Meredith Kercher: Another Murderer to go Free?

The mainstream media like to beat Amanda Knox’s drum, but in a sense they have to. Any proper analyses of this case would probably result in public posturing, retractions, expensive lawsuits and PR disasters. And yet the media pretends to be a cogent source of news.

What do we mean by proper analyses? What’s missing from the media narrative? In terms of the Amanda Knox case, actually a huge chunk of vital information.

Today, February 21st, 2018, at 10:00, Rudy Guede, the Ivorian man first convicted of Kercher’s murder during a first-track trial will find out whether his already reduced sixteen year sentence may be commuted to ten years. In other words, by the end of today, Guede will know whether he’ll be out of jail by the end of this year.

No matter what one says about the guilt or innocence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, Guede’s original co-accused, no matter how one looks at it, whoever murdered Meredith Kercher has gotten off extremely likely.  If Guede’s appeal is granted, the sentence for brutal murder of this splendid student from Southwark, London, will be even less than the minimum sentence of fifteen years handed down to Oscar Pistorius.

rudy-hermann-guede-galleryYet as problematic as this situation is, from Guede’s perspective it appears to make complete sense. Though you won’t read about it just yet in the English press, the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata [ANSA, the leading wire service in Italy] are covering Guede’s appeal.

Blasting News, the social news platform, provides useful description on the legal issues at hand. What it boils down to is that there needs to be a kind of internal cohesion in the justice system.  If one judge makes a finding, another judge should not deviate from those findings, but remain consistent unless a superior court alters the trial narrative. In this case there were three accused, and two trials – one for Guede, and another for Knox and Sollecito.

In layman’s terms, the findings in Guede’s trial – for consistency sake [for legal efficacy in other words] – needed to be applied as far as possible in the Knox/Sollecito trial. They were and Knox/Sollecito were accordingly convicted and sentenced to a far harsher sentence than Guede’s current sentence, 26 and 25 years respectively.

88575003Ultimately though, Knox/Sollecito using their combined resources, overturned the guilty verdicts. What Guede is arguing now is this: if the court’s didn’t apply his evidence to their trials [it was inconsistent], then he should be exonerated or given a kind of legal credit too.

Blasting News provides the legal-technical explanation as follows:

What the appeal is about

The appeal is on the grounds of “non-compliance” of the rules of procedure and failure to acquire “fundamental elements” of the Court decision Guede is appealing against, on the grounds of ‘internal contradictions’. The alleged contradictions are that in annulling the convictions of the other two defendants in the murder case, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the Fifth Chamber’s written reasons come into conflict with those in Guede’s.

 In Italy, Judge’s decisions must be legally consistent with each other.
In Seattle, Knox ought to be on tenterhooks, watching and waiting on the outcome of this hearing. The outcome does have a bearing on Knox, and her controversial version of events. Sollecito, ironically working as a TV expert on crimes for Italy’s Tgcom24, may find himself reporting on his own trial. That ought to make for interesting TV.37e0ea2a-cfc2-4301-9865-12adddee13f4
The pertinent facts found by Judge Paolo Micheli are what is known in some court systems as “common cause.” Or are they? Can these “facts” as they were found by Micheli in 2009 be applied as “common cause” to Knox/Sollecito, or not?  If not, why should they apply to the Ivorian.

The facts found by Judge Paolo Micheli, at Guede’s trial include:

  1. Guede did not wield the murder weapon,
  2. He had had no meaningful prior contact with Meredith, as Guede had claimed in his testimony.
  3. Therefore, he was not invited to the cottage or let in by Meredith, nor had any consensual contact with her.
  4. The burglary mise en scène was a second stage of the crime after the murder.8660316
  5. It, therefore, followed that Knox let in Guede to the murder cottage.
  6. The crime was sexually motivated, and not one motivated by theft.
  7. Guede did not steal the rent money or the phones.
  8. There were multiple assailants.
  9. Guede was guilty of aggravated murder because of his complicity in the attack and failure to stop ‘as soon as the knives came out’.
  10. There was complicity with others: “Above all if the certain facts include the consequent outline of that supposed ‘unknown’ (the presence of the three at the scene of the crime) they are abundant, and all abundantly proven”. (– Micheli)

In my view, having researched this case extensively through the course of two trilogies:

