A Shakedown of The Scarlet Liar Part II

The key to understanding Amanda Knox is knowing how she delights at being the center of attention. In the opening seconds of this video one senses that giddy joy in being at the epicenter of her own story. She’s completely unaware that her involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher does actually involve another person. Invariably Knox pays lip service to Kercher, by ticking off a few boxes. Kercher was friendly, a nice person, and with that done, she’s now free to marinade in her own story.

Anyone who has listened to Knox’s audiobook, in which Knox herself narrates her story, will have picked up what a performance artist she is. Even though Knox didn’t actually write her memoir herself, she sort of pretends she did. She regales the reader, in her mind, with her breathless adventures, and wows her audience with her impressive command of Italian. Because that’s what matters.

Was it Donald Trump who tweeted something along the lines of: Amanda Knox went to Italy to learn Italian. Well, she learned Italian…

It’s not enough to say Knox has an abnormal fixation with herself. It’s not sufficient to say she’s a self-centered narcissist. We have to ask why? What’s the seat of that deep psychological need, always, desperately wanting to be noticed? We may assume Knox was born that way, and that’s at least partly true. I mean, in the sense that as she grew up, she felt increasingly neglected. She was perhaps a very conscientious school kid, and I think she’s very conscientious in terms of dotting i’s and crossing t’s, in the academic sense. But a broken marriage and her mother jumping ship to shack up with a young stud, given the moral confines of the school community in which she was raised, created a psychological conundrum.

Knox soon found she was competing with her own young stepfather for her mother’s attention. She also learned how scandal could get you love and attention, something she experienced with her own mother. And she learned how to keep one’s cool, and surf the wave of scandal. We shouldn’t forget, though, that Knox’s insatiable appetite for attention was rooted in the excruciating inadequacies of a young daughter, and then a young teenager who, no matter how rigorously she obeyed the rules, simply couldn’t earn the love she needed. Every child deserves to be loved by their parents. When that love is simply not there, or replaced by a kind of cold, anal, homework ethic, then a hole forms in the soul of that person, a hole that can never be filled.  It’s like a bucket with a hole in it.  You can keep filling it, but it will always end up empty.

What Meredith Kercher did, was remind Knox in her fairy tale abroad about that hole. Kercher had two loving parents, who maintained very close contact with her despite them being divorced and her being abroad. Knox realized divorce wasn’t an excuse for her own parents to take such a minimal interest in her interior life.

One fathoms the shallowness of it all when eavesdropping on Knox’s mother visiting her in jail, just days after the murder. Her daughter’s implicated in a brutal murder, and yet the conversation – about lip balm, a nice new digs in Italy, and silly news reporters – couldn’t be more superficial. If this was all a joke to Edda, some issue that needed to be dealt with, like a test that needed to be marked, we can see how Knox would have no clue how to deal with complicated emotional or financial issues in her own life, other than to lie and mislead endlessly on these topics.  She was simply extremely naive, and caught up in fantasies and fairy tales, primarily Harry Potter, but wasn’t a terrible storyteller either.

Now, I don’t mean caught up like a normal person.  I mean so caught up, so immersed, that fiction begins to supplant reality. It’s someone who is completely out of touch with the real world, and with society, and all of this is exacerbated by an uptick in substance abuse – alcohol, marijuana, other recreational drugs [heroine perhaps, cocaine…]. Add to all this a sexual dimension, and a newfound “power” over Italian yobs, then one can see how being the center of attention in Italy could have gone to Knox’s head. From having a slew of Italian deplorables running after her, to the media salivating on her every outfit, her every kiss and smile, that’s not such a long walk in the walk after all, is it? That Amanda and this Amanda are still one and the same.

Society’s obsession with her mirrors Knox’s obsession with herself, and, ironically, our own fixations with ourselves.

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At about 4:55 in the video, Knox whines about not knowing how “big and all-encompassing” the media obsession regarding her was, until she “got out”. That’s not true. And far from being a victim of the media, her PR worked very skillfully to turn the tide in the media, especially from across the Atlantic, in her favor. And it worked. Not only did it work, it set the tone for her world record breaking publishing deal. So, far from the media being a wolf at her door, the media really saved her, and paved the yellow brick road that got her back home.

04:55: I finally saw it, I finally saw in the flesh…where…on the way out of the prison, I am being chased by paparazzi.

Shakedown: One has to do a sort of double-take here, as if a bang to the head might fix the glitch in our processors. Because this really IS alternate reality. In Knox’s reality, as soon as she was acquitted, as soon as the prison doors cranked open, she’s suddenly confronted by a phalanx of media, rapacious like wolves, their camera lenses gleaming like so many teeth and claws.

