Collection: Pondering motive

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Case Of Russell Williams: What a ‘‘Set-Up’’ Police Interview Really Looks Like

Posted by Chimera

Russell Williams’s “Compressed” Interview 2 Hours 40 Minutes Long

1. Post Overview

This contrast’s Knox’s claimed trick “interrogation” and “confession” with one known to be real.

Russell Williams, unbelievably, was a Colonel in the Canadian Air Force, and the Commanding Officer at Trenton Air Force Base.

(From Wikipedia) From July 2009 to his arrest in February 2010, he commanded CFB Trenton, a hub for air transport operations in Canada and abroad and the country’s largest and busiest military airbase. Williams was also a decorated military pilot who had flown Canadian Forces VIP aircraft for dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and the Governor General and Prime Minister of Canada.


2. Williams First Association With Crimes

It is early February 2010. Ontario Provincial Police are investigating 4 incidents in a region of Southern Ontario, believing they are connected.  They are, 2 unsolved sexual assaults, the sexual assault and murder a military flight commander, Marie-France Comeau, and the January 28 disappearance of a woman named Jessica Lloyd.

While Lloyd’s disappearance was still ongoing, a witness came forward and reported seeing an SUV-type vehicle nearby.  Police follow up and find tire tracks in that location.  They then go about trying to match those tracks to a particular vehicle.  Roadchecks are set up along various roads.

Williams gets caught in the checkpoint, and the police notice that the tires on his Nissan Pathfinder are identical to those tracks near Jessica Lloyd’s home.  Williams is let go, but under 24 hour surveillance at that point.

3. Narrative Of Williams Interview

It is Sunday, February 7, 2010. Williams is called into police headquarters to answer questions.  He arrives at 3pm, and stunningly, he is wearing the same boots he wore to Jessica Lloyd’s house.  Either moronic, or bold.

The interview starts off casually, though Williams is asked for evidence to prove he is not involved: DNA, fingerprints, and bootprints. 

Watch the video above, Williams is in shock when the topic of bootprints comes up.  At 6pm Det-Sergeant Smyth drops the bombshell:

(1) tire tracks near Jessica Lloyd’s home are from his vehicle;

(2) those are his bootprints behind her house;

(3) the DNA is about to be matched;

(4) the homes are being searched, and the vehicle seized.

Williams realizes at this point that he has been tricked, that it was a setup all along.

Confession “To Spare His Wife”

Williams did come clean about 5 hours into the interrogation.  The reason: to spare his wife the added trauma and humiliation of the police tearing the homes apart.

He rationalized that if he simply told the police where to find evidence, they would take it and go.  At that point, it was about all he could do.

(from Wikipedia) On October 21, 2010, Williams was sentenced to two life sentences for first-degree murder, two 10-year sentences for other sexual assaults, two 10-year sentences for forcible confinement, and 82 one-year sentences for breaking and entering, all to be served concurrently.

Civil Courts Follow-up

Williams’ wife, Mary Harriman did take control of the couple’s multiple properties in Ontario.  She sought a divorce, which has dragged on for years, and did try to get the proceedings banned from publication.

The problem, according to the victims and the families is that this transfer from him to her amounts to FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCE.

In plain English, the allegations are that Williams transferred everything to his wife in order to avoid having it seized by lawsuits.  Williams claimed he sold it (cheaply) to his wife since he was serving a life sentence and not likely to ever need it again.

Ms. Harriman is now also being forced to testify about the true nature of their marriage for civil matters.  The argument being advanced is that she either knew what was going on, and could not be that oblivious—in light of the shear volume of trophies Williams kept.

Wife of serial killer Russell Williams loses court battle

OPP detective used ‘Reid technique’ to get Russell Williams to confess

World’s Greatest Police Interrogator: Detective Jim Smyth

4. The Narrative Of Knox’s Interview

Knox showed up unexpectedly at the Questura the evening of November 5, 2007.  Sollecito had been called in—alone— to clear up inconsistencies in his stories.

Knox went anyway, and remained even when told to leave.  She was told by Inspector Ficarra that if she really wanted to help, she could put together a list of possible suspects who may have visited the house.  She agreed.

Sollecito, when shown proof in his phone records that contradicted his story, threw Knox under the bus.  He claimed that AK went out alone, he stayed inside and used the computer, and that Knox came back several hours later.  RS claims AK asked him to lie, and that he didn’t think of the inconsistencies at the time.

Knox, on the other hand, thought that RS had actually accused her of murder, not just pulled her alibi.  AK is shocked, and fakes a crying fit. 

She then responds by throwing—someone else completely—under the bus.  Not Sollecito.  Not Guede.

Of course once it turns out that PL is completely innocent, police and prosecutors don’t believe anything she says at this point.

The Knox Interrogation Hoax

#1 Overview Of The Series - The Two Version of the 5-6 Nov 2007 Events

#2 Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov

#3 More Defense Pussyfooting Toward Rita Ficcara, Key Witness

#4 More Hard Realities From Rita Ficcara, More Nervousness From Defense

#5 Key Witness Monica Napoleoni Confirms Knox Self-Imploded 5-6 Nov

#6 Sollecito Transcript & Actions Further Damage Knox Version

#7 Full Testimony Of Witness Lorena Zugarini To Knox Conniption 5-6 Nov

#8 Testimony Of Interpreter Donnino And Central Police Officer Giobbi

#9 Officer Moscatelli’s Recap/Summary Session With Sollecito 5-6 Nov

5. Contrasts And Similarities

1-A The Williams case above is a clear instance of police luring in a suspect under the pretense of a ‘‘background interview’‘.  The Ontario Provincial Police spent days trying to put together a profile and work up a method of questioning such a suspect.  And it took Det. Sergeant Jim Smyth just 3 hours to get Williams to crack.

1-B Knox, on the other hand, showed up uninvited to the police station, most likely to keep RS on a short leash.  She not only wasn’t invited, but was told to leave.  She cracked when RS revoked her alibi.

2-A Williams says his main motivation in confessing was to spare his wife extra humiliation, and destruction to the houses.

2-B Knox, on the other hand, threw a totally innocent person, Lumumba, to the wolves.  She also has no qualms about protracting the publicity, and milking her ‘‘celebrity’‘.

3-A Williams wore the same boots to the police station

3-B Sollecito brought his knife to the police station, and had similar shoes to Guede

4-A Williams was nailed by his bootprints

4-B Knox was cast under suspicion by a shoeprint, and bare footprints nailed both AK and RS

5-A Williams wife illegally profited by taking the property in order to stave off having it seized

5-B AK and RS illegally profited by having other people (Kuhlman and Gumbel) write blood money books for them.

6. Analysis Of Williams Interview

This excellent analysis is one hour long.

 

 


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Milestone Book By Dr Andrew Hodges On Knox’s Driving Psychology “As Done Unto You” #1

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Who Put Knox’s Psychology Front And Center?

In fact Amanda Knox herself did.

Her turbulent history goes way back. She is on officlal record as having had a difficult and possibly damaging early childhood.  She herself describes her oddball faux-lesbian status at her high school, not of her own doing.  She has been referred to as brash, sharp-elbowed, a drug-using man-eater and risk-taker at the University of Washington.

Suggestive incidents she herself describes (when she is not disavowing them) on her way to Perugia only added to this.

At most, one in 100 American students arrive in Perugia with (1) no formal program via their university back home, and thus no supervision, (2) no enrollment in the University of Perugia - merely enrollment in a glorified language school, which demands less than 10 hours a week of study, (3) no European work permit, no financial grant, and few financial savings; and (4) an assured drug supply. But Amanda Knox was indeed one in 100.

Given her burn rate, her savings would have run out early in 2008. Her drug-supply arrangement began on the train, even before she arrived in Perugia. Around Perugia Knox was soon isolating herself quite relentlessly. With the drug taking and her choices of men to entice and all the people she ticked off, she showed early signs of a pending trainwreck. One of the very few who tried to give her comfort was in fact poor well-meaning Meredith.

