Thursday, October 13, 2011

Long Lines For Any Amanda Knox Movie? Unlikely - Too Much PR Legacy Taints Her Brand

Posted by lauowolf





I’ve been thinking about the concept of the “blockbuster” movie, and the general marketing and all.

The problem is, as has been pointed out, that the PR to date has packaged the product of weeping Edda and her martyred innocent child. There are side excursions into the honor student, the young lovers, and the evil Italians.

And these have been attractive images to the public, providing an easy script for followers. The family was pretty good at staying on script - we’ve all marveled at their ability to seemingly lie themselves blue in order to keep the official story straight.

I won’t say it worked, because I don’t believe the PR effected the outcome of the trial. What it did do was finance itself, Knox’s lawyers, and a lot of travel by her family, as well as turn Knox herself into a closely-watched oddity and tabloid fodder for the rest of her life.

Edda terming the media “a curse” is rich indeed, since without the families’ deliberate choice to go down this road, the whole trial have been an obscure local matter, and with a verdict either way Knox could have held her head up high .

What the PR project has left behind it is another meaningless media hype, up for grabs. Amanda Knox _________ [your product name here].

Knox’s slander conviction and three-year prison term seriously stains things, and limits the options. As does the huge and poisonous ongoing campaign to flame the growing number who think that Meredith has been ill-served. .

It is difficult for them to celebrate the Italian court for getting it right and releasing her, and still argue at the same time that they are Italian and medieval and found “poor her” guilty of slandering an innocent black man.

Especially since that part of things is pretty open and shut.

Besides, even arguing about it opens the door to the rest of what she said in that confession, and they certainly do no want people thinking about her admitting to being at the cottage. The less said of that the better.

So. Does her story have the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster?  Probably not.

For one thing, the producer types would have to know that the case is still live.  The public won’t be keeping track of that, or at best will be considering it a case of the prosecutor continuing to seek revenge.

But people looking to invest millions of dollars in movies tend to go into all the fine print.

And the looming third trial in 2011 is just the kind of complication they are likely to want to avoid. 

And there’s just too much inconvenient information floating around about the story.

Finally, there really isn’t that much “there” there with Amanda Knox herself.  What would her storyline be, anyway, and who does it appeal to? 

  • Is it the story of the young lovers, AK and RS?  Nah, AK and RS are not going to complete the story arc for them, so no drama-romance. And you can’t substitute the Seattle boyfriend, because he’d look like a fool.
  • Is it the story of Edda, getting her daughter back, a la Not Without My Daughter?  Nah, Amanda is getting a bit old for that storyline to work. The PR played out this line in Amanda’s absence, so that it is already stale, and besides, the target audience is wrong.  The Lifetime movie worked that thread, and it didn’t really do all that well.
  • Is it a story of Amanda suffering, arrested, in prison, on trial?  Nah, there really isn’t much filmic going on there.  Arrested people end up sitting in rooms, and prison is boring.  Even if they wanted to spend a lot of time on AK giving the performance of her life in court, they’d have to deal somehow with the accusations and evidence. And they really, really don’t want to do any of that.
  • Is it the story of Amanda herself?  Nah, the PR has reduced her to such a little painted doll that there isn’t anything to be done with her.  Seriously, weekly mass and the prison choir? Or hanging out with the middle-aged married Italian political type? Who wants to watch a movie of that?  They’ve set her up as a frail, pale victim, and it is difficult to create an entire movie focusing on someone being done to, rather than doing.

You can see how they wrestled with the Amanda problem in the works already made or being discussed.  The Lifetime movie revolved, emotionally, around Edda’s suffering. The other movie idea that was floated was to feature a reporter-detective (Colin Firth) who uncovers a conspiracy or something in Perugia. 

In both of these, Amanda herself is only a McGuffin, an excuse for other people’s emoting, or detecting.

Unless they wanted to portray the REAL Amanda, warts and all? I do think there could be quite a compelling portrayal of the initial behavior, the lying, the family tensions, her downward arc in Perugia, and the final unbelievable acquittal. 

Hitchcock could do it - think of Marnie, or Vertigo.

But I can’t see Amanda or her families cooperating with such a project.  No, the cashing in will have to be the interviews (QUICKLY) and a book project.  They’ll shop around for the best advance and slap something together fast. 

But dont expect the movieplexes to be overwhelmed.


