Sunday, November 15, 2020

⛓The Curious Case of Amanda Knox ⛓

 On November 1st, 2007, United Kingdom exchange student Meredith Kercher was brutally murdered by Rudy Guede. His guilt is absolutely certain but you've probably never heard of him. 

... but chances are you've probably heard the name Amanda Knox. She was accused of the murder, found guilty, and spent years in an Italian prison. Even though there was no physical evidence linking her to the crime. 

This is the Curious Case of Amanda Knox. 

(source: ABC news)

Amanda Knox was born July 9th, 1987 to Edda Mallis and Curt Knox in Seattle, Washington. When she was young her parents got divorced and her mom remarried a man named Chris. Amanda had 3 younger sisters and would describe herself as being "quirky" and "weird." 

She was very extraverted and nerdy. She was super into Harry Potter and really just marched to the beat of her own drum. When she was 15 her and her family took a trip to Italy, where she got to go to Rome, Pisa, and see the ruins of Pompeii. While on that trip she just really fell in love with the country and always knew that she wanted to go back and spend time there. So in 2007 when she was a sophomore in college she decided to do a study abroad in Perugia, Italy. 

She lived in a beautiful Italian flat and had 3 other roommates. Two of them were Italian men studying to be lawyers and the third was an english woman named Meredith Kercher. 

(Source: thesun.co.uk) 

Pretty much as soon as Amanda got to Italy she got a job as a bartender at a club near her home. Her boss was a man named Patrick Lumumba and he said that Amanda was a good employee for him. 

Amanda and Meredith weren't very close. They were actually pretty much polar opposites in terms of personality. Meredith was more straight laced and Amanda was the free spirit type. In late October 2007 Amanda and Meredith decided to go to a classical music concert and there Amanda met Raffaele Sollecito. Raffaele and Amanda instantly clicked and started spending all of their time together. But they only had about a week of this honeymoon phase of their relationship. 


Raffaele Sollecito in 2007
(source: archive.sltrib.com)

The evening of November 1st, 2007, Amanda got a text from her boss, Patrick, saying she didn't have to come in that night. So her and Raffaele spent the evening together cooking dinner and watching movies. Amanda says she woke up the next day around 10am and walked back to her flat. When she got there she saw that the door was wide open but she wasn't too alarmed by this and went inside. It wasn't until she was in the bathroom and notice some blood that she got concerned and went back to Raffaeles and together they went and checked out her flat. They noticed that Meredith's door was locked and they knocked and called her but to no answer. 

Amanda started to get very concerned and Raffaele started to try and kick the door down. While that was happening two police officers happened to show up to the flat because they found a cell phone that belonged to Meredith. The police think that someone had thrown out of a car into someones back yard. Someone called the police about it and the cops were nice enough to bring it back to her. 

So it was kind of weird that they didn't call the police, the police kind of just showed up there. After they were there for a little while and figured out what was going on they called the military police. (Remember we're dealing with the Italian police so things are different over there.) So when the military police got there, they sealed off the house and went in. They busted down Meredith's door they found Meredith's body. She had been brutally murdered. 

While this was all happening Amanda is outside with Raffaele and they are videotaped kissing, and comforting each other. 

(source: express.co.uk)

This got a lot of flack from the media for not looking they're grieving enough. The public really just saw this and viewed Amanda and Raffaele in a very negative light. Suspicion really started when there was a candle light vigil for Meredith and Amanda and Raffaele didn't even show up. Which, you have to admit is weird. Meredith and Amanda weren't close but they were friends and they lived together. Amanda was the one to even come across her body, so it's super weird that she didn't even go to the vigil out of respect. Instead, her and Raffaele were at a friends house having dinner. 

Two days after the murder, police brought Amanda back into the house to see if she could identify if one other their kitchen knives was missing. They were trying to identify a murder weapon. While Amanda was in there she is recorded as acting strangely. The lead investigator, Edgardo Giobbi, says that he had doubts about Amanda from the moment she walked with him through the crime scene. She put on protective booties, swiveled her hips and said, "ta-dah." 