  1.  Correct. Guede did not wield the murder weapon, which means Guede, although present at the scene, and although he participated in the torture, he didn’t murder Meredith Kercher, someone else did.
  2. Correct. Guede had no meaningful prior contact with Meredith. Knox on the other hand did, and so did Sollecito. Sollecito’s contact with Meredith as Meredith’s flatmate’s boyfriend, was more than Guede’s. In the sense that both Knox and Sollecito were more personally close to Kercher than Guede, and given the highly personal nature of the crime [seven cuts and sixteen bruises , including injuries to  her nose, nostrils, mouth, and underneath her jaw compatible with a female-sized hand being clamped over her mouth and nose], didn’t it make sense that the attack was committed by someone close to Meredith? Who was closer to her than an American roommate living next door, that didn’t like to be told what to do or how to do it?
  3. Correct. Meredith would not have invited Guede in, however it’s possible Knox did.
  4. Half-true. There was no burglary in terms of the way the crime scene was presented [Filomena’s broken window etc.] imagesHowever a few of Meredith’s belongings were stolen, including her phones and her rent money. If the motive was burglary, why were both Meredith’s phones immediately tossed into someone’s garden? Why wasn’t her laptop stolen?  And who would know about Meredith’s rent money besides someone who lived there, who was also paying rent?
  5. Correct. Knox let Guede in, possibly without Sollecito’s knowledge.
  6. Half-true. The crime was only sexually motivated in the sense that there was a sexual rivalry between Knox and Meredith. The “sexual nature” of the crime, however was “staged” to impute a male attacker, or put otherwise, to negate the possibility of a female housemate with no alibi being involved in her housemate’s murder. This was why Meredith’s body was staged to appear sexual, her body moved from the original killing scene and placed on a sheet, both legs spread wide open, her hips propped on a pillow and her bra removed after the murder.sperma-181816117.main_image Thus, the sexual crime, just like the burglary crime, were both staged to distract from the actual crime – the murder of Meredith Kercher.
  7. Correct. Guede did not steal the phones, but whoever did, had the presence of mind to attempt a transaction on Meredith’s phone at her British bank account moments after the murder. Who would think to siphon money from Meredith’s account but a student of computer engineering, or someone who was actively using international banking services herself?
  8. Correct. There were multiple assailants, hence Meredith had virtually no defensive wounds, and did not scream out during a botched stabbing of her throat. 10380 Meredith’s death was extremely unpleasant. She drowned in her own blood, an event that would have taken minutes to kill her, and would have involved violent expirations of blood, as well as arterial spurts from her throat. She would not have screamed if she was unable to scream, if she was being muzzled.
  9. Correct. Guede was guilty of complicity in Meredith Kercher’s murder. He held her down, perhaps assuming it was a game between friends, perhaps simply because he was asked to help, and perhaps he “helped” because he wanted to impress Knox [and/or sleep with Knox].
  10. Correct but arguably unproven in court. There was complicity with others.

In the Supreme Court ruling in which Knox and Sollecito had their convictions annulled, in March 2015 it was found that Knox ‘had covered up for Guede’ when falsely implicated her former boss; Knox told police Patrick Lumumba was the culprit.

It was only after Lumumba was arrested and jailed for about two weeks, when the police began processing the scene, that they discovered evidence that pointed to someone else, someone that wasn’t Lumumba. 20080115-bedroom-b_2012801i (1)Although Knox, Sollecito and Lumumba appeared in court together, Lumumba was released due toi lack of evidence, and despite Knox’s allegation against him.

Bloody fingerprints found at the scene were run through forensic systems, and matched one Rudy Hermann Guede. Because of Guede’s immigrant status, his prints were on file, which is how and why he was caught. On November 20th, about three weeks after the murder, Guede was arrested in Mainz, Germany.

South Africa’s News24 reported at the time:

Frankfurt – A fourth suspect in the gruesome murder of a British exchange student nearly three weeks ago in Italy was arrested in Germany on Tuesday, German police said. The suspect, 21-year-old Rudy Hermann Guede from the Ivory Coast was seized in the western German city of Mainz while travelling on a bus or a train, a police spokesperson said.

“He was travelling without a valid ticket,” the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

Fingerprints at the scene

Guede, already known to Italian police, faces charges for the murder and sexual assault on November 1 of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, who was found with her throat slit the following day, sparking lurid headlines.

Detectives reportedly discovered Guede’s digital and genetic fingerprints at the scene of Kercher’s murder in the central Italian city of Perugia. Three other suspects were arrested on November 6 – Kercher’s American housemate, Amanda Knox, Knox’s Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a Congolese musician and bar owner, Patrick Lumumba Diya.

Italian forensic experts said on Friday that they had found DNA traces of Kercher and Knox on a knife at Sollecito’s home, which Kercher is not believed to have ever visited. Investigators have reportedly found no evidence linking Diya to the scene of the crime.

Known for petty thieving

Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that Guede was picked up as he was travelling on a train between Mainz and the nearby city of Wiesbaden. Under Schengen procedures, he will be extradited to Italy, but it may take two or three days.

Guede has lived in Perugia since he was five and was adopted by an Italian family at age 17. Italian and British press reports have described him as a drug dealer, while Ansa has said he is known to police for petty thieving. The case has been beset by leaks from Italian police and intense media speculation that have been criticised by lawyers representing the accused.

Police said Kercher’s assailants “apparently had a sexual motive” though initial autopsy results showed the Briton from south London had not been raped.

