Heather Michon

Heather Michon
June 25
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DECEMBER 8, 2009 10:48AM

Sex & Guilt: The Conviction of Amanda Knox

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ABCNews.com asked this weekend: "Is Amanda Knox Being Punished For Being An American?"


Amanda Knox is being punished for being a whore.

Of course, the 22-year old Seattle native, convicted over the weekend to a term of 26 years in prison for the of the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, wasn't a whore...just a young woman who was open about the pleasure she took in sex.

Yet, in the more than two years since Kercher's death, the perception of Knox as a "black widow," a rapacious sexual predator has expanded far beyond the boundaries of her known behavior.

Knox's sexual personae has been at the heart of the Italian's case from the first days of the investigation. Local police decided Kercher's murder was a drug-induced sex orgy gone wrong -- an attempt by Knox, her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and a third party first identified as local club-owner Patrick Lumumba and later as a drug dealer named Rudy Guede -- to force sex on the prudish Kercher.

It was Knox's seeming lack of grief over the brutal murder of her "friend" that first drew suspicion, and from there it was simply a matter of filling in the psychological and evidentiary blanks.

The portrait police developed of Knox and Kercher was that of The Bad Girl clashing with The Good Girl over Knox's purported habit of leaving her vibrator on display and bringing strange men home to their shared flat. From there, it seemed a natural leap to say that Knox and her friends decided to teach Meredith a lesson.

But to believe this scenario, one has to stretch the imagination well past the breaking point.

Virtually all the physical evidence points to a single murderer: Rudy Guede. In all probability, he broke into the house by smashing a window with a rock, attempted to rape Kercher, panicked and stabbed her in the neck with a knife, covering her with a bedspread and leaving her to strangle in her own blood.

(Guede, now serving 30 years in prison, told police that he and Kercher were attempting to engage in consensual sex when a bad dinner kabab came back on him. He maintains -- oh, colossal stroke of bad luck! --  that she was murdered by a second intruder while he was in the bathroom. He tried to resuscitate her, covered her with the duvet, then went to a disco to calm his nerves before fleeing to Germany the next morning. Remarkably, this is the best story he could come up with, and he's stuck to it for the last two years.)

No direct evidence puts Guede, Knox and Sollecito together before (or on) the night of the murder. Knox and Sollecito have maintained that they were at Sollecito's flat, watching movies, smoking pot and having sex while the murder was taking place across town, and no compelling evidence puts them elsewhere.

The DNA evidence is questionable. The prosecution says a knife found at Sollecito's flat had Amanda's DNA on the handle and Meredith's on the tip of the blade. Amanda had been all but living at Sollecito's for weeks, so her DNA could be expected to be all over the flat. The DNA on the tip amounted to less than 100 picograms -- a picogram being one-trillionth of a gram -- and many experts say this is just too small for conclusive testing. The knife itself was consistant with, but not a exact match, to Kercher's wounds.

Sollecito's DNA was allegedly found on the clasp of Meredith's bloody bra...but the evidence was improperly handled, and since Sollecito had also spent several nights at the flat with Amanda, it is possible that the DNA was transferred to the clasp in one of the common areas of the house -- like the bathroom -- days before the murder. Despite a scenario that involved Amanda inflicting the fatal wounds in the aftermath of a struggle, police did not find one hair, one fiber, one bit of Amanda's DNA in Meredith's room.

And Amanda's supposedly cold-blooded response to the murder? Ask yourself this: How much grief is appropriate for someone you barely knew?

Amanda and Meredith had been flatmates for just a few weeks, and especially after Amanda started dating Sollecito in mid-October, probably saw very little of each other. They had different friends and attended different programs at different schools in Perugia. Aside from being popular, middle-class, high-achieving young women, they had little in common.

There is no doubt that Meredith and her friends disapproved of Amanda's lifestyle, but did Amanda even know that? The two other women who lived in the flat say there wasn't any fighting or unusual tension between the two.

Certainly nothing to indicate that Amanda and her boyfriend -- neither of whom had a history of violence -- would hook up with a petty criminal they had seen around town, go to the flat, rape, torture and murder an acquaintance, just on a whim.

Since the convictions, there has been plenty of American tsk-tsking of the Italian justice system: a presumption of guilt, an unsequestered jury, a prosecutor under indictment for misconduct.  This criticism is not entirely valid.

Our system is theoretically designed to better safeguard the rights of the accused, but there probably isn't a jail in this country that doesn't have at least one innocent soul watching life pass by while serving time for someone else's crime.

More often than not, that soul is black and poor and male, but it could happen to anyone who steps outside the boundries of what society generally agrees to be "innocent" behavior.

Amanda Knox was not sexually "innocent," nor was she ashamed or furtive about her behavior. She bragged about it, much like a young man might.

There is still a deep belief, not just in the U.S. or Italy but all around the world, that sexually-assertive women are amoral and that an amoral person can do anything....even kill. An Italian criminologist told the U.K.'s Channel 4 that, had Amanda been ugly -- i.e., sexually undesirable -- this case never would have come to trial.

She will appeal her case to the Italian courts. Her sentence will likely stand. With good behavior, she could be out in 15 years.  

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Wow! I didn't know a lot of this and have presumed Amanda guilty. Fascinating!
Ever since I read THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE, and found out that the same officials were involved in this same trial, I became convinced that Amanda would not get a fair trial.
A woman who doesn't have inhibitions about the opinions of others is in a world of hurt here. This is being painted the town trap writ large and murderous. Its shameful for Perugia and tortuous for all of the families involved.

Its also too bad Knox told the police a bunch of stupid lies in the beginning.
'trap' s/b 'tramp' in my post above.
Susanne --

You're right, she didn't help herself by falsely accusing Lumumba in the beginning, etc.

I don't want to come off as too much of an apologist, but a lot of the lies that hurt her came during long interrogations by Italian authorities, and that simply isn't reliable.

Innocent people have falsely confessed to things after long or coercive interrogations.

A friend of mine was once falsely accused of something, and said that after police had told him he was guilty for a few hours, he started believing it MUST be true. Luckily, he didn't cop to it, and the person who made the accusation later recanted, but he could just as easily have gone to jail.
@ Deb - I started reading about it seriously over the weekend, when my mom was asking about it. It is a pretty fascinating case, although so sad for all involved.

@fingerlakeswanderer - I haven't had a chance to read that yet, but I plan to.

Off to a (online) meeting!
This was a highly informative, well reasoned, and well written post. Well done.
Fascinating to see defense lawyer moles posting in here. She's guilty as all bloody hell, and the evidence you choose to either obfuscate or ignore proves it.
Nice post but not buying it.
David: OK -- go for it. Show me the error of my obfuscating ways. The floor is yours.
Probably a nitpick that will make everyone roll their eyes, but it's "picogram", not "pictogram"--a pico is 10^-9 of the base unit, thus, very very very very small. A pictogram would be a hieroglyphic-y thing that signified a word or an idea.
hyland girl -- oops. My bad. Let me correct that.

(I'm rolling my eyes only in embarrassment....)
I didn't follow the Amanda Knox trial.

What I know about it comes from the exchange of letters in response to a Salon.com article on the case: http://letters.salon.com/news/2009/12/05/eu_italy_student_slain_1/view/?show=all

To judge from that archive, which permitted both sides of the case a reasonable amount of textual space to make their arguments- I side with the prosecution.

