The murder of Meredith Kercher, a student from Leeds, in Italy in 2007 provided countless column inches for the tabloid press, especially when her flat-mate Amanda Knox, from the USA, and Ms Knox’ then boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito, were made prime suspects and duly charged with the killing. Although Rudy Guede was later charged and jailed for the murder, some in the UK press still keep on pushing the idea that She Done It.
A shitty journalist ...
Not least of the papers doing the accusing has been the Daily Mail, which, with its characteristic tendency to misogyny, dubbed Ms Knox “Foxy Knoxy” and duly indulged in the usual nudge-nudgery aided and abetted by a stringer called Nick Pisa. The tsunami of crude innuendo helped convince the Kercher family that Ms Knox really did have some part in the killing. It was not the first Mail con job of this kind.
The paper had for many years kept on at one Colin Stagg, who the Police tried their best to entrap over the killing of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in front of her two-year-old son. The cops said after they failed to fit up Stagg that they were not looking for anyone else. The Nickell family believed the Mail’s finger-pointing campaign. Stagg was innocent. Robert Napper has now been convicted of the killing.
Yes, the Dacre doggies have previous when it comes to fitting up the innocent - those who read Nick Davies’ go-to book on the workings of the press, Flat Earth News, may also recall the case of the Taylor sisters, whom the paper went after some years ago - but Nick Pisa cannot merely hide behind the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker. He has to bear some share of the blame. But his shamelessness dictates otherwise.
Pisa has now featured in a Netflix feature in which, as the Independent has observed, “Former Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa revealed he didn't fact check key information”. it gets worse: his first appearance in the film shows him telling “A murder always gets people going; bit of intrigue, bit of mystery, a whodunit. And we have here this beautiful picturesque hilltop town in the middle of Italy. It was a particularly gruesome murder: throat slit, semi-naked, blood everywhere. I mean [chuckles], what more do you want in a story?”
... and his shitty journalism
Er, we might want a journalist to do some journalism first, and the voyeurism a lot later, thanks. But Pisa does know it was someone else’s fault: “Towards the end of the documentary, Pisa attributes the blame of Knox's imprisonment to the Italian police force … Despite claiming some of the claims were ‘crazy and completely made up,’ he refuses to take accountability for the warped headlines he was responsible for”.
And then he came out with this gem: “It's not as if I can say, ‘Right, hold on a minute. I just wanna double check that myself in some other way.’ I mean, goodness knows how. And then I let my rival get in there first before me, and then, hey, I've lost a scoop”. What we aren’t told is that this approach got Pisa into serious trouble when he told the world that Ms Knox had lost her appeal against a murder conviction in 2011.
“Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction” he told. The Mail later pulled the story and substituted the correct one - she won her appeal. But it was just another example of shitty journalism from the shittiest of journalists. Nick Pisa is not just a slimeball. He’s far worse than that.