Posted by lauowolf on 10/13/11 at 04:43 PM in The officially involvedNews media & moviesMovies on caseAmanda Knox


Comments

Great post, Lauowolf. I agree, the only way to do justice to the story and the truth is as fiction. I hope it is done by one of the masters of the genre. It’s a much more compelling story than the narrative we have been forced to swallow for four years now.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 10/13/11 at 06:51 PM | #

Can anyone help me. According to an early report, blood was found on a door handle of the boys downstair flat.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2007/11/06/three-held-over-meredith-murder-115875-20067118/
I do know that the boys had left the keys with Amanda so that she could water and feed the cats. What was the results of the blood examination?

Posted by starsdad on 10/13/11 at 06:55 PM | #

Apparently AK is hiding, flooded by hate mails 😉
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/276002/Amanda-Knox-now-in-hiding-over-tide-of-hate-mail

Posted by gdeschaetzen on 10/13/11 at 07:42 PM | #

Hi Starsdad. I would suggest to go to PMF and do a search for cat’s blood maybe two years ago.

A former moderator there did a terrific long post on how the cat down there probably shot through the broken glass (probably part of the crime scene rearrangement that the Real Killers™ did) cutting itself and leaving a trail of blood and was probably hurriedly stuffed back in.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/13/11 at 07:47 PM | #

Hi gdeschaetzen

That report is about a week old. It may no longer be current. We suspected the hate mail was either from the Real Killers™ or David Marriot had realigned his army of orcs.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/13/11 at 07:51 PM | #

http://news.yahoo.com/hayden-panettiere-excited-amanda-knox-gets-second-chance-181218990.html

Posted by Miriam on 10/13/11 at 10:18 PM | #

@lauowolf - thank you for the interesting post. If there were to be a movie, I’d see it more along the lines of “Reversal of Fortune” (1990; Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close) - based on the true case of the trials of Claus von Bulow, a strange case with a strange defendant, which ends with a question mark and doubt of true innocence.

Posted by giustizia on 10/13/11 at 11:00 PM | #

I’d like to see something along the lines of Vincent Bugliosi’s “Helter Skelter”, but given the budget constraints we might have to settle for an xtranormal dialog with Steve Moore.

Posted by brmull on 10/14/11 at 12:29 AM | #

Looks like Amanda Knox is turning to be a role model for all convicted killers:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2048379/Joshua-Davies-Amanda-Knox-Facebook-boast-Ill-new-Foxy-Knoxy.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

They would watch her movie. Maybe prisons could conduct special screenings. I feel so sick. How I wish the appeal hadn’t made a mockery of justice.

Posted by Sara on 10/14/11 at 02:02 AM | #

In another group called Scared Monkeys that I belong to, has agreed to boycott anything knox puts out if its a book or a movie, we just have to find out who is interested in doing either or both of them.

Today at the grocery store in my area not one magazine or tabloid carried anything about Knox or Casey, my grocery store gets a high five for not allowing either of these people to be brought in and shelved in their store, We might be a small community but do believe in Justice,

Posted by jasmine1998 on 10/14/11 at 06:25 AM | #

I imagine several of her $upporter$ have second thoughts about this appeal process as they watch the gravy train dissipate.  Specifically step family members and international “journalists” bent on a subscription to credibility.

/Been following since day one and feel absolutely comfortable about this statement.

Posted by Jumpy on 10/14/11 at 10:38 AM | #

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3871480/Knife-gift-in-Amanda-Knox-magazine-row.html

Posted by thundering on 10/14/11 at 11:28 AM | #

I have been reading Kate Manseys interview with Sollecito for the Daily Mirror.  http://www.mirror.co.uk/sunday-mirror/2007/11/04/italy-murder-details-emerge-98487-20058122/

It occurs to me that this article needs referring to some sort of an analyist.

Why did Sollecito say that he, Knox and a friend went to a party on the night Meredith was murdered? Why does he have to add a third person? Why not we went a party? Wait a minute…....3 people went to a ‘party’.... thats near enough to what the prosecution said, only they called it an ‘orgy’. Lets see what a statement analysist makes of this. 

Did Sollecito give this alibi because he thought that someone may have seen the 3 of them together on the murder night? Someone like the homeless man on the plaza. ‘We went to a party’ Was he covering the two of them between the hours 9 pm to 1 pm??. That was when the murder occurred.

Is he putting as much distance between the 2 of them and the murder scene as possible, when he tells the reporter that he lives over the other side of the city. He lived a 5 to 10 minute walk away!

