Amanda Knox convictions overturned, to be freed immediately
October 3, 2011 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Amanda Knox freed by Italian appeals court An Italian appeals court has thrown out the 2009 convictions of herself and her co-defendent, and has ordered Amanda Knox to be freed immediately.
posted by hincandenza (422 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The American press has been sympathetic to the kooky, free-spirited Knox, who is now fluent in Italian.

Is it bad that this made me literally laugh out loud?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Well that will be what CNN is about for the next week or so.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail has finally split off into it's own parallel world.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on October 3, 2011 [26 favorites]


Amusing tweet I read (and reflected in framing of this FPP): "Knox freed! (unattractive male non-American also let go)."
posted by modernnomad at 1:49 PM on October 3, 2011 [48 favorites]


There's a few people pointing out she's going back to the execution happy US as well...
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2011


Hey that dude ain't bad lookin'!
posted by Mister_A at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This whole episode has been so embarrassing for the Italian justice system. Some how I bet they're not done digging yet.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear Amanda,

whatever you do, do NOT dye your hair blonde and take a vacation in Aruba. We want you to stay outta the news, kid.
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


If I understand correctly, the Italian prosecutors only mistake was convicting two unrelated sets of defendants of the same crime, no? I'm shocked! An American should've invented that tactic for elevating your conviction rate first!
posted by jeffburdges at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2011


For more context and prior discussions on Knox, see previously.

I am somewhat interested in understanding how the victim's parent still seem to believe that Knox and her boyfriend are guilty, and whether they will change their minds.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In her closing arguments last week, Mr. Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, compared Ms. Knox to Jessica Rabbit, the sultry vixen in the animated film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," adding that Ms. Knox "isn't bad, she's just drawn that way."


... what. Seriously?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:56 PM on October 3, 2011 [30 favorites]


With a defense like that, who needs prosecutors?
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:57 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


This whole episode has been so embarrassing for the Italian justice system.

Hey, flawed as it may be, at least we don't execute our judicial errors.
posted by _dario at 1:59 PM on October 3, 2011 [92 favorites]


Josh and Shane who?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:59 PM on October 3, 2011


Kinda pleased about this - it always smelt a bit off to me...
posted by dash_slot- at 1:59 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


jabberjaw, I get the feeling having read both the Guardian and the Daily Mail (it's my guilty pleasure while I'm having my morning coffee) that a fair amount of people in the UK still aren't convinced of Knox's innocence. This story has gotten a whole different spin outside of the US.
posted by kaybdc at 2:00 PM on October 3, 2011


... what. Seriously?

Because Italy.
posted by maryr at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, she's certainly gonna get fuckin' rich now.
posted by ReeMonster at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed the huge crucifix at the front of the courtroom. Stay classy, Italy.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Because Italy.

/plays tune from fuck-awful movie "Nine".
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on October 3, 2011


What a fascinating story. I think since her arrest I flip flopped a half dozen times between "How could anyone possibly think she's innocent" and "Poor girl was railroaded by idiot officials" depending on what version of the events I read.

All in all, I'm glad she's out. The incompetence and maliciousness of the Italian police, media and prosecutors outweighed any concern about actual guilt or innocence for me.
posted by auto-correct at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ok, well, as an American peppered with subjective news coverage, could an enlightened European throw me a bone here and provide a link that credibly pieces together the story of the guilt of Knox and Sollecito? Because I haven't read one, but I'm sure there's something out there.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:04 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


All I've read re: their guilt has been circumstantial stuff about how Knox acted after the murder. Never any actual evidence or a coherent theory/story.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


a fair amount of people in the UK still aren't convinced of Knox's innocence

I don't think that's based on any actual understanding of the facts of the case though. The early 'trial by media' in the UK press, particularly the fucking Daily Mail, was ridiculous.
posted by IanMorr at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Google Giuliano Mignini; he's the same asshole who harassed (American author) Douglas Preston and arrested Mario Spezi on trumped up charges.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Snark aside, what is the most reasonable theory for what actually happened? There was someone else who got convinced, so ... does the other person seem like they might actually be guilty? Or was it a dual railroading with the actual killer still running around somewhere?

If I was an Italian, to say nothing about the parents of the victim, that'd be what would concern me; that there's still some (less photogenic, perhaps) BTK-type murderer running around the countryside.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2011


This is something the 24-hour news channels are going to try to make me give a damn about, isn't it?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


The only question now is who will be cast as Amanda Knox in the movie. Cause there's gonna be a movie. A young attractive white girl; this movie greenlights itself. Renee Zellweiger...Miley Cyrus...that Twilight girl.
posted by zardoz at 2:07 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The trial and appeal of Amanda Knox has proved that extreme misogyny is alive and well in the modern world.
posted by Summer at 2:07 PM on October 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


could an enlightened European throw me a bone here and provide a link that credibly pieces together the story of the guilt of Knox and Sollecito? Because I haven't read one, but I'm sure there's something out there..

HAHAHAHA OH WOW
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:08 PM on October 3, 2011


This is something the 24-hour news channels are going to try to make me give a damn about, isn't it?

You watch 24-hour news channels? Why?
posted by The World Famous at 2:08 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


The movie's already cast -- it's Hayden Panetierre
posted by brainmouse at 2:09 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, in fact, the movie already aired like 9 months ago... maybe we need Movie: Round 2.
posted by brainmouse at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


and who will be cast as Meredith Kercher, in the movie of this tradgedy?

Jesus Christ?
posted by Wilder at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2011


HAHAHAHA OH WOW

Hmmm, is that a comment on the fact there isn't one? A comment on my skewed editorializing in a comment? A comment on - what, exactly? As an American, I've read a lot of stories about how this is a sham case. I'd like to read an article that summarizes the other side of the argument, if there is such a thing.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


Almost no newspaper I've read in the UK has spun this case as Knox being overwhelmingly innocent.

There appear, depending on which side of the Atlantic you live on, to be only two possible narratives:

- this is a travesty of justice or it was a travesty of justice.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2011


Amanda Knox is no Jens Soering. Previously.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:11 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about this today. If she was released it would be like a 4 year college degree.
She went to Italy for an education, and she got one with spades. Her degree is from the best college in the world. I wonder what she will do with it?
posted by JohnR at 2:12 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, she's certainly gonna get fuckin' rich now.

I hope so, I hope she gets millions in damages when she sues the Italian state for putting her in jail for 4 years with no evidence and such a leaky case to start with. As an Italian (expat, thankfully), I'm happy for Amanda and Raffaele, less happy that such a ridiculous miscarriage of justice happened in the first place. The prosecutor and the team who fucked up the collection and processing of evidence so badly should pay those damages out of their own pocket.
posted by bitteschoen at 2:13 PM on October 3, 2011 [17 favorites]


You watch 24-hour news channels? Why?

A close friend's an editor at CNN, so I feel obligated to watch his stuff! And I like Rachel Maddow! And sometimes I flip past Fox News on my way to The Weather Channel! DONT JUDGE ME
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:14 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


DONT JUDGE ME

We don't even own TVs, you know.
posted by Artw at 2:15 PM on October 3, 2011 [45 favorites]


Almost no newspaper I've read in the UK has spun this case as Knox being overwhelmingly innocent.

I know a number of people in the UK, including myself, who think this was an outright egregious miscarriage of justice. The papers may not be onside, but they're not the only media over here.
posted by Summer at 2:15 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Her degree is from the best college in the world

Medical School, probably. Because Johns Hopkins totally recognizes Italian jail as the best college in the world.
posted by The World Famous at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


"Well, she's certainly gonna get fuckin' rich now."

And I think she has certainly earned it.
posted by bz at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


that Twilight girl.

Kristen Stewart? In a drug fueled Bacchanalian orgy scene? I'd, uh, watch that movie. I might even, buy that movie. You know, for the special features.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This whole episode has been so embarrassing for the Italian justice system.

They're now charging scientists with witchcraft failing to predict earthquakes. Perhaps they consider this embarrassingly minor league injustice by comparison and want to put it behind them.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Her degree is from the best college in the world. I wonder what she will do with it?

The School of Hard Knox.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2011 [69 favorites]


Dario Argentino to direct!
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


PS I am patting myself on the back like a motherfucker for that one
posted by nathancaswell at 2:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [106 favorites]



a fair amount of people in the UK still aren't convinced of Knox's innocence

I don't think that's based on any actual understanding of the facts of the case though. The early 'trial by media' in the UK press, particularly the fucking Daily Mail, was ridiculous.
posted by IanMorr at 2:05 PM on October 3 [1 favorite +] [!]


Theoretically, we trust courts to determine guilt or innocence, and should try to remember that when we disagree with their conclusions. It's extremely difficult, but it's important. If the court system is proven to be frequently wrong, then we need to reform our methods for determining guilt. But if we're going to have a court system, we must be relatively confident in its decisions.

It's either that or we give up on the justice system entirely and start sharpening those pitch forks.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


In her closing arguments last week, Mr. Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, compared Ms. Knox to Jessica Rabbit, the sultry vixen in the animated film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," adding that Ms. Knox "isn't bad, she's just drawn that way."

Er no, she was not making that comparison herself, she was talking about the public portrayal of Amanda by those who painted her as a maneater, a "Venus in fur" and yeah "Jessica Rabbit", like the cliché of the seductive manipulative woman.

Here you go, direct quote from an Italian news agency, google-translated.

There's enough real facts that make the Italian court system look bad in this case, no need to make anything up...
posted by bitteschoen at 2:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


PS I am patting myself on the back like a motherfucker for that one

Indeed, that comment was gold. You should keep it locked up in a fort or something.
posted by cog_nate at 2:24 PM on October 3, 2011 [33 favorites]


I certainly believe that Amanda Knox is innocent, that the investigation was poorly handled (and that's putting it mildly) and that the first trial was a miscarriage of justice. But frankly, as an American, I don't feel all that comfortable pointing fingers and laughing at the Italian justice system. It's not like an innocent person has never gotten wrongly convicted and as a result spent significant time in prison for it in the US.
posted by kaybdc at 2:24 PM on October 3, 2011 [25 favorites]


But frankly, as an American, I don't feel all that comfortable pointing fingers and laughing at the Italian justice system. It's not like an innocent person has never gotten wrongly convicted and as a result spent significant time in prison for it in the US.
I don't know. I'm pretty comfortable saying that both the Italian and the American justice systems are fucked up. I'm confident many Italians would agree.
posted by craichead at 2:25 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


could an enlightened European throw me a bone here and provide a link that credibly pieces together the story of the guilt of Knox and Sollecito? Because I haven't read one, but I'm sure there's something out there.."

She has some visible psychopath traits, but also some autistic traits (and those have a lot of overlap from 20,000ft), combined with her story adding up to her pretty clearly hiding something because she was afraid of getting into more trouble. From there it isn't much of a leap to suppose she's a psychopath covering up her role in a murder. Or maybe she's a geeky kid covering up drug/sex games gone wrong. Miscarriage of justice in any case, so correct result.
posted by nerkul at 2:27 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I certainly believe that Amanda Knox is innocent, that the investigation was poorly handled (and that's putting it mildly) and that the first trial was a miscarriage of justice. But frankly, as an American, I don't feel all that comfortable pointing fingers and laughing at the Italian justice system. It's not like an innocent person has never gotten wrongly convicted and as a result spent significant time in prison for it in the US.

I think that this is what both bothered me and saddened me. The prosecution with their innuendo about her beauty or sexuality, circumstantial evidence from drug addicts and drunkards, tabloid ready "theories", seemed, seemed, so American. I mean, how do you say y'all in Italian?

I had naively thought that the bullshit that goes on in the actual US justice system - as opposed to the excellent one we are promised on paper - would never fly in an EU country.
posted by xetere at 2:29 PM on October 3, 2011


Also quite a few traits of being a well-off, naive kid from a major Western country who thought nothing bad could ever happen to her.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm ambivalent about the case -- a shoddy investigation means nobody gets justice -- but it's been a demonstration of how, even in a globalised world, you can have three very different localised media narratives, with the one in the US very heavily shaped by the PR company hired by Knox's family.

(I'm cynically wondering who's going to make the first reality-show pitch starring her and Casey Anthony.)
posted by holgate at 2:31 PM on October 3, 2011


She has some visible psychopath traits, but also some autistic traits (and those have a lot of overlap from 20,000ft), combined with her story adding up to her pretty clearly hiding something because she was afraid of getting into more trouble.
Ok, seriously, what? What is a "visible psychopathic trait", exactly?
posted by craichead at 2:31 PM on October 3, 2011 [29 favorites]


It's not like an innocent person has never gotten wrongly convicted and as a result spent significant time in prison for it in the US.

No, of course, but there are specific elements, in how this case was messed up, that point to endemic problems within the Italian justice system, in a way that goes deeper than individual occurrences of miscarriages of justice, which can happen pretty much anywhere.
posted by bitteschoen at 2:32 PM on October 3, 2011


She's a sexy sex-pot who puts out, and is therefore a satanic witch.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on October 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


Today I learned that bread has DNA. Or at least that Italian police think it does.
posted by ScotchRox at 2:33 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm cynically wondering who's going to make the first reality-show pitch starring her and Casey Anthony.

I'll take nobody for $500, Alex.

Most Americans think Casey Anthony suffocated her daughter and then decided to spend the next month shaking a boogie. A vast majority of Americans think Amanda Knox was an innocent college kid railroaded by a foreign court system. Why on God's green earth would Knox be in a reality show with Casey Anthony? What?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:36 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Today I learned that bread has DNA. Or at least that Italian police think it does.

If you cut it, does it not bleed? No? Oh, okay, sorry.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:37 PM on October 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm playing a game on twitter, guessing if the person that is tweeting about the verdict is from the US or the UK. I'm 38 for 39.
posted by yeti at 2:37 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The prosecutors used character assasination all along. An example from last week: Prosecutors compare Amanda Knox to Nazis.

And gotta love the head prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini. A 'straight shooting' lawyer: Amanda Knox prosecutor Giuliano Mignini convicted of ‘abuse of office’.

In another specious case Miggnini also went after author Douglas Preston.

Preston said of Mignini:
" ... let me tell you about my own experience with Mignini, because, when I was writing 'The Monster of Florence', he called me in for an interrogation.

I had irritated him with my theories. And he accused me of being an accessory to murder. He accused me of being -- of involvement in satanic rites and satanic sex. And he demanded that I confess to all these crimes that I had committed, and, if I didn't, that he would indict me in -- for perjury.

And, when I didn't confess to these nonexistent crimes, he did in fact indict me for perjury and suggested that I leave Italy. And, so, this is a very abusive prosecutor. He makes up theories. He's -- he's -- he's obsessed with satanic sex.

And let's not forget that his original theory of the crime was that this was a satanic killing, that -- that Meredith Kercher was murdered in a satanic rite, that -- that, somehow, Amanda Knox was a satanist.

I mean, these are crazy theories."
posted by ericb at 2:37 PM on October 3, 2011 [29 favorites]


Today I learned that bread has DNA. Or at least that Italian police think it does.

Bread does have DNA, doesn't it?
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


> She has some visible psychopath traits, but also some autistic traits (and those have a lot of overlap from 20,000ft),

Did you make this diagnosis from shots of her being shuffled in and out of a courtroom full of media?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Bread does have DNA, doesn't it?

I think the joke was meant to be that it has human DNA.
posted by nzero at 2:39 PM on October 3, 2011


> Today I learned that bread has DNA. Or at least that Italian police think it does.

I had a comment about that but I am absolutely not putting it up against (Arsenio) and (Warren)'s
posted by jfuller at 2:40 PM on October 3, 2011


On non-preview, what 2bucksplus said!
posted by ericb at 2:41 PM on October 3, 2011


kaybdc: "It's not like an innocent person has never gotten wrongly convicted and as a result spent significant time in prison for it in the US."

and if it wasn't for pure luck, Patrick Lumumba, the man Knox tried to pin the whole thing on would probably had been sent to prison for a very long time despite his innocence.
posted by 2manyusernames at 2:41 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hooray!
posted by oneironaut at 2:41 PM on October 3, 2011


"Ok, seriously, what? What is a "visible psychopathic trait", exactly?"

She has a classic psychopath smirk. The way she acted at her first trial suggested either psychopathy or retardation. The accounts of her being naive (that could equally be autism, but smiling in court almost certainly wouldn't be).

She could be an innocent psychopath. Don't prejudge, Horselover.
posted by nerkul at 2:42 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you cut it, does it not bleed?

Vampire Loaf, it's what all the kids want these days!
posted by nomisxid at 2:42 PM on October 3, 2011


> She has a classic psychopath smirk.

I smirk at this glib assessment.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:43 PM on October 3, 2011 [35 favorites]


Patrick Lumumba, the man Knox tried to pin the whole thing on

In a confession, made under duress.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm playing a game on twitter, guessing if the person that is tweeting about the verdict is from the US or the UK. I'm 38 for 39.

HA! I was just doing the same thing. Quite telling, isn't it?
posted by ob at 2:46 PM on October 3, 2011


She has a classic psychopath smirk. The way she acted at her first trial suggested either psychopathy or retardation.

Please be trolling. Please please please be trolling.

On the slim, makes-the-world-worse off-chance that you're not, you should read up on the "A Cry in the Dark" case for some fun information about what happens when we judge people based on them having allegedly inappropriate emotional reactions.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2011 [27 favorites]


She has a classic psychopath smirk.

I'll take "Rejected Titles Of Motley Crue Songs" for $1000, Alex.
posted by The World Famous at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2011 [23 favorites]


My sources tell me that Anne Hathaway will play the role in the forthcoming film, to be shot, in part, in Little Italy, Boston, Ma.
posted by Postroad at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2011


Sticherbeast: she had a ton of inappropriate emotional responses. Pound to a penny you could diagnose her with something. Psychopathy and autism are the bookies favourites, but there are a lot of other good words out there. I'm just saying what I see, I have no opinion on whether she killed the guy.
posted by nerkul at 2:50 PM on October 3, 2011


You realize "crazy eyes" is something that only exists in sitcoms, right?
posted by kmz at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


More evidence that I'm a bit character in the Robert Altman movie 'the Player'
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2011


Patrick Lumumba, the man Knox tried to pin the whole thing on

In a confession, made under duress.


