Saturday, March 05, 2011

Thoughts On Meredith’s Tragic Case And Its Significance In The Bigger Scheme Of Things

Posted by Saskia van der Elst

As one of the regular commentators on this forum once pointed out, the question we all are trying to answer regarding the pointless murder of the talented and beautiful Meredith Kercher in Perugia is: What is it, that keeps on drawing us to this case?

We all have our own reasons. According to me, a murder case seldom has so much in common with an old school murder mystery, or “whodunnit”. A victim that you instantly sympathize with, several suspects, each with their own particular background, ethnic origin and possible motives, a tragic event taking place on the day of the Death, a charismatic prosecutor, who himself is the center of some controversy, and all of this set in the stunningly beautiful medieval hilltop town of Perugia, with its two universities, its relatively small population and its many temporary residents, studying and partying in the small town center.

All are ingredients for a captivating story: a small universe, that can easily be explained to an outsider and once you heard the beginning of the story, you crave more. More information, more depth, more color. For those that have a normal, healthy brain, there comes a point in any murder mystery where you are convinced of the guilt of one or more of the characters in the story and as you near the end of the story, there might be an unexpected twist, but you can rest assured that you will find out who did it.

Of course, in real life stories don’t follow formulas, most of the time they don’t have a definitive ending and in the case of the murder of Meredith, the book is not closed. The three perpetrators of the crime have been convicted to a total of 67 years in jail between the three of them, but all three maintain their innocence. We all know that three cannot keep a secret, so it is a matter of time until one of them reveals more about the exact events that took place on the 2nd of November in 2007.

Each of the three perpetrators will go through a process of maturing in prison. Once they feel they have paid a significant price for their crime, they may realize the graveness of they crime and realize that they made bad decisions in their past. Not until that moment, they can find redemption and may feel the need to let the world know that they have changed as a person. All three perpetrators were immature in their own way when they committed their crime, so it might take a while for them to mature enough to be able to face reality.

Rudy might be the first one to reach that point, since he is more or less an orphan, with no controlling relatives, friends and others with vested interests in the lies that have masked the truth. Nobody will lose face if he decides to confess his participation in the crime. The same thing, but to a lesser degree,  is true for Raffaele. Since he never even cared about clarifying all inconsistencies in his stories, he implicitly has already admitted his involvement. He too, doesn’t affect many people if he opens up and gets clean. The only close relatives he has are his father and sister and they have not publicly expressed a strong believe in his innocence.

Amanda is in a much more difficult position, because of the amount of people that was mobilized to defend her. By now she has been the income generator for quite some people and although nobody envies her parents, they have a clear mission, that keeps them occupied and that gives their lives meaning. The moment Amanda would confess her involvement, the parents would be forced to exchange the “free my innocent daughter” banner for one that reads “I raised a murderess that is serving two and a half decades in a foreign prison”.

On top of the above, the process of coming clean might be a slow one, because all three suffer from uncertainty about how the other two are doing. That uncertainty might cause postponing the advance, until they are forced to speak up, because one of the others did so first.

The result for those that are following the case is that we know we don’t have all information yet and for us to fill in all the blanks and be able to understand what exactly has happened to Meredith we need that information. Until we have it, we cannot accept the story as is as it leaves us unsatisfied. Of course we are talking about a true story here and not about a work of fiction, but for the rational part of our minds that doesn’t make a difference.


Saskia,  you are right, whenever I look at a picture of Meredith all of my anger melts .

Posted by aethelred23 on 03/05/11 at 06:22 PM | #

A good post Saskia, but I don’t think Knox will ever confess her involvement.

Her Mother and Father have painted her too firmly into a corner - a corner she can never get out of with a clear conscience.

This is apparent with the recent “I was there” issue.

The recording lays out the Knox/Mellas clan strategy from the get go; a strategy they forced on their daughter with the aim of springing her from jail.

“Bullshit” her mother says. “Fabrication” her father says.

How could they possibly know this?

I think this was one of their first visits to their daughter in jail, if not the first.

It is obviously a strategy, and one they have kept faithful to, to this very day.

Knox is in too deep now and has carried on the lie for too long to too many people - imagine the face she will lose.

My guess is that she will bunker down and keep the charade going with the faint hope of her family and supporters to try and get her out; by which time I think she will be due for release anyway.

Posted by Black Dog on 03/05/11 at 07:22 PM | #

Carol Poole’s terrific post is worth re-reading here. Carol says don’t hold your breath - and even if you do and the perps squeal, what they squeal about may not be the truth you want to hear.

The interesting question is what Amanda the semi-smart manipulator does when her family removes all local day-to-day supervision and constraints.

I could come to believe that Sollecito is an out and out psychopath, and the take of psychologists like Miss Represented was that he seems to be the sadistic one. The one that long fantasized a violent knife act first.