Does Sollecito give the reason as to why Meredith died? ‘She was really popular .....’

“It is something I never hope to see again,” he said. “There was blood everywhere and I couldn’t take it all in” According to every thing I have read he never saw it when the police were there.

Who went back to the murder scene in the morning? Amanda by herself?... He does not want to see it again. Why is the bedroom door locked?..... He does not want to see it again…..I could go on and on but I haven’t the time at the moment.

Posted by starsdad on 10/14/11 at 01:11 PM | #

Those Oggi knives are just bad taste marketing spielerei. What really hurts is injustice.

Posted by Helder Licht on 10/14/11 at 01:12 PM | #

If the page about Knox on facebook is any guide, there’s not a lot of popularity out there for her - and among the comments about her, many are not in any way supportive. Some are hostile. https://www.facebook.com/#!/AmaandaKnox

Posted by nopassingby on 10/14/11 at 02:54 PM | #

@nopassingby - I don’t know which part of the page you are talking about but my reading indicates lots of love out there..

Posted by Melanie on 10/14/11 at 06:48 PM | #

Gracia magazine has a [reasonably] neutral piece on the case, it mentions Meredith and her family a number of times [does it annoy anyone else that Meredith is often referred to as ‘Kercher’ while Knox is referred to as ‘Amanda’?]

Anyway, they are buying the not guilty line, Madison is upset because people have spat in her [Madison’s] face. There were a few psychoanalysts who were saying Knox will suffer for years to come with flashbacks to the night she was arrested [I’m hoping/assuming to the murder]. According to her grandmother she’s finding it difficult to adapt, she’s still thinking in Italian and they have to keep reminding her to speak in English.

She was transfixed by the rolling news reports of her release from prison on the way home and she is looking forward to her belated 21st birthday party in a few weeks. She ate pizza and drank wine on the first night. The forensis psychologist reckons her nightmare is only beginning, she will find that her family and friends have moved on while she’s been away, she will feel increasingly isolated and they believe that’s the reason Solly has been invited over for his holiday i.e. he’s the only one likely to understand her personally I think the clan realises that the networks will pay more for a double interview but maybe I’m just bitter.

Sollecito on the other hand is walking around the house like a baby touching things as if he’s never seen them before. That’s the only print they spared for him

They interviewed a woman from the UK who was falsely imprisoned in Spain for 2 years before getting a Kings pardon in January 2009. She was with a man who was smuggling drugs and the Police assumed she was in on it.

She says when she came out she automatically went to bed at 8pm [lights out time], and it took her some time to adjust to being able to go to the fridge and help herself when she was hungry. She really seems to be having a terrible time, she feels her life has been stolen and that she can’t trust people.

A few things that set the two cases apart:

1. She was innocent, Knox is guilty
2. She can’t eat red kidney beans as they remind her of prison food. Knox ate pizza on her first night home.
3. Knox will make a fortune, this woman has never been heard of

Posted by Melanie on 10/14/11 at 07:10 PM | #

Yet another misinformed journalist…appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer 10-14-11

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sherwin1/English

Posted by fotomat1 on 10/14/11 at 07:24 PM | #

I would like to see some people weigh in on the possibilities of civil litigation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito for wrongful death by the Kercher family.  Speaking from an American point of view, this would be similar to what the Goldman family did with OJ Simpson.  In American cases, Ms. Knox could be required to undergo examination under oath by way of deposition. Any deposition testimony by her would be usable in any future criminal case in Italy should that ever come to pass. The plaintiffs could put a possibly place a preliminary lien against her earnings, but certainly a final judgment against her would prevent her from getting rich off of book and film deals.  I am wondering what the possibilities would be under the law in the U.K. and Italy.

As far as the choice of where to pursue such litigation, here is what I see as advantages and disadvantages:

U.S. (State of Washington):  It would be easy to serve a summons on Ms. Knox, and all of the civil discovery tools available under US law.  Disadvantages:  Sollecito may be harder to summons, and there is the question of whether a Washington court would accept jurisdiction over a case involving a British plaintiff and a tort committed in Italy.  Plus, sice the tort occurred in 2007, the statute of limitations may have expired.

