Thursday, August 11, 2011

A More Detailed Analysis Of Knox’s Statement 6 November 2007 Points Even More Strongly Toward Guilt

Posted by Peter Hyatt

[Above: the Perugia central police station where Amanda Knox wrote this statement]

My previous statement analyses on TJMK are available here including a first pass at this particular statement of Amanda Knox’s here.

This analysis seeks to learn if Amanda Knox was part of the murder of her then roommate.  The knowledge comes from Amanda Knox herself, who, if was at the crime scene during the murder, would give us verbal indicators.  If she was not, and did not take part in the murder, she would tell us this, as well.  Whether or not DNA was handled properly, or whether prosecutors are corrupt or not, her own words will tell us what we need to know.

Analysis Question:  Is Amanda Knox guilty, in concert, of causing or participating in the death of her roommate?

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is a principle followed from antiquity where the words in which we choose are then discerned to be truthful or deceptive.  The “heart” is the seat of the intellect and affections (emotions); what we think, and how we feel.  Statement Analysis of statements is able to discern truth from deception, including false confessions made under coercion. 

Pronouns are of particular value as they are learned in our earliest days of speech, with possessive pronouns often predating speech in young children, as they attempt to say “my” or “mine” with hand motions.  Pronouns and articles are exempt from internal subjective dictionaries (as is objective time) and are reflex in our speech with our minds dictating to our tongues what words to say in less than a microsecond. 

The Amanda Knox case is one that provokes emotional responses from both those who believe that she is guilty, and those who believe she is innocent.  When people lie, they have a reason to lie.  Here, she is brought in for a murder investigation. 

Transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.

The statement is in the blockquotes, with my statement analysis in bold type.  Words that are blodened are done so for emphasis. 

This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.

The opening line appears deceptive.

Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.  It should be noted that the word “this” indicates closeness, whereas the word “that” shows distance.  On average, we see the word “that” used more frequently with memory failure.

note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.  In a criminal investigation, innocent people (those who did not “do it” nor were involved in it) say so.  They do so quickly, and without sensitivity indicators.  Even in the most emotionally upsetting circumstances, a denial is found early.

It is comprised of: 1.  First Person singular “I”    2.  Past tense verb   3.  Event specific.  4.  Without qualifiers or sensitivity indicators.  We expect to hear this quickly in a statement.

I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement possibly an embedded admission: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”.  This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words.  Someone not at the crime scene would not frame these words, nor place herself there.

Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming and is a weak assertion.

She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.  This means that, to someone else, it would not be impossible; only to “her”, and only on the condition of being asked a few days ago.  This is a strong indication that Amanda Knox is lying.

Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”).  This is why extra words are essential in analysis.  She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.

Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event; making it weaker.

I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:

“I know” is strong and with the first person singular, it is something that she recognizes and asserts.  Notice how “I know” is unlike her other statements.  It is not “I believe” nor is it qualified with “I know that in my heart” or “I know that in my mind…” or any other additional words.  That Raffaele has said that she was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder is something strong to Knox.

Next notice that it is only “in my mind” that there are things that may be elsewhere; not just in her mind.  This is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.

When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.

On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.

Note that when the word “left” is used, it often indicates missing information.  70% of the missing information is due to time constraints, rushing, traffic, etc, with the other 30% being sensitive information.

Note whenever the number 3 enters a statement as it is known as the “liar’s number”  It should not be considered deceptive on its own, only noted in context.  When someone wishes to be deceptive and chooses a number, it is often “3” unless the subject is asked how many drinks he or she had, and then the number is “two”.  The number 3 enters such as:  “I was approached by 3 men” or “At 3 oclock on the third floor…” etc.  It is not an indicator of deception on its own, for it is possible to be approached by 3 men on the third floor; only that it should be noted and later factored into the full analysis. 

Note that the word “with” shows distance:

“My wife and I went shopping.”

“I went shopping with my wife.”

These are two ways of saying almost the same thing.  A follow up question to B will likely show why distance entered into the statement; such as “I didn’t want to go shopping” etc.  Here, the distance is between her and Raeffale: 

“Raeffale was with me” but then immediately changes it to “we” which shows closeness, except that she has a need to emphasize the closeness by explanation:  “We, Raffele and I stayed…”  This need to emphasize, along with the needless repetition is an indicator that she is being deceptive.

Note that Patrik “told” me, rather than he “said” indicates firmness; It may be that she and Patrick argued, or that she wants to emphasize authority.  But whatever the need, she uses “because” (which explains why something happened) making the statement itself, along with Patrik, sensitive.

Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.

Note that she “now” remembers which, like the word “but” (which refutes what was previously stated) stands to change her account.

Note that “goodbye”, “see you later” etc, in homicide cases can indicate the time of death. 

Note the return of “I know” which is strong.  What does she know?  She knows that it does not match up with Raffaele’s testimony.  weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.

I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

Note the pronouns:  “I told Raffaele” is strong language.  This may indicate an argument.

Note “after that” is a passage of time, or skipping over.  There is missing information at this point of her statement.

Note that “I believe” is weak; but when the weakness is added to:  “we relaxed” (which, by itself is strong) is then added “together” (redundancy), we see deception.  This needless emphasis is being made to place them together. 

Note “perhaps” is a qualifier and she is not committed to the statement.

Note that she “perhaps” made love or perhaps read.  This is more than just deceptive:  it is an indication of someone else’s presence:

Timing is an issue as she has skipped over time and withheld information (temporal lacunae).
Why would she need to say that she made love to Raffaele?  She already introduced him with “we”.  This is an indication of not only deception, but of the presence, within sexual activity, of more than just Amanda Knox and Raffaele.  We do not know the time frame since she has skipped time.

Note:  Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.

However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.

Note anything reported in the negative as sensitive.

Note “I admit” show reluctance and resistance overcome.

Note “with him” instead of “Raffaele and I smoked marijuana”; shows distance

Note that “these” things instead of “those” things.

Note that the entry of water into a statement is often an indicator of sexual assault.  Whether it is the washing of clothes, washing of hands, shower, bath, etc, 

Here we have the first indicator that her roommate died as part of a sexual homicide.

Note that when she was with Raffaele, she had to mention that she had sex “with him” which is an indication that during sex, at least one other person was present.  Now, with the entry of water into the statement is indicative that Amanda Knox was not simply present at the murder of Merideth, but that she was present for a sexual homicide.

