Master Manipulators, Masks, and Murder: Parallels Of The Amanda Knox And Scott Peterson Cases

Posted by giustizia



Laci Peterson was soon to give birth in California in December of 2002.

On Christmas Eve, her husband Scott reported her missing. In April of the following year, her body and the body of her unborn son Connor were discovered in the San Francisco Bay.

Five years later, in Italy, on 2 November 2007, foreign study student Amanda Knox was at her rental home with her Italian lover Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, Italy, when the postal police arrived early one morning to return some cell phones traced to her flatmates; the phones had been found dumped in a nearby garden.

Shortly after, the shocking discovery was made that her flat mate Meredith Kercher had been murdered.

Parallels Between The Perpetrators And Their Crimes And Court Cases

There are some striking parallels between Amanda Knox and Scott Peterson and their crimes and convictions.

The horrific murders of two beautiful young women (one almost at the end of the full-term pregnancy of her first child) unleashed in each case a maelstrom of publicity rarely seen in search of the murderer.

When arrests were made, there also came the stunning revelation in each case that the accused was well-known to the victim – in Laci’s case, it was her husband, Scott Peterson; in Meredith’s case, it was her roommate, Amanda Knox.

Ultimately, three people were arrested for the murder of Meredith (a fourth person arrested, Patrick Lumumba, who was falsely accused by Knox as Meredith’s murderer, was released when his solid alibi was proven). Of the three people arrested for the murder of Meredith Kercher, it appeared to the prosecutors that Amanda Knox was the instigator of the crime.

In each trial, the defendant presented a seemingly normal and middle-class appearance. Neither defendant had a significant history of violence or widely-obvious mental illness. Their families insist on their innocence. Yet both were convicted of brutal murders.

Knox and Peterson were each described by casual acquaintances, neighbors and friends as nice, regular people.

Ann Bird, Peterson’s half-sister, described him as being “charismatic, charming, courteous, polite.”  On Dateline NBC television, a friend of Amanda Knox described her as being “generous, kind, genuine, optimistic, bubbly. Pretty much all the good words that you can find in a dictionary, she was.” 

But they proved superficial assessments that in fact really only scratched the surface.

Parallels: Amanda Knox’s Reckless, Odd Behavior, And Her Lies

Amanda Knox had been cited and she had received a fine (a sentence which could have been much more severe) for disturbing the peace and throwing rocks at a party in Seattle shortly before her departure to Italy.

Knox abruptly and without clear reason dropped a much-sought-after internship in Berlin, Germany, before arriving in Italy.

She posted a vignette on Facebook about a sexual liaison she had with a stranger, a middle-aged man, while on a train in Italy.

Her roommate Meredith had quickly become disenchanted with the American flatmate who brought home different men without warning. “So she’s [Meredith] waking up in the morning and there’s someone making tea. And it’s, who are you again?” commented Meredith’s friend Brittany Murphy on the subject of Meredith’s unease at the strangers Knox brought to their rented Italian home.

Richard Owen, the Italy correspondent of the London Times in Italy, who has written multiple stories on the case, stated that Knox brought home “people who Meredith Kercher distrusted. Didn’t like the look of. It got to the point where she actually confronted Amanda about this.”

And Amanda Knox’s behavior after the Meredith’s murdered body was found in their rental home was more than atypical for someone who had their flatmate killed in such a horrific fashion in such close proximity.

