“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy
Part Two – Myths 1 to 20
Myth 1 – The Confession that was not a confession
There never was a confession. Knox and Sollecito were tired, nervous and traumatised following the murder and had been helping the police whenever they were asked to, every day. Prosecutor Mignini arranged to bring in crack interrogation teams, who usually worked on Mafia suspects. Former FBI agent Steve Moore describes in detail how the non-confession (in fact a confused, police induced, ‘false memory’) was obtained, here: http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/FBI7.html All Knox ever said was that she imagined a vision. Lumumba’s name was pushed at her by her interrogators. The convenient absence of recordings, the lack of an independent interpreter and the refusal by the police to allow her a lawyer, tell you all you need to know. In spite of all this pressure, Amanda did not confess to any involvement in a murder and failed to name the real murderer, Rudy Guede. How could she have done, when she was not there and could not have known?
The lie is given by Edgardo Giobbi (chief investigator):
“She told us what we knew to be true”
‘Which means they kept at her till she told them what they wanted to hear. Not truth or lies, but what they wanted to hear. If she hadn’t done it in 3 hours, they’d have taken 6, and if not 6 then 12. She never stood a chance.’ – commentator ‘freeski’, on the Injustice Anywhere Forum.
Myth 2 – Amanda Knox changed her story countless times
Candace Dempsey explains:
“Amanda and Raffaele changed their alibis only once –during their controversial, lawyer-less, all night interrogations – and immediately changed them back. None of the other roommates was questioned in this way. In fact, Amanda’s two Italian roommates hired lawyers the moment they heard about the murder, as did the victim’s Italian boyfriend. Amanda wrote a letter on Nov. 9, 2007 to her lawyers, questioning the Patrick story – only a few days after her arrest. She has apologized to him in court on more than one occasion.”
“I find it strange to find that Amanda Knox is accused of lies, when the police controlled all information about what she was supposed to have said or not said. All three of those wrongly arrested on the morning of Nov 6, 2007, tell stories of being abused at interrogation. Then they were in solitary confinement, and the lies being told were what the police were telling each the other was saying. . . None of the three of them were in a position either to lie or not lie, because the confessions were written out for them. They either signed or not signed, and the latter had consequences – slaps, etc. . . At some point all these myths about “lies” have to be seen for what they are.”
The police claimed that Knox had information that only the killer would know, like the fact that Meredith was stabbed in the neck, but she was told this during her journey to the police station immediately after the murder.
Myth 3 – The bleach purchase
This is one of the most persistent myths and remains widely believed. It came straight from the police. On November 19th 2007, the London Times reported:
“Police said that further evidence against Mr Sollecito had come to light in the form of receipts from a shop near his flat for bleach, bought on the morning after the murder and allegedly used to clean an 8in kitchen knife and Mr Sollecito’s Nike trainers. The first receipt was timed at 8.30am on November 2, and the second 45 minutes later, suggesting that the first container of bleach had not been sufficient. The bleach was also used to clean up the flat itself.”
This was an incredibly detailed smear and was a complete invention. No bleach purchase receipts were ever produced. One year after the crime, a local store owner came forward to say that he had seen Knox buy bleach on the morning after the crime. He described her as wearing clothing she did not possess and his testimony was disputed by his own checkout girl. Claims that the flat was cleaned are untrue. Bleach leaves smears and these would have been obvious during luminol testing. It would be impossible to clean a crime scene and selectively remove the DNA of one person and not remove the DNA of another. No credible source has claimed that this happened or could have happened. Rudy Guede’s DNA was found in Meredith’s room and on her body. Knox and Sollecito’s DNA was not. It is that simple. It is hard to see how this could have been anything other than a deliberate attempt to float a lie and prejudice a future jury.
Myth 4 – The simulated break-in
The claim made by the police that the break-in was faked is arguably the most important single incorrect decision in the entire case. It fatally derailed the whole investigation – perhaps deliberately – and inevitably led to the arrest of Knox and Sollecito.
Harry Rag repeatedly lies:
“No-one managed to scale the wall and climb through the window when Sollecito’s defense team attempted to show that it was possible.”
The truth is somewhat different:
ABC News – July 2009:
“Prosecutors say Knox and Sollecito staged a break-in to make the murder appear to be the result of a botched theft. A window in the bedroom of Filomena Romanelli, Knox and Kercher’s housemate was broken, and glass shards and a 9-pound rock were found in the room. The prosecution presented witnesses and evidence that suggest the window was broken from the inside.
Francesco Pasquali, a retired forensic police officer hired as a consultant by Sollecito’s defence, presented a video in court that included three different scenarios showing how the rock could have been thrown from the outside to break the window, located 13 feet off the ground.
