British sewer press gets in its last licks at Amanda

James P. writes:

Even as they report her acquittal, the Telegraph uses a picture that makes her look evil and guilty.

Here’s the story James sent:

Amanda Knox cleared of Meredith Kercher murder: she-devil, dominatrix, Venus in furs?

Rarely can a defendant have been subjected to such an unbridled courtroom character assassination as Amanda Knox, the American student cleared dramatically of the murder of fellow student Meredith Kercher.

On Monday night an appeal court jury decided that the portrayal of ‘Foxy
Knoxy’ as a manipulative, malevolent killer was nothing more than a myth.

It’s the British press disgracing itself again. Even the relatively respectable, relatively “conservative” Telegraph is in the sewer on this one. Having spent four years literally demonizing Amanda, they could not let go of it even when she was acquitted. So they blaze a headline, “She-devil?”, as though, even now, AFTER the question has been decided, it was still to be decided. And they report the “unbridled character assassination” of Amanda, even as they participate in it.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

One of the strange aspects of the acquittal of Knox and Sollecito is the implacable attitude of Meredith Kercher’s family, who seem unwilling to settle for one convicted murderer.

From the Mirror:

The stunned family of Meredith Kercher last night told of their “shock” and “devastation” after Amanda Knox was sensationally released from prison after an appeal court overturned her murder conviction.

Meredith’s heartbroken mum Arline, sister Stephanie and brother John, shook their heads in disbelief and hugged each other for comfort inside the court in Perugia, Italy.

And Meredith’s dad, John, said: “How could they ignore the evidence? There were 47 wounds on Meredith and two knives used. One person couldn’t possibly have done that.

John Kercher is speaking out of ignorance of the dynamics of knife assaults. In a double murder that is believed to have occurred within the space of four minutes, OJ Simpson stabbed Ron Goldman 33 times, in addition to stabbing Nicole multiple times (exact number not given in autopsy report).

Do the Kerchers have an emotional need to have white culprits in addition to the African? They are a mixed race family. The mother is a dark-skinned Indian.

LA replies:

Plus the man who did unquestionably kill Meredith is black, and, as a black, given the presence of two white suspects, he doesn’t count, because under the liberal “script,” whites are moral agents capable of good or evil, but blacks are not. So, from the Kercher’s point of view, it’s as though no one had been convicted of murdering Meredith. That’s why they’re so devastated. The fact that Meredith’s killer is sitting right now in a prison cell doesn’t register with them, because he’s black.

Doug R. writes:

In “British sewer press gets in its last licks at Amanda” Paul K. writes, “OJ Simpson stabbed Ron Goldman 33 times.” That is an unproven charge with no legal basis. Simpson was acquitted. I am surprised that VFR would print such an unsubstantiated assertion with no legal evidence. VFR has a higher standard than to indulge such tabloid drivel.

LA replies:

I hang my head in shame.

Paul K. writes:

I agree with you. The actual murderer, Rudy Guede, is treated as irrelevant, of no interest. His name is not even mentioned in the Mirror article I linked, nor in many others. As he looks out at us from his mugshot, his blank, moronic stare is familiar to any follower of crime news in our newspapers. Yet he is truly the “Invisible Man.” As Ralph Ellison’s book begins, “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me…. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.”

LA replies:

Invisible Man is such an excellent novel, as anyone can see from that fantastic opening. I read it in college and wrote about it. I don’t know if it would still hold up today, but I think it would.

George Y. writes:

Interesting how you refer to this girl by the familiar “Amanda” rather than the more formal “Amanda Knox,” as if there was something to appreciate about her. You write “Obama” rather than “Barack” to show your distance from and disapproval of the President but use the more endearing “Amanda.” Are you not aware that she has a sordid history of sexual immorality (at least five known males documented in her diaries) and substantial drug intake (hashish)? She is the prime example of liberal womanhood, so what is the cause of celebration here? A legal victory for an American? Are the angels in heaven rejoicing that this sinner has come home?