  • “As she put them on she swiveled her hips, pulled a face and said ‘hop la’ - I thought it was very unusual behavior and my suspicions against her were raised.” (Edgardo Giobbi, a police forensic scientist, testifying in court, describing Knox’s behavior just hours after the murder, after he handed Knox a pair of shoe-covers to prevent contaminating the evidence during a search of the house. Sky News, UK, May 30, 2009.)
  • “While I was [at the police station] I found Amanda’s behavior very strange. She had no emotion while everyone else was upset. I remember one thing that really upset me. [Meredith’s friend] Natalie said, ‘I hope she wasn’t in too much pain.’ Amanda said, ‘What do you think? She fucking bled to death.’ At that point no one had told us how Meredith died.”  (Robyn Butterworth, a friend of Kercher’s, testifying in court. London Evening Standard, Feb. 13, 2009.)
  • “Their behavior at the police station seemed to me really inappropriate ... They sat opposite each other, Amanda put her feet up on Raffaele’s legs and made faces at him. Everyone cried except Amanda and Raffaele. I never saw them crying. They were kissing each other.” (Amy Frost, a friend of Meredith’s and a student at the University for Foreigners in Perugia at the time, testifying in court. The Independent, London, Feb. 14, 2009.)
  • “My daughter was a Leeds student with Meredith in Perugia. They went out together on Halloween. When Amanda Knox was asked how she felt on 2 November, she said: “Shit happens”, which contrasts rather sharply with the contrived way she addressed the Italian court about “my friend Meredith”.  (Marc Rivalland, in a letter to the editor of the Observer commenting on the Knox case. The Guardian, UK, 12/13/2009.)
  • “They came into the shop at about 7 p.m. and were there for about 20 minutes. She bought a camisole and G-string. I heard her tell him that ‘Afterwards I’m going to take you home and put this on so we can have wild sex together.” (Store owner Carlo Maria Scotto di Rinaldi’s testimony in court about Knox and Sollecito’s behavior in his store, taped on closed-circuit TV.)
  • “Knox and Sollecito were seen laughing as they hold up various G-strings. In one still shot taken from the footage, Raffaele is standing behind Amanda with his hands on her hips and his groin pressed into her. It was the same day as the candle light vigil memorial for Meredith, a few days after her murder.” (Excerpt from the book Angel Face by Barbie Nadeau.)

Perhaps the most controversial claim in the Knox trial was Knox’s accusation of Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher. Lumumba was placed under arrest and jailed for two weeks, until his solid alibi set him free.

Knox, who said nothing to help him during the two weeks Lumumba was incarcerated, changed her story after he was freed. She then claimed she was coerced by the police into making confusing statements. Knox’s parents made charges of human rights violations and anti-Americanism against the Italian justice system, though to date the U.S. government has refused to become involved.

  • “He’s bad. He did it. He killed her…It was him, it was him, he was crazy, he killed her.” (Amanda Knox’s statements, according to police at the police station, accusing Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith Kercher. The Daily Telegraph, UK, March 6, March 21, 2009)
  • “She was angry I was firing her and wanted revenge. By the end, she hated me. But I don’t even think she’s evil. To be evil you have to have a soul. Amanda doesn’t. She’s empty, dead inside. She’s the ultimate actress, able to switch her emotions on and off in an instant. I don’t believe a word she says. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie. But those lies have stained me forever.” (Patrick Lumumba, bar owner in Perugia and Knox’s boss. Daily Mail, UK, November 25, 2007)


Parallels: Scott Peterson’s Reckless, Odd Behavior And His Lies

Scott Peterson had all the appearances of an upwardly mobile middle-class white-collar worker. He was a salesman with a pretty wife and a baby on the way, and they owned a nice home in Modesto, California.

His friends and family described him as charismatic and friendly. But under the surface was a lifestyle filled with lies and mistresses.

Scott Peterson had hooked up with a mistress, Amber Frey, in November of 2002, leaving his pregnant wife home alone during the holiday season to see Amber Frey, with excuses of business meetings.

Peterson told Amber Frey that he was a widow, and also that he was traveling in France when he was actually in California - two of many false claims Peterson made to her.

  • “I’m near the Eiffel Tower. The New Year’s celebration is unreal. The crowd is huge.”  (Scott Peterson, from a taped telephone conversation to his mistress Amber Frey, telling her he is in Paris, when he is really in Modesto, California, about to attend a candle-light vigil for his missing wife. Dateline, NBC, 1/4/2005)

Shortly after Laci Peterson was reported missing, that candle light vigil was held for Laci. It was on New Year’s Eve.