During that walk-through, Amanda, says that it all just hit her and once that her roommate had been brutally murdered in their apartment and she kind of just started losing it. "She started hitting the palms of her hands on her ears. As if there was a the memory of a noise, a sound, a scream. Meredith's scream. Undoubtedly, I started to suspect Amanda."  

Edgardo Giobbi has been quoted saying,"we were able to establish guilt, by closely observing the suspect's psychological and behavioral reaction during the interrogation. We don't need to rely on other kinds of investigation." 

(source: dailymail.co.uk)

When Meredith's friends met up with Amanda and Raffaele at the police station her friends immediately ran up and hugged Amanda. Instead of hugging her back Amanda stiffened , holding her arms down by her sides and said nothing. Meredith's friend says that "there was no emotion on Amanda's face." When Raffaele walked up, the couple just stood there staring at each other. At the police station she sat with her feet on his lap, they caressed and kissed each other. Sometimes even laugh. Meredith's friends were all in tears or looked completely devastated. But Amanda and Raffaele would be kissing each other loudly. 

One of Meredith's friends Natalie said, "Let's hope she didn't suffer." Which Amanda replied, "What do you think? They cut her throat, Natalie. She fucking bled to death!" This really disturbed Natalie. 

This type of situation calls for a sympathetic response, Knox was loud and angry. This doesn't read like grief. But Amanda's only "crime" in this whole case, is not acting the way we think people are supposed to act after their roommate is murdered. 

Everyone's reaction to something horrible is different. Why can't someone be angry in response to a murder, rather than sad? The world didn't know who Amanda Knox really was. They saw her as cold and calculating rather than just a weird, sheltered girl from Seattle. The media really had no tolerance at all for her differentness. With strangers, we're intolerant of emotional responses that fall outside expectations. So in the media, Amanda was really starting to be painted as guilty. 

(source: buggedspace.com)

She was also reported to be stretching and doing cartwheels while waiting to be interviewed by police. But Amanda says that this was really blown out of proportion and that she was just stretching. 

The police in this case really treated her unfairly. If you're familiar with true crime you might know of the phenomena when people give false confessions. Theres a great documentary on Netflix called "The Confession Tapes," that really explains this phenomena well. But basically, the police can lie to you, abuse you, and use unethical tactics on you. There is a widely documented phenomena of people just losing their minds a little bit after being interrogated for hours and hours. They can be kept from using the bathroom or having a break at all. People are tricked and yelled at for hours. This happens all the time. The thing with police though, is that they're job is find someone who could be guilty, and it's up to the justice system to determine if they are or not. So they're not as worried about truth as much as people think they are. Their job is just to find someone, and its surprising easy to convince someone that they committed a crime. 

While Raffaele was being questioned he says that he started "losing his sense of reality" and changed his whole story. He said that Amanda hadn't gotten to his place until around 1am. Amanda says that she can't even really remember being interrogated that much because it was just so stressful and traumatic. Which is also a really common occurrence for people in high stress situations. (Keep in mind Amanda couldn't speak Italian so it adds another layer of confusion for her.) Amanda says that a police officer even hit her during the interrogation and said that "she better remember." Amanda was there for hours and at around 2 in the morning she said that she just kind of lost her mind, became delusional and changed her whole story. 

Amanda told police that Patrick did it, her boss. And she says that for some reason during the interrogation she thought that Patrick really did do it. He was arrested but it was proven that he had a air tight alibi and was released. 

So now things really didn't look good for Amanda. She was put in jail and the media really went wild with the whole case. Unfortunately the only pictures that the media had of Amanda and Raffaele, was one where Amanda was holding a machine gun while laughing, and Raffaele dressed as a mummy holding a giant knife. 

(Source: metro.co.uk)

While in jail Amanda was treated very poorly by police. They told her that she had AIDS. Amanda was understandably really upset about this and wrote in her journal about how she had always wanted kids, how her whole life would be different now. She also wrote down a list of her sexual partners to see who could have given it to her and the police took her journal and the list and leaked it to the media. The media went wild with this and really slut shamed her. The gag of it all, was the she didn't even really have AIDs the police lied to her. After this the whole world starting calling her "Foxy Knoxy" and this was even used against her in the case. Prosecuters claimed that Amanda was into dangerous sex games and that the murder was a result of a sex and drugs. 

