“American Jezebel Amanda Knox To Face Justice” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:
“‘Five, three and one’ is how Wendy Murphy, law professor and flamboyant TV talker, counted the preponderance of forensic and circumstantial evidence that had originally convicted America’s sweetheart, Amanda Knox, of murdering Briton Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.
In 2011, Knox’s subsequent 2009 conviction was overturned, due in no small part to a PR blitz mounted by the Knox clan and their Seattle-based publicist. A veritable media mafia thronged to put the Italian judicial system on trial for railroading their cherub.
Agitating for Amanda were mass murderer Hilary Clinton, corrupt King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey—he abused his office (my state; my taxes) to petition members of the Italian judiciary on behalf of Knox, in violation of Washington state’s Code of Judicial Conduct—Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell (she misspells her surname), ubiquitous tele-attorney Anne Bremner, public relations adviser David Marriott, and “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant, who had abandoned impartiality for outright advocacy.
Assisting them were our country’s national media, left and right, with the exception of Bill O’Reilly, former homicide prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Jeanine Pirro. Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC—all worked tirelessly for the attractive, white kids.
Not that the unthinking Megyn Kelly, Shepard Smith, Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan, Dr. Drew, Oprah (on and on), gave the time of day to the victim’s family—but the Kerchers were too classy to partake in the circus created by the ugly Americans and their aides.
A studious disregard for facts saw Knox’s stalwart defenders stateside claiming she had been deprived of due process. In American (positive) law, procedural violations can get evidence of guilt—a bloodied knife or a smoking gun—barred from being presented at trial. More often than not, such procedural defaults are used to suppress immutable physical facts, thus serving to subvert the spirit of the (natural) law and justice.
Yes, another of our media’s collective moos was that, not being American, Italian justice was simply backward.
As to Murphy’s aforementioned evidential number ‘five’: Five spots of blood were harvested from the apartment where Meredith Kircher was murdered. More key forensic evidence against Knox included her footprint in blood outside Kercher’s room. Traces of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood commingled on the fixtures in the bathroom the girls shared, ‘on doorjambs and walls,’ to be precise. And a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment bore Knox’s DNA on the handle and Kercher’s DNA in a groove on the blade. …
…It’s time for Amanda, America’s Janus-faced Jezebel, to face justice for acting out her fantasy.
The complete column is “American Jezebel Amanda Knox To Face Justice”, now on WND.
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UPDATE I: When Wendy Murphy gets something right it is only by accident. But even Murphy got this one right by echoing credible reports and mining the forensics, the timeline and other circumstantial evidence. From “O.J.-Like Evidence Convicts Noxious Knox,” a previous column I wrote:
“Some time during the night,” by the Times of London’s telling, “the couple had returned to the cottage and faked a burglary in the room of another housemate. But as the police picked through the broken glass they were told that nothing had been stolen. They would have left it at that had not the housemate asked insistently why the door to Kercher’s room was locked shut. Eventually, it was knocked down. Kercher lay virtually naked on the floor, her two cotton tops rolled up above her chest. Oddly, her body was partly covered by a beige quilt” [the telltale signature of a female perpetrator, as a behavioral analyst would subsequently explain].
Going against the grain of American-style boosterism, Barbie Nadeau of Newsweek stuck with “journalism” to detail the ample evidence against the pair, downplayed or downright suppressed in the American media. For one, “Neither suspect [had] a credible alibi for the night of the murder, and both told a variety of lies about that night.” Knox changed her alibi, not once or twice, but several times. In the process, she accused Patrick Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner, of the crime. Based on the convincing yarn Knox spun, Lumumba spent time in jail before being released.
After Knox had cast her pal Lumumba aside, she tried to implicate her lover of two weeks, venturing: “I think it is possible Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints on the knife.
“[C]redible witnesses had shattered Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder. Sollecito says he was home that night working on his computer, but specialists … testified that his computer was dormant for an eight-hour period the night of Kercher’s murder.”
“Theatrics aside,” wrote Newsweek’s Nadeau, “the Amanda Knox trial comes down to forensics. … Among the most damning evidence against Sollecito is his DNA on the metal clasp of the bra that was cut from Kercher after she died.”