  • ‘Three witnesses testified that Peterson’s behavior at the candle-light vigil seemed inappropriate for a worried husband. One woman said that he showed no emotion during the service and was grinning as he “socialized” with friends afterwards.’  (From The Murder of Laci Peterson, TrueTV.com)

The jurors were shown a photo of the grinning Peterson at the vigil at the trial as evidence. He called his mistress before and after the vigil ceremony, while Laci’s distraught family members tried to cope with the situation of their missing relative.

  • “Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing, it was just another day in paradise for Scott, another day that he had to go through the motions,” said one juror, Mike Belmessieri. “Scott had no emotion on his face. Scott was being Scott.” (Juror of the Scott Peterson Trial, commenting on his unusually cool demeanor in court. New York Times, March 17. 2005)

Shades of Amanda…

  • “The cartwheels? This is Amanda just being Amanda. As her friends would say, it’s an Amanda thing.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Knox turning cartwheels at the police station. The Guardian, UK, June 27. 2009)
  • “I couldn’t help but think how cool and calm Amanda was. Meredith’s other friends were devastated and I was upset, but Amanda was as cool as anything and completely emotionless. Her eyes didn’t seem to show any sadness, and I remember wondering if she could have been involved.” (Giacomo Silenzi, Meredith’s Italian boyfriend who lived in the apartment downstairs from the murder. Metro.co.uk, November 18, 2007)

Parallels In Forensic Evidence

In both cases, there were no eye witnesses or “smoking gun.”

In Scott Peterson’s case, the ONLY piece of hard evidence was a single strand of Laci’s hair, found on pliers in Scott’s boat, which the defense charged as being contaminated evidence. The rest of the evidence at his trial was circumstantial.

Both the circumstantial and forensic evidence in the Knox trial were more considerable. Key items of hard evidence included a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment that had Meredith’s DNA on the tip and Knox’s DNA on the handle, and it was presumed to be one of the murder weapons.

A bloody footprint, the size of Knox’s foot, was found on a pillow underneath Meredith’s body. Mixed DNA material of both Knox and Meredith were found in several spots in the house where the murder occurred.

Parallels In Strange Coincidences

Laci and Connor’s bodies were found in the water in the bay area of San Francisco. Scott Peterson happened to own a boat and liked to fish – in fact, he said he went fishing on Christmas Eve, the day Laci disappeared, at a location where later the bodies turned up only about 3 miles away.

Meredith was sexually molested and killed by knife wounds. Raffaele Sollecito has a fascination with knives and he owns a large collection. Amanda Knox created and posted a fictitious story about rape on the Internet.

Sollecito posted a photo of himself on the Internet swathed in bandages and holding a large meat cleaver and a jug of a chemical-looking liquid. Knox and Sollecito were the only ones at the house on the day when the police showed up and later discovered Meredith’s body.

The juries in both trials concluded that these factors were more than mere coincidences, and represented incriminating evidence of guilt of the crime.


Parallels In How The Families Supported Their Children

Not all convicted murderers have a history of mental disturbance or violence. If there were any red flags regarding Knox’s and Peterson’s behavior, one would not know it from the descriptions provided by their families:

  • ‘Lee Peterson said his son never posed a discipline problem, did not rebel as a teenager and was a perfect baby. He was said even to lose golf games because he did not want to hurt the feelings of his opponents. ‘‘He woke up smiling and went to bed smiling.’’  (Scott Peterson’s father of his son, testifying to the jury after Scott’s guilty verdict but before sentencing.  New York Times, December 2, 2004)
  • “She was an incredible easy-going kid even from a baby. She was so mellow…She loved being read-to, she loved books. As she got a little older she always wanted to be outside - building camps, playing soccer. She never watched a lot of TV - she still doesn’t. She was an excellent student.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Amanda Knox’s character the week of her guilty verdict. The Sun, UK, December 5, 2009)