Note Knox’s trajectory from the day after Meredith’s murder, where she was reported to stink of cat urine (an indicator of recent cocaine or crystal meth use) after claiming she had showered just 2 hours earlier, through her erratic highs and lows prior to her arrest, to her screaming fits and head-hitting at the central police station, to her endemic feuding with Sollecito, right through 2008 to her trial.






At the Massei trial in 2009 Knox herself put on a front as endlessly daffy - as epitomized in the Beatles T-shirt she wore, and her first interjection to the court, which was about her Bunny vibrator.

That might have worked as an “I am not all there” defense (possibly arrived at between the defense team and the PR scheme) but two things at trial totally destroyed prospects of that.

  • Her strident, sarcastic, callous two-day stint on the witness stand, which was seen on live Italian TV and reported as a disaster for her in Italian eyes here and here.

  • The closed court reconstruction of the exceptionally barbaric pack attack by three assailants, which took Italy’s best crimescene analysts a whole day to present and which made some in the court cry or feel ill; reflected later in a 15-minute video and in the prosecution’s summations. Throughout all of that, Knox herself and her hapless defenses had zero comeback and to this day have still offered no alternative.

From 2007 through late 2011 a number of further hard-to-explain-as-normal episodes took place in Capanne prison. Knox’s paranoid book Waiting To Be Heard says that black is white, down is up, she alone is normal, and everyone around her intends bad.

We have reported frequently and very fairly on all of this, with half a dozen psychologists posting, most especially SeekingUnderstanding, who has long argued Knox is in decline and years overdue for treatment (see especially the post here and post here and post here) surfacing essentially similar insights. That Knox has a lot bottled up and that she cannot stop signalling guilt is a recurring theme of our past Psychology posts here.

Those Americans and Brits who hopped on the PR-driven bandwagon for Knox on the psychology dimension almost all arrived several years after the PR campaign started its Orwellian mission.

Without a single exception ALL of them crash on the details. They leave enormous amounts out, and what they dont leave out is more often wrong than on-target.  One criminal psychologist Dr Saul Kassin was shown to be so seriously off-base that he has disappeared himself. 

The most factually inaccurate and psychologically badly-grounded takes on Knox and her defensive moves have come from John Douglas and others in the fading first generation of “ex FBI profilers”. John Douglas seemingly learned nothing from Kassin’s crash and burn - he repeats the extremely inaccurate and defamatory Kassin depictions largely verbatim. More about the bamboozled “ex FBI profilers” will follow later in this series. 





2. Introducing The Analysis Of Dr Andrew Hodges

Dr Hodges is at the forefront of his vital field now. He is impressively qualified, and widely networked in the crime-fighting community. He has a successful publishing track-record.

He describes his methods in full in his book subtitled The Secret Confession Of Amanda Knox and elsewhere. He arrives at a fair and and extremely detailed and not unkind analyses of both the presumed perp and those hangers-on who surround them.

Dr Hodges himself has suggested to TJMK that, as if he were at one of his presentations (he has presented, among other venues, at FBI Quantico), he should first let others with knowledge of the field speak about the book and about himself.

Accordingly, the rest of this first post consists of some reviews. Future posts in the series will include some book excerpts and some explanations of why various professionals who should have known better have simply misread Knox, John Douglas included.

Review In New York Crime Examiner

By Liz Houle
NY Crime Examiner

Dr. Andrew G. Hodges proves that Amanda Knox is guilty in his new book

July 8, 20157:06 PM MST

The police are investigating the murder of a young woman. They bring three people in for questioning, two males and one female. All claim to be innocent. After hours of questioning the suspects are released. The female goes home and types into the wee hours of the morning. She creates a spontaneous five page email alibi. She writes that she has to “get this off my chest.” She sends it off to approximately 25 people. Her email is addressed to “everyone” and describes her “account” of the last time she saw the murder victim. She writes that as she was “fumbling around the kitchen” when the victim appeared with “blood dripping down her chin.” Afterwards she and her boyfriend did a lot of mopping and cleaning up because they “spilled a lot of water on the floor. “

Later an autopsy would reveal that the murder victim sustained multiple cuts and bruises to her face and neck area by a kitchen knife. As the victim lay dying, a pool of blood spread out on the floor. The blood had been cleaned up afterwards, mopped up, by the homicidal maniacs who had killed her.

A practicing psychotherapist and nationally recognized forensic profiler named Andrew Hodges M.D, has written a new book, As Done Unto You, which decodes the hidden messages in the verbal and written statements of the murder suspects in the Meredith Kercher murder case. Dr. Hodges uses a “cutting-edge forensic profiling technique of thoughtprint decoding by accessing the deeper intelligence (unconscious mind) of suspects in criminal investigations.”

He writes on his website, ”I have learned that the human mind works simultaneously on two levels—consciously and unconsciously. The discovery of an unconscious super intelligence [super-intel] reveals that it reads situations in the blink of an eye and invariably tells the complete truth.”

In As Done Unto You he starts with a brief introduction to his methodologies followed by a hypothetical version of events based on the evidence and his findings. He reveals what unfolded the night Meredith Kercher was gang raped and slaughtered in her bedroom. His narration is graphic and has the ring of truth. Hodge’s comprehensive knowledge of this case including some lesser known facts renders his retelling as one of the most profound to date.

We know the who, what, where, when, how of Meredith’s murder so all that is left is the why, and this is what Dr. Hodges brilliantly addresses in his book. Investigators scrambled to find a motive or an immediate trigger(s) provoking Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede to rape and stab Meredith Kercher to death. Prosecutors debated over whether it was it a fight over Amanda Knox’s slovenly habits, indiscriminate sex life, or was it a robbery gone wrong? Hodges answers this riddle unequivocally in his book based on the murder suspects own statements.

Hodges explains, “Unquestionably there would have been two types of motives. Immediate trigger motives and far deeper time-bomb motives which caused such distorted thinking consciously.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 740-741). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.) There is most likely a list of provocations resulting from the quickly deteriorating relationship between Amanda and Meredith which was witnessed by many. Ultimately it appears that it was Meredith’s rejection of Knox on October 31st that set things off.

On Halloween night in 2007, Knox in her cat costume walked aimlessly around Perugia for hours - alone. She kept texting Meredith over and over to try and meet up with her. Meredith was having fun, partying with her friends and ignored Knox’s persistent texts. This rejection and abandonment on top of a series of earlier clashes with her roommate, unleashed the beast in Amanda - the repressed rage stemming from her early life traumas.

As Hodges explains, “Criminals are typically controlled by deeply buried unconscious emotional trauma which they re-enact on their victims. It’s well-documented that abuse victims often themselves become abusers.”

After the crime is relived in the first two chapters, the author then delves deeply into the inner world of the murderers unconscious. Analyzing their words, Hodges takes the reader through all of the reasons Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy found each other, their shared emotional baggage. All three had upheavals in their early life which brought them together and the toxic combination exploded into a group assault that went too far.

Hodges includes an intriguing and insightful description of the deeper meanings within photographs taken in the months leading up to the crime. This is followed by a methodical and intense study of the murder suspects writing in the rest of the book. In particular he focuses on Amanda Knox’s writing.