I'm open to changing my mind- but someone is going to have to bring up more exculpatory detail than what I read in those 97 letters.
More to the point: judging from what I've read in that exchange of comments, Knox's defenders have a lot of incriminating loose ends to explain.
My only reaction is after reading your line, "She bragged about it, much like a young man might", is stop using demeaning analogies to make your point.
Thanks for this post - I watched one of those "48 Hours" newsmagazine type shows about the case over the weekend, and was even more confused afterward.

I will agree with those here that her lying and shifting stories were a huge problem for her from the get go. And why didn't she have an attorney immediately? I don't know enough about Italian law, but here in the USA, you'd better get yourself lawyered up right away in a situation like this, guilty or not. The police are going to want to close this case right away, and they will form their own scenarios immediately. As you pointed out, they made an entire case predicated on her supposed sexual appetites.
I still don't know if I think she's entirely innocent, or if she was maybe there afterward or knew more than she was telling.
Very confusing case - I don't think the full truth of any of it will ever be known. Good post.
Perhaps while he's at it, David Ehrenstein could explain why defense team moles would be hanging out on Open Salon? I don't think Knox's defense team has such an extensive a public-relations strategy that they'd be sending people to troll here. And if they did, I don't see what good it would do.

Where the motive in this crime breaks down for me is when the prosecutors claim it was a drug-fueled sex orgy gone bad. Do they think these kids were on meth? Supposedly Knox and her boyfriend had been at his place smoking a little pot, or maybe hash (I've seen conflicting accounts.) The prosecutors think pot sent them into a murderous rage? It's as if the Italian authorities had all seen "Reefer Madness" and found it accurate.

I read up on this case over the weekend and it seems the European press is reporting only info that supports the conclusion that she's guilty and the American press is reporting only info that supports her innocence, and both sides are leaving out anything that might call their own conclusions into question. Plus there is a lot of info floating around on chat boards that doesn't seem to have been reported anywhere so God only knows where that's coming from.

These kids might very well be guilty. But you'd never know it from a trial conducted in such a witch-hunt atmosphere. No one should be congratulating the prosecution for a job well done.
Thanks for all the info--I didn't know much about the case but it seems that there are a lot of confusing and conflicting pieces of evidence. I fear it's one of those things that we'll never know the ultimate truth about.
Doug Preston, author of the nonfiction book "Monster of Florence" has run afoul of the prosecutor before- a grandstanding conspiracy theorist- when doing research. His comments are well worth reading for a dose of rationality.

This has been a textbook case of crappy sensationalized "reporting". The prosecution's case was full of holes and inconsistent, and it required that a sweet, quite typical college student morph into a monster under the influence of the same drugs we took when I was her age- and with others, kill her roommate in a "sex game" (after they backed off the "orgy" theory). I think this says more about the need to find someone responsible, the need of the police and prosecutors to be "right", anger at a non-virginal woman (Madonna/ whore complex), and the lure of a sensationalized story involving an attractive girl and sex. Tailor made for television sensationalism, without depth or context. Contradictory statements derived from stressed interrogation are shockingly common, even in this country, (see the Innocence Project, recall the satanic daycare child abuse rings found everywhere in the '90's) and when you barely speak the language, as she did...
Just for the record: I'm categorically not a defense "mole."
"My only reaction is after reading your line, "She bragged about it, much like a young man might", is stop using demeaning analogies to make your point."

Sunday Reader -- that's bad writing on my part.

I meant to imply that culturally, we don't have as much problem with young men being open about their sexual appetites.

If that sound similarly demeaning, I apologize, but I think the standards of male and female behavior are quite different.
I recall reading about this incident when it first occurred. There were a number of answered questions that led me to believe Knox had some level of culpability in the death of her roommate.

It’s so difficult to have an informed opinion based upon press releases. A transcript of the proceedings would be much more helpful.
Very good article. The author should use spell-check more. I spotted at least three misspellings: "boundries," "consistant," and "acquaintence."
Thanks for the info. That's helpful. I've had a couple of talks with my daughter about her habit of labeling supposedly sexually active girls as "sluts." Too bad it blew up so awfully in the face of Amanda Knox.
Great post! I considered writing about it, but found myself too confused by my emotional involvement - which is very conflicted. I hate the prosecutions' ability to paint her as "tramp, whore" etc.and I think the sex scenario is implausible.
I think she may have been an accessory by fleeing the scene, given her conflicting testimonies and some of the evidence. I think she ran away, but knew more about what happened than she has chosen to admit. But my opinion is, well, worthless.
Rudy Guede is undoubtly the sole murderer. (If you haven't, don't delve into his explanation of his behaviour in the bathroom.)

One thing I have learned, that I think is an important distinction, is that the Italian courts routinely and automatically go into an appeals process based on everything from the original trial. It is all put to trial again, which is very different from the U.S. appeals process. So the appeals will happen more quickly than they do here. And it really is like a new trial, and I think the case will be thrown out due to the weakness of the prosecutions evidence.
Amanda Knox's parents are being charged with defamation, which is truly hysterical in the true sense of the word.
This CNN report will do just fine for the nonce


America was founded on rape, theft and genocide. Of course they don't teach you that in school. We're supposed to be the "Land of the Free and the Home of The Brave" -- and therefore Perfect and Without Sin. Consquently we're shocked by the fact that so many people around the world we pillage and destroy on a daily basis loathe us. Our very carefully controlled "Free Press" has the masses believing that 9/11 was motivated by those who as Dubbya said "Hate our Freedoms." Well that wasn't it at all. The people killed in the attack didn't deserve to die. But then neither did the defenseless Iraqi peasants we slaughted by the thousands in "Shock and Awe." (one of many U.S. sponsored slaughters barely making a ripple in the "Mainstream" media.)

Consequently entertaining the notion that an attractive white upper middle-class American Ms. can be a soulless murderer is not to be entertained under any circumstances whatsoever.

There's a book in all this needless to say. "The Talented Ms. Knox" would be a good title for it.

Any takers?

Five typos in total: I also misspelled "picogram" and "resuscitate."

It's my punishment for trying to post something 30 seconds before I'm supposed to be in a meeting.

All I want for Christmas is for Open Salon to build spell-check into the New Post page.
Perhaps she isn't guilty, but she is a lunatic narcissist. Apparently she had quite the grandiose vision of herself and her appeal. It was her cold, bizarre behavior and her ever changing story of what happened that night that got her convicted. There was also some damning DNA evidence. Perhaps she hardly knew her new roommate, but her abnormal, disengaged reaction to a brutal murder in the apartment that they shared can't be normal under any circumstances - Less than 24 hours after the incident, it was back to the business with the shopping trip for sexy panties as well as witnesses of her just-met beau talking loudly of sex. The cartwheels and split for her boyfriend as they waited to be questioned by police raised a few eyebrows also. Nothing wrong with a young woman having a spirited love life, but she did behaved like an out of control "whore" (the author's word, not mine). She bragged about her sex life to everyone who would listen. Had sex with a stranger on the train. Kept score of all her her conquests. When did she study? In context, the Italian authorities had every right to bring this up during the trial. Ms. Know behavior went way beyond your run-of-the-mill out of control college girl.
Great piece. Thanks for calling attention to this case, which has been sexist from the start.