LA replies:

First, I and many others generally refer to females by their first name. The whole world calls Hillary Clinton “Hillary,” not “Clinton.” The whole world calls Michelle Obama “Michelle,” not “Obama.” I refer to the esteemed Laura Wood as “Laura,” not “Mrs. Wood” (with her approval). It’s natural to refer to women by their first name because women are more personal than men, and surnames are more impersonal.

Second, Amanda and Raffaele were very young when this happened—she was 20 and I think he was 22 or 23. It’s normal to refer to young people by their first names.

Third, I do frequently refer to them as “Knox and Sollecito” as well as “Amanda and Raffaele.”

Is my answer satisfactory?

Margaret C. writes:

There are two aspects to the case of Amanda Knox—the legal case and the moral context. People conflate the two and this obscures the question of the criminal act. Her sluttish character did not give her the benefit of the doubt regarding the first court case. Her sexual promiscuity and drug taking as revealed in her diaries colored her in the public eye.

If one detaches her whorish ways (years of this going back to days in Seattle) from the case, then indeed there is no case against her. The problem in people’s minds is one doesn’t really care to defend such a person.

LA replies:

I do not base my judgment of the case on her sexual behavior. I base it on the facts of the case as I understand them.

You are absolutely right that the image of her sluttishness colored opinion against her. I remember my very first thoughts about the case were colored by her looks, by something vampish and sexually charged about her. But you are going too far when you say that “one doesn’t really care to defend such a person.” That’s just wrong. The case is not about her sex life. The case is about a charge of murder.

Julian C. writes:

“OJ Simpson stabbed Ron Goldman 33 times.” That is an unproven charge with no legal basis.”

The mostly black jury in the criminal trial, absurdly persuaded by Johnny Cochran that the police had framed Simpson, found Simpson not guilty, but a civil jury found him liable for the wrongful death of Goldman.

Literary Critic writes:

Ralph Ellison writes, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me…. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.”

And? So? What are we supposed to see? Another black whiner complaining about his role and identity in society? This is genius? Am I obliged to see this guy? Why? Because he says so? If he wants me to see him, why doesn’t he make something of himself? People “refuse” to see him? There is some moral obligation for us to see this guy? And if we don’t, there is something faulty with our perceptual apparatus? Really one gets tired of getting a black eye from the black “I” … He can stay invisible (and I wish they did).

LA replies:

Invisible Man is not a racial victimological tract. It is an imaginative work of literature. And it’s not just about blackness. It fits in with the theme of modern, urban man lacking an identity and seeking one through extraordinary experiences. As I remember, it has a fantasmagorical aspect, something like Hesse’s Steppenwolf.

Also, it was written around 1950, when the idea of blacks being “invisible” had some basis in reality. That doesn’t mean that we had to go along with the civil rights revolution, which, as I have said many times, set this country on the path to doom if we don’t realize the mistake we have made and reverse course.

Norm M. writes:

LA writes, “You are absolutely right that the image of her sluttishness colored opinion against her.” It is not the image but the reality of her sluttishness. Reading her diaries and observations of her acquaintances, it is not the pictures of her but the actuality of her behavior. Read her diaries to get some insight into her character. As a father of two daughters, no I wouldn’t be proud of someone like this. Far from it. How many males by the age of 20 does it take?

LA replies:

Tell me why this is relevant to the case.

Also, are you not aware that extreme promiscuity is common today among college students, not unique to Amanda Knox? Read Tom Wolfe’s “I am Charlotte Simmons.” And it’s common in Italy.

It’s amazing. We live in a sexually liberated Western society, where sexual promiscuity is common, ubiquitous, and taken for granted, and then we suddenly believe that a girl must be guilty of murder, or at least that she deserves no sympathy as a murder defendant, because she is promiscuous. This is a classic example of projection and scapegoating, of society—or at least the society of Italy and the society of Britain—projecting all its sins upon one individual (“Foxy Knoxy,” the “She-devil”) who conveniently seems to embody those sins, and so falsely imagining itself innocent of those very sins.

David B. writes:

I just saw a report about the Amanda Knox verdict on ABC Nightline. The actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was not mentioned a single time. As you and others have said, it is interesting that the victim’s family has far more animus against Amanda than against the thug who sexually assaulted and murdered Meredith Kercher.