AK seems somewhat less-so. Patrick said that she lives in a dream world and he (like her lawyers) could never be quite sure which Amanda would show up on the day.

She was very very hard-line on the witness stand, and we were told everybody in court was pretty chilled by what they heard - Italians heard a lot of that, too, and it definitely further sealed her fate in public opinion there.

But occasionally, she has reactions as if reality was breaking through to the surface.

Something interesting happened when Rocco Girlanda was visiting Knox in prison those many many times in the guise of a MP checking out her conditions (we are not aware that he ever did this for anyone else).

The family suddenly seemed to wake up to the fact that her loose tongue could land all of them in the soup. And so at short notice 1/2 the family was hot-footing it to Perugia to find out precisely what was being said.

So they seem to suspect that one day she might quite “innocently” blab some sort of truth in her writings or what she says. Will it matter? Maybe yes maybe no.

Meredith’s own family have always preferred to believe that no-one could hate Meredith that much - nobody ever hated her before, and she was in fact deservedly wildly popular all her life.

I suspect the truth they would prefer to hear is that mental aberrations and drug aberrations and an escalation from a simple hazing is what happened. Not evil incarnate, even if it was, here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/05/11 at 08:32 PM | #

Saskia van der Elst

“.... Each of the three perpetrators will go through a process of maturing in prison….. “

“ …. Un bellissimo sogno, Rosaura, davvero un bellissimo sogno. Ma io penso (ed e’ mio dovere dirtelo) che proprio in questo momento comincia la vera tragedia..

Perche’ di tutti i sogni che hai fatto o che farai si puo’ dire che potrebbero essere anche realta’.

Ma, quanto a questo [degli operai,] non c’e’ dubbio: esso e’ un sogno, niente altro che un sogno. ….”

( Pier Paolo Pasolini, ‘Calderon’, XVI episode, 1973)

Posted by ncountryside on 03/05/11 at 08:54 PM | #

A beautiful dream?! Maybe. A lot of wisdom resides there in Italy.

I really thought I knew Italy quite well, but a real surprise was learning from our posters Nicki and Cesare about the amazing Cesare Beccaria in part because of whom Italy’s justice system and penal system are so humane.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/05/11 at 09:21 PM | #

I am pessimistic as Black Dog ….

“.... Rudy might be the first one ….”
His sentence is “passata in giudicato” isn’t it? Why should he confess ?

“ …. Raffaele …. The only close relatives he has are his father and sister and they have not publicly expressed a strong believe in his innocence. ….”
They have learned the lesson: keep your mouth well closed and let the lawyers do their job.

“ …. Amanda ….I raised a murderess that is serving two and a half decades in a foreign prison …. ”
Two and half decades ? Really ?

Legge 26 luglio 1975 n. 354 “Norme sull’ordinamento penitenziario e sull’esecuzione delle misure privative e limitative della libertà”

art. 54. Liberazione anticipata.

1. Al condannato a pena detentiva che ha dato prova di partecipazione all’opera di rieducazione è concessa, quale riconoscimento di tale partecipazione, e ai fini del suo più efficace reinserimento nella società, una detrazione di quarantacinque giorni per ogni singolo semestre di pena scontata. A tal fine è valutato anche il periodo trascorso in stato di custodia cautelare o di detenzione domiciliare.

2. La concessione del beneficio è comunicata all’ufficio del pubblico ministero presso la corte d’appello o il tribunale che ha emesso il provvedimento di esecuzione o al pretore se tale provvedimento è stato da lui emesso.

3. La condanna per delitto non colposo commesso nel corso dell’esecuzione successivamente alla concessione del beneficio ne comporta la revoca.

4. Agli effetti del computo della misura di pena che occorre avere espiato per essere ammessi ai benefici dei permessi premio, della semilibertà e della liberazione condizionale, la parte di pena detratta ai sensi del comma 1 si considera come scontata. La presente disposizione si applica anche ai condannati all’ergastolo.

Posted by ncountryside on 03/05/11 at 09:24 PM | #


Thank you, Saskia. You mention “a small universe” as a key to the captivating power of this case. I agree with you. Although this crime is all too real and somber, no author of murder mysteries could find a more riveting combination of characters and setting.

The action of being ganged up on by stupid, mean bullies while one is quietly trying to study and read or otherwise going about one’s life is the psychic note I hear from this story. Meredith’s ordeal is a symbol for a lot of dysfunctional families whose members by young adulthood realized the terror of the triad (there were men downstairs too, but nobody home to help in time of need).