Still waiting for David Ehrenstein or Robert Reed to refute your piece with their mountains of evidence, but I suspect they won't. These guys, and many others who are commenting all over the web, are a perfect illustration of how a jury of ones peers, people that would otherwise be considered "normal," can decide to send an innocent person to prison. As you correctly point out, there is zero evidence to implicate Knox or Sollecito, and mountains that implicate Rudy Guede and Rudy Guede alone. Yet many people have reached the conclusion that Knox is guilty. These say things like "She doing cartwheels in the police station" or "She changed her story several times" or "She falsely accused an innocent person." All of those things are true, but none of them are evidence of guilt. They're evidence of a frightened young girl, in a foreign country for the first time, dealing with the shock of discovering her roommate had just been murdered, then being interrogated by the police for over 40 hours without a lawyer, parent, or representative from the American embassy present.

People are so willing to judge Knox, and damn her, for changing her story and falsely accusing Lumumba, that it blinds them to the fact that those things, while not good, are not evidence of committing a murder. I don't want to excuse her accusation against Lumumba, but this is what happens time and time again when someone is interrogated by the police for long stretches without a lawyer. They start in with "We know you weren't there, but just imagine if you were. Tell us what you think would've happened if you were there." The accused, exhausted, hungry, alone, scared (and in this case young and naive), plays along, hoping it will mean they'll get to go home soon. Then the police start saying things like "Maybe that scenario you just laid out DID happen, and you just don't remember. Maybe you blacked out." If anyone doubts the power of the police to persuade people to say things that aren't true, looking into the case of the Norfolk Four, where one innocent person after another implicated not just acquaintances, but close friends, in a chain reaction of false accusations that, at one point, ballooned to over seven people! Or look into the Michael Crowe case, where, on videotape, the police convinced a 14-year-old boy that he had murdered his 12-year old sister and couldn't remember it. They never laid a hand on him, and were nice, even helpful. But in the end, they had coaxed him into confessing to something he didn't do. Later, of course, Crowe recanted but it was too late. He was charged with murder and put on trial. Fortunately, the real killer was later caught, and the case was dismissed. But had that not happened, too many people in this country would've happily convicted him for the crime of "changing his story." It's fascinating to me how some people will believe whatever the authorities say, without a scintilla of skepticism, and then in the same breath, judge and condemn a frightened, accused person for the smallest misbehavior (like cuddling with her boyfriend at the police station). To those out there who think this way, no offense, but you scare me.
ABC has been pro-Knox to the degree that they don't even report on things like her DNA found on the murder weapon. She was brought to trial because the evidence, circumstantial and otherwise, was overwhelming. The vast majority of murder convictions are made on the basis of circumstantial evidence in America and elsewhere. The Italian media showed its ugly bias too, but with the publicity surrounding this case there is no way she would have been charged and convicted if there wasn't a very good reason.

Her morals didn't have anything to do with 10,000 pages of evidence that even her high-priced PR team could not explain, let alone, refute. Their entire defense consisted of attacking the prosecution, the exact model that OJ's lawyers followed. It wasn't enough.
Oh, and I have done a lot of research on this case. I have been on many, many blogs where the "Friends of Amanda" appear to spout the same line over and over, and curiously, it's exactly the same stuff used by her PR team. This has been on small personal blogs and others as big as Facebook. To say that they wouldn't be on OS is wishful thinking at best.
Emma, by "murder weapon," I assume you mean the ordinary kitchen knife that was found in Sollecito's apartment in a drawer with the rest of the silverware. This point actually has been discussed on ABC. Since Knox spent a lot of time at Sollecito's apartment, it's not surprising that her DNA was on the knife, and probably lots of other kitchen utensils too. The supposed DNA of Kercher found on the knife was too small to prove it was hers, and would not have passed the rules of evidence used in American courts. The knife was also the wrong shape and size, and did not match the bloody outline found at the crime scene. Last, but not least, if Knox and Sollecito were such careful murderers that they managed to remove all of their DNA from the crime scene, and managed not to track any of Kercher's DNA back to Sollecito's apartment, why didn't they discard the knife? Presumably they discarded their blood-stained clothes which have never been found (because they don't exist), so why not discard the knife with the clothes? There are simply too many doubts about what the knife proves or doesn't prove for it to be considered reliable evidence of anything. The only thing it proves conclusively, is that any addition to forks and spoons, Sollecito owned an ordinary kitchen knife.
the moral here is simple: don't be accused of the crime of being american in italy.

you see what happens when the cia kidnaps people in italy? they take any american they can catch...
Nice job tackling a difficult subject, Heather. I suspect Ms. Knox and her case will be the subject of many a high school term paper in the coming years.
Like others, I hadn't seen the case summarized as well and clearly as you do here, so thanks for that. It is a troubling case. It never made sense to me when I heard the earlier sensationalized reports. I do think Knox's behavior afterward (which you don't talk much about) also contributed to the negative perceptions of her. But to me it sounded like classic narcissistic young person behavior, and not any evidence that she was a killer. It was foolish of her, though -- although I doubt she had any idea she might be a suspect, or she might have watched her behavior more just to allay suspicion.
Young people often make a hash of police interviews. They're used to functioning as kids, lying their way out of trouble at home and at school. Doing it with the police is handing them a loaded weapon, but young people with no experience with police are over-matched in that battle of wits. I don't know enough about this case, but I don't think that telling a lot of lies necessarily makes this girl a killer.

I have serious doubts about the usefulness or fairness of police interrogations, in general. I can only speak about American interrogations, but the technique is a powerful psychological one that can lead to confusion and desperation even on the part of innocent suspects. When the point of an interrogation is to make someone confess, it sets up a dynamic that encourages panicked suspects to lie.
Sirenita and others have made good points about police interrogations. There are too many examples to count of people making false confessions or accusations towards others even in non-threatening interrogations. In fact, psychological and other pressures can be far more effective, as the history of interrogation shows. When someone is young, naive or mentally challenged, it's even riskier. A friend's son, accused of murder as a juvenile, ultimately gave the police erroneous information after hours of questioning under such solely psychological pressures.
Amanda Knox was convicted of murder. End of story. Scott Peterson was given the death penalty on even less evidence than was presented in the Knox trial. I hope she enjoys her time behind bars. She'll have plenty of time to do yoga stretches, cartwheels and act like she couldn't care less about her dead roommate.
@rmattbill1: That point of view is from the defense's experts. I know all the defense argument's and the prosecution's too, and I've made my judgment based on extensive research. You've left an awful lot out of your statement.

Yes, people say and do things under the pressure of interrogations. But both Amanda and her mother knew that she had fingered an innocent man yet said nothing while he sat in jail and his reputation was ruined. That doesn't prove she murdered anyone, but it certainly goes to "character," and that is one of the key differences between Italian and American justice models. The Italian model is based on the whole person, inquisitorial and evidentiary, not just what high-powered PR and defense teams say. I think Amanda would be convicted in the U.S. as well, the only difference is that she would be facing the death penalty.