Note that to be vague; indicates an attempt at deception.  She reports what may have happened, with choices such as reading or sex.  This lack of commitment indicates deception on her part.

Deception, in order to be deception, must be willful.  Amanda Knox places herself at the scene of a crime, and then gives indicators of a sexual homicide.

In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

The qualifiers resemble Casey Anthony.  “In truth” means she speaks at times outside of truth.
Note that ” I do not remember” is an affirmation of what she does not know.  This is a signal of deception.  Note that she does remember, but only not “exactly”

Note “we” took a shower.  This is the 2nd indicator in a short statement where water is introduced.  The element of water is often found in statements where a sexual assault or homicide has taken place.

It is significant that she tells us that Raffaele “cleaned” her.  While speaking, even when attempting to be deceptive, what is in the heart slips out and she may have been thinking of washing off blood when she gave this statement.  Those that wish to excuse her due to police misconduct, or mishandling of evidence must do so by ignoring not only the fact that she lied, but that she employed the language of a sexual homicide in doing so. 

“I dropped off (the hitchhiker), stopped to get gas and wash up.  After that, I drove down I-95 until…”

This was a statement where a hitchhiker was murdered.  The timeframe where he washed up showed the time of death.

The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind while giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went. 

One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.

The lack of commitment to the events is noted but we also see:

That which is in the negative:  when someone tells us what they did not do, did not say, did not think, particularly when offered in an open sentence, it is a strong indicator of what they did do, did think, and did say.  Here, she remembers that she did not look at the clock. 

This tells us:  She looked at the clock as time was significant. 

Note that this is something that “definitely” happened, yet she then says “I think” showing the obvious contradiction.  Deception noted.

It is like the statement where the person says “and I saw no one run across my lawn” indicating that she saw someone run across her lawn.  Always flag anything offered in the negative.

Also note that “because” is sensitive as it explains why something took place.  In a statement, we normally get what happened and not why something happened, and just as being told what didn’t happen, the “why, because, therefore, so, since, etc” is highly sensitive to the subject.

After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).

Note “I noticed” is passive.  Passive language seeks to conceal identity or responsibility.  Note that the word “but” is used to refute what was just said.  What does she refute?  Noticing blood?  It is the origin of the blood that she seeks to conceal, not the noticing.
Note that “after dinner” chronologically is when she “noticed” blood, but then in her statement she says “after we ate” is repeated, going back to the event.  Truthful accounts are in chronological order and can be repeated backwards and forwards.  Any time someone is out of chronological order, it should be flagged for deception. Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.

Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.

A statement has 3 general portions:

  • an introduction
  • the event
  • post event action

It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.

note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)

Note time:  she “can’t” tell us indicates that she is restricted by consequence, since we know that she looked at the clock.

The next thing I remember

Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here

was waking up

Note verb tense

the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.

Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.  This is because it is almost impossible to lie upon a lie.  She can only doubt the lies she told earlier.  Note “this” confession, rather than the expected “that” confession, had it been false.

Note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.

This is an example of an extra word, ie, one in which the sentence works without, giving away information.  She could have said “I didn’t remember a fact” but instead says “I didn’t remember a fact correctly” which would show deliberate deception.  She cannot tell us what she didn’ remember, only what she remembers, so this would place it in the negative, however, it wasn’t remembered “correctly”, indicating that she did remember it, just not “correctly”; and is another indication of deception.

Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”

I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.

However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming. But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.

Note that innocent people never accept nor excuse false work.

Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.

We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.

But the truth is,

This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed

I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:

Note that “truth” repeated, shows sensitivity and the analyst should be on alert that “truth” is a sensitive topic to the subject.

1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.

2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.

Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.  Here, she also quotes her boyfriend, though we note the embedded still: “I have said things that I know are not true” appears supported by the analysis.

I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.

Note that she does not say “Raffaele did not kill Meredith” but only that she does not “think” he did; leaving room for someone else to “think” otherwise.
Note that while attempting to describe him as “caring and gentle” she uses the word “with” which shows distance, but then “this”, showing closeness, to the things he was saying.  Amanda Knox brings herself close to the detail; not further away as expected with innocent people. 

Note that “but” refutes what came before it.  What came before it?  “I don’t think Raffaele killed Meredith”

She recognizes that he had a part in the killing.

Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.

Note that she says Raffaele is in need of a “way out” of the situation. 


Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed

I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:

1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.

This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)

The truth is,

Noted that she has a need to announce truth, which brings the rest of her statement into question.  This is something deceptive people do when they want to be believed. 

I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.

Note twice she goes to the negative:  not sure what to think and what she did not think, yet, she adds in the weakened “definitely” to what she didn’t think.

Note that the word, “someone” is gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.

I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.

Note that frequently in murders, guilty perpetrators will minimize what happened.  Meredith did not get “hurt”, she was murdered.

Note “left quickly to take care of it” can be viewed with the “taking care” of the cleaning of the person and the apartment.

Note the use of the word “perhaps” as not only used when a subject is deceptive and does not want to be pinned down in a statement, but here it is used repeatedly, showing sensitivity. 

Note that “because” is noted for sensitivity as it is outside the boundary of the general statement of “what happened” and shows a need to explain.

Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.

First, she lists possible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.

2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating.

This is similar to an admission.

And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.

Note again that “but” refutes what came first.  She wants to “stand” behind the statements but…this is where it is difficult to lie about a lie.

3. I’m very confused at this time.

Note that she is “very” confused, but only “at this time”

My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.

[illegible section]

I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:

1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?

2. Why did I think of Patrik?

3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?

4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?

3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.

I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.

If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.

Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.

The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations. She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.

Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.  She, by her own words, tells us that this is a sexual homicide, not just a homicide, and that she took part in it; present for the activity.  She places herself by the crime scene and even though she attempts to deceive, her words give her away.  She has nothing to be afraid of but lies, which would appear that she feared her lies were not bought by police. 

It is likely that she, Amanda Knox, did not inflict the final death blow, and that she is not sure who’s blow or cut was the final one that caused Meredith’s death.  This is why she said she did not “think” that Raffaele killed her, “but”.  This was likely a sexual assault that several took place in where they would each blame the other.
She attempts to build an alibi for herself, indicating the need for alibi, and she attempts to explain away the washing away of evidence on her part. 