Many quiet people have tried to escape the madness of dysfunctional family living or group living of some sort, but are left with scars if not dead. This may be one reason people are drawn to the case. Also I wonder about the impact of social issues in the life and times of case followers. Many people over age 40 have lived through tumultuous social or neighborhood changes. How do we react to the nationalities or gender of those around us, when it is not our own? Are we wrestling with stereotypes? Early trauma of our own? Is Rudy your father? is Amanda your mother, your sister? is Raffaele your brother? Who did what to you when you were powerless. I think about these things but my conclusions are either too spotty or too personal to disclose. Something is definitely drawing people into this case, something beyond reason.

I believe the mesmerizing element is the four main people involved and secondarily their families, more than the law enforcement or judicial bodies and the long legal plowing that came afterwards. I think the main interest is the initial psychological formation of three different killers and more importantly, the character of their victim, and what made them choose her.

Rudy, Raffaele, Amanda, and Meredith each represent something distinctive and intense. They seem to all represent people who are escaping, fleeing, searching, longing for something better. Meredith is the only one who still wanted to stay connected to her original family by love and choice. I think Rudy loves his family but felt rejected by them. Raf loves his but was forced into too much contact with them and was chafing under his father’s incessant emotional demands. I think Amanda loves her sister and mother but felt estranged from all the rest of her people and she seriously wanted a new life far from the United States. Germany was too much “the past” as her Oma was from there, so no new adventure for her. Italy was far away, comfortably near to Germany but not too close, and far from Seattle. She was willing to work three jobs for it, to leave behind a good university and an established support group of college friends. Despite Madison’s longing for her, I don’t think any of them meant much to her, even DJ. She was sailing on wings of imagination in her magical dreamlike thinking, Ciao, suckers. (After all she is a writer and an artist.)

All four students were far from home if you count Rudy’s home as the Ivory Coast. His orphan-like status is another theme in this true story. I think orphaned is how Amanda felt with father gone. Raf’s father divorced his mom and remarried. Raf was sent to live with his mom and her people. Then his mother died only a few years before the murder (after nursing her own mother who had died), he felt doubly orphaned too.

His writings show he was the only one who could make his mother smile or be happy. There was enmeshment here, not a healthy burden for a growing young man. He had not learned to detach and that he is not responsible for his mother’s happiness. Guilt is a crushing weight that destroys joy.

His abortive attempt to leave Italy for Munich was shattered by reality. He was too young and had no long term plan. He wasn’t quite ready to leave the nest, he had no earning skills, no degree, and big fear of change.

Amanda being a female and a flakey one at that was hoping for a rescue from some competent male. She had seen her mother in traditional wife role so this was probably what she wanted to copy as long as she could tweak it for modern feminist inclinations. She thought a year in Italy would bring her the longed for distance from absentee fathers and overbearing stepfathers, gain prestige for her international daring, and culminate in a romantic rescue by Mr. Right.

Rudy was just drifting into trouble, slowly but surely. He had been dealt a blow by the few months he stayed in N. Africa to visit his mother after years of separation. That had not been the loving rapprochement he needed. After that he went back to Italy. He was scrounging for jobs and depressed. He latched on to the boys downstairs at the cottage, wanting friends. Rudderless.

The case is like a Dickens novel.

Town & Country, or The Great House:

During a few moments at Christmas in 2009 my daughter and I discussed the appeal of “manor house” mysteries like Agatha Christie and old English authors. Their magnetic pull seems to be the central figure of the Great House touching our childhood link to hearth and home. The story must have grandeur and beauty to highlight a wrenching loss.

The manor is elegant, full of wealthy people with ordered lives. (As parallel think Lara and Filomena with promising law degrees, Meredith with Erasmus, Amanda the honors student, all from families by no means rich yet who could afford to help these daughters achieve good futures. Intelligence, health, youth, and beauty are also wealth. Raffaele comes from a rather wealthy family with an accomplished doctor as father.

The story begins with an English house and grounds of 400-500 acres or larger. The family has heritage and grand titles back to antiquity. Suddenly into this pleasant estate comes hideous turmoil. Like a Greek tragedy something of value to gain before there is something to lose, and the attendant grief and agony.

The characters are mostly well heeled and interesting. A few eccentrics and lowborn are always dotting the bookscape, but the big lure is wealth and entitlement which allows opportunity. Ideal is a rural setting of natural beauty with characters who travel and connect to great cities like London, Paris, Rome.  This fills the human need for roots yet wings, pastoral peace without the bog of isolation.

Into this Garden of Eden comes the snake, the killer, Satan in the guise of human greed, passion or the seven deadly sins.

The image of a powerful House which commands respect, affects society and has deep significance within itself, is what grounds the reader like a child to his nursery, to his first memories surrounded by people vital to his survival from whom he learns. He often sees them acting nobly or selfishly. The atmosphere of the house is an aggregation of its human tenants who are spirit beings, its history, its destiny.