Yep.
"But [Mignini's] American detractors have claimed his investigation was a 'railroad job from hell', starting from the moment he questioned Knox for hours without a lawyer, coaxing her into naming an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, as the likely murderer, to his suggestion that Knox and Sollecito's slaying of Kercher was inspired by the occult."
And, her Italian was very rudimentary at the time of the interrogation.
posted by ericb at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've only read about the case in the Guardian, which to me always seemed to present everything in a pretty balanced way. Take this article from 2009 reporting her initial conviction. This part seems to be implying that "well she was convicted, but the prosecution's case seemed a bit ropey":

Amanda Knox then gave police a statement which she subsequently retracted, in which she said she had been at the flat when Kercher was murdered and had covered her ears to block out her screams. Her statement, at the end of an overnight without the assistance of either a lawyer or interpreter, interrogation was ruled inadmissible by Italy's highest court.

But, by a quirk of the law, it was able to be cited repeatedly in court and even shown this week on a giant screen to the two professional and six lay judges trying the case. That was not the only unusual aspect of a trial during which the leading counsel for the prosecution, Giuliano Mignini, was being tried for abusing his powers in another case.

posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:54 PM on October 3, 2011


Fuck, I had "Syphilis Crazy" at -110, how much did Psychopathy pay out?
posted by nathancaswell at 2:54 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pound to a penny you could diagnose her with something.

Well, after this whole fucking ordeal, yeah, probably.
posted by chillmost at 2:54 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


PS I am patting myself on the back like a motherfucker for that one

Indeed, that comment was gold. You should keep it locked up in a fort or something.


u jelly?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2011


duck
posted by nathancaswell at 2:56 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bread does have DNA, doesn't it?

Assuming processing into flour, kneading and baking left the wheat DNA intact, and baking left the yeast DNA intact, yes. Of course it would be impossible to tell if the yeast DNA came from the bread, or just from yeast just being all over everything.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:58 PM on October 3, 2011


"You realize "crazy eyes" is something that only exists in sitcoms, right?"

Incorrect. You can tell everything about someone from how their eyes move around a room. I've known this for years but there's actual science on it lately. Amanda Knox, from the little I've seen, looks psychopathic. I would listen to someone suggesting an alternate diagnosis that explained all her personality quirks (I'm not interesting in forensics or whether she's guilty - not my field).
posted by nerkul at 2:59 PM on October 3, 2011


Take this article from 2009 reporting her initial conviction.

Another good article from the year before ...

Judy Bachrach | Vanity Fair: Perugia’s Prime Suspect.
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on October 3, 2011


You can tell everything about someone from how their eyes move around a room.

Mine are rolling right now, what can you tell from that?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [76 favorites]


[Debates about whether or not someone is trolling can go to MetaTalk if they have to exist at all. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:02 PM on October 3, 2011


But we can tell by peoples eyes!
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on October 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


I admit I haven't followed any recent developments of this case, and perhaps I am being a patsy of the US media (it wouldn't be the first time, sadly) but when I saw this thread I instantly recalled reading this fascinating Vanity Fair article on the case back in 2008 and it seemed horribly unfair at the time.
posted by jess at 3:03 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Oh. Damn you, ericb, for being faster than me!)
posted by jess at 3:04 PM on October 3, 2011


jess, I'm glad you also thought of the VF article, too.
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on October 3, 2011


Maybe this is just the result of things that have happened in the US, but any time a criminal conviction hinges upon something described as a "Satanic orgy" by the prosecution, I'm sorry, I'm just assuming that somebody made it up to sound like the worst possible thing they could think up.
posted by gracedissolved at 3:05 PM on October 3, 2011 [32 favorites]



You can tell everything about someone from how their eyes move around a room.


I wish more people knew that, we could save our criminal justice system an awful lot of time and money in unnecessary jury trials, evidence collection, lawyer fees, and so forth.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm just saying what I see, I have no opinion on whether she killed the guy.

Holy shit, Meredith was a guy?! I really did miss some important facts in this case!
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Reading this thread all of a sudden feels like watching Nancy Grace
posted by Hoopo at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


That VF article seemed to start with the premise she was innocent and then heap everything it could on top of it; I found it unconvincing and selective.

Anyway, I hate the effect this must be having on the Kerchers; they have no daughter to come home, and now no culprit. (This in no way has a bearing on Knox's case, I'm just saying that another consequence of a miscarriage like this is to wound the victim's family once more)
posted by fightorflight at 3:09 PM on October 3, 2011


"I wish more people knew that, we could save our criminal justice system an awful lot of time and money in unnecessary jury trials, evidence collection, lawyer fees, and so forth."

You can't tell facts of cases, just personalities. But you knew that and were being facetious.
posted by nerkul at 3:10 PM on October 3, 2011


and now no culprit

..except for the guy who left bloody handprints at the scene and is currently in jail for the murder.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [30 favorites]


There is only one truly important question here : If you convict enough unrelated people for the same crime, can you compute your conviction rate as convictions/cases as opposed to convictions/trials, ultimately reaching or exceeding 100%.

It's clearly vital that our district atornies most willing to railroad should obtain a stratospheric conviction ratio, thus ensuring their office for life.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:11 PM on October 3, 2011


> You can't tell facts of cases, just personalities. But you knew that and were being facetious.

So you read some pop psychology book about how to interpret body language or something, then you internalized that, and now you're a crack judge of character. We got it.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:12 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, scientists really are on trial in Italy for not predicing an earthquake.
posted by Rashomon at 3:13 PM on October 3, 2011


What I don't get is the British reaction. I know Kercher was one of your own, but somebody else had already been convicted of her murder. Was there just simply not enough justice?
posted by Navelgazer at 3:16 PM on October 3, 2011


"British" reaction, or Daily mail/Telegraph reaction?
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Above: In her closing arguments last week, Mr. Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, compared Ms. Knox to Jessica Rabbit, the sultry vixen in the animated film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," adding that Ms. Knox "isn't bad, she's just drawn that way."

I was in Italy for a grad school program a few years ago, and some of the Italians in the program actually said that that phrase had become a well-known expression or idiom in Italy. The world is a weird place.
posted by stopgap at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2011


Daily Mail reaction, I guess, though by the Twitter stuff it sounded like it was a lot more widespread than that.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:18 PM on October 3, 2011


Horselover, does the "Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements (Oxford Library of Psychology)" sound like a pop psychology book? Nor have I read it. Please be aware of your emotional involvement at this stage. I'm unwilling to deal with that.

"Holy shit, Meredith was a guy?!"

Mm. Though you can see, my observations were elsewhere.
posted by nerkul at 3:18 PM on October 3, 2011


> Please be aware of your emotional involvement at this stage.

Can you see my face to discern that as well? Come on.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


[Seriously, knock it off, you two. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:21 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The other guy they convicted was named Guede. His prints and DNA was found all over the apartment and on Kercher. He admitted to not only being in the apartment the evening of the murder, but also of touching Kercher. He also admitted that his hand was cut that evening.

He skipped town shortly after the murder, despite being a lifelong resident with no reason or prior plan to skip town. Guede was also found carrying a knife. Guede had a prior history of petty crimes. He also basically pleaded his case out in order to ensure a shorter sentence.

I do not believe Guede had any prior history with Kercher, Knox, or Sollecito.

Here is the Wikipedia write-up.

There is a lot of actual, real physical evidence, outside of his own testimony, that he participated in Kercher's murder. But, I guess, it is possible that he was also railroaded by the system.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:24 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Can someone 'splain to me how they have convicted a dude for the murder who left bloody handprints at the scene and DNA evidence on the body and who has been in jail since 2008 while also keeping Knox and the boyfriend in jail for the same crime? And can someone explain to me why the hell they needed any kind of trial to let them go free?

TOTALLY BAFFLED.
posted by xmutex at 3:26 PM on October 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


In relation to what 2bucksplus and ericb have said, The Monster of Florence is a fascinating but disturbing read about an unrelated series of killings in whose investigation / prosecution Giuliano Mignini became a key player. Read the revised version for an afterword dealing with Mignini and the Knox case.

As an individual whose face evidently does not always accurately reflect my inner life, I guess I'll have to hang my hopes for justice on actual evidence should I ever be accused of a heinous crime.
posted by Morrigan at 3:35 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I just hope somebody had the foresight to have a private plane on standby and ready to go the instant she was able to get there. She needs to get the hell out Italy, stat.
posted by COD at 3:35 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The only question now is who will be cast as Amanda Knox in the movie.

They've already made a Lifetime TV movie, starring Hayden Panettiere...
posted by Specklet at 3:43 PM on October 3, 2011


I do not know the facts of the case. Therefore I cannot speculate on the justice meted out today.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:51 PM on October 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


As soon as I saw that the Italian police had done that "you have amnesia, recover the memory for us" bit I figured she had to be innocent. Doing that in an extended interrogation is the classic setup for a false confession.
posted by zipadee at 3:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is a strange and sad case, but it is unfair to judge Italy's entire judical system on this alone. Italy has a lot of really brave judges and independent prosecutors
posted by mumimor at 3:54 PM on October 3, 2011


I've always thought she seemed ridiculously naive, but likely innocent. I'm curious as to what evidence the UK papers (or any other country that is saying she's guilty) are relying on.

That's also not remotely what eye movement tracking study does. (I've been in a few of the studies, because several folks downstairs at work do that.) It does not tell you hardly anything about a person's personality, and certainly not everything. In fact, at the personality level, the amount it tells you would be closer to "nothing." It frequently doesn't even have to do with "eyes moving around a room," because the shifts made in gaze tracking work are at such a tiny angle, it would be more like "around a six inch field of vision" or "between words on a printed page." Most of the stuff studied in the book mentioned above operates at the level of saccades and microsaccades, which a) you couldn't see on tv and b) have more to do with cognitive processing interactions than personality. Even the chapters on research with psychiatric and autistic patients have nothing to do with personality, motivations, or mindset, but how there may be evidence from eye tracking that different areas of the brain are processing the visual field differently. So, no, that book proves nothing about scientific research into a theory of "crazy eyes."
posted by wending my way at 3:57 PM on October 3, 2011 [42 favorites]


I do not know how reliable this source is, but I remember reading in the Italian papers of that period that Guede implicated Amanda and Raffaele in exchange of a reduced sentence to 16 years instead of life. At the time, before the first trial, no DNA evidence was mentioned at all in the papers.
posted by francesca too at 4:02 PM on October 3, 2011


You realize "crazy eyes" is something that only exists in sitcoms, right?

Has Michelle Bachmann gotten this memo?
posted by localroger at 4:19 PM on October 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


I do not know the facts of the case. Therefore I cannot speculate on the justice meted out today.

Typical wishy-washy lawyer-speak. That approach will never fly in the court of public opinion.
posted by Hoopo at 4:22 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't relax too much, folks... The prosecutor can still appeal.

*Composes himself after a fit of laughter, complete with beer squirting out his nose*

Of course, with Knox on her way home tomorrow (kinda surprised she didn't hop the first train North, to spend the night in a civilized country), Italy has as much chance of getting her back as Iran does of ever seeing Shourd, Fattal, and Bauer again.
posted by pla at 4:24 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there an old episode of Law and Order where Sam Waterston prosecuted two different people for a crime only one of them could have committed (I think the idea was to get one of them to flip the other)?
posted by dirigibleman at 4:25 PM on October 3, 2011


[nerkul, we gave you a week off under your existing account, less than a week ago. This is totally not okay. Take a powder.]
posted by cortex at 4:26 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, what happened to all of the comments establishing that nerkul is basing his/her comments off a book that he/she has not read? That seems relevant. So, can I just establish a marker here for people arriving to the thread late that nerkul has not the read that book about eye movements and personality that he/she said explains the connection between eye movements and personality?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:29 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those comments were transformed to stone and smashed into gravel.
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on October 3, 2011


This is something the 24-hour news channels are going to try to make me give a damn about, isn't it?

...

I do not know the facts of the case. Therefore I cannot speculate on the justice meted out today.

I don't even know where nerkul went! (And this will be the last I ever think about Amanda Knox.)
posted by mrgrimm at 4:35 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


My mate is a good friend of Natalie Hayward, Kutcher's good friend who gave an interview last week to the press about her misgivings about Knox's innocence. When the verdict was annouced he rang me right away to rail against it. My reply was 'wtf, you're taking the word fo someone you know who is waaaay biased, and they weren't actaullay there in the first place, who knows, maybe she's innocent maybe she's not'.

Then I come on the blue and the majority of comments are from the opposite end and I remember exactly what it is hate about the INternet.

I don't believe a single person posting here has been following the trial in any more depth than the news reports, yet everyone, just like my friend, feels they have the ability to scream 'she did it' or 'she's innocnet you moron' as if they were there. It's sick and it's boring.

I won't pretend I've read the transcript of this case day in day out, hell, I won't pretend I've paid attention to this trial day in and day out, and so in no way am I going to say I know for certain if she's innocnet or not. Other people apparently don't have that problem.

Meridith Kercher was murdered, Amanda Knox was convicted and now they say she didn't do it. I think we should believe every stage of that process unless we have some actual reason not to. And following the feeds on your local news is not enough reason to disagree.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:38 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


yet everyone, just like my friend, feels they have the ability to scream 'she did it' or 'she's innocnet you moron' as if they were there.

Not me. As a kind of (non-practicing) law talkin' guy, I shudder at the way the media report anything that takes place in the courts. Needs to be taken with more salt than the Dead Sea. I think they use the same reporters to breathlessly cover the latest studies in evolutionary psychology.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2011


I don't believe a single person posting here has been following the trial in any more depth than the news reports, yet everyone, just like my friend, feels they have the ability to scream 'she did it' or 'she's innocnet you moron' as if they were there. It's sick and it's boring.

Well, I did ask twice for someone to post a link that explains the "she is guilty" side of the argument, but no links yet. I do think she's innocent, but I also admit that that's because most of the narratives I've read have painted the picture that Guede did it and Knox and Sollecito had nothing to do with it. I can still change my mind, though, and I'd still quite enjoy to hear from the other aisle on this one. I even did a little digging on my own, but so far it's seriously all about Knox's strange behavior after the crime and not a lick about motive, evidence, or a convincing narrative.

I won't pretend I've read the transcript of this case day in day out, hell, I won't pretend I've paid attention to this trial day in and day out, and so in no way am I going to say I know for certain if she's innocnet or not. Other people apparently don't have that problem.

I don't know, I sure saw a lot of comments in this thread of the "I don't know if she did it or not, but she deserves to be acquitted because of the faults of the prosecution" variety.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:46 PM on October 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


ciderwoman : Meridith Kercher was murdered, Amanda Knox was convicted and now they say she didn't do it. I think we should believe every stage of that process unless we have some actual reason not to.

You want a reason? Some of us followed this circus the first time through, and while we feel happy they released Knox (and some surprise at the BF), we still feel outrage that they basically convicted her for "guilt by partygirl" in the first place and robbed her of four years of her life.

As others have already pointed out, this involves the same country currently putting geologists on trial for failing to divine the future in their tealeaves. I, for one, have added Italy to my list of "pseudo-civilized places not to visit until after the next regime change".
posted by pla at 4:47 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meridith Kercher was murdered, Amanda Knox was convicted and now they say she didn't do it. I think we should believe every stage of that process unless we have some actual reason not to. And following the feeds on your local news is not enough reason to disagree.

Sorry, I don't get this. "We should believe every stage of that process": what does this mean? Doesn't it make more sense to say that we shouldn't believe one of those stages? Either the original conviction or the subsequent acquittal? I personally don't think she murdered Kircher and then four years later unmurdered her. I think she did it or she didn't do it, and one of the rulings was incorrect.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're ignoring the way her eyes travelled through time.
posted by subbes at 4:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


By every stage of this process I mean that there is more being considered than will be fitted into an article or a post on the blue. The fact a conviction can be overturned doesn't mean they didn't weigh the original evidence up carefully, it just means that on appeal different areas are given different weight.

I just don't like this trial by what I heard on CNN. And some of the comments about Italian justice, well, like someone else pointed out, when you're executing people who half the witness have retracted thewir statements about, maybe you want t be careful about throwing those epithets about.

I just feel a case like this is too complicated to be discussed withg any reason in short, knee-jerk sentances on the Internet.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


(on preview, you're right, I am ignoring the way her eyes moved through time, my bad)
posted by ciderwoman at 4:55 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


"when you're executing people who half the witness have retracted thewir statements about, maybe you want t be careful about throwing those epithets about."

Yes. Being from the US means we can't comment on the state of the Italian judiciary. Also your use of the second person is correct, all of us here were responsible for the execution of Troy Davis. Your logic = impeccable.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 4:58 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I believe her eyes travelled forwards through time at the rate of one second per second. Spooky.


But really - I know there's something fishy here in the whole case, but I don't know what it is. Much like Louise Woodward, which seemed so different from one side of the Atlantic than the other. None of us know the truth, no matter how many eyes we track or cartwheels we turn on the cell floor.
posted by subbes at 4:59 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I lived in Naples in the '80s one of my fellow students got a 15 year sentence to Poggioreale (sp), a very harsh prison, for buying a piece of foil-wrapped potato that was supposed to be hash. It was both a sting operation and a message to the American community there to settle down. He was also released after a couple of years.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if that was thinking behind indicting Knox and Solecito. It seems pretty clear to me that the actual perpetrators were caught but something really big and bad happened and unruly drunk and drug using kids were at least peripherally involved. A statement had to be made and an example set. American kids are a pain in the ass over there, in Italy.
posted by snsranch at 4:59 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


She has a classic psychopath smirk. The way she acted at her first trial suggested either psychopathy or retardation.

?

You know, psychopath is no longer used as a diagnostic term in DSM V. Even when it was, I don't believe that was part of the criteria.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:00 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This article in Rolling Stone from July, discussed here previously, pretty much convinced me of Amanda Knox's innocence. According to the article, Knox was doomed by her own naivete along with incompetent police work and a prosecutor who seemed unhinged and obsessed with the devil.