Dr. Hodges’s book is dense and full of observations which reveal much more than any other book about this case. Some of the insights that he discovers through thoughtprints include:

  • “ . . . [Knox] suggests they initially entered Meredith’s bedroom “together,” like storm troopers, to carry out maximum humiliation. This never started out as a one-on-one catfight.”(Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 243). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • “Amanda also implies . . .that she and Raffael both penetrated Meredith— as did Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found inside her. It was a gang assault. “Came out” suggests lesbian activity on Amanda’s part. In a later writing, Amanda will recall how people thought she was a lesbian in high school.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Locations 3630-3633). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • “[Knox’s] super-intel continues to highlight motives – first the immediate trigger motives. Evidence clearly indicates Amanda had significant conflicts with Meredith, and she outright lied about those disagreements. Meredith’s parents, friends and roommates, however, knew about them.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Location 3132). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

  • Amanda certainly knew her parents were married on February 21, 1987, with her mother five months pregnant before Amanda’s birth on July 9. 1987. That meant she was conceived around October 9, 1986. Her utterly brilliant super-intel would have figured out in a heartbeat that it was sometime in November 1986 when they considered the abortion. That month would have had special significance to her and evoked an enormous unconscious anniversary reaction marking her near-death.” (Hodges MD, Andrew G. (2015-06-23). As Done Unto You: The Secret Confession of Amanda Knox (Kindle Location 4747). Village House Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

Over and over again, Dr. Hodges uncovers the distressing realities surrounding that night. Hodges work is truly groundbreaking. As if all of this weren’t enough, in the final chapters he includes the super-intel study of one of Knox’s most prominent supporters, Nina Burleigh, uncovering what she says in between the lines of her own writing.

As Done Unto You is a fascinating, intense and thought provoking look at the truth as only a psychiatrist and FBI profiler with a firm understanding of the Super Intelligence technique could reveal.

Thoughtprint decoding has proven to be an invaluable tool in criminal investigations. Similar to when DNA was first introduced, some people may be circumspect about it however in time it will prove to become critical in solving cases like the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Unfortunately, the Meredith Kercher murder case has been closed and due to the inability of the Italian legal system to confidently identify the multiple attackers, two of the three suspects have been acquitted. Hopefully Dr. Hodges thoughtprints become a part of future murder investigations like this one so that victims families get the closure and justice they deserve.

2. Amazon Reviews By Actual Readers

There are some PR-inspired reviews on Amazon which are so angry and so badly grounded that there is no way those reviewers had read the book. These are some appreciative reviews by those who did actually read it.

From a noted forensic psychiatrist and author (NOT funded by Knox & co.)

By malcontent on July 8, 2015

The “Knoxies” don’t want you to read this…but shouldn’t you make up your own mind? Written by noted forensic psychiatrist and author, this book provides unique insight into the minds of Meredith Kercher’s killers (note: plural). A fine analysis. Fascinating and well done!

Journalist Amanda Knox buries the lead in her own story: “I Confess - I Murdered Meredith!”

By Leigh on July 8, 2015

For those following Meredith Kercher’s murder saga for over seven years, the revelations from Dr. Hodges are not startling. Many of us have been able to read through the lines to find lies and see confessions—early on picking up on the importance of the Nov. 4th, 2007 middle-of-the-night email home to family and friends. I’m grateful to whichever person saw the truth buried there and decided to turn the email over to Perugian Police. Dr. Hodges shows in a very detailed manner exactly how AK’s confesses to her crime. AK selected the victim, manipulated co-conspirators in a pack attack, and struck the fatal knife stab herself. Readers keep in mind, AK is not reporting what actually happened in her many communications efforts, she’s creating a narrative—a story she’s telling in order to extricate herself from blame while confessing through ‘thoughtprints’ which once decoded, show how her unconscious mind is working below the surface.

Following Meredith’s murder, AK couldn’t stop talking, nor stop herself from making insensitive remarks, writing and writing, giving statements, writing ‘memorials’ to police, writing a prison diary, also letters, many letters. And following her 2011 release, doing interviews, writing a book, creating a web site, and positioning herself as wrongfully convicted. There was an abundance of materials for Dr. Hodges to examine. AK didn’t leave breadcrumbs, she left an entire bakery of evidence all over the place within her own communications, while maintaining consciously she was an innocent being persecuted by corrupt Italians.

Dr. Hodges offers several theories as to how AK may have suffered deep psychological wounds in her earliest life and childhood which could have contributed to AK’s instigation of violence against Meredith. According to Hodges, AK followed a ‘reverse golden rule’ so typical of wounded people—“Do unto others as was done unto you.” Throughout ‘As Done…,’ Hodges draws upon words used by AK in her communications after the murder to explain how AK’s deep pain contributed to AK’s decision to commit murder. Location 5827: “Amanda clearly describes the deep entitlement that often drives victims of abuse.”

Dr. Hodges is an optimist, and clearly in the ‘forgiveness business,’ much as Italian prison priest Father Saulo, Hodges believes AK is capable of confession, and desires via her super-intelligence, to confess. Location 6149: “The inescapable conclusion: she (AK) must confess. Her deeper moral compass will prevail.”

However, after watching the AK show for over seven years, I disagree that AK will ever be capable of confessing without a huge financial payoff to her after all legal proceedings are concluded. Self-atonement is meaningless to a narcissistic psychopath like AK—she doesn’t feel guilt—she feels fear of being caught, being found out, what other people think of her. Hodges wants AK to have a soul, but I think she’s empty—a vampire / zombie hybrid—desires to do harm and feels nothing afterwards. In fact, I think AK has not shown a desire to confess in her communications because of guilt, she wants to gloat, she’s proud of her murder, she wants to brag to everyone how she won in her battle with Meredith.

Appreciate how courageously Hodges takes on the gang of retired FBI agents who have voluntarily served among AK’s ‘White Knights.’ Hodges does an effective job at pointing out their errors, especially “the superficial attempts” of John E. Douglas, the retired expert profiler. Location 6244: “He ignores far greater forensic evidence—verbal communications in the forensic documents produced by all 3 ...—which he is not trained to decode.” Also found it interesting Hodges calls attention to an article by Malcolm Gladwell from The New Yorker magazine, Nov. 12, 2007, entitled ‘Dangerous Minds’ that comprehensively highlights the flaws in profiling methodology, still available online as of 7/8/‘15. Very interesting!!!

Dr. Hodges also takes on the lazy American media for spreading deception about AK for years and examines one reporter / book author’s lies and her inability to see, or decision to NOT see below the surface—that one is Nina Burleigh. Burleigh wrote a point-of-view fiction that sold well as non-fiction, that’s why we true justice seekers find her particularly disgusting. Based on our research during Burleigh’s early career as a reporter, Burleigh was eager to gain valuable cooperation and became a rather opportunistic and promiscuous leg-spreader—clearly she saw a kindred spirit in AK. Today, Burleigh routinely yells and rails against female sexual violence, real or imagined—maybe Burleigh’s super-intelligence at work in her own personal narrative? My take, not Dr. Hodges who sees a different set of wounds displayed by Burleigh.

‘As Done Unto You’ is a fascinating insight into the dangerous, criminal mind of a murderer—the more they deny, they more details they give away!

Don’t listen to those “one star” reviews, they’re all ...

By Aki on July 3, 2015

Don’t listen to those “one star” reviews, they’r all written by PR of the Knox entourage. The book is very interesting. Independently from some details that some may find subjective and enphatic on the part of the author, it’s basically a valuable and consistent analysis; deserves to be read, much more than any other recent book on the case.

Great Book!

By Columboon July 1, 2015

This a great book that I highly recommend for anyone following this ongoing case. And Amanda Knox did, in fact, confess to being at the crime scene when it happened when she said “I was there. I heard Meredith screaming.” Right there that is enough guilt for at least a conviction of accessory to murder. Amanda Knox should be doing life without parole right now and may still be sent to prison after the ludicrous acquittal is overturned in Italy. Following that her extradition will be expedited with two of her accomplices already in prison.

Among these readers are many who are driven by a great humanitarian interest

By Student Forever on June 29, 2015

The recent Amanda Knox case has taken on a life of its own. The task at hand facing the Italian court: who IS responsible for the brutal murder of British coed, Meredith Kercher studying abroad in Perugia, Italy? Kercher’s roommate and fellow student, Amanda Knox was clearly the centerpiece of this macabre drama; and still is! It appears that the final ‘not guilty’ verdict of the Italian Supreme Court has done little to quell the verdict rendered by much of the global public that has by compulsion joined the fray.

