Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Correcting NY Times 14: No, Jessica Bennett, Nasty Men Were NOT Why Knox Went On Trial #2

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Victoria Brownworth, distinguished feminist (see 2nd quote)

Long post. Click here to go straight to Comments.

1. Post Overview

This is the second of two posts that take issue with Jessica Bennett’s repeated insinuations that nasty tabloids and nasty men were the entire causes of Knox going on trial.

As we mentioned in the first post, Jessica Bennett gave the real victim, Meredith, a remarkable woman with a huge career up ahead, barely a passing nod. She never actually suggests apart from a mischaracterized Dr Mignini who the nasty men were. And Bennett omitted, amazingly, that there was an equality or majority of women in all aspects of the case.

Here now BY FEMINISTS wading in powerfully on the case are three of our previous posts.

1. Posted 2009 by Miss Represented

Why Inflammatory Attempts To Militate Well-Intentioned Feminists Must Be Denied

In this post, without implying that the case against Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede are in any way less important to the overall outcome of the case or justice for Meredith and her family, I would like to focus on the case against Amanda Knox. I believe it is extremely important for a number of reasons, most crucially in helping us to unlock secrets about the female gender, the crimes they commit and the reasons they may have for doing do.

I recently began thinking about Amanda in more detail as well as the society that created, unleashed and ultimately unraveled her.

I would like to point out at this stage that Amanda Knox is not the first female to be accused of such a heinous and brutal act against a fellow human being (nor will she be the last). But surprisingly this is the first real international case to be so publicly (and brutally) critical of a female defendant in a way that has become normal and totally acceptable when trying male defendants for similarly violent crimes. I believe the overwhelming fascination with Amanda Knox is that she has defied a feminist stereotype about the kinds of women that commit crime and the reasons they have for doing so and by doing this, people are more willing to be critical of her.

The idea of the feminist movement was to liberate women, give them access to better jobs, better rates of pay, a platform in important social and political matters as well equal rights and privileges alongside men in society. But feminism is a bit like communism, it only really works on paper and this is because there are still a great number of women who demand the perks of being treated equally without also taking equal responsibility.  Amanda Knox is a case in point. It makes me furious that other women are vocally (despite all the evidence so far) defending and hence condoning her actions simply because she is female. The victim was female too. She no longer has a voice; and Amanda doesn’t need two! Amanda has a voice of her own and has already used it to tell an astronomical amount of malicious lies.

While we are on the subject of malicious, aggravated and astonishing lies, what was the tactless, omnipresent voice of the FOA saying last week? Apparently: ‘All you need is love.’ How charming,  I’m sure the family of the young woman Amanda Knox is on trial for killing will bear that in mind *sighs*

The problem with feminism, coupled with the new and equally unworkable socialist idea that anyone can do anything they want, whenever they want and without thinking about the consequences, is that is has falsely encouraged young people (particularly women like Amanda) in the notion that they are invincible and that no matter what happens somebody will always be there to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess (even murder). Young women like Amanda are born underneath an idealistic umbrella and brought up safe in the knowledge that they can be anything they want to be or have anything they want to have just by demanding it (go look at Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue if you don’t believe me).

Sexual liberation is another contentious issue (Amanda again is a case in point), nobody is saying you can’t be sexually liberated , it’s just that some people don’t want to have a pink rampant rabbit vibrator practically shoved in their face in order to let everyone know how absolutely wonderful is it to be able to have random sex on a train with whoever they like and all in the name of being sexually liberated. So childish and unnecessary.

Feminism has formed the dangerous and uncontrollable principle that all women are equal because they say they are and anyone that disagrees is anti-women, even if you point out how they refuse to accept responsibility for bad things they have done. You cannot condone behaviour for women that would simply be unacceptable for men. I condone equality amongst both sexes but wish more women would take responsibility too! That’s feminism.

Kids are brought up to believe they can do anything they like, why then are we surprised when someone gets hurt or killed?

Kids like Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy were brought up around these ideas, believing that other people exist to parasite off and to clean up their mess when they go out into the world and leave in their wake absolute havoc, mayhem and destruction.

I’ve noticed that most feminists who are reading or writing about this case are squealing about the ‘total injustice being done to Amanda-wa-wa-wa!’ by the horrible, horrible, nasty Italian men, seemingly forgetting that it would be these same men that would be in charge of ensuring justice was served had it been Amanda Knox who’d been brutally killed that night.

So to the people that have been using gender as an excuse for why Amanda should be given a slap on the wrist and promptly flown back to Seattle on a private jet with a hand-written note of apology from prosecutor Mignini, I’d like to say this: the victim is still a victim and the perpetrator is still a perpetrator, regardless of who the victim happens to be and regardless of the gender of said perpetrator. This is called “justice” and you can find it in the dictionary, under ‘J’. You can also find the word “gender” under ‘G’, I hope you’ve noticed they are separate words, start with separate letters, and are should be completely and utterly unrelated.

Luckily, it seems the idea of ‘selective justice’ (i.e. one rule for me and another for my male friend here) is not very popular in Italy, where Amanda is currently being held equally responsible with two male counterparts for murder and sexual violence. As we all knew it would, the truth is gradually coming out, ugly as it is, and remember it’s only just begun. The case is unique and important, not because of what she did, but because of the equal way she is being prosecuted.

I urge you all to put aside your preconceptions, and look at the evidence closely, justice for Meredith depends on it.