I think we have enough information here to dispense with the Socratic humility and conclude, at least provisionally, that this poor girl was railroaded.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


No, postirony, I don't believe in any way that everyone in the US was for that execution, I was responding to pla's comment about other Italian trials making this one obviously false.

My point is that none of us have been following this trial, or that one, to any degree that allows us to make these absolute comments. I have no idea if she did or and neither do you. Some people who heard all the evidence are obviously conflicted as well. It's the certainty of some of the comments that annoys me, not the supposed differences in regional courts.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


ciderwoman, I have been following the trial and my summation is posted just above.

I've experience the "scene" there. What you/we see as official is whatever Italian courts come up with to support their real motives. I don't think Knox was ever actually a suspect for the murder.
posted by snsranch at 5:08 PM on October 3, 2011


Ciderwoman, lots and lots of people have been following this case entirely separately from the evening news, and it seems clear, to at least some of us, and the court as well, that she's innocent.
posted by MythMaker at 5:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


snsranch, sorry, but what do you mean by following? Reading the reports in the US press every day? Sitting at the back of the court? Because, I'm sorry, if it's not the latter, why should I trust your anecdotal evidence any more thanthe friend of my friend who was with Knox the next day?

I am in NO WAY saying I think she did it. What I am saying is that I find a lot of the anti Italian Court rhetoric slightly worrying (it feels like 'oh we can't get a fair trial outside the US' to me), but finally NONE OF US KNOW. All the information we have, unless we were there, is being filtered one way or the other (it's strange that the majority of people who think she's innocnet are form the US, no?), so in the end how can any of us be sure one way or the other? A court made a decidion, that decision was over turned, if you think the first court was wrong and biased, how can you suddenly be so believeing of the second?
posted by ciderwoman at 5:15 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, seriously.

Leave Snooki alone.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't relax too much, folks... The prosecutor can still appeal.

The Seattle morning news covered this angle and said that while it was likely that the prosecutor will appeal, she is supposed to be granted full release back to the U.S., with everyone understanding there is zero practical chance that Italy will actually extradite her back even if the Italian Supremes decide to touch the case.
posted by nomisxid at 5:23 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


ciderwoman : I was responding to pla's comment about other Italian trials making this one obviously false.

My basis for calling this one "wrong" comes from having followed the original with interest - "Original", as in, when it first happened. Not a handful of articles on the Blue, or even on CNN.

As for the earthquakes, sorry, but that counts as quite a bit more than merely "poisoning the well" - Any country that can seriously try geologists for earthquake-murder pretty much cinches it that they have a complete laughing-stock of a legal system. No two ways about it. Fark 'em if they can't take a joke, and all the worse that they count as the punchline.


My point is that none of us have been following this trial, or that one, to any degree that allows us to make these absolute comments.

You would have that wrong. I've done exactly that, in both cases - The former, as an abomination of justice in the modern world, and the latter, as such an abomination that I have to laugh so as not to cry over a supposedly modern Western-style democracy even allowing such a bad joke to waste time in their courts.
posted by pla at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree that blasts to the Italian court system as a whole are completely unfair. The fact is that we outside of Italy only ever hear of the weird cases, like the Knox case or the earthquake case.

But I do believe that enough information on the Knox case had been filtered to us so that we can make an educated assessment of whether (a) Knox was treated fairly, and (b) if Knox is guilty. Not all data presented is biased, even if presented in a biased manner.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:27 PM on October 3, 2011


ciderwoman
So are you saying the first trail AND the second trial are both wrong and biased? I don't know the facts regarding the accuracy of appeals versus original convictions but it seems that in appeals the evidence might be scrutinized a bit more and the 'heat of the moment' will have simmered enough for people to make clearer decisions. Or at least reflect on the previous trial. It would seem in this case that the jury [and a good number of legal experts] became aware of where the prosecution went overboard with their case in the original conviction.

I haven't followed the case closely. But among those who have [like this one] it seems that many come to the conclusion that there was just not enough evidence to uphold the conviction.
posted by Rashomon at 5:29 PM on October 3, 2011


Rashomon, I feel like your username should preclude you from commenting on the veracity of a crime.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:31 PM on October 3, 2011 [26 favorites]


You know, psychopath is no longer used as a diagnostic term in DSM V

I thought DSM V hadn't been released yet?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


pla - original with interest? Again, what on earth does that mean? I've followed this case since it first happened, it doesn't mean I have suddenly gained some amazing insight.

And Rashomon (great name for a discussion like this btw), no, I'm not saying that at all. I'm more pointing out that all those people who are crying out about how terrible Italian justice is are now saying this is appeal is a great case of justice being served. If you really don't trust their judicial system then how can you claim to completely believe it now?

My point, once again, is that lawyers and judges looked at more information than we have and came to once decision, which was then overturned on appeal, and rather than claiming that we know better we should just be glad we have such a legal system.

Unless of course we really do know at least as well as those involved in the case, which, and I may be preumptious here, I don't believe a single person on mefi does.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:33 PM on October 3, 2011


The reason I followed this case is because I lived there for five years as a student and was there long enough to almost become a local and definitely long enough to understand the culture. (Visiting foreigners thought I was Italian, Italians couldn't figure out what region I was from, for whatever that's worth.)

I don't think the court was wrong OR biased. It's just that in some cases, like this one, the story really isn't about absolute guilt or innocence. For example; Knox and Solecito both used hashish regularly and were friends with drug people and were even connected to the actual murderer. Therefore they are also guilty because they invited the criminal element to their peaceful neighborhood.

Did they commit the crime? No. Did they unknowingly set up a circumstance for it? Possibly.

It that how the justice system works in Italy? In my opinion, yes.
posted by snsranch at 5:35 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, psychopath is no longer used as a diagnostic term in DSM V

cite pls
posted by found missing at 5:37 PM on October 3, 2011


Apologies for posting without having read all the comments, but does anyone else think that she may have been wearing a bulletproof vest/shirt in the courtroom? There's much talk about that black cloak they threw around her. And in a recent New Yorker, there's a fascinating article about bulletproof clothing that is consistently worn by hip-hop artists and may have been worn by Obama on his inauguration.
posted by kinsey at 5:38 PM on October 3, 2011


I don't know how old you are, ciderwoman, but I'm curious about whether you were online during the Louise Woodward case. If so, did you feel the same way about that? Because I distinctly remember that British people I encountered online were completely convinced of her innocence and had all sorts of wild theories about why she was railroaded.
posted by craichead at 5:39 PM on October 3, 2011


I'm easily old enough to remember Louise Woodward, craichead, and interestingly I always thought she was guilty (and I'm British). But again, and this really is my only point, it's not about guilt, it's about, as snsranch so politely put it, it being "in my opinion".

It's the rabid absolutism here that annoyed me.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:42 PM on October 3, 2011


ciderwoman : pla - original with interest? Again, what on earth does that mean? I've followed this case since it first happened, it doesn't mean I have suddenly gained some amazing insight.

What does it mean? It means I found it interesting since the trial back in 1998. What do you think it means?

As for "insight", they convicted Knox on the sole argument that she shared a room and behaved like a typical college party-girl! No concrete evidence! They didn't prove her as present, as complicit, as an accomplice. They proved her as a roommate, and a bit on the wild side. Nothing more.

Nothing "new" there, I considered it an abomination of justice the first time around.
posted by pla at 5:43 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ack, 2008. Mea culpa.
posted by pla at 5:43 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


found missing : cite pls

+5 funny. Because, y'know, the claim itself provides the cite...
posted by pla at 5:45 PM on October 3, 2011


Except it isn't out yet, so there must be some cite talking about what will be in it?
posted by found missing at 5:55 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pla I'm not saying you don't have reasons, I'm not saying you haven't been following the trial, but your repeated attempts to say you've been following it imply that yours must be the only logical outcome and it's that I disagree with. There are inconsistencies, for example why did the boyfriend not remember if he was with Knox, why did he say he downloaded the film she said they watched when his computer wasn't used? Again, im not saying she did it (fwiw I think she's innocent) my problem is with people acting as if they know more than the people involved based on second hand reports only - as are my own. And my problem with your comments specifically is that you're using the fact you've followed the case as reason to back your argument up whereas my friend, biased as she is being a friend of Meredith, has, I would suggest, followed the case closer than you and I and is convinced of her guilt.

Should I believe her over you?
posted by ciderwoman at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just went to a talk by Jon Ronson (author of Men Who Stare at Goats) about his book The Psychopath Test. He was going on about the history of the term in the DSM, and about his talks with the main guy behind the "psychopath" diagnosis and there was no mention about it being removed in the upcoming version, which I think would have rated a mention if in fact it was on the cards.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2011


Should I believe her over you?

No, she's obviously too close to the case to have any sort of objective perspective.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2011


found missing : Except it isn't out yet, so there must be some cite talking about what will be in it?

Fair point... Except that it counts as a largely "crowdsourced" revision and you can read everything currently planned to go into it already, online, for free.


ciderwoman : why did the boyfriend not remember if he was with Knox, why did he say he downloaded the film she said they watched when his computer wasn't used?

I already said that I found it odd they acquitted the BF as well... They didn't have "proof" of his involvement, but as you point out, his story had holes.

That said, I have no problem with people accused primarily of partying a bit too heartily, of turning that right around to say they don't remember because of the haze of severe intoxication.

Severe intoxication, I would remind you, does not normally equal "murderer" in the absence of some more meaningful evidence.
posted by pla at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think the court was wrong OR biased. It's just that in some cases, like this one, the story really isn't about absolute guilt or innocence.Therefore they are also guilty because they invited the criminal element to their peaceful neighborhood.

One of us has a strange interpretation of the terms "wrong" and "biased".
posted by Justinian at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh pla, I'm so glad you're so convinced of your own correctness based on what you've read in the papers and on the Internet.

Me, I'll still agree she probably innocent but I'll also never state as fact something I don't have full knowledge of, a problem you obviously don't have. As, try as I might, I can't convince you of the error of your ways, and not wanting to keep repeating myself, I'm going to sign off from thus and go to bed, once again a little disappointed in the Internet.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nerkel, if the "Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements (Oxford Library of Psychology)" says that you can diagnose someone with psychopathy by watching CNN coverage of a trial taking place on the opposite side of the globe, I'll eat my Macbook here and now.
posted by jrochest at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: once again a little disappointed in the Internet.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


ciderwoman : Oh pla, I'm so glad you're so convinced of your own correctness based on what you've read in the papers and on the Internet.

I have described to you, here, exactly what the prosecutor alleged.

He literally made her out as some sort of satanic slut! I don't exaggerate here!

I know it sounds like I mean that as a joke, but seriously, he basically tried her as a fucking witch (and I use that word as a verb there)!
posted by pla at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fair point... Except that it counts as a largely "crowdsourced" revision and you can read everything currently planned to go into it already, online, for free.

OK, so it seems to still have "antisocial personality disorder" which is what psychopathy was renamed from DSM III onwards.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2011


I have no idea whether she's innocent, ciderwoman. What I do know, because I read it in the Guardian, is that she was given an HIV test in prison. It was negative, but the prison officials lied to her and said it was positive. She was then instructed to make a list of all her sexual partners so they could be notified. The prison officials gave the list to the prosecutors office, and they leaked it to the press, who used it to paint her as a dirty slut who was just the kind of person to participate in satanic orgies.

That may be cool in your moral universe, but it's fucked up in mine.
posted by craichead at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [31 favorites]


Me, I'll still agree she probably innocent but I'll also never state as fact something I don't have full knowledge of, a problem you obviously don't have.

I don't think anyone's pretending to be psychic here, but it isn't impossible to have an informed opinion on this case.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The thing is, though, no legal system is ever perfect. Lawyers and judges too have their biases and their pride to consider, etc. I've sat on jury's and been flabbergasted by the way two different versions of the same story unwind - rashomon being my moniker for a reason # ; ^)

I'm sure you would agree the legal system in the US, UK or Italy is not perfect but you are sort of leaning toward the fact that maybe they are. And while I agree their legal systems are a lot better than having some kind of Kafkaesque nightmare or The Ox Bow Incident scenario - it doesn't mean their legal systems are by default without fault.

I'll agree many in the US leaned toward Knox's innocence. Maybe it is because she looks innocent - and young - and attractive. Although, some here think she has this psychopathic look - which I don't see. But, it still seems the evidence just wasn't strong enough.
posted by Rashomon at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2011


[...] the prison officials lied to her and said it was positive.

What. the. FUCK?!?!?!?

Some heads need to roll for that, and I mean literally. Time to send in the SEALs.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


She has some visible psychopath traits, but also some autistic traits (and those have a lot of overlap from 20,000ft), combined with her story adding up to her pretty clearly hiding something because she was afraid of getting into more trouble. From there it isn't much of a leap to suppose she's a psychopath covering up her role in a murder. Or maybe she's a geeky kid covering up drug/sex games gone wrong. Miscarriage of justice in any case, so correct result.
That just seems like bullshit to me, the basic media smear bullshit. The media created a strawman version of her that was "drawn Bad", when in reality she might have been pretty normal. If someone took every odd or unusual thing you'd ever done, then narrated it to scary music, how do you think it would make you look to people who didn't know you?

I'm confident that you could take almost any person, and, if you dug through their lives and paid people for stuff that sounded bad you could make them look like a monster (at least to most people)
and if it wasn't for pure luck, Patrick Lumumba, the man Knox tried to pin the whole thing on would probably had been sent to prison for a very long time despite his innocence. -- 2manyusernames
What Knox claimed was that she was coerced into confessing, and named him because she thought he would have an air-tight alibi. Pretty stupid, but the police ruled him out pretty much right away.

----

I had a bunch of responses nerkul's eye movement stuff, which just got crazier and crazier as I read on.

But the basic problem is that in science you need objective measures. Things you can actually measure with a computer, or if it's something that can't be measured by a computer (really unlikely, IMO) then you have to do something like record the movements, then put them on a computer model for an observer to, uh, observe. With something like a criminal trial an observers observations would be absolutely swamped with bias and so on.

The other thing is that he was just trying to argue that the existence of the book somehow validated his idea that he could tell if she was guilty by looking at (most likely) still photos of her. That's absurd. Even if there were 'eye movements' things that would tell if someone was guilty that has nothing to do with whether or not a random, un-trained person could use their own intuition to tell if someone was guilty or not.

----

By the way, I saw part of a CNN documentary about the west Memphis three. You know the Damien kid? When they read the sentence he just sat there. Seemed unaffected by the whole thing. Based on this whole bullshit about you can tell if someone is guilty by looking at them you would have thought he was guilty. But clearly, he was totally innocent. And he didn't respond because was completely terrified and emotionally worn down by the ordeal.

People expect people to react to these kind of things the way characters in movies do. And when they don't they think they're guilty. It's idiotic.

But at least we know why people though she was guilty. "She didn't look innocent!" Well, that's enough for some people, throw away the key!
Anyway, I hate the effect this must be having on the Kerchers; they have no daughter to come home, and now no culprit. -- fightorflight
Except for the guy who actually did it.

They have a guy who is clearly guilty of killing Meridith. He could have done it without the help of Amanda Knox and there is no evidence that Knox was involved at all. It was simply a case of the prosecutors not wanting to lose face.

Beyond that, what the hell is the deal with families wanting to see people who are unlikely to have killed their loved one in jail? If you look at the west Memphis three many of the family members turned and said they thought they were innocent.

----
I don't believe a single person posting here has been following the trial in any more depth than the news reports, yet everyone, just like my friend, feels they have the ability to scream 'she did it' or 'she's innocnet you moron' as if they were there. It's sick and it's boring. -- ciderwoman
First of all, what we thought all along was just validated by the higher court. Second of all -- and this is important -- the most basic facts of the case indicate she didn't do it. Like the fact she had an alibi with lots of witnesses (I suppose the prosecutor thought they were all satanic co-conspirators) the fact that there was no physical evidence and very importantly the fact there was tons of physical evidence linking the crime to a completely separate person who didn't know Knox or her boyfriend. Given those facts alone, it seems insane for people to think that she did it. Also, we've read up about the case. You don't need to know every single detail.

The only stuff that ever got brought up as a reason she did it was that she was 'crazy' or 'acted strange' or 'smirked' based on photos and descriptions of her personality. But that's incredibly subjective, and incredibly easy to twist. As I said, pretty much anyone could be made to look like a monster if you tried hard enough.
I am in NO WAY saying I think she did it. What I am saying is that I find a lot of the anti Italian Court rhetoric slightly worrying (it feels like 'oh we can't get a fair trial outside the US' to me) -- ciderwoman
No no, we don't think you can get a fair trial in the US at all. Actually over the past week there were some pretty problematic cases. Troy Davis, who was executed despite having bad evidence and coerced witness testimony (most of the witnesses recanted). There was also the West Memphis Three being released -- in that case two people were just released from prison after 18 years for a murder they very clearly didn't commit. One of them had been sentenced to death. And they were convicted on the same bullshit 'satanic' and personality factors that Knox was convicted on.

So it may simply be that people in the US (at least for people who are more liberal leaning) that we don't trust our own judiciary. So if we don't think you can get a fair trial in the U.S, why would we think you can get a fair trial in Italy? If you see a court make a decision that doesn't add up then it seems reasonable that they may have made a mistake. Especially when you have crap about Satanism other types of ridiculous nonsense thrown in there.
There are inconsistencies, for example why did the boyfriend not remember if he was with Knox, why did he say he downloaded the film she said they watched when his computer wasn't used?
People don't always remember everything accurately. And ultimately who knows? It's actually pretty irrelevant to whether or not the couple murdered someone
posted by delmoi at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Relevant: False confessions happen all the time.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2011


> I, for one, have added Italy to my list of "pseudo-civilized places not to visit until after the next regime change".

Aw, I'll be missing you.
I stand by my original, pseudo-civilized comment.
posted by _dario at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry, delmoi, you're losing your own argument.