Many websites devoted to either her guilt or innocence have launched and staunchly attempted to prove their point of view. Book stores and magazine stands have provided a never-ending flow of information and commentary to inform both their casual as well as their more fervent true crime readers.

Among these readers are many who are driven by a great humanitarian interest. That is, those whose heart aches for the pain Meredith’s family have suffered through all the tragic ordeal, and still are left with the crushing question, “Who took the life of our precious Meredith, and WHY?!?” The sentence for this family is “life.”

Missing from the judicial pursuit of culpability has been the testimony of one very important witness: the unseen subconscious mind; the super intelligence of each person involved, especially that of Amanda Knox! This is the infamous 90% of the mind that we do not use, the all-seeing witness that processes and catalogs all stimuli, and which, by no surprise, becomes the most reliable witness for every aspect of this mystery.

The reason this testimony has not been queried to date is because the judicial system, both here and abroad, has not yet discovered the integrity and veracity of the source, and consequently does not look to it as star testimony. They don’t know this “deep throat” witness exists! Who can we approach to get the witness to the stand, and who can evoke the testimony? That is what psychiatrist Andrew G. Hodges brings to the table as a forensic profiler. He demonstrates how to listen to the testimony of the subconscious, revealing “an x ray of the deeper mind of Knox.” In this book, he shows us how this “expert witness” testifies on behalf of Meredith Kercher. She subconsciously drops bread crumbs as it were, in plain sight and sound of the trained de-coder. As her super intelligence gushes the truth, not yielding to the predictable efforts of one trying in vain to maintain a false narrative, the veil of the story is finally lifted.

As Hodges looks directly at the writings of Knox, her own testimony contained therein, it becomes clear to his uniquely trained forensic “eye” that Knox, in her own words, is the one responsible for Kercher’s gruesome death, and she is subconsciously wanting the truth to be told.

Hodges’ book is certainly about Meredith Kercher’s murder, but for me it was also a textbook of what one should know about the super intelligence we all have, and how profoundly it knows who we are.

Amanda: a good girl being framed?

By An Amazon Customer on June 29, 2015

Beginning in 2007 when we first heard news reports of murder charges lodged against American college student Amanda Knox in Italy, many thought she was a good girl being framed by anti-American Italian authorities and the equally anti-American European media.

However, once you learn the gory and often grisly details of the case, which are fairly presented in Dr. Hodges’ excellent book of analysis, you begin to question the party line of Amanda’s supporters, who still maintain her innocence despite the fact that the Italian courts have twice found her guilty of murder in separate trials. Yes, she has been cleared most recently by the Italian Supreme Court in the ping-pong game of Italian justice, which is still not completely over (the Jurists are reserving a slander-against-the-Court charge). But one still wonders what exactly happened when British college student Meredith Kercher had her throat fatally slashed in what looked to be a sex game gone bad—very bad.

Perhaps more than *what* happened, we wonder *why* someone like Amanda would be motivated to participate in so vicious a murder of her roommate, even if that act was fueled by alcohol, sexual tension, and/or drugs in the heat of the moment? Here is where Dr. Hodges, with his extensive experience in creating forensic profiles of serial killers, comes to our aid, using his proven method of linguistic “thoughtprint decoding” to ferret out Amanda’s deeper motivations, hidden in her unconscious mind. Dr. Hodges has worked on several high-profile murder cases, using his same well-established method, including the cases of O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, Natalee Hollaway. Casey Anthony, and the BTK serial killer.

Hodges explains how the killer inevitably leaves clues about his guilt in his/her actual words, and how to recognize and interpret these clues; Hodges’ method, though at times complex, is fascinating and understandable if you recognize that we do have an unconscious mind. This part of our mind Dr. Hodges calls “the super-intelligence,” which tries to get the truth out any way it can, while the conscious mind of the guilty person tries to spin the clues to exonerate itself (this is why the clues are partially hidden by the words, stories, images and outright denials the conscious mind uses in its attempt to obscure the ugly truth of guilt).

This book will fascinate you if you are willing to look beyond the surface facts and begin to understand the deeper motives of a killer.

Cutting Edge Science, Metaphysically Profound

By Pieder Beelion June 30, 2015

“There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails” C. S. Lewis

Yes. The conscience is hard on all of mankind, including Amanda. And so we must, even if subconsciously, come clean.

As Done Unto You is a shining example modeling how Christians should “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

The tone of the entire book is a blend of sobriety, truth and compassion.

I had previously written a review of Hodges’ book on Obama at Tea Party Nation: http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/book-review-the-obama-confession-by-dr-andrew-hodges-m-d

I salute the courage, vision, boldness and creativity of Dr. Hodges to produce work and research of this nature.

Dr. Hodges’ work holds out the possibility of uniting a fractured culture into a unified people upheld by a great consensus understanding of our unalienable rights.

Dr. Hodges is full of compassion toward Amanda in all her stages of life. This is a book about compassion and deliverance, not only for Amanda, for the individuals who read this book to understand the moral drama around which their own psyche aligns.

Whereas Physics routinely can perform near instantaneous calculations on dumb unconscious systems that are self-consistent to better than one part in 10^13 or more, Dr. Hodges’ psycholinguistics does not have the same analytical foundation and so ones requires much more time to perform his thoughtprint analysis.

Nonetheless I view Dr. Hodges’ work as breakthrough advancement in science and as one of the most exciting areas in research being performed in science. Science has been spending hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars on space programs and high energy physics which, after the hardware and software tested, points to a philosophical or even a theological quest,

Dr. Hodges’ work subtly invites the thought, “Maybe we didn’t need to spend all that taxpayer money.” Maybe the answers to who we are and the nature of our world are more profoundly found—not in a vacuum chamber decorated with sensitive detectors or in a space station telescope—but in the mind of each one of us.

The postscript is genius: It shows that Hodges is well-read and running circles around the opposition to the Knox-is-guilty thesis. It uses the opposition’s words against them and demonstrates the practicality of Dr. Hodges’ technology.

Finally the postscript is redemptive toward an opposing author, Nina Burleigh. It is a gift of tremendous value to her and something powerful for the reader to behold.  This is the book AmandaKnox does not want you to ...

A positive review

By Ipsos Maation June 30, 2015

This is the book AmandaKnox does not want you to read. I found it fascinating because it explores the possible subconscious tells connecting Amanda Knox to the murder of Meredith Kercher. Provocative and insightful.. Thank you, Dr. Hodges

 

Posted on 07/10/15 at 09:19 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyPondering motiveThose Italy chargedAmanda KnoxNews media & moviesGreat reporting
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Why Desperation Sets In At The Pesky Similarities Between Amanda Knox And Jodi Arias

Posted by Chimera




1. The Incessant Comparisons

Google “Amanda Knox” along with “Jodi Arias” who was recently convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend and you will see what I mean.

Of comparisons between the two, there are many dozens. Some pieces damningly list the similarities, and then in numerous defensive comments the facts about the real Knox get mangled. Some pieces try to argue that there are differences, and in comments the writer’s numerous false claims get nailed.

To bring out quite forcefully the stark similarities, this post looks at the interrogations. At the time of this posting, Arias has been convicted of first degree murder, but sentenced to life without parole, since the jury would not hand down the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Knox has been provisionally found not guilty in a highly suspect Fifth Chambers action which might be overturned by an order of the President, or by a challenge by the Florence court, or by a challenge by another arm of the Supreme Court.

2. Similarities Under Interrogation

Below is all of Arias’s 2008 interrogation after her arrest (posted in 4 parts) with notes on some of the similarities. Knox was only ever interrogated once, on 17 December 2007 (at her own request), in a couple of hours, so I also draw on some of her other statements.