LA replies:’

And guess what—that great exposer of liberals, Ann Coulter, is completely clueless to this classically liberal aspect of the case, because of her unthinking and prejudiced belief in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and because of her amazingly wrong-headed notion that the pair are the equivalent of such leftist icons as Troy Davis, Mumia, and Tawana Brawley, and therefore that only leftist troublemakers believe in Amanda and Raffaele’s innocence. Talk about a “script” preventing a person from seeing what’s in front of her face.

October 4

David B. replies:

Neither the liberal commentators (who don’t want to) nor Ann Coulter point out that the crime was a very common one. A woman is raped and murdered while alone in her apartment by a black street thug. It could just as easily been Amanda.

Since this type of case usually receives little media attention, a corrupt prosecutor makes up a scenario that gives him not one, but two Great White Defendants.

This goes over the head of the clueless Ann Coulter.

LA replies:

She says in her September 7 column on the Knox and Sollecito case (which I’m discussing in a concurrent entry):

“From Tawana Brawley, Mumia and the Central Park rapists, to the Duke lacrosse players and Karl Rove [?], liberals are always on the wrong side of a criminal case.”

Meaning that Knox and Sollecito (supposedly supported only by the left) are the equivalent of Crystal Mangum, the black stripper (supported by the left), who falsely accused the Duke Lacrosse players of rape. Coulter is so amazingly out of it she doesn’t realize that in reality Knox and Sollecito are the equivalent of the falsely accused Duke Lacrosse players.

By the way, I assume that that odd reference to Karl Rove is one of the periodic jokes with which Coulter seeds her writings. She is so mechanized by now, so locked into her “Ann Coulter” trademark gestures, that she keeps mechanically making jokes in the midst of serious discussions, regardless of how unfunny and inappropriate the jokes are. Whether she’s giving a speech or being interviewed on a TV talk show or writing a column, Coulter appears to be going through her life on automatic; and her column on the Knox and Sollecito trial, with its long-since discredited statements on the case, is a prime example of that.

Dean Ericson writes:

It’s an interesting case (as Sherlock Holmes might say). Now, viewed from the fact of their innocence, it’s a Hitchcockian case of horribly mistaken identity. Where some average Joe just going about his business suddenly finds himself accused of a monstrous crime, and instead of the mistake being quickly discovered and corrected it just keeps getting worse, with the most terrible lies and misunderstandings and suspicions being presented with passionate conviction as the truth. A real, waking nightmare. Amanda’s initial reaction to Meredith’s murder, which struck people as cold and inappropriate and led them to think she was an amoral monster, can now be understood as the reaction of a naive and inexperienced girl, somewhat shallow, who simply had no idea of the peril she was in, could not imagine the full horror about to descend. When you go back over the clues with an understanding of their innocence it’s sobering to see how evidence can be misunderstood and then twisted to support a malicious agenda.

As for Amanda’s sexual immorality, you are right to say it’s nothing liberal society hasn’t been promoting full-bore for 50 years and that to scapegoat her for that reveals liberal society’s guilty conscience.

Here’s my own reason for thinking her innocent all along: If you have three criminals who participate in a wicked crime and are caught, eventually one or more of them will break down and rat-out the others in hopes of leniency. And when the canary sings he reveals details of the crime that only someone who was there could know. But in this case Amanda and Ralph never ratted, and neither one is the sort of hardened character who could refrain from doing so if they had actually done the crime. Rudy did try to rat out A & R but his story had nothing to do with the prosecution’s fable of a sex-crazed troika. Guede’s confession looks far more like the sort of facile lies emitted as naturally as exhalation by African liars caught red-handed. It is encouraging to see the truth win out in a world mad for lies and fantastic nonsense.