Your argument against the "eye movement stuff" is correct right up until the point that you assume the west memphis three are innocent, that Amanda Knox isn't a psychopath. In other words, you correctly identify the prejudice in the others' comments, but you do not seem to see that you own contrary position is equally unfounded and entirely the result of your own prejudice. The only reason you know the West Memphis Three are innocent is because you were told they were and it fits the worldview you prefer, which is contra something you hate. Don't say that a court also thinks they are innocent because a) that's false; and b) you yourself admit that courts have serious flaws in truth finding, which they do, the problem is you think courts are spot on accurate when they agree with your worldview.

The reality is: not only do we not know the truth about what we see on TV, but what we do see is the result of careful consideration and deliberation on the part of the TV producers and the likelihood of it being the truth is 50/50, i.e no better than a coin toss, and they keep the coin. The true question of our age is why, oh why, are we so absolutely 100% certain that the media lies to us, EXCEPT when they tell us something we agree with? "I get more reliable information from the John Stewart show!" Of course you do.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sorry, just to clarify: I also happen to believe Amanda Knox was innocent and the West Memphis Three were innocent. My point, however was that your belief (and mine) that they are innocent is just as unscientific and prejudiced as the "eye movement" analyzer's. What makes our analysis WORSE, however, is that his takes on objective measure (eye movements) and attempts to draw a conclusion; ours is founded on-- all of our information comes from-- the preferred narrative of the media. Looked at this way, the eye movement analysis has a better chance of getting to to the truth, even if that chance is zero.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 7:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


[...] the prison officials lied to her and said it was positive.

What. the. FUCK?!?!?!?

Some heads need to roll for that, and I mean literally. Time to send in the SEALs.


Time from acceptance of first major US drone strike against a home national to calls for new War of Jenkins Ear: what, 2 days?
posted by jaduncan at 7:05 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


cite pls

Google pls.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2011


Looked at this way, the eye movement analysis has a better chance of getting to to the truth, even if that chance is zero.

This comment : maths :: the eye argument : respectable psych.
posted by jaduncan at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except it isn't out yet, so there must be some cite talking about what will be in it?

Apologies. It's DSM III. You can look it up if you like. I found it on Wikipedia, which has cites.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2011


Justinian, consider that they're meting "poetic" justice and not the letter of any law. So being right, wrong, or biased is totally moot. I think the point of the convictions was to make a very clear statement that involvement in criminal activity will get you locked up. Guilty by association. The fact that the convictions were overturned makes their original intent very clear to me. They made an example of the kids.

Also, unless one is very familiar with their culture, there is no way to compare their justice system with other Euro countries or the U.S. This is their way of keeping the peace without infringing on personal rights.

Think of the things the authorities didn't do. They didn't lock down the campus or the town. They didn't ban underage drinking or any other kind of partying. Knox was perhaps a sacrificial lamb, and I'm fine with that.
posted by snsranch at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2011


What? Really?! You're fine with that?

What?
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have no opinion about the guilt or innocence of Amanda Knox. I do believe that in a just system a conviction on specious and tainted evidence warrants being overturned. Justice was slow but done here.
posted by peacay at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just for giggles -- the word "psychopath" does not appear even once in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements.
posted by blucevalo at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


BTW, not to derail this further but to clarify, psychopathy is still used as a term by many mental health professionals, and there is consideration in including it again in DSM V as a co-term along with antisocial personality disorder, which is the preferred term today. However, whenever I hear the term psychopathy my brain always tends to spit out the information that it's not used in the DSM for some time, and I'll derail any conversation with this information and may get the exact details of which DSM it is wrong, because I lack good filters. This is because I have ADHD, according to the DSM IV.*

* I looked it up to be sure it's the right one.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2011


It seems a little odd to me that Knox and Sollecito are referred to as boyfriend and girlfriend or a couple when they met on October 25, 2007, and the murder was on November 1. Knox was arrested on November 6, so they were a couple for two weeks, max. It also seems extremely unlikely to me that two people who just met each other would've engaged in a satanic orgy murder less than a week later.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


consider that they're meting "poetic" justice and not the letter of any law...make a very clear statement that involvement in criminal activity will get you locked up. Guilty by association...This is their way of keeping the peace without infringing on personal rights.

Are you serious? Is this a joke that I don't understand? Have I misunderstood what you're saying? You appear to be suggesting that, in a country still hugely and openly influenced by families of organised criminals, where the long-time Prime Minister is the most shamelessly and brazenly corrupt politician of the modern age, that Knox was convicted of murder because ultimately she occasionally smoked hashish? And in what way does being locked up for 4 years on a trumped-up murder charge not infringe on her personal rights?
posted by The Discredited Ape at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Useless comment # 197: This trial does not matter. It is neither representative of the larger problems of humanity except for the ever corrupt Italian justice system. This appeal is more about ending that scrutiny of the justice system than freeing an innocent person. This conversation far more representative of the need for 24 hour news stations to engage in nonstop lollygagging about nothing rather than even making a pretense of covering real news. I shall try as hard as I can to forget everything about this.
posted by thebestusernameever at 8:17 PM on October 3, 2011


> Knox was perhaps a sacrificial lamb, and I'm fine with that.

Too bad that eye movement dude isn't around to diagnose me as a nutter when I roll my eyes at this ridiculous leap in logic.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your argument against the "eye movement stuff" is correct right up until the point that you assume the west memphis three are innocent, that Amanda Knox isn't a psychopath.
If my argument seems wrong to people who think the west Memphis three are guilty, then I'll take that as confirmation that I'm correct. Thank you.
posted by delmoi at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if John Berendt has his book written already...
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:35 PM on October 3, 2011


delmoi: You once again miss the point, which is that it is impossible to form a properly informed opinion from what you read in the news even if the proverbial broken clock is occasionally right.
posted by Authorized User at 8:40 PM on October 3, 2011


Just chiming in to say that I do cognitive psychology research using eye movements to study language processing. Eye tracking has gotten really popular in the past 20-ish years amongst language researchers, who mainly use it as a way of studying language production and comprehension, both spoken and written, in normal, healthy participants. It is all really very innocuous and completely unrelated to making diagnoses of any sort.

I have not read the Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements, but I am looking at the table of contents, and many of the authors are people I have collaborated with, taken classes from, or whose research I have read in the past. So I feel pretty confident that much of the content is close to what I'm describing. So can we please let it drop now?
posted by rebel_rebel at 8:42 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Incorrect. You can tell everything about someone from how their eyes move around a room. I've known this for years but there's actual science on it lately. Amanda Knox, from the little I've seen, looks psychopathic. I would listen to someone suggesting an alternate diagnosis that explained all her personality quirks (I'm not interesting in forensics or whether she's guilty - not my field)."

"Some people try to get out of jury duty by lying. You don't have to lie. Tell the judge the truth. Tell him you'd make a terrific juror because you can spot guilty people
[snaps fingers] just like that!" ---George Carlin
posted by zardoz at 9:25 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ciderwoman is right, none of us know if she did it or not.

We know that the prosecutor has repeatedly used "satanic orgies" as a go-to story for trial.
We know that no hard evidence connected her to the scene.
We know that she was denied counsel during insanely long interrogation.
We know that they used awful tactics to garner irrelevant evidence to slut-shame her, and built their case around the fact that she was a "slut."
And we know that somebody else was convicted for the same crime based on much, much stronger evidence.

But she's right. We weren't there, and even if we were we'd probably be too intoxicated to remember things properly. And her friend is close to the victim and is pissed off that Knox was exonerated. So yeah, it's a toss-up, really.

Jesus H.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:34 PM on October 3, 2011 [27 favorites]


So glad to see her out - Navelgazer and ericb said exactly what I think, so won't reiterate.


The US press has not been uniformly for her - in particular, the Stranger, the arts paper in Seattle that the UW students in Knox's social circle probably read, has run a series of opinion and blog pieces by Charles Mudede (yes, that guy) since the murder itself which are basically lurid fantasies about Knox's case. They swing wildly between sexual fantasy about the actual murder (he seems to support the original prosecution theory of satanic ritual murder) and accusations that anyone who thinks Knox is innocent is a racist. His latest angle is that the Knox acquittal is morally equivalent to the OJ Simpson acquittal. The Stranger has run other points of view (It's re-running an old pro-knox article on its homepage now), and the editors seem not to agree with Mudede, but his obsession has been given free reign for years in the paper and on their blogs, which won't make things particularly easy for Knox if (as is rumored) she returns to the UW.
posted by Wylla at 10:34 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Charles Mudede can be... a little odd. I am not sure those are intended to be factual.
posted by Artw at 10:35 PM on October 3, 2011


Artw - search "Knox" against his archive - Mudede is odd, but if he's doing Knox-themed performance art in the paper, he's been at it for years. It's pretty clear that the pieces represent his point of view.
posted by Wylla at 10:36 PM on October 3, 2011


yeah, I remember this peice. AT the tiem I thought it deliberatly ridiculous. As I say, Muede is kind of odd.
posted by Artw at 10:46 PM on October 3, 2011


Weirdly, he's stuck with that narrative (and note that he was making OJ Simpson parallels in 2009). He seems to have convinced himself of this story and become obsessed...and he's The Stranger's most popular writer other than Dan Savage, so his obsession has become a big part of how the most-read paper for Knox's demographic in Knox's hometown has 'covered' her case.
posted by Wylla at 10:56 PM on October 3, 2011


From the Mudede articles today:

By the way, I have never doubted Rudy Guede's guilt.

This in the midst of comparing her to O.J. Frankly, every single argument for her guilt has read to me as, "she was the first suspect we were given and we demand retribution." Like, to the point where the "crazy eyes" theory seems rational by comparison.

There's much that I hate about the American judicial system, but we still let Richard Jewell off the hook once he was exonerated. Those who are pissed off about this have, i'm pretty damned sure at this point, simply lived so long with her as the focal point of their rage that they don't care if she never made sense for that, and it doesn't matter for them. Guede getting convicted doesn't matter, because he wasn't the high-profile enemy they were given at the outset.

It's mindless and awful and fuck those who are going along with that shit.

I've been a student abroad in Italy myself. Traveling by train from Switzerland into Italy with my friends, the carabinieri lost their damns minds when they saw my friend Julie and me. Just absolutely certain at seeing us that we were smuggling drugs. (We weren't. Julie was fully straight-edge and I don't enjoy pot.) They shook out all of our luggage, cut open the seats we were sitting in, searched through every sheet of our CD collections (this was summer 2001) and then strip-searched us both on the train. Throughout all of this the more they didn't find anything the more they asserted that they were going to send us to jail for something, anything. When they inevitably found nothing, they slammed us against the wall of the compartment and gave us a hateful lecture about watching ourselves before leaving in disgust.

For, you know, not having done anything. At all.

These judges are indeed brave and have done the right thing. The Italian criminal justice system on the ground isn't. I have absolutely zero compunction in saying that Amanda Knox was charged with being American. And given the top-to-bottom miscarriage of anything resembling "justice" in this situation, combined with the complete dearth of evidence against her, I dare anyone to tell me otherwise.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:57 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


That she's "guilty" of the confession that Giuliano Mignini wrung out of her is pretty jaw droppingly shitty as well.
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hell, I'll double down. Somebody please give me a case for why Knox was even a more viable suspect than Kercher's other two roommates.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:26 PM on October 3, 2011


I find the use of the phrase, "She isn't bad, she is just drawn that way." In my American understanding it means you can't assume the "She" is a scarlet woman because of her apperance. I am getting the impression that it means something entirely different in the Itailan usage. Maybe, she has no choice to be bad, SHE IS BAD, because she was made that way? This doesn't quite explain to my satisfaction what I am trying to say. But the phrase seems to be used in a manner that condemns the subject.

Also the family and friends of the murdered woman might be projecting what they see as the injustice of their "good girl" being the victim. Instead of the disliked "wild, immoral" roomate being the just victim.

As far as how Knox behaved, after the murder and in court. Fer Cripes sake, she was what 20- 22? the reactions I have seen to trauma or stress in that age no longer surprises me. They run hot to cold, callous to uncariing, controlled to uncontrolled.
posted by moonlily at 11:32 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mudede is odd, but if he's doing Knox-themed performance art in the paper, he's been at it for years.

Sometimes I think all of Mudede's writing is performance art. I don't think it has anything to do with this story in particular.
posted by grouse at 11:36 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, I'll double down. Somebody please give me a case for why Knox was even a more viable suspect than Kercher's other two roommates.

dhartung's comment in a previous thread outlines a lot of that. I wouldn't claim any of it is absolutely indisputable evidence she's guilty of murder, but there was more to the prosecution's case than the (disputed) DNA evidence and the fact she was American.

To be clear, I'm not saying she was guilty or that the appeal verdict was wrong (because what the hell do I know about DNA evidence, anyway). But it's always been a very weird case, and the non-tabloid media coverage here in the UK has largely reflected that. Overwhelming public opinion among the admittedly small subset of 'people I know' has ranged from "she's probably guilty, but the 'satanic orgy' thing seems unlikely, and God only knows what actually happened that night" to "I don't know whether she's guilty or not, but it definitely doesn't seem like they had enough evidence to prove it" to "no version of events makes any sense to me, we'll probably never know what the truth of it is."

It's strange to see the divide between that and the prevailing US opinion that Knox is obviously, obviously innocent and the entire trial was a sham, and I don't think the explanation is that people in the US were following the case more closely; it was a big, big news story in the UK and in Italy, too. I suspect it's got more to do with however the media initially packaged the story in various places; ambiguity and uncertainty doesn't sell anywhere near as well as "ONE OF OURS FALSELY ACCUSED IN SHAM TRIAL!" or "MURDERER OF ONE OF OURS MIGHT WALK FREE!".
posted by Catseye at 1:03 AM on October 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


I remember I learned about the case from my Italian roommate. She said Knox was obviously guity. I looked into the American press: there Knox was obviously innocent. And in the British tabloids? Obviously guilty.

Is it so hard to admit that there's something with bias going on?

Usually with an unclear case, there's not enough evidence of guilt or innocence. It's the opposite here: there's fairly compelling evidence for both her guilt and innocence. I'm sure this is where the national and media bias comes from. If you only present one side of the case, it sure looks like it's crazy that there's any discussion at all.

If you focus on the (bizarre) italian focus on sex and drugs and the devil, you might overlook the facts that:

- Amanda's alibi didn't check out. She claimed to have watched "Amelie" on her boyfriends computer. He can't remember, and the police can't find a copy of the movie on the computer.
- They both turned their cell phones off within a few minutes of each other betwen 8 and 9pm, which is something they didn't do any other night
- She lied to the police about her whereabouts
- She accused someone else of committing the crime
- She confessed
- There was DNA evidence presented to link her to the crime

Now, there were problems with the DNA evidence, and people do confess falsely. Its not conclusive, and its reasonable to find the evidence for her innocence more compelling. (For the record, I do think she is probably innocent)

However there was physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and a confession. Given that, if you think she convicted for basically being a devil worshipping sex pot, then I think you owe it to yourself to take a look at why you think that.

There honestly really has been a ton of media bias in this case. Each country's media presents only one side, and that manufactures outrage and ratings. As a result you have most participants in this thread completely convinced of not just Amanda's innocence, but the obviousness of her innocence. And then those who do acknowledge bias, like ciderwoman in this thread, are mocked and shouted out of the discussion.
posted by cotterpin at 1:13 AM on October 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


Had a good laugh on the way to work this morning - I passed the newsagents at two tube stations. Wow, the British press can turn on a dime! The mainstream papers have front page stories essentially supporting Knox's innocence, most with headlines like "Knox freed - and her four-year ordeal is over."

To be fair, however, it hasn't been as one-sided here at all as cotterpin makes it seem - the most convincing stories I have seen on Knox and Sollicito's innocence came from the UK press in 2009 - the Guardian, if I recall correctly, even correctly estimated when they would be released, saying that the Italian system would take 2 years from the story date to correct a miscarriage of justice. Sadly, my google skills are failing me, and I can't seem to find that old article again.
posted by Wylla at 1:44 AM on October 4, 2011


Cotterpin - I think you need to look at the information about Knox's initial interrogation (from which her "alibi", her "confession" and her accusation of her boss originally came) again, as well as the history of Giuliano Mignini, either/both of which might give you a better idea of why people outside Italy have been less-than-convinced of Knox and Sollicito's guilt. (As I said, the UK press outside the tabloids has been very ambivalent, despite giving a lot of press time to the victim's family).
posted by Wylla at 1:56 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


In another universe, Kercher was found guilty of murdering Knox, and this thread is very different, apart from the media glee at being able to fill their news with the story.
posted by Jehan at 2:38 AM on October 4, 2011


The trial and appeal of Amanda Knox has proved that extreme misogyny is alive and well in the modern world.

Misogyny in Berlusconi's Italy? No way.
posted by acb at 2:40 AM on October 4, 2011


There was DNA evidence presented to link her to the crime

That DNA evidence was based on Low Copy Number techniques. They're incredibly powerful, able to pick out single pieces of DNA and amplify them to the point where they can be detected.

The problem with this is twofold: firstly, if someone lives somewhere then their DNA (in the form of shed skin cells) is likely to be found on every item in that living space and secondly, the process amplifies contaminants as much as it does anything else: if you're not scrupulous about isolating the object in question, then you can transfer DNA from other items to the object before you carry out the LCN polymerase chain reaction & thus get spurious results.

posted by pharm at 3:00 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wylla - I'm not saying that there weren't problems with the confession or interrogation. There were problems with the prosecution's evidence, and I personally agree that the confession was probably coerced.

My point is rather that there actually was some evidence of her guilt, and that seems to be really ignored. The UK and Italian media was brutal. You hear about her being a "luciferina" and "obvious psychopatic behavior", and you can conclude that she was convicted because she was foxy knoxy and they don't like promiscuious americans, rather than the simpler explanation that the prosecution presented a confession and DNA evidence. This itself is just the same kind of media sensationalism as there was in Europe.
posted by cotterpin at 3:03 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm of the perverse opinion that she's guilty* but should never have been tried.

