Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trial: Defendant Noticeably Bubblier Than Meredith’s Sad Friends

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for more images from yesterday.

Here’s the story by Nick Pisa in the Daily Mail:

Amanda Knox had a Valentine’s Day message on her T-shirt when she appeared in court at her murder trial in Perugia, Italy, yesterday: All You Need is Love.

As she walked into court flanked by prison guards she smiled broadly and wore her cardigan open so the slogan ““ a Beatles classic ““ could clearly be seen.

Below: Is Raffaele Sollecito doing a double-take there? None of the shots available show anyone else smiling.


The thought again surfaces: just how well is this person?

Though don’t, of course, go asking the PR campaign that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/09 at 03:31 PM | #

Cold sore is a nice touch.

Posted by mojo on 02/15/09 at 04:03 PM | #

Quite contagious too. Perhaps that is what Sollecito is staring at. Cold sores can be activated by eating too much chocolate or nuts. Cold sores often go away fast with amino acid lysine capsules. Hoping someone gets her some.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/09 at 04:18 PM | #

By the way, see Arnold Layne’s and Kevin’s very interesting and suggestive comments yesterday below this post.

And many of us have been appreciating Miss Represented’s excellent posts here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/09 at 04:42 PM | #

Amanda doesn’t seem to be helping herself? Both defendants seem to be disturbed people,

The UK Independant reports that Giacomo and Stefano said that an ‘intruder’ was seen in the garden of the house on 2 occasions during October, but no one has been able to identify him. Doesn’t seem to be reported elsewhere.

I’m wondering whether the court transcripts are posted online? Anyone know?

Defense strategy: Rafaelle’s dad says ‘I now believe that Amanda was with Raffaele all night’ so it looks like they are going to stick to that version.

Am I right in thinking that the defendants don’t have to take the stand and be cross examined?

I read somewhere that they’ll just make statements when they like, as they have been doing; that way they can’t be cross examined

Posted by Kevin on 02/15/09 at 05:14 PM | #

I ‘m not trying to be facetious, but Amanda is reminding me of the Manson girls

Posted by bucketoftea on 02/15/09 at 05:35 PM | #

She seems like she’s treating the trial as a big joke. Damn, I want to see what more evidence they have. The Italian legal process takes so long and I thought it was bad in the UK, heh.

Posted by bluebird002 on 02/15/09 at 06:45 PM | #

She seems to have mood swings, which is not surprising. She is in a foreign country already over a year in prison and must feel very insecure about her faith. In her prison cell for weeks she probably feel very low and deprived. Then she gets all this attention in court, which gives her a high. I would be vulnerable too and would go crazy as well a bit regardless if i am guilty or not.

Posted by miriam654321 on 02/15/09 at 07:03 PM | #

I’ve also thought Amanda’s behaviour was similar to the Manson girls, also similar to a young Rose West in some ways?

It would be great to hear what Vincent Bulgosi makes of it?. His family came from a place not too far from Perugia.

Posted by Kevin on 02/15/09 at 07:12 PM | #

They should shave their heads and carve swastica’s in their foreheads.  Would seem about right.

Posted by Jumpy on 02/15/09 at 08:07 PM | #

Hi Miriam,

Amanda Knox’s bizarre and inappropriate behaviour was evident from the very beginning. Moments after Meredith’s body was discovered Knox and Sollecito were kissing and caressing each other:

“When those present go outside after the body is found, Knox and Sollecito are also outside, intent on kissing and caressing each other, as they did subsequently during police searches.

“A very strange way of behaving which started the very moment the victim’s body was found . . . and at a time when all the other young people were literally overwhelmed by that discovery,” said Mignini (The Times, 18 January, 2009)

Knox and Sollecito’s apparent glee and strange behaviour in the police waiting room clearly offended and shocked everyone who witnessed it. Amy Frost remarked that she thought Knox was “crazy” and it’s hard to disagree with her assessment. Laughing and joking when someone you live with has been murdered is wrong. Deeply wrong.

It wasn’t just Mignini and Meredith’s friends who found Knox’s behaviour strange. Several judges have also commented on her mental health.

Preliminary judge Claudia Matteini stated:

“Your conduct after the murder is symptomatic of a personality which, considering your young age, provokes no small measure of dismay and apprehension, considering how extremely easy it was for you to control your states of mind.”

