Has Amanda Knox been railroaded by a hysterical Italian public?

This evening I saw an episode of NBC’s Dateline on the trial of Amanda Knox in the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in November 2007, in which she and her co-defendant and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have been found guilty. Of course it’s no more the Amanda Knox trial than it is the trial of Raffaele Sollecito, but almost the total focus was on Amanda, the pretty and strangely magnetic American female, unfairly turning Raffaele, the hangdog looking young Italian, into an afterthought. I have heard that the American media have been on Knox’s side from the start, and this show was consistent with that. It gave a lot of interesting information, and it was also worth seeing to get a sense of the personalities involved. In the end the program came down strongly on the side of Amanda’s (and Raffaele’s) innocence.

The show had an effect on me. The extreme police interrogation to which Amanda was subjected over I forget how many hours leading up to her false confession which she subsequently withdrew sounds like a kind of torture and psychological manipulation that would never be allowed in America. Then there is the abundance of Rudy Guede’s DNA in the murder room and on Kercher’s body and the absence of any forensic evidence showing Amanda’s and Raffaele’s presence in the murder room. There’s the fact that the knife in Raffaele’s house with Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA could not be, according to her defenders, the murder weapons (I forget why). And there are innocent explanations for things that have made Amanda look guilty in people’s eyes, such as the famous kiss the day after the murder, such as her cartwheels in the police station while she was awaiting interrogation.

At the same time, the Dateline program is suspect because it never presented the prosecutors’ actual case, their narrative of what happened. The whole thing seems inconceivable. What would bring these two college kids to get involved with the low level black street thug Rudy Guede and assist him in raping and killing Amanda? Are we to believe that they held Amanda down while Guede was anally raping her? Why? I presume that the prosecutors explain this in their summing of their case to the jury. But Dateline didn’t give it. Also, I’ve heard the prosecution produced a 20 minute animation showing their account of what happened.

Amanda had terrible advice during the trial, coming to court dressed in coquettish outfits and smiling seductively. I think there’s something not right about her, some quality of depravity. I think she’s an amoral individual. But that doesn’t mean she murdered Meredith Kercher.

Also, it’s clear that Italian public opinion decided from the outset that Amanda is a bad person and therefore must be guilty. It reminds me of the notorious mass child abuse cases in America in the 1980s and ’90s, the Kelly Michaels case and another in which an entire family (I forget their name) was charged, in which an entire community and its district attorneys would whip itself into a hysteria or mesmerism in which they believed totally in defendants’ guilt which wasn’t really so. Also in those cases wrongful interrogation techniques were used, such as pushing children to give certain answers, just as Amanda was pushed into a confession that she heard her black boss murder Amanda.

I don’t know what the truth is, and maybe tomorrow I will hear more that will change my mind again. However, before this evening I was leaning toward believing that Amanda Knox was guilty, and now I’m leaning toward believing that she is innocent and that a great injustice has been done.

- end of initial entry -

John Hagan writes:

I think Knox is guilty. Her footprints with the girl’s blood on them were found with luminol near the staged break-in where they broke the window from the inside, and at another spot in the home. Her boyfriend’s footprints were also found. Her fingerprints were not found in her own home…. what does that tell us ? That she cleaned up everything ! She was too smart by half in not leaving any normal trace of her living there.

I suspect if the trial were held in the USA she would have got off. It’s a troubling case, but until I see more evidence of her innocence I believe that she was involved with the murder in some manner.

LA replies:

Very interesting. But how could she have cleaned up all trace of herself from the murder room, while leaving vast traces of Guede? It obviously wouldn’t have been possible to clean up just her own biological traces, while not cleaning up his as well.

John Hagan replies:

The place was cleaned up; how she expunged any trace of her own DNA is difficult to figure out. Her boyfriend’s DNA was on the dead girl’s bra.

LA replies:

Amanda’s defenders say that Raffaele’s DNA on the bra is not definite at all.

John Hagan replies:
Maria from Milan, page 2 post number 45 of this NYT thread following an article by Timothy Egan, has all of the facts not yet reported about the murder. It is devastating to Knox & her boyfriend.