Amanda Knox was part of a sexual homicide.  This comes from her own words, and is not changed if prosecutors are corrupt or honorable, nor if evidence was dropped or mishandled.  Amanda Knox, herself, has told us that she was part of a sexual homicide, was present, and that she knows hard evidence thus proves it. 

If her initial confession is thrown out, this statement itself shows her involvement.  It is difficult to imagine anyone trained in interviewing and interrogation claiming that this statement is truthful.  Mishandling evidence or dropping something, or not wearing gloves may cause difficulties, but it does not mean that Amanda Knox didn’t take part in the murder.  Her own words show that she did.

Posted by Peter Hyatt on 08/11/11 at 05:21 PM in Various hypothesesStatement analysis


Peter Hyatt your analyses are most thought-provoking, e.g.:

“....She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible…..”

If “few” = 6, it truly would have been impossible because not only had Meredith not yet been murdered but AK would have THEN probably thought such an EVENT to be “impossible”, AK would have THEN probably thought such an event IN AK’S PRESENCE to be “impossible” , and AK would have THEN probably thought such an event WITH AK’S PARTICIPATION to be “impossible”; talk about deception!

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/11/11 at 08:05 PM | #

Thank you for this enlightening analysis Mr. Hyatt.  The statements made by AK are just bizzare.  The phrasing, the syntax, spelling, gratuitous words etc. She sounds like someone whose mind is very disorganized. From the time I first read her ramblings it was blatantly obvious not one word of it could be reliable.  Not one event in her entire statement. Whatever doubt I may have had about her guilt, it vanished when her mother made the insanely ridiculous comment that “Amanda doesn’t know how to lie”  Um she’s doin’ a pretty good job of it with EVERY SINGLE WORD that comes out of her mouth.

Posted by ashby on 08/11/11 at 08:09 PM | #

Fascinating work, Mr. Hyatt.  I found your previous analyses very interesting and I was hoping you’d find the time to come back to this statement.  Many thanks for posting such a detailed interpretation.

It seems that the way you go about it is similar to literary analysis - close reading, in particular. It made me curious if you have a background in literary scholarship.  The way you went about this is strikingly similar to how I would dissect a poem (although, of course, my focus wouldn’t be on identifying deception, but on interpretation).

There’s something I’ve wondered about since I read your first analyses of Amanda’s statements - why is water associated with sexual assault? In literature, for example, the presence of water can indicate femininity, fertility, death (especially when paired with darkness), transformation, memory,  separation, etc., depending on the context and the kind of water. I can see how water can indicate sexuality (female sexuality, in particular), but how do you make the connection with assault?

I am also wondering if there is a handbook listing specific types of imagery which tend to recur in accounts of violent crimes.  Unlike literary tropes, it seems to be far more instinctive and unpremeditated, and it made me wonder how much more we could get out of a text if we looked beyond learned symbolism.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/11/11 at 08:27 PM | #

@Ashby - Sorry about the double posting, but I didn’t see your comment until after I posted.  I think she’s actually doing a pretty bad job lying.

She likely didn’t have the time to sit down and construct a bullet-proof narrative, and it seems to me that afterwards she tried to improvise based on the information she was receiving (yep, I know I’m using vague language, but I am not an expert and my impressions could be wrong 😉. Her stories as a whole are shabby and difficult to believe.  “I don’t remember” is a terrible defense - a last resort when you don’t know what other lies to tell, and when you know that any additional lies could get you in more trouble.

Another thing is that you don’t have to be a statement analyst to be struck by how vague her language is and how many modifiers she uses, especially around the word “truth.”  There’s never “THE truth,” but her version of truth, the truth she remembers, the truth she thinks is the truth, the closest truth, the best truth, etc. Mr. Hyatt obviously went beyond these simple observations, but if we can detect lies, a professional can deconstruct her entire narrative.

I don’t think her mind is disorganized to the extent shown by that statement, or she couldn’t have passed her English 101 class (yes, her spelling is appalling, but even people who spell badly can construct clear sentences).  I think she’s just veiling everything in a vast amount of bullshit, hoping that the reader will be confused and perhaps sympathetic at the end.  What she seems to not be aware of is that when people ask pointed questions, they expect concrete answers, and not a summary of her feelings. 

It’s the same when you ask a politician an uncomfortable question and they end up talking around it, about vaguely related things, until you forget what you asked or your time is up.  Asking them the same question repeatedly and mentioning that they are not answering usually gets them flustered (which leads to more diversions, ad hominems, or a blunt refusal to engage you any further).

So yes, I’d say Amanda doesn’t know how to lie very well, but she does it nevertheless.  I understand that self-preservation overrides compassion or reason, but I still think it’s ridiculous that one girl’s lies are the reason so much money, so much time, and so much energy have been sucked into this case (not counting the FoAs, but thinking about the Italian judiciary primarily). If I understand the way Italian justice works, telling the truth from the beginning and showing genuine remorse would have gotten her a lighter sentence, possibly parole after a few years, and she could have been free to do some good afterwards.  Poor Meredith would still be dead, but maybe other potential Merediths could be saved if rehabilitated murderers would spend their time reaching out to troubled youth and dissuading them from acting on their impulses.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/11/11 at 08:54 PM | #

Knox is a master at using the unnecessary, deceptive or extra word, phrase, or sentence.  This “gift” she wrote is, in its entirety, unnecessary and deceptive. 

It doesn’t match up well with her 04 NOV 2007 “alibi email” and my open challenge to Knox supporters to explain the vast difference in tone and content has never been accepted.

Posted by Stilicho on 08/11/11 at 09:51 PM | #

Amanda’s statement is rambling, deceptive and as self exculpatory as she can make it until she arrives at her “questions that need answering” at the end, when all of a sudden she becomes quite brief and lucid.

How interesting those questions are! She follows them with the statement that ” I have a clearer mind than I’ve had before”. In fact this statement might well have prefaced the questions. What she is saying is that she knows the answers well enough but needs the police to address them as a matter of urgency.

Let’s look at them :-

The first is “Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?” Who is YOU? The police obviously. What she is saying is “Consider the evidence more closely”.

The remaining questions are directing the police to consider the evidence Amanda wants them to consider i.e Another black man ( not Patrick) involved.