2. Repost of Victoria Brownworth 2014

On Knox As Ice-Cold And Media’s Hit & Miss Performance

They called her “Foxy Knoxy” almost from the start. The pretty, young American student living in Perugia, Italy, working at a bar in the evenings and attending classes by day. Amanda Knox had fallen in love with Perugia on a trip to Italy when she was 15. Five years later, she was living there–on her own, free from the constraints of family and chaperones, involved with a young Italian man, Raffaele Sollecito, a few years older than she.

In 2007, she was sharing an apartment with two Italian women students and a British exchange student, Meredith Kercher, who, like Knox, had fallen in love with Italy at 15. By all accounts Kercher was a lovely young woman. Smart, pretty, funny and fun-loving. She was immensely popular, and like Knox, working and studying while enjoying the freedom of being far from home. Knox and Kercher were roommates, but not necessarily friends. Kercher spent time with British friends, while Knox spent more time with Italians.

It was All Soul’s Day, Nov. 2, 2007 when Kercher was found dead in hers and Knox’s apartment, stabbed to death after having been beaten and sexually assaulted. An autopsy report concluded she had died from the three cuts to her throat, but that she had died slowly, as the artery had not been slashed. Hand-prints on her face and neck allegedly matched Knox’s as did a bloody footprint. Two months-long trials would later posit that Knox had held Kercher down in a sex game/menage that went awry with Kercher, Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, an acquaintance of other students living in the apartment building.

Knox told police she had come home from Sollecito’s apartment to find Kercher’s door locked. She allegedly found drops of blood on the floor of their shared bathroom and feces in their toilet. She took a shower and left the apartment. Some time later she and Sollecito called the police. The door to Kercher’s room was broken in and her bloody body was found under a duvet.

Knox and Sollecito were taken in for questioning. The Italian roommates were out of town. On Nov. 5, both Knox and Sollecito were arrested and charged with sexual assault, staging a burglary and murder, among other charges.

Knox asserted that her boss, Patrick Lumumba, a Congolese native and single father, was the murderer and that she had heard Kercher scream while Kercher was with Lumumba, but had done nothing.

No evidence that Lumumba had ever been near the apartment was found and Knox later admitted she had lied about Lumumba. She was sentenced to an additional four years in prison for false incrimination. She was ordered to pay 32,000Euros in restitution and 40,000Euros in court fees Lumumba incurred in the first trial. Lumumba has asserted that Knox is guilty and that she “destroyed my life” with the false accusation that kept him in prison awaiting trial.

After the Jan. 31 conviction was announced, Lumumba told London’s Channel 5 News,
“I’d like to tell Amanda that she’s completely destroyed my life. She made me, my family, my friends suffer. She should be writing to me to apologize.”

Lumumba also said, “I think Amanda blamed me because she wanted to protect herself. She chose me because it would be much easier for everyone to think that a black guy had done it. It was her strategy and she almost succeeded.”

Knox told police she had “covered her ears as he [Lumumba] killed” Kercher and her screams pierced the apartment.

I’ve covered a number of murders, including several high-profile cases, in my journalistic career. One of my earliest major assignments was covering the murder of Eigel Vesti, a young, gay fashion model in New York City who was murdered at the height of the club scene in a grisly S/M killing. I was contracted by Simon & Schuster to write a book about another high-visibility killing–that of Steven Redman, a high school senior, by his classmate and former friend, Robert Rosenkrantz. Redman had allegedly outed Rosenkrantz, so Rosenkrantz shot him the night of their graduation.

But it was the so-called Trial of the Century that I wrote about when I was at the Philadelphia Daily News that is most like the case of Amanda Knox. The first Knox trial lasted nearly as long as that of O.J. Simpson and similar controversy swirled around it. There was no Johnnie Cochran to assert, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” but there were many similarities to that well-known trial of the former NFL star.

Except unlike Simpson, Knox was convicted. Twice. First in 2009 after an 11-month trial and again January 31, after a second, four-months-long trial. In 2011, the 2009 verdict was overturned on appeal, citing procedural issues. But the second trial was succinct: blood and DNA evidence, false alibis, witness reports all put Knox, Sollecito and Guede at the scene of the crime. Guede, who is black and who has also asserted his innocence like Knox and Sollecito, has remained in prison since 2007 and is scheduled for release soon. He was convicted in a separate trial and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Both Knox and Sollecito spent four years in prison.

The Italian court ruled Jan. 31 that Knox, now 26, and her ex-boyfriend, Sollecito, now 29, did indeed kill the 21-year-old London student in Perugia in 2007. Their 2011 acquittal of the 2009 conviction was itself overturned last year, after Italy’s highest court ruled the appeals process had not been handled properly.

On Jan. 31, Knox was sentenced to 28-and-a-half years in jail while Sollecito was given 25 years in jail. Meredith Kercher’s sister Stephanie and brother Lyle could be seen smiling after the verdict. The Kercher family has urged the U.S. to “allow justice to be served” and “extradite Knox immediately to serve her sentence.” Knox refused to appear in Italy for the trial, saying she could not afford the trip, although she received a $4 million book advance in 2011. The U.S. has an extradition treaty with Italy. It would be highly unusual for the U.S. to refuse to extradite a convicted defendant.

Knox and Sollecito are both appealing the Jan. 31 verdict, which could take as long as a year. Knox has vowed to fight the verdict. Sollecito told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Feb. 4 that he was only convicted the second time because the court presumed he had to be guilty since he was Knox’s boyfriend. He once again asserted his innocence.

The most common response to the murder of Meredith Kercher is, “We’ll never know what happened.” Similar to what has been said of victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the O.J. Simpson trial.