Also, here’s a site with extensive material on the Knox trial.

Here’s the comment by Maria from Milan:

From True Justice For Meredith Kercher—http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php

The forensic evidence is enough to convict both Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on:

1. On the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts—Dr. Patrizia Stenoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli—categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.

2. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the ledge of the basin.

3. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the bidet.

4. Mixed with Meredith blood on a box of Q Tip cotton swabs.

5. Mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

6. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the floor of Filomena’s room.

7. On Meredith’s bra according to Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci.

Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of Meredith’s house. One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

A woman’s bloody shoeprint which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body

The significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint in Meredith’s room is considerable. By itself it debunks the myth that some had propagated for a while, that Rudy Guede acted alone. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, and Dr. Stefanoni has excluded the possibility of any contamination.

Alberto Intini, the head of the Italian police forensic science unit, pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it does not exist:

“It is possible in the abstract that there could have been contamination, but until this is proved, it does not exist.”

Please note that the bra clasp wasn’t kicked around the room for 46 days. Your comments were very misleading.

The bra clasp was found under the pillow on 2 November 2007, during the first search, and collected on 18 December when the second search was carried out by a different team.

During this entire time, the clasp was lying on the floor of what has been testified to have been a completely sealed crime scene. So when and how could any contamination occur?

Excluding a spontaneous migration of Sollecito’s DNA on the clasp from some unidentified location in the murder room or in the cottage, it could have only taken place during either the first or the second handling of the sample, so the fact that the clasp was recovered weeks later really bears no relevance.

Furthermore, where could any abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA have come from, if besides that on the bra clasp, the DNA corresponding to his genetic profile was only found on a cigarette butt in the kitchen?

Raffaele Sollecito’s bloody footprint on the blue bathmat will be important evidence.

Two independent imprint experts categorically excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat could belong to Rudy Guede.

Lorenzo Rinaldi stated:

“”You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”

The other imprint expert print expert testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

You won’t find a better example of witnesses who aren’t reliable than Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

They have both given multiple conflicting alibis and lied repeatedly.

Their deliberate and repeated lies were exposed by telephone and computer records, and by CCTV footage.

One question Judge Massei and Judge Cristiana and the six members of the jury will now be asking themselves is: if Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent and had nothing to hide, why did they lie so deliberately and repeatedly?

The answer really isn’t very difficult to work out.

If you are still not sure what the answer is, this sentence from Amanda Knox’s handwritten note on 6 November 2007 should help you:

“Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.”

Recommend Recommended by 138 Readers

Here is kagni in Illinois, at the bottom of page two:

This article, amazingly, omits that Amanda Knox initially got in trouble by stating that she saw her (Black) boss Patrick Lumumba kill her roommate (after she claimed not to be in her apartment and not to know anything). Lumumba was arrested and after a while it was clear that Knox lied, he was innocent and was released. Knox may be innocent of the murder but she is not believable.

The article also omits that Knox originally talked to the police as a witness, not a suspect, thus it was not required that she had an attorney present at that time.

Here is James Johnston of Anchorage, on page three:

Amanda Knox is going to spend most of the rest of her life in an Italian prison on a charge that would have been defeated—or dealt out on some minor version of manslaughter—in any US or British court.

She had the bad luck of catching a politician on the make and a prosecutorial system that has (1) no checks on such people, and (2) has no presumption of innocence, but rather, a system that rewards the judges/prosecutors (who are essentially indistinguishable—look it up) who can (and always do) convict the politically weak. In other words, if you are charged with a crime in Italy—too bad, unless you are connected. Amanda Knox is not, and so will do thirty years the hard way. If she (or her parents) were connected (i.e., with the Mafia) she’d be released before Christmas

I love northwestern Europe—and Switzerland, too—but as a lawyer with a bit of cultural knowledge I know that if I ever fell into the clutches of the police there the ONLY thing I could do is keep quiet—somehow—and keep calling for the US counsel Otherwise—too bad.