Also revealed with Luminol was a bloody footprint at the crime scene that matched Sollecito’s. “Key forensic evidence against Knox includes her footprint in blood in the hallway outside Kercher’s room. There [were] also mixed traces of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood on the fixtures in the bathroom the girls shared. And a knife was found in Sollecito’s apartment with Knox’s DNA on the handle and … Kercher’s DNA in a groove on the blade.”
Like the original “Dream Team,” defense attorneys for Knox, “who at one time admitted to being at home when the murder took place,” alleged contamination (even though the crime scene was sealed off in-between searches), character assassination and insufficient amounts of DNA (it’s the type of DNA that matters, not the amount).
And from my “America’s Angelic O.J.”:
Besides the famously contested Kercher and Knox DNA found on the knife at Sollecito’s apartment, the victim and the alleged perpetrator’s blood comingled elsewhere in the house they shared. In the bedroom of another roommate, Filomena Romanelli, for example.
Ms. Romanelli’s room was the scene of a staged burglary. Why staged? Glass shards were found scattered atop Romanelli’s ransacked belongings, rather than beneath the items. The break-in was reported by team Knox and Sollecito. Well before Romanelli had returned to verify his say-so, Solecito told police that nothing was missing. When the police arrived on the scene, Knox and Sollecito kept them away from Meredith’s locked door with a ruse: their friend, they promised, was in the habit of locking her door. A lie. When roommate Romanelli returned, she demanded that the locked door be broken down claiming the exact opposite.
More mixed blood was found in the bathroom the women shared. As Daily Beast correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau reported, unflinchingly, “Luminol which detects prints left in blood, bleach, and certain acidic juices” helped uncover a Knox footprint” on the bathmat, which Knox excused by saying she took a shower right after noticing blood on the mat. American broadcasters failed to divulge too that there were ample partial fingerprints at the scene of the crime, which could have been smeared during the cover-up.
Nadeau, who is the author of the book “Angel Face,” reported that “countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, [had] testified that more than one person killed [Meredith] based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back—no hair or skin was found under her fingernails.”
Rafaelle Sollecito was unable to corroborate Knox’s alibi on the night of the murder. She had claimed she was with him and that they “cooked dinner, watched a movie, smoked pot, and had sex.” Conversely, Sollecito said he had been downloading cartoons from his personal computer at the time of the murder. But according to Nadeau, computer experts were able to confirm that there was no activity on his PC during those hours. In eerie synchronicity, Sollecito and Knox had switched off their cellphones during the night of the murder. Despite claiming to have slept in, the cells were turned on early the next morning.
On November 5, 2007, after cartwheeling and canoodling with Sollecito at the police station, Knox framed Patrick Lumumba for Meredith’s murder and rape which she claimed to have overheard. (At that stage, only the cops knew Ms. Kercher had been sexually assaulted.) Lumumba was Amanda’s innocent employer. Knox even committed this evidentiary concoction to writing in a five-page memorandum. Later she blamed police for making her. Amanda’s allergy to the truth cost Lumumba—another black man who remained voiceless in the American media—his livelihood and reputation.
UPDATE II (3/29): Barbie L. Nadeau: Your Go-To Source on Noxious Knox. From the column: “Granted, when Wendy Murphy gets something right it is only by accident. Remarkably, however, Murphy stumbled upon the truth here, by parroting the powerful forensic and circumstantial evidence in the Knox case, as reported by the brave Barbie Latza Nadeau, a Newsweek and Daily Beast correspondent based in Rome, and the Times of London.”
From Barbie Latza Nadeau, one of the best, old-school journalists on the case, you’ll get the facts. Just the facts, Ma’am. No advocacy.
UPDATE IV: From the pen of the plain spoken Barbie L. Nadeau, one of the few Americans who has advocated first for truth and, by extension, for … the forgotten victim.