Is Knox guilty? Two long, complicated trials have said yes. Knox’s massive PR machine–much like Simpson’s–says no. That PR machine also ignores the fact that Knox falsely accused a black man of the murder and that he spent time in prison solely because of her accusation that she saw him take Kercher into the bedroom and heard her scream—while she, Knox, did nothing.

Angelina Antoinetti, Knox’s personal prison guard, told reporters after the conviction on Jan. 31 that Knox has reinvented herself for the media.

“Now she’s become this TV star, who cares passionately about what happened to her ‘friend’ Meredith Kercher, and wants the truth to come out. She’s painting herself as a warm, loving human being, but the Amanda I knew was so composed, I never saw her suffering and other prisoners and staff called her the Ice Maiden.”

Antoinetti said Knox “never, ever talked of Meredith or expressed emotion about her death. Whenever Meredith’s face came on TV she didn’t want to know and didn’t respond. She was impenetrable. Underneath the veneers she remains the same controlled woman I knew well in Capanne prison. She was so composed, I never saw her suffering.”

Antoinetti said that Knox “became attached to me. I opened her cell each morning and shut her in at night. She liked English music like the Beatles and always sang. She had guitar lessons, too.”

Knox was “unlike any other prisoner,” Antoinetti said. “I’ve never seen another girl like her, especially so young. She’s magnetic and manipulative. She had no emotions for people, only books. She never talked to other prisoners, she was only concerned about her world. Even when they freed her after the appeal, she didn’t speak to a single person she had just spent four years with, just walked out. That’s not human, is it?”

And that is the question for many: Who is the real Amanda Knox?

As with the Simpson trial, the media has played a huge role in the Knox case. The U.K. papers labeled Knox “Foxy Knoxy” while the Italian papers played up Knox’s sexual history and the more lurid sexual elements of the case–the assertion that the murder was a drug-fueled sex game gone wrong.

In the U.S. ABC News has been a virtual PR firm for Knox, devoting hours of time on both 20/20 and Good Morning America as well as the actual ABC Nightly News promoting Knox’s innocence. Diane Sawyer did a heavily promoted hour-long interview with Knox when she was released from prison in 2011. And when the Jan. 31 conviction came in, on her ABC Nightly News broadcast, Sawyer led with “the American girl” Amanda Knox–even though Knox is 26. A full six minutes of broadcast time was devoted to Knox–including video of her singing and playing guitar. When has a national news network treated a twice-convicted murderer in such a manner?

The two media portraits of Knox–the sex-obsessed sexual manipulator she’s been portrayed as being by the European media and the pristine girl-next-door innocent-abroad the U.S. media has presented conflict, obviously. But what has been lost in the emphasis on Knox as the victim of the story is the actual murder victim, Meredith Kercher.

There’s no question sexism and misogyny have played a major role in the case. Were Knox not young and beautiful, it’s unlikely there would be as much fascination with her. There is also the American-centric position that only American courts could give a defendant a fair trial–even though the Italian process is not only much like that of the U.S., but offers a defendant a two-tiered chance at redemption, both of which Knox’s case failed. Twice.

Imagine if Knox had been brought to trial in the U.S. –accused of the sex-torture murder of a young woman of color (Kercher’s mother is Indian) yet accusing a black man of the crime and alleging she was there when he murdered the victim.

Do we think the U.S. media would be as kind to Knox under thosecircumstances, or would she be a reviled perpetrator like Susan Smith, pretending a black man had kidnapped her two children when in fact she had driven them to their deaths herself?

Would Knox have been given a $4 million advance to write her prison memoir–or would that have fallen under the “can’t profit from a crime” dictate in the U.S.?

The Knox case is all about what we perceive as “other.” In this case the villain is the Italian justice system which has to be wrong, because Knox is young and pretty and most importantly, American. And the victim is, in U.K. and European parlance, black.

In none of the media blitz surrounding Knox as victim in the U.S. has the real victim, Kercher, been a part of the story. Her bruised and cut, torn and slashed body has not been discussed. Instead we have seen Knox, her blue eyes staring into the middle distance, her dark blonde hair falling over her eyes as she plays guitar or sits at a computer writing (she’s pursuing a degree in creative writing).

There are no photos or video of Kercher, always smiling or laughing, her dark hair thrown back or falling around her shoulders. There are no photos of her very dark-skinned mother, weeping. Or her anguished journalist father, who wrote a book himself about her and the case.

Why are we so invested in Knox being innocent? Is it the perception that Americans are never guilty? Is it her good looks? Is it her “normal” background, while Guede has been portrayed in American media as a “drifter” (he wasn’t)?

Why doesn’t the American media ever mentioned what Knox did to Patrick Lumumba? Or that the Italian police also charged her with two false and slanderous claims against police–garnering six-year terms in prison each?

On Feb. 6 acclaimed British director Michael Winterbottom released a clip of his soon-to-be-released film based on the Knox case. Winterbottom bought the rights to American journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau’s book Angel Face: Sex, Murder, and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox. Winterbottom asserts his film just uses the case as a foundation for a different story, but the clip looks just like Knox.

There are no answers in the Knox case, just as there weren’t in the O.J. Simpson trial. A young woman is still dead, another convicted at two separate trials of her murder.

But what is clear, is that the media has not served justice well. American media has completely ignored facts of the case–and Knox’s indictment of Lumumba–and Kercher has been lost entirely in the emphasis on Knox as victim.

There’s no question sexism has played a major role in this case. What has been ignored, however, is how large a role racism has played–from the ignoring of Knox indicting a black man to the ignoring of the victim, herself a woman of color.