Interrogated for hours without counsel is such an enormous opportunity for a wrongful conviction that she should have walked on that alone.

*mainly because I'm prejudiced against white, middle-class Americans.
posted by fullerine at 3:12 AM on October 4, 2011


I thought DSM V hadn't been released yet?

All the cool kids already got it from the torrent sites.
posted by chillmost at 3:25 AM on October 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


However there was physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and a confession. Given that, if you think she convicted for basically being a devil worshipping sex pot, then I think you owe it to yourself to take a look at why you think that.
See, the problem with using vicious, misogynistic, slut-shaming garbage in a criminal trial is that it's really not possible to determine whether someone was convicted because of the vile misogyny or because of the DNA evidence and/or confession. One would think that would be a good reason not to contaminate your trial with really repulsive misogyny, but I'm sure that's naive.
posted by craichead at 4:30 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


delmoi: You once again miss the point, which is that it is impossible to form a properly informed opinion from what you read in the news even if the proverbial broken clock is occasionally right.
I don't think that's even remotely true. It's obvious that people can look at the facts of a situation and come to a conclusion about it. We do it about everything else in the world, why not murder cases as well?
Is it so hard to admit that there's something with bias going on?
I think there was clearly some initial bias going on. But I think if you look at the facts it's pretty obvious she's innocent.
posted by delmoi at 4:52 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's obvious that people can look at the facts of a situation and come to a conclusion about it.

Indeed. I very strongly think that relying on news organizations to reliably and fully convey these facts is futile.
posted by Authorized User at 6:21 AM on October 4, 2011


Indeed. I very strongly think that relying on news organizations to reliably and fully convey these facts is futile.
Indeed. If only there was a website where news could be "filtered" through comments from intelligent people into some "meta" analysis.
posted by delmoi at 6:34 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't believe a single person posting here has been following the trial in any more depth than the news reports, yet everyone, just like my friend, feels they have the ability to scream 'she did it' or 'she's innocnet you moron' as if they were there. It's sick and it's boring.

Not everyone.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:44 AM on October 4, 2011


From the BBC:

"There was no convincing proof that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were actually in the room when Meredith Kercher died. Even the presence of Amanda Knox's blood and footprints in the house were successfully explained away. Her defence claimed that Knox's blood could have been there because she was a resident at the farm house on Pergola Road."

Seriously, I'm picturing Knox getting lots of paper cuts or getting attacked by the cat often. It sounds like one of those, your-mattress-doubles-in-weight-over-it's-lifetime kind of things. Your house soaks up a bathtub full of your blood over it's lifetime.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:44 AM on October 4, 2011


The Seattle local morning news had crews out at the airport at 4:30am, waiting for her to arrive at 5pm. Of course there's nothing to see at the airport 12 hours before a flight arrives, so they instead are reporting on the arrivals of the international news media crews. jerks meet circle =p
posted by nomisxid at 7:52 AM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't believe Dominick Dunne died during this episode. Otherwise, we would have carefully documented, painstakingly substantiated evidence and all of the information needed for a reasonable person to determine her guilt or innocence. And beautiful black and white photos of everything.

How could he leave us at a time like this?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:09 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I'm not interesting in forensics or whether she's guilty - not my field).

Neither is psychiatric diagnois.
posted by txmon at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really don't know whether Knox is guilty or not -- but, like anybody who was alive and sentient in the 1980s, I strongly believe that anybody who's accused of committing murder during a "satanic orgy" should immediately be freed, and that the prosecutor in the case should be sentenced to a lifetime of being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera.
posted by steambadger at 9:56 AM on October 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


Amanda Knox: victim of Italian code which puts saving face before justice
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


but, like anybody who was alive and sentient in the 1980s, I strongly believe that anybody who's accused of committing murder during a "satanic orgy" should immediately be freed, and that the prosecutor in the case should be sentenced to a lifetime of being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera.

Oddly, this would be a win-win situation.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.

Italian stereotypes solidly reinforced
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Though if NewsThump were better at their jobs and basically more like The Onion, they'd have matched that headline with an article that was a bit funnier AND made people a bity uncomfortable about the whole stereotypes thing.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on October 4, 2011


Since my old comment was name-checked by Catseye above, I'll just reiterate my agnosticism about the case -- at least, I'm probably more agnostic now than I ever was. My point with that comment was that her conviction hinged on circumstantial evidence, and not simply her demeanor, and that much of this evidence had not been discussed in the press. I am not saying that by itself it means she is guilty.

And can someone explain to me why the hell they needed any kind of trial to let them go free?

In the Italian system of justice, as I understand it, an appeal results in a re-trial of the case by a higher court. This differs from the US system, based on English common law, where an appeal is limited to a review of the original trial. This is in part why it's so difficult to release convicted, but apparently innocent, persons such as Troy Davis, if the evidence of their innocence was not brought up at trial (which happens if it emerges later, such as a confession by the real culprit). The best the US system can do is order a new trial, but that can only happen when certain limited circumstances occur that breach constitutional rights.
posted by dhartung at 12:01 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


DONT JUDGE ME

We don't even own TVs, you know.


I have 5 in my SUV alone. One is always tuned to the Declawed Cat Network.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:46 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, seriously, what? What is a "visible psychopathic trait", exactly?

First of all, regardless of what some handbook says, psychopathy does exist. A psychopath is a person who is unable to feel empathy, and therefore unable to feel love, remorse, kindness, respect and a number of other human emotions. Psychopaths also share a number of other traits, such as being superficially charming and manipulative.
These people do exist, and if you've never met one, you're blessed. If you do meet one, it's best to run away screaming - they're reptiles who look like humans.

I don't know whether Amanda Knox is a psychopath or not, but here are a few hints that she might be:

1) Lying to save your own ass: She tried to frame another person for murder.

2) Manipulative behavior: a) Knox claimed that she named Lumumba because she thought he would have an alibi. Yeah, right.
b) she also claimed that she was beaten in custody and her confession was coerced.
c) frequently changing stories by her.

3) Lack of empathy: a) stories about her going shopping or so on the day after her murder and generally not being too concerned.
b) Her detached attitude during the trial
c) Answer when someone expressed concern whether the victim might have suffered: "What do you think? They cut her throat... She fucking bled to death!"

4) Promiscuous behavior. Lots of partners according to her diary.

5) Narcissist behavior: apparently enjoyed the media attention.

6) Superficial Charm: Putting this last on the list, because I am least sure about it, but I remember some accounts that described her as charming.

Just to avoid any misunderstandings: It's the combination of traits that hints that she might be a psychopath.

Also, Italy does have a certain morbid fascination with psychopaths. I am absolutely convinced that Berlusconi is a psychopath: the charme, the pathological lying, the promiscuity, the grandiosity, the narcissism, the ruthlessness, the lack of conscience or remorse - it's all there. You have to be blind in order not to see it.

So again, I don't know if she is a psychopath or not, but if she is, then the world would be a better place with her behind bars - regardless of whether she murdered Meredith Kercher or not.
posted by sour cream at 1:00 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


stories about her going shopping or so on the day after her murder and generally not being too concerned.

That's more consistent with being undead than any other diagnosis.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:21 PM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow sour cream, if I could 'minus' your comment a thousand times, I would.
posted by Summer at 1:25 PM on October 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


Jail all the psychopaths!

What rubbish.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:27 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gonna have to dismiss poinst #1 through #6 as discredited bullcrap, misinterpretation and presumptuous crap.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


1) Lying to save your own ass: She tried to frame another person for murder.
She lied after an extremely long, terrifying interrogation. This is not unusual, and it's not evidence of being a psychopath.
3) Lack of empathy: a) stories about her going shopping or so on the day after her murder and generally not being too concerned.
She was locked out of her apartment, where all of her clothes were, because it was a crime scene. She had to go shopping because she had no clothes to wear. This is not evidence of being a psychopath. The fact that the British and Italian media spun it that way is evidence of some moral problems on their part, though.
4) Promiscuous behavior. Lots of partners according to her diary.
We know, because the prison authorities tricked her into revealing all her sex partners, that she had slept with seven men. A man who had slept with seven women would never in a million years be considered so promiscuous as to be a suspected psychopath. Again, this is evidence of the British and Italian press's misogyny, not anything wrong with Amanda Knox.
5) Narcissist behavior: apparently enjoyed the media attention.
What evidence do you have of that?
6) Superficial Charm: Putting this last on the list, because I am least sure about it, but I remember some accounts that described her as charming.
I am sure that someone, somewhere, has described you as charming. Let's find a murder to pin on you!

God, that entire comment is repulsive.
posted by craichead at 1:29 PM on October 4, 2011 [30 favorites]


I am really... REALLY... skeptical of all the allegations of psychopathy against Amanda Knox, especially since, in this case, they've also gone hand in hand with slut-shaming, satanic bullshit and retro medieval witch-hunting misogynistic garbage. OMG how dare she have multiple partners and later allege the police abused her! Let's lock the whore away in jail forever.

I have a better suggestion: let's do like they did in the good old days and burn her at the stake!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:32 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Holy shit, I haven't been following this case at all so pretty much all of my knowledge has come form this thread so I gathered that she had "a lot" of sexual partners and was "promiscuous" and it turns out it's SEVEN?

Good god, 95% of my friends are 1 bong rip away from becoming murderous Satanic slut psychopaths and I never knew! I've been dodging bullets folks!
posted by nathancaswell at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


You call seven partners promiscuous? Oh, boy am I ever in trouble with a capital "T."
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, I never said she is a psychopath, just that some of her behavioral patterns seem to match that of one.

She was locked out of her apartment, where all of her clothes were, because it was a crime scene.

That is indeed a convincing explanations, so please strike that one. There was also the doing cartwheel at the police station thing, which sounds ... odd. Not that a propensity for cartwheels automatically makes you a psychopathic killer.

As for the promiscuity thing, I thought it was seven partners within a few months after she came to Italy, which struck me as above average. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and it does not make you a psychopathic killer if you do sleep around more than average. Can't stress that enough.
posted by sour cream at 1:50 PM on October 4, 2011


Good god, 95% of my friends are 1 bong rip away from becoming murderous Satanic slut psychopaths and I never knew! I've been dodging bullets folks!

That's why they make those gigantic like five foot long bongs, so you can keep your distance and watch for nascent Satanism in their eyes while they're inhaling and get some furniture between you.

You call seven partners promiscuous? Oh, boy am I ever in trouble with a capital "T."

Maybe it's only even multiples of seven. 13 and 15 are fine, just don't land right on the dot. If nothing else, you could it explain it in those terms as a sympathy play to someone if you've been stuck on 14 for a while.
posted by cortex at 1:50 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apathetic Italians moved to anger by verdict.
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on October 4, 2011


There was also the doing cartwheel at the police station thing, which sounds ... odd.

That has been brought up numerous times. I am curious as to the source of that original claim. If it came from head prosecutor Giuliano Mignini who interrogated her for a lengthy period with no lawyer present, I have my suspicions that it actually occurred. Also, other salacious details were "leaked" to the tabloids. Again, I'm skeptical of those claims. The whole fucking affair has been a circus.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Psychologists and psychiatrists have to go through quite a bit of schooling and training in order to do what they do. Perhaps our armchair diagnosticians, whom I can very safely assume are neither psychologists nor psychiatrists, would like to ponder why this is so.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:57 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


If nothing else, you could it explain it in those terms as a sympathy play to someone if you've been stuck on 14 for a while.

Alternatively: "It's true, babe, I swear - we need to have a threesome or else I'll become a devotee of Satan!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:59 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone has bipolar.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:00 PM on October 4, 2011


From ericb's article:
“What are you still doing here?” a well-dressed woman shouted at our NBC crew as we sat down for dinner at a local restaurant Tuesday. “Isn’t your job done?”

She, like many others around here, blame the American media for what they say was a pro-Knox campaign that influenced the jury’s decision.
I'm having a disconnect. How is it that the American media somehow affected the outcome of a trial in a small burg in Italy? Do Italians normally get their new from American media? Is the American media some sort of coercive powerful entity that bullies judges and juries in Italy?
posted by jabberjaw at 2:09 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


BTW -- much of the testimony in the original trial was "hearsay."

Other friends of Meredith were put on the stand and questioned about what Meredith had told them about Amanda.
"Seven young girlfriends of murder victim Meredith Kercher testified in a Perugia courtroom today that accused killer Amanda Knox had been been behaving strangely and, in their words, ‘inappropriately.’

The young women, friends who had studied and spent time together in Perugia with Kercher, provided almost identical versions of what Kercher allegedly had told them about Knox in the few weeks that they lived together and what happened after Kercher was found dead.

In repeated questioning by the prosecution, the first two witnesses, Robyn Carmel Butterworth and Amy Frost, portrayed Amanda Knox as an emotionally indifferent person with what they termed odd habits.

They referred to what British student Kercher had confided to them about Amanda Knox's behavior, some of it annoying and some of it simply perplexing. They also told the court what they observed about Amanda Knox at the police station after the murder.

‘Kercher talked to me about their relationship,’ Butterworth said in English, as an interpreter translated into Italian for the court. She complained about Amanda Knox's bathroom habits, often a complaint between roommates, Butterworth said

‘Sometimes, the bathroom was not clean and the toilet not flushed,’ Butterworth said, ‘and Meredith didn't know what to tell Amanda, so she asked us for advice.’

Another thing that Kercher had remarked upon with her friends, and which the witnesses were questioned repeatedly about, was Amanda Knox's putting an open toiletry bag in their shared bathroom that contained condoms and a sex toy.

‘Meredith thought this was a bit strange,’ Butterworth testified. ‘It didn't upset her but she said it was strange.’”
Give me a fucking break! All hearsay ... and fundamentally gossip!
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


a small burg in Italy

Perugia's not a "small burg." It's the Regional capital. Population-wise, it's about the size of Santa Rosa, CA.
posted by The World Famous at 2:20 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Giuliano Mignini: Knox Prosecutor Believes He Is The Conspiracy Victim
"[The] magistrate in [the] Meredith Kercher murder case is himself waiting to find out whether he will be jailed for abuse of office.

The criticisms [of his actions in the Knox case] will have come as no surprise to a man who has strongly believed for years that opponents were secretly plotting his downfall.

... Mignini continues to work as he awaits his appeal, which starts on 22 November.

Mignini has claimed Douglas Preston, the US novelist who challenged Mignini's theories about the Monster of Florence, is masterminding a US press campaign against him over his handling of the Knox case. 'It's all Preston,' he said.

So it was unsurprising that Mignini should add a touch of conspiracy theory to his summing up in the Knox appeal, claiming that 'our judicial system has been subjected to a systematic denigration by a well-organised operation of a journalistic and political nature'.
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Giuliano Mignini: Knox Prosecutor Believes He Is The Conspiracy Victim

This deranged, egomaniacal manslut is exhibiting classic symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia. I say we lock him up, we're all safer with him behind bars.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Critics Say Controversial Knox Prosecutor Is Seeking Redemption.
posted by ericb at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2011


How do we know Giuliano Mignini wasn't the accomplice?
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on October 4, 2011


All of that will be cleared up in Dan Brown's upcoming non-fiction book, The Perugia Cypher. Here's a sneak peak at the opening line:

"Italian Magistrate Giuliano Mignini strode purposefully across the courtroom, his rugged face reflected in the marble tile..."
posted by cortex at 2:38 PM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I say we test him in the dunking chair.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:38 PM on October 4, 2011


Embarrassed Knox Prosecutors Blast Court Experts And Judges.
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another prosecutor, Manuela Comodi said: “There isn’t a single fact, no witness, no traces, nothing that implies another person was at the crime scene. There is nothing, except the three of them. If there was another person, that person was very, very clever.”

Reminds me of the famous quote about Shakespeare conspiracy theorists: "well, if Bacon didn't write Shakespeare's plays, then who did?"
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:43 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many critics of the police, however, say they were too obsessed by their belief in a drug-fueled sex game gone wrong. Some say it is more likely the man still in jail for the crime simply acted alone.

Some dude called Occam, for instance.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Douglas Preston: Amanda Knox: Victim Of Italian Code Which Puts Saving Face Before Justice
"About 50% of all criminal convictions in Italy are reversed or greatly modified on appeal. Knox and Sollecito join the 4 million Italians since the war who have seen their lives ruined by false criminal charges, only to be proclaimed innocent after many years of agony and imprisonment.

While they don't like others pointing it out, many Italians are well aware that their judicial system is dysfunctional. Silvio Berlusconi is absolutely right when he says the judiciary needs fundamental reform. The Italian judiciary, a holdover to a great extent from the Mussolini era, when Italy was a police state, acts with no checks and balances, in which prosecutors and police wield enormous power.

If you are arrested for a crime and have no alibi, you are in very serious trouble. The de facto burden of proof is on you to prove your innocence, despite lip service in the Italian constitution to the idea of innocent until proven guilty.

The Italian justice system often seems more concerned with preserving the honour and reputations of powerful individuals than with finding the truth. This, in a nutshell, explains why Knox and Sollecito were not released when Guede was identified, why dubious DNA and forensic lab work was relied upon, why prosecutors and police leaked so much damaging and salacious information to the press, and why these two innocent young people spent 1,450 days in prison for murder they did not commit. It was all about honour, reputation, and the saving of face."
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Silvio Berlusconi is absolutely right when he says the judiciary needs fundamental reform.

Of course any "who should lead Italian judicial reform" list probably has Silvio Berlusconi ranked somewhere under the ghost of Benito Mussolini.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW we appear to have started going into a loop on some of those links.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on October 4, 2011


Analysis: Knox Case Shines Spotlight On Italian Police Methods.
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW we appear to have started going into a loop on some of those links.

I reposted my original link to the Guardian 'conspiracy' article and a different excerpt to highlight a different point.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on October 4, 2011


As for the promiscuity thing, I thought it was seven partners within a few months after she came to Italy, which struck me as above average.
It was seven ever, total, in her entire life. Three of them were since she'd been in Italy.