“She’s a great house” is a modern popsong that equates a beautiful young woman with her 36-24-36 figure to “a great house”. The house contains everything within itself that can nourish and protect the inhabitants. The house has windows and doors, it opens, it closes, it breathes. It is stately and regal yet earthy. It was planned and has a purpose. It shapes many generations. It affects everyone who walks by it. It is real and substantial and needs people in it or it soon loses its essence to dilapidation.

The Perugia house held on awhile with renters but is now empty and as cheerful as a morgue.

At first the Perugia story has a house full of striving young students with great hopes and dreams. The house is the girls’ and guys’ headquarters, a focal point. 7 Via della Pergola has its own small garden and trees, but is surrounded by the glamor of universities with Old World architecture. There are fountains, cathedrals, lights at night, stone streets. It’s in a country redolent of the Christian Church victorious after the Roman empire. The ancient foundation of culture and art reverberates with modern student nightlife and progress. Here is a modern day Garden of Eden, everything good is here to promote life and happiness, sort of like the English mystery stories set in scenic stone manor houses tended by careful gardeners, served by old family retainers, a gracious world of manners and plenty. For action there are London and big city profit not far away. So the setting combines the best of both worlds, the pastoral alongside a city where money and business can also flourish.

Meredith reminds me of gentle, tender, and beautiful young women I have known. Eager and active, they are composed, careful in speech, emotionally reserved and given time will naturally distinguish themselves. These rare birds are a treat and a precious pleasure. Their loss is keenly felt.

The Fall of the House of Usher, the fall of all that is good by the hand of what is evil. Jesus Christ said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (he took 1/3rd of the angels with him, who now torment the denizens of earth) The fall of man is the root of this great tragedy, but there is always Redemption.

Meredith is the story. Evil always is louder and flashier on the surface but it is nothing compared to goodness. The ultimate victory will show the difference. We see it in type and shadow now in cases like this one. So maybe we are reliving our universal childhoods in the Garden all over again.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/05/11 at 11:24 PM | #

Hopeful, your three-part contribution is as brilliant as anything I have read on this website. Above all, I have personal reasons for cherishing part II.

So parts I & III are for me the lesser parts & yet your psychological take on the cast of characters in part I strikes me as a fusion of insight & fiction, but exactly the kind of fiction that psychologists invent.

In Part III you apply to Perugia the marvelous analysis of part II. It’s a leap, a creative leap but for me the lesser thing.

Your analysis of the Agatha Christie mystery—I must be personal. My diligent gifted hard-working wife, gentle, invariably kind—she spoke never harshly in 49 years of marriage & her forehead was so formed that she could not manage a frown: it was only our children who discovered this (to me) having noticed it to their own merriment: “Block can’t frown!” (as they called her.)

Yet when her day’s work was done she much enjoyed relaxing with a murder mystery & never more so than when she could find a still-unread Agatha Christie.  Myself, I have never once read such a mystery all the way through, despite a few attempts.

How so that this extraordinarily gentle, kindly woman (she had far more friends than I) would take such a habitual interest in tales of murder? I could only suppose that any unexpressed viciousness might find relief here. And I was also aware that aspects of her childhood (well-cared for childhood) were unhappy—never to the point of estrangement.

You make the connection for me with your Great House interpretation. And just as you apply your Great House to Perugia, I can apply it to my dear (deceased) wife’s fondness for old Agatha.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/06/11 at 04:58 AM | #


Ernest Werner,

I am so glad my comment was beneficial to you personally. That is very gratifying. Agatha Christie made her fortune on giving the reader fabulous characters in grand settings. The intricate puzzle of the mystery drove the plot. Like your wife, I’m now running out of her books to read. You might enjoy the Agatha Christie website online. Her real life was as interesting as any novel. Christie had insight into the human heart. “What Women Want”, she knew how to deliver. She paced her prose nicely, not too elevated or dense but not childish. Very restful. I love her mind, her times, the morals and upbringing of fine people. Your wife sounds like one of those people.

Thanks for the warm compliment.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/06/11 at 08:07 AM | #

interesting thought on the “family have painted her into the corner”, i’d always thought that she did that initially when she denied any involvement, but, of course she did not allow for the possibility of the high powered and shrill campaign of her “supporters”. once that took hold, all she could do was proclaim her innocence and hope for the best. Amanda Knox has little recourse now and my suspicion is that Ted was brought in with the sole purpose of getting her back to serve her time in the US.

Rudy was involved surely, yet somehow, he could have come clean immediately; told all that he knew and thrown himself on the mercy of the court. Why didn’t he? Why did he lie, was he foolish enough to think he would walk away from this?

As it is, i suspect his lawyer knows as much as he can admit, and has gotten the best defence for his client as is possible witnessed by his lesser sentence.