We may never know what happened on the night of November 1, 2007. But what we do know is that when young, attractive women come before the criminal justice system, they are treated differently from men. To the detriment of all–most especially the victims.

3. Repost of Selene Nelson 2014

Why Feminists Owe Amanda Knox Nothing

In May the Huffington Post published an article titled Where Are All The Feminists? Why Amanda Knox’s Story Is About More Than Murder. Lisa Marie Basile begins her piece: “Amanda Knox is innocent of murder,” before going on to suggest that Knox was targeted only because she was “sexually active and good looking”. The reason Basile cares? Because she is “a human and a feminist.”

I am also a human and a feminist. I too believe that Knox suffered inexcusably sexist treatment by the media. I also happen to believe that she is unequivocally guilty. As someone who has followed this case for many years, I take offence to the misinformation that riddles Basile’s article. Where, Basile wonders as she laments Knox’s fate, are all the feminists?

We’re right here, Lisa. Basile’s implication - that those convinced of Knox’s guilt do so because of gender prejudice - is laughable. Not only does it demonstrate astonishing ignorance of the facts of this case, but Basile’s entire article is suggestive of the role her own prejudice plays in forming her opinion of guilt or innocence.

Basile is correct that the issue of sexism towards Knox should be addressed. Continually portrayed as a sexual object by the media, the fact that Knox deigned to enjoy casual sex was held up as an indication of her deviancy, and when the press discovered that she kept a vibrator in full view in the bathroom, you could almost hear the collective intake of breath.

The media’s unwavering determination to paint Kercher and Knox as Madonna/Whore figures is also troubling. While Knox has been portrayed as manipulative and sadistic, Kercher has become virginal, passive, saint-like. This is unsettling. Would Kercher’s death be any less tragic had she shared Knox’s penchant for casual sex? Does a woman’s sexuality make her guilty? Does her presumed virginity redeem her? Kercher was an innocent victim, regardless of her sexuality; she does not need to be canonised for this murder case to be any more tragic than it already is.

However, as shameful as the prejudiced handling of the “Foxy Knoxy” persona was, it has no bearing on the evidence against her. The vast majority of people who believe Knox is guilty do not figure her sexuality into their reasoning. Her sex life has zero bearing on my belief of her guilt, nor, I doubt, the opinion of the 20+ judges who have found her guilty. Her two convictions have nothing to do with vibrators, Satanism, cartwheels or kisses, but the mountain of evidence against her. Evidence Basile simply ignores.

To claim, “There is no credible evidence” against Knox is absurd. It is actually ludicrous. Basile dismisses 10,000 pages of it as neither credible nor realistic without even acknowledging it, imparting a string of passionate pro-Knox statements that are criminally unsubstantiated.

What Basile misses is the point that were Knox unattractive, let alone a minority or male, she would have a fraction of the support she has. People want to explain the evidence away, or ignore it completely as Basile does, precisely because they don’t want to think a nice pretty white girl could commit a crime like this. Basile has conveniently neglected the fact that Knox’s femininity and attractiveness have helped her far more than hindered her, because in order to believe Amanda Knox, you have to overlook the following:

Her DNA mixed with Kercher’s blood in five spots; Knox’s fresh blood, and Kercher’s blood, smeared in the bathroom; Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra; Knox’s DNA on the handle of the murder weapon, Kercher’s on the blade; the footprints matching the bare feet of Knox that contain her DNA mixed with Kercher’s; the staged crime scene with glass on TOP of the clothes and a near impossible window entry point; Knox’s false accusation of her employer; her total lack of alibi and multiple lies; the phone and computer records that prove dishonesty; her utterly implausible account of the morning after the murder; the frantic call she made to her mother in the middle of the night that she “forgets” making; her email home; the witness testimony; the fact Knox knew multiple details about the murder she couldn’t possibly have known; the evidence suggesting Kercher’s body was moved and the scene staged hours after her death when Rudy Guede, the third person convicted of the murder, was long gone.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of evidence but is just an indication of how embarrassing these “no evidence” claims are. Blind ignorance of the subtleties of this case seems to have spread across a great deal of America like some kind of mental epidemic. What has prompted this trust of Knox, so entirely out of place considering she is a convicted liar and slanderer? Even the 2011 appeal that acquitted her (and was subsequently thrown out by the Supreme Court for being inaccurate, illogical and biased) increased her sentence in this respect. The urge to believe the Italian courts have now twice convicted two young people without evidence is shocking and reeks of xenophobia.

Basile then tries to defend Knox’s “false confession”: “We should remember that Knox was interrogated for many hours without food or water [and] slapped and screamed at in Italian,” she writes sympathetically. What nonsense. It is a fact that Knox’s interview was at most two hours long; minimal research would have told Basile that the torturous, lengthy interrogation story was utterly fabricated. So fabricated that her parents face criminal defamation charges for claiming otherwise.

More importantly, this wasn’t a false confession now was it; it was the flagrant false accusation of an innocent man. As soon as Knox learned of Sollecito’s alibi withdrawal for her (another fact conveniently ignored by her supporters and Basile), out came the finger of blame, the same finger she kept pointed at her employer for over two weeks while he languished in jail. Two weeks. This was not a “false confession” blurted out on impulse: Knox let an innocent man suffer for a fortnight.

Basile gives free pass after free pass to Knox, justifying her lies, excusing her behaviour, dismissing the evidence. Why? Why is Knox’s word enough?

She may argue this: “There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the room where Meredith Kercher was killed,” as her attorney stated. “That tells you unassailably that she is innocent.”