According to Pasquali, the rock was thrown from a terrace across from the window, making the glass “explode” on the inside and spreading glass fragments everywhere on the inside and the outside of the windowsill.
Pasquali said that he had re-created the same conditions that were found in Romanelli’s room at the time of the break-in. Pasquali said he constructed a window of the same size, with the same paint and the same type of glass, and threw the rock through it into a room with the same characteristics as Romanelli’s room. Two video cameras — one inside and one outside — filmed the rock being thrown through the glass.
By analyzing the trajectory of the rock and the projection of the glass shards, Pasquali said he could “exclude that the glass could have been broken from the inside.”
In 2014 a UK Channel 5 documentary showed that the wall could easily be scaled to gain entrance through the window. The programme also explained that the broken glass shatter pattern proved that the window had been broken from the outside.
Myth 5 – ‘My people killed your people’
Irrelevant but often repeated is the story that Amanda Knox is anti-Semitic. This fable started out in February 2008, as a quote in the Seattle paper, ‘The Stranger’ in an article written by Charles Mudede. This is the full quote:
“You know, a lot of people are saying she is a sweet girl and they can’t believe she could have done such a thing. But, to be honest, I’m not surprised she is a suspect. Really. The first time I met her, when I got the job here, she asked me if I was Jewish. I told her I was. She then screamed: ‘My people killed your people and began laughing hysterically. I didn’t know what to say. She just kept laughing about her Germans killing my Jews. After that, I did not like her. She really freaked me out.”
It is attributed to an anonymous ‘friend’ of Mudede’s called ‘Matthew’. His identity has never been revealed, probably because he does not exist. It is likely that the quote and the person are figments of Mudede’s imagination. The story quickly went viral and contributed to the public perception of Knox as weird, cruel, heartless and therefore likely to be a brutal killer.
Myth 6 – The cartwheel
Seattle writer Karen Pruett researched the cartwheel myth in 2010. The story first surfaced in February 2009, almost a year and a half after the event is alleged to have occurred. Knox was waiting in the police station while Raffaele was being interrogated. She began to stretch and strike a few yoga poses to ease cramp and tension. This attracted attention and inappropriate comments from a policeman. There was no cartwheel. Knox’s mother confirmed that the space she was waiting in was too small for her to have been able to do a cartwheel even if she had wanted to.
Myth 7 – The riotous party in Seattle
There was a party and there was noise. It was a student party. Neighbours called the police. Amanda answered the door and being sober and organised she paid the noise violation ticket and collected donations from her friends. You can see the ticket here, courtesey of Candace Dempsey: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/files/library/knoxincidentreport.pdf
A noise ticket is like a parking ticket. Nobody was arrested.
Myth 8 – The strange men
London Times, November 19th 2007:
“Italian press reports at the weekend said that Ms Kercher had often rowed with Ms Knox over her “slovenliness” in the bathroom and her habit of bringing home strange men.”
This was another story planted by the prosecution. Knox’s own statement revealing the number of men she had sex with in her whole life (see Myth 12) shows that there was only ever one man she brought back to the flat, apart from Sollecito. Meanwhile, Meredith was in a relationship with one of the students downstairs. There is no evidence that either of them was even remotely bothered by the others’ men friends.
Myth 9 – The name ‘Foxy Knoxy’
Knox was nicknamed ‘Foxy’ when she played soccer as a child. She was (and remains) athletic, lithe and sure footed. She kept the name and used it on her MySpace page. Nick Pisa, an Italian based freelance journalist and frequent Daily Mail contributor recognised its tabloid potential. From then on, Pisa and the Mail used it at every opportunity. It was adapted in Italy as ‘Evil Fox’ and used in court documents.
Myth 10 – Investigators found mixed blood
There was no mixed blood. The forensics team that collected samples at the cottage thought it was OK to wipe a swab in a sample of what turned out to be Meredith’s blood in the shared bathroom and then smear it around random patches of wall, thereby collecting the DNA of Knox as well (not her blood). There is nothing surprising about this – it is not incriminating in the slightest. The mixing was done by the forensics team. Videos of this sloppy procedure were shown to the court during the second trial.
Prosecution claims about ‘mixed blood’ still appear frequently, even in reputable publications like The Independent (UK), where Knox hate site regular Leila Schneps placed an article in 2014.
Myth 11 – Amanda had a wound on her neck
Amanda had a hickey on her neck. The police knew that at the time. John Follain alleges in his guilt-leaning book that it was more:
“Laura noticed that Amanda had a long vertical red scratch in the middle of her throat. Laura was certain that Amanda didn’t have that scratch on the day Meredith died – the last day Laura had seen Amanda. Questioned by Napoleoni, Laura said, ‘I absolutely rule out that it could have been a love bite or an injury other than a scratch.’”