Raffaele Sollecito remains a conundrum to me. Sociopath, psychopath—or weakling…but if weakling, why not confess? My own suspicion is that there are family dynamics behind this young man that make him afraid to admit to anything. He may be accustomed to his family pulling strings and getting him out of things. At one level I wonder if this was something that got horribly out of hand—it was clearly not well thought through….and the fact that there were three involved still confuses me. This is not a typical murder. i am a true crime follower and most are fairly easy to understand but this one is stands out because it was so cruel and so out of the ordinary.

and last we come to Meredith. how could anyone hate her—she was pretty, had friends, did well in school and social settings, was intelligent and had a view of what her life was to be going forward. jealousy is the cause of many murders in the US and elsewhere. someone like amanda had a veneer of confidence about her, but everything we’ve heard, seen and read has indicated otherwise. Meredith had everything going for her that Amanda wanted and Meredith became a reminder of all of Amanda’s failure. to me it’s easy to understand why someone like Amanda could hate Meredith. Raffaele and Rudy’s involvement?? i’m a bit at a loss other than some need to please Amanda…i really don’t get that part.

Posted by mojo on 03/06/11 at 12:54 PM | #


For the record, Amanda Knox was arrested when she confessed to being there (placing herself and Sollecito at the crimescene to boot) and accusing Diya Lumumba of Merediths murder.

The parents of Amanda Knox did not get to visit her in jail until I think a week, maybe more after that.
The keep-your-mouth-shut-dont-write-anything-down-we-will-take-care-of-this order from her parents is like I say in my above post apparent in the “I was there” taped jail conversation between her and her parents.
From this point on Knox followed the strategy laid out by her parents and this included their defence counsel too.

Knox has been coached heavily (irrespective of the truth) since the first prison visit by her parents and this is what I mean by being painted into a corner.

It has reached a stage where in my opinion an almost as strong driving force of the Knox/Mellas clan is the fear of losing face in a big way themselves.

Posted by Black Dog on 03/06/11 at 02:18 PM | #

Black Dog,

I agree with you about a driving force behind Knox’s family being their fear of losing face.

To a big extent this has become their lives, and their livelihoods.

It’s brought them fame and attention and that seems to be addictive as well. How can they say they were wrong? And her family is all Knox has, so how can she contradict them? She has to go along with their plot. The more people her family get involved, the harder it is for Knox to cut loose.

Knox is also almost certainly a practiced liar who is used to her lies being believed, she’s from a family where “the truth” means “what I say happened” or “what I can get you to believe”. Her first instinct was to cover up the crime scene including moving Meredith’s body and staging a rape (I believe that was her horrific idea, but of course we don’t know if it was RS) and her second instinct was to accuse an innocent man.

Posted by lilly on 03/06/11 at 03:21 PM | #

I definitely do detect a “leave me alone and let me do my time” vibe from Amanda. I don’t doubt for one second that she is being manipulated by people who don’t care what she wants, and never did. And therein lays a major route of this entire tragedy.

Posted by Janus on 03/06/11 at 03:49 PM | #


Interesting post, but I don’t understand your final conclusion. It sounds like: ” well, you will only know the truth in the end and thus far we are ’ unsatisfied ’ (sic) followers of a case, while being fooled by our rational brain parts”.
For myself speaking, I am happy to know a lot of proven facts, being a member of a well managed platform, able to take part of the fight for justice for Meredith and justice in general.
It is true, you can’t know all (the parts of the brain, the look in the eyes, etc.) A lot of things will be revealed!

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/06/11 at 03:54 PM | #

In the film Marriott tells Amanda’s parents “It’s all about image. Whoever controls the image wins” or words to that effect. Whether he said this is immaterial. Marriott, nor any PR agent, would disagree with the sentiment. However he might recognise that any use of the word “win” would be problematic.

Most of us are conscious of what we would like our own image to be from the moment we project any part of ourselves beyond our front doors, whether this be meeting someone in the street or posting a blog under our own name on the internet.

Again, for most of us, the importance of controlling what image people have of us does not extend that far beyond what our friends, neighbours and our immediate community make of us. We do not really care if some stranger several hundred miles away thinks we are a complete **** unless he/she can and is likely to influence the opinion of people who do matter.

We are all narcissists up to a point.

I think, to be charitable, that the Knox/Mellas PR campaign started out to counter much of the negative coverage about Amanda in the press.

However the strategic objective of freeing Amanda at any cost- badly mishandled by the campaign - became apparent after, and was fed by, the rallying of natural local disbelief and support and the emergence of acolytes with hidden agendas. In this mishandling Amanda’s parents were complicit either through naivety or perhaps because of inner guilt or knowledge of what their daughter was capable.

It is difficult to see how they could have genuinely thought that the campaign was going to influence the Italian judiciary. To have done so suggests a startling concept for, and belief in, the projection of american power overseas!