Most of what Jodi Arias says is just babbling and rambling, a trait common to Knox.  But unlike Knox, Arias doesn’t have a media campaign going on to release her, and Arias hasn’t been able to bend or corrupt any courts.

Part 1 (2 hours 40 minutes)

 

Part 2 (2 hours)

 

Part 3 (2 hours)

 

Part 4 (2 hours)

 

Assessment

My view from watching this: Arias is truly emotionally vulnerable here, but even so, her mind is constantly trying to get her out of this.

The problem is that she doesn’t seem to register just how much the contradictions ensnare her.  Arias, like Knox, thinks she can talks her way out of anything.  She seems stunned that her ‘‘little-girl routine’’ doesn’t win over the police.

Arias seems to think during the police questionings, she can simply make it all go away if she keeps denying.  Problem is, her interview is riddled with partial admissions.  Knox seems to think that she can win over the media if she keeps denying ‘‘she killed her friend’‘.

However, when Arias finally does testify, she is cold, sarcastic, and testy.  (Sound familiar?)

I imagine if Amanda Knox ‘‘had’’ been formally questioned without lawyers, it would have looked something like this.  Yes, it is segmented, but it would be mindnumbing to do a complete transcript.  However, there were many gems from this questioning.  It is chilling to watch, but if you can, do it, and ask yourself if that isn’t another ‘‘Knox’’ performing there.

Note these telling exchanges, all from Part 1

(5:46) Det. Flores: I travelled all the way up here to talk to you.  Because, I’ve been working on Travis’ case ever since it happened.  And I know exactly what happened, how he was killed.  I know a lot of details.  And just recently we found quite a bit of evidence, and I’ll discuss that with you.  The main thing that I’m looking for though is answers, on why certain things happened, and also to get your statement.

(6:25) Arias: Okay.

(6:35) Det Flores: A lot of details in this case haven’t been released to the public or even to Travis’ family yet.  And those details are known only to us, and to the person who did it.  And that’s why we’re here. I believe you know some of those details, and you can help us.

(6:51) Arias: I would love to help you in any way that I can

One of the most laughable statements ever made in the case.  8 hours later, she still won’t give them a straight answer.

(8:45) Arias: Should we record this?  (reaching for the remote).

Seriously?  Arias has been arrested for murder, and her first act is pretend to be ‘‘helping the police’‘.  A bit like Knox, who insisted she was helping the police, even after being charged with Meredith’s murder

(10:35) Arias: I know that people have been posting a lot of really nice things on Facebook, you know, memories, and I thought maybe I should do that.  And I realized looking back in it is sounded immature, more like a ‘‘Dear Travis’’ kind of letter, so I took it down…

(10:53) Det Flores: Personal?

(10:55) Arias: Yeah, some of it was personal, not too personal, nothing inappropriate.

At least least Arias isn’t emailing people questions about whether Travis likes anal, or what he uses vasoline for.  Give her some credit.

(12:00) Arias: I didn’t realize until I was speaking with Ryan Burns, the guy that’s in Utah.  We’ve been talking, we try not to talk about that, because it’s kinda like ... ugh (makes disgusted face).  And plus Travis is my ex-boyfriend, so, when you’re mourning your friend, how do you talk to to your new potential mating person?  .... So, it’s kind of a grey area.

Yes, Jodi thinks dead bodies are ‘‘yucky’‘, and that mourning an ex, while talking to a new potential partner is a ‘‘grey area’‘.  Did she go run off to buy any lingerie?

(12:15) Arias: I try not to talk about it too much, but he [Travis] comes up a lot

Your ex-boyfriend was stabbed 29 times and shot in the head.  Annoying, how often ‘‘he’’ comes up.

(12:20) Arias: And it was though him [Ryan] that he thought things were really weird, and some think that you had a hand in it.

Maybe because you find the topic of your ex so annoying when you try to spend time with new boyfriend….

(12:28) Det. Flores: I’ve talked to a lot of people.  And everyone is pointing the finger at you.

(12:35) Arias: I know.

(12:36) Det Flores: Everyone is saying - I don’t understand what happened to Travis.  I don’t know who killed him, but you need to look at Jodi.  And sometimes the simplest answers are the correct ones.

Something Knox found out (and soon Arias soon will), is that when you have suspicions about someone, you bring them up immediately.  You don’t wait until you become a supect yourself.

(13:30) Det. Flores: I know that you still had a relationship of convenience, even though you were not boyfriend/girlfriend anymore, that you two were still having sexual relations with ...

(13:45) Arias: Does his family know?  Just curious.

(13:50) Det. Flores: No, his family doesn’t know anything.

(13:54) Arias: I’m interested in protecting how he is remembered as well.

Another laughable claim.  Jodi would later accuse him of everything from being abusive and controlling to pedophilia.  Knox uses Meredith’s memory to cash in on a blood money book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, does dozens of interviews claiming to be a victim, and uses her website to raise money for her legal fees to get off on Meredith’s murder.

(16:10) Arias: Too much of my nightlife was about him [Travis].  He would text ‘‘hey I’m getting sleepy….. zzzz’‘.  That was his code for ‘‘coast is clear, come on over’‘.  (long, unrelated rambling).

Less than 3 minutes after saying she wants to protect how Travis is remembered, Jodi is already implying Travis is horny, and leaking unnecessary details.  An attempt to smear him?  Who else does that?

(19:20) Arias: I used to always joke, ‘‘that, regardless of what the Bible says, and yes I’m Christian, I just live my life by the 10 commandments, and that those are my rules,

‘’ .... so I always used to joke about that.

Your ‘‘friend’’ has been savagely stabbed to death, and after being arrested you are making jokes about fornication.  Who else would make such jokes after the loss of a close one?

For the next 15 minutes Arias babbles on about unrelated things.  Det. Flores has incredible patience, as most would have slit their wrists listening to her.  But finally he tries to pull Jodi back to the topic at hand. 

He makes several attempts, but Arias keeps trying to divert the topic away from Travis and his death.  After about 1/2 hour of Jodi talking nonsense, Detective Flores tries to get Jodi to give a timeline and direction of her travels.

(52:20) Det. Flores: So, you took this trip and you left on Monday the 2nd until Thursday?

(52:44) Arias: I think so.

(52:50) Det. Flores: So, we have here about 48 hours…. this trip would take you a little over 48 hours….  I have a problem with this trip.

(53:06) Arias:  Well I first went to ....

(53:30) Det. Flores: I’ve gone over this trip over and over in my mind.  There’s still 20-some odd hours, even if you pull over to sleep, a couple of times ....

(53:42) Arias:  Did I tell you I got stranded?

(53:46) Det. Flores: Yeah, you mentioned that.  If you slept for 10 hours, here and here (pointing on map), it would still leave 18 some odd hours, for something else.  This is the trip that people are focusing on.  People are saying that she left .... Travis was killed on Wednesday.

(54:22) Arias: I did not go near his house.

(54:27) Det Flores: I pulled your cell records.  Your cell phone was turned off, between here and here (indicates on map).  What does that show me?

(54:45) Arias: No, no, no.

(54:50) Det. Flores: Is there plenty of time for you to do this?  Yes.  And do I believe that you had come to visit Travis?  Yes.  Did you have the opportunity?  Yes, there were no other witnesses.

(55:10) Arias: Well, I didn’t turn it off physically, but it died.

(55:16) Det. Flores: And you magically found your charger here?  (pointing on map)

(55:20) Arias: It was under the passenger side of the front seat.

(55:23) Det. Flores: When you were lost, you couldn’t have pulled over and found it?

(55:41) Det. Flores: I’ve been focusing on why your phone turns off here, outside of Los Angeles ... because the [Highway] 15 goes through Las Vegas.  It never goes through Arizona.

