Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knox Testimony Does Not Seem To Have Gained Much Traction Here In Italy

Posted by Fiori

Posting from Florence (image below) where we have all been watching Knox testify in Italian.

I don’t believe her. It is interesting to see Amanda Knox being cool and self-confident, but testifying about how disturbed she became when the police became pushy during her interrogation. It doesn’t fit.

And it comes across as untrustworthy and contradictory that when asked about her drug use, she puts on a “schoolgirl”’ attitude: In effect “Sorry, daddy judge, I was bad, don’t punish me for being young”.  This seems definitely out of order with the rest of her performance.

“Performance” is the impression I get from viewing the segments shown from the court - a well-rehearsed performance. I suppose that the jury will wonder how this cool person can forget whether she has replied to a sms-message, how she can get so confused that she names Patrick, afterwards “is too afraid to speak to anyone but her mother”, and so on.

Most striking is that Amana Knox’s defence seems to stick firmly to the strategy of “mistreatment”; in effect that the only reason for AK being arrested is false statements produced under “illegal” pressure from the police.

By making “the ethics of police interrogation” the core question of her testimony, the defence - probably deliberately - creates a lot of associations to recent public debates of torture and interrogation techniques applied at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq.

By doing so they seem to want to try to turn the jury’s attention away from the point that AK knowingly participated in a murder investigation, and that any person with her intelligence will know that anyone who is called as a witness is required to show respect for the authorities - regardless of their nationality!

With reference to a variety of public materials from the US (“48 Hours” by CBS and many other reports), the way in which the Italian police have conducted Knox’s interview does not significantly differ from similar type interrogations made by US police. (This is not a stamp of approval, but removes the reason for any serious critique of the conduct of the Italian police.)

Her calmness and cool attitude, including her performing in two languages, does not, in my view - contrary to what the defence and her father expect - help to bring about an image of “another Amanda Knox” or a “more true Amanda Knox”.

Mostly her performance seems to contribute to shaping her image as complex, manipulative, intelligent, attention-seeking, and with only vaguely defined limits of identity.


Ciao Fiori,

Very good post!

I totally agree. It doesn’t take much to see that she was carefully following a script she has previously learned. She has had plenty of time to study a strategy with her lawyers and to rehearse the whole performance. Anybody hoping to fool the jury-and the public following this trial using this fanciful act is going to be very disappointed.

About the Italian police, they are NOT known for being particularly violent, especially with women. If she had been beaten, her lawyers would have lodge a complaint immediately, which they didn’t do and still haven’t. It’s so clear that the “abuse” tale is only a defense strategy, but what else have they got?

I agree with all those previous judges - I have lost the count of how many of them there were - who decided that Knox is manipulative, cunning and dangerous (terms they used) and therefore sent her to trial.

Posted by Nicki on 06/13/09 at 08:18 PM | #

There are similar disbelieving comments appearing on Italian websites and this disbelief is starting to be reflected in Italian reporting.

Meredith’s flatmate Filomena who testified earlier is reported to have made a sarcastic comment and we should have a translation of it later.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/13/09 at 09:14 PM | #

Fiori makes a good point. Amanda’s demeanor on the stand does not fit well with her story of being terrified. Let’s hope that her statements on the stand will result in clarification with regard to this matter. Her statements are at odds with what her own attorneys have said.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 06/13/09 at 09:41 PM | #

An interesting and timely post, thanks Fiori.

Many people fail to see that the supposed ‘mistreatment’ by police, even if it could be ‘proven’, in no way changes the fact that Knox has no alibi for the night of the murder, the DNA evidence against her or the fact that she has repeatedly lied both to the police and to those around her.

The ‘I was hit’ excuse is not only unoriginal; it is also an interesting glimpse into Amanda’s ‘police and law enforcement abroad’ schema. Anyone with a brain knows that the Italian police treated Amanda well, especially considering the sensitive and public nature of the case.

It’s an easy excuse and fairly transparent yet paints the Italian police and judiciary in a very bad light. I can’t imagine it’s done her any favours in Italy.

Amanda has lied so many times the jury will have a hard time believing anything she has to say.

Posted by Miss Represented on 06/14/09 at 02:47 PM | #

Hello! I have been following the case for a very long time now, but kept silent - and read!

I was also surprised on how Amanda’s testimony sounded like a rehearsed description of events. No emotion, she was not even upset or exasperated while saying - several times in a row - that the police kept calling her “stupid liar”.