Parallels In Family And Groupie Websites

Peterson and Knox’s families insist on their innocence. There are family and groupie websites for each convicted murderer. They each proclaim innocence for the guilty, make charges of police incompetence, and make requests for money for the defense cause and legal expenses:

  • “Scott Peterson Family Mission Statement: ‘This web-site is a combined effort of our family and our support system. We know Scott is innocent and that he has been unjustly convicted. Our pursuit of justice for Laci, Conner and Scott remains steadfast. We want to keep you informed as to the specifics of the case, the appeal, and related topics. We also want you to know how grateful we are for your prayers and support.’ (From: http://scottpetersonappeal.org/)
  • “Amanda Knox - A heartfelt thanks for your support. On behalf of Amanda and her family, we want to thank everyone who has contacted FOA to express their concern and to offer help in the wake of an unjust and unsupportable guilty verdict. We are developing a strategy to raise public awareness of this case and help bring about a reversal of the verdicts against both Amanda and Raffaele. Once it is in place, we will welcome all the help we can get, and we will be in touch with you.” (From http://www.friendsofamanda.org/home_eng.htmleartfelt)

Parallels In The Verdicts Jurors Delivered: Guilty As Charged

The jurors in each trial fitted together all the pieces of the puzzle: timelines, witness testimony, cell-phone records, forensic evidence, lack of solid alibis, incriminating lies, and odd behavior of the defendants.

They each concluded after lengthy deliberation that the defendants were guilty of murder.

Non-Parallels In How The US Media Has Reported Both Cases

Of these two cases, not many people have questioned the jury’s decision in the Scott Peterson trial. He has been sentenced to death via lethal injection, and he is currently incarcerated in San Quentin prison in California.

There are no repeated media interviews of Peterson’s mother in tears, insisting on his innocence and his release from prison. There are no angry declarations from Peterson family that the police, prosecution and legal system abused, railroaded and framed Scott Peterson.

If such media coverage were to exist, it would be widely considered in the US to be extremely upsetting and insulting to Laci’s parents and family and to the memory of the victims Laci and Connor.

Peterson’s media coverage, thankfully, has dissipated. He still pursues an appeals process, possibly to be heard next year by the California Supreme Court.

Amanda Knox’s story plays out very differently. After her arrest, her family hired a public relations team that puts forth a determined effort to change Knox’s image of wild child and murderer and to keep her in the news.

They obviously do not consider their repeated loud public outcries for release of their daughter distressing to Meredith’s parents and family, and they don’t perceive their actions as being disrespectful to the victim, Meredith.

Or of course, as many people suspect, perhaps Knox’s relatives do realize it but they simply don’t care.

Non Parallels In Future Legal Prospects

Imprisoned in Italy, Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in prison. Italian prosecutors are now appealing that decision, and asking for life in prison. But regardless of this and the PR campaign, Knox’s prospects are considerably brighter than Peterson’s: she gets two automatic appeals and the worst case scenario is she serves life in prison.

Scott Peterson sits on death row in San Quentin Prison in California, waiting for the legal process to move his appeals case along.

It is curious that the fervent supporters of Amanda Knox do not crusade for the release of Scott Peterson as well. After all, he was convicted on LESS direct evidence, and also in the midst of a maelstrom of publicity. CNN.com had called the Peterson prosecution case so weak and “unimpressive” that they speculated that he could end up with a “Not Guilty” verdict.

But with the exception of his own family, no one has picked up beating the drum to overturn the jury’s conviction of Peterson. Perhaps it is because Peterson doesn’t fit well the damsel in distress role? More likely, it is because the American public trusted the jury’s assessment of the evidence and trial, as they and the American media usually do, and they feel that the jury delivered a just verdict, and justice to Laci and Connor Peterson.


Epilogue – Master Manipulators

How is it possible that two “regular” people like Knox and Peterson ended up in jail for horrendous murders? Below is a condensed version from an AP article about the type of personality attributed to Scott Peterson:

It is interesting to note that life transitions are tremendous stresses to a psychopath. Psychopaths also wear “false faces” and are master manipulators. They are the ultimate con artists and they are able to fool even those closest to them.