Detective Flores zeroed in on a huge gap Arias’ timeline.  Why did a 48 hour trip take more than 3 days?  He also noted that her cell phone was not active for most of that trip.

In Peugia, the police had noted a discrepancy in Sollecito’s timeline.  He claimed to have reported the burglarly then waited outside for the police.  In fact phone records showed the Postal Police showed up about 15-20 minutes before he made the call.  It was later discovered that Knox and Sollecito had turned off their cell phones (something they never did), during the time of the murder.

(58:25) Det. Flores: Were you at Travis’ house on Wednesday?

(58:28) Arias: Absolutely not.  I was nowhere near Mesa.

She is very sure then, but with some more questioning, she will not only be there, but a witness to the actual murder.

(58:40) Det. Flores: What if I could show you proof you were?  Would that change your mind?

(58:45) Arias: I was not there.  (trying to look convincing)

(58:59) Det. Flores: You were at Travis’ house.  You had a sexual encounter.  Which, there’s pictures.  And I know you know there’s pictures, because I have them.  I will show them to you.  So, I am asking you to be honest with me.  I know you were there.

(59:30) Arias: Are you sure that those pictures aren’t from another time?

(59:35) Det. Flores: Absolutely positive.

(59:40) Arias: The last time I had any sexual contact with Travis was in May.

(59:55) Det Flores: You know how I told you about the camera? The camera was damaged.  Someone put it in the washing machine, ran it through a wash cycle, with some clothes of Travis’, but the card is intact.  You know how I told you the card was destroyed?  I didn’t want to tell you the truth, because I wanted to make sure the photos were accurate.  We can pull deleted photos, even from 6 months ago.  And I have pictures of you and Travis.

(1:01:00) Arias: Are you sure it was me?  Because I was not there.

(1:01:00) Det. Flores: Jodi, it’s you.

Arias is trying to look and sound convincing, but her denials come out weaker and weaker.  But the stunned look shows through.

(1:01:55) Arias: I didn’t hurt Travis.  He’s done so much for me.

But like your Seattle ‘‘colleague’’ you will soon trash the memory of the person you called a friend.

(1:02:00) Arias: I lived there.  I lived there for months and months.

Pretty much the excuse Knox used to explain her DNA being everywhere.

(1:02:15) Det. Flores: I know you took pictures in the shower just before he died.

(1:02:29) Arias: I don’t think he would allow that

Either you did, or you didn’t.

(1:05:30) Det. Flores: our record indicate you reported a gun stolen, a .25 auto, which just happens to be the same caliber used to kill Travis.

(1:06:10) Arias: A .25 auto was used to kill Travis?

Using a ‘‘drop piece’‘, reported stolen, brought to the murder scene.  Knox brought one of Raffaele’s knives.

(1:06:18) Det. Flores: Do you want to see pictures of him?

(1:06:25) Arias: Part of me does, part of me doesn’t.

(1:06:30) Det. Flores: Why, because you don’t want to remember?

(1:06:35) Arias: No, there’s a morbid curiosity.

Arias is curious to see photos of Travis.  In fact, she asks several times to see photos of him (after the fact).  The detectives wonder if it is to help her come up with a story, but it is possible she just wanted to see her handiwork

Knox had also made several public demands to visit Meredith’s grave.  Creepy as hell.

(1:06:50) Det. Flores: I can’t deny this evidence.  The trip you took doesn’t make any sense, the opportunity was there, the pictures on that date with him, your blood is in the house - mixed with his, not alongside, but mixed, your hair is there is blood, and your palm print is there, in blood.  Your image is not important, saving the rest of your life is.

(1:07:30) Arias: Listen, if I’m found guilty, I won’t have a life.  I’m not guilty.

To compare Det. Flores’ listings: Knox’s account of the night/morning made no sense; she had access and opportunity; she had 5 spots of mixed DNA with Meredith, and oddly, NO fingerprints were found in Knox’s own home.

Jodi’s denial is extremely weak, just like many of the ‘‘no evidence’’ denials that Knox makes.

(1:08:20) Arias: I’m not a murderer, but if I were to do something like that I’d wear gloves, or something.

Wow…. way to be convincing.

(1:09:35) Arias: Let’s say for a second that I did.  Suppose I say I did.  Why

(1:09:50) Det. Flores: The motive is there.  Anger, jealousy ....

Knox frequently argued along the lines of ‘‘there is no motive for me to do this’‘.

(1:29:30) Arias: If I was ever going to try to kill someone, I would use gloves.  I’ve got plenty of them.

This is the second time Jodi mentions this.  Like Amanda, she knows a little something about C.S.I.

(1:29:55) Det. Flores: Would they see your car, or did you park it down the street?

(1:30:05) Arias: No, they would see it, I drove an Infinite.

(1:31:42) Det. Flores: You know that all rental cars have GPS on them?  For us to use….

Oh, s**t.

(1:42:15) Arias: Is it possible that my memory card was in his camera, and they are interchangeable?

(1:43:30) Det Flores: You’re saying that someone took your pictures and your memory card and was framing you?

Knox has written before that she thinks Raffaele planted her fingerprints on the knife used to kill Meredith.  Everything is a conspiracy.

(2:01:00) Arias: I’m trying to put his death behind me.

So…. you just want to get on with your life?

3. Numerous Other Similarities

  • Arias had cuts on her fingers which she said was from ‘‘dropping glass’‘.  She claimed that happens regularly.  Police believed it was from the knife slipping in her hand.
  • Knox had a cut on her neck which she said was from a ‘‘hickey’‘.

  • Arias claimed her phone died while on the road and that she found her charger later
  • Knox claimed she turned her phone off so she would not receive a text in case Patrick wanted her to come in afterall.  She previously claimed that it was to preserve the charge for her Gubbio trip

  • Arias was asked if anyone else was present at the scene.  She invented a story about 2 masked intruders.
  • Knox was told Sollecito removed her alibi.  She invented a story about Lumumba doing the crime.

  • Arias has given prison interviews and basked in the limelight
  • Knox has given interviews since being released from prison and basked in the limelight.

  • Arias refused her own suggestion for a lie detector test since if it wouldn’t help her in court,
  • Knox says she will take a lie detector test, but never has.

  • Arias attempted to destroy evidence, including attempting to destroy a camera in the washing machine.
  • Knox attempted to selectively clean the crime scene, and pin it all on Rudy Guede

  • Arias had the foresight to clean her feet before, going to the washing machine to throw the camera in.
  • Knox (or Sollecito), had the foresight to clean his/her feet before going into Amanda’s room to grab the lamp.

  • Arias had the foresight to clean her hands before grabbing Clorex to put in the washing machine
  • Knox had the foresight to leave Meredith’s lamp, but use her own and wipe it for prints

  • Arias put her licence back on upside down (it was removed while at Travis’ house).
  • Knox put the bathmat (with Sollecito’s footprint), back upside down

  • Arias staged a prior break-in so she could report a gun stolen, which she would later use.
  • Knox staged a prior break in and later used some techniques on Meredith.

  • Arias planned it by using a ‘‘trip to Utah’’ as a way of explaining her time away.
  • Knox planned it by waiting for a time when no one else was home.

  • Arias tried to wash Travis’ body to destroy evidence.attempted to destroy evidence.
  • Knox (and Sollecito), stripped Meredith down to make it look like a rape.

  • Arias called Travis’ phone and left voicemails to make it look like she didn’t know he was dead.
  • Knox called Meredith’s phone to make it look like she was trying to reach her.

  • Arias had sex with Travis prior to killing him
  • Knox had sex with a drug dealer (Federico Martini), before and after killing Meredith.

  • Arias caused Travis to think she was dangerous and a stalker, leading to police suspicion after.
  • Knox caused Meredith and others to think she was pushy and weird, leading to police suspicion after
  • .
  • Arias rented a car, bought cans of gas (to avoid stopping at gas stations), reported her gun stolen (so suspicion wouldn’t be aroused), and turned off her phone.
  • Knox brought a knife from Raffaele’s flat, brought 2 ‘‘frame-able’’ accomplices, chose a night no one was home, and turned off her phone.

