of the issues with the Knox case he went to his employer, Pepperdine University to advise them that he felt strongly that Knox had not received a fair trial and that he desired to assist her team in finding the truth. Pepperdine gave him the go ahead to assist. After studying the material and coming to the conclusion that the Italian authorities had acted improperly he approached the media to give his findings. He was warmly received by the mainstream media and his findings gained a following.

He then began to receive threats from people in Internetland. He was threatened, his family was threatened, even Pepperdine University came under fire. Moore's employers brought him in and spoke to him about the concerns being raised regarding his work and the Knox trial. They advised him that he needed to halt his work immediately or else. He felt so strongly about helping Knox that he refused.

They fired him.

These cyber-attackers are not stupid people; they are intelligent and articulate and they have found one another online, banding together to become a community which is extremely powerful. They include members of one of the most prominent cultures online, Wikipedia. Believe it or not, the various editors of Wikipedia were at one another's throats, outing one another and even drawing the founder of Wikipedia into the fray. As I read some of the things which were passed between the editors I sat absolutely dumbfounded, my mouth quite literally hanging open with utter shock. As I said earlier, I may have known there were those out there who felt strongly about the case, but the hatred witnessed was far more than I have ever thought possible.

This is a disturbing read for the simple fact that the individuals who are attacking anyone associated with Amanda Knox and her defense are most likely people you pass on the street daily, waving to them and wishing them well. They are your neighbors, friends, family members. They are your co-workers, spouses, sons and daughters, parents. To the faces of those they know they are pleasant people.

But to those who they disagree with online they are without remorse or compassion. They are, well, ferocious in their attacks.

The author has brought attention to these individuals although they remain cloaked in the anonymity which exists in the Internet. It will do most individuals good to spend the short time reading this ebook if for no other reason than to prepare themselves for what I fear is the future of Humanity. The longer we live and remain in the electronic world of texting and cyberspace, the less compunction we will have to be pleasant, accepting, human. We as a race are in danger of becoming without compassion for those we do not face on a day to day basis, and I fear the behavior which occurs behind the façade while online will eventually overwhelm the decency of the real world until we devolve into beasts who have no mercy for anyone other than our own immediate family. And even that could be in jeopardy.

As the numbers of those who deal with others solely via electronics grow, the pool of those who are in touch with others in the face to face mode will diminish. That will be the signal for the end of life as we know it. However, this is only my opinion. You need to make up your own mind.

Preston / Child Facebook page

    Douglas Preston enjoyed my review so well he placed it on their Facebook page for all of their followers to view. As he was so kind to me, I would like to return the favor and allow all Hubbers the opportunity to join their Facebook account.


Mr Archer (author) from Missouri on August 12, 2014:

Paula, so glad you enjoyed this enough to share it as you have. I truly appreciate the comments and your stance on this subject. As you stated, you have to think like an Italian to understand their point of view. I do not have that capability but it is nice to know you understand due to your close ties with that culture. That in and of itself validates my view here that something is just different in how they view the case, something we in America do not understand. Thank you! And I appreciate you looking into my other works here; let me know how you find them, good or bad. You take care, okay?

Phyllis, glad you enjoyed this as well. it is always good to hear from my longest supporter here on Hubpages. I am humbled to think you feel I did so well in presenting the lack of proper procedures here; I was simply following my interpretation of Doug's works. I am so blessed to have this correspondence with him. It is now going on 5 years of emails; perhaps one day I will get to actually meet him! Thank you once again for the wonderful comment and the share. Stay safe!

Graham, thank you Sir. I too hope this situation becomes clear in the near future. It seems so ridiculous to think someone can be found guilty on such vapor thin proof, but it can and does occur. It concerns me and although I would love to visit that country, I just don't know if I can! Blessings to you my friend across the pond!

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on August 12, 2014:

Hi Mr Archer. An excellent hub so full of researched information. I do hope for a truthful and clear verdict in the future, Whatever it may be.

voted up and all.


Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on August 11, 2014:

Mike, this is a powerful and well documented article. You present the facts and the lack of proper procedures by the Italian police as an expert in crime investigation would. I felt Amanda and Rafael were innocent and you overwhelmingly prove they are. Phenomenal and enlightening.

Up, U,A,I and shared.

Suzie from Carson City on August 11, 2014:

Mike.....I was excited to have stumbled upon this hub. I am a court case junkie (my late husband was a defense attorney & our entertainment with one another was holding court in our living room.....incredible fun)......I followed the trials, did all the research, using every means available...took my stance and off we would go. Just a little background for you. He had the Juris Doctorate.....I had my expertise in Behavior Analysis, my fiercely sharp intuition and a whole hell of a lot of common sense, not found in most text books.

From day one, I simply KNEW that Amanda & Rafael were completely innocent and never once faltered or doubted. That sort of tunnel vision is never a smart move in any criminal case, but this case was truly different.

The main difference being WHERE it was being held and WHO the Prosecutor was. (BTW, how that man has escaped straight-jacket lock up in an Italian Psyche center is a huge mystery) My edge in this case? I was raised by a 1st-generation pure Italian woman and amongst her "crazy" I kept telling everyone....."You HAVE to think like an Italian in this case.....or you're totally lost."

The sheer insanity of the guilty-not dance would be the best comedy ever, were it not so damned egregious. It's difficult at this point to find much in the line of updates and I'm frustrated.

Your hub has given me something to do (read) in the meantime.....while the Italians are determining what to do next. What a Joke......

Suffice it to say, I love this hub.....and needless to say, your writing style is absolutely fabulous. I'm happy I found you. It also warms my heart to meet a man who truly loves his wife and says so in all the important ways. Scanning through your Titles, I see a number of your works I intend to delve into...asap.

Thanks for this terrific info, Mike!...Up+++shared, pinned, googled & tweeted.

Mr Archer (author) from Missouri on February 10, 2014:

I know! Incredible!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 10, 2014:

Mike, apparently his followers are 'liking' your hub. You've got 153 'likes'! Awesome!!

Mr Archer (author) from Missouri on February 09, 2014:

Cheyenne, thank you. I truly appreciate your remarks on this hub. The truth? I believe the truth is that the man in prison killed that young lady. I believe Knox and her boyfriend are innocent of the entire crime. Do I know that for the absolute truth? No, nor can I. But I can believe.

I am extremely fortunate to have an ongoing correspondence with the author, Douglas Preston. As a matter of fact, when I sent the link to this hub to him, he read it, emailed me back saying that it is "a truly excellent review" and he posted it on his Facebook account. A New York Times Best Selling author liked MY review enough to post it on HIS Facebook account!! I am literally speechless.

You take care and stay safe.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 09, 2014:

Mike, you reviews are straightforward and unbiased. I watched the video and found it very confusing. There is no real evidence, yet 3 people are in prison without even being charged. I don't understand how that can happen. What is the truth?

Your comment regarding communication through media is spot on. No one talks face to face anymore. On the one hand, I'm glad we have the capability; that's how I met you and everyone else I've met on HP and LinkedIn. But people hide behind the cloak of cyberspace. Those who are mean spirited throw their daggers freely. Would they have the balls to be so ugly if they were to face those they bully? I think not.

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