So now the bar for being a suspected psychopath is having an "above average" number of sexual partners? That's fascinating.
posted by craichead at 4:10 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"There was no convincing proof that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were actually in the room when Meredith Kercher died. Even the presence of Amanda Knox's blood and footprints in the house were successfully explained away. Her defence claimed that Knox's blood could have been there because she was a resident at the farm house on Pergola Road."
You mean based on the thoroughly refuted DNA evidence that was thrown out because they used a scientifically invalid measurement that's likely to lead to contamination? I don't recall anyone saying Knox's 'blood' was found anywhere, just her DNA, which could have come from skin cells or anything else.
Hey, I never said she is a psychopath, just that some of her behavioral patterns seem to match that of one.
Yeah if you take a single anecdote from someone's entire life then anyone could be made to look like a 'psychopath'. You don't think there's been, in your entire life, a time that you didn't appear to be empathetic? You've never lied in your entire life?

Wow, this detail (from this article) is pretty amazing:
For a year, Knox and Sollecito were kept in preventive detention – Italy has no bail system – while Mignini, the police, and various forensic experts built the case against them. Crucial evidence that could have exonerated them was lost or mishandled. For example, the hard drive on Sollecito's computer, which could have shown he was on his computer during the time of the murder, was "fried'' by investigators as they supposedly tried to copy it.
posted by delmoi at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've got to get in on the jokey piling-on to assert the effortless superiority of my position. Definitely where the cool kids are playing. *hi five*

Seriously, is it so hard to accept the simultaneous possibilities that an innocent naif was released, a psychopathic murderer got away with it, and every other scenario under the heading "I don't know"? A little objectivity goes a long way, chaps.
posted by fraac at 5:57 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


A criminal conviction should not be about what "possibilities" there are, but what has been proved.
posted by The World Famous at 5:58 PM on October 4, 2011


Indeed.
posted by fraac at 6:16 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


For example, the hard drive on Sollecito's computer, which could have shown he was on his computer during the time of the murder, was "fried'' by investigators as they supposedly tried to copy it.

Come on. Who hasn't accidently incinerated a hard drive when using the Hewlett Packard all in one driver imager and furnace?
posted by Justinian at 6:24 PM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've got to get in on the jokey piling-on to assert the effortless superiority of my position.

That's so yesterday. Today's scenesters are asserting the effortless superiority of their position by having none at all!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I, for one, have added Italy to my list of "pseudo-civilized places not to visit until after the next regime change".

At least Italy judiciary system has not put a fourteen year old to death yet. What nation are you calling pseudo-civilized?
posted by francesca too at 6:33 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Arsenio: anyone coming away from the televising of this trial with a firm belief either way has been played.
posted by fraac at 6:37 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Italy was actually doing really well in 1944.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:38 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was also the doing cartwheel at the police station thing, which sounds ... odd.

After her grueling interrogation, she went to support Raffaele. She did yoga positions to stretch and try to relieve stress. An Italian official asked her if she could do a cartwheel, and so she did one. In the stress of the moment, she probably did not consider the possibility of surveillance video or other video devices like cell phone cameras.

This was relayed to the press by Chris Mellas, her stepfather.
posted by jgirl at 6:54 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who can ever really know the truth? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm simply an unfrozen caveman. Your strange ways confound me.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:56 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You weren't on the jury. You were thousands of miles away with no more information than everyone else. Claiming to know the truth in this case is ridiculous.
posted by fraac at 7:16 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


We never know who could have done it. It could have been spiders! It could have been evil mutants! It could have been time-travelers! It could have been time traveling evil mutant spiders!

Or you know, it could be that one guy whose DNA was found in Kercher and whose bloody handprints were found at the scene.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 7:39 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crimes only ever have one perpetrator. This is a smart group, I'm liking it.
posted by fraac at 7:52 PM on October 4, 2011


You can't even prove he exists! You could be, like, a brain in a tank being fed sensory information about this supposed world by mad scientists and corporations, maaaaaan.

/takes puff on doobie.
posted by Artw at 7:56 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


*hi five*
posted by fraac at 8:02 PM on October 4, 2011


Speaking of media bias, check out the picture they used for her on this article She certainly looks 'devious' but if you photograph someone all day long your bound to find some images like that. I specifically remember the last time there was a thread on her someone was basically arguing about all her 'inappropriate smiles'.

Also it's pretty mind blowing that a full 50% of convictions in Italian courts are overturned on appeal. One thing I've learned is that they have a very different system for appeals. Basically, it's a completely new trial from scratch, whereas in the US you the judge can only hear legal issues to see if the trial was conducted correctly. It's something that we probably ought to consider in the U.S.

Right now you can only get an appeal of the initial trial was conducted properly. As long as no one broke any rules, you won't be freed even if new evidence comes out.

What I'd really like to see, though, is some kind of 'scientific committee' that can review any case whenever it feels like simply by reviewing the evidence in the most objective way possible (which I realize could be hard to do). But a lot of these trials seem to involve really stupid people as prosecutors, on the jury and even as judges. For example the Cameron Todd Williams case, essentially what we knew about fire science changed, so how on earth did it make sense to keep someone on death row based on science we knew was now wrong?

But based on the current appeal system, so long as no mistakes were made at the time, there's no chance of appeal.

If Amanda Knox had been convicted in some backwater in the U.S and had been convicted the same way she was convicted in Italy, it would be much more difficult for her to win an Appeal. The West Memphis Three are a good example of what could have happened to her here.
posted by delmoi at 8:07 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, that photograph, while only looking devious to a fool, does look like a lot of photographs of her, in that she's leaking no emotions. Others show pride or annoyance but always something simple. Definitely some odd affect effect going on there, as if her seat of consciousness isn't located where most here might expect to find it.
posted by fraac at 8:20 PM on October 4, 2011


does look like a lot of photographs of her, in that she's leaking no emotions. Definitely some odd affect effect going on there, as if her seat of consciousness isn't located where most here might expect to find it.

She was just on TV giving her address after landing on in the U.S. She seemed pretty damn emotional. The thing is, it's so easy to create the effect you want by picking and choosing photographs. Check out pictures of Damien Echols, if you see the video of when he was announced guilty, he didn't seem to show any emotion at all. The same was true of the main character in The Shawshank Redemption, by the way.

Anyway, watch her speech from when she got back to the U.S. As I said, it's perfectly clear that she has normal emotions. Unless you assume she's some sociopath who is just really good at faking it, in which case, why wouldn't she be faking it all along?
posted by delmoi at 8:38 PM on October 4, 2011


...as if her seat of consciousness isn't located where most here might expect to find it.

!!!!!

This thread is getting so weird.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:47 PM on October 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Definitely some odd affect effect going on there, as if her seat of consciousness isn't located where most here might expect to find it.

Are you going to start going on about assemblage points or some other Carlos Castaneda bullshit?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:48 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll check out her speech immediately after I watch New Girl. I wasn't picking and choosing photographs btw, I just did an image search for her and saw a very limited affective range. Anyone can observe this.
posted by fraac at 8:50 PM on October 4, 2011


Spend time in a foreign prison and then see how affective you look in press candids.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:59 PM on October 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


All this childishness about being able to smell the murder-vibes off of her facial expressions is highly reminiscent of the Azaria Chamberlain disappearance case.

It's the famous "a dingo ate my baby" case. It's actually not that funny. People decided that a mother must have killed her child, because the truth was otherwise too simple, and surely simple things can never be true, and the story wasn't juicy enough, and don't you know that all deaths are always juicy and graphic, and because she didn't emote "correctly," because don't you know that all sad people weep all the time, just like in the soaps, and there was also a bizarre cultic ritual murder angle as well, because isn't it quite the settled fact that people who aren't like the majority of the country are all murderous savages, their razor-sharp talons fresh with the warm blood of babies?

They sent her to prison after studious stretching together circumstantial evidence which proved nothing, inconsistencies in the testimony of mundane details, and after vigorously discounting and denying all evidence to the contrary of the narrative that the mother had killed her child. I mean, seriously, what's "evidence" and "logic" when compared to the fact that you can totally just tell that a person is a murderer because you don't like how they move their face-muscles?

Anyway, the point is that a woman was sent to prison for years for the murder of her child that she never committed, so that's a bit of a downer. The Azaria Chamberlain case is awfully infamous as a result of its memorable downerhood, and so that case springs to mind whenever people try to mind-read off of defendants' appearances.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:59 PM on October 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


That unrelated story is sad. :(

Your point must be good. Yay! :)
posted by fraac at 9:05 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Again with the knocking it off, please. Or take it to MeTa where it belongs. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:24 PM on October 4, 2011


Yeah, this case reminded me strongly of the Chamberlain one. I would've said as much, except this is such an epic thread I just assumed somebody must've mentioned it earlier.

There has been an incredible amount written about that case, and one of the points that comes up often is the very witch-hunting nature of the way that Lindy chamberlain was demonised as an "other" - the extreme otherness was the mother-who-kills-her-kid, a bogeyman that goes against all that people like to think womanhood & motherhood are about (kind, gentle, nurturing etc).

Note that she was the focus of the media frenzy, not her husband who, was co-accused. It was all GAAAH WOMAN NOT BEHAVE LIKE WOMAN OMG EVIL CULT MURDER WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!??

It was as if the tiny otherness of being a 7th Day Adventist opened the floodgates to a world of extreme otherness, and everything she did or said thereafter just fed into the idea that she must be guilty.

Similarly here, I could imagine that the ingrained Italian virgin-whore complex on steroids could easily turn an ordinary American college girl into the demon whore from hell, given the slightest hint of non-Catholic nonvirginity.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:32 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Found the video of her returning home. Very relieved.

Yeah, that's straightforward. I'd love to see an interview with her where she's having to recollect stuff. Hopefully she'll do talk shows; she seems to be better received than Casey Anthony.
posted by fraac at 9:34 PM on October 4, 2011


Man, I just got a crappy "taped off the TV screen" video of her statement after arriving home uploaded. I literally clicked "1 new comment" right when I was about to post the URL. It's pretty difficult to figure out the right search terms since "Amanda Knox statement" gets you her statement in Italian.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 PM on October 4, 2011


Also it's pretty mind blowing that a full 50% of convictions in Italian courts are overturned on appeal. One thing I've learned is that they have a very different system for appeals.

One thing I have learned is that I'm not going to fucking Italy.

First the booger-eating heads of state who sexually assault minors, then public prosecutors who accuse people of satanic sex rites. I'm kind of shocked that this country is in the EU with the rest of us, their political culture seems to be about 70-80 years behind the times.
posted by unigolyn at 12:01 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, that photograph, while only looking devious to a fool, does look like a lot of photographs of her, in that she's leaking no emotions. Others show pride or annoyance but always something simple. Definitely some odd affect effect going on there, as if her seat of consciousness isn't located where most here might expect to find it.

I would roll my eyes, but I'm afraid you might find it superficial and diagnose me with psychopathy over the Internet.

This is why I object to juries. You might be on one.
posted by unigolyn at 12:05 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know whether Amanda Knox is a psychopath or not, but here are a few hints that she might be

Yes, I also read Jon Ronson's book.

That does not make me qualified to diagnose people based on "hints".
posted by unigolyn at 12:27 AM on October 5, 2011


craichead: "
As for the promiscuity thing, I thought it was seven partners within a few months after she came to Italy, which struck me as above average.
It was seven ever, total, in her entire life. Three of them were since she'd been in Italy.

So now the bar for being a suspected psychopath is having an "above average" number of sexual partners? That's fascinating.
"

Nothing personal. Young person, newly out of the country with no one to point my behaviour out to my family? I'd be a fool not to get it stuck in.

Doesn't strike me as psychopathic at all. Just rebellious youth...
posted by Samizdata at 2:22 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Knox: victim of an Italian soap opera at Spiked.
posted by rory at 2:46 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Italian wikipedia may shutdown over a law forcing website 'to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.'
posted by jeffburdges at 5:57 AM on October 5, 2011


On whether she's a psychopath, as well as sour cream's list (fingering her boss in retaliation stands out - the police didn't just make that up), and my suspicion that her seat of consciousness isn't where everyday people would expect it, and the fact she was somehow involved in a murder... I'd put the chances of psychopathy around 70%. That says nothing about whether she's guilty of anything.
posted by fraac at 7:11 AM on October 5, 2011


Are you serious, fraac? Because if so, based on the silliness of your statements here, I'd put the chances that your brain has been colonized by mind-controlling aliens (or at least the Daily Mail) at approximately 82%. I read a couple of blog posts about alien mind-control, and that is my expert opinion!
posted by craichead at 7:15 AM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


fingering her boss in retaliation

Maybe she's a sexual deviant after all...
posted by nathancaswell at 7:17 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


craichead, if sour cream's list was 20 rather than 6, would there come a point where you realised you were making excuses for Knox? Maybe around 15? Or maybe not at all.
posted by fraac at 7:22 AM on October 5, 2011


fraac's seat of consciousness is a high chair
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:43 AM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


fraac, she didn't "finger her boss in retaliation". she named him in a weird disjointed coerced confession after hours of intense interrogation in a foreign language with no lawyer present. she recanted the next morning, has apologized to him in open court (and probably in other areas, but i don't have time to look for articles on her right now), and most importantly has served 3 years in prison for the crime of defamation, plus she is saddled with all the court fees involved in that part of the case.

as for the list of six traits of a psychopath, the evidence you and sour cream are pointing to as proof of psychopathy is all hearsay and moralization dressed up as fact. it's all straight out of the tabloids. it's bullshit.
posted by palomar at 7:57 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why did she name him? Would you have done that? I have exceptionally high moral standards so it's unfair to imagine myself in that situation. It's easy to say she was tortured by police and would therefore "say anything" but she did nonetheless say some particular things.

Everything is hearsay. No one said proof of psychopathy. Sour cream said "I don't know" and I said 70%.
posted by fraac at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2011


Metafilter: I have exceptionally high moral standards.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:10 AM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


"I don't know" is the only honest answer. "70%" is a dishonest answer. There is literally no basis for that figure. In order to claim "70%", you would have to be either delusional or lying.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:11 AM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why did she name him? Would you have done that?
I have no idea what I would have done, and neither do you. Years ago, a neighbor of mine falsely confessed to raping and murdering his own mother after hours of grueling interrogation, only to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Kevin Fox falsely confessed to murdering his 3-year-old daughter. I'm not arrogant enough to be sure that I would be able to resist that kind of pressure, and you shouldn't be either.
posted by craichead at 8:16 AM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


Don't forget that Knox was interrogated for over 10 hours in a language she spoke only at a beginner level, in a country whose legal system she didn't even understand at the level of having watched a TV legal drama.

Her situation was actually worse than the cases craichead sites.
posted by Wylla at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


craichead: a false confession is very different to a false accusation. You can surely see that.
posted by fraac at 8:20 AM on October 5, 2011


Her situation was actually worse than the cases craichead sites.

Yeah, it's almost approaching the level of Guantanamo Bay, with its false confessions & false accusations.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:23 AM on October 5, 2011


Y'all are being played.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:25 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


fingering her boss in retaliation

Maybe she's a sexual deviant after all...


That'll get you 5 years in Indiana prison.

Why did she name him? Would you have done that?

Have you ever been arrested for a brutal crime that you didn't commit in a non-native country with a different language? Or see ericb's comment again, in case you missed.

Let's not pretend to know how anyone would react in that situation. Maybe she was high on cocaine and was worried about the cops finding her huge stash that they never did. Maybe she was sick and/or exhausted.

None of us know the truth. And that's OK.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:27 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


True - damned media!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:27 AM on October 5, 2011


(d'oh! that was in response to Horselover)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:28 AM on October 5, 2011


Police say there was a black man at the scene. You know any black guys, Amanda? Imagine you're in this apartment with the one black guy you know in town...

Ta-da, a false accusation emerges!

Knox said any apparent admission to being at the scene was made when investigators told her to imagine what she might have seen if she had been there. She later recanted the statement and the higher court ruled it inadmissible in the criminal trial because the statement was made without an attorney present.

posted by thirteenkiller at 8:31 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Y'all are being played.

I agree. Fraac has accused everyone here of basing their opinions on little more than vague impressions, all the while basing his/her opinions on vague impressions.
posted by zerbinetta at 8:34 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"None of us know the truth. And that's OK."

I think some of you are confusing a 70% chance of psychopathy with claiming to know whether she killed someone. I'm claiming no such thing.
posted by fraac at 8:34 AM on October 5, 2011


a 70% chance of psychopathy

Could you please elaborate on the methodology you used to arrive at this particular number?

Personally, I've determined you are 86.21% likely to have no idea what the hell you're talking about, and I arrived at this figure by pulling it out of my ass.
posted by unigolyn at 8:38 AM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


up
posted by fraac at 8:41 AM on October 5, 2011


Yeah, what's the credible interval on that?
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:41 AM on October 5, 2011


Hey, you guys can use your own means to work things out. I'm not trying to convert anyone. All I suggest is you try to avoid a halo effect where because she's been cleared and she's pretty and American, all the dodgy things must be lies. Reality doesn't work that way.
posted by fraac at 8:46 AM on October 5, 2011


Kind of a derail, but I blame Disney and Dreamworks for making us all believe that everyone has a super-expressive face that emotes clearly every emotion they are feeling.

It makes sense when you are animating something to make them very expressive. Disney give horses eyebrows. HORSES WITH EMOTIVE EYEBROWS that convey how annoyed or happy or surprised they are.

Not everybody has the ability to emote with their faces. Not everybody can even physically cock one eyebrow in order to express skepticism, and the other to express curiosity. Not everybody can physically show fear on their face. Not everybody can express happiness with a full-face smile.

It's a good thing we have language, where we can talk and express ourselves; and the ability to act and do good things; otherwise some of us could be unfairly pigeonholed into being considered psychopaths because of the way our eyes and eyebrows are genetically positioned on our faces and portrayed in a series of photographs.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:51 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's a good thing there isn't years of science on facial expressions. I just watch cartoons.
posted by fraac at 8:54 AM on October 5, 2011


Stop dodging the question and tell us how you arrived at "70% chance that she's a psychopath".