Blow dealt by a man

Investigators have said that the depth of the fatal knife wound in Kercher’s neck indicated that the blow was dealt by a man. It was possible that Knox cut herself with the knife while holding it or washing it.

The probe had initially focused on a flick knife belonging to 24-year-old Sollecito as the possible murder weapon. Kercher was in Italy on a student exchange programme.

From Blasting News:

The legal issues facing the Supreme Court today

The crux of Guede’s appeal for a review of his case is that it is a legal absurdity to find as a fact he did not commit the actual killing, but that the police are not looking for anybody else as ‘the multiple attackers’, despite Knox and Sollecito walking free notwithstanding the evidence of the presence of either or both of them at the scene (the ‘unknown others‘) ‘they are abundant, and all abundantly proven’.

Marasca & Bruno proclaimed that the two main reasons for the annulled convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were because of  ‘a flawed investigation’ and ‘undue press influence’. The pair were released because of ‘insufficient evidence’. It raises the question, if it was ‘flawed’ for Knox and Sollecito, then would not the same state of affairs apply to Guede?

If the Italian courts find in Guede’s favor, the absurdity of the Amanda Knox case will be full exposed.

Coming soon:

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Henri’s New Look: Day 64


When 23-year-old triple murder accused Henri van Breda stepped into Court 1 on Day 64, for a brief moment he resembled his equally bald defense counsel. Are three bald heads better than two? Was this really a good option for Henri?

Henri, I’m advised “cleans up quite nicely” when he wants to. Some female readers of the first two books have said as much, as have a few members of the public I’ve encountered in the public gallery of the Western Cape High Court.

To be honest, I hadn’t noticed. If anything, I found Henri something of an oddball, who often seemed calm if ill-at-ease in court.

It’s interesting how impressions differ. For me, the physical attractiveness of an accused is pushed far to the background as one examines what they have done.  Of course, we’re all human beings, and some of us are more human than others. Having heard Henri’s appearance in glowing terms, I started seeing him in a different way. He can look like a nice guy, and at turns, has a male model-ness about him.


If the image adjustment was meant to distract the court – and the judge – from Susan Galloway’s arguments, it sort of worked, and didn’t. Henri’s new look occupied many on social media, and the media, but not necessarily in a good way, as this video capture shows. Have a read at the comments below Aartsi Narsee’s tweet.

The last time I saw an image change crash and burn was in the Larry Nassar case. Nasser, if you didn’t know, was recently convicted in the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sports history.

Pictures of the doctor before trial show what appears to be a professional, well-respected doctor. In court, the five-o’clock-shadow suddenly made Nassar look exactly the way he was – a creep and a predator using his credentials as a doctor to prey relentlessly on women.

Nassar’s behavior – and appearance – pissed off a Michigan court so much, one aggrieved father [265 victims came forward] tried to pounce on the little slime-ball. No charges were brought against the understandably unhappy father.

Surprisingly, over the course of this case, Henri’s appearance has varied almost as much as his ties. This appears to be both a sign of immaturity, and of a youngster “finding himself.” What’s strange and certainly compelling about this case, is we are seeing Henri growing up [become a man, arguably] inside and outside the court, and on camera. In a way, it’s a Western Cape High Court version of The Truman Show, except the stakes are much higher in The Van Breda Show.

When the show is over, Henri may well spend the rest of his life behind bars. Whatever we may say about his guilt or innocence, given his youth and obvious potential, this is a sad ending, but far less tragic than the way the lives of Martin, Teresa and Rudi ended on that January morning three years ago.

No matter what Henri loses, Martin, Teresa and Rudi have – and always will have – lost everything.

The incident took place barely three months after Henri’s 20th birthday. Although three years have passed since then, and Henri’s tested out various looks and identities for himself, he’s clearly still a very young and brash 23-year-old.

By Day 64, Henri’s appearance has fluctuated the full circle; from shaggy Neanderthal to evil Nazi. Until now,  for the most part he’s come across neat and presentable, even if, as Galloway noted in her closing arguments, Henri’s decision to take the stand “ultimately left a poor impression [in terms of his alleged innocence]”.

By shaving away his hair, the face is far more exposed, and without hair there’s less reason to pretend to brush at one’s face in order to hide nervous ticks etc.

Nartsee’s video has exposed Henri’s seemingly screwy countenance, but the fact is, when one examines the LiveFeed throughout the trial very closely [I highlighted dozens of nervous lipsnarls Henri made during testimony in Diablo], that hooded, screw-slightly-loose look has been there all along.

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For the Judge, it will be important not to factor appearances into his assessment of Henri, but Judges are human too, and if anything, Henri’s new look has shot himself in the foot.  Because he looks so different, it’s difficult not to look at Henri even more closely than we are, and wonder: who are you?

We have no way of knowing the outcome on this side of time, but it’s possible a poor grooming decision for a triple murder accused may add years to a potential sentence, just as good grooming decisions [for example in the Jodi Arias case] can sometimes mean the difference between a death sentence, and life imprisonment.