Here is comment from “Portland Doc” in Portland Oregon:

Mr Egan: It’s funny how your opinions on the Amanda Knox trial seem to perfectly mirror the talking points of her PR team and the so-called Friends of Amanda (FOA), as they attempt to discredit the entire Italian justice system. Rogue prosecutors, Satanic theories, incompetent evidence technicians, corrupt judges, violent police officers, the FOA will stop at nothing in their attempt to portray this trial as a miscarriage of justice. The Times should be ashamed to publish journalism so thoroughly and willfully divorced from the facts of the case.

If Ms. Knox is convicted—as I suspect she will be—she will have no one to blame but herself. Please explain to me why an innocent person would tell lie after lie regarding her whereabouts on the night of the murder? Why would she knowingly implicate an innocent man (Mr Lumumba) as the murderer? If Mr Guede acted alone, do you really believe he would have cleaned the crime scene with bleach, staged a preposterous break-in (through a second floor window down a sheer wall), and yet left his own bloody hand prints and DNA untouched? Have you viewed the DNA pattern of the blood on the blade of the knife containing Amanda’s DNA on the handle (which was hidden in Raffaele’s flat) and noticed how perfectly it matches Meredith’s own DNA profile? Why did Raffaele say that Meredith’s blood came to be on his knife when he accidentally pricked her while they were cooking together?

Did an abundant amount of Raffaele’s DNA magically jump onto and adhere to Meredith’s bra clasp? If so, what was the source? Why did Amanda tell the police and later voluntarily write in a letter that she had been present in the flat at the time of the murder and heard Meredith’s screams? Why did Amanda and Raffaele turn off their cell phones during the night of the murder? Why did Amanda lie when she said she called Meredith’s phones and let them ring and ring, when her cell phone records show calls of just a few seconds? When the police unexpectedly came to the flat to investigate the finding of Meredith’s phones in a far away garden, why did Amanda say that she and Raffaele had already called the police, when they had not? Why, when the police arrived, was Amanda standing in the entrance to the flat with a mop and bucket? Why, when Amanda saw bloody footprints in her bathroom did she shower without investigating their cause or calling either Raffaele or the police?

Why was the only source of light from Amanda’s bedroom (a desk lamp) found on the floor of Meredith’s locked room? If Raffaele really spent the evening of the murder working on his computer, why did computer experts find that the computer had not been used during that time? If the motive of Rudy’s alleged break-in was to steal things, why wasn’t anything taken? Why was there glass from the broken window found ON TOP of clothes that were scattered on the floor of Filomena’s room? Why were there mixtures of Meredith’s blood and Amanda’s DNA on the bidet, sink, and a Q-tip box? Why did the spraying of Luminol in the hallway of the flat uncover foot prints compatible with the feet of both Raffaele and Amanda?

Mr Egan, it appears you are either a very lazy journalist who is horribly uninformed about this trial, or you are a shill for the FOA, enlisted to spread their lies in the Newspaper of Record. I suggest you take the next week to fill in the large gaps in your knowledge by reading the posts on either of these reputable sites:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php or


You can then post a lengthy retraction and a heartfelt apology to the family of Meredith Kercher who only seek justice for the outrageous murder of their beloved daughter.

This thread runs the gamut of fiercely divided opinion on the case. As someone who has not followed the case, I am impressed by the passion on both sides and the absolute conviction with which both sides speak. The people on both sides of this debate are not relativists! They believe in truth.

On the first page, here is comment No. 2 by Waterbury in Redmond, Washington:

The insanity of this case has seems to have no bounds. Two innocent young people, absolutely ordinary college kids, have been caught in a wringer of twisted prosecutors, sensationalism seeking reporters, mind reading detectives, and internet trolls-without-lives. The march of lies and leaks has gone on and on. It is the sternest test for truth that I have ever seen. Can the truth finally win out over this cascading frenzy of distortions? After two years in prison for a crime that she clearly did not commit, awash in a sea of horrific lies about her, Amanda Knox has remained kind, caring, and compassionate. One can only hope that there are human beings with hearts on the jury, to put an end to this atrocity.

December 5

Stephen T. writes:

Did you see Amanda Knox was found guilty of murder in Italy and sentenced to 26 years? Erased suddenly from her face is that hipster cool smirk she’s been wearing as she anticipated her celebrity after acquittal. She won’t like doing time in an Italian prison, believe me. The Manson girls got better accommodations than she will.