This is why I believe, like others, that Amanda’s image long ago became of secondary importance compared to the image that her family wished to preserve of themselves. After all, who amongst us would care to walk down the street past our neighbours, or go to work, with our self image, and our public image, deflated by being closely connected with a murderer?

And yet Dr Sollecito manages, it appears, to get on with his life without feeling the need to thrust himself in front of the world’s media all the time. And so, I expect, would most of us. Why do Curt Knox, Edda and Chris Mellas have to be different? It is not as if their child had been kidnapped while on holiday and they are pleading for information to help find her.

“I will tomorrow, And betimes I will, to the weird sisters go:
More shall they speak: for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst.
For mine own good, All causes shall give way:
I am in blood stept in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go’er. Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.” - Macbeth

I think this describes - metaphorically of course - the current down on your luck Knox/Mellas/conspiracy theory sentiment.

Posted by James Raper on 03/06/11 at 07:11 PM | #

Black Dog, i hear you. guess i was not clear. in my view Amanda painted herself into this corner with her phone call to her mother. she was basically setting up an alibi which backfired rather, but set her parents on the path they took.

I don’t think Amanda could backtrack from that moment on…the lies started from before the police discovered Meredith, in that respect I have sympathy for her parents. they were set up….they made the mistake of believing their daughter despite facts and logic.

Posted by mojo on 03/06/11 at 09:17 PM | #

Great post Saskia!
Black Dog stated:
“Her Mother and Father have painted her too firmly into a corner - a corner she can never get out of with a clear conscience.” I agree with you Black Dog. I guess we can’t forget the whole FOA movement as well. I imagine with AK getting all this news from her parents of “all the support she is getting back home”, along with tales of lawyers “being sure they can win this case” naturally, AK was going to go along with the plan. All this “help” seemed on only add 10 years to her sentence, given she could have confessed and perhaps gotten even a lesser sentence than Guede, so perhaps it cost her more than 10 years of her life. After she realizes the appeals process didn’t help, perhaps then, she may be ready to try another approach which could be a full truthful confession. At this point, like the boy who cried wolf, it will be hard for anyone to believe anything she had to say even if it was the truth.

Posted by Kazwell on 03/07/11 at 10:24 AM | #

Totally off topic, but does anyone have any information on why/how Bruce Fischer’s article was removed from the Technorati website?  Interesting…

Posted by Lillian on 03/07/11 at 10:37 AM | #

@Kazwell on Black Dog:
I agree with most of this except the part about “a clear conscience.”
For me conscience if anchored in parents (Freud’s superego) reaches beyond them. Yet certainly any break from parents & home support would require tremendous strength.

@ Hopeful, who writes above:
“Something is definitely drawing people into this case, something beyond reason.”
I also feel the context of social turmoil bearing on this case. For me it is Amanda’s pathology which (beyond reason) draws me to the case. The sheer vehemence of her experience.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/07/11 at 11:10 AM | #

Hi Lillian. On matters concerning the Technorati post by Bruce Fisher see the latest comments on the post directly below this one.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/07/11 at 01:48 PM | #

Let’s be honest: the primary reason people are interested in this case is exactly the same reason that Rupert Murdoch’s trash media got interested. It concerns an attractive, nubile-looking Jesuit-educated drug-taking white american woman called Amanda Knox, plainly guilty of a horrific sexually-motivated murder, who happened to have a facebook account filled with the kind of sex-fuelled nymphomaniac pictures that sells tabloid newspapers and fulfils the average male rape fantasy.

If Amanda Knox had been an overweight, ugly, acne-faced slob, without a facebook account, the papers would not have picked this up. If Amanda had been black, the only exposure this case would have got would have been the increased bandwith needed on youtube to cope with all the n-word comments.

Add to this whole tragedy the fact that Knox tried (and publicly failed) to frame an innocent black man to save her own skin (which is exactly what most white girls her age would have done in the same position), and then changed her story about a million times when lying to the police - this case is sublime from Rupert Murdoch’s perspective because the fact is that Amanda Knox sells newspapers better than page 3 porn.

I can even remember reading the headlines back in December 2007 with the kind of tantalizing gossip about Knox’s sex life, how she was shopping for thongs etc, and thinking this was completely sex-fuelled with the fake concern for Meredith Kercher and her family a passing by-line.

Despite all the other aspects of this case, including it’s setting in middle-class Perugia, Knox’s weirdo knife-wielding boyfriend, shopping for thongs in the local supermarket, not forgetting the dramatic Italian court scenes to liven things up, if you honestly need to ask what drives the insatiable interest in this case - it’s two things: Amanda Knox and male sexual fantasy.