Could you imagine being in Amanda's shoes? She was in jail for a crime she didn't do, the police are abusing her, the media's coming after her. Her private sexual history was released to the world, she was across the world in a foreign country with a language she couldn't speak and she was only 20 at the time. 

Meanwhile there was no physical evidence linking her to the crime and no plausible explanation why Amanda - a sheltered, middle-class girl from Seattle - would be interested in engaging in murderous sex games. 

Meanwhile, Rudy Guede's DNA was matched to unknown male DNA found on Meredith's body. He already had a criminal history of breaking and entering and admitted to being at Meredith's house the night of the murder. He could only give the most implausible reasons for why the crime scene was covered in his DNA and after her body was discovered, he fled the country to Germany.  

Rudy's trial took place in early 2008 and was quickly found guilty, but the media gave almost no attention to this at all. There's a lot of people out there today who still don't know that this case was solved and that there is a person in prison serving time for it. 

Amanda's trail started in 2009 and was found guilty on the flimsiest of evidence and sentence to 26 years in prison. Amanda and her family were completely shocked by this. They truly thought that there was no way she could be found guilty and people in America were really angry about this. But in Italy, people were celebrating her sentence and even partied outside the courthouse. 

Her family unfortunately had to leave Italy without her and as soon as they got back they started working on an appeal. In 2010, Amanda's retrial started and because this case was so drawn out, there was a new judge and a new prosector. At this point, Amanda had been in jail for 3 years. Her defense was basically that there was already someone guilty of the crime - Rudy Guede, and that there was no physically evidence linking her to the crime. If she was going to do weird sex things with Meredith and then brutally murder her, there would have been a lot more evidence. 

On October 3rd of 2011 a new verdict was announced. 

(source: cbsnews.com)

She had been acquitted of the murder and could finally go home to Washington. 

(source: cbsnews.com)

When she got back she started to try and rebuild her life. She started taking classes at the University of Washington majoring in creative writing. 

However this time was rather hard for her. People recognized her but many people didn't know the full story so there was a lot of whispering and rumors going on. But she was doing her best to get on with her life. 

This didn't last too long though because on March 26th of 2013 the Italian court overturned her acquittal. They used the flimsiest, circumstantial evidence to claim that she was still guilty. They had found the smallest, tiniest piece of Amanda's DNA on a knife and the whole thing was honestly bullshit. It seems like they weren't really trying to get justice for Meredith, but try to prove them selves right. 

Amanda was horrified and refused to go back to Italy. She appealed this verdict and the court took place without her present. In January 2014, the Italian court found her guilty again. She appealed this again, and this time everything was on the line. This was the last appeal that Amanda could do, so whatever the verdict was, would stand. 

(source: cnn.com)

In March 2014, the Italian court overturned her conviction and Amanda could finally be done with the whole thing. The supreme court said that they acquitted them because there were so many flaws in the investigation and the fact that the media was so intense that it made people very bias. The police were under a lot of pressure to find someone that the investigation was rushed and messy. They said that there was just not enough evidence of them at the crime scene. 

So Amanda is officially a free woman! She graduated college in 2014 and has gone on to become an advocate for people who have wrongful convictions. She has her own show called The Scarlet Letter, she wrote a book Waiting to be Heard and is really passionate about holding journalism accountable. 

Amanda pictured in 2020 with her husband. 
(source: telegraph.co.uk)

Italy really did Amanda dirty and it's truly sad that people don't know her full story but we do have to remember who lost their life in this situation. 

(source: telegraph.co.uk)

Meredith was sadly murdered in her youth and her family had to deal with her case being drawn out for years with Meredith not even being the main focus. Meredith was calm, sweet and shy. She was studying European politics to make a difference in the world. While Amanda's story was unfair and horrendous, it's important to remember who actually lost their life.  

May Meredith's memory be a blessing. 

(source: thetimes.co.uk)

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