Evidence such as it is (she remembers now what has has been cleaned up and what still remains), is it reliable?

“Is there any other evidence condemning Patrick OR ANY OTHER PERSON?” Well she knows that there is evidence at the cottage condemning Guede because she left it there for the police to find, and such evidence as the police may have against her will have some innocent explanation. Remember she had already composed her alibi in her e-mail of the 4th Nov.

She has had the time to reflect on these facts and is beginning to feel more confident - hence the greater precision of her language.

Posted by James Raper on 08/11/11 at 10:08 PM | #

I think Amanda is guilty based on the evidence. 

That being said, “Statement Analysis” is at best a highly speculative theory and can be attacked on subjectivity.  There is no way it would be admissible in any court, whether in the US or Europe.  Police investigators do not use this sort of thing.  They look for inconsistencies and demonstrable lies.  They pin suspects to a story and then pick them apart when they change their story.  There are plenty of examples in AK’s accounts that can be used under traditional police techniques. 

The problem with Statement Analysis (in an American legal context) is that it does not meet the “Frye” test.  That is, it is a theory that has not been generally accepted within the relevant scientific community (criminology, psychology, etc.).  That principle is why polygraph results are not admissible in American courts.  They are not universally reliable and I personally have seen cases where they are erroneous.

The stuff about water equating to sexuality would be laughed out of the courtroom.

That being said, the analysis is nevertheless interesting as a parlor game.

Posted by Toto on 08/12/11 at 12:06 AM | #

Knox wrote: “I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.”

Peter Hyatt responded:

“Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming and is a weak assertion.

“She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.  This means that, to someone else, it would not be impossible; only to “her”, and only on the condition of being asked a few days ago.  This is a strong indication that Amanda Knox is lying.”

Excellent analysis, Peter!

I could even parody Knox’s statement, in such as way as this:

“I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I wish to hope to assert, and perhaps confirm, on the off Tuesday, is something that, to me, if asked a few days or weeks ago, or years perhaps, or maybe when I was but knee-high-to-a-grasshopper (but would not, as my mother testimones [sic], hurt a fly), would be, on the planet Kryptonite in the galaxy Xenon, impossible. But only TO ME.”

It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.

Posted by Earthling on 08/12/11 at 12:09 AM | #

Mr Hyatt, Thank you for your analysis. I believe,  I think, I imagine ...if I did read it I may you know if I did ...I may have liked it and maybe you know if it was written that way you may understand it as I have. LOL.

Posted by friar fudd on 08/12/11 at 12:38 AM | #

There’s a great novel here, waiting to be written.

And a great movie, to be made.

But not until the final decision is given.

The characters, the psychology, the setting are what make it so memorable.

And when it is done it won’t revolve just around Amanda Knox, but, Meredith Kercher, her family, and the people of Italy who honoured her by giving her justice.

I hope someone’s working on that now.

Posted by Ergon on 08/12/11 at 01:08 AM | #

Hi Toto,

Whilst I share many of your observations on Statement Analysis I think you are unfair in referring to it as a parlor game.

It is a an analytical tool to aid understanding which I dare say has yet to be developed to it’s full potential.

Such tools are useful when the results they yield prove accurate (or at least helpful to our understanding) more often than not.

Psychology is just such an analytical tool and is not a science in the true sense. There was a time when psychoanalysis would have been laughed out of court as well.

That said, it would be a dangerous state of affairs for Statement Analysis to be admissable as expert evidence in court any more than, say, a weather forecast, even if the forecast proved to be right.

Posted by James Raper on 08/12/11 at 01:58 AM | #

While I don’t have the information to link water with sexual abuse, I would not dismiss it as hogwash. 

In Amanda’s case I would say that frequent mentions of washing point to the fact that she may feel “unclean.” We know from her room-mates’ statements that she was not particularly neat or concerned with personal hygiene. Why does she suddenly talk so much about showering and cleaning?  Why did she underline how clean everyone in the house was (including herself), in the email to her family? Why would she theorize that the blood on the tap was Meredith’s menstrual blood, when Meredith argued with her about cleaning more and commented that Amanda left menstrual blood in the bathroom?

The answer is that she knew, from her personal experience, that she had left traces of menstrual blood in the bathroom before and she uses that to rationalize the presence of blood on the tap.  Except it’s only plausible to her, because most women are trained to ferociously clean after themselves, especially when menstrual blood is involved. 

Showering and cleaning are things that people take for granted.  If you asked me what I did today, I would tell you that I saw my advisor and we talked about my thesis.  I might complain about the rain, or tell you that I got on a bus and discovered they changed the route since I last took it. I might tell you what I bought for dinner.  But I’m not going to mention that I showered, got dressed, and put on some make-up, because these things go without saying.  If I was running awfully late and didn’t get a chance to put on make-up, I might mention it because it’s unusual for me.

So when someone makes a point of mentioning they showered, it raises questions.  Was there anything special about the shower? (i.e. were you cleaning blood out of ears, perchance?) Is showering something you don’t do on a daily basis, so it feels moderately eventful to you?

As far as the cleaning goes, I don’t think she mentioned it because it was unusual (although it would have been for her), but because she needed to justify why she had a mop out when the postal police showed up. I don’t buy the fact that a pipe burst at Raffaele’s - every time I had a pipe burst on me, we had to actually fix it or it would have flooded the house.  And every incident of this kind involved massive mopping - it’s not something you just forget about until the next day.  I also have foggy memories of one of them saying that water was spilled, rather than a pipe bursting.  When you spill water and don’t have a mop, it’s really not that hard to just use a kitchen towel, a bunch of paper towels, or simply a bath towel. They weren’t stoned out of their minds at that point, so there’s no reason to think they looked at it and said, ” DUDE! That’s a LOT of water, man! How do you make the water go away?”

I don’t know if there was a water spill.  I’m inclined to think there was, since Raffaele whined to his father about it (OH NOEZ! Cleaning lady is off-duty! WUT DO?).  But perhaps it was blown out of proportion to mask the fact that a far more difficult cleaning session took place afterwards. As I found out myself, blood is not that easy to wash off (before you raise an eyebrow, it involved a scraped knee and summer pants). Since neither of them was that proficient in cleaning, bleaching the whole apartment and washing blood was probably traumatic enough to register.