Coming soon: Diablo2  available in middle February 2018


Oscar Pistorius Anniversary: Revisiting Reeva’s Perspective


Who was Reeva when she lost her life? One of the more obvious ways of answering this question is by looking at the profile pictures she used on Facebook and twitter to present herself.

You might laugh and say a selfie really doesn’t say that much, but that depends on the depth or shallowness of the self in question. Reeva wasn’t shallow, and what’s more, as a brand ambassador, her social media was – and had to be – a tangible extension of Reeva herself. It was both Reeva, how she saw herself, and how she wanted to be seen.

How did she wanted to be seen? Well, like this:


This was the image Reeva used as her twitter profile, as well as her background picture on Facebook. As Reeva put it, “a classic model.” That’s how she wanted to be seen, and at 29 years of age, it made sense to have a more mature vibe about her.

On Facebook, Reeva was in the process of spinning off a public, less personal profile. Before she did, she used this image [in fact it was a composite] to communicate another, a more assertive, sexier femme fatale.


The message of this Reeva was black and white: I know who I am, it’s my time now, I mean business so don’t mess with me [wink].

The recent film told from Reeva’s perspective touches a little on Reeva’s softness and her assertiveness. But what did they base their premise on?

Have you noticed, Lifetime, the channel that made Blade Runner Killer have recently removed the words “told from Reeva and her mother’s perspective” from their description of their film?  The only record we have that they even used these words is from the media themselves, who cited this premise from their press release and website.

Odd isn’t it, to have the movie premised on Reeva’s perspective, and then to edit out your premise?

Irrespective of whether your film’s premise is edited in or out, it still remains the same, doesn’t it? Blade Runner Killer is the first film about this case told from Reeva’s perspective.

In any event, in July 2014, shortly after publishing Revelations, the first narrative to explicate in detail a referenced timeline making the case for premeditated murder [not even the state did that], a description of the murder from Reeva’s perspective provided at the very end of the book, I gave the following interview.

The timing was ominous – Oscar’s PR was going into high gear, hoping to sabotage the court narrative with the “poison apple” of the re-enactment video.  If the prosecution had referred in any matter whatsoever to the broadcast on channel 7 [which Oscar’s defense claimed wasn’t authorized by them], Oscar’s advocate could have asked the judge to declare a mistrial. If a mistrial had been declared, Oscar would have been set free, and could then set about pursuing his accusers…like me.

It was in this “knife-edge” scenario that I gave the following interview…

Van Breda: Monday’s Closing Arguments – what to expect?

More than three years have passed since the grotesque triple murders that rocked the affluent De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch on January 27th, 2015. Monday, February 12, 2018 will mark the 64th day of this extraordinary trial, a trial about a third longer than the Oscar Pistorius trial which stretched to 43 days.

During the three years following the murders of his parents and brother, triple-murder accused Henri, who was barely 20-years-old at the time [he’d emerged from his teenage years just three months before the murder], has matured. He’s become handsome, more confident and, if he had a stutter, at 23 he’s a well-spoken young man.


During the three month hiatus since Judge Desai reluctantly postponed proceedings [at the behest of Henri’s advocate Pieter Botha], Henri and his girlfriend have relocated yet again, while Marli continues to live with a teacher in an undisclosed location. Marli would also have received her matric results some time in early January.

On February 12th, when the court reconvenes, what can we expect?