Posted by proud-american on 03/07/11 at 06:58 PM | #

proud-american stated
“Add to this whole tragedy the fact that Knox tried (and publicly failed) to frame an innocent black man to save her own skin (which is exactly what most white girls her age would have done in the same position”
Peter, are you seriously going to tolerate this kind of nonsense? “Most white girls”? This board deserves better than this type of race baiting as this is the second post I have read from this person who is clearly obsessed with the false accusation aspect of the case. Does he or she realize that AK’s fingering of the innocent man was most likely not racially motivated, or at least not in the terms this poster seems to think? Anyone out there willing to try to put things in perspective for this very un proud american? Geesh, leave it to the Americans to bring a vibrant discussion down to the lowest common demonator.

Posted by Kazwell on 03/07/11 at 07:40 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Personally I disagree, proud-american.

I am interested in this case because the victim, Meredith Kercher, was hardly ever mentioned in news reports.  I want to see justice done for Meredith and her family so that they may find the peace they need to remember their daughter, their sister.

The Italian Judicial System is working hard to give Meredith justice, however in the court of public opinion there was a time Meredith was barely considered.  Thankfully that seems to be changing - and I believe the hard work put into TJMK and the PMF folks have had a hand in helping to bring justice to Meredith in the media and online.

I am sure that there are some who are interested in Knox as you suggest, and I am sure some (if not all) newspapers used “the story” to sell papers.  However I think that a large number of people are interested in justice and that is why they follow Meredith’s case.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 03/07/11 at 07:44 PM | #

Kazwell writes:  “Geesh, leave it to the Americans to bring a vibrant discussion down to the lowest common demonator.”

Boo hoo hoo, the truth usually hits a nerve doesn’t it Kazwell. It must be nice to live in a liberal, sheltered little world where any mention of sex is taboo. And I just love the way Kazwell wants Peter to moderate my remarks just because he doesn’t agree…I’m entitled to my opinion.

Kazwell also writes: “Does he or she realize that AK’s fingering of the innocent man was most likely not racially motivated”

If you seriously believe that Amanda Knox’s fingering of Patrick Lumamba wasn’t racially motivated, you are indeed very naive. Knox (and as it turned out her mother as well) knew full well that he was innocent, but Lumumba would have been so easy to stitch up. If only the Italian police would have believed her lies (like the police would have back home in Seattle) Amanda could have had Lumumba lynched with the mere stereotype and gone back to smoking pot with her junkie friends.

The more I hear about this case, the more proud I am of Italy.

Posted by proud-american on 03/07/11 at 09:33 PM | #

Kazwell, how dare you try to make anyone feel guilty for disliking Amanda Knox for her evil attempt to stitch up Lumumba.

Posted by proud-american on 03/07/11 at 09:38 PM | #


Your ‘average rape fantasy - all white girls’ theory does not fit.

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/07/11 at 10:29 PM | #

@proud-american - I disagree with your conclusion that “what drives the insatiable interest in this case - it’s two things: Amanda Knox and male sexual fantasy.”

What has driven this case is the PR team that the Knox/Mellas team hired to keep Amanda Knox’s name in the media on a almost daily basis. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who care about getting information that is not just spin for the Knox defense, justice for Meredith Kercher, who no longer has a voice to speak or defend herself, and victims’ rights advocates.

Posted by giustizia on 03/07/11 at 10:41 PM | #

@proud-american: On your comment that Amanda Knox is such a knock-out for the media: “the fact is that Amanda Knox sells newspapers better than page 3 porn.”

Lifetime movies reports that the “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” movie made less than half the viewer numbers (2.8 million viewers) than their “Craiglist Killer” movie (5.8 million viewers) that aired the previous month.

According to your theory, the Knox movie should have attracted about 15 million viewers, not a paltry 2.8 million. Even the Craiglist killer wackjob left Knox in the dust for media numbers.

Amanda Knox and her stories are not as popular as some may think.

Posted by giustizia on 03/07/11 at 10:58 PM | #

The certain amount of loudness attached to several american female students abroad is percepted as uncool, unsexy and unattractive. And so is AK.

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/07/11 at 11:18 PM | #


“What has driven this case is the PR team that the Knox/Mellas team hired to keep Amanda Knox’s name in the media on a almost daily basis.”

I agree.

If “male sexual fantasy” is what is driving interest in this case, how do you explain the large numbers of women, including myself, who are interested in it?

Perhaps “male sexual fantasy” is driving some of the “White Knights” (I think Peter or maybe Hopeful posted something about that phenomenon in an article or in comments somewhere). But really, that’s where it begins and ends.

I think that most people came to PMF and TJMK because of caring that Meredith, the victim of a horrific murder, was being “disappeared’ by a disgusting and self-serving PR campaign paid for by the murderer’s parents. The reason Knox was in the media was because the paid PR consultants were using their connections to push those stories, and yes that included pushing stories about how “nice little Amanda” was being portrayed as a creepy sex maniac and killer.