Peterson’s closest friends “never suspected there was a monster inside Scott’s psyche.
Motive still a question in Peterson case
By the Associated Press
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP)—Of all the questions surrounding the Laci Peterson murder case, the one that seemed to be running through practically everyone’s mind was this: If Scott Peterson was so unhappy in his marriage, why didn’t he just get a divorce?

Experts on the criminal mind say the answer may lie in what lurked beneath Scott Peterson’s charming veneer —a psychopathic personality.

“When you say you’re going to get a divorce, everyone knows that it’s a long, tedious process. The psychopath wants the short-term solution,” said San Diego forensic psychologist Reid Meloy.

Peterson, 32, was convicted earlier this month of murdering his eight-months-pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying, and the jury decided he deserves the death penalty.

Criminal psychologists say Peterson appeared to be a master manipulator who lacked the capacity to feel remorse or consider consequences —some of the same psychopathic characteristics exhibited by serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.

Psychopaths “tend to con people very well and they wear false faces,” said former FBI profiler Robert Ressler. “They tend to be able to fool everyone from their families to their friends to society, schools, their community.”

At Peterson’s trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a callous liar who continued to carry on an extramarital affair even as police searched for his wife. They said he killed her to escape marriage and impending fatherhood for the freewheeling single life.

Whether Laci’s pregnancy was the catalyst for Peterson’s plan may never be known. But experts said pregnancy can lead to seismic changes within a relationship.

Pregnancy “represents commitment, fatherhood, another dependent, a lifelong bond ... and all of those things are strongly despised by the psychopath,” Meloy said… pregnancy represents a life transition, and there are stresses around that transition.”

Peterson’s case was made all the more perplexing by the lack of signs that the couple’s marriage was in trouble. Although Peterson had cheated on Laci at least three times, according to defense attorney Mark Geragos, he appeared to family and friends to be a doting husband and father-to-be after Laci became pregnant.

Those closest to the couple said they never suspected there was a monster inside.

Heather Richardson, the maid of honor at the Petersons’ wedding, is still hoping for a plausible explanation to emerge. Perhaps, she said, Peterson suffers from a disorder that has yet to be revealed.

“It would be at least comforting. Then I would realize that the person I knew and loved dearly was there. He was that person and the other person, too,” Richardson said. “So at least part of him was not a lie.”

And A Last Word On Masks

Here is Amanda Knox in her own words about masks — while taking the stand for the final time at her trial in Italy (CNN, Dec. 3, 2009): “They say that I am calm. I am not calm ... I fear to lose myself, to have the mask of the assassin forced upon me.”

************

For all the sources used here, please “Click For More” below the videos for Laci and Meredith

Sources:

Articles
:
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/04/amanda_knox_now_looking_at_a_p.php
http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/21/hilden.peterson.prosecution/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/08/10/peterson.trial/index.html
http://tinyurl.com/27zqrjf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1233539/Amanda-Knox-victim-anti-American-trial-campaigners-urge-Hillary-Clinton-launch-investigation.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,523400,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,84572,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2009/dec/13/big-issue-kercher-knox-murder
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6786634/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7047103/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22332240/ns/dateline_nbc-crime_reports/
http://tinyurl.com/27fcpe7
http://articles.sfgate.com/2003-10-30/bay-area/17514192_1_scott-peterson-laci-peterson-mitochondrial-dna
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-13/behind-the-co-ed-murder-scandal/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-07/knoxs-strange-behavior/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/4947793/Amanda-Knox-sued-by-Patrick-Lumumba.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/5027717/Meredith-Kercher-murder-barman-accused-by-Amanda-Knox-says-he-was-humiliated.html
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1945430,00.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6945967.ece
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-07-28-peterson-trial_x.htm

Photos:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-5084469-504083.html
http://www.examiner.com/x-1798-NY-Celebrity-Mom-Examiner~y2009m4d13-Inside-Scott-Petersons-life-on-death-row
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2867064/Knox-family-weep-on-Oprah.html
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/photogallery/peterson-evidence.html?curPhoto=43

Websites:

http://www.friendsofamanda.org/home_eng.html
http://scottpetersonappeal.org/
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/young/amanda_knox/1.html
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/family/laci_peterson/1.html
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/family/laci_peterson/13.html


Comments



A well researched and fascinating read.  Thank you, Giustizia.