None of it’s true, but to expose the ruse for what it really is, and how cleverly the untruths are disguised in vague comments, we must slow it down and go through it bit by bit.

In the video, while Knox is talking, we see her being acquitted, and the tears and emotion following. The first factual issue to establish is when did this happen? Knox appealed her December 25, 2009 conviction in a trial that ran from November 2010 to her acquittal on October 3rd, 2011. The footage shown in the Facebook video are scenes outside court following her acquittal in October, 2011.

Note the date at the far right, top corner. Gosk was reporting from Seattle on October 4th, eagerly awaiting the return of America’s innocent sweetheart. Below that, holding her hand to her face, that’s Knox at Seattle airport, about to give a press conference [we’ll come back to that]. Top left, that’s the scene outside the court. Most of those people aren’t paparazzi, but students loudly protesting against Knox’s acquittal.

Say what?

On October 4th, the BBC summarized the media’s response to Knox’s acquittal. Fortunately, the BBC also provided samples from the European media, and not just American outlets. The above link is well worth serious study. At the screengrab below it’s made explicit:

Never before has the media aspect of a trial so outstripped the judicial aspect. The English media, who are on the side of the victim, the poor Meredith Kercher, renamed the pretty Amanda “Foxy Knoxy” just to underline her elusive craftiness. The American media, on the other hand, all support her… If you add this to the mess of the investigation and the disavowal of the expert [analysis], you see how far the story [and the court case] has gone off the rails of a judicial investigation and onto the more fanciful, popular ones of TV.

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I guess Knox forget to add that part. And the American media washed like a tsunami over the other media, soon engulfing it. But what did Corriere della Sera mean when they said:

Never before has the media aspect of a trial so outstripped the judicial aspect… 

Simply that this was the first time the media dominated the result of a court case. That sounds to me like the media played in Knox’s favor, doesn’t it?

Coming back to the photo of the large crowd outside the court, following Knox’s acquittal. What was happening there? In fact, of the three defendants, Knox had been sentenced to the most time in jail, not only for murder but for defeating the ends of justice and falsely accusing her boss. None of her co-accused did any of that, only Knox.

Now have a look at La Repubblica’s coverage, for October 4th:

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After all that, let’s come back to Knox’s alternate reality, and why it’s alternate reality. What did she say on that video again?

I finally saw it, I finally saw in the flesh…where…on the way out of the prison, I am being chased by paparazzi.

The video is showing a mob outside the court, and reporters in Seattle. Where were the paparazzi when Knox left the prison? Well, there was at least one photographer stationed near the prison who managed to snap this photo.

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Far from being hounded by paparazzi, when Knox arrived in Seattle, the first thing she did was give a press conference.

That dude with the beard, giving Knox a friendly punch of support, is none other than Dave Marriot, the man Knox’s father turned to just three days after her arrest, and a decision Kurt Knox described as the the best he’d made regarding his daughter’s predicament.  Hiring an elite PR guru so soon after her arrest tells you a lot about what Kurt Knox thought about his daughter, and also, how urgently he felt he had to defend his own prestige – at the time Kurt Knox was a vice president of finance at Macy’s.

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I finally saw it, I finally saw in the flesh…where…on the way out of the prison, I am being chased by paparazzi.

Do you see what she’s doing? She’s pretending to be wholly unaware of the Knox side of the paparazzi equation – where the media was organized, websites and blog sites were set up, all to defend Knox’s image. Her Facebook and MySpace pages were quickly deleted for the same reason – anyone think Knox was unaware of this?

Her lawyers were aware of it. The Italian court was aware of it.

On october 4th, 2011 the New York Times published their commentary on the issue, describing Knox’s acquittal as a 4 year battle “over an image”.

The British tabloids took to calling her Foxy Knoxy, adopting a nickname she had used herself on her Facebook and MySpace pages. (Her family said later that the nickname referred to her soccer skills, not her love life.) But by the time she was freed from an Italian prison on Monday, her public portrayal was very different: Many media accounts in the United States, at least, portrayed Ms. Knox as a nice young woman, a linguistics major at the University of Washington, who had fallen victim to the Italian justice system while on her junior year abroad.

No one can say for sure whether the painstaking and calculated rehabilitation of her image helped sway the Italian courts. Ultimately, it was an official report casting doubt on the DNA evidence in the case that led to her exoneration. But the media frenzy was mentioned by both the prosecution and the defense last month in court.

One of the prosecutors, Giuliano Mignini, complained in court of “the media’s morbid exaltation” of Ms. Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who had also been convicted of the murder, along with a second man, Rudy Guede. “This lobbying, this media and political circus, this heavy interference, forget all of it!” he told the court, according to The Associated Press. Ms. Knox’s lawyers countered that their client had been “crucified” in the news media.