The science of facial expressions, Tim Roth shows aside, is inexact and should never be used in a vacuum.
posted by unigolyn at 8:57 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's years of science on a lot of things. Reading some pop psychology rendition of it and applying it to pictures doesn't make one an expert, or even remotely knowledgeable. Besides, Knox's psychopathy or lack thereof is a red herring. The picture that has emerged was that the trial and pretrial actions were unfair and not evidence-based.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:01 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My sense of thread aesthetics makes me reluctant to keep repeating myself. The lack of vacuum, as I've already said and linked to for your benefit, is sour cream's checklist and her being involved in a murder.

Why do you care whether or not she's a psychopath? Are you going to marry her? I care because it interests me, whereas I don't care about murder. I suggest you check what you care about and why.

"There's years of science on a lot of things."

Good point. Thanks.
posted by fraac at 9:05 AM on October 5, 2011


I think this guy must be about 19? He keeps tossing weird accusations that everyone has a crush on Knox.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:06 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Coincidentally I'm 50% certain that 50 Cent is a psychopath
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2011


> Good point. Thanks.

You're welcome. Making the claim that there "is years of science" about something is a really lame attempt at an argument from authority (even though you have none).
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The picture that has emerged was that the trial and pretrial actions were unfair and not evidence-based.

^ Yeah, that's the main point here.

I think a person can come to that logical conclusion without it being a halo effect about her good looks and nationality. Nobody's claiming magical insight into her inner psychiatric workings except the crazy eyes guy and the 70% psychopath guy.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:08 AM on October 5, 2011


Nobody's claiming magical insight into her inner psychiatric workings except the crazy eyes guy and the 70% psychopath guy.

Are we sure those are two different people and not simply two different accounts? The clear overlap of the "if you don't think she's a psychopath you must be in luuuurve with her" digs and the "oh come on, just look at her, she's obviously a psychopath" rolling make it at least 70% certain that nerkul and fraac are two names for the same mind.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:13 AM on October 5, 2011


thirteen: I'm curious why you care about this case if you aren't interested in her psychology. Either you're "phew, justice served" or "oh no! murderer on the loose!" but I can't see any lingering interest beyond poking around in her head.

Horselover, I dare you to make a comment that I don't have to flag.
posted by fraac at 9:14 AM on October 5, 2011


Locked Up Abroad: It isn't just Amanda Knox or the hikers in Iran. Why even the average American tourist should worry about being detained abroad.
posted by homunculus at 9:16 AM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Horselover, I dare you to make a comment that I don't have to flag.

Flag away, but you've had your ass handed to you in a fair way here.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:19 AM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why do you care whether or not she's a psychopath? Are you going to marry her?

With as many sex partners as she's had?? Not likely!

Actually, I just think it's fucked up to judge a person's mental and cognitive state based on a few photographs found on google images in general, whether it's Knox or Michelle Bachman.

I'm not sure I care what your opinion is on this, fraac; you are free to make the judgments you make. I wasn't conversing directly with you when I made the Disney animation comment, or implying that you get your info from cartoons (this thread is available to the entire internet and is not just between you and everybody else). I'm sure you have a valid basis for your beliefs, even though I think you are wrong, which is where gentlemen usually agree to disagree and move on.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:19 AM on October 5, 2011


All I suggest is you try to avoid a halo effect where because she's been cleared and she's pretty and American, all the dodgy things must be lies.

All I suggest is that you not assume that anyone - especially an American - who thinks she is innocent or rebuts you is doing so simply because of a pretty American with a halo around her pretty head.

It is possible, quite possible, to both decry the tabloid-ness of this case, how it focused on her rather than the victim, and also decry the US justice system, while at the same time, thinking she is innocent. Not only possible, but quite easy.
posted by xetere at 9:24 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's reasonable. Note that I never judge, just observe. There is a gap between those that I'm very aware of and that I encourage others to be aware of in themselves.
posted by fraac at 9:25 AM on October 5, 2011


thirteen: I'm curious why you care about this case if you aren't interested in her psychology. Either you're "phew, justice served" or "oh no! murderer on the loose!" but I can't see any lingering interest beyond poking around in her head.

I'm all "phew, justice served" about the case, then I'm like "oh wow, this thread". I'm finding the psychiatric discussion intriguing and quite apart from the Amanda Knox case. How is it untrained nonprofessionals can claim to diagnose a serious but superficially inconspicuous mental disorder in a minor celebrity based on news photos and tabloid write-ups? The material facts of the case seem a lot more easily assessed than whether Amanda Knox is David Attenborough-style charming vs Ted Bundy-style charming.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:29 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note that I never judge, just observe.

An inference is not an observation. It is a judgment. When you see someone's facial expression, you observe the expression only, and even then, this observation is framed by your own preconceptions and biases. Even more importantly, when you decide that those facial expressions ought to mean one thing or another, it is your own judgment which to string together your observations with your conclusions.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:32 AM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


*which strings together

derp
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:34 AM on October 5, 2011


Wow, that's an eye-opening article, homunculus.

When it comes to executing foreign nationals in violation of the VCCR, the United States is in a class all by itself. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization that is often critical of capital punishment, out of at least 160 capital cases in which a foreign national was sentenced to death in the United States, only seven -- less than 5 percent -- were in full compliance with the VCCR's requirements. DPIC has calculated that since 1976, when capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court, 27 foreign nationals from 15 countries have been put to death in the United States without full and proper compliance under the VCCR -- the most recent incident being Florida's execution of Cuban national Manuel Valle on Sept. 28. With Valle's death, there are now at least 135 foreigners representing 34 nationalities on death row, most of whom have raised a VCCR violation claim. The plurality of these inmates are from Mexico.

In 2003, Mexico brought legal action against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on behalf of dozens of Mexicans on death row who were denied proper consular access. The ICJ, in its Avena decision, held that 51 of the Mexican citizens had indeed been deprived of appropriate consular notification and access. The ruling -- which amplified the ICJ's determinations in two previous cases brought against the United States, respectively by Paraguay and Germany -- ordered the United States to provide "review and reconsideration of convictions and sentences" in order to determine if the failure to notify the 51 Mexican defendants of their consular rights prejudiced their cases. To date, the vast majority of these defendants have never been granted judicial "review and reconsideration." In fact, two of them -- José Ernesto Medellín and Humberto Leal -- were executed in defiance of the ICJ's binding Avena ruling.

And that's just capital cases culminating in death sentences. Imagine how many other occurrences of violation there have been. While there is limited data on this, one investigation found that in 1997, the New York City Police Department arrested more than 53,000 foreign nationals, but notified the respective consulates in only four instances.


And we wonder why some foreigners hate America.

posted by mrgrimm at 9:35 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mentioned this on one of the other threads about this case, but this case reminds me so much like the Martin Tankleff case. Wikipedia used to have a good write-up on it but basically the gist as I remember.

He was about 17, his parets were brutally murdered in his house while he slept. This was on Long Island. Well the tabloids in NY had a field day. Kid was on drugs, kid was a spoiled brat, he killed his parents because they wouldn't give him a car. That kind of stuff.

Well maybe he was a bit spoiled, maybe he was high. Maybe not.

As a matter of fact, the cops, who, you know thought, "well he isn't acting like a normal person would when his parents just got murdered" tricked him. Told him his father lived, woke up and said Martin did it. Martin was left to stew. He did a lot of pot that night, starts to think, "wow, what if I did it and I don't even remember?" The dectives helpfully ask him to "imagine" what might have happened.

BOOM! a "confession!" One he refused to sign. Now there was no DNA, no blood or anything found in his room, no weapon was found. No woulds on him - you'd figure even older people would fight and do *something* if they were being bludgeoned. Nothing.

Now father's business partner, who just happened to be over there that night playing poker, just happened to owe his father like 200 grand. And he just happened to try to fake his own death and fled to the West Coast.

Nope, the sick spoiled 17-year old without affect, the kid who was high on pot or hash or who knows what, nope that is who the cops went after, because it fit the narrative that they had already had. Tankleff spent 17 years in prison. 17 years until he was finally freed.

That is what this case reminds me of.
posted by xetere at 9:37 AM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thirteen: you believe the material facts of the case are easily assessed? I don't think they are. I think trying to find the 'realest' storyline is a murky and misleading business at the best of times, never mind when professional murksters have spent years murkying. I'm not untrained, btw. I'm waiting for interviews with Knox to see if she spills anything more about who she really is.
posted by fraac at 9:38 AM on October 5, 2011


Why did she name him? Would you have done that? I have exceptionally high moral standards so it's unfair to imagine myself in that situation.

I, too, feel that my own morals are exceptionally high. However, I haven't had them tested in such a way that I might end up giving a false statement to an officer of the law. As soon as that happens to me, I'll be sure to get on Metafilter and update everyone with just how well my morals held up under an actual test.

If you haven't been in that kind of situation, you really cannot state with accuracy exactly how you would behave.

You should do some reading on false confessions. You really need to educate yourself.
posted by palomar at 9:41 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thirteen: you believe the material facts of the case are easily assessed?

Definitely more easily assessed than Amanda Knox's private mental arrangements, yeah. I'm not talking about assessing what happened that night minute by minute, but rather, was it reasonable for this girl to be convicted for the crime?
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2011


It's also reminiscent of the Central Park Jogger case. A terrible crime happens, so they round up some kids and coerce some confessions, ignoring the flagrant contradictions and inconsistencies in the physical evidence. The kids were convicted in 1990, and they weren't exonerated until 2002, after the real perpetrator confessed and his DNA was found to be the only DNA to match the crime scene.

Doubly weird was the ensuing popularization of the concept of "wilding," which was a slang term invented by police officers who had misheard the suspects saying "do the wild thing".

It's almost as if sometimes people develop preconceptions about crimes and criminals that they cannot back up with hard evidence.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:45 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Her mental state is written all over her face for anyone to see. I look there first. Can you say it wasn't reasonable to convict because the prosecution messed up? I'm happy with that, as far as it goes.
posted by fraac at 9:45 AM on October 5, 2011


Meta
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on October 5, 2011


Her mental state is written all over her face for anyone to see. I look there first.

No. Her mental state is written inside of her head. Your inferences as to her mental state are inside of your head, strung together between what you observe on your face and your frames of reference as to what those observations must mean to you.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:48 AM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sticherbeast: what it specifically isn't reminiscent of is the cases where murderers get released, because we never hear about those. Think about that.
posted by fraac at 9:52 AM on October 5, 2011


You're right, I've never heard of O. J. Simpson.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting! Because we all believe OJ did it. Casey Anthony too. But not Amanda. What percentage of the popular vote is required to determine whether someone is a murderer, do you reckon?
posted by fraac at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


fraac, give this thread a rest. You're aware of the metatalk thread, if you've got something to say you can say it there, but walk away from this one and don't persist in this sort of hyper-responsive arguing-with-everybody thing in the future.
posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because we all believe OJ did it. Casey Anthony too. But not Amanda.

I did not believe that the prosecution had proved Simpson's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal trial. Same with Amanda Knox. I have no opinion on Casey Anthony as I tried to avoid following that mess as much as possible.
posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting! Because we all believe OJ did it. Casey Anthony too. But not Amanda. What percentage of the popular vote is required to determine whether someone is a murderer, do you reckon?

We have no idea if any of those people did it. One way or the other.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:13 AM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Berlusconi Allies Use Amanda Knox Case To Lambast Italy's Judicial System
The four-year saga showed the world that "the credibility of [Italy's] justice system is beyond a joke," wrote Giuliano Ferrara, chief editor of the conservative daily Il Foglio in a front page piece comparing Ms. Knox to Mr. Berlusconi.

"Your Amanda, our Berlusconi: each his or her own hostage to Justice," wrote Mr. Ferrara in the open letter to foreign reporters published both in English and Italian. "For years we have been trying to explain to you that Italy’s biggest problem is not [Berlusconi] ... but a Media-Justice 'inside the Beltway' complex that has turned Italy into the very opposite of a country under the Rule of Law."

Ferrara's comments echo those of other influential Berlusconi backers who have long blamed Italy's judicial system for the fact that the prime minister is involved in several trials ranging from corruption to underage prostitution. So it is no surprise that some are now attempting to turn the Knox trial into the case for Berlusconi. Political agendas aside, however, their attacks of the judiciary reflect a growing distrust among Italy's citizens.

According to a July poll by Ipr Marketing polling agency, 59 percent of Italians put "little or no trust at all" in the justice system. (Berlusconi has posted the poll on his website).

One of the biggest problems of the Italian judiciary is the length of trials, on average between four to six years, due both to bureaucracy and a system where three separate degrees are almost mandatory - meaning that after the first trials two appeals are de facto automatic. There could still, in fact, be a third trial for Knox, though the Seattle student is unlikely to come back to Italy.
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on October 5, 2011


Regarding Amanda's facial expressions, 'affect,' etc.:
"Knox was well-coached before the appeals trial. She had learned her lesson that the American tendency to smile at everyone is not always a good idea, and throughout the summer she barely looked back at the crowds at all. Many interpreted this as strength and stoicism, but from yesterday’s display, it was clear that she was at the end of her rope. I don’t care what insults the attorneys hurled—she-devil, demon—when they saw this human being physically drawn back from the brink of despair, it might even have made them shudder a little."*
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


What Amanda Knox Tells Us About Privilege
"Katie Crouch asks an important question in the wake of the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito exoneration: What can be done to stop a circus like this one from happening again? There are a number of important flaws in traditional systems of justice that this case helped expose, especially with regards to how character assessment of the defendants is weighed too heavily and actual evidence too lightly, and perhaps addressing those problems could help significantly. That said, one thing that could help is looking at the dangers of an overly simplistic view of prejudice and privilege. [...more...]"
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2011


"The failure and the triumph of Amanda Knox's story are both specific to an American woman in a foreign justice system whose framework differs critically from our own. If Knox were homely, or modest, or male, she'd probably never have been charged to begin with. But it's also likely that, once convicted, a different Amanda Knox wouldn't have held the interest of the court long enough to be freed. The passions of the investigators and, arguably, of Knox herself, led to her conviction and, paradoxically, to her acquittal and release.

... Knox had every reason, until her arrest in November 2007, to believe that cops and judges existed to protect her. Why wouldn't she? A gorgeous middle-class white American college student on a study year abroad is someone by whom society has done pretty well. Hers is the passion of a comfortable kid who can't quite believe things aren't working the way they're supposed to. And the most peculiar and riveting aspect of [her] appeal statement that helped free her is the persistence of that faith. She punctuated her points with respectful, but assertive, gesticulations. It's the way you dream (literally, in nightmares) about appealing to captors. 'I'm not escaping truth. I never escaped. I'm not fleeing from justice,' Knox said. No, guys, don't you get it? I'm on your side!

It worked. Well, her statement worked, following years of international pressure and a damning report in which court-appointed experts found 54 errors in the original investigators' procedure and handling of evidence.

... In Italy, investigators propound a single, supposedly objective story in order to establish the absolute truth of a crime. Their purpose, at least in theory, is to determine truth, not to prosecute a defendant. Defense lawyers' ostensible role is not to present an opposing story, but to support the defendant in the investigation. The judge is not neutral, but is a member of and guiding presence on the jury, which renders its verdict by simple majority. This 'inquisitorial' process stands in contrast to the American adversarial system, in which two sides -- prosecution and defense, in a criminal trial -- present competing stories. An impartial jury must reach a unanimous verdict, and a presiding judge approves it.

The single-narrative structure of the Italian system lends itself to the kind of runaway train that was Amanda Knox's legal journey. First she was a Satanic ritual orgy killer; then she was jealous; at one point she was said to have slaughtered Kercher in a marijuana-induced rage. The case stuck because it was interesting to the investigators, and it survived the 2008 conviction of a third defendant, Rudy Guede, because the investigators shifted their version of Knox's (and Sollecito's) role as the evidence changed. They weren't necessarily looking to railroad her, but they couldn't look away from the case that involved a beautiful girl, foreign college kids, and DNA on a bra clasp. Knox's own lawyers notoriously characterized her as 'Jessica Rabbit' at one point, to distinguish the sexy and warm defendant from the diabolical murderer the investigators saw.

American litigators are constantly accused of being too aggressive, of picking fights, of acting like pit bulls. Our two-sided system of zealous advocacy has serious flaws. But supposed impartiality has more insidious effects than does frank opposition. Amanda Knox's own zealous participation -- in fun, in adventure, in guileless cooperation with investigators -- ensnared her in legal and personal horror. 'I insist on the truth,' Knox said yesterday. 'It deserves to be defended and acknowledged.' She respectfully challenged authority to correct itself and to do its job. An admittedly privileged, American woman expected no less."*
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


On whether she's a psychopath, as well as sour cream's list (fingering her boss in retaliation stands out - the police didn't just make that up), and my suspicion that her seat of consciousness isn't where everyday people would expect it, and the fact she was somehow involved in a murder... I'd put the chances of psychopathy around 70%. That says nothing about whether she's guilty of anything.
Yeah, it's probably in her hypothalamus or something instead of her Penial gland where it belongs. Descartes proved it.

Chance of narcissistic personality disorder in this case is 88.24%, in which case 79.33% of it rising to the level of psychopathy, which as we can see results in a 70.00079% chance of psychopathy overall!
Personally, I've determined you are 86.21% likely to have no idea what the hell you're talking about, and I arrived at this figure by pulling it out of my ass.
I'm quite sure the figure is 100%.
"Your Amanda, our Berlusconi: each his or her own hostage to Justice," wrote Mr. Ferrara in the open letter to foreign reporters published both in English and Italian. "For years we have been trying to explain to you that Italy’s biggest problem is not [Berlusconi] ... but a Media-Justice 'inside the Beltway' complex that has turned Italy into the very opposite of a country under the Rule of Law."
Does Berlusconi actually want a country with a rule of law? I kind of doubt it.
posted by delmoi at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2011


Italian judge in Knox case cites Italian anti-Americanism in an interview with an Italian newspaper (linking in case the translation in the New York Post is incorrect).
"There was too much tension," he said. "There was too much attention on this case and that was because of the excessive media interest. People got fired up.That's why I said what I did (before retiring) that it was not a football match and I didn't want cheering."