Anna writes:

My two cents.

When I first read about the crime, I felt sad and upset that it had happened. Within a few days it became confused. Too much bizarre interaction between so-called friends. The actions of Amanda Knox after the event, the murder of a friend, did not show sadness or being upset. Well, maybe I don’t know how this crowd works, but it didn’t sound like something I can understand.

I hadn’t followed it since.

Today the verdict is in. You say she had terrible advice, and Italian opinion was against her. You also say Dateline was on the side of her innocence. I don’t know what the evidence was at the trial.

I’m wondering what would be the verdict, in the U.S. or Italy or in the court of morality (please understand I don’t know the details of the case), if she was simply in another room, knowing something terrible was happening.

Brian M. writes:

You wrote: “in which an entire community and its district attorneys would whip itself into a hysteria or mesmerism in which they believed totally in defendants’ guilt which wasn’t really so. Also in those cases wrongful interrogation techniques were used, such as pushing children to give certain answers”

The case you are referring to is the Gerald Amirault case that happened in Massachusetts. When a lot of evidence came out proving his evidence years later, the new attorney general fought his release. This attorney general is Martha Coakley who will most likely be the next Senator from Massachusetts to replace Ted Kennedy.

LA replies:

How terrible. What was done to the Amiraults was one of the most evil things ever done in this country.

Robert G. writes:

Amanda Knox was not railroaded and anybody who examines all publicly available information could not logically conclude that she played no part in the murder. The reason the American media promote this theme is because they are (1) too lazy to dig into all the details of the case and ask the questions that should be asked and (2) too busy reading the talking points from the public relations firm Amanda’s family hired. Here are some questions not typically seen in the American media:

Is it true that Amanda and Raffaele were seen in a square within observing distance of the house in which Meredith was killed when both claim they were in Raffaele’s house smoking pot and watching a movie?

Is it true that Amanda was seen in a Perugia store early the morning after the murder buying cleaning supplies?

Is it true that Amanda and Raffaele were found by the police at approximately noon standing next to a bucket and mop outside of Amanda’s rented house?

Is it true that Filomena, Meredith and Amanda’s roommate found a warm load of Meredith’s clothes in the washing machine that had just been washed? If Meredith had been murdered 12+ hours earlier, who washed Meredith’s clothes for her? Why?

Why was glass on top of the clothes strewn about the floor in the roommate’s room where the “break-in” occurred? Why were valuables left untouched in that room?

Why had the bloody footprints in the hallway between the murder scene (behind a locked-from-the-inside bedroom door) and the bathroom rug been cleaned up? Who cleaned them up?

Why had the only electric light in Amanda’s room been moved to Meredith’s room?

Why was Meredith’s bra cut (with a knife) off her body hours after she died?

Why was Meredith’s body moved from the location where she died and repositioned in her bedroom?

Why was only one of Amanda’s fingerprints found in her own home (on a glass in the Kitchen)?

If Guede was seen dancing at a disco early the morning after the murder, then is it likely he was cleaning up the murder scene?

Amanda claimed she didn’t check on Meredith the morning after the murder because Meredith’s door was locked and that she always kept her door locked. Why did the roommate, Filomena, immediately, and in front of the police, directly contradict this assertion?

Speaking of roommates, Amanda and Meredith had two other roommates. Why were neither of them railroaded? Or even implicated?

Why has Amanda’s story changed, to varying degrees, five or six times (usually when Raffaele’s or Guede’s story changed) over the past two years? Do every one of these changes coincide with “police pressure?”

Notice how none of these questions rely upon “contaminated” DNA evidence?

The final question is: If you commit or assist in a murder but are able to clean up much of the forensic evidence, does that mean you are innocent? Does that mean you are being picked on for being an American?

La replies:

My question is, what is the scenario, the narrative, that puts Amanda and Raffaele together with Guido as the sexual assaulters and killers of Meredith? The case against Amanda and Raffaele, as you and others present it, is lots of separate pieces; but so far I haven’t seen a whole that joins those pieces together in a believaable fashion.