But the judges and jurors didn’t forget the media noise buzzing in and outside court, filling up the airwaves.  And Knox’s lawyers were right; their client had been skewered by the Italian and British press, and rightly so.  But that’s what made it so weird. On one side of the Atlantic [the Marriot side] Knox was an innocent angel, on the other, she was a she-devil. These contrasting narratives neutralized one another, and created doubt, which is gold to a defense case.

That being said, Knox was found guilty of slandering her boss, and her four year sentence upheld, so technically her acquittal didn’t mean she was innocent, just found to be not guilty of murder. So even the court that ultimately set her free, nevertheless regarded the attractive American student, as a liar.

So Knox saying, repeating, in 2018 that she “finally” saw it, “finally” saw the media in the flesh is a clever way of pretending she didn’t know about the media if she didn’t see it. Well, we know even before her acquittal, Knox was corresponding directly with journalists like the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone from inside prison.

It was important that she hijack the UK narrative, because it was very negative towards her. So by having a UK journo from the fairly reliable Guardian at her beck-and-call was something of a coup.

At the same time, Knox’s mother was giving the same guy – Hattenstone – exclusive interviews. She did it following Knox’s original conviction, and after giving her own character evidence for her daughter in court, in June 2009, they didn’t have much to lose. Edda infected the UK narrative with “her side” of the story, and ultimately, the influence campaign and interference worked.

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Hattenstone, believe it or not, was in Knox’s home in Seattle, reporting en plein air, as it were, when Knox faced the 2014 court verdict. In the same Guardian article, Hattenstone is clear about corresponding with Knox “since 2009” – in other words, for at least two of her four years in jail. Do you think Knox was only corresponding with Hattenstone? And would Hattenstone [and her parents, and her lawyers, and the PR man Marriot] not have updated her regularly on the media sentiment surrounding her? Would she not have regularly asked, and followed the news, from her in situ television?

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I finally saw it, I finally saw in the flesh…where…on the way out of the prison, I am being chased by paparazzi.

5:27: I thought [after her acquittal] I was just going to go home. And for me, like, [looks up] it was just so overwhelming, the smell, I smelled home [starts crying] and it smelled like home. I smelled the grass, and the Earth and the rain. And it smelled so different than the place that I’d been in for so long, and…[looks up]…I was so overwhelmed by the smell, and then suddenly I was like, I guess I have to talk to a hundred people…

Video clip from October 4th, 2011 press conference at Seattle airport: I’m very overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane, and it seemed like everything wasn’t real [bursts into tears].  My family’s the most important thing to me right now [well, them and Dave Marriot]…and I just want to go, and be with them. 

Shakedown: What is it with murder defendants and smells? When Oscar Pistorius [now a convicted murderer] did his PR, he spoke in a crybaby voice of smelling Reeva Steenkamp’s blood, as if by smelling it, he proved how sensitive he was to her death, and to her blood, presumably. It didn’t work.

When Knox trembles and sniffs as she talks about the smell of the rain [doesn’t it ever rain in Italy] it’s easy to feel emotional. But what are we being led to feel emotional about? That Nature’s touch is tender, or that Knox’s touch is? It’s a deception.

So what do we make of Knox pontificating about smell? She’s returned triumphantly to Seattle, and all she can do is smell. She can’t see anything, seems not to want to hear questions, she’s deaf and dumb to all, except smell.

In her memoir, Knox also spoke of being “hit immediately by the wet earthiness of Seattle…”  I’ve no doubt that this is true. The issue is why are you talking about the most superficial crap, when the real issue is did you kill Meredith Kercher, and if you didn’t, why were you convicted? What happened? All of this smelliness is a distraction from those inquiries. And just as Oscar Pistorius howled with anguish whenever the prosecutor asked him difficult questions about his intentions in front of the toilet door, Knox also knows just when to turn on the water works.

What she really needs is an interviewer who says: Hold on, what the fuck are you so emotional about now, eleven fucking years later? Why isn’t it a happy memory, the memory of coming home, beating a 25 year prison sentence. Who cares about the rain and the dirt, how do you feel about your conviction for slander being upheld? Are you going to appeal that? Is it true that your mother is being accused of slandering the Italian police?

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Why does thinking back on how you beat the Italian court system make you cry? Tell us, instead, how those emotions helped you win your case,  how the sentimental PR flew your flag, how feelings flying in the face of very compelling circumstantial and forensic evidence, won your case for you?

Explain how the PR campaign after your conviction changed, and what lessons were learned that fed into winning your acquittal? How did your dress code change, in court, from the first trial to the appeal? Who was in charge of choosing your outfits, and Sollecito’s? Was cutting your hair, and Sollecito cutting his, also part of trying to appear more appealing in your appeal?