  1. Expect fireworks. The public are often of the view that the first day of a trial, and the last day, and perhaps the accused’s evidence, are the sum total of a trial. The closing arguments are a distillation from opposing counsels of matters of fact. A certain amount of conjuring is done here, to persuade a judge either that there is absolute certainty on a particular issue, or that there is absolute uncertainty. Both counsels must juggle which facts they wish to bolster, which facts of the defense [common cause] they wish to use against the opposing case, and how best to discredit or otherwise make a mess of opposing argument, while making their own seem logical and consistent.  Although a guilty person may have certain truths playing against them, the fact is, a defense counsel has access to the accused, and thus is in possession of a much greater context of information, which can be used to poke holes in a prosecutor’s contentions and speculations.166c0444b5b64675be5959d39831c92c
  2. First strike. Advocate Susan Galloway will go first, presenting the state’s final closing arguments. These are likely to fill at least the morning session.  Going first has a few advantages. The state starts with a clean slate, and if their arguments are clear and vivid, they can powerfully shape and control the mindset no matter what comes afterward.
  3. How long will the arguments last? In the Pistorius case, Gerrie Nel’s closing arguments on August 8th, 2014 [about 18 months after the incident] lasted all day, until 15:00. Once the state was done, Barry Roux asked for an adjournment so he could marinade in the state’s contentions, and kick off with his own, perhaps slightly fine-tuned arguments the next morning. Even Oscar packed away his notebooks as a subtle nudge to indicate his preferences.  Judge Masipa consulted with court officials and then elected to sit for “another half hour.”  Roux’s closing arguments were thus broken into two segments, but effectively, he also got the last word.620x349rth
  4. Getting the last word, especially if one provides powerful insights, twists and turns right at the end, can and sometimes does change the outcome of case. Think of Johnny Chochrane’s famous closing: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” So yes, a closing can discolor the original mindset portrayed by a prosecutor, and foist the all-important doubt onto a court that a defense must rely on to get their client off the hook. Expect Botha’s epilepsy narrative to feature strongly as their “game-changer”. weapons-750x458
  5. Closing arguments will not only summarize the respective cases, they also serve to highlight and emphasize the strongest points from each side. What do you think is the strongest aspect of Galloway’s case? Leave a comment and let’s see which aspects she chooses to emphasize. What’s the strongest element of Botha’s case? Does he even have a case? Leave a comment, and let’s see how evenly matched both counsels are.
  6. After closing arguments, court adjourns so the judge [there are no juries in South Africa] can apply his or her mind to the case. In the Pistorius case, the adjournment was for about a month. Arguments were heard on August 8th and 9th, and Masipa adjourned until September 11th. The verdict phase in the Pistorius case lasted two days, and shoddy as the original verdict from the court a quo was at the time, it was unanimous. Masipa and her two assessors inexplicably found Oscar not guilty of murder, premeditated or otherwise.
  7. After the verdict is it over?  Three months after Oscar was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to a ridiculous 10 months imprisonment [effectively], the state applied for leave to appeal, and Masipa granted it. Judge’s usually grant appeals, although Masipa refused leave to appeal when the state applied after the second sentence – 6 years for murder – was seen to be too light as well. The state then applied directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal, who granted the appeal and directly elected to sentence Oscar themselves [to an effective 15 years, less time already served].

In the Van Breda case, I expect there to be an appeal after the verdict, which suggests that although the Van Breda case appears to be over at the beginning of 2018, in fact, it’s likely to be a long period of legal struggle, in my view, for Henri.

Bear in mind that five years after Reeva Steenkamp’s murder, that case still hasn’t been concluded either. Oscar has appealed the Supreme Court’s sentence, to the Constitutional Court, and presently remains in legal limbo.  The state have filed opposing papers, and now the Constitutional Court must decide whether it’s willing to consider Oscar’s application. The Constitutional Court usually doesn’t involve itself in ordinary criminal cases.HenriBreda3

Only the mega rich have the resources to take their cases through the legal washer, and so it’s a matter of access to his enormous inheritance, whether Henri will follow the path pioneered by South Africa’s highest-profile convicted murderer yet.

Sidenote: Interestingly, on the five year anniversary of Reeva Steenkamp’s murder, no South Africans have made any documentaries, and no local reporters have written on the case at all since the Supreme Court of Appeal verdict in December 2017. In the Van Breda case, although three books were written, there’s been a vacuum of reporting on this case since the adjournment in November 2017. When it comes to trial reporting in South Africa, the media seem to have a season for reporting, and an off-season. South Africa is a unique case of a crime infested country that still needs to play catch-up to the true crime trends in other countries. 

Ray D’Arcy to Amanda-Waiting-to-be-Heard-Knox: “Why do you *keep* coming out to tell your story?”

Fullscreen capture 20180204 174325Every time Amanda Knox steps out of the cozy confines of Seattle, vitriol follows. Every time she’s asked to relate the events surrounding Meredith Kercher’s murder, she tells the same less-than-convincing story. So why does she keep doing it? by Nick van der Leek

Overall I found Amanda Knox’s demeanor in this interview to be suitably grave, until the moment she spoke about what she calls “the single victim fallacy”, and then dug the hole even deeper when she sang Come Out Ye Black and Tans, complete with an Irish accent, and then couldn’t stop laughing.

It’s this behavior that caused a riff not only between Knox and Meredith, or Knox and Meredith’s friends, but it’s what’s made her something of a misfit before and after the crime, and to the present day.

In the context of living together, a new lodger singing loudly and frequently, just being inappropriate constantly at inopportune moments eventually gets old, and then it gets irritating. Meredith eventually conveyed as much to her friends and her sister.

At 1 hour 9 minutes into D’Arcy’s interview with Amanda Knox which aired Saturday January 3rd, 2018, D’Arcy says, in the context of Meredith not being the only victim: “So you were wronged as well?” Knox answers unabashed: “Yeah!”

D’Arcy then offers an interesting insight into how he sees the whole debacle. If it was him, knowing what Knox had endured [in the media, in Italy and elsewhere], he said he’d stay home, close the door and pull the curtains.

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D’ARCY: Why do you come out and tell your story?

KNOX [Sighs heavily]: Well…one…reason is because a whole load of people have authored my experience, for me, and they’ve done a terrible job of it. Um…I feel like…my story belongs to me. And I’m the only one who can…tell it…TELL IT!