  • Arias attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Juan Martinez.
  • Knox attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Guiliano Mignini.

  • Arias flirted with the police who arrested her.
  • Knox flirted with court officers.

  • Arias went to her current boyfriend as if nothing happened.
  • Knox went back to her life, including missing Meredith’s memorial.

  • Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend.
  • Knox murdered her roommate.

  • Arias called Travis repeatedly just to hear his voicemail.  Stalker?
  • Knox texted Meredith repeatedly the day before.  Stalker?

  • Arias was born July 9, 1980.
  • Knox was born July 9, 1987.
Posted on 06/08/15 at 09:10 PM by ChimeraClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Psychology Of The Human Race Puts Us On A Rising Curve Toward True Justice For All

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding



Above and below: more and more people worldwide are on the march to make justice for victims work

1. The “Just-World” Is Built

When we were children, we listened to fairy tales. Most cultures have a library of myths.

They frequently had ‘happy ever after’ endings, where everything worked out well, after many scares, struggles and deep sorrows. Rarely did the ‘bad people’ win, in the very end, although there were often sacrifices along the way required by those who were true to themselves, and cared for others and the world. The ruthless, selfish, greedy people often appeared in disguise - their ugly and scheming natures only revealed by chance at The End.

We often asked our fathers to read us these stories, before we were tucked up safely in bed. Usually we went to sleep reassured. This is because such tales reinforce a concept known as ‘the just-world’. In this just world, good thoughts and deeds are rewarded, eventually, and the bad and cruel actions will reap the punishment they deserve, even if patience is required until this comes about.

Our belief in this concept helps us, as we begin to go out in the world and face its stresses and dangers. It gives us hope and courage, in our tiny childhood bodies.

Our parents are our caretakers, there to guide us and protect us from harm. Good parents, who are teachers too, show us right from wrong, good from bad. We grow, and begin to form a sense of Self, a core self that finds meaning and values, experiences beauty and ugliness, joy and pain.

At least one of our caretakers will empathize with us, and give us what is known as validation. Gradually, we learn to be self-reliant and do this for ourselves, although we will always still turn towards the caretaker for this reassurance at certain times.

2. When Our Just-World is Broken

And then, suddenly, one day, something else happens. (Hopefully, this day doesn’t come when we are so very young - if it does, it is frequently disastrous).

Our belief in the Just World is fractured. It cracks, and comes crumbling down around us, terrifying us as it does. Life goes into slow motion, and we remember the colours, shapes, smells, words, for the rest of our lives. Someone who has done wrong is praised and rewarded, and the little person who is ‘me’, who was being as good as we knew how to be, is scolded, teased, taunted, hurt (perhaps physically), neglected, ignored, humiliated, punished. We suffer when we do not deserve to, sometimes when we least deserve to.

Most of all, our ‘caretaker’, whose function it is to protect us, now reprimands us, withdraws their love or approval and, worst of all, refuses to believe us. We are telling it as it is, telling the truth as we have been taught to do, and the very person we have entrusted with truth, rejects us, and believes the one who is lying. We feel despair,and we feel isolated. We panic inside, and experience fear as we have not known it.

Our adrenalin and other endocrine reactions are set in motion. Our heart thumps. We don’t know what to do, we feel numb, confused, it is hard to concentrate. We are unlikely to be able to say, at that point, - but what we are feeling is betrayal. All our inner security has temporarily dissolved.

Not only has the person insulted and harmed us with their wrong-doing, but they compounded this by sanctimoniously pretending that they were ‘put upon’, a victim no less, while simultaneously the true victim is blamed and derogated. It is outrageous, and moreover it is disempowering (at first).

It is our first experience of injustice.

3. The Experience of Acute Distress

If our psyche is healthy, we will recover, both physically and emotionally within a short period. Human beings have innate coping mechanisms, and we learn gradually to activate these. Different personalities develop different ways.

But the period of stress and distress does need to be of a short duration. This is important. If it is not, we now know that very real damage occurs. This is not something vague, but is actual, biological, involving the Hippocampus and other specific areas in the brain.

When we talk about ‘healing’, this is not just a fancy word for getting into a better mood : real healing and correction need to occur in the cell tissues. Stress really does damage your health, and if we need to take time out to recover from it, - this is a real need. The greater and more prolonged the distress, the longer the time needed to rebuild, to adapt and adjust. Music, and being in nature, often have an important role to play here. People find their own ways, in their own time.

The other thing of prime importance is contact and talking, sharing, with others to whom we feel bonded. It may seem like saying the obvious - but it has been shown that victims of trauma heal very much more quickly when their contact with their loved ones in the aftermath had been immediate.

What is needed is the opposite of isolation, which would simply increase the undermining of the sense of self and our own identity, which has been hurt, or sometimes splintered.

People are isolated in cases of torture - the perpetrators of it know this isolating alone is punishing, fragmenting, weakening and eroding to the self.

We need the validation of our true friends. Perhaps this is the origin of the saying, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’.

To recap slightly : our first experience of having our illusion of a totally Just World challenged probably first occurs as we are growing up, perhaps at school or similarly.

I will not, here, address the very serious cases where child abuse happens in the home, where the damage may never be repairable (although a certain amount can be done, miraculously, with professional and skilled help). Neither is this the place to describe terrible trauma caused by murder and terrorism. Extreme experience of injustice, especially continuous, leads to severe trauma, which at the extreme end leads to PTSD.

Needless to say, those who survive need the utmost sensitivity and skill to help them deal with the sheer inhumanity of their situations.

4. The Caretaker in the Wider World

As we go out into the world, ‘the family’ and with it, the head of the family or the main caretaker extends onto a more macro scale. The head of an institution becomes the caretaker. The headmaster or headmistress has a duty of care and protection : they are ‘in loco parentis’.

And so on upwards - the head of a large company where we may work has to duty of care that his employees are kept safe; we have local heads of government, police commissioners etc., whose responsibility includes the safety and protection of the citizens - this is achieved through law and order. And so we finally go to the top, and have the governments of countries, and their judiciary and courts, and the Head of State.

Governments carry the ‘caretaker’ role for the people, the citizens. They are entrusted with our ultimate safety, security and defence - against violence, against terror, unreason, and the break-down of law and order into chaos and tyranny. We entrust them to save us from barbarism.

It is because they have this extension of the caretaker role (a leader will sometimes be called ‘The Father of the Nation’), that when something goes badly wrong, we can feel betrayed. Our own personal memories of betrayal, which may exist in layers of many chapters, can suddenly be triggered. It matters not that physically, personally, we may not be anything like in proximity or involved in what has just happened.

A feeling of insecurity, of being totally let down, indeed of being betrayed, is experienced in the collective, the caretaker of which is the top of government and judiciary.
The shockwaves in the collective trigger our personal memories of our own past trauma. Just as happens when someone we know is bereaved, and we then suddenly recall our own bereavements, as clear as day. Our own memories are re-experienced within the present, integrated into the collective event.

When a member of the Royal Family (in Britain) for whom there is much affection, dies, one can see an outpouring of collective sentiment. Some may disparage it (as in, ‘well, how could they possibly have known her!’ etc), but the phenonomen of collective sentiment is very real, and contains more than the sum of its parts. As all collective moods, it will operate as a wave - a wave that may sweep reason aside.





5. Injustice Is So Like Bereavement

Injustice affects us as bereavement does. When we are bereaved, and perhaps especially when we lose a parent (our original ‘caretaker’), we are affected physiologically as well as emotionally.

Our fear responses are heightened, (sometimes called heightened arousal), our heart rate changes, our concentration and memory are affected, as too our ability to regulate our emotions (be overwhelmed by them); our perception itself is affected, including our perception of who we are ourselves, our very core identity.