Who cares what she thinks about smells, what matters is what she thinks about being found not guilty of murder.  How did that happen?  But, she doesn’t want to talk about that. She wants America to see her the way they’ve read about her, as the poor American victim tortured by the Italian justice system.

…suddenly I was like, [crybaby voice] I guess I have to talk to a hundred people…

Taking to hundreds of people – that’s never been a problem for Knox. These Knox is taking appearance fees to talk to hundreds of people.

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Even then, though, she was a person who sometimes sang at the top of her voice in restaurants, and as the comments in the previous post attest, headbanged to classical music despite being surrounded by [one images] a mature, cultured audience. Her constant loudness annoyed the hell out of her housemates. Even in prison, Knox strung her guitar and sang.

In court, Knox had no problem standing up and addressing the judge multiple times, in fluent Italian. A few days after Kercher’s murder, Knox was back in class, happy to read out her homework assignment to class. Her family, including her younger sister Deanna, gave press statements on the steps of the court, even went on Oprah, following her acquittal. Knox followed her acquittal with an exhaustive book tour, taking on the American talk show circuit. She was interviewed by heavyweights like Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo.

…suddenly I was like, [crybaby voice] I guess I have to talk to a hundred people…

Knox has since starred in her own eponymous movie, and she’s still at it.

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Sorry, when was appearing in front of people something that ever scared her, or something she didn’t want to do? Through the murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox got to be exactly who and what she wanted to be: the star of her own show. Suddenly she’d been propelled out of insignificant anonymity, and who cared why, this was all about her and she loved it.  She could act out and everyone would watch, take notes…how wonderful!

Meanwhile, at the press conference, Marriot and Knox met for the first time. Knox, probably saying exactly what he’d told her to say, her affect, precisely as he’d instructed her, said she just wanted to go home and be with her family; well, she’d been with them for many months in Italy. They’d been with her each day in court, and visiting her in prison. But it played well on TV.

06:13: And while I was overwhelmed with this, I was being asked to be ready to stand up to the judgement of others. [Soft, sympathetic piano music playing in the background]. I don’t get to be anonymous, ever. Ever. [Clip of Knox browsing for books on a public sidewalk]. And I think that’s a thing that people don’t get to think about very often. Because most people get to be anonymous at least…sometimes.

Knox was so desperate to be private, she wrote a book about her experience, providing details about her sex life in it, in the fact the word sex or sexy appears 116 times in her memoir.

…I was overwhelmed with this, I was being asked to be ready to stand up to the judgement of others… I don’t get to be anonymous…

People who want to be anonymous don’t court the limelight. People who are overwhelmed don’t hire PR people and teams of lawyers. As for being “ready” to stand up to judgement, in the immediate aftermath of the murder, Knox had accused her own boss, defied the police, even did gymnastic or yoga poses in the corridor of the police station while she and Sollecito were being questioned about Kercher’s murder.

In Italy, after the murder, the only person who wanted to go back to normal was Knox herself. All of Kercher’s friends left Perugia, and the villa itself emptied and closed. But Knox wanted to go back to school, wanted to continue living where she was, wanted to remain in Italy as if nothing happened.

Today, Knox continues to act in precisely that way – as if nothing has happened, and as if the notoriety surrounding her, is all about her.  It’s not. The only reason people care about Amanda Knox is because of Meredith Kercher, because of the trauma she suffered when she died.

I was looking down from the airplane, and it seemed like everything wasn’t real…

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Knox’s relationship with reality wasn’t that great in 2007, and today, has she really come into her own as a real person, living a real life, in the real world? Does she have a family? Does she have a job in the real world that doesn’t involve regurgitating her assumed Victimhood [a myth in itself]?

According to the latest version of herself, Knox has always wanted to be anonymous, that’s what Meredith and her weren’t fighting about, and why she wrote a book, and why she continues to trade on the legacy of the Kercher murder.

At the end of the day, that’s all she is, an afterthought, an echo, to someone else’s life.

There are still 2 minutes remaining of the Scarlet Letter video. I’ll post more analysis in a third blog post, so watch this space.

A Shakedown of The Scarlet Liar

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Due to a glitch with WordPress, the embed code for the original video [currently at almost 500 000 views] doesn’t work. This analysis should be viewed while watching the video, which you can do at this link.

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00:01 [Smiles]: I think a lot of people think I’m used to talking about this, and the fact that it’s still [gulps emotionally] bothers me…[looks at the ceiling for inspiration] is good because otherwise ummm…[looks blankly at the ground] I wouldn’t be able to convey it…honest-ly.

Shakedown: For her first question, Knox’s interviewer asks what she’s nervous about. It’s a good question. What does she have to be nervous about when it’s a show by Amanda Knox, starring Amanda Knox, about Amanda Knox?