It would have been impossible for Amanda and Raffaele to have been involved in a violent murder in a small room without sustaining even a scratch, yet they were both examined after they were arrested and nothing was found. This absence of evidence has not prevented myths being propagated and smears appearing. Follain again:
“Robyn guessed that she’d chosen the long thick socks to cover up scratch marks”.
Why would socks be any better than jeans? This is just a smear.
Myth 12 – Knox had seven lovers in the two months she was in Italy
One of the prosecution’s more original ruses was to arrange for a ‘doctor’ (or an officer in a white coat’) to tell Knox that a blood test result showed that she was HIV positive, no doubt with the expectation that this news would prompt her to implicate Guede as a sexual partner. She ten drew up a list of her lifetime sexual partners (seven). This was promptly stolen, given to the tabloid press and misreported that she had had sex with seven men during her short time in Italy. This was yet another piece of character assassination,
especially effective in prurient Italy.
Myth 13 – The washing machine was warm
As soon as Knox and Sollecito were arrested, reports began to circulate that the flat’s washing machine was warm when the police arrived and it was implied that incriminating and bloody clothes had just been washed by the murderers. In fact, the machine was cold and contained clothes that had been placed there by Meredith twenty four hours before. She was attacked as soon as she arrived home so she never had time to empty the machine. Knox and Sollecito had no clothes missing. Every item that they had ever been seen wearing was accounted for and was not blood stained. The whole story was another fabrication.
Myth 14 – Knox showered in a blood soaked bathroom
There were a few specks of blood in the bathroom that even the police did not find suspicious until after Meredith’s body had been discovered. Later the police sprayed pink dye around the bathroom, took photographs and released them to the press to imply that this was how the bathroom had looked before the investigation started. They were regularly featured in the Daily Mail and elsewhere.
Myth 15 – Knox was weird because she went home to shower
Knox and Sollecito’s apartments were a few minutes walk apart. She returned to her own place in the morning to shower and change ahead of their planned trip to Gubbio.
Myth 16 – The sexy underwear
Knox’s flat had become a crime scene so she was denied access to her possessions. She needed a change of underwear. She bought new knickers from a dime store. They were not exotic. That’s it. Everything else was hyperbole.
Myth 17 – Amanda acted inappropriately after the murder
“On the issue of Knox’s ‘behavior’ it is apparent that the press heard only what it wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. If you look at the entire clip of her and Raffaele kissing in slow motion, you get a very different impression. He initiates the chaste encounter (he has since said she was distraught and he was trying to comfort her), and when she turns away from him she looks hollow eyed and stricken.
Abundant evidence was offered at trial that Knox was devastated by Meredith Kercher’s death. She wasn’t sleeping or eating and she was crying constantly. But for some reason the press chose to ignore all this and focus only on the testimony of the most hostile witnesses.”
Myth 18 – The multi-million pound PR operation
Quentin Zoerhof again:
“The idea that the coverage was influenced by the family’s hiring a public relations firm seems to have some currency in the UK but is viewed as rather silly in the US. The Marriott firm is a very small (app. 12 employee) firm based in Seattle and its ability to influence the national media here is close to zero. The firm’s basic responsibility was to help the family choose which interviews to grant from hundreds if not thousands of requests. It helped family members to develop a message and to stay on it. But the firm had nothing to do with the large volunteer effort that emerged on Ms. Knox’s behalf nor did it set up any web sites. What did influence coverage immensely was the work of two highly respected, prize-winning U.S. journalists: Tim Egan of the New York Times and Peter Van Sant of CBS. Egan’s thunderous denunciations of the proceedings in Perugia had an incalculable influence here. And Van Sant used two segments of the 48 Hours program to demolish the so called evidence in the case. The work of Egan and Van Sant helped change the tone of coverage in this country.”
Myth 19 – Amanda and Meredith didn’t like each other
Amanda and Meredith were becoming firm friends and attended the Chocolate Festival and the classical concert (where Amanda met Raffaele) together. Meredith even drew a temporary tattoo on Amanda – hardly the action of someone who wasn’t a friend. Meredith’s English friends did not know Amanda very well – some did not meet her until after the murder. Photographs of them together were stored on their laptops which were conveniently destroyed by the police.
Myth 20 – Amanda was callous so she didn’t go to the vigil for Meredith
Amanda spent most of her waking hours with the police, at college, or trying to sleep in the days following the murder. The vigil was held on the evening of Monday, November 5th. This was the day when Amanda went to college, to try and maintain some kind of normality, was talking to her former flatmates about looking for new accommodation and accompanied Raffaele to the police station again for further questioning and their arrest. They had been told by the authorities to stay away from crowds and not to talk about the case with strangers, so avoiding the vigil was virtually mandated anyway.