But while a certain amount of guesswork is involved, these are common sense observations - not exactly deep psychological insight. I think the reason why she mentions washing so much is because, on some level of her consciousness, she knows that what they did was monstrous. If you feel tainted by that sort of bloody, disgusting, inhuman thing, you might be tempted to scrape it off, often, and hard. Shakespeare didn’t invent the concept with Lady Macbeth. It’s present in some very commonplace religious rituals (it may seem like a chicken and egg question at this point, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence this specific imagery was adopted).  If Meredith had lived, she might have found herself showering excessively too; it’s not uncommon behavior for victims of sexual assault. 

So while I still don’t know how to link water and sexual assault, I think that references to water in her statements are awfully important and should not be dismissed.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/12/11 at 02:23 AM | #

It lookss to me as if Toto misreads and midunderstands Peter Hyatt’s statement analysis. Hyatt nowhere speaks as if this statement analysis is going to be submitted to any court. On the contrary, he refers several times to avenues seasoned investigators should pursue, and some of Hyatt’s observations identify angles of approach (for further questioning and investigation) that the heavy-handed techniques of Toto’s imagined investigators would not necessarily yield. Others of his observations help to show what the outlines of the facts are and thus may help to bolster, restrict, or eliminate the hypotheses the investigators have developed or might be develioping. It is one more tool in the investigators’ tool bag.

And I liked the way Vivianna brings together the water business, including the issue of spill vs. pipe bursting.

Posted by P. Mela on 08/12/11 at 04:08 AM | #

Thank you Peter for this analysis. It is highly illuminating for the lay person who’s gut tells them that she is guilty from reading her statement. But when you go through phrase by phrase it reveals the logic behind the feeling.

Vivianna, I liked your statements about the water. I agree that all the talk of cleaning up was because a big cleanup had been going on.

Just to clear up a common misperception; the cottage was NOT cleaned with bleach.

However, later when police went to Raffaele’s apartment they reported that there was a strong odor of bleach.

Posted by bedelia on 08/12/11 at 06:55 AM | #

There is one line in this statement that I have always found fascinating and perhaps shows a lot more than Amanda realizes.

She says, “I don’t think he [Raffaele] killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.”

I remember that Aviello made a statement that Raffaele said he didn’t actually kill Meredith—Amanda did it—but he was there. Of course, not that Aviello is believable and it could be a totally false statement, but many people speculate this very scenario: Amanda committed the murder, while Raffaele helped out in some fashion.

If this is the case, the statement she makes is rather honest, albeit concealed. Indeed, Raffaele didn’t kill Meredith—he walked into a situation he had never been in before, and now holds contempt toward Amanda for luring him in or making him participate, hence disassociating from her. Instead of saying, “This is what really happened,” she phrases it as “Maybe this happened,” which exposes the truth but conceals it in her typical muddled and uncommitted way.

I think Amanda’s statement there about Raffaele makes it rather obvious about what happened that night, though I could be drawing too many conclusions about things that no one knows for certain.

Posted by kpva33 on 08/12/11 at 09:37 AM | #


I found this to be a compelling analysis even if I didn’t agree with every point.

I am confused by your conclusion:

“It is likely that she, Amanda Knox, did not inflict the final death blow, and that she is not sure who’s blow or cut was the final one that caused Meredith’s death.”

It doesn’t seem supported by the preceding argument.

Posted by bmull on 08/12/11 at 10:47 AM | #

kpva33 & bmull (just above)
Good points.

If I understand kpva33, then yes, I see it that way also. Amanda’s lie (ie, she is “innocent”) skirts the truth (“I don’t think [Raffaele] killed Meredith”)—a true statement because she knows perfectly well & always has known that she did it herself.  Speaking of involuntary confessions, this would be something of that sort.

And bmull:
I quite agree with your conclusion that Mr Hyatt’s finding it unlikely that Amanda dealt the final blow (& the rest) is unsupported by the preceding argument.
Also, I believe Hyatt’s statement is false.

But these are statements of belief on my part, certainly.  We seek to know what facts we have & to examine the evidence, including Amanda’s words, but we are dealing in interpretation.

By the way, Amanda’s finding “blood” (fish blood, ha!) on Raffaele’s hand or her asking plaintively, “What does he have to hide?” shows her entire willingness to implicate him.  She is too shrewd to blame him outright—think of the repercussions! “I don’t think he killed Meredith, but…” But why is he lying?

Posted by Ernest Werner on 08/12/11 at 11:28 AM | #

How do you get fish blood on your hand? Every now and then, I buy a salmon fillet or generic fish fillet from the supermarket.  It never seems to have blood.  Back in the day, someone would bring us fresh fish, not always cleaned, and I’ve seen my mother gut and scrape a fish.  But after the innards were removed and the fish was washed and filleted, again there was no blood.  I eat sushi as often as I can afford it, and obviously there is no blood.

Somehow, I doubt it that Raffaele was gutting his own fish for dinner, so that blood could not have been from the fish. That made me wonder: was she implying that Raffaele had “blood on his hands”? I hope that she was being metaphorical here, because the alternative is nauseating: did they actually have dinner after the murder with spots of blood still on their hands?

As far as the final blow goes, I’m not convinced that Amanda didn’t deal the final blow.  However, it’s possible that she thinks she didn’t.  We know that Meredith didn’t die suddenly, so perhaps Amanda believes that Meredith’s death was the result of several wounds rather than one particular wound. Maybe it’s something she convinced herself of to spread out the blame.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/12/11 at 06:53 PM | #

Peter Hyatt makes a great analysis of the odd words of Amanda. She is not to be trusted!

@Vivianna—I had the same questions about water images and sexual attack. Your posts were so interesting.

Thanks @Cardiol, Werner, James R, bmull, former bad girl, kpva33, friar fudd, earthling, Stilicho, ergon, Cardiol and ashby and even toto, too (yes, evidence is king)—thanks for comments. Every commenter spots a hidden posthole or unexploded mine in this overgrown grassy yard of Amanda’s.

It’s good to hear one’s inchoate suspicion that she’s deceptive replaced with a simple explanation. Few can articulate it like Peter Hyatt and the commenters here.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/12/11 at 07:30 PM | #

@ P. Mela—I liked your comment, too, about Peter Hyatt’s statement analysis being one more useful tool of investigation but by no means the final word on legality. I’m sorry I left your name out in my thank-you comment, please excuse me. In fact, I read yours twice.