Sounds compelling. That is until you realise that applying that logic to all the evidence, rather than just that which incriminates Knox, presents quite the conundrum:

“There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in the blood-stained bathroom where there is the blood and DNA of Knox. That tells you unassailably that Guede did not do the crime alone.”

Or this:

“There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, of Knox in the bedroom where she slept…That tells you unassailably that Knox never even lived in the cottage.”

Aside from the inaccuracies throughout, what grates most about Basile’s piece is the title, the suggestion that feminists have failed Knox. What total short-sightedness; what utter blindness to the sensitivities of this case. Feminists owe Knox nothing and to suggest we do is ignorant and insulting. She had a hard time in the press, yes, but frankly it’s not the point. I too have been angered by what the media too often chooses to focus on, but for entirely opposing reasoning: it allows her supporters to deflect the actual issue. It allows them to gloss over the unequivocally incriminating evidence that Amanda Knox either murdered Meredith Kercher herself or, at the very least, played a devastating part.

Her “Foxy Knoxy” status is an irrelevance. No one has “failed” her. She has failed herself, and she fails the Kercher family each and every day she protests her innocence. There is only one female victim here - Meredith Kercher - and how dare Basile allow Knox’s PR spin, and her own wilful ignorance, to conceal that.

2. More, On a Similar Note

Excellent on American TV is the “super-lawyer” Wendy Murphy of Harvard and Boston University who runs a national women’s movement. To see her on CNN tying the absurd Knox groupie Anne Bremner in knots is really something.

Others in the top tier of opinion makers are Nancy Grace and Anne Coulter. Both continue to have not the slightest doubt but that Knox is guilty and her means of liberation thoroughly illegal.

The serial defamer David Marriott never dared to try to meddle with their pitches. But he ran a sleazy campaign against many other highly objective women reporters. Much of their fine reporting can be found on TJMK here.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 12/21/21 at 07:30 PM in

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Comments

Sorry guys. Maybe more your thing next.

But it rightly infuriates many women in our readership that, in her desperate lunges for legitimacy, the fake feminist Amanda Knox tries to wrap herself in the feminist flag.

We need to help to nail that trend, and not to let the misguided Jessica Bennett of the NY Times set real feminists back.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/21/21 at 08:56 PM | #

As posts by the Machine early in this series showed, the Curt Knox/David Marriott PR operated in part by way of a quite small number of misleading bright-shiny-object mantras, to be scattered by the stooges here and there.

Nail one, and another would pop up. Whack-a-mole. Good on the excellent Selene for ridiculing this one.

She may argue this: “There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the room where Meredith Kercher was killed,” as her attorney stated. “That tells you unassailably that she is innocent.”

Sounds compelling. That is until you realise that applying that logic to all the evidence, rather than just that which incriminates Knox, presents quite the conundrum:

“There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in the blood-stained bathroom where there is the blood and DNA of Knox. That tells you unassailably that Guede did not do the crime alone.”

Or this:

“There was no hair, fibre, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, of Knox in the bedroom where she slept…That tells you unassailably that Knox never even lived in the cottage.”

The attorney who argued Version One “unassailably” time and again on TV in the US was Ted Simon:

https://tinyurl.com/2p992drx

He is an attorney in Philadelphia who makes it his business to help Americans who commit crimes overseas and was rumored to have been paid half a million dollars for this.

A parrot which could have performed the exact same act would have been a lot cheaper of course.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/22/21 at 12:59 PM | #

Just about Job #1 of the brutal Knox-Marriott PR was to try to capture daffy feminists and there were several in the first year.

But those women writers who made the effort to comprehend the real Knox in 2007 and 2008 could see she was a loose cannon, and moreover one who her deeply irresponsible parents had let loose on Perugia with little money, no work permit, and no university enrolment for credits.

The Knox parents clearly dropped to this fast too. The PR was put in motion even before Knox was under arrest. What caused that correct call? That Knox was guilty of a homicide crime?

Almost certainly this phone call to Seattle when Knox was trying to show panic over something that had not even happened yet - and Edda could see that.

https://tinyurl.com/3z9jwym9

They knew. They always knew. All the lawyers knew. The whole of Perugia knew.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/22/21 at 04:01 PM | #

Sollecito has been Knox’s main male attacker by far. But not a single faux feminist commentator has let their guns roar at him.

Generally they do what Jessica Bennett did: make him a non person, like Meredith. That’s key for their ideological angle to work.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/22/21 at 04:15 PM | #

Thanks for that link to the excellent article by FinnMacCool. Looking at the transcript of the prison conversation between Knox and her mother, I realise that Knox says something that I had missed in my book. In response to her mother saying “Why? Do you think? Stress?” (about the 12.47 call Knox could not remember) Knox replies “Maybe because so many things were happening at once”.

There is only one sensible explanation for why, in Knox’s mind, so many things were happening at once, and that is that the postal police had unexpectedly arrived or were in the process of arriving i.e Battistelli coming through the gate. That would have befuddled Knox because, of course, she was expecting Filomena instead and she was jumpy already, for obvious reasons, and neither she nor Sollecito had yet called the police despite being urged to do so by Filomena (not just because there had been a burglary but out of concern for Meredith) some 13 minutes beforehand.

My guess is that Knox closed down that 88 second phone conversation with her mother precisely because of the arrival of the postal police and she was anxious for her mother not to pick up on that in their prison conversation.

Posted by James Raper on 12/23/21 at 05:09 AM | #

Thanks for the excellent posts above Peter, and likewise I enjoyed FinMacCool’s one too- that’s a particularly interesting detail about the phone call to her mother- when and why it was made. & I think you might right James about why she had to keep claiming she didn’t remember it to everyone including her mother a week later, you can almost feel the anxiety just reading the transcript all of these years later.