UK: I don’t know what Britsih law says about jurisdiction over non-British defendants, and I don’t know what their statute of limitations would be.  Certainly a British court would be likely to be more sympathetic to a British plaintiff. Plus, a judgment from a UK court may be likely to be given recognition by US courts more readily.  However, if Ms. Knox were to refuse to appear and defend in Britain, the issue of proper jurisdiction over her in Britain would be raised by her in the US when the plaintiffs try to enforce a default judgment against her.

Italy:  I have no idea what Italian law says about jurisdiction over Ms. Knox for purposes of civil litigation, although I would think it would be clear in the case of Mr. Sollecito.  Ultimately if she refuses to participate, a civil judgment from an Italian court would be much more likely to be given recognition by US courts, and she would certainly collaterally attack the fairness of such a judgment.

Opinions?

Posted by Gonzaga on 10/14/11 at 08:22 PM | #

Sorry.  Correction.  That last line should have indicated that a civil judgment from an Italian court would be LESS likely to be recognized in the US courts.

Posted by Gonzaga on 10/14/11 at 08:27 PM | #

starsdad - thanks for posting that link to the Kate Mansey story/interview with Sollecito right after the murder. Very interesting… Sollecito makes many incriminating statements ... especially (as starsdad mentioned) about how he and Knox ‘went to a party with one of my friends.’ Would that be Rudy, Sollecito? That guy you claimed later never to have even met?

Sollecito also says that ‘when she [Knox] went into the bathroom she saw spots of blood all over the bath and sink. That’s when she started getting really afraid and ran back to my place because she didn’t want to go into the house alone.’ This is really different from Knox’s alibi email where she says she wasn’t that concerned at first, but went ahead and took a shower in that bathroom, which I always found really strange. Sollecito and Knox hadn’t gotten their stories straight yet at that point, I guess.

It was interesting how at the end of the appeal trial, Sollecito claimed that no one had let him speak out or defend himself. My understanding is, he could have gotten up on the witness stand at any time, isn’t that true? But maybe the reason he didn’t want to is because of discrepancies such as those starsdad and I and many others have pointed out.

Posted by Earthling on 10/14/11 at 08:41 PM | #

Gonzaga - I believe in the OJ Simpson case, there was a 2-year statute of limitations in California, because I remember the Browns filed their civil lawsuit right before the statute of limitations ran out in June 1996. (The Goldmans may have filed earlier.) Anyway, that is my recollection. It may be a different SoL in Washington State.

I hope for Meredith’s sake that the Kerchers can file some sort of civil action. Thanks for the comment.

I agree with jasmine that we should all boycott any ‘Knox product.’ This happened with OJ too.

Posted by Earthling on 10/14/11 at 08:50 PM | #

@Gonzaga I would love nothing better than to see the Kerchers bring a civil suit, but maybe they don’t have the heart for it.

Posted by Melanie on 10/14/11 at 09:08 PM | #

starsdad,

That’s a really interesting observation about Sollecito’s statement. I think you’re on to something there. The guy is certainly the worst liar of the three. That’s why he wanted Knox around when he was questioned, and that’s why they’ll probably do major interviews together.

The publicly disclosed offers to Knox have been mostly of the unserious variety: Spokesperson for a porn company for $10,000 a week, or $1 million to sell the rights to her life story to a guy who’s never made a film that anybody saw. These people seem to be hitching onto her notoriety for their own self-promotion.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to comment on Knox’s post-release appearance, but I can’t help myself—she’s dressing like Madonna circa 1982. David Mariott, hire a new stylist for your client! I know you’re trying to make her look casual and chic at the same time, but this is so obviously contrived.

Posted by brmull on 10/14/11 at 09:11 PM | #

@Melanie - I suggest you check various posts. ‘lots of love out there’ can be balanced with ‘lots of suspicion and dislike’ - and the small number of ‘fans’ she has on FB.

Posted by nopassingby on 10/14/11 at 09:25 PM | #

This is my first post in this forum. I heard about the murder case the next day but I cannot read, write or speak Italian.  I have read about the case intermittently but this time I have read more carefully and analytically.

The lawyers for the K&S did a very thorough and professional job and I am sure they will be rewarded amply.  I felt that the prosecution fumbled often under their concerted attack.

Yes, the PR machine was also very effective and did an excellent job.  If you can tell a straight lie hundred times, it automatically becomes the truth.  I was impressed that the Judge admitted that there are “judicial truth” and “real truth”. Should I say amusing?  Are we not be all going for the real truth and nothing but the real truth?