All this talk about fish blood on Raffaele’s hands reminded me that the archangel Raphael who is probably Raffaele’s namesake, is often pictured on medallions and in art as standing on top of a fish. Raphael told a boy to catch a fish, then used parts of the fish to heal the boy’s father of blindness. Raphael was sent to Tobit (see Book of Tobit, Apocrypha) to deliver his daughter-in-law from the devil named Asmodeus who serially killed her husbands. Raphael bound this demon in the deserts of Egypt.

Rafael the archangel—his patronage: against nightmares; apothecaries; blind people; doctors; eye disease; happy meetings; insanity; love; lovers; mental illness, nurses; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; shepherds, etc. etc.

It’s a strange coincidence that Rafael is associated with Seattle, and with doctors. Raffaele Sollecito certainly is, his own father being a physician and his lover from Seattle being on trial with him for murder.

(A moment of sheer speculation but: Maybe in some incomprehensible way Raffaele’s life was meant to intwine with Amanda Knox’s and bring an eventual healing to her soul. His mother revered Padre Pio, the great healer. Maybe young Raf was sidetracked from his worthy goal by Satanic forces that saw the great good he could achieve, and fought him extra hard, used his weaknesses to prevent a victory and replaced it with calamity. Maybe all this is working out even at this moment. Maybe Amanda will recognize her lack and pay in prison for her iniquity and come out cleansed and restored after paying her debt to Meredith and to society. This is a personal interpretation and flight into what if, please don’t take umbrage if you disagree.)

The archangel Raphael’s feast day is October 24, which is around the time Raffaele Sollecito met Amanda Knox.

Raphael is Hebrew for “God Heals”. Linked to his name is the Hebrew word for a medical doctor: Rophe, which has the same root word as Raphael.

From “New World Encyclopedia”

Posted by Hopeful on 08/12/11 at 10:22 PM | #

That was such an interesting comment, Hopeful.  If this were a fictional story, his name would certainly not be a coincidence (and honestly, this is the kind of thing that makes me love literature so much). 

In real life, though, I don’t see how it could be more than coincidence.  His parents may have had reasons for giving him his name, and perhaps his father’s profession was part of it.  But the association with Seattle is obviously recent and not something that most of us would see as part of the myth. The fish part is something that Amanda likely made up (they may have had fish for dinner that night, for all I know, but it’s not an unusual choice for people who try to eat healthy).

As for supernatural interferences, I tend to be skeptical about them, unless they are metaphorical 😊 That’s not to say that RS didn’t have his own demons, but their names were probably divorce, separation anxiety, a sadistic streak, confusion, etc, rather than Satan. I’m not at all convinced that he was supposed to be good for AK - most likely, without him, she wouldn’t have had the means to carry out her plan and may have limited herself to harassing Meredith in less lethal ways (stealing her money, getting her to move out, etc.). I don’t think RS was the great mastermind (that would be AK, in my opinion), but he offered her the support necessary to carry out the crime, just like Guede.

If one person out of those three had an ounce of common sense and compassion, they would have tried to stop what was going on.  Even if they were afraid for their life at that point, they could have run out and called the police.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/12/11 at 11:37 PM | #


It is not uncommon in countries like Spain and Italy to buy fresh fish on the market and gut it yourself, even for younger generations.

I don’t think it is impossible that Raffaele gutted a fish himself. Still, it is obvious that Amanda Knox is deceptive when she compares the watery blood of a gutted fish to the blood shed by a murder victim who was stabbed to death. I agree with Vivianna that this is in no way comparable.

Amanda Knox reveals with her lies and deceptive language much more than she meant to. She seems to believe she is convincing and persuasive. It is a mystery to me why.

Posted by Nell on 08/13/11 at 06:01 AM | #

There is so much here that I’m sure this case will be the subject for many years to come, not only from a criminological point of view but a psychological one as well.

A small point here but a point never the less.  Knox insists that she “Arrived home alone.” I find this emphasis to be a dead givaway when she had just finished saying that she left RS to take her washing back.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/13/11 at 10:42 AM | #

What I find most interesting about Peter Hyatt’s analysis is his statement that innocent people use evry direct language. If Knox were innocent she would have probably repeated the following and said little else: “I wasn’t there!  I didn’t kill Meredith! Get me out of here!”  Instead she offers a string of confusing statements like: “But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.”

Posted by Sailor on 08/13/11 at 02:42 PM | #

Hi Sailor
      Another point is her lack of any anger or any real emotion concerning her incarceration. Any innocent person would be climbing the walls to get out of jail. Instead she constantly plays the poor little me card and basks in the limelight. Remember her demeanor when first being in court when she flirted with everyone.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/13/11 at 07:03 PM | #

Ashby your comment about Amanda’s mother saying she does not know how to lie is a reminder of the Casey Anthony case - her lawyers went the exact opposite way if I remember correctly - her defence was that she always lied and that’s all she knew… I didn’t follow that case so correct me if I am wrong, but it highlights your belief in her guilt since Edda thinks Amanda never lied.

Posted by Giselle on 08/14/11 at 04:33 AM | #

Hi Giselle 😊

I thought that statement by Edda Mellas showed the height of arrogance if she thoughtanyone would believe that nonsense.  I’m American and this website was such a lucky find for me! 
the only american piece I have read that lays out most of the evidence about the case is by Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI agent.  He mentioned AK’s comment that “she was just too sexy for the police” Um, really Amanda? 


Posted by ashby on 08/14/11 at 07:24 AM | #

Hi Ashby

Its very interesting what you said and it got me thinking. In addition to the arrogance that the whole family have continually portrayed, the comment raised a red flag. When I remember the Casey case - she was introduced as a habitual liar, I believe this must have helped her defense, the jury probably didnt look too deep into her lies because they heard she was always a liar for no distinct reason. Then there is Amanda, we are told she is an honest person, that does not know how to lie (obviously not), we are told she is a great student and basically she is a little angel. Then we are confronted with her lies, her sudden moments of uneducated blabber and her nonsensical reasoning. Her mother saying she doesnt lie is the nail in her coffin - we can see she has lied and now it is all the more important to understand WHY she has done so…what is she covering up for? It only points the finger clearly at guilt.
IMO she probably was not a habitual liar and that is why her statement is so unorganized. As Peter Hyatt points out - it is hard to lie - Amanda has a difficult time doing so. She skates around the issue and tries to avoid the facts.