“Why Retrying Amanda Knox Is Important”:
“More than a few journalists covering the appeal noted at the time that the so-called independent experts were particularly chummy with Sollecito’s very wealthy family. …these experts were given only a few choice items of forensic evidence to review. That is likely the crux of why this acquittal was reversed. The prosecution argued that they should have reexamined the entire body of evidence, not just what tied the former lovers to the crime. …
…The prosecution also insisted that an independent review of the forensic evidence be carried out on the entire body of evidence, not just a few exhibits. Other issues brought up in the high-court appeal instead touched on the mysteries of the case, including the appellate court’s dismissal of Knox’s previous admission that she was in the house when the murder took place. The prosecution also asked that Knox’s false accusation against Patrick Lumumba, her former boss at a club where she waitressed, as Kercher’s killer be considered as evidence. After all, the same appellate court upheld her conviction of slander for the accusation. Why not consider it a clue to the mystery, it argued. Finally, the prosecution asked the supreme court to examine the truth behind why Knox and Sollecito turned off their cell phones at the same time—for the first time ever—the night Kercher was murdered.”
From “Analysis: Amanda Knox case is complicated, confusing mess”:
“…Kercher, who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia near the University for Foreigners, was stabbed in her bedroom and left for dead on November 1, 2007. Her autopsy showed that she choked on her own blood. She had not been raped, according to her autopsy, but she was found partially nude, adding an element of mystery to the case that laid the groundwork for what would become a theory that Kercher died as part of a “sex game gone wrong.”
The door to her bedroom was locked from the inside and pulled closed.
…Italy’s highest court decided to reject the acquittal in its entirety and send the case back to a panel of appellate judges to reconsider. What that means in practical terms is nothing short of a complicated, confusing mess.
…There is a valid extradition agreement between the two nations, but the U.S. has not set much of a precedence in returning suspects for such matters. In 1998, an American fighter jet clipped a ski lift cable sending a gondola of 20 passengers to their death in the Italian Dolomite mountain range.
Italy had requested their extradition to try them for multiple manslaughter, but the U.S. refused and tried them in a military tribunal instead. They were found not guilty.”
“Angel Face excerpt”: How the Media Got Knox WrongOver the next few days, Amanda was preoccupied with finding a new place to live. Her mother’s cousin, Dorothy Craft Najir, urged Amanda to come to her house in Hamburg until things settled down. Amanda refused. Later, the court would hear that she wanted to stay and help the investigators. In fact, she could not have left Perugia without raising an alarm. Detectives were watching her every move. Instead, Amanda repeatedly called Filomena and Laura to ask if they could live together again and to inquire after a refund for the rent and deposit she had paid. The two Italian roommates were perplexed by her behavior, as was Meredith’s new boyfriend, Giacomo Silenzi, who had been out of town when Meredith was murdered. The police were questioning all of Meredith’s friends, calling them to the station in groups to iron out certain elements of the crime. On November 2, Amanda was already at the police station when Giacomo arrived by train from his parents’ house in the Marche. “I could not help thinking how calm and cool Amanda was,” he told investigators. “Meredith’s other friends were devastated, and I was upset, but Amanda was completely emotionless. Her eyes didn’t seem to show any sadness, and I remember wondering if she had been involved.”
The Telegraph on American chauvinistic group-think:
“Click through American television channels and it would seem that there is only one point of contention in the country’s reaction to the murder conviction of Amanda Knox.” And on “…the level of organisation that has been rooting for Amanda Knox in the US.”
A group called Friends of Amanda attracted headlines earlier this week when it called on people to email Barack Obama to support Knox’s appeal.
The Friends, based in Knox’s hometown of Seattle, Washington, has in fact been in existence for the past 18 months – a growing alliance of friends, lawyers, writers and scientists who have been energetically campaigning on her behalf.
The group has not only raised more than $100,000 towards the Knox family’s reported $1 million travel and legal fees, but provided at least 10 scientists who volunteered to pick holes in the prosecution forensic evidence.
More usefully, the Friends managed to enlist the support of several prominent lawyers – including John Kelly, the main counsel for the Nicole Brown Simpson family in their civil case against OJ Simpson.
The Friends stress they are not connected to the Knox family and receive no funding, but merely “recognise that Amanda is innocent” and “simply want to see justice”.
Internet debate about the Knox case has been characterised by the ferocity of opinions on either side. Apart from a prominent Seattle lawyer named Anne Bremner, the Friends’ members have chosen to remain anonymous.
The group used its local political connections to enlist the support of Maria Cantwell, a Washington US senator.
She has suggested the verdict raises “serious questions” about Italian justice and the possible “taint” of anti-Americanism.
Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, has agreed to meet Sen Cantwell and anyone else concerned about the case, but both she and her officials have so far appeared lukewarm about making this a crusading issue.