Knox begins with what appears to be nervous giddiness, but she’s smiling.  There’s a nervous glee about it, delight, even. Knox kicks off by setting the record straight. She thinks that a lot of people think she’s used to talking about this…the anonymous this being the murder of her 21-year-old British housemate, Meredith Kercher. Kercher lived in the room right next door to Knox in a small villa in Perugia Italy.  They were both foreign students, both young women, both studying Italian, Kercher was further along the lines of her studies than Knox, had a better room with a better view, and had a proper boyfriend in Italy before Knox did.

But the bottomline was innocent or guilty, prime suspect or key witness, Knox was supposed to be the best witness to whatever happened to Kercher, not only because they lived together, but because the house had evacuated that holiday weekend, at the time of Kercher’s murder, meaning of the villa’s residents, only the two foreign girls were in town that weekend – Kercher and Knox. Since only Knox lived to tell the tale, and sell it for a record $4 million, and she’s been doing that ever since, it matters what her version of events it. The thing is, Knox has confused that with her mattering.

People, she says, think she’s used to talking about this…and the implication is, she isn’t. She looks suddenly, suitably emotional, after smiling openly just seconds earlier. She’s not used to talking about Meredith, you see…because she’s a sensitive person, and also a victim in the story. Her sensitivity speaks for itself. How could a a sweet, sensitive person murder someone else?  And if talking about it bothers her, how could she be capable of murder? [On the other hand, if talking about it, writing about it, making a living from telling the story of how she didn’t murder Kercher doesn’t bother her, then would murdering her really bother her?]

The fact is, Knox has been talking about the Kercher murder ever since it happened. In the days following the murder she sent a group email to everyone she could think of, she wrote a series of contradictory confessions, she made several long phone calls and was wire-tapped talking at length to folks she hadn’t spoken to in weeks, rationalizing her behaviour. She kept the Ialian police busy for hours, as they tried to untangle actionable information from the endless verbal diarrhea and bullshit.

While awaiting trial, Knox received a diary, which she filled up with self-indulgent versions of herself, including the Damascus moment when she suddenly remembered everything for the umpteenth time. So this newfound sensitivity to discussing this case eleven years later is bogus.

What’s a lot clearer, is the enormous amount of PR that was generated in this case, by the Knox camp, and in which Knox herself and her family were vital participants. Media shy people don’t hire powerful PR people to tell them how to dance in front of the cameras. People who wish to court and manipulate and profit from the attention, however, do exactly that.

How they dressed mattered, and repeating the same aphorisms over and over again, until they became post-truth, vital. The whole outside-court narrative was an important strategy, because in Italy, juries aren’t sequestrated from hearing the news. And so, if the public and the media narrative can be altered, so can the minds of juries.  It took a while, and a lot of dosh, but that’s what ultimately happened in this case. The influence campaign worked.

Far from Knox not talking about this, whenever she takes to the public stage, this is what she wants to talk about.

As for not being used to it, Knox studied drama in high-school, and her memoir is replete with examples, from Knox herself, who wished [craved actually] to be the center of attention. It annoyed Meredith and her two Italian flatmates, Laura and Filomena, it made Meredith’s British friends feel uncomfortable, and even her one-time lover, Sollecito, found her loud spontaneity at times, insufferable – including when it happened in his own home.

When Knox was in court, she was strong enough to stand up, and address her Italian judges in Italian, telling them her version of events in a slew of spontaneous declarations.

When Knox was in prison, her prisonmates didn’t get along with her either. Knox also accused the dude running the prison of sexual abuse, and the police interrogating her of being abusive. She accused her own boss of committing the murder she’d been implicated in.

All of this was true in Perugia in 2007, and it’s still true today.  With Amanda Knox, someone else is invariably to blame, and right now, it’s the media.

A final point on this first comment. Someone very close to me died when I was a teenager. The thought would never occur to me to say I’m glad her death still bothers me, because that allows me to be honest about my feelings about it. Why wouldn’t I be honest? Why wouldn’t I be able to say what I felt and still feel about it?

The next clip in the video jumps to a voiceover from a 2007 news bulletin.

No one could explain the exact sequence of events…

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00:51: I think people forget that I was having the time of my life in Italy. [Glances up] Wandering the city when the flea market came to town, eating roasted chestnuts…

Shakedown: Once again, Knox admits to thinking about what people think of her, a lot. In her first two sentences she mentions the same thing twice, what people are thinking. About her. She’s here to “set the record straight” on the same thing, for the umpteenth time. There are books films, four separate trials, and hundreds of articles, but Knox is here to change reality, change how people think about her. That’s what’s important.