Anyone could start a testimony with calm I guess, but once you are saying something that should, normally, have exasperated you - like keeping telling you you are a stupid liar while you are sooo tired, upset and scared already ...- should surface when you remind that fact.

Yes, it is true that even if she can prove she got a bit yelled at, it does not change all the other questions! I so hope the jury sees things the way we do…

Posted by Patou on 06/14/09 at 02:56 PM | #

I’m no expert, but Amanda’s testimony seems to have many hallmarks of the psychopathic liar. It was mostly controlled, and lacking emotion. Where she expresses emotion, it is from her own point of view, or prompted by a question, rather than showing empathy. She repeats questions back in her answers.

When she is asked to comment on the brutal murder, she seems not to be saddened by the loss of a friend, but comments on how she (Amanda) felt disgust.

If Amanda is innocent, she would also know what it is like to be falsely imprisoned, and you might have thought she would express sorrow for Patrick being falsely arrested, even if as she says it was a result of “duress”.

Of course, being a psychopathic liar is not automatically proof of guilt, but if the jury ask themselves “is this a person capable of a cold murder?” the answer may well be “yes”.

Her testimony has not achieved much except to reveal her cunning and lack of emotion. If as I expect she is found guilty, her cold demeanour and lack of remorse will likely earn her a long sentence. Her defence might have been better off without her giving evidence.

Posted by bobc on 06/14/09 at 09:16 PM | #

Hi pensky, your comment on the La Nazione post is moved over here because it seems more on psychology than on Nicki’s post about Italy v Egan.


Some Characteristics of Narcissism: found on

• Grandiosity.
• Selfishness, though often well-concealed under a façade of consideration.
• Feelings of nervousness, emptiness, or irritation when not at the center of attention.
• Expects constant “mirroring” from others, especially relationship partners; enraged, sarcastic and
blaming when it isn’t forthcoming.
• Envious, especially toward the very people who offer desperately-needed narcissistic supplies like
admiration, praise, or affection.
• Aggressiveness.
• Uneven perfectionism:  must have total order in some areas of life while others are chaotic.
• Prone to narcissistic wounding (ego injury); intolerant of certain kinds of criticism.
• Retaliatory tendencies; signs of narcissistic rage, whether suppressed or acted out.
• Abundant rational-seeming justifications for abusing those perceived to inflict such an injury.
• Largely or entirely guiltless about the harm done to others in revenge for such injuries.
• Alternates between passivity and domination.
• Under a fragile and inflated ego, disavowed emptiness, depression, sadness, and insignificance.
• Resorts to manic counterphobic defenses against “negative” emotions (e.g., excessive busyness,
escapism, “positive thinking” with a compulsive edge to it).
• Feels entitled to special considerations, whether actually earned or not.
• Paranoia, blaming, victim-thinking.
• Tends to sexualize the need for narcissistic supplies; excessively seductive; shallow relationships.
• Lack of empathy, though skilled at pretending to empathize and understand.
• Cold-eyed charm.
• Fantasies of unlimited power, beauty, intelligence, wealth, fame, etc.
• Arrogance, whether overt or covert; tends to be harshly judgmental of others.
• Extremely manipulative; usually highly skilled at “pushing buttons” or redirecting criticism.
• Controlling; lack of boundaries between self and others; often jealous and invasive.
• Overly concerned with surface indicators of social importance (e.g., appearance, job title, possessions,
status symbols), whether such indicators are flagrantly displayed or rebelled against.
• Either unwilling to enter therapy (for fear of ego puncture) or prone to turn psychological insights into
rationalizations, intellectualizations, or more narcissistic fuel.
• Unable to be objective or feel empathy when angry; has trouble separating thoughts from feelings.
• Splitting (the early defense of either loving or hating others with little or no in-between feelings),
especially when “fed” or injured.
• Expects automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
• Unlimited and unrealistic sense of specialness.
• Often responds to perceived hurts by defensive regression to a state of hostile, archaic grandiosity
accompanied by an elaborate show of strength, toughness, or independence.

ring any bells?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/16/09 at 12:01 AM | #

Hi pensky. Possibly suggestive and possibly treatable if present, though we dont usually go beyond whatever is made public. The psychological tests apparently done in prison were not made public or used in the trial, and it may be late in the day for a psychological defense.

The Italian prison system seems to be pretty humane. At all costs they try to help recovery if that seems called-for.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/16/09 at 12:03 AM | #
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