Most of you are lawyers (it appears so because of your style of dissection) but I am just a scientist and look at things (the reading material available here and elsewhere) somewhat differently.  The killers walked free because the defence used the human angle extensively.  It appears one member of the jury even commented that he was convinced of their innocence by looking at their face!  Justice is supposed to be blind!

What about the experts?  Are they getting paid from or by the defence?  For example, two of signatories of the 9 member American team has taken a stand what is in complete disagreement with their publication in a peer reviewed journal.  This is understandable but clearly unethical.  Very little science and statistics has been used in this trial.

I believe the “black man” is guilty but he is only a fringe player.  2 million dollar can buy a lot of stuff- get free card, for example.

I read a lot of some intangible quantity called “motive”.  Nobody can prove a motive and the motive is the most circumstantial of all evidences.  To guess the motive, you have to put in the same shoes of the killer.  It is not easy and probably impossible. AK, for example, reminds me of Cathy in the East of Eden- something is missing from her brain. 

I can feel the pain of the Kercher family.  The pain is doubled when you see the justice is being perverted. Rest in Peace, Meredith and rest assured whatever the judgement in the courts, the killers will never have peace.

Posted by chami on 10/14/11 at 10:06 PM | #

chami - I for one am more on the order of a scientist than a lawyer. We have all types interested in justice for Meredith.

I like what you said: “Nobody can prove a motive.” (A very lawyerly thing to say, by the way.) That is so true.

Thanks for your comment and for standing up for justice for Meredith. I came somewhat late to the game as well—only about 2 years ago.

Posted by Earthling on 10/14/11 at 10:45 PM | #

Hi Chami,

Is it true that two signatories of the Hampikian letter had published something contradictory? That would be very interesting to read.

The prosecution is always outgunned against well-heeled criminal defendants. Lawyers went all out to discredit Minigni but he is obviously more capable than the average provincial prosecutor.

In hindsight we can say that Minigni should have had a simpler, more consistent theory of motive (e.g. an argument about bring men home for a late-night drug party). But the Massei court convicted the two unanimously nonetheless. Judge Hellmann obviously failed to properly instruct his jurors that motive is not necessary for conviction.

Posted by brmull on 10/14/11 at 10:54 PM | #

http://www.examiner.com/uk-headlines-in-national/amanda-knox-and-the-jailhouse-lesbians

The negative press is building…

Posted by Melanie on 10/14/11 at 10:56 PM | #

Wasn’t OGGI a cheerleader for Knox?
http://www.mediaite.com/online/magazine-pairs-amanda-knox-cover-story-with-a-knives-set-giveaway/

Here is another one. On the SeattlePi site you can vote on it…

http://www.ktvb.com/news/regional/131796868.html

Posted by Miriam on 10/14/11 at 11:08 PM | #

Oggi were her biggest supporters in the Italian press, I love this comment

knox has invited her italian boyfriend/accomplice to visit her.
is there anyway we can get casey anthony to join them for a three-some, so that justice for caylee is finally achieved?

Posted by Melanie on 10/14/11 at 11:16 PM | #

@Earthling

Thx for comments. I’m sure Sollecito was told to keep his mouth shut as soon as he had legal reprentation. He could not help making truthful, incriminating comments. ‘Nothing is missing’, he told the police communications controller when reporting the crime. I do beleive he will turn up in America sooner than later, and stay there. He is a liability and needs to be ‘managed’ I think he was advised (even pleaded with) by the entire defense team not to testify. If anyone knows where I can get access to his prison diaries, please advise.

Posted by starsdad on 10/15/11 at 12:38 AM | #

@brmull

And the first question should be ‘Why did you give false alibis from the start? You were obviously aware the police were going to interview you about inconsistencies in your alibis on the night of the interrogations. Why did you fall apart?’

Posted by starsdad on 10/15/11 at 01:01 AM | #

So Hampikian and 19 other U.S. forensic experts reviewed the DNA evidence in the Knox case in 2009 and found it shaky. Their letter to the Italian judge outlined their concerns that police mishandled their collection of blood samples from a kitchen knife found in the apartment of Knox and Kerchner, as well as Kercher’s bra clasp.


Did Judge Hellmann take this into consideration?
Did Vecchioti and Conti take this into consideration too?


Is this enough for the Corte di Cassazione to overturn Hellmann’s decision?


Sorry, I am new to the case and knew nothing about this.


@Peter, Could you please keep those of us in Italy posted about any
talk shows about anything on the case?