And, so, here it is…

Knox was having the time of her life, but not “wandering the city” in search of “flea markets” and not “eating roasted chestnuts” either.  So what was she doing? Knox was from a very strict Jesuit-type school in Seattle, and in America, drinking laws meant she was too young at age 20, to drink alcohol. Not so in Perugia. Marijuana was “as common as pasta”, as she put it in her memoir, and she peppers her account of Kercher’s murder with smoking or rolling the odd joint, whether with Sollecito, or other boys.

Also, Knox worked at the time as a waitress in a bar. Her boss wanted to fire her because she flirted more than she worked. Nothing is wrong with any of these behaviors, the only thing that’s off is Knox not being honest about them. Isn’t she here to reclaim her story, and set the record straight? Then why not do that? Why this banter about flea markets and roasted chestnuts, in the context of an infamous and brutal murder? Why this rainbow filled fairy tale and not the truth?

So we see how immediately Knox can’t be truthful about who she was in Italy, or what she was doing. Was she going to flea markets and eating chestnuts [which anyone can theoretically do, anywhere in the world], or was she fucking as many Italians as she could, getting drunk, getting high, basically doing what expat students are known to do, and why they decide to leave home and study abroad in the first place?

Now, what’s the deal with Knox looking up and to her right during these interviews? She does this twice in the first minute of the Scarlet Letter.

This pattern of staring straight up to the ceiling while being interviewed on camera is nothing new for her. Knox did it most memorably when Chris Cuomo asked Knox if she’d murdered Kercher. Knox looked right up, this time to the left [into memories] then looked down and couldn’t hold back a huge grin.

Did you murder Meredith Kercher?

HUGE SMILE.

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Typically when people look up and to the right they are lying or tapping into their imagination. 

According to the Independent:

…when right-handed people look up to their right they are likely to be visualising a “constructed”, or imagined, event. In contrast when they look to their left they are likely to be visualising a what is known as a “remembered” memory. For this reason, when liars are constructing their own version of the truth, they tend to look to the right.

The same article refers to verbal hesitations [honest-ly] and excessive hand gestures, as symptoms of deceit.

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Notice the mismatch between smiley glee talking about how much it bothers her referring to the thing [Kercher’s murder] and the straight-faced, stern, hands handcuffed to her waist description of how I was having the time of my life in Italy.  Yes, someone got in the way of that time of your life, not so?

1:10: I was 20, Meredith [oh, you can say her name?] was 21 [slight wink or wince as she says it]…I was the one who barely spoke Italian, I was the one who was overly enthusiastic about everything and Meredith was like [blurts out laughing]…okay, let’s have pizza [throws her arms into air, laughing open-mouthed].

Shakedown: Again, is there any sense of authentic discomfort talking about Meredith? When she does she can’t stop laughing. And what she says about Meredith couldn’t be less meaningless. She’s 21 years old, Knox is 20, and Meredith suggests…they get pizza.

Notice Knox’s use of semantics [she’s a journalist, so it’s not an accidental choice of words either]:

I was the one…

I was the one…

This suggests Knox as the one who is the odd one out, the outsider, the one always in trouble, but also Knox the way she sees herself in her world.  I was the one…I am the one…this is about me…

Knox’s emotional range in 2 minutes is extraordinary: from tearful contemplation, to imaginative rumination, to laughter – in seconds. If this is annoying to watch, how unbearable was it to live with?

1:15: And it was great [suddenly serious again], and I really appreciated her…[can’t find the right word]…just being there…and being…[has to look up again for inspiration, I appreciated her for being…?] uh…[looks up to the right]…this warm welcoming presence [as if Knox has remembered what to say on the subject of Meredith, not remembering Meredith as a real human being that once lived.]

1:34: [Upbeat again] I was into this classical Italian music, and so, when this- um, I saw this flyer for a classical music concert, that was going to be at my university. I was like – Yes! I invited Meredith to come along with me. And…we went to the music concert, sat next to each other…And I just made eye contact with…this…Italian guy…who…was…a nerdy…Italian guy [grins].

Shakedown: And so that concludes information about Meredith. Now, back to me. I was interested in I got the flyer…I invited Meredith…Actually, Meredith was probably more interested in music, especially classical music than Knox, and since Meredith had invited Knox everywhere up to that point, [Knox invited Meredith to the bar where she worked, that was pretty much it] Meredith probably invited Knox to the concert, not the other way round.

It’s interesting how Knox feels she has to say that she and Kercher sat next to each other. Also noteworthy that the first thing Knox does at the concert isn’t listening to the music, or share anything with Kercher [Kercher’s already gone in her mind], she makes eye contact with an Italian dude. Fullscreen capture 20180506 210800

It’s likely both Sollecito and Kercher knew a bit about classical music. Sollicito because he was Italian, and the son of an affluent doctor, Kercher because her taste in music was more eclectic than Knox’s. Her favorite song at the time of her death was U2’s With or Without You. Kercher was also more interested in classical subjects like history, than Knox.