Judge Massimo Riccarelli described her as “crafty and cunning” with a “multi-faced personality, unattached to reality with an elevated, one would say fatal capacity” to repeat her offence. (The Daily Telegraph, 7 December, 2007).

Posted by The Machine on 02/15/09 at 08:19 PM | #

Everything this girl does seems to have the air of a calculated act, and just as often falls flat on its face.

I think she’s going for the ‘happy and relaxed because I’m innocent and certain of release when this misunderstanding is sorted out’ look. But that’s not how it looks to everybody else. Not that the message is likely to reach planet Knox which is in an unreachable part of the galaxy.

Her lawyers must be sanctioning or even devising this themselves. Are they trying to portray her strange behaviour after the murder that is being reported by witnesses in a context of quirky but natural and harmless behaviour? If so it could backfire badly.  The contrast between the attitude of the friends of Meredith and her incarcerated ‘friend’ is rather stark.

Posted by Faustus on 02/15/09 at 09:04 PM | #

I totally agree, she doesn’t seem very stable but i still think her condition/behavior now is also influenced by the situation she is in. Even Lamumba said in one of his interviews that when he met Knox the first time she came across as friendly and only as time passed he got annoyed that she would rather chat to guest instead of doing her job. I don’t know if so many people would have described her as crazy or unstable before Meredith body was found. And I find the laughing and joking at the police station between Knox and Sollecito also very strange, but Sollecito is not uncontrollably smiling at court. I think that this uncontrollably smiling has to do with the fact that she is out of her cell, get attention and is not coping very well with the situation she is in.

Posted by miriam654321 on 02/15/09 at 09:29 PM | #

I think it is possible that Amanda has a psychopathic borderline personality disorder. Several things lead me to this view. Her behaviour in court is a prime example. In my mind, imagining myself in her position: on trial for the MURDER of a close acquaintance, the outcome of which is going to determine the rest of my life; the world’s spotlight on me; again,  I am accused of butchering an innocent young girl…well, call me old fashioned, but you just WOULD NOT think about wearing a tee-shirt like that. It’s a small but demonstrative example of the ‘at odds with normality’ behaviour she has exhibited. It shows a lack of feeling for the deceased, the family of the deceased…it’s just not appropriate. The broad smiles, the laughter. Add to this the actions after the murder. Something is missing here. There is a lack of empathy which is hard to fathom. You meet up with girlfriends (normal ones who are traumatised by events) at the police station. Even if you do not feel tearful yourself - perhaps you are numb and in shock - you would modify your behaviour TO SOME DEGREE to fall in step with those about you. Return a hug, speak softly. No, I think she was in a highly excitable state. Dissociated. I think she still is, as the psyche will protect itself to the end. It can take years for murderers to acknowledge their part in events.

By the way, thank you for the respect you show for Meredith on this site. She looks like a gentle, respectable, normal girl. Bless her, poor child. I feel for her family.

Posted by TT on 02/16/09 at 12:10 AM | #

To follow up on the above comments, I do feel some degree of pity for Amanda. If she is as disassociated as she appears then she has little control over herself and her actions. That is why personality disordered criminals are released from prison in the UK. There is ‘no treatment’. It is not a mental illness. Had she not found herself in this situation she may well have led a relatively normal life - some high risk behaviour, but settling down eventually. Functional. But circumstances led to the psychopathology becoming apparent.

The scene I imagine is one of things getting ‘out of control’ rather than anything premeditated. She’s not a pleasant character (”...She f*****g bled to death…”), but I don’t think she planned it. I imagine she and RS were probably drunk and stoned, which further disassociated her from reality. I think this is what leads to her protestations of innocence “It was not me”. In a sense it wasn’t. But in another it was. It was her ‘writ large’, disinhibited, out of her depth. Then the intellect kicked in, she sobered up fast, and thought fast too.

What a mess…

Posted by TT on 02/16/09 at 12:26 AM | #

TT wrote:

“You meet up with girlfriends (normal ones who are traumatised by events) at the police station. Even if you do not feel tearful yourself - perhaps you are numb and in shock - you would modify your behaviour TO SOME DEGREE to fall in step with those about you. Return a hug, speak softly.”