Carter W. writes:

Amanda and Raffaele—are they the Romeo and Juliette of Perugia? Sort of like the OJ Simpson case—no proof to convict, DNA evidence tarnished, white folk jumping with glee like black folk did for the Juice. Slutty women involved like Amanda and Nicole. Don’t judge the moral context, the legal one is sufficient. Wow, so similar …

LA replies:

What is the moral context that we should be judging but are not? That Amanda was sleeping with Rafaelle, and had had several previous boyfriends? What is the significance of that? What does it have to do with the case? Are you suggesting that because Amanda had had several boyfriends she should be found guilty of murder? Which would mean that you suggesting that all female college students who have had several boyfriends should be found guilty of murder. As weird as it sounds, that seems to be your implied logic, to the extent I can find any in your e-mail.

In Carter W.’s e-mail and other e-mails which I haven’t posted yet, I see further evidence of what I spoke of earlier in this thread: that there is a mass witch-hunting projection phenomenon going on here. Amanda is sexual, Amanda is promiscuous, therefore we must hate her and consider her guilty of murder. Such hatred of the “sexual witch” might be at least understandable in past ages when sexuality was repressed and restrained and sometimes came out in mad and destructive ways. But to see this witch hunting mentality suddenly emerge today—in our wildly sexually liberated society, in which millions of young women are sexually promiscuous and this is taken for granted—is incredible.

Interested Party writes:

Wow, what a vigorous defense of Amanda Knox by VFR! Amazing who one comes out to support and justify. A “monstrous injustice” would have been done? No legal evidence to convict her, yet OJ was cleared on the same basis—no legal evidence and yet you howled about that one. Hypocritical?

A “monstrous injustice”—interesting using a moral claim to buttress a legal standard but you eschew judging the girl morally. When is morality to your rhetorical advantage?

VFR chooses its cause celebre the way Norman Mailer supported Jack Abbott …

LA writes:

The reader’s comment typifies the sheer irrationality of the “Knox and Sollecito are guilty” party. The truth is that Simpson was clearly guilty but was let off and blacks danced in the street, and I thought that was terrible. The truth is that Knox is innocent and was railroaded by the prosecutors and I thought that was terrible and argued for her innocence. Yet somehow my correct positions on those two cases makes me hypocritical.

The reader says that I am also hypocritical for talking about morality but not morally judging Knox. As I’ve said over and over, what does Knox’s morality have to do with whether or not she is guilty of murder? I haven’t been discussing her morality because it’s totally irrelevant to the murder case. But the reader does bring up her morality, he does want her condemned for her immorality even as he wants her convicted of murder. It’s in his mind (and many other people’s minds) that Knox’s sexual immorality and her supposed guilt of murder are intertwined. And this is precisely the witch hunting mentality I’ve been talking about: “Amanda is sexually promiscuous, so we hate her and want her punished for murder.” My insistence that people base their judgment of her guilt or innocence on the facts of the case, and not on their negative judgment of her as a person, makes me indifferent to morality. Because, as the reader sees it, if I truly believed in morality and was not a hypocrite who exploits moral issues for my own selfish and unprincipled reasons, I would find Amanda guilty of murder.

“From Perugia” writes:

“Because he’s not the Caucasian sexual witch who satisfies some people’s need to hate and punish a sexually promiscuous young woman.”

Woohoo, people who point out the moral context to this crime and woman “hate” and “want to punish” her? Only a middle-aged male, ranting for a year about black male killers of white women, would want to whitewash his dear Amanda. A “sexually promiscuous young woman”—how clinical of you. How about a freakin whore, Larry? As if a “sexually promiscuous young woman” was an acceptable sociological category.

LA replies:

What does her being a “whore” have to do with the question of her guilt or innocence in the murder case? And how can there be a “moral context” of the crime, given that she didn’t commit the crime?

Of course, if she had committed the sexual torture and murder of Meredith, then her sexual morality would be relevant to the case. But since she did not commit sexual torture and murder, what she was in reality was a 20 year old college student who was sleeping with her boyfriend when the murder was committed; who was falsely charged with a crime that she did not commit; and who was also falsely charged with being, not just a girl who was sleeping with her boyfriend and had had several previous boyfriends, but a sexual monster. But since she is innocent of the murder, and now has been found by the court to be innocent of the murder, her image as a sexual monster disappears, and she becomes another promiscuous college girl of today, of whom there are millions and millions whom you are not condemning and hating as “whores.” You are only condemning and hating her. Why?