Something else that caught my eye under that same post was a comment from Peter hypothesising about Knox getting that call from Patrick saying she was not needed that night and that throwing her over the edge. I’d always wondered what the precise motivation was at the time- I’d assumed there must have been a pre existing loose plan from earlier in the day given how quickly they set about their actions once Knox realised she was free earlier that evening than she’d originally thought. But actually the reason she was free was the source of the irritation which she also demonstrated when falsely accusing Patrick several days later. It’s easy to miss the wood for the trees sometimes.

Posted by HotAir on 12/23/21 at 05:07 PM | #

That’s a helpful connection of yet more dots by James R. In part why Knox’s call only made it to 88 seconds. Battistelli walking through the gate!

One of the oddities of those early days was that Curt Knox and Edda Mellas so notoriously did not get along, always grim-faced, and speaking together only when they must.

Curt Knox was the super-uptight firebrand, as he had been at least from the time Knox and her sister were born. Edda? Seemingly not so much. She was not overwhelmingly tolerant of AK in the 88 seconds or next two calls or when they had their wee chats in Capanne.

Neither Curt not Edda could ever meet with Knox without the recorder being on, so they could never just hear Knox out. Curt was totally for shushing her up, while Edda was for peeling the onion a bit.

In Finn McCool’s analysis you can see Edda so obviously perjuring herself for Knox and that “Amanda talked really fast” and Comodi’s dry disbelief signaled to everybody in court and beyond that they were terminally in the soup.

It was in exactly these few days that all of watching Italy got off the fence.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/23/21 at 07:04 PM | #

Thanks HotAir

On the YouTube comment threads I’ve been wading in on in the past few days there are still a few plaintive holdouts for Knox. A diminishing few are adamant still that they could see zero motive, and so all this evidence stuff is not worth anything.

To the extent any jury NEEDS motive (pretty well zero under any system) there was a real surfeit of possibilities here. Both the Massei trial and Nencini appeal settled on a hazing spiral with sex aspects and drugs; both knew about Knox’s potential loss of a vital job; Nencini added in the theft of Meredith’s money as well.

Neither the trial nor that appeal heard nearly enough about what was going on in the weeks before.

The PR of Curt Knox & David Marriott played a large part in that: anyone who COULD offer a full picture was demonized and stalked. It was only much later that the picture of Knox’s endless lust for drugs and sex - both involving Frederico Martini - became super-plain.

The court never went into the issue of what Knox was actually doing in Perugia, also for witness fears. We got lucky; a student counsellor spilled the beans.

To this day, many or most of the audience for this crime still think Knox was an exchange student like every other American in Perugia. So in their minds funding would never be tight, when the average funding was $2,000 a month.

WHY DID CURT KNOX AND EDDA MELLAS NOT TOTALLY INSIST THAT SHE DO THE SAME?

One of them is an accountant, and the other a math teacher perennially a bit financial strapped. Fellowships would not exactly be a secret to them.

And so Knox caused Meredith’s death with a toxic stew of grudges and fears - but which Curt & Edda could so easily have headed off by merely insisting she follow the norm.

The subsequent change of exchange student rules in colleges throughout America was in part to make parents behave responsibly too. Maybe no more raging Amandas, but hopefully no more irresponsible Curts & Eddas too.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/23/21 at 07:46 PM | #

Hi Peter,

Yes, appreciate motive is not necessarily the be all and end all legally (although the prosecution did need to suggest a motive right?), but purely from a ‘what actually happened that night?’ perspective it’s always intrigued me. The money/living costs issues is another which feeds into this one lie you say. It’s interesting to hear how this info did, and did not, come to light at the time.

The YouTube comments are generally surprisingly well informed about Knox’s guilt but always good to update those remaining in ignorance. It’s a shame journalists feel bound to stick to the final ruling (or their simplified view of it at least) in contrast!

I’ve just been reading an old blog you are probably familiar with by Missrepresented (it makes me feel nostalgic for the old DIY, people centric internet of that era) and an interesting point she made, on motivation again in a sense, which I hadn’t considered is that of group dynamics- the many instances of violent crimes being committed which could not have been contemplated by each person individually but come out submission to a greater ‘group power’- Lord of the Flies like.

It makes me think of some of the local knife crime we get here in London- it’s stuff you can’t imagine sane people doing but once you understand the deindividuation of being in a group, it makes a lot more sense. Again, another point for those Youtuber commenters who say ‘but how could they commit such a horrible crime?’.

Posted by HotAir on 12/24/21 at 09:55 AM | #

Thanks again HotAir

Yes Miss Represented, then a graduate student in Bristol or Bath,  did 4 main posts and 28 comments here starting from January 2009.

Her own Wordpress site had no membership arrangement like ours, and her having to incessantly monitor comments by anyone who turned up, some very mean, became rather tough.

She was invariably quick off the mark and very well researched in explaining psychology and sociology matters as they came to the fore. Several others also very good on those fronts joined in soon after and we carry quite a few psychology/motive posts and still get emailed tips now and then.

In the main post above the first quote on feminism was the first-ever post here of hers. She did these three more in 2009.

https://tinyurl.com/4rhstatx

https://tinyurl.com/yc2xujtx

https://tinyurl.com/r2vcjpbe

“Lord of the Flies” group behavior was discussed a lot on the two PMF forums. Ex UK military poster Grahame Rhodes often mentioned its military relevance here.