There is a mountain of evidence and most people know only the few facts that have been presented in the American media, all in Knox's favour. If a person looks at them in their entirety -- and I admit I haven't done that as I don't have access to court testimony or the 10,000 pages of evidence -- but I have researched the case thoroughly, there is only one conclusion. She is guilty, or at the very least, culpable. And I haven't even gone into the whole story of the lies about the cell phone calls, the computer, her boyfriend's extensive knife collection, the staged break-in, Amanda's statement that there were only a few drops of blood in the bathroom when photos admitted into evidence show that the walls and floor were soaked in blood, the buying of bleach, the clean up and that's APART from all her lies, changing stories and complete lack of credible alibi for her actions that evening. There is no smoking gun, but there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence and a pattern of lying and callous indifference to the harm caused.
Interesting and thoughtful post although I disagree that that there isn't any evidence to convict knox on the merits. By all accounts, the defense did a shoddy job to offer an alternative theory for the crime and there is undeniably some evidence to support the jury's ultimate verdict. The DNA on the knife, the lack of an alibi for Knox, her inconsistent statements to the police and her own rather off putting behavior (making out with the boyfriend after hearing the news and performing cartwheels outside the police station) make this a more complicated case than simply "lets convict her because we don't like american whores." Still, the femnist lens through which you analyze this case is fascinating and thoughtprovoking and your points are well taken in general. They certainly add insight and further dimension to what is already a very controversial decision. Thanks.
"To say that they wouldn't be on OS is wishful thinking at best."

Yes, Emma, but I'm not one of them.
"He [Rudy Guede] told police that he and [Meredith] Kercher were attempting to engage in consensual sex when a bad dinner kabab came back on him. He maintains... that she was murdered by a second intruder while he was in the bathroom. He tried to resuscitate her, covered her with the duvet, then went to a disco to calm his nerves before fleeing to Germany the next morning."

"[Amanda] Knox and [Raffaele] Sollecito have maintained that they were at Sollecito's flat, watching movies, smoking pot and having sex while the murder was taking place across town, and no compelling evidence puts them elsewhere."

If that's really the evidence seems Knox and her boyfriend should be freed and the drug dealer should be in jail for killing her roommate.

Are you saying Knox is in jail for being a media sensation in Italy as an openly sexual, attractive woman? That is strange when Italy uses sex to sell just about everything and revers their porn stars like Moana Pozzi and llona Staller. Staller was so popular she continued to make porn films after being elected to office. I don't see how a sexually open woman like Knox would bother them. Perhaps you can explain your point further.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this, it's DON'T TALK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT FIRST SEEKING LEGAL COUNSEL!

Apparently she said something during questioning about being in the other room and hearing MK screaming. Later she said that answer was in response to the police asking her to hypothetically "imagine" what it would have been like...

That whole scenario doesn't wash. Do police in Italy REALLY ask someone to "imagine" that they were there and then state what it would have been like!?!?!? Didn't she see the peril in playing along with that sort of line of questioning!?!?

I suspect she has been wrongly convicted, but I think her weird behavior, and the fact that she gave contradictory stories contributed to that outcome.
@juliaasavegetarian: There is compelling evidence that puts them both at the murder scene. DNA directly linked to the crime, both their footprints in cleaned-up blood revealed by Luminol, Amanda's blood on the bathroom tap -- blood that was fresh, not dried, two eyewitnesses, lack of computer corroboration that her boyfriend was on his computer at home as he claimed, their numerous stories that still don't match, and much, much more. Nobody wants to believe that a fresh-faced American girl in Italy could be involved in a crime, but she was. No innocent person behaves the way she behaved and I don't care how many excuses are made about her behavior, the facts are clear.

I think it is naive to believe that she was convicted on media bias, her sexual behavior and nationality alone. Surely the State Department has reviewed this high-profile case and decided that there was enough evidence to charge and convict her.
I should add that Americans are given the death penalty for far less evidence, especially if they can't afford a PR team and fancy lawyers. Even Knox's private investigators couldn't bring anything new to the table that the Italian authorities hadn't already discovered. I'm not condoning some of the prosecution's methods, but when your only defense is that the prosecution are criminals and that they contaminated DNA -- none of which has been proven -- you don't have a lot to fall back on. It may have worked for OJ, but Italy is a lot different than Hollywood.
"It was the bad kebab that made me do it!!!"
(See Ida Lupino in "They Drive By Night")

Thanks for the welcome note of sanity "Emma."
Her sex life was not at the heart of the case. She murdered the victim, there was an enormous amount of evidence presented at trial. Just because there was sensationalism does not mean she's not guilty. Rated.
Your case is well presented here. It's both insightful and thought provoking.

How true about sexually-assertive women STILL being classified as amoral...and amoral can mean being capable of just about anything.
I'm out for the rest of the night.

Any specific, burning questions can be PM-ed to me, and I'll get to them as soon as possible.

Play nice, all!
well done, Heather! - There has been very few mentions of the European Court of Human Rights [http://www.echr.coe.int/echr/Homepage_En]. That may be another approach if the appeals fail.
After reading an article in Vanity Fair and some other stories I thought she was being railroaded. Now after reading more about the blood evidence, faked break-in and other evidence that wasn't mentioned in some of the more pro-Knox articles, I don't know whether she's innocent any longer. However, the way she was treated by the media and prosecutors was horrible. Then again, isn't this how unsympathetic criminals are treated in the U.S., too?
Okay, I've just been reviewing some of the links attached to the comment thread whose URL I included in my earlier comment.

It's plain to me that I made a mistake in getting involved in this controversy in the first place. I just couldn't find enough to go on to make a sound judgment either way. I've found myself relying on the most threadbare summaries imaginable of the evidence in the case, the minutes of the interrogations, and the prosecution's portrayal of the crime.

Also, the websites put up by both sides expend much of their content relying on appeals to emotion that have nothing to do with matters of evidence.

Just a lesson to me, to stay out of this sort of thing...it's a pretense to think that anything less than a complete assessment of the evidence could provide a judgment in this case, and I'm not up for it. I seriously doubt that anything close to the full weight of evidence presented from all sides is available, if I were to attempt to pursue the case from this distant perspective.

I have too many questions, and not nearly enough solid information.
This has been called Italy's OJ., although I'm not sure the passionate belief in her innocence or guilt along cultural lines made up any conscious part of that comparison. The steaming vitriol oozing from the posts of those convinced of her guilt seem so frequently to contain extremely sexist terminology (i.e. I hope that bitch, slut, whore, etc rots in jail, etc etc), while those convinced of her innocence quite frequently cite her academic achievement and general sweet-kind-innocent demeanor. So, a certain virgin-whore theme has been a perceptible tone within the white noise surrounding this case/media event.
Emma, I've been reviewing and researching the facts on my own as well, and all of my opinions are my own, despite the paranoia that somehow Knox's legal team has "spies" on here which, frankly, I find rather amusing. I did leave out a lot. As you mentioned, there are over 10,000 pages relating to the case and this is, well, a comment box.

While you may think that Knox would've been convicted in the U.S., numerous American prosecutors don't share your view. I've seen several on TV over the last few days saying they couldn't bring a case to trail here, because too much of the case is based on hearsay, innuendo, and evidence that would be almost certainly be ruled inadmissable, like the bra clasp. Without the bra clasp, there is NOTHING that places Sollecito in the house the night of the murder. The prosecution conceded that the footprints they initially claimed were his, actually belonged to Rudy Guede.