Posted by Giselle on 08/14/11 at 09:41 AM | #

She may be a habitual liar, but she likely never encountered people who systematically dissected her lies. Considering that she did some things right (got decent grades, worked, etc.), people close to her didn’t have much reason to constantly suspect her; hence, the effort required to lie to them was minor compared to this.  She probably found the hard way that when people don’t know you, aren’t invested in you, and don’t have a reason to be particularly sympathetic towards you, they scrutinize your words a lot more attentively.

My impression of her is that she is nowhere near as intelligent as she has been portrayed.  An intelligent person with a grain of morality would have called the police that night, turned herself in, and garnered some sympathy by expressing genuine remorse.  That would have placed her on track for rehabilitation rather than just punishment. A person with a cold, diabolical type of intelligence would have simulated hysteria after the murder, anything that would have gotten Raffaele to try and restrain her (and leave marks in the process).  Then she could have called the police and claimed that she had been forcibly held back while the two men raped and killed Meredith.  With no clean up and simulated break-in, there would have been fewer questions about why her DNA was mixed with Meredith’s - obviously, because she was being assaulted at the same time and even tried to help her friend. I have no doubt that if she had called the police sobbing hysterically, her word would have been taken over the men’s testimonies, even if they decided to tell the truth.  It would have looked like they were trying to frame her.

It could be argued that she was drunk and stoned (somehow, I doubt it) and that’s why she made all those bad decisions - the clean up, the break in, leaving so much evidence behind and not taking a lot of things into account. But to me it’s just evidence that she’s not particularly bright (or maybe just awfully parochial in her thinking that the police won’t be able to tell what happened).

Posted by Vivianna on 08/14/11 at 03:02 PM | #

Excellent post, Peter!

What is interesting is that some of the sentences that Peter has analyzed are used on the FOA site as an example of how Amanda was trapped, confused and pressured by the authorities.  Amazing!  Instead of seeing that she was the one trying to confuse.

Vivianna, excellent and insightful posts - as I read them I thought “where have experienced this writing before”? and I realized that the brilliant blog Lies Our Mother Told Us by “Miss Represented” and its postings are so similar in syntax and content to your posts here that I think you’re one and the same.  Why did you discontinue that blog?


Posted by Mechele on 08/14/11 at 07:16 PM | #

This comment below was emailed for posting by our main poster Wayra.


Also, what needs to be considered in this conversation is that Amanda Knox, at the time of writing this statement, was just beginning to face the aftermath of a horrific deed she engineered. IOW, the reality of being arrested forced AK to face the fact that she has done something absolutely irrevocable—committed murdered—not a fantasy half played-out with no lasting physical consequences, as was apparently the case w/ the incident cited by people who knew her in college, when she orchestrated a ‘pretend’ invasion / assault against a woman in the dormitory.

The repeated references to cleaning and washing, as Vivianna notes, demonstrate her desperate need / desire to cleanse herself of this act. But, more specifically, I think, AK is desperate to redeem herself immediately by positioning herself as “good” and “innocent”—not just in a legal sense, but from a human perspective. Her preferred m.o., flaunting her ‘free spirit’ or the f—- you attitude that led her to pursue risky behavior with no concern for consequences had clearly gotten out of control, so she takes great pains to rein it in immediately, hoping, with the magical thinking of a child, that somehow acting deferential, vulnerable, helpless, etc., as she tries to demonstrate through the written messages (which I think are intentionally garbled both to conceal the truth and her guilt, and also to create an impression of pitiable helplessness – “look, I can hardly even put a complete sentence together; I’m just a scared little girl”), will allow her and all she has done, to be forgiven. A murder is not the same as a child acting out a small offense, but AK has no other resources available to her, so she proceeds, and it should be no surprise that her family laps up this charade, probably as willingly as they did in the past.

AK would have panicked at the prospect of being suddenly excluded from the human community—family, friends, everyone in the world—beginning with the small community of women who lived in the cottage, which would be the case when she is identified as the murderer. Remember her concern about having the “mask of a murderer” thrust upon her…

Suddenly, rather than reveling in being the quirky, rebellious, difficult outsider who annoyed people with her guitar playing and singing, flaunting her sex toy, and refusing to do her share of cleaning, she is desperately trying to position herself, beginning in her own mind, as “one of the group” who cared about and cooperated with, each other. Besides the note, one of the most tragically laughable attempts on AK’s part to regain some semblance of normalcy, was asking one of the other flatmates, before she was arrested, if she would still be able to go on living in the cottage.

Also, for those familiar with the Enneagram personality system, I believe AK is a #4 personality – an example of an unhealthy #4, which explains the extremes / contradictions in her behavior and her narcissism.

Comment posted by Wayra.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/14/11 at 08:33 PM | #

Narcissistic young woman with a cruel streak finds herself in possession of two hormone-addled goons willing and able to help enact a violent fantasy. The only thing surprising to me is it doesn’t happen more often.

Posted by bmull on 08/15/11 at 02:10 AM | #

@Mechele - I am not MissRepresented, although I have read her blog and was very interested in her conclusions.  I also wish that she continued writing about the case.  I never crossed my mind that we sounded similar, but I am flattered because I consider her very articulate (probably much more so than I am).

I think Wayra is correct about the panic and fear of exclusion.  Maybe the culprit is an inability to accept that things can never be the same, no matter how long she denies her involvement. I also think that her parents encouraged her in this faulty thinking and that their involvement harmed her in the long run.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/15/11 at 02:27 AM | #

“...just dreams my head has made.”
That sounds like a statement a pre-schooler might come up with. Dreams are highly revealing, of course, and in the intervening days between the murder and AK’s arrest (leading to her garbled confession and the statement under analysis) it’s possible she did dream about Patrik. Laden with guilt and worry,and angry with anyone she felt had slighted her, her subconcious would have thrown all manner of imagery into the mix.

Even if she truly does have difficulty separating fantasy from reality, her worries at being disowned by her family must have been enormous. That must have been the trigger for her unremembered call to mum, whose love is supposed to be unconditional, even if she was not at liberty to reveal the conditions.