Sorry, but I never watch T.V. so I would never know if and when the shows would take place.

Thanks

Posted by Miriam on 10/15/11 at 01:29 AM | #

@starsdad - Sollecito’s diaries may be at PMF under the “In Their Own Words” section. I’m not sure, as I haven’t been able to bring myself to read that dreck.

Posted by Earthling on 10/15/11 at 01:37 AM | #

@Earthling

Thanks. I found what I was looking for.
In a police statement he states that when he went to Merediths door (behind is a crime scene that ‘he never wants to SEE again’) he SAW that the door was locked. I expected a proponderance of the verb ‘to see’ regarding the crime scene, but I did not expect that gem. He didn’t find or even notice the door was locked. He SAW it was locked,

Posted by starsdad on 10/15/11 at 02:21 AM | #

Hi All, There has been some discussion regarding Sollecito visiting/moving to US to avoid extradition. Can someone please explain to me how it will help him? I can see how Amanda might be safe because she is a US citizen. But will US refuse to even extradite a person who is not a US citizen to the person’s own country? How can he get a citizenship of America immediately?

@jasmine1998: I am completely with you in this. Someone made a comment on one of the articles saying how the people giving celebrity status to Knox might be setting a precedent where youngsters might think this is an easy way to fame. I can totally see this. I think everyone who is supporting Knox and saying she is entitled to make money should keep this in mind. In this age of reality television where many people go to any lengths just to get some media coverage (as seen in various reality shows), this can give dangerous ideas to youngsters. I think we should strive to avoid anything which shows her in a positive light as much as possible - articles, shows, movies.

Posted by Sara on 10/15/11 at 03:57 AM | #

Hello Everyone

Here’s what I think will happen. The corporate interests who think they can make money out of this could not care less for Amanda Knox or Meredith Kercher. They want their pound of flesh and they will do anything to get it. For example there is someone who has offered Knox a million dollars for exclusive rights to her story. Nobody is going to do that and not expect to make a huge profit.

OK! So how do you do that when the story, as far as the general public is concerned, is old news. Simple….Introduce the fact that she’s guilty thereby generating more interest and thereby creating more revenue. I can almost hear the executives in Hollywood or elsewhere talking it up. They will do this by releasing the ‘other’ evidence thereby creating another OJ or Casey Anthony. The Knox PR firm won’t stand a chance. Of course this is what may happen.

As to Sollecito coming to the US well that’s easy just get him a dual citizenship. the family Sollecito would sooner have him in the US rather than go to jail even if they can’t stand the Knox family. my hope is that the entire kit and caboodle go to jail. The world would be a better place without any of them.

One way or the other it is my fervent hope that true justice is served for Meredith Kercher

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 10/15/11 at 04:21 AM | #

@brmull,

Please take a look at another forum

http://nourishingobscurity.com/2011/10/02/penultimate-post-on-the-meredith-kercher-case/#comment-204617

and read the third from the last comment: The reference to their paper is also there in the comments (earlier).

Do you have a link to the comments (letter written) by the 9 US scientists? I am curious to know how they are defending the indefensible.

The prosecutors never stressed that criminals are not typical people and their minds do not follow our logic.  A list of good looking criminals would have been useful.

Posted by chami on 10/15/11 at 06:11 AM | #

chami,

This is the only letter I know about. It was signed by Drs. Hampikian and Johnson. For some unfathomable reason it is referred to as the letter from Hampkian “and 19 other DNA experts”.

http://friendsofamanda.org/files/KnoxSollecitoDNAPetitionSubmitted11.19.09b.pdf

I am somewhat dubious of Dr. Hampikian’s expertise as he has claimed that a negative TMB test on the knife means there could not be DNA detected. That seems at odds with common sense as well as what other experts have said.

Posted by brmull on 10/15/11 at 07:48 AM | #

chami,

I read the comment. Halkides is saying that two of the people who wrote the paper also endorsed the Hampikian-Johnson letter I linked to above.

The two people in question are Dan Krane and Jason Gilder. They both work in the same lab. I don’t know if they are unofficial advisors to the Knox clan in the same way that Hampikian is.

My background is clinical. I have a working knowledge of DNA testing but not the forensic part. But from what I’ve read of this case it seems the field is still very immature and many experts are exceedingly cautious about how they interpret their data.