Also, there's a lot of false information floating around on the web based on early leaks from the prosecution that turned out not to be true. A receipt for bleach, that Knox called Guede twice the night of the murder, etc., etc.

A few other quick points:

-The computers were mishandled by the police and no information was taken from the hard drives. The defense petitioned to have an expert try to recover the data, but the judge ruled against it.

-It's not surprising that Knox's DNA was found in the bathroom she shared with Kercher. Every time she combed her hair or shaved her legs, she was was shedding mountains of DNA.

-Before Kercher's body was discovered, Amanda used the bathroom and took a shower, and could've easily tracked some of Kercher's blood throughout the house.

-The Luminol evidence is far more complicated than you suggest, and Luminol reacts to other things, including cleaning products, not just blood.

We could go back and forth arguing about these tiny, inconclusives bits of DNA mean forever, but the bottom line is this:
-There was a violent struggle that should've left lots of identifying clues, from DNA, to hair, to fiber, to fingerprints.
-All of those things were found for Rudy Guede, but not Knox or Sollecito.
-The few traces that match Knox or Sollecito are innocuous (a hopelessly tainted bra clasp, DNA in a shared bathroom, and Amanda's DNA found on an otherwise clean knife at her boyfriend's house).

-How could Knox and Sollecito have removed the evidence of their presence without also removing all the evidence of Guede's presence? (Keep in mind that most of this would've been invisible to the naked eye).

-Why did Guede deny that Knox or Sollecito were in the apt that night (no less than five times)?

-Everyone keeps pointing out that Knox changed her story. What about Guede? He later changed his story to say that Amanda and Kercher fought over money. The prosecutor then hedged his bet in closing arguments, sticking with his original story of a sex orgy gone wrong, but then added the money too, just in case.

Last, you say that the Italian courts take character into account. Yet detractors of Knox always fail to mention that she could've easily fled the country and didn't. That she cooperated with the police, and initially declined a lawyer because she thought she was simply helping them. That speaks to her character more than her vibrator or her cartwheels.

Last, because several people have commented on this, I wanted to point out that Knox did not pull Lumumba's name out of thin air. His name was brought up by the police, and they pressured her to tell her how he was involved. After 40+ hours of being questioned, they asked her to "imagine" what might have happened, at which point she related a "vision" of seeing Lumumba with Kercher and hearing Kercher scream.
I must say that I haven't found it that easy to find a short, straightforward list of the various evidence against Knox, but this article ->


states that in Knox's boyfriend's apartment, they found receipts indicating that he had bought two containers of bleach, 45 minutes apart, early in the morning after the murder. And it states that the knife and his tennis shoes and parts of his flat had been cleaned with bleach.

However, Knox and the boyfriend contend that he didn't get up unti l10am that morning.

That's fairly damning evidence.
Nice try. I'm amazed by all the amateur sleuths on here that are so ready to proclaim this nice middle class American girl's innocence in the face of the monstrous Italian legal system. A nice girl who: lied about her whereabouts on the night in question (first she said she was in the house and could hear the screams then changed her story when that didn't fly) ; faked a break in at the apartment; accused a black man of the crime (who was subsequently arrested and thrown in jail); and just for bad taste, did cartwheels in the police station when she was arrested. All of this is in addition to the forensic evidence. She wasn't found guilty for being a whore, she was found guilty for being a cold-blooded murderer.
As long as we're counting up typos, it should have been "the Italians' case", not "the Italian's case"--I assume you're not talking about just one Italian.
First, this is an excellent article. I was beginning to think I was crazy for questioning the prosecutor's hyper focus on Amanda's sex life and the completely imagined sex games. The police interrogations, the closing - its a complete inquisition.

If anyone wants to see how US law enforcement view Knox - check out posts on the police forum at http://forums.officer.com/showthread.php?t=135469.
Very interesting to see the gut reactions posted, the evidence analysis, the consensus of guilt. Clearly some of the same biases are at work, but there seems to be a general bias towards any evidence = guilt.
fens2theleft - the bleach evidence would be damning evidence, but I couldn't find anywhere that this evidence was actually entered into evidence or even verified. Do you know if it was entered/verified beyond tabloid? One of the posts on the police forum also mentions the evidence but I have no idea where the information is coming from.
Thanks, fins2theleft. It IS hard to sort through opinions and find some facts.
I am going to say, again, that I think she fled the scene. Which is, imho, worse - because Meredith Kercher choked to death on her own blood.
I think the sex/crime scenario is ludicrous. That's fitting certain evidence to an entirely made up scenario.
But she was there, and she ran away and let someone bleed to death - choking on their own blood.

I wonder who is going to turn on each other? Rudy Guede has nothing to lose, and now his case is in appeals. Maybe he'll tell the truth. To reduce 30 years.
Which makes me sick, but...I'm not in charge.

I also think it's very xenophobic to assume the Italian courts are less capable of handing out a just verdict. As others have pointed out, we kill innocent people in the U.S.
No matter what, this is a tragedy. I was young, and abroad, several times before I was 22 years old. I was happy, free, exploring. I loved my freedom and I loved being elsewhere - there was magic in being somewhere out of time.
I lived.
The Guardian has had some excellen reporting on this. One of the things they have been saying is that the court and media has a habit of wanting to back police in order to save face. But yes, from the beginning Amanda's sexuality has been put on trial. The Guardian is also reporting that none of Amanda's DNA was in the room where Kercher was found, whereas Guede's DNA was all over that room.

The defence maintained that the traces of DNA linking Kercher to the supposed murder weapon were inconclusive. The British student's bra clip, which bore a trace of Sollecito's DNA, was not bagged by police until 45 days after the initial forensic inspection. And no evidence of any kind was produced to show Knox had been in the room where Kercher's half-naked body was found.

The room did, however, contain an all-important clue – one which was not there. In Kercher's bedroom there was not a single fingerprint belonging to either Knox or her boyfriend.

fens2theleft, please get your facts straight as there is already WAAAAY too much bogus information being passed around. The article you linked to is over two years old, before Knox and Sollecito were even charged, and the Italian cops were leaking all kinds of things to the press that never panned. No receipts for bleach were presented at the trial. A story owner came forward a year after the crime to say Knox had come into his store to buy some bleach, but the other employee who was there all morning with him said that Knox was never there. So the whole bleach angle came about from some loser seeking his 15-minutes of fame more than a year after the murder. Gimme a break!

On aonther point, people keep saying Kercher's DNA was found on the tip of the knife of the knife. The spec of DNA, which may or may not have been from Kercher was actually found on the dull edge of the knife.

Last, there was no evidence of bleach of the knife. What is interesting, is how the police came to find it. They testified they smelled bleach in the house and followed their noses all the way to one single knife in a drawer, which, upon further inspection looked "suspiciously clean."

This stuff is so ludicrous, you couldn't make it up. And don't even get me started on how the Italian police broke not one, but THREE computer hard drives, making it impossible to prove that Knox and Sollecito watched a movie on one of his two computers as they claimed. Shouldn't the police tech have stopped after he broke the first one?