One of our several psychologists said it was not unusual to have someone on the tin-eared sociopathic spectrum initiate such a group.

https://tinyurl.com/2p82usfh

Quite typical after such a group crime is done are (1) denial, denial and (2) blame the others 100%.  This (still going on) was demonstrated by their families and teams on the national Italian chat show Porta a Porta.

https://tinyurl.com/bdhh5z33

From the minute the media took notice of Knox in 2007 they tended to pick up on a certain callousness and gleefulness pretty hard to miss.

Knox apologists like Jessica Bennett have been tying themselves into pretzels trying to shrug this off: kissing outside the house after Meredith was found? Nah, quite normal. So was extensive weird behavior at the police station, and the skipping of Meredith’s friends’ vigil in favor of giggling about sexy underwear.

Knox’s very first comment in court (she made quite a few; Sollecito never did) was a meditation on her vibrator which left the court somewhat bemused.

Sollecito drew attention to this dimension of Knox more than anyone, he was so visibly really ticked at her. His father (caught on tape) was too.

Accordingly the huge Knox PR worked really hard to (1) make Knox hate Dr Mignini, who she had become rather drawn to, (2) make her hate Guede, who she was pretty well ignoring, and (3) grin at Sollecito in court, which was photographed quite a lot and so was maybe not so smart.

And of course they created her attempted “lovably daffy but wouldn’t hurt a fly” persona in court - which fell apart spectacularly in front of all of Italy when she got on the stand.

https://tinyurl.com/cjnvdcmb

This so shook the defense teams that for the rest of the year they pretty well phoned their performances in.

After the guilty verdict late in 2009 we saw a third generation Knox starting from 2010: all widows weeds and “I am the real victim here” and long mournful speeches and emails to the court about how mean everybody is.

Anybody who thought Dr Mignini and Dr Comodi were tough on the pair in their late 2009 summations clearly were not paying attention when in 2013 at the Nencini repeat appeal Dr Crini did his summation of the prosecution case over a day and a half.

He used a serious Lord Of The Flies dynamic in evoking the crime. It sure shook the court.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/24/21 at 05:02 PM | #

The article by Cesare Beccaria is very illuminating. I have picked upon the following quote (amongst many others) as rather interesting.

Amanda writes in her diary that the encounter in prison with a nun made her memory function all of a sudden.

She says: “In my cell I was waiting for an answer to come to my head when a sister arrived at my door. She told me to be patient because God knows everything and would help me remember the answer and then it hit me. Everything came back to me like a flood one detail after the other. I cried, I was so happy. I wrote everything I could remember and an explanation for my confusion previously. Police think that I’m involved. But now at least I know it’s not true. I remember what I did that night and there’s no way that they can prove that I was there, in Meredith’s room”.

“They really think I’m involved and its sad, because it means they still have no idea what happened. They really don’t know who killed my friend”.

Note the divine revelation that there was “an answer”. This being Christmas I am put in mind of an angel of the Lord appearing before the shepherds and light shining all around. The answer, of course, being something she had to remember. Then it comes back to her, one detail after the other.

But she is rather obtuse about those details. In fact she doesn’t provide much if any detail. That is because what she is actually remembering is the considerable care she believed she and Sollecito had gone to in covering their tracks. Thinking back through that has refueled her confidence. After all a case has to be proved against them.

How easy will that be when evidence has been left of -

1.  A break-in (obviously not by her because she has keys)

2.  Her perfectly plausible explanation (via her e-mail and statements to the
  police) as to her role in the discovery of the murder. The removal of blood
  traces helps a lot here.

Of course a lot of evidence has yet to emerge but she is not to know that.

I am also intrigued by ” there’s no way that they can prove that I was there, in Meredith’s room”.

This is not a denial that she was there. Nor that she was in Meredith’s room. But I do detect a sort of internalised self confidence in her adding “in Meredith’s room”. Does that open up the possibility that she was a voyeur, standing at the door and watching with a mixture of smug satisfaction and horror what she had set in motion?

PS.  Knox has this rather strange way of talking about herself. At any rate she did at the time. She keeps referring to herself as a head and as if it were not really part of her. Above, she is waiting for an answer to come to her head. In her Memorial we have the following -

“.... in my head I could hear Meredith screaming. But I have said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.”

It puts me in mind of the robot Kryton in Red Dwarf who had a number of different heads whose peronalities were different from each other and who argued amongst themselves. Amanda, it seems, is grappling with the fact that at critical moments she has been wearing the wrong head, and one that is malfunctioning.

Posted by James Raper on 12/25/21 at 06:41 AM | #

(1) Re James’s intriguing take on Knox’s memories.

We’ve had several different very good psychologists suggesting she may have no fixed memories because of the depravity. Also I incline to the cops’ view (not aired in court, that was for the defenses to do - and RS’s kinda did so) that Knox was on a prolonged bad drug trip from 1 through 6 November.

(2) Re Knox often being outside her own head in a scifi & fantasy sort of way, I see that repeatedly shows up in the Knox/Kulman book.

My guess? This was quite deliberate, to fit in with the claimed false memories that the claimed 57-hour interrogation and all that claimed hitting claimedly rained down upon her claimed head….

Isolated out, it does read a bit like Monty Python.