Besides this, we have Knox’s playlists from the time of the murder, and there’s just regular pop-music on it, the kind of Nirvana type stuff students listen to when they’re high.

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Knox’s MySpace page, in which she refers to herself as Foxy Knoxy, hardly even refers to music amongst her interests.

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In a real sense, Meredith was more accomplished in the musical genre than Knox. Meredith had been invited to appear in a well-known music video in Britain.

Also, I doubt Knox found a flyer at her university and gave it to Kercher. More likely it was the other way round. Knox’s job at the bar was to hand out flyers, something she admits in her memoir was a real drag. Also, Knox attended a language school, whereas Kercher was at the far more prestigious and much bigger University of Perugia. The latter had about 20 000 students, while Knox’s school had less than 2000 students enrolled. So it was far more likely that Kercher found a flyer about an Italian classical music show, than that Knox found one in the small confines of a language school where there were mostly foreign kids.

Knox goes all wishy washy and regurgitates the same crap about her blissful romance. What this has to do with Kercher or anything else is anyone’s guess, but it does reinforce this core sense that when it comes to Knox, everything must be about her, and her having what she wants, including how reality must appear when it comes to her story. She must look right, in a story where she’s implicated in someone’s murder. This may seem logical, but it’s not simply someone who wishes to simply clear their name, this is someone who wants to luxuriate in the attention, in the wash and rinse, of the media, speculating about her role in a murder. You’d imagine an innocent person wanting to dispassionately and soberly go through evidence and perhaps make helpful suggestions for the investigators or prosecutors. Instead, she gravitates endlessly into the fickle and fake details of her own narcissism. She tells a fairy tale about herself at the expense of a murdered young woman who she clearly doesn’t give a fuck about.  And that’s the point. It’s narcissism that takes no prisoners. It’s me-me-me at the expense of you.

This level of inadequacy and insecurity, so many years later, versus Meredith’s mature, socialized and more successful integration into the expat life reveals why there might be a motive for murder. Jealousy. Envy. It’s you at my expense and I’m going to reset the scales, and turn the tables.

Knox spends a lot of time describing her puppy-love with Sollecito. Going into detail about smiles and looks, and looking emotionally happy as she goes through it. Oh yeah, meanwhile Kercher left the concert to join her friends. Kercher’s seat is taken by Sollecito, and ten days later, Sollecito’s DNA would be left on Kercher’s bra strap, which was deposited under her bloodied corpse in her bedroom, under a duvet. There’s also some evidence pointing towards the possibility of Knox’s DNA found on the same bra hook.

2:32: I was in puppy love, and we did everything together.

Shakedown: Not quite. They didn’t spend Halloween together; in fact Knox didn’t seem to spend it with anyone. Not with Kercher or her friends, and not with her boyfriend, who was working on his thesis. During the ten days of their romance, Knox also spent at least one day completely apart from Sollecito. Other witnesses, like Filomena, reported that Knox was having second-thoughts about Sollecito, feeling guilty about cheating on her American boyfriend… As for Sollecito, in his memoir he describes being irritated and unable to sleep, because Knox tended to wake up early and play music.

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2:40: Knox is asked: At this time, did you have any inkling, that your life would never be the same? Knox looks down, her one hand wringing in the grasp of the other. Then she slowly says: No.

Shakedown: Still careful, still counting her words on the simplest of questions.

2:45: I felt like I was alone in the world…

Shakedown: Not quite. Knox lived with Sollecito for the next few days after Kercher’s murder. They went out to dinner with friends. When the police called saying they wanted to see Sollecito, he irritably told them when they were done with dinner. Knox and Sollicto were famously caught going lingerie shopping during this same period. While all of Kercher’s friends fled Perugia, Knox wanted to stay on, even completing her homework and handing it in. Handwritten, there wasn’t a single crossed-out word. Knox’s family and friends were calling her constantly, advising her to go to the embassy, while Knox said everything was fine.

I felt like I was alone in the world…

I’m sure that’s how Kercher felt while she was being murdered in her own bedroom.

3:17: I was in a jail cell [leaning forward, looking down], and I did not have access to international news…[blinks, then looks up, to her right]…what I didn’t understand, for a very long time…was that…the courtroom…and the media…were feeding each other. 

Then the interview reveals how the media unfairly stereoptyped Knox as a sexual deviant. The media made-up the fact that Knox was a sexualised nymphet.

3:55: They came up with this whole theory, with a sex game, that I orchestrated, that ended [Knox flicks her head angrily] in Meredith’s murder.