Robert G. writes:

The scenario or narrative, when there isn’t eye witness testimony or video surveillance evidence, will always be speculative when the accused all deny committing the act. The prosecutor has speculated that it was some sort of sex game gone wrong. That has always seemed a stretch to me and part of an active imagination. But then, he’s seen all the pictures of the body and the autopsy report. I have been able to find only one photo and a short video of the crime scene. These are of no help in understanding the crime.

The murder happened the day after Halloween, 2007. Meredith attended two or three Halloween parties dressed as a vampire. She supposedly had many pin prick cuts around her neck that wouldn’t have been fatal. This has always been an interesting detail. To me, this points to some sort of threat to force compliance with something or possibly some sort of very scary joke. My personal theory is that the murder could have been a scary (Halloween-inspired?) prank gone terribly wrong.

Another interesting detail that I read suggested that at least some of the forensic investigators believed that the sexual assault had occurred after Meredith was killed, the implication being that the sexual assault, like the burglary, was also staged to throw off investigators. This seems to fit in with cutting the bra off hours after the murder, which has been established with certainty. If assault occurred after murder, then malice or revenge would have been the scenario.

Here is a time line that relies on both established facts (such as phone company records), witness testimony and speculation:

I doubt we’ll ever know exactly what happened that night because it isn’t in the best interest of those who know to tell us. I infer that all three had to have significant roles or it would have been beneficial for one of them to turn on the others in exchange for leniency from the court.

LA replies:

“I doubt we’ll ever know exactly what happened that night because it isn’t in the best interest of those who know to tell us.”

As a regular viewer of Forensic Files, I can tell you that in many murder cases, prosecutors are able to piece together a complete scenario of what happened that accounts for all the evidence without any cooperation from the suspect. Not that that’s always possible.

Robert G. writes:

I have never watched Forensic Files. Do any of the episodes involve cases where a significant effort went into crime scene cleanup?

Wouldn’t this make a reconstruction of the scenario more difficult?

LA replies:

Sure. There was an episode I saw recently, can’t remember everything about it, but the police began to suspect that the suspect had had the victim in his car. The car was clean. The police spent three days going over the car, and found one hair (or something) inside the seatbelt lock, or in some obscure object under the seat, I forget, but it had identifiable DNA, and that one hair (or whatever) by establishing the victim’s presence in the car, which the suspect had denied, was enough to establish a plausible scenario of what had happened and to convict. The suspect had cleaned the car very thoroughly, but not enough.

Emily B writes:

I’ve been following some the Amanda Knox trial and tend strongly towards the side that she is guilty.

Anyway, my point about Dateline. I am a huge crime buff and had I been born a man, I would have gone into law enforcement as a detective, so, whenever I watch one of these true crime shows, I always would go to the internet to learn more about the subject of the show that just ended. The other shows were fine (60 Minutes, 48 Hours, etc), but Dateline … wow. They like to pick a side (usually the defendant’s) and then lie by omission, huge omissions. I became so disgusted because there is no semblance of being fair and trying to get the truth; it’s almost pure fantasy what they do. It’s evil when they do this for, among many reasons, we’re dealing with real people and families. I can’t imagine having a relative murdered, get justice, and then have some journalists come along and try to cast doubt on that and turn the murderer into a victim to be pitied. I also discovered Dateline did this with cases that weren’t even controversial! No huge outcries, just a family and their lawyer saying their loved one is innocent. This struck me as truly bizarre. It’s been a couple of years since I saw my last episode and don’t know what it’s like now, but this comment of yours is so typical of what I remember, the staggering omissions: ” … Why? I presume that the prosecutors explain this in their summing of their case to the jury. But Dateline didn’t give it. Also, I’ve heard the prosecution produced a 20 minute animation showing their account of what happened.”

One other thing. I’m as perplexed as you are at what the complete scenario is. The only thing I’ve seemed to find, and much media seems strangely incurious about, is that Amanda Knox is alleged to have hated the victim because she felt the victim judged her to be a druggie slut who brought over many strange men. I can’t even tell you the evidence that points to this theory.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 05, 2009 01:11 AM | Send

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