Halkides is obviously a smart guy. But he’s letting his preconceived views about the case affect his understanding of the forensic science. He says that there is no murder weapon. The truth is the knife is only found in 25% of murders(nytimes.com data). He says that there is no motive. The truth is there are *too many* motives for an argument between these two roommates. He says the stomach contents put the time of death between 9:00 and 9:30. The truth is that stomach contents are a poor determinant of time of death, +/- two hours in the best case, and can be affected by stress. Furthermore putting the time of death at 9:30 means ignoring the testimony of all the witnesses. It means not having a good explanation for the victim’s cell phone record. It means not having an explanation for why Guede didn’t show up at the disco until 2AM. Etc.

Posted by brmull on 10/15/11 at 10:18 AM | #

brmull,

Thanks for the info.  I also went through the letter written by the 19 US scientists.

Basically it is a generic petition.  Two of the scientists wrote the letter and the remaining were asked to sign the letter.  It was (I believe) done on compassionate ground and perhaps understandable.

I have now read the letter several times.  It has not been written with a scientific spirit.  One thing for example, they never claimed that low rfu values are not usable.  They are perfectly aware that any “definitive” statement will be used against them.  The letter shows that the authors have been very cautious in this matter.

I am particularly irritated in their free use of terms like “extremely low level”, “highly sensitive” and drawing conclusions (“No credible scientific evidence has been presented to associate this kitchen knife with the murder of Meredith Kercher”) when they themselves argued that no definite conclusions can be drawn.

DNA from a single cell can be detected and identified unequivocally.  There are excellent reasons to be careful and cautious.  I think there exists an equally excellent reason to be suspicious as RS has attempted to “explain away” the presence of DNA of MK on the knife.  I believe that the sample found contains only one or two cells, i.e., one or two molecules of DNA.  Red blood cells contain no DNA.  Test with TMB will perhaps need a thousand cells. I am sure they know that TMB reacts with heme and not DNA.

However, the summary (last paragraph, last but one sentence, page 3) takes the cake: “DNA testing results described above could have been obtained even if no crime had occurred.”  What they are trying to convey?

Posted by chami on 10/15/11 at 12:05 PM | #

Just a quick comment on Sollecito moving to the US or Canada: chances are very slim, unless things are taken care of at a high level.  As is the case with most EU citizens, Italian citizens don’t need a tourist visa for the US, although they need to submit a form before visiting. 

Regardless of what sort of application you submit (tourist visa, work visa/permit, student visa/permit, permanent residence visa/permit), you will be asked not only if you have a criminal record, but if you’ve ever been arrested.  Sollecito, although acquitted, has an ongoing murder trial.  That means that he could be denied entry in the US or Canada, and that any long-term visas (work, study, residence) might not be granted until acquittal is definitive.  Work/study seem more feasible to me, but permanent residence doesn’t. There’s just no way he could pass the background check.

Citizenship is never instantly granted to anyone.  In order to become a citizen, you need to be a permanent resident for a number of years, depending on country, but usually it’s around 5.  Permanent residency applications take about 1-1.5 years minimum, and that’s for people who have crystal-clean records and good reasons to be in the country - either highly-skilled migrants or spouses of citizens.

Posted by Vivianna on 10/15/11 at 02:42 PM | #

lauowolf is right: there’s no movie-story here on the premise of Amanda’s innocence.  Before her surprising acquittal, the story all along was of the charges against her (with evidence) vs. the wholesome American girl who could not possibly have done that.  There’s a polarity here & tension between these poles. Relieve the tension with a declaration of innocence & poof!—the story evaporates.  Nice girl falsely arrested?

Yet in another sense than lauowolf has intended, the movie has already begun: it is, namely, in the well-managed PR campaign which has released its deliverances in the form of (contrived) news.

We see how the movie has developed from day to day, so far, just by comparing photos & reports. That well-photographed walk along the highway with stocky companion—those were candid shots taken by an available reporter?  Nonsense.  And that puffy-clownish hat Amanda wore in her apprehensive pose downtown?  On closer look, she was wearing it already (earlier news) in the car with darkened windows.

The movie is: how Amanda returns to normal life, insofar as she can.  And every bit of it contrived & artificial, or if I might use the word in this connection, premeditated.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 10/15/11 at 05:23 PM | #

Viviana,
In some ‘elite’ cases I’ve seen and experienced, permanant residence has been granted instantaneously, and citizenship 6 months later. It does depend on who you know as you said, who vouches for you, and also what benefit you can bring to the country your entering, but it is definately possible to fast-track in this way.