Shakedown: When Knox refers to they, she means the prosecutors. The prosecutors, following the evidence, felt that this wasn’t just a murder, but torture with a sexual dimension to it. Did the prosecutors also pluck this idea out of thin air? Like the staged-burglary, the staged sexual assault had a lot pointing towards it. If the staged-burglary had a broken window [but nothing stolen], the staged-sexual assault had Kercher naked post mortem [her clothes and bra were removed after her throat was cut], her body moved and her legs pulled open. Now, if you wanted police to think someone else killed your roommate, one way was to associate the crime with an intruder breaking in from the outside [as opposed to someone on the inside, committing murder]. Incidentally, the JonBenet Ramsey case, Oscar Pistorius case and the Madeleine McCann case all invoke the idea of windows ushering in phantom intruders who leave no traces of themselves.

The reason the cops suspected a sexual dimension was because the victim was found naked, her thighs propped on a pillow, and covered in blood. Her body was positioned in a way to suggest sexual violation. The only “problem”, if that is the right word, is that like the staged burglary, there was no evidence of an actual sexual attack. No sperm or body fluids. No bruising on the inner thighs. No severe trauma to Meredith’s genitals, no sign of rape.

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So the court was quite right to look into this aspect, and to investigate it. Obviously, the idea of a sexual attack on Kercher was intended to draw the narrative away from a female attacker, because how many murder-rapists of women are other women? Of course, only the most deceitful, despicable, misleading, manipulative and mendacious scum-of-the-earth criminal would do something like this, to cover their tracks. Only the world’s biggest shitbag would come up with something like this to cover up a crime. Most other criminals would remove the body from the scene and dump it somewhere else. Whoever did this was a brazen liar, someone capable of appearing on camera with the world watching, and lying [almost] straight-faced.

4:15: It didn’t…really…hit me…though…how big…and all-encompassing…the media was [shrugs] until I finally got out.

Shakedown: That’s strange that she didn’t know, because the court room was chock-full of reporters and cameramen each day of the trial. That’s unusual. Most trials don’t have a lot of reporters sitting in on them, let alone a full-house sitting in on everything. There were so many reporters covering Knox’s case, some had to sit in the metal jail cells reserved for especially dangerous criminals standing trial.

The other thing is Knox had a television in her prison cell, and her mother frequently visited her to tell her about the news, what the lawyers were advising, and what the media were saying.

Below is an excerpt from a prison intercept dated November 10th, 2007, just 9 days after Kercher’s murder. Knox is being visited by her mother Edda, in prison.

KNOX: Does he know what’s going on…?

EDDA: Well, the world…the world is making you out to be this…massive killer…monster.

KNOX: Are you serious?

EDDA: Oh yeah, oh yeah. And I have had…our house, everyone in the family, in the German family, have been assaulted by the media. It’s gone CRAZY!

Later in the same intercept from November 2007:

EDDA: …they are bombarded by the media, and they say: hold on! You know, the your friends, and Madison was … they were very warying and she …

KNOX: Why? They talked with Madison?

EDDA: Yes, and she said: “Amanda I know wouldn’t do such a thing”, your friends have said “Impossible 100%”.

KNOX: They talked with my friends?

EDDA: With everyone, Amanda.

KNOX: How did they find my friends?

EDDA:They [the media] traced my cell number, I don’t know how, and “NBC News Twenty Twenty “caught me as I was leaving today from the apartment, the secret apartment that I occupy in Perugia.

KNOX: What?

EDDA: Uh-uh … The lawyers have said something interesting, they said: Amanda found herself involved in something much bigger than her because…This is all a huge crap on an international level.

KNOX: I didn’t do anything…I can speak Italian.

EDDA: My God! What?

KNOX: I speak Italian.

EDDA: Do they know?

Later in the same excerpt, Knox’s mother conveys more speculation in the media, directly to Knox.

KNOX: My fingerprints on her face? I sure hope it isn’t true, because how can it be true? I didn’t do anything.

EDDA: Yes.

KNOX: It’s serious evidence, my prints on her face.

EDDA: I know.

KNOX: How can this be true?

EDDA: I just … I mean, there’s a lot of crap in the papers.

KNOX: This is in the papers; if they tell me that the police have evidence that there are…my fingerprints on your face, I don’t know what to say.

What the police found were at least fifteen bruises in the shape of fingers, all over Kercher’s face. The point of these bruises were to prevent Kercher from being heard while she was restrained, and to keep her mouth closed while her throat was slit. Investigators determined these bruises matched the size of a woman’s fingers; they were too narrow to be that of a man.

We’re around the halfway mark of the video clip; that’s a few minutes, enough of a sample to ask: how much of that looks like honesty?

If this blog garners enough attention and commentary, I’ll do a Part 2.

 

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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