Posted by Tara on 07/24/10 at 12:24 PM | #

Giustizia,

Thank you for your excellent comparison and analysis of the Amanda Knox and Scott Peterson cases.

Posted by True North on 07/24/10 at 04:57 PM | #

7/24/10

Hearty applause for a lot of work in comparing these two, giustizia.

I always felt a little sad when I heard about all Scott Peterson’s gift-giving to people and his kinder aspects. It’s the sad reality that there’s good and bad in everyone. As you say, “like regular people”. Then the life stressor that really causes them to come unglued, in Scott’s case the pregnancy and a terrifying lifelong commitment. The “freewheeling single life”, yep that fantasy destroyed Longo. That mirage has wrecked a lot of relationships.

If only with all the new info appearing about psychopaths we could somehow predict their moves better and know who to avoid, or how to handle them with less danger. Forewarned is forearmed. Laci was so loving and sweet, happy and warm with some of the same attractive traits Meredith had. She and MK were good through and through. It seems these types of solid people are who the psychopath is drawn to, for awhile. 

Giustizia, you pulled a world of material into clear parallels…thank you. Beautifully done.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/24/10 at 09:06 PM | #

Fascinating - even if you leave the two horrific murders aside, it is interesting to see both the parallels and differences in the way the two cases have been handled by the media and how they have been perceived by the wider public.

The fact that Peterson appears to have been convicted on almost entirely circumstantial evidence makes some of the arguments employed by Knox’s supporters a whole lot weaker.  It is rare to have a “smoking gun”, juries the world over piece together the actual known facts and evidence to rebuild the best picture they can of a crime - it’s what juries are for.

———

Slightly off topic, there is an article in the Economist this week “Rough justice in America,  Too many laws, too many prisoners” that gives an interesting insight into the American justice system.

Reading the Economist article in conjuction with Giustizia’s article above I can’t help but think that Oprah got it very wrong when she suggested that if you were to be tried you’d want to be tried in the USA.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 07/25/10 at 06:52 AM | #

Hi Innai. Knox’s supporters seem singularly clueless on the law and how evidence and juries work. One or two of our lawyers looked at their sites and emerged shaking their heads remarking what a complete and total waste of time.

On the Economist piece, yes, a shocking and very sad situation. Almost the polar opposite of Italy (although you’d never know it from Oprah etc etc etc) which in terms of numbers locked up would not fall even on the BOTTOM of that scale.

Read Nicki’s and Commisario’s excellent posts on this. 

Oprah got it wrong - and ESPECIALLY wrong when it comes to black people (as she was by default agreeing that Guede did it alone). Black people are disproportionally imprisoned when the evidence is flimsy (or fabricated) by a very wide margin.

The so-called Rockefeller laws in NY State for example have had many young black women with no prior who were maybe desperate for money to support a kid locked up nearly for life for trading half a gram or so of cocaine.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/25/10 at 08:16 AM | #

@Tara, True North, Hopeful, Innai & Peter: Thank you for your comments.

RE: The Peterson & Knox trial parallels: People don’t like to think so, but behavior of the defendant counts - A LOT - in a criminal trial both in and out of the court room.

In addition to the other incriminating evidence, the jury in the Peterson case threw the book at him for his grinning at the candle light vigil for his missing wife, his blasé attitude in court and, leaving pregnant Laci home alone during the holidays to be with his mistress, and his constant phone calls to his mistress.

Added to the forensic evidence, Knox’s strange and childish appearance in court, broad smiles and sheepish grins added to all the other crazy behavior - well, we know the verdict of the jury.