And after what we’ve seen in Perugia isn’t anything possible?

Posted by Spencer on 10/15/11 at 05:45 PM | #

Apologies for the spelling - Vivianna x

Posted by Spencer on 10/15/11 at 05:47 PM | #

I don’t think there are any laws which would make it impossible for someone to obtain permanent residence instantly, since any delays are usually administrative (i.e. you have to wait until they get to your file).

However, most countries that I’m familiar with require you to live there as a permanent resident for X number of years before you can even apply for citizenship.  I can imagine a few scenarios in which the residence requirement would be waived, but Sollecito is hardly a celebrity, a refugee political activist, etc.  I’m skeptical that their connections go that far and that anyone would be willing to risk his/her reputation vouching for someone whose acquittal might be overturned.  But who knows, water sometimes flows uphill.

Posted by Vivianna on 10/15/11 at 06:36 PM | #

Thanks for clarifying that Vivianna. Call me naive, but I am still hoping that justice will be served somehow. I am sure Sollecito’s family will try their best to ensure that he does not go back to prison but issuing a US citizenship to him instantly is far too lenient and hopefully will not happen. Maybe he can go to US for studies but if he is on student visa I cannot see how he can avoid extradition, especially considering that student visas are issued for a limited duration. Ultimately there are work arounds for everything but I am hoping nothing will be made too easy for them.

Posted by Sara on 10/15/11 at 08:36 PM | #

When the book comes out I´ll certainly buy it !  Maybe this will help the Kerchers , who are in a lot of financial and unfortunately, following the release of what are most certainly their daughter´s killers` release from prison , considerable emotional trouble now . So much has changed for them .
And alas ,so much has changed for me as well. The way I learnt about Knox´s acquittal from jail was rather blunt and unexpected: Having passed an exam (I am graduating from university this year !) , I decided to get a coffee in the uni cafe. There´s a newsstand in there and I suddenly noticed a paper with a large picture of Knox. I seized it and I nealy choked on my coffee when I read the big headline: “Knox free! Returning to Seattle.” My first thought was to cry : No! How could this ever happen ?
This world is a strange place. But I like the fact that Meredith is not going to be forgotten after all. This article has interested me in particular because as a literature student about to get a degree I´ve been thinking about applying to a publishing group as an internee.

Posted by aethelred23 on 10/15/11 at 10:56 PM | #

Her body language screams “GUILTY”.  She looks haunted.  Let’s see karma in action (what will she use to forget?  Drugs, alcohol?).  I wouldn’t want to live her life for all the tea in China - she’s not free, she will never be free.

Posted by Earthdog on 10/17/11 at 06:12 PM | #

I think RS could get citizenship pretty easily if he and AK would get married, unfortunately.  That might be the plan for his own safety as there is much more sentiment against him in Italy than in the USA. 

For some of the lawyers who know Italian law, is there any way to introduce new evidence into this case before the second appeal?  It appears not.  I’m wondering if the DNA were retested or anything of that sort.

Posted by believing on 10/18/11 at 05:03 PM | #

An interesting but incomplete article on the Knox trial “media circus” by Carlo Rossetti in the current Guardian.

Carlo Rossetti is professor of sociology of law at the ­University of Parma, Italy.  I welcome his plea which an editor has put into the headline as a plea not to let the media circus undermine Italian law.

Although the good professor avoids mention of the case as it stands currently, following the appeals trial, one can easily interpret his plea in that light.

Meanwhile, an effort to continue the media circus continues amid an atmosphere suddenly not entirely friendly:
A producer of porn films has invited Amanda to star in a picture at a million dollars.
A restaurant sign (removed next day, no doubt under threat) spoke openly on the sidewalk of Amanda’s liking a certain pizza which she could take home where she “can slice it by myself.”
A blog in the SeattlePI suggests that Amanda might star in the program, Dancing with the Stars.
And now fourthly in the Guardian: one speaks of the Knox trial media circus.

Could be that the air is leaking out of the Knox PR balloon. And maybe the headline to lauowolf’s article (Too Much PR Legacy Taints Her Brand) can be applied to more than just the possible movie.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 10/19/11 at 10:57 PM | #

Sollecito is flying to the US to stay, so that he is not put back into prison when the Supreme Court finds them guilty again.

Posted by sms27 on 10/21/11 at 03:31 AM | #


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