With all of these false pieces of information and old rumors being flung about, it's no wonder why some people are confused. And for those who are convinced of Amanda's guilt, stop hyperventilating, and take a few minutes to check your facts.
you make a pretty good case, but you also seem to exhibit what is called "motivated reasoning" in psychology. you skip over amanda's strange behavior right after the crime & that she just didnt seem to tell the truth to the police early on. maybe she wasnt guilty, but she probably wasnt innocent either.... ya know? and Im not just saying, guilty of having sex... seems like she knew more about the crime than she admitted probably....
david ehrenstein writes
"We're supposed to be the "Land of the Free and the Home of The Brave" -- and therefore Perfect and Without Sin. Consquently we're shocked by the fact that so many people around the world we pillage and destroy on a daily basis loathe us. Our very carefully controlled "Free Press" has the masses believing that 9/11 was motivated by those who as Dubbya said "Hate our Freedoms." Well that wasn't it at all."
heh heh. wow, a genuine 911 truther. I thought I was the only one on the entire open salon... rare as a unicorn here...
yeah, its called the "shadow side" and an entire culture can have it as opposed to an individual, where jung came up with the theory.
more on that in my blog.... for anyone who wants to take the red pill =)
cybersynchronicity, my last post was on exactly the topic david raises... tune if you have serious cojones.... not for the feint of heart or mind....
re knox. I wonder if the time shes already spent in jail counts toward her term. shes already been in jail a few years, hasnt she?
Im impressed somewhat with all the outpouring of analysis and energy on this post. where one girl died.....
but .... on sept11 2001, 2985 people died. I challenge anyone to find a post anywhere on open salon where the pros/cons of the government version of events are challenged with any seriousness by more than 3 people. there is a case of some serious discussion in my blog... by about 3 people.... maybe here we have a case of motivated reasoning based on "virgin vs whore".. elsewhere.. re 911... *mass* motivated reasoning.. in favor of patriotism vs treason???
heather-- nice post but I smell some "projection" here. just guessing, bet youve suffered because someone considered you to be promiscuous??? topic for another blog post I guess
That is an interesting bit of information. Well, not a bit, a lot. Hmm, goes to show to be careful about assuming things.
Too bad the case could not have been tried here. Sounds like she'll have better luck in the appeal.
So I'm "a 9/11 truther"?

Only for someone who doesn't know how to read.
Some of Knox's behavior isn't quite as strange as it would first appear. Take the underwear "buying spree," or as the Italian press called it "lingerie." After the murder, Knox was not allowed to take anything from the apartment. The only clothes she had were the ones she was wearing. Not surprisingly, the first article of clothing she bought was underwear.

I mean, seriously people. You've got to stop looking at every little thing she did through a microscope, and casting sinister motivations on every innocuous event.

Let's compare Knox's behavior to Rudy Guede's:
Rudy fled the country the next morning.
Amanda didn't, even though her father told her she could go stay with a cousin in Germany.
Amanda cooperated with the police, and endured dozens of hours of interrogation without a lawyer because she thought she was a witness.

All of this talk about "well, she probably didn't do it, but she's hiding SOMETHING" sounds like a bunch of nutty, superstitious "burn the witch" talk.
Your take on this makes a lot of sense, but so does ABC's.

"American" is the new black. Parents of college students are likely rethinking the wisdom of treating their kids to a term overseas.
It's more than a bit scary how people here think her behavior convicts her. When it comes to murder and putting someone behind bars for it, you'd better have more "proof" than how they behave!
I'm just going to wade in here before I get to work to say that I think you're right, Heather. The actual evidence (not the hearsay, the made-up stuff about the bleach, her behavior afterward--which is NOT evidence at all) is very slim. Instead, as I wrote elsewhere, it was more believable that Guede's original story of a stranger breaking in while he was in the bathroom than that either that girl or her boyfriend had anything to do with any of it. And Guede's story stretches the imagination unbelievably.

I roll my eyes, too, every time I hear how her DNA was found in the bathroom where she lived, mixed with the roommate's. And all over the house!! Er, guys, it's a bathroom. And her apartment. There will be DNA in your bathroom mixed with your significant other's DNA. Right now. Oh no! A Crime!

Also, the blood thing, blood on the tap, etc. ... these girls lived together for several months ... they might have regulated together, that is, they did all have, one presumes, periods. That is, the 'fresh blood, which was Amanda's, in the bathroom, when Amanda herself showed no sign of bleeding anywhere ... what could that be?

Think about it, y'all.

Anyway, the evidence is damned slim. Amanda is at fault in the sense that she should have had representation from the beginning and/or sought out the American consulate, who knew how these things might go. But if she's innocent, it probably wouldn't have occurred to her to do this. Until it was too late.
odetteroulette: I think it's the series of complicated lies that she told that have people questioning what exactly happened.
I believe that she heard the screams, as she said, put her hands over her ears, as she stated, and then ran away.
Accesory to murder is a whole different charge.
As a feminist, I'm disgusted that her appearance and sexuality have been used to demonize her.
But - I really think that the multiple stories she told are evidence of her culpability. I can totally understand running away, even if it was the worst choice. I think she fled, and lied, and now she's imprisoned and probably wishes she hadn't fled, or lied.
That's my specualtion.
I hope someone tells the truth someday.
@David Ehrenstein: I get a lot of flack from some of my fellow Americans for "bashing" our country. You and I are probably in lock-step agreement about Dubya, war, and American arrogance abroad. My question to you, sir, is WTF does all that have to do with Amanda Knox?

By tone of your posts here, it's evident that ABC's premise has merit. Amanda Knox's nationality may not have been enough to convict her, but it almost certainly made the presumption of her guilt more satisfying (and her lifestyle more relevant to a murder charge) than if she'd been a rather loose Swiss girl who smoked a bit of weed.

Have Americans been universally supportive of Amanda Knox because she's one of our own? Hardly. The verdict seems to have brought about some of that. But for two years, stateside coverage of Knox's arrest and trial was as lurid and sensational as you'd expect when there are are pretty girls, a rumored orgy, and a bloody bra to dangle in front of Nancy Grace.

I find the verdict disturbing, not because I'm convinced of Knox's innocence but because some members of the jury were. As an American, I know juries are not infallible (as the Innocence Project proves) but I take comfort in the fact that there can be no murder conviction if even a single juror finds reasonable doubt. We Americans are guilty of taking our constitutional rights for granted. The Knox case provides an uncomfortable reminder that our rights, like our prejudices, are not universal.
Sitting on a jury sucks. A tedious, patronizing, often agonizing chore turned crucible by the dreary rainbow of citizenry too poor or ill-connected to opt out, by the venomous prosecution and the often pathetic, incompetent defense doled out by the taxpayer. Throw in a media circus, a populace convinced of its omniscience, and a few psychosocial taboos and having one's toenails pulled out with a pair of rusty pliers begins to sound breezy. The obsessive interest in criminality, unsolved mystery, crime drama and the like have made armchair convictions a faith-based amusement, and scathing, righteous indignation a kind of birthright.
I have no idea what the truth of this case is, so I find it fascinating that so many people are sure they do know it!

If people want to get an idea of how an innocent person can "look guilty" and be convicted of murder and do time in prison before exculpatory evidence is found and they are released, I highly recommend watching the engrossing movie "A Cry in the Dark" starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill, which dramatizes the famous Lindy Chamberlain "A dingo ate my baby" case in Australia.