Not the noblest of reasons then, for wanting to be heard.  Interestingly, Knox didn’t actually author Waiting to be Heard, it was ghost written by Linda Kuhlman, and as narratives go, was pretty thin around the pertinent issues at hand.

When the New York Review of Books published their review of Waiting to be Heard, it was titled Amanda in Wonderland. The author of that article was taken aback by the publisher’s contention that Knox was telling the full story of what happened to her, from her point of view for the first time.

In reality, the story had been told inside out, drawn through the washer of four individual trials, explicated in dozens of books [including Sollecito’s which came out before Knox’s], analyzed in hundreds of magazine articles and circulated in thousands of newspaper columns in many languages. Blogs and counter blogs erupted, wiki sites and counter wiki’s dueled online, along with true crime forums entirely dedicated to one case. Knox herself, and her family, saturated the media with coverage of her that was more akin to a PR campaign than anything else.

In terms of Knox’s ability as writer, she’s not yet authored her own standalone work, despite claims in a People magazine article recently that she was working on another memoir titled Lady Justice.

In November 2017, coinciding with the ten year anniversary of Meredith’s murder [Knox’s claim to fame as she sees it, but infamy in fact] she wrote an article titled Mourning Meredith.

It starts as follows:

Ten years ago tonight, my friend was raped and murdered by a burglar when she was home alone in the apartment we shared while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. 

In fact, Meredith was not raped, and neither was she murdered by a burglar. Whether Meredith was home alone is also a matter of some dispute. In other words, in just a single sentence from an article penned by Knox herself, one can see how full of crap her writing is.

….a whole load of people have authored my experience, for me, and they’ve done a terrible job of it…

To date I’ve written two trilogies on the Knox case, one, Deceit, – the most reviewed of 71 books currently published on Amazon – was quickly but briefly banned.

All the books I’ve published on Knox have been heavily trolled, earning negative reviews within hours of publication.

I’ve written about a number of high profile criminals, but Knox’s army of supporters are by far the most aggressive and vindictive.  That said, some of Knox’s critics are also some of most obsessed in the true crime genre.

Knowing the case file, and understanding what Knox has gotten away with, it’s difficult not to be angered by Knox.

Ten years later, Knox is back trying to claim ownership of “her” story [the story about how she didn’t murder someone]. By saying “my story belongs to me”, it sounds as if Knox is pitching for some sort of second book or movie deal; she seems mostly adamant about making a financial case for “her” story.

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In Knox’s February 3rd interview, I was surprised at two things above all:

Firstly, by how often she referred to herself as a slut or a whore. In the archives I’ve gone through, and remember, I’ve written two trilogies with two final books on the way,  it’s not accurate to say that’s how she was depicted in the media, then or now. I’ve not depicted her that way, nor in those terms, and I can’t say I’ve come across those depictions, other than occasionally on social media. So who is Knox referring to? The Italian police circa 2007?

Knox also seems to be trying to cotton-on to the #MeToo movement, except it doesn’t quite work. Or does it? Perhaps I’m in the wrong demographic.

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The second thing that surprised me was when Knox became emotional, and just how emotional she became. She chokes up and seems to start crying. Knox first becomes tearful as she describes Lumumba’s family having the “Jesus” [actually it’s the “bejesus”] scared out of them. Knox doesn’t mention that she could simply have told the police she’d been mistaken at any time afterwards, and Lumumba would have been off the hook.

I’ve listened to many prison intercepts immediately after her arrest [Knox, Sollecito and Lumumba were arrested and jailed on the same morning] yet Knox doesn’t communicate the sort of remorse we see on TV, or mention Lumumba to her parents. She’s never adamant to them that he’s innocent, and that it’s her fault he’s in jail.

Imagine how that conversation might have gone if it happened.

KNOX: My boss, I accused him and he’s in jail but he didn’t do it.

MOM: Why’d you do a thing like that?

Because I tell lies? Because I’m a liar?

KNOX: Um…look, the point is he’s innocent. Will you make sure Mignini gets that message?

MOM: Okay but if he’s innocent, who did it? Why did you falsely accuse him?

Fact is, she falsely accused him and the accusation remained in force even when her memory cleared. While he was under arrest it was to her benefit. It was only when Rudy Guede was found, that Lumumba was released about two weeks later, but by then the damage to his reputation [thanks to Knox] was done.

Isn’t it ironic, Knox petitioning for the rights of falsely accused person’s, when that’s exactly what she did to him?

As easy as it is to be duped by  her emotion – and it may well be sincere, in the sense that a narcissist’s sense of victimization is piercing – just nine minutes after the tears she’s singing and laughing uncontrollably. That’s Amanda Knox for you.

Knox, overall, seems to have aged a lot more than ten years since the murder in 2007. There’s something gaunt and sterile about her now. The frivolity is still there, one can see that in Knox’s goofy logic and in the dress code of her oddball boyfriend Christopher Robinson.