The single appeal to the guilty verdict afforded to Peterson under US and California law is much more stringent than the 2 appeal system that Knox has available to her in Italy - and of course, Knox will never face a death penalty. Knox can count her lucky stars that she’s not next to Peterson on death row in San Quentin waiting for a lethal injection.

@ Peter & TMJK: thanks for the opportunity to counter the nauseating Knox PR spin machine…can’t these people have some respect for the justice system and the crime victim and quietly lodge their appeals? Obviously, not.

Posted by giustizia on 07/25/10 at 09:32 AM | #

I find these two to be very scary human beings. We’ll soon be adding another name to the list: Casey Anthony…....

Posted by tigger34 on 07/25/10 at 09:58 AM | #

guistizia, thank you for a very interesting post. I was not aware of the Peterson case.

While Knox’s supporters have repeated the line that “this would never have happened in America!” - Knox is very lucky that she didn’t commit this crime in the USA. She would be on death row… as it is she seems to be treated very well in her Italian prison. She will still have years of her life to live outside prison when she serves her sentence.

Interesting comparisons with the two cases particularly about the weird behaviour of Knox and Peterson after the crime. Knox’s behaviour was incredibly bizarre - thank you for posting the comments of Meredith’s friends about Knox’s behaviour in the police station.

It must have been highly suspicious when Knox did not bother to attend the vigil for Meredith.

During the trial it seemed as if Knox was enjoying the attention, as if somehow this was a show all about her. She misunderstood that one completely. I wonder if now she is starting to realize that she is embarking on a long, long punishment for her crime, and that the media attention is drying up.

Posted by lilly on 07/26/10 at 08:34 AM | #

@innai:
Thanks for the link to the article in the Economist - it’s very true that, lacking funds for a decent legal defense, you are in big trouble in the USA if you break the law. Oprah did get it wrong about it being better in the US - but then again, what would she know, as financially she is in a position to buy the best legal defense.

And the nonsense that Knox made cultural gaffes in Italy during the murder investigation and trial: I can tell you, if Knox did cartwells at a big city police station in the US, the cops would be yelling in her face to knock it off. If Knox was on trial for murder in the US, and she dressed in tight t-shirts and tight jeans in court, the American jury would not be impressed.

American girls do not do yoga or cartwells or the splits at police stations in the US when they are being questioned, especially about a murder case. Please, Knox clan, do not attempt to make that sound like that is an every day, normal occurance in the US when it is not. It is as normal as Scott Peterson and his wide grins at the candle light vigil for his missing, about to give birth wife Laci.

Posted by giustizia on 07/26/10 at 06:03 PM | #

Besides all the weird behaviour from Knox already mentioned by former posters, I also remember that the police officer who interviewed Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox together the first time, stated Amanda Knox instead of pulling up a chair for herself, sat down on Raffaele Sollecito’s lap.

I’ve read at the Daily Beast that Filomena attended court sessions and she was quoted as saying that Amanda Knox kept lying about what happened. Giacomo stated in court that Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher weren’t friends and hat they didn’t get along. Is there any official testimony from Laura and Filomena? I know Meredith’s mother testified in court that her daughter complained about Amanda Knox. Is there any official testimony available from Laura and Filomena?

@giustizia
Thank you for this great and detailed article about the parallels that exist between both cases. The weird behaviour of both convicted is eye opening and jaw dropping to say the least. No wonder people around them began to wonder if they were involved.

Posted by Nell on 07/26/10 at 10:10 PM | #

Hi Nell. I know from insider info that you are right on all those counts of odd behavior. Some of it at least is in the forthcoming judges’ report and ALL of it really should be in books on the case if they want to be considered impartial and not misleading.

We wait to see if writer Nina Burleigh came full circle in her opinion of AK and the evidence after we rather tellingly jolted her for biased reporting in Time. All we know of John Follain’s book due out in a few months is that it will finally be the one to go an extra mile.