Lindy was convicted in the public eye even before her trial, also for odd behavior and personal characteristics (including her religion - which makes her sort of the shadow of Amanda), and that public perception in advance of the trial almost certainly contributed to her wrongful conviction, which was overturned when evidence came to light years later that completely confirmed her story that people had found preposterous. In the meantime, she sat in prison and even gave birth there and had to give up her baby to be raised away from her. (She also had other older children that she was apart from for years.)

Streep said she took the role in large part because the issue of how easily we judge people based on what we see in the media was fascinating to her, as she finds she does it, too.
I love all the excuses for her BIZARRE behavior after the crime - as if anyone here has been accused of slashing someone's throat. How would you know how someone would react?

If it were me and I knew I wasn't involved, I certainly wouldn't be doing cartwheels, sticking my tongue out like a petulant little twit, smiling, wearing inappropriate t-shirts to court appearances. That's not the kind of behavior I would expect from someone who was fighting for their innocence. She seems to have approached this as if it were a big joke. After all, finding your roommate murdered in the next room is so hilarious.

I'd also like to hear a little more about the victim, Meredith Kercher. Because we all know how Americans care so much about their victims of crime - that's why we have the death penalty, isn't it? I don't see Meredith Kercher's family up in arms about Ms. Knox getting wrongful conviction. Does that make them as f*cked in the head as the crooked prosecutor?

The armchair detective work I see from many here reminds of all the excuses given to why the balloon boy stayed hidden in the attic a few months back while the nation wondered about his fate. And if I remember correctly - everyone was wronger than WRONG about that one. And I'm willing to bet that people are probably wrong here too.

Enjoy the next 26 years behind bars Amanda! Let's see you smirk now! Sociopath!
Fascinating read and commentary! I question so much of this case, but Amanda's personality disorder was never in question... RRR
Your claim that Amanda Knox was convicted for being a whore does not hold up when we consider that her codefendant, an Italian male who was in a sexual relationship with her, was tried and convicted of the same crime on the same evidence that convicted her. The sexual behavior that you say convicted Amanda Knox is behavior that in men is universally admired—by most men at least—as a cultural norm. (It’s possible that such admiration is even greater in Italy: the prime minister of Italy consorts with prostitutes, and much of the Italian public seems unperturbed. What a guy!) If you’re a man, the more sexual partners you have the higher you rise in the eyes of others, but if you’re a woman, the lower you sink, or so it is among the unenlightened. If there was a prejudice against Amanda Knox for being a whore and—to make matters worse—an American whore, there was a prejudice in favor of Raffaele Sollecito for being a guy who bangs chicks, and furthermore an Italian guy who bangs chicks. For your hypothesis to be correct, that Amanda Knox was convicted for being a whore, the court had to have exercised against her a prejudice that more than offset its prejudice in favor of her codefendant. I cannot imagine that anyone would find this explanation plausible. I don’t know the details of the case, but it seems to me that the court’s conviction of an Italian male shows how strong the case for the prosecution was. The evidence and testimony that was strong enough to convict Raffaele Sollecito was the same that convicted Amanda Knox. The court certainly would not have convicted of murder an Italian male about whose guilt it had doubts in order to convict an American woman of murder for sexual morals it thought dubious. Amanda Knox’s conviction and Raffaele Sollecito’s were on the merits of the arguments presented in court. Her conviction had nothing do with her sexual history.
I think all reasonable people should agree that a fair trial is the best method/device/mechanism that a civilized society has for uncovering the truth, giving justice to perpetators, and we can agree it is certainly imperfect and flawed, but it has centuries of precedence. if the trial is messed up eg bad evidence, bad defense/prosecution, judge, etc, well then society should try to take corrective measures to improve it as much as possible.
we can all recognize there are false positives and false negatives.. but when someone says they're sure she's guilty, or sure she's innocent.... you might as well argue about the existence or nonexistence of god... its a sort of metaphysical question if taken to extremes....

as for knox, well I think the case may prove one thing. if you are a weird person, strange in some way, dont have the misfortune to be caught very close to the scene of a crime.... the trial will hinge on how normal you appear, or even how upstanding.... knox was not upstanding, but that is not indicative of criminality... people seem to victimize others and themselves based on polarities and dualities.... as the indians call it.. "maya".. knox seems to have character flaws but it does alarm me how people say those particular traits surely correlate with murder accomplice.... buying underwear after a crime as evidence of sociopathy?? hmm, not sure about that.... it sounds like she just had a different attitude about death, and did not grieve the death of her roommate.... but is that literally criminal behavior?? no... people would call it that.... as a figure of speech....
another interesting study of an american going to jail in a foreign land.. in the movies.. steve mcqueen, papillion... killer movie...
@odetteroulette: the stuff about the bleach was not made up as you say. There were receipts that the boyfriend bought it, Amanda was waiting at the store in the early a.m. before it opened according to the shopkeeper, the police met Amanda and him at the front door of the cottage where they were standing with a mop and pail. The break in was clearly staged -- a ladder would have been required to break through the 15-foot high window from the outside and none was ever found, and the glass in the house was on top of all the clothes and evidence of struggle, not mixed up in it as it would be if it had happened before the crime took place.

Her bf's dad is a doctor with a lot of political connections. Do you honestly think in a justice system as corrupt as all of Amanda's defenders are saying that HE would be given the same sentence as her without some pretty damning evidence? I mean, wouldn't he be protected by the powers that be since he's Italian and a man and all, not some "whore" American girl? And yet, he received a life sentence too.
I had another experience vaguely similar in some remote ways. I should blog about it sometime. a computer was stolen in a computer lab. I was at the scene of the crime. I probably even witnessed it directly, but could not remember/picture who was involved. I was unemployed. directionless. the more I talked to police, & tried to help them figure out who could have done it, the more they suspected me. they said they had to search my apartment. I let them. it did not allay their suspicion. they only suspected, after not finding anything, that there was some storage space elsewhere, and asked me. I was young and naive-- early 20s. they were not honest about their intentions yet I took them at face value. they said the could get a warrant for my apartment if they wanted to. I was curious about the process. I think this was possibly a flat out fabrication-- they wouldnt have done it due to the paperwork... long story... short story?? something to think about....
Well put.

Amanda Knox is paying the price for appearing to enjoy her promiscuity. Sadly this judgement is more a moral one than justice in the face of facts.

Is this a clash of cultures or what? And a girl who enjoyed it but paid for flaunting it......
Love the "The Dingo killed my roommate!" defense that's being floated around here. Meryl's too old for the movie. Maybe her daught Mamie Gummer might be up for it. And Barbet Schroeder to direct, of course.

"Flaunting her sexuality" was less the issue than flaunting her total indifference to the corpse in her apartment. For Knox it was simply a problem to be dealt with. "Now where did I put that bleach?"
Emma, for the last time would you PLEASE check your facts before posting misinformation? You're entitled to your opinion, but every "fact" in your post was garbage from the Italian tabloids that is over two years old and has been repeatedly debunked and was not presented as evidence at the trial.

To correct the record:

-No receipts for bleach were introduced as evidence during the trial.