And if you can’t muster empathy for their pain, you at least show respectful silence. If you have to laugh or let off steam, then you do so out of their sight, not in plain view. Obviously, the behaviors reported by Meredith’s friends are not proof that Knox was involved in her roommate’s terrible death, but they certainly suggest a lack of maturity and of compassion for their suffering and distress.

Family and friends describe someone who could literally not hurt a fly, someone who is kind and thoughtful, and who is all about making others feel good. The testimony of these witnesses, which on the face of it is reliable, is not consistent with this other picture.

Perhaps the t-shirt was meant to send the message that Amanda is all about love, but that too backfired. Instead, it came off as an attention-seeking device, an attempt to draw attention away from the testimony. There was something almost obscene about the size of the lettering on the t-shirt.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 02/16/09 at 12:27 AM | #

OBKNOXIOUS, is the way the UK paper, The Sun described her ... I never thought I’d ever find myself even partly in agreement with the Sun.

I just keep thinking that, but for the holiday, Meredith would have gone home to a house with at least 6 other normal people in it.

Posted by Kevin on 02/16/09 at 01:46 AM | #

From the Associated Press.  I haven’t seen this anywhere else:

Also heard Saturday were Giacomo Silenzi and Stefano Bonassi, two Italian students who lived below the Knox and Kercher’s apartment. Silenzi had started dating Kercher a few weeks before her death.

The two said they knew Guede, and both testified that the Ivorian had taken an interest in Knox, asking if she was dating anybody.

Bonassi testified that in October 2007, he woke to see Guede, Knox and Kercher together in his apartment, along with Silenzi and others. The group had met up at a bar, Silenzi said. Guede then spent the night, apparently too drunk to move, the witnesses said.

“She knew of him, she had been introduced. But it’s not like they were pals or anything,” Curt Knox said of his daughter and Guede.

Posted by bucketoftea on 02/16/09 at 06:23 PM | #

Sharp eyes, Bucket of Tea. It was added to later postings of the AP story. We have a summary in the works of the Friday-Saturday testimony, but the technical glitch has had several of us occupied, so most likely up tonight.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/16/09 at 08:40 PM | #

Yes, the fact that Guede was in the apartment below Meredith’s and met Amanda is talked about in the 106 page report on the Guede trial.

Part of the reason for the trial seeming be so slow is that the prosecution is getting all the evidence into the record for this trial. They also wanted to show that Guede did’t flush the toliet in Stefano’s appartment either.

The ‘intruder’ seen in the garden twice during October, referred to by the boys, is news to me.
He has never been identified.

Also, a Moroccan guy, nicknamed ‘Shakey’ was interogated at the police station at the same time as Amanda (according to her No 4th email). Again ... new to me.

I am sure that part of the reason for the intense hostility that Filomena and the Italian girls seem to have for Amanda is that, in Italy, guys hang around what they see as ‘easy’ foreign girls like ‘flys around Sh*t’.

Guede is the classic. Also, one will usually bring another. Even if it was proved that AK and RS were not involved, the Italian girls would still blame Amanda for encouraging these ‘strange men’.

Amanda doesn’t help helpself with the women members of the jury .... they also know this.

I am also struck by the similarity between the escalation of violence (to riot like status) of Amanda’s going away party in Seattle and what the prosecutor sees as an escalation of violence that led to Meredith’s murder. I wonder if the jury will hear about it?

Posted by Kevin on 02/16/09 at 10:04 PM | #

Kevin wrote:

“Yes, the fact that Guede was in the apartment below Meredith’s and met Amanda is talked about in the 106 page report on the Guede trial.”

In fact, Guede wrote about this encounter and others in the diary-like document he wrote after he was arrested in Germany and while awaiting extradition to Italy. Though his document contains many demonstrable falsehoods, some elements of truth are weaved into his narrative. This is certainly the case for the written records provided so far by all three suspects.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 02/16/09 at 10:28 PM | #

Haven’t seen this before.  The Albanian witness has been arrested.

Posted by tufty on 02/16/09 at 11:51 PM | #

He was recently arrested for possession of cocaine.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 02/17/09 at 12:49 AM | #

Arrested with 8 grams of cocaine, does that suggest a user or a dealer ?. Not my area of expertise I’m afraid.

Posted by Kevin on 02/17/09 at 02:14 PM | #
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