Coming back to the original question:

Why do you come out and tell your story?

In studio, Knox casts about towards the ceiling, in search of the most appropriate response. Knox has had ten years of practice – writing about it, performing in front of cameras, reading about herself and thinking about it – how to portray herself just right.

Why do you come out and tell your story?

Well, because you’re innocent, right? Oh no, that’s passé.

For Meredith. In order to set the record straight in terms of justice, and to assure them that Knox is above reproach. No, that’s passé too.

Because you want to set the record straight, once and for all, after ten years you finally have it all down to bite sized chunks. No, during this interview she essentially glosses through things just as she did in her book, with the exception of the break-in to Filomena’s room.

It’s odd that, because that was the first thing she mentioned in her memorial to Meredith:

Ten years ago tonight, my friend was raped and murdered by a burglar…

She leaves that out during her run through of arriving home and finding weird things. There’s an open door, there’s poop, and there’s splodges of blood in her bathroom. No big deal, she has her shower and heads off.

Besides the burglar narrative, what’s missing from the umpteenth reiteration of the story?  There’s just no reason for Amanda Knox to check on Meredith. Meredith’s the only resident that’s supposed to be home that weekend, and she’s supposed to Knox’s friend [according to Knox].

Also, Knox knew Meredith was supposed to be home, but unless people researched elsewhere for the full context, they wouldn’t know that much of Perugia had decamped for the long holiday weekend. Knox naturally doesn’t tell them that while everyone had gone to be with their family and loved one’s, Meredith and herself were exceptions.

In the last couple of narratives I’ve done, I’ve made it explicit via a detailed timeline, that despite Knox’s contention that she was spending all her time at Sollecito’s, actually, she wasn’t. In fact, within a few days of their dalliance they appeared to be not getting along very well, and Knox seemed to be cheating on her new Italian love. Sollecito says as much in his memoir, noting it wasn’t easy getting his thesis done while Knox sang Beatles songs, kept him awake and woke up at the crack of dawn.

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They even spent Halloween apart – Knox partying with…who again?  Because it wasn’t Meredith and her friends.

As it stood, when Knox went home for her shower, Meredith was already dead, and it was her blood in the basin, and some of Amanda Knox’s blood too.

In her book, the one she sold for $4 million, in her published version of events, during her first visit to the villa, Knox notices the front door open and Filomena’s broken window and showers anyway.

Here’s a quick recap of the pertinent narrative highlighted in pink:

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Fullscreen capture 20180204 182759-002Knox calls Filomena afterwards to tell her her room’s been broken into [so Filomena can sort of take responsibility for the crime scene] and then decides to check in to Seattle too, right then, even though it’s around 01:00 on the other side of the world, and it’s been weeks since she called her mother.

Filomena has to tell Knox to call Meredith, and Knox’s mother has to tell her to call her roomates [and later the police], but she waits until they arrive, and then Sollecito calls to report a break-in where “nothing has been taken”.

Meanwhile, Filomena’s worried about Meredith, and Knox is worried about poop that’s not even in her bathroom.  The blood? It’s no biggie.

The poop of course belonged to Rudy Guede, and so highlighting that to the cops from the get-go was an early ploy to get the cops focused on a third suspect. But who would know to do that?

Knox, unperturbed about Meredith, tells the police it’s normal for Meredith to have her door locked. It’s eventually Filomena’s friend who breaks the door down to reveal a bloodbath, with Meredith at the center of it. While Filomena screams, Knox is mute, and Sollecito kisses and comforts her outside.

Why do you come out and tell your story?

Is Knox aware that her friend is dead? How long has she been aware?

Why is Meredith’s door locked?

Why would a murderer who didn’t live there, lock the door behind him/her, and why are bloody shoe and footprints partially washed away?

Who would be more likely to clean up a crime scene – someone who lived there, or someone who didn’t?

Why do you come out and tell your story?

And why does Knox return to Sollecito carrying a mop and bucket on that day of all days. She was well-known among her roommates to be something of a slob.  She had to be reminded to wash and clean-up after her. it was another pet-peeve with Meredith.

Also, why is Knox’s reading lamp on the floor in Meredith’s room, when the door’s kicked open?

Why do you come out and tell your story?

So if Meredith was supposed to be home, and there was blood, why not knock on her door and say, “Hey, you okay?” There’s no reason to do that if Meredith’s dead, although a clever storyteller would do that.

Of course this lack of care and consideration for Meredith is the theme of the whole interview with D’Arcy. Knox doesn’t waste a breath talking about the things Meredith has missed out on over the last 10 years.

When Knox is asked about her friendship with Meredith, she immediately begins fudging. She doesn’t have much to say about Meredith, “out of respect.”

If your neighbor accused you of stealing his car when you were honeymooning in the Caribbean, why would you come out and tell your story, ten years after the false accusations?