Several people have observed that no book could possibly look as widely at the case as the site we all contribute to here and the voluminous PMF site run by our TJMK occasional posters Skep and Michael. Combined thoughts here would make a very long book. Thanks all.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/26/10 at 11:43 PM | #

Peter,

It’s been almost 3 years since the tragic death of Meredith Kercher and I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to you and all those who have contributed to TJMK during this time.

TJMK aims to serve true justice to Meredith Kercher and her family.

Posted by True North on 07/27/10 at 12:31 AM | #

Wow…Very nice work!

Posted by nashvilletn on 07/27/10 at 10:29 AM | #

ann bird also wrote a book about her brother and her family which was less than supportive

http://www.findlaci2003.us/ann-bird-book-editiorial.html

Posted by mojo on 07/27/10 at 11:39 AM | #

Thanks Mojo. That looks like a good book that could be relevant to our case.

We have reason to believe that it would not be hard to find acquaintances of Knox around Seattle that would speak out about her in similar terms if there was not a wall of silence driven by the fear generated by her PR campaign.

A great pity that the Italian authorities have never investigated Knox back in Seattle. If this was a purely American crime police WOULD have really investigated and Knox’s drug habit and her mental condition would be fully out in the open.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/27/10 at 04:17 PM | #

Is it just me or do Knox and Peterson both look alike?

I’m talking about their physical looks like their eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and hair?

Its scary to think someone can be so normal and then them end up killing people.

Posted by jasmine1998 on 07/29/10 at 09:24 PM | #

Hi Jasmine. Yes, others also noticed their similarities, in each of the three phases. We should ask our psychologists whether they make anything of this.

Giustizia’s really well researched post took me by surprise, I didnt follow the Scott Petersen case closely and had presumed there were no connections - in fact, there were many.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/02/10 at 10:55 PM | #

Hi Peter
Please let us know what the psychologists do say.

I never followed the Peterson case to closely either.

But started looking at other cases like the Anthony case.
A case of a husband who has killed his wife in Creedmoor NC.

And several other cases and each defendant looks alike in their facial expressions and physical looks.

Just really interested in if the physical is related.

Posted by jasmine1998 on 08/04/10 at 03:02 PM | #

Very well done comparison between Amanda Knox & Scott Peterson, bringing out inappropriate behaviors & puzzling attitudes which were observed in the accused.

Myself, I don’t begin (as sometimes newspapers do) with a concept of psychopath: it is a concept ill-defined, to date—all credit to Cleckley’s famous checklist, however, for a brave early attempt.

We do credit a severely disordered pathology to Amanda Knox, I think, but on what basis to date? First & fundamental: it is the crime itself which speaks of pathology.

Given a verdict of guilty, which I believe to be correct, we note especially: the unprovoked savagery of the attack, the violation of her woman’s modesty & honor in an unsuspecting Meredith (she who’d said goodbye to Knox & Sollecito in the kitchen on the day of her murder), the pathological dimension implied in Amanda’s conceiving the rape of a woman, any rape, any woman! And the recklessness of it all, the heedlessness, the mess they made of things.

But then also a weighty factor in a judgment of pathology: Amanda’s inappropriate behavior immediately afterwards & then throughout the entirety of a lengthy trial.  Not even to mention her manifest lies & false accusation.

Very shortly now Amanda’s appeal will continue &, in no long time, also conclude its own verdict, I believe. Could become passionate at this stage, but I would look especially to Amanda’s demeanor in court.  Her contrived persona rests upon desperate denials & impossible falsehood, as she is fully aware.

As photos & videos have shown us, she does very well in court in certain more intimate cameos but she does poorly—with shaken confidence, I mean—when she is altogether center stage.  I half expect a breakdown, a collapse in her morale.  But we shall see.

In the words of an American poet casting a last look at his own previous verses:

Scatter these well-meant idioms
Into the smoky spring that fills
The suburbs, where they will be lost.
They are no trophies of the sun.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/04/11 at 12:12 PM | #


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