"Instead, well, too much was made out if it. Then there is the political background, many wanted Amanda in prison because she was American," Hellman added.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2011


We have no idea if any of those people did it. One way or the other.

Yes we do, we can look at the evidence and draw logical conclusions. Nothing is certain in the sense that nothing is ever certain but that is a somewhat pedantic way to look at it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, Fraac's account has been disabled-- I'm so sad! I missed his valuable contributions to this thread.

Not really. But, moving on...

I've been checking the coverage of the Knox case in Seattle, and her parents are (not surprisingly) deeply in debt to the tune of $1 million dollars in legal fees and travel expenses. I hope they'll be able to recoup their expenses.

But all of this pales to actually having their daughter back. Amanda is so unbelievably lucky to have a family like that.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what is a lack of empathy? Looking at someone who has been through a traumatic event or lost someone they love and judging their behavior and finding it wanting.
posted by bq at 1:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been checking the coverage of the Knox case in Seattle, and her parents are (not surprisingly) deeply in debt to the tune of $1 million dollars in legal fees and travel expenses. I hope they'll be able to recoup their expenses.

I bet they absolutely will be able to.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:51 PM on October 5, 2011


Yes we do, we can look at the evidence and draw logical conclusions.

That's assuming we have access to reliable and complete evidence. Do we?
posted by The World Famous at 2:07 PM on October 5, 2011


That's assuming we have access to reliable and complete evidence. Do we?

When is evidence ever "complete"?
posted by BobbyVan at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2011


When is evidence ever "complete"?

When it is sufficient to lead to accurate conclusions.
posted by The World Famous at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh great, now we have to preface everything with a discussion of Plato’s Cave. Thanks derailing asshole former member!
posted by Artw at 2:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


> What Amanda Knox Tells Us About Privilege

Executive summary: that, no matter what the circumstances, whether A, B, and C, or not-A, not-B and not-C, or any combination or permutation, some people are going to be reminded of the operation of privilege. Others (myself for instance) will be reminded of cheese sammiches, because everything reminds us of cheese sammiches. Yet others will be reminded of Furbies, pissing Calvin, or the Third Man theme. Whatever floats your boat.
posted by jfuller at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


... her parents are (not surprisingly) deeply in debt to the tune of $1 million dollars in legal fees and travel expenses.

Yes. The family is deeply in debit.

Her parents (who are divorced) each have second mortgages on their respective homes and have drained their retirement accounts

Also, "[her] grandmother, Elizabeth Huff, took out a loan to help cover the expenses totaling $250,000."*

Many expect that Amanda will be able to help her family out, as it's expected she will be paid for interviews, etc. She will likely publish a book based on the prison diary she kept.
Amanda Knox 'Could Make Millions From TV And Press Deals'
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


And then we can call her a shitty person for doing something she'd actually kind of be a shitty person if she didn't do. Hurrah!

(I'd like to think they could get some money suing the crap out of Giuliano Mignini, but I doubt that will be too fruitful.)
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to think they could get some money suing the crap out of Giuliano Mignini, but I doubt that will be too fruitful.

I've wondered about that. Knowing nothing about Italian law, etc., would it be possible for her to sue anyone involved in the case?
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh, and Nancy Grace still thinks she's guilty.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2011


Well, Nancy Grace "is reknown [sic] for her ability to see through a criminal case and get to the heart of a matter" so she must be right.
posted by grouse at 2:38 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


She can see guilt in their eyes, man.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on October 5, 2011


OK, so I've been trying to find the original Italian version of the report I quoted/linked above but haven't been able to. The link the New York Post gives takes you to a somewhat related story, but without the most explosive quote (in which the judge apparently said that many wanted Knox imprisoned because of her nationality).

The first English-language source of the quote seems to be the often dubious Daily Mail, so for now I'd say that the comment is unsubstantiated (unless someone can find the original article).
posted by BobbyVan at 2:49 PM on October 5, 2011


She will likely publish a book based on the prison diary she kept.
"She'll write, because that's her way of dealing with things," her stepfather, Chris Mellas, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.*
posted by ericb at 2:53 PM on October 5, 2011


Well, Nancy Grace is more concerned right now in trying to found out which contestant farted on 'Dancing with the Stars' last night. She's 'investigating.'
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2011


Not to flog a dead horse, but I just thought of another indicator of psychopathic behavior: leaving a trail of wrecked lives in one's wake.

Here we have:
- Boyfriend Sollecito (or whatever his name was)
- Rudy Guede (in jail for murder)
- Patrick Lumumba (falsely accused of murder)
- to some extent, G. Mignini (prosecutor)
- Meredith Kercher (murder victim)
- Amanda Knox (star of the show)
- some of her relatives (deeply in debt now, although possibly not for long)

Of course, we don't know if Ms. Knox did it or if she is a psychopath, and you can equally blame the Italian justice system for a lot of the damage here, but one victim that stands out is her former boss, barkeeper Lumumba, on who she tried to pin the murder. You can do some handwaving and point out the immense stress she must have been under during the investigation, but it sure does leave a bad aftertaste. One can frequently read about people cracking under police questioning and confessing, sometimes even winding up on death row, but I cannot recall any cases where an innocent person cracked under pressure, wrongly implicated another person, and that person wound up in jail and had his live ruined. Not saying that it can't or hasn't happened. Just that it seems extraordinary, and that most people would rather implicate themselves than someone they know is innocent.
posted by sour cream at 12:05 AM on October 6, 2011


Yeah, blame Knox for ruining the prosecutor's life! And if she didn't kill Kercher, how did she ruin her life? And how selfish of Knox to accept charity from her relatives, amiright? This is completely unhinged.

As to your strongest point: I'm not sure about cases where innocent suspects have implicated other innocent suspects who ended up in jail... but there are plenty of cases in which ordinary eyewitnesses have been strong-armed by police interrogators into claiming they saw something they later admit that they did not -- leading to the imprisonment and execution of the possibly innocent.

So we're basically left with your "aftertaste."

Metafilter: I can't make judgments on legal cases if I didn't sit through the trial, but I'm a pro at clinically diagnosing psychopaths I've never met.
posted by BobbyVan at 4:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


[This has been a difficult and contentious thread for many reasons. Going forward, let's try to "brand-new-day" it by sticking to discussing aspects of the case without making it personal towards other members. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 4:45 AM on October 6, 2011


I cannot recall any cases where an innocent person cracked under pressure, wrongly implicated another person, and that person wound up in jail and had his live ruined.

Casey Anthony and Zanny the Nanny. Casey's innocent too, doncha know.

I don't know how anyone can call the original, faulty case anything but a "miscarriage of justice" in its own right. That's really the point here. Not guilt or innocence.
posted by litnerd at 5:27 AM on October 6, 2011


sour cream : Not to flog a dead horse

Uh-huh...


but I just thought of another indicator of psychopathic behavior: leaving a trail of wrecked lives in one's wake. [...] Amanda Knox (star of the show)

I find it interesting that you choose to call Amanda the star of the show, when you could point to almost anyone else involved and call them the star and Amanda just another wrecked life caught in the wake.
posted by pla at 6:46 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


- Boyfriend Sollecito (or whatever his name was)
That one confuses me. If she's guilty, they committed the crime together. If she's not guilty, she may have been singled out because she was a young and sexy and owned a vibrator and had had at least one one-night stand, and he may have been co-accused because of guilt by association. But that wouldn't be her fault, because she wouldn't be guilty. So how exactly did she ruin his life? Did her satanic slut vibes force him to commit a murder or something?

The thing that strikes me most about your comment is that, with the exception of implicating Lumumba, any of those things could be said about anyone who was accused of a crime. So basically, what you're saying is that being accused of a crime is evidence of being a psychopath. Do you really want to say that? Has it ever even crossed your mind that you could be accused of a crime?
posted by craichead at 7:05 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


So basically, what you're saying is that being accused of a crime is evidence of being a psychopath. Do you really want to say that?

That is not what I am saying at all, and it is a bit disingenious to say so.
I have said that there are several indicators that point to a psychopatic nature. No single one of those indicators makes you a psychopath.
I said so very clearly in my first post in this thread: Just to avoid any misunderstandings: It's the combination of traits that hints that she might be a psychopath.

So just in case that this is still not clear enough: No, being accused of a crime is not sufficient evidence of being a psychopath, and neither is having many sex partners, and I never said that.

I am not sure about Amanda Knox at all. I am, however, quite convinced that Berlusconi matches the clinical definition of a psychopath. This is, of course, just my amateur opinion, but you don't really need a degree in psychology or anything to see that. Want to come to his defense as well?
posted by sour cream at 7:38 AM on October 6, 2011


Over at Slog, Charles Mudede keeps up his obsession with this case. He really has wandered from his usual 'quirky' to downright creepy. His latest post falls into the trap of thinking that the Daily Mail represents the entire British press.

sour cream - I really doubt that Berlusconi is mentally ill. Why is it so hard for you to believe that he's just self-interested and very focused on his own goals? I really don't think anyone here is qualified to diagnose him with anything but being a particularly theatrical and ruthless politician.
posted by Wylla at 8:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can only assume half the posts in this thread are satirical.

you don't really need a degree in psychology or anything to see that

you really don't.

(see also: Fat Rats In The Public Granary)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on October 6, 2011


I'd agree that Giuliano Mignini sounds like a psychopath, sour cream. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:09 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not to flog a dead horse, but I just thought of another indicator of psychopathic behavior: leaving a trail of wrecked lives in one's wake.

Here we have:
- Boyfriend Sollecito (or whatever his name was)
- Rudy Guede (in jail for murder)
- Patrick Lumumba (falsely accused of murder)
- to some extent, G. Mignini (prosecutor)
- Meredith Kercher (murder victim)
- Amanda Knox (star of the show)
- some of her relatives (deeply in debt now, although possibly not for long)


It's all so clear now. You're right. Rudy Guede is clearly a psychopath. Look how many wrecked lives were left in his wake. Or were you suggesting that Mignini is a psychopath? Because I can get on board that speculation, too.
posted by The World Famous at 9:37 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I liked it better when everybody was speculating that Knox had some form of Aspergers. That seemed so much more benign.

It does bother me a lot that people become armchair psychiatrists like this. It's one thing to say "I think Knox is a slut." Or, "I think Knox is a selfish whore." Or even "I think Knox is nuts." But the analysis that she's a psychopath, and the subsequent attempts to build a case that she is a psychopath, that's more than a bit weird.

But let's look at Guede:

1) He was a drug dealer.
2) He broke into a nursery school, as follows:
The owner of a Milan nursery school testified in court that Rudy Guede had broken into her school and stolen a big kitchen knife. Nursery school owner Maria del Prato testified that she had stopped by her school Saturday Oct. 27, when it was closed, and came upon Guede in her office.

"I asked him who he was," she told the court, "and he replied perfectly calmly, even though I had caught him red-handed." Del Prato said he told her he was "a kid from Perugia" who had arrived the night before and had nowhere to sleep.

Del Prato doubted his story, as her locker had been opened, and she said she believed Rudy was looking for something to steal.
3) He is described as a "troubled youth" well known to the local police.
4) He testified that he flirted with Kercher, went back to her house alone with her, and they fooled around. Then he went to the bathroom, turned on his iPod, and when he came out, Kercher was murdered.
5) After being in Kercher and Knox's house that night, he fled Perugia and was later found in Germany.
6) His DNA was all over the scene.
7) His bloody handprint was found on Kercher's pillow.
8) He pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito.

And, to top it all off:

9) He left a big shit in the toilet and didn't even flush.

I'm not going to say he's a psychopath, though. But he is kind of gross.

Somebody should do Mignini next.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:22 AM on October 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


NOW WASH YOUR HANDS.
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on October 6, 2011


...the kooky, free-spirited Knox, who is now fluent in Italian.

Well, only because she is no longer in handcuffs.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:06 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not to flog a dead horse, but I just thought of another indicator of psychopathic behavior: leaving a trail of wrecked lives in one's wake.
What the fuuuuuuck? If anything, all you've done is show that the prosecutor (who was under indictment for abuse of authority before Meridith was even killed) might be a 'sociopath' because he the principle agent in ruining those people's lives (excluding Meridith, but including her family). In fact all the people in your list are psychopaths because their lives have all been ruined and they were all related!

That's like Calling Elie Wiesel a Psyhopath because so many of the people he knew died in the holocaust! Unreal!
So basically, what you're saying is that being accused of a crime is evidence of being a psychopath.
Not only that, but by his definition any victim of a crime is also a psychopath. Just look at how many of the people who associated with Meredith Kercher had their lives ruined!
I have said that there are several indicators that point to a psychopatic nature. No single one of those indicators makes you a psychopath.
If you're not a clinical psychologists examining someone in a clinical setting, please, shut the fuck up.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on October 6, 2011


Lighten up, delmoi.
You know what impulsive behavior is an indicator of, don't you?

I keed, I keed. In my unprofessional, non-clinical opinion, delmoi is not a psychopath.
posted by sour cream at 4:19 PM on October 6, 2011


But let's look at Guede:

Yes, let's. My agnosticism about the case tips much more in her favor on seeing headlines both in the UK and US (namely, the hed in my local paper) on the order of "There was a murder, and now the suspect is free! Whatever shall we do, whom shall we hold responsible?" Uh, duh. Now if Guede is freed on appeal that may have some merit.
posted by dhartung at 4:27 PM on October 6, 2011


Lighten up, delmoi.
You know what impulsive behavior is an indicator of, don't you?


Huh? Do you know what 'impulsive' means?
posted by delmoi at 7:36 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


First of all, regardless of what some handbook says, psychopathy does exist.

I'm sure it does. I'm sure satanic ritual abuse exists, too. Also, man-eating sharks.

It seems to suit some deep need in us to periodically elevate some rare phenomenon to boogie man status. Right now, it's psychopathy. Why can't it ever be leprechauns?

Cause that would be sweet.
posted by steambadger at 7:56 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


For the folks who are wondering about motive, there are plenty of killings that on the outside, to a healthy person, appear to have no motivation. I have a relative who killed his landlady and went to church with us the next morning, nothing unusual in his behaviour at all before he got arrested. When he confessed he said he was angry because some friends said they'd call him to go out that night and he got "stood up." So he brutally murdered an old lady. The week before, he'd changed a flat tire on my car.

People get hung up on the idea that people who look and act like them (same culture, same skin color, same economic level, same idea of acceptable sexuality) can't be guilty unless they're caught on camera. I personally know a couple of guys who did horrible things of which I have first-hand experience. They pay their bills, get along with their neighbors, do favors for friends, are polite and pet kittens. If I didn't know about those (possibly singular) aberrations in each of them, I probably would have belief issues hearing such accounts second-hand.

Male/female killer pairs exist. They're rare, but they exist. If Knox and Sollecito were a pair, then I would lean towards believing that Sollecito was the provacateur.

As other people have pointed out, the supporting evidence was circumstantial, and there were problems with the way in which the DNA evidence was collected, and no matter what, there's another guy who has been convicted. Were all three involved? We'll never know for sure.

But don't spew a lot of crap like "no motive!"
posted by thelastcamel at 11:32 PM on October 6, 2011


The sad thing about this is that there is absolutely no indication that there was anything at all unusual about Amanda Knox before the Italian press and court system got a hold of her. All indications from the UW are of an average student who had a job and also went to the usual-for-the-UW number of parties. She had some 'kooky' photos taken by a friend who was taking a photography class. Facebook photos from the parties and 'kooky' photos of her playing cello in the street (taken by the friend) were both used to establish later on that she was a 'slut' or a 'party girl' or a crazy, 'kooky' artist-type who could easily be a thrill-killer. Later on, we got psychopathy and asperger's added into the mix, mostly by UK commentators.

Examine every publicly-available photo of yourself you can find. Search the internet, and then think about what every person who knew and didn't like you at any time in your life might have put on facebook or kept in a shoebox someplace, and then consider how easily this could be done to anyone.

Ladies, consider every sexual encounter you've ever had, and any vaguely-sexual materials you might own (any condoms in your purse?). Are you someone who could easily be painted as a 'slut?' I bet the answer is yes. Oh, and if you are happily and monogamously-married nowadays, that's all the more reason to suspect you - your formerly 'slutty' behavior is your true nature! If you're a lifelong religious believer who has never so much as held a boy's hand, you must be repressed, and your repression could break out in violence!

What happened to her could happen to literally anyone who ended up in the right circumstances, and not just in Italy - in this case, her close proximity to both the murder of her housemate and Mignini's obsession with sex, Americans and 'satanic rituals' did her in. Scary stuff.
posted by Wylla at 12:18 AM on October 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


But don't spew a lot of crap like "no motive!"

99+% of homicides have a motive.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:06 PM on October 7, 2011


But don't spew a lot of crap like "no motive!"

How about "no evidence!" Can we spew that?
posted by The World Famous at 12:21 PM on October 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


"No actual reason to make up additional accomplices" should get a look in too.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interesting article in the Guardian today about the danger of judging on expressions.
posted by Summer at 1:54 AM on October 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Great article, summer, and very much of interest here, since it further goes through and demolishes some of the 'evidence' used against Knox and (unusually) Sollicito in the original trial.
posted by Wylla at 3:04 AM on October 8, 2011


Jon Ronson: For the people who ask me if I ever get emails from psychopaths

Me, my money is on Giuliano Mignini as the psychopath. He's demonstrated a strong ability to manipulate and a lack of empathy for others all the way through.

That's if this were some kind of "spot the psychopath" role playing game or something, which it isn't, and he probably isn't one, just a sad tosser with a need to frame people up to shore up his crumbling reputation
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, Amanda Knox is guilty. Guilty of being sexually active and female
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Examine every publicly-available photo of yourself you can find.


I hope Pogo's facebook profile picture doesn't make his stay in U.S. jail any longer than it already has been.
posted by nomisxid at 1:39 PM on October 10, 2011


A Stranger commenter proposes a key for quick identification of the intent of Mudede pieces. Mudede has implemented this at least once already.
posted by grouse at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


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