Posted by lilly on 03/08/11 at 11:47 AM | #


Totally agree with your last paragraph, you’ve hit the nail clean on the head there.

It’s what brought me to this case; I thought at the time it was remarkable (and wrong) that an accused killers family could hire a company in an attempt to pervert the course of justice in this way and wondered why anyone with a clear conscience and confident and sure of their innocence would take such a step as to hire a PR company in the first place.

I take my hat off to Peter for starting this site, the very aptly named True Justice For Meredith Kercher.

Posted by Black Dog on 03/08/11 at 03:02 PM | #

Indulging prejudice and stereotyping also pays it’s part.  Here is my slightly unhinged and flippant take on that, and I hope that no-one takes offence :-

1.Italians in general from an anglo saxon perspective.

Pasta loving (but that’s better than cheese eating monkeys, I guess!)

Started on the wrong side in the second world war and managed to lose or run away from every single military engagement they were involved in. No backbone. Changed sides. Third World Power.


Typical Italian. Pompous and incompetent.  Obsessed with sex. In fact I am surprised that he has not been portrayed at some point as a re-incarnated Mussolini.

3.Monica Napoleani.

Well that says it all.  Whoever heard of an attractive woman being head of a Police Murder Squad!  That only happens on TV. Cagney and Lacey eat your hearts out!

4.Domenico Profazio

A slimmer version of Luciano Pavarotti. About as important to the investigation as Pavarotti would have been in goal for Inter Milan.

5.Patrizia Stefanoni.

Not another woman! Science is far too complicated for them. Hang on, what about all those women scientists on CSI? Oh, that’s just TV and they have those silly squeaky voices and computers that do all the brain work for them.

6.Patrick Lumumba

Blimey!  Most people’s image of either a typical serial killer or a cuddly lovable teddy bear.

7.Amanda Knox

Britney Spears meets Olivia Newton-John in Midnight Express.

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

8.Raffaelle Sollecito

Wholesome, good looking mummy’s boy. Polite.  Respects his father.

Edward Scissorhands meets the Marquis de Sade in the movie Jekyll and Hyde.

9.Rudy Guede

Being a basketball player ought to win him kudos in some quarters, but then again he’s black, isn’t he?  That automatically makes him a drifter and drug dealer.  Probably a muslim like Obama.  Both out of Africa.

10.Judge Massei

Mr Bean.

11.Curt Knox

Heavily into family repentance.  Dummy.  Edda pulls the strings the way she always did.

Straightforward nice apple pie Mr American.

12.Edda Mellas

Straightforward nice apple pie Mrs American.  Or should it be Mrs Foxy Knoxy?

Posted by James Raper on 03/08/11 at 03:37 PM | #

@ James Raper

I take offense. Very bad taste!

Patrick: highest aimability, musician.

How to stereotype someone as TYPICAL serial killer!

I am disgusted!

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/08/11 at 04:17 PM | #

For every character in the ¨play¨ you have your sketchy visions. As if calculated special for him, you do not do the sketchy thing. You do a general statement, as if subscribed by most of the people. Scary!

Posted by Helder Licht on 03/08/11 at 07:02 PM | #


You’re quite right to admonish me. None of the character impressions were necessarily what I think but I was not fair to Patrick. That did stand out like a sore thumb. Personally I think of him as a cuddly teddy bear and I’m sure that how he comes across to both friends and strangers alike. Once again, my apologies.

Patrick’s comment is edited according.

Posted by James Raper on 03/08/11 at 08:38 PM | #

The case of Charley Sheen, erupting now everywhere, offers a curious parallel to that of Amanda Knox in one crucial particular.

Because in each case the pathology now emerging (or implicit) has had its long prior development.  Who can doubt that Sheen’s vile attacks on Chuck Lorre were nourished for a long time in his private fantasy & strangely aggrieved personality?  Ironic, that Chuck Lorre is the creator of the very Charley (on TV) that has won the fans—the imaginary Charley that Sheen is trading on.

As for Amanda, too clearly her earlier published story on rape, written elsewhere, reveals the fantasy that ripened in the rape & murder of an innocent roommate.  It is a fantasy somehow of long standing.

Amanda’s distorted sexuality may be involved for reasons we can only guess at.  I don’t want to overdo the parallel to Sheen whose sexuality is also rampant.  Point is, the long prior subterranean development.  That’s where the pathology lies.

Curious to say, I think Sheen’s case is the hopeless one. He won’t recover from this, in my opinion.  Amanda, whose evil deed is far more vile than anything Sheen has actually done, is yet more redeemable in the long run.

I am thinking long-term. This is not something that could possibly happen quickly. Fortunately for Amanda, she will have plenty of time in prison to think it over if she is not too stupid to come to terms with herself.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/10/11 at 10:57 AM | #

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