Tom C. writes:

Which one of the posters at VFR is convicting Amanda Knox based on her character? I don’t see ONE single post that asserts her guilt in the murder based on her sexual promiscuity. You are the one accusing these posters of that charge when not a single post ties her character into the slaying. They point out the moral context of the proceedings. Why do you feel a need to slander these posters with incorrect assertions? Show me one single post at VFR that states Amanda Knox is guilty because of her personality. Otherwise retract your baseless assertions of these posts.

LA replies:

Evidently you can’t read. The commenters you are defending simultaneously challenged my belief in Knox’s innocence and brought up Knox’s sexual immorality about which they are all in a rage against her. Why did they bring that up, unless they thought that it was relevant to the case and showed her guilty of murder? Of course they don’t explicitly argue that, since the position is so absurd it would discredit them. But it’s what they feel. They feel an overwhelming animus against her because of her sexual immorality, and for that reason they want her found guilty of murder.

Paul K. writes:

There is an op-ed piece in today’s’ LA Times titled “The Scapegoating of Amanda Knox.” Normally I would have considered it driven by an excessively feminist worldview; however, the comments of some of your readers seem to validate the author’s assertions. Here are some excerpts:

There was almost no material evidence linking Knox or her boyfriend to the murder, and no motive, while there was voluminous evidence—material and circumstantial—implicating a third person, a man, whose name one almost never read in accounts of the case. It became clear that it wasn’t facts but Knox—her femaleness, her Americanness, her beauty—that was driving the case….

Knox was put through an extreme version of the test many young women face. She was endowed with compelling, mysterious powers. The focus on her sexuality suggests that civilization can easily tip backward to the primeval era when the feminine was classified, worshipped and feared in the form of powerful archetypes: Madonnas and Dianas, virgins and whores. Knox inadvertently fed these archetypes by the ways she behaved in public and advertised herself on the Web and, eventually, in her own compulsive writings.

In the end, however, it was precisely because she wasn’t that monster, because she hadn’t perfected that persona in the world, that she could do so little to defend herself. Knox had barely defined herself; she didn’t possess the language or the maturity to match, let along overcome, the authority of other people’s notions….

The young woman who first went to jail at age 20 was a cipher onto whose photogenic, smiling face some Italians could see the archetypal Madonna-whore and, in whose pale eyes, others saw a psychopath. She was arrested at a time and in a place where young sexually active women are endowed in the minds of grown men, and maybe women too, with propensities for fantastic adult kink that few possess. The gaunt, tense woman defending herself on appeal bore barely any resemblance to the fresh, pretty girl photographed kissing her boyfriend outside the murder scene. Only now, having lost the power to bewitch and beguile, has she been revealed as human—and also, apparently, not guilty of murder.

Timothy A. writes:

The Prosecutor in the Knox/Sollecito case, Giuliano Mignini, has a history of claiming satanic cult involvement in famous murder cases.

The Monster of Florence was a very famous (in Italy, at least) case of a serial killer operating in the Florence area, killing young lovers in flagrante delicto during the ’70s and ’80s. The case went unsolved for many years, and then was reopened in 2002 by Mignini who claimed a satanic sect had been involved, procuring body parts for a black mass. As part of his investigation, he accused some journalists investigating the case of being involved in the supposed satanic sect. Needless to say, nothing came of this charge, and in fact Mignini was indicted for illegal wiretapping as part of his investigation.

JB writes:

Subject: Invisible Man

Well the boyz n da hood ain’t invisible no more. They are seen like lightnin in flash mobs from see to shinin see … They is struttin their stuff for all to see.

LA replies:


Yet at the same time, there are some invisible parties today. To get an idea of how invisible the actual, black killer of Meredith Kercher is, see this comment at

Reply 11—Posted by: Dynomite Things, 10/3/2011 4:18:29 PM

Thank heavens the poor girl was finally released and is recognized as being not guilty.

I’m frankly amazed that there was finally justice for Miss Knox, but what about justice for Meredith? Will her killer ever be found?

This person has never heard of Rudy Guede. How many are there like her?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 03, 2011 05:26 PM | Send

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