Posted by mimi on 08/16/11 at 06:19 AM | #

Thanks Peter that was great!  Amanda’s stmt that Raff “walked into a situation” that he had never been in has always haunted me and I tend to fall back on it when I ponder Raff’s level of involvement.  Inasmuch as a lot of truth often is in a lie, I always felt Amanda let something slip here, and the “walked into” was literal as opposed to rhetorical.  Exactly what did Raff walk into that he had never been in before?  Rudy and Amanda taunting Mez? Amanda and Mez physically fighting over the rent? Or did Raff walk into a bedroom to find an acquaintance of his brutally murdered surrounded by blood, while his tweeked out girlfriend frantically begs him to help her NOW!

Posted by uplate on 08/16/11 at 02:46 PM | #


Sorry for the wrong assumption - you two do write in a similar way!

Posted by Mechele on 08/17/11 at 04:16 AM | #

No worries, Mechele.  I was flattered by the comparison, but she may not have been 😉

@Uplate - I really don’t think “Raffy” did not have a direct involvement.  Meredith had martial arts training, and while I don’t imagine she had ninja superpowers, she may have been able to escape if only Guede and Amanda were there.  Assuming Guede was restraining her and Amanda was taunting her with the knife, she could have stepped hard on his toes to make him loosen his grip and kicked the knife out of Amanda’s hand.  But that doesn’t work when there’s another present to either help restrain you or block your exit.

Since Guede’s DNA was found in her, I think that Raffaele was the one restraining her while holding the smaller knife to her throat.  Amanda likely had the big knife. 

Guede is definitely guilty of assault, but he may not have actually inflicted any of the knife wounds.  Obviously, unless they tell, we’ll never know which of them actually killed her, but my guess is either Amanda or Raffaele.  I’m more inclined to think it was Amanda because Raffaele was restraining her.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/17/11 at 05:38 AM | #

What , if anything, is known about the clothing AK and RS wore the night of the murder? AK says she brought her clothes in a plastic bag back to the cottage. Plastic is perfect for bloody clothing.

Posted by Cate on 08/21/11 at 04:55 PM | #

Thanks for the excellent analysis Peter, and for the laughs. My hat’s off to you.

Posted by Spencer on 08/21/11 at 11:28 PM | #

Very insightful analysis, Peter, congratulations!  The part that interests me the most is her details into the murder itself.  We have all speculated about how it happened, who instigated it, who inflicted the mortal knife cut, etc.  And here, in her own statement, all along were clues on such questions right in front of us which we missed.  In particular, the final statement “All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith” seems to me to be one of the few strong positive statements, indicating that she was not the one to perform the fatal blow. That together with her covering her ears (if she was covering her ears then she couldn’t have made the final blow). To Toto, who commented that this type of analysis is not admissible in court, etc. and thus only useful as a game parlor: do you not see how powerful this is as a police tool?  If the interrogators had analyzed the text in this way in real-time, do you not see how it could have helped them to zero in into all the hidden information that she was giving out? If they had been quicker on their feet (real-time) with this they could have played AK and RS against each other during the interrogation itself and made them trip.  For ex., if they had immediately thought of the strong possibility that the blood from the ‘fish’, the sex ‘to’ Raffael (indicating others were present), the shower were murder and after-murder activities rather than activities at Raffael’s house, then imagine the possibilities to nail them during the interrogation and make them trip on their lies right then and there when they were taken by surprise and hadn’t yet had much time to think about their defense.  Probably the reason that the police missed this window of opportunity to get to a confession was that they thought at the time that Patrick was indeed the culprit and that angelic Amanda couldn’t possibly be a murderer.  Only weeks later, when they found out that Patrick couldn’t have been the murderer and that AK had deliberately lied did they strongly suspected her.

Posted by annc on 08/25/11 at 12:32 AM | #

Also, AK’s sentence: “He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me” gives a clue that RS was not the instigator, since he just ‘walked into’ the situation which is different than pre-meditating it.  So that would leave either AK and/or RG as the instigators.

Posted by annc on 08/25/11 at 12:45 AM | #

One final thought… I wonder if she meant the ‘walk-in’ above literally.  Based on some of the previous timelines it is possible that AK and RG arrived at the cottage before RS.  There was also a statement from AK, I forgot exactly, but something to do that they had all arrived separately.  It is possible that RS literally ‘walked’in’ into the situation which had already started before his arrival at the cottage.

Posted by annc on 08/25/11 at 10:41 PM | #

“He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me”

-To me this doesn’t entail/imply that RS was a passive assailant at all, I think they worked as a pack and are equally responsible, though it was Amanda’s idea.  I think she’s saying that it was his first time doing it, but first timers can be very enthusiastic/aggressive. 

What’s more worrying to me is the implication that it’s not actually her first time doing it.  I can only hope she doesn’t mean murdering, and is only referring to the fake-rape scenario which (as we know) she’d done before.

Posted by Spencer on 08/26/11 at 01:43 AM | #

Spencer, I didn’t mean to say he was a passive assailant, since AK even questions whether his was the fatal knife blow on an earlier sentence.

Posted by annc on 08/30/11 at 05:32 AM | #

Indeed, and I agree with you that a statement like this, freely given by one of the killers as it was, should be examined and would make a great tool for investigating officers.  But I still feel you are reading her a bit too literally.

“All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith” to you means that Amanda really didn’t kill Meredith, and I think that’s a rather hasty conclusion. I think AK would have her own sense of when Meredeith’s life was actually ‘over’, and it was well before she slipped the last blade in. Maybe it was the day before, maybe just an hour before or minutes - perhaps it was THAT last refusal by Meredith that sent her to her death. If it was, then to Amanda’s screwed up mind it could have been Meredith’s own fault she died, ergo AK is not to blame.
Also, you suggest that because she states that she ‘Covered her ears’, she therefore didn’t have her hands free to kill, and so didn’t.  I think that making such an action can be reflex when remembering a sound one found unpleasant and is totally normal, and it doesn’t mean that she didn’t have her hands free at the time of the scream to plunge a knife in.

I’ve been wondering whether the whole ‘covering her ears’ scenario entered her confessions/false accusations simply to cover that reaction she had a few days before to the drawer full of knives at the cottage in front of everyone. By saying the same occured on the night, it makes that reaction appear coherent(as a flash back etc)

Maybe a long shot

Posted by Spencer on 08/31/11 at 03:51 AM | #
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