If you’d written a book about your lousy neighbor, and were paid $4 million for it, might the reason you’d be back not be to sell more books? Perhaps you’re thinking of settling down and starting your own family, and you’re in need of a nest egg. Perhaps your not extremely successful partner is pressing for this too. And the fastest way to earn dosh is to talk about how you didn’t steal your neighbor’s car?

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Amanda Knox was so wronged, she earned a $4 million advance on her book, and continues to do speaking engagements at $7000 a ticket – which doubles as PR for the book that earned those millions.

Her co-accused, Raffaele Sollecito was also offered a $1 million advance on his book.

But ten years later the money is mostly gone, the story has been wrung out, and Meredith remains murdered without sufficient explanation or recompense.


Why did “Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer” jumble its timeline? Why is it such a god-awful mess?

No doubt about it, “Blade Runner Killer” is a confusing flick. It jumps around unnecessarily…or is there a reason it’s such a muddle? By Nick van der Leek

I’ve spent a few days meticulously analyzing the first film about the Pistorius case, premised on Reeva’s perspective. I’ve taken an interest because the 14 books Lisa and I co-researched and co-wrote between June 2014 and December 2017 follow exactly the same theme – Reeva.  What was her perspective on her murder? What was this crime like for her?  What did it look like from the inside, what did Oscar look like inside his home, and inside the cubicle?

Going through the 83 minute film, it soon became clear the timeline was not only muddled, but incorrect. Starting with the second slide, Reeva is presented in the kitchen, cooking dinner at 17:30. In fact she only arrived home that evening at 18:00, and Pistorius ten minutes later at 18:10.

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To appreciate just how jumbled the plot is, have a look at the following screen-grabs – all of which are taken on the dozen or so occasions when the film time-stamps itself with a caption.

I’ve included the above slide in the timeline again for reasons of completeness.

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In this particular slide, the caption is undated and at the top for the first time. The incident here seems to depict three separate events. Reeva is dressed in black, the same way as she appeared at the Virgin Active Sports Awards on January 7th, 2013. However, Oscar’s jealousy and tantrum seems to be a conflation from at least ten days prior, at Darren Fresco’s engagement party. It was after this party that Reeva wrote her “unhappy and sad” message at 14:17 on Saturday, January 26th, 2013, complaining about being in a “double standard relationship”.  The film also conflates the exit from the awards with the incident where Oscar drove so fast it frightened Reeva, and June ended up chastising him over the phone, while he was driving.

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If it’s still not clear, around half the slides are out of order, inaccurate or both. “Trial Day 1” doesn’t make any sense, because the previous slide, “March 3, 2014,” was the first day of trial, so why say it twice?

Below is a list showing in bold and red what’s out of order, inaccurate or both.

  1. February 13th, 2013, 06:04
  2. February 13th, 2013, 17:30
  3. February 14th, 06:43
  4. February 13th, 2013, 14:16 
  5. 5 months before Reeva’s death [inaccurate]
  6. New Year’s Eve – 6 weeks before Reeva’s death
  7. 1 Week before Reeva’s death
  8. Oscar’s trial, March 14th, 2014
  9. South African Sports Awards Party [undated, caption appears at the top for the first time][Actual Date Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards 2013 held at Emperors Palace on Feb. 7, 2013]
  10. 1 month before Reeva’s death.
  11. February 14th, 2013, 11:26
  12. Oscar’s Trial, March 3, 2014
  13. Trial Day 1 [March 3, 2014 – date not provided, but same as 12] 
  14. Appeal Trial narrative provided [not including November/December 2017]

About half of the narrative, set out in this way, is taken out of the normal chronology.

When one colour-codes the narrative, it becomes even more obvious how out of order the narrative, but also how unnecessarily, out of order it is.

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Yet when rearranged [see above] the plot fits together perfectly. So if you’re going to go to the trouble to set out a timeline, why not have a proper seamless, chronological narrative in the first place? Isn’t that why you have a timeline – to structure and properly explicate your story, especially when it’s a legal drama?

Overall, it seems as though the filmmaker’s went to a lot of effort to get the details right.  Plenty of effort went into the special effects to show South African born Andreas Damm, who plays Oscar, walking on his stumps.

The film narrative also refers to and dramatizes the actual content of WhatsApps.  They even got Reeva’s outfits at the awards ceremonies right, down to her hairstyle, his and her tattoos and even the tippex-like splodges on the back of Oscar’s head.

In the film, a message on Oscar’s phone from “Baby Shoes”, and Reeva intercepting it and confronting him about it, appears to be what triggers the conflagration, leading to Reeva’s murder.

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Accents aside, I thought both actors nailed the emotional dynamic of the relationship for the first time.

So here’s a question. Why would you go to so much effort to get the details right, and then intentionally fuzz up your own film, fudging the chapter details, jumbling the flashbacks within the flashbacks, confusing and irritating your audience?

Why would you go to the trouble to set up a timeline, and then Rubik’s-cube it, effectively shooting yourself and your film in the foot?