I had such a brochure image stuck in my head of Perugia as a tranquil, almost monastic place…  I couldn’t get my head around it. .. translating in my head felt like clawing through insulation… trying to get my head around the shock ... pressure on the sides of my head made it feel as if my skull were going to split apart… I was a lot more worried about what was in my head than on my feet…  I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly…  in my head I could hear Meredith screaming… just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head… My head is full of contrasting ideas…  In my head I was screaming, Stop it!... I thought my head would explode from anxiety… I’d written and rewritten a sympathy letter in my head… I slapped my own head to demonstrate…  ...  wooziness in my head that made me feel as if my body were being pulled apart…  my head pounded as I shot from excitement to terror and back again—and again. My brain bounced between Please, please, please and Finally, finally, finally—THE END

In the real world, there is court testimony as proof that Knox hit herself on the head repeatedly. There is zero proof that anyone else ever did so.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/26/21 at 11:33 AM | #

Thanks Peter for the background on Missrepresented and some of her past, and related, posts. Very interesting, She was one of many good posters here it seems.

Regarding Knox and her ‘head’, I find it hard to untangle the mixture of genuine weirdness; lying to save her skin; and bad writing which characterise her written statements. For someone with aspirations of being a writer she tends to use the same awkward, childish phrases repeatedly and I suspect references to her head may be one such phrase- albeit a very useful one for someone who is trying to suggest there may be two stories going on at once I.e. her first false story at the police station followed by her second contradictory false story.


Of course we know there is an undeveloped psyche here too and it’s interesting to think if she does consider herself in this split way between herself and her head. It wouldn’t surprise me. It makes me think of this quote from Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing,


‘Women sawn apart in a wooden crate, wearing a bathing suit, smiling, a trick done with mirrors, I read it in a comic book: only with me there had been an accident and I came apart. The other half, the one locked away, was the only one that could live; I was the wrong half, detached, terminal. I was nothing but a head, or no, something minor like a thumb; numb….

.....I didn’t feel awful; I realised I didn’t feel much of anything. I hadn’t for a long time. Perhaps I’d been like that all of my life, just as some babies are born deaf or without a sense of touch; but if that was true I wouldn’t have noticed the absence. At some point my neck must have closed over, pond freezing or a wound, shutting me into a head…’


A poetic description of what happens to unloved or defective children, they lose their sense of fellow feeling, the social bits of the nervous system frozen, becoming just a ‘head’.

Posted by HotAir on 12/29/21 at 08:57 AM | #

Wow, Hotair. That was powerful. The volatile head being seen from its exterior as a coping mechanism perhaps more-so in unloved or defective children?

Thanks to James for noticing how it kept popping up. Maybe not the first time the head found itself being slapped around at the 1.45am session on 6 November.

Might you say if this post tells you anything further? Though Curt Knox (himself adopted at birth, one of the books has said) was never for any of this psychology stuff as a defense, just as he was not for any of the drugs stuff.

https://tinyurl.com/yxx5fvwr

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/29/21 at 11:26 AM | #

Thanks. I thought it was nice description of someone stuck in their head, but lacking feeling in their body- which is one way of understanding the sort of issue Knox seems to be dealing with. The early years are very important to that kind of emotional development so the sorts of issues of you discuss in your excellent 2013 post are very relevant, thanks for sharing & interesting that Curt may have been adopted himself, that seems very relevant.

Would pleading a difficult home life have reduced their sentences if they had been found or plead guilty? Surely that would have helped Rudy in particular? I think given their ages it probably should have been considered. It makes me think of the Ghilaine Maxwell trial, my dad said he felt some sympathy for her given her father. We are certainly products of our environment.

Posted by HotAir on 12/30/21 at 10:48 AM | #

@HotAir

Massei assimilated the separate charge of sexual assault within the crime of murder, but as a special aggravating circumstance of the murder. However, he granted extenuating circumstances equal to the aggravation. The extenuating circumstances were -

1.  Neither of the defendants had a relevant criminal record.
2.  Both defendants were very young, and younger still when the event took place. The inexperience and immaturity characteristic of youth were accentuated by the situation in which they both found themselves because it was different from that in which they had grown up and did not have the usual points of reference (family, friends and acquaintances etc).
3.  The criminal acts were carried out on the force of purely chance contingencies (i.e no premeditated plan of action).
4.  The covering of Meredith’s naked body was a sign, of sorts, of remorse.

I doubt that the defence were ever going to suggest a disturbed family background.

Posted by James Raper on 12/31/21 at 03:40 AM | #

Thanks for that expert summary James 😊

That seems quite reasonable from Massei.

Posted by HotAir on 01/02/22 at 07:40 PM | #

“I doubt that the defence were ever going to suggest a disturbed family background.”

I agree, especially as the families were paying their bills and sitting right there in court!

As we mostly saw it then, Francesco Sollecito seemed to have done the best he could have by Raffaele and Edda Mellas had seemed to have done the best she could have by Amanda. Curt Knox’s rough treatment of her was not widely reported upon at that time.

The Micheli and Massei reports came out on time within three months of the verdicts in January 2009 and March 2010 and were posted in Italian as PDFs on the Justice Department website for any Italian speaker to read.

Cardiol MD has noted here that quite vital to proving the brutal pack attack upon Meredith and the involvement of all three were the closed-court autopsy sessions and crime scene recreation. So to get the full picture of this one has to have read both reports.

The excellent PMF team translated the Massei report and we posted a series explaining it throughout 2010. No English-language media that we are aware of did the same. See especially these.

Final pages of summary: https://tinyurl.com/4ccv935p
James R summarising motive: https://tinyurl.com/hcrxyktm

2010 was also the year when the dirty tricks moved into overdrive and we saw among other things major cherry-picking and ridiculing of the Massei report outside of Italy (in Italy the law limits negative commentary on all such judicial reports, as we saw with Marasca & Bruno in 2015) and also this.

Judge Chiari forced aside: https://tinyurl.com/2auucvma

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/03/22 at 09:36 AM | #

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