-A store owner came forward SEVEN MONTHS AFTER the murder, at the height of burn-the-witch hysteria to say he saw Knox buying bleach in his store. But his co-worker testified that she was there at the same time, and that Knox was never in the store. This guy was looking for his 15-minutes of fame, and even the Italian press did not believe he was credible witness.

-Knox and Sollecito were not found with a mop and a bucket. This is another bald-faced lie that was spread by the Italian tabloids which, apparently, is where you get your news from. Pity.

-Bleach is a powerful chemical that is easily detected. No traces of bleach were found at the crime scene or in Sollecito's apartment.

-The clothes by the broken window were not Kercher's, they were Filomena's. Rudy Guede broke into Filomena's room on the second floor, not Kercher's, which was downstairs. Do you know anything about this case at all?

-Filomena testified that she saw broken glass on top of her clothes, but the crime scene photos show no such thing. Go to Google images and search for "Amanda Knox crime scene photos broken window" and see for yourself. Further, the police admitted that they had allowed Filomena into the room, where she disturbed the evidence, at least three separate times before the room was finally sealed.

-Your assertion that the 15-foot was impossible to scale is laughable nonsense. Click on the link below to see a photo of a 40-year old Italian detective scaling the wall in dress pants and dress shoes, and keep in mind that if this detective could do it, Rudy Guede, a 20-year old former semi-pro basketball player, surely could.

The prosecution that you're parroting made the same lame assertion, but it was dismissed out-of-hand by Judge Paolo Micheli, quote: "This court believes that to enter that window you would not really need to be Spiderman."

Emma, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, and can believe Knox is guilty if you like, but if you have any sense of decency, you'll stop posting false information and other garbage from the tabloids that is over two years old and has been repeatedly debunked. The internet is a tool, and like all tools it should be used responsibly. Please don't needlessly clog it with garbage.
Second attempt to post the link to the photo of the detective climbing into Filomena's window:
Okay, so OpenSalon is blocking the link so I'll have to type it out. It's:

http colon slash slash blog dot seattlepi dot com slash dempsey slash archives slash 172993 dot asp
Isn't there only one major issue... this:

"Knox and Sollecito have maintained that they were at Sollecito's flat, watching movies, smoking pot and having sex while the murder was taking place across town, and no compelling evidence puts them elsewhere."

is, well, untrue. Sollecito has recanted his testimony that Knox was with him the night of murder and neither he nor Knox at this point offer any indication about their whereabouts that evening.

I personally find the orgy-gone-wrong scenario laughable... but it's disingenuous to present this case as a simple case of railroading this couple for their sexuality.

If the best alibi you can present at your murder trial: I was high and can't remember, only arriving at this alibi after offering several others, all conflicting... and don't treat your trial seriously until the closing arguments... terrible things (like your conviction, if unwarranted) may happen.

The highly questionable motivations attributed to Amanda are worthy of criticism and discussion, but at least as worthy are her clearly horrendous legal defense team, which have, to be very kind, done her no favors, and have left the door open to equivocate over all of the mountain of circumstantial evidence, and ultimately the witch hunt that occurred.
Derek, interestingly enough, Knox and Sollecito might've had a stronger alibi if it weren't for the incompetence of the Italian police. They confiscated two computers from Sollecito's apartment, and a third from Knox/Kercher's apartment. They removed the hard drives and, in an attempt to access the first one, broke it. The same incompetent technician, then tried the same thing on the next one, and managed to break it too. In defiance of all common sense, he then tried the same technique on the third, breaking it as well. The police then sent them to a third-party data retrieval shop, but they were unable to access anything on the three hard drives. The defense finally contacted the manufacturer directly (I think it was Toshiba, but could be wrong on that), and they offered to retrieve the data. The defense filed a request with the judge, but it was denied. Evidence on the computers, including of Knox and Kercher hanging out and having fun together, as well as confirmation that Knox and Sollecito did in fact watch "Amelie" on the computer the night of the murder would appear, at least for now, to be forever lost. Unfortunately, that was the hardly the end of the bungling by the Italian police.
for those who dont know, emma peel is head of the Supercilious Matriarchy here on open salon. you can find her knives and bloody fingerprints all over the place. :p
a postscript on my post about the police. I did once talk to an FBI agent about another shady character, or one of many. that trial eventually took place and he was convicted. but while voluntarily talking to the FBI, they basically insinuated/threatened me that they could possibly put me in jail under suspicion of a crime and that it could take months to get out even if I was innocent. hmmmmm.. if we could record what goes on in police interviews, I think it would be pretty unbelievable. now theres a "reality show" that might really teach us something about reality....
and my experiences predate 911 after which I think the atmosphere has changed almost drastically at times..

my advice to anyone talking to the police. [and this is gonna sound a little unpatriotic, but whatever] avoid volunteering.. it actually backfires and draws suspicion to you. if they confront you for information/leads, try to avoid them. do not pushback hard, but pushback. say you are busy, you dont have the time, you dont see why you should get involved, its their job, its someone elses problem, whatever. let them convince you that they have reasonable intentions and are not trying to entrap you for something you didnt do, and that there is no personal risk for your involvement, and conceivably some reward. if you must talk to them, pressed, just state the simple facts, and do not play any games about hypothetical situations. draw a strict boundary. just dont answer questions outside of that boundary. dont answer seemingly irrelevant questions. just say, "I dont know" or "I dont see how thats relevant" etcetera..... repeat the same [true!!] story over and over, and get impatient if they ask you to deviate from it. do not spend more time than is reasonable. after an unreasonable amount of time, feel free to say "thats it"....
do not lose your temper, do not lose your cool, do not talk to them while you are upset, do not let them make you upset by their questions....
the best advice is to have a lawyer, but frankly, I do think with *honest* police it helps to talk to the police directly, briefly as possible.. if you are innocent and are sucked into some nearby vortex....
basically, I was fascinated with the so-called story of the "good samaritan", thought it applied, but it is a very risky perspective to take when talking to the police. as they say, dont try to be a hero. its the police's job for that. there are many parallel stories of people who "go out on a limb" for the police, get into trouble for it, & I cant think of anecdotes where police go out on a limb for people they are talking to during an investigation....
but, they will say everything possible to suggest they are looking out for your best interests..... I wouldnt call it a sham, but its a veneer or facade.....
interesting case study of "talking to the police"... last episode of the Lword....
criminals & police are two sides of a polarity.... like yin & yang.... discrete yet intermixed....
so, I guess the "takeaway" from this is, if you want to pour your heart out somewhere.. do it in a blog!!! ... better yet, maybe somebody elses comments :p
geeez what the @#%&^* am I doing... comments need a delete button for the commenters hahaha. disregard everything I just said... as the police say.... "nothing to see here folks... move along now...."
yep.... anonymous cyber-strangers are more trustworthy than police.... ?!?!
confide your crimes in cyberspace!!
I'm glad you kept it real with this story and revealed more info than what is generally getting out there- we need more of this in our media!
I found that I automatically believed what everyone would tend to at first too. It goes to show also, that looks really can matter- no wonder so many pretty women are considerd "bitches", it's becasue we as a society let them get away with murder!
Keep 'em interesting posts coming :)
Regards - Frances, my occupational therapist salary page is available here also now.