It is very common to feel we have lost a part of ourself with the loss of the one we loved, or, importantly, who loved us. Their love for us was part of what made us feel valid. How many feel, when bereaved, lost themselves, - rudderless, as it were? We have to re-learn, and validate ourselves.

Why, you may wonder, are we discussing bereavement here? Because the responses that we go through (and it happens involuntarily) are the same as when experiencing the distress of injustice, or injustice trauma where it is extreme.

The same shattering of world-view is involved, and the same loss of security, which affects us fundamentally.

We need ‘safe-holding’ - first our parents provide this, then gradually other people and other structures out in society provide this keeping of us safe and secure. Being able to dependably rely on the administrators of just law to do exactly that is a very important part of our security. We trust them. We trust our government to use their powers judiciously, to look after our best interests, or at least to try.

If suddenly justice itself appears from every logical perspective to be in fact injustice, it is a great threat to our psychological security, for reasons I’ve tried to explain.

If the collective has been subject to such stress, then the process of repair or healing is required to happen in the collective, exactly as it is when the injustice stress or trauma has occurred on a personal level. It is just as essential. As one of our commentators said, ‘Silence is not an option’.

But fortunately, humanity is resourceful. We can all think of ways and times when people of every diversity have come together in adversity, and pulled together, in generosity, kindness and strength. There is the dual instinct in most people (who are not dysfunctional, damaged or disturbed) which is for both justice and compassion - civilized, just action - .. and when we recover from the adrenalin state, where one feels temporarily stunned in disbelief, we slowly regain our ability to creatively engage in the present.

6. How The Healing Process Works

Many people come and seek out counselling when they are recovering from extended periods of stress and distress, caused by a wide variety of reasons, and within a wide spectrum of severity. There are a number of effective techniques to aid the self-therapy.

These include understanding one’s own fear responses and calming these; recognizing personal triggers, and having a method to deal with flashbacks when they occur; working on acceptance, and being ‘grounded’ or anchored; and learning to create a feeling of safety and security for yourself in the present, and recalling the stressful time but placing it carefully in the past.

7. Narrative Therapy For RS And AK

Sollecito admitted to lies, Knox served three years for lies, and both are still on trial in Florence for many more. Even their best friends know that.

In order to make progress in recovery, with counselling, some sort of ‘narrative therapy’ is needed, where what has been so distressing can be processed and talked about from the perspective of the present, looking back and making sense -  but not talking as if one is still there in the experience.

To be able to arrive at this narrative is an important healing step. But if instead, the story is made of fragmented flashbacks, and the talk slips back into the present tense, as if the person is there again at the scene…really this is not good news. (cf AK was doing this in one of her last interviews last year - the one where she talked about ‘the corpse’).

There is avoidance, where the person can’t bear to think about the stress, and there are intense flashbacks, re-lived, - which can re-traumatise.

The narrative that we seek, and that helps bring calm and the ability to move forward, is neither of these. But to reach the good narrative the person will have to go through the detail of the traumatic event, and face the pain it causes them. They will have to be truthful. The therapist helps them do this incrementally, within a very safe environment. It does work, but it takes time - the greater the trauma, the greater the time.

This knowledge is useful to anyone recovering from a major stressful life event, but the reason I mention it here is in thinking about our two ex-defendants. Stepping aside for the moment from the flip-flopping judgement delivered, - what concerns me is whether and how healing is possible - for everyone.

There are so very many deeply disturbing aspects to this dreadfully drawn-out case, - most have been noted. But one that disturbs me most is that the ex-defendants have wound themselves up to delivering false narratives to the media circuses - to the point where they can’t now recant them without getting their respective knickers in a complete twist, knots that can’t be unravelled, nor make any sense.

As it is, it seems we have two ghosts who held down Meredith, where Guede was the third man.

My serious point here being that, for their own sakes if no-one else’s, the ex-defendants will need to tell a truthful narrative, in order to find any kind of reasonable and balanced functioning in their lives.

Quite simply, healing will not be possible unless they arrive at telling a truthful narrative in the way I touched on above - even if this is in confidentiality, to a therapist, - it will need to be done. It cannot be done in fiction.

If they do not go through the necessary steps in the process as outlined - instability, gross insecurity, and states of fear and anxiety will persist, and the trauma can and will always re-emerge unpredictably, and haunt and shadow their lives with flashbacks.

This process is well-known, and well-documented.

This site is primarily to support the Kercher family, who are the genuine, innocent victims of the most appalling trauma - one that has been selfishly drawn out by ruthless external forces, thus putting their own recovery in jeopardy, and causing great suffering.

They should always have been put first, but now, at this point in time, it is more vital than ever.

They will need, as all victims in recovery, to be able to make their ‘good narrative’. But they cannot fully do so without the truth - even if it has to remain just a sketch of the truth. I wish with all my heart they can find the whole narrative that they need - I do not know how at this point, with so much obfuscation abounding.

But I do not give up hope : healing can always arrive, for those with good will, and good hearts…so however long it takes, I have faith that it can, and it will.

Posted on 04/02/15 at 06:51 AM by SeekingUnderstandingClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyPondering motiveThose Italy chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoKnox persona hoax
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Friday, March 13, 2015

Questons For Knox: Adding A Dozen More To The Several Hundred Knox So Far Avoided

Posted by Chimera



Knox during a pause in questioning at trial; her answers destroyed many Italians’ trust

1. State Of Play On The Questions Front

Sollecito and his father Francesco actually take questions without 99% of them being agreed-on in advance. 

They evade a lot and lose a little but they also gain some points, unlike a seemingly terrified Knox and a seemingly terrified PR who now seem stuck in tongue-tied and consistently-losing modes.

In Italy last night on the much-watched crime show Porta a Porta Francesco Sollecito had to go along with the official reconstruction of the prolonged pack attack on Meredith which rules out any lone wolf though he again maintained that Raffaele was not there.

Not by any means does TJMK give Sollecito a pass. He WAS there at the attack, the evidence is very strong. And we do have many dozens of pending questions waiting for him to respond.

But the truly evasive one is Amanda Knox. Previously helped by the fawning arm of the American press.

2. Pending Questions We Have Already Asked

These are ordered chronologically with the first questions, by Kermit in mid trial in 2009,  at the bottom of the list.

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Ted Simon Gone? With Legal And Financial Woes Will The Other Paid Help Stay

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Why Does Book Smear Others On Drug Use, Mischaracterize Your Own?

Click here for: Questions For Knox and Sollecito: Why Claim Rudy Guede Did It Alone When So Much Proof Against?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: How Do You Explain That Numerous Psychologists Now Observe You Skeptically?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Ten Hard Questions That Knox Should Be Asked Monday On ITV’s Daybreak

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Why So Many False Claims In Accounts Of Your Visit To The House?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Do You Think “False Memories Kassin” Framing Italians Yet Again Will Help?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Did You Undergo An Illegal Interrogation By Mignini Or Did You Try To Frame Him?

Click here for: Questions For Knox: Diane Sawyer, How To Push Back Against The False Claims And Emotion

Click here for: Questions For Sollecito And Knox and Enablers: Several Hundred On The Hard Evidence

Click here for: Questions For Knox: The Questions That Drew Griffin On CNN Tonight SHOULD Have Asked

Click here for: Questions For AK And RS From Barbie Nadeau As Knox Slander Trial Starts

Click here for: Questions For Knox: (Powerpoints #11) 150 Hard Questions That You Incessantly Avoid

3. My Own Dozen Questions More

I have mentioned before my belief that Meredith Kercher’s attack and possibly death was premeditated, at least on the part of Amanda Knox.  Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede, while accomplices, and also liable, did not plan this out.

Below is my own list of a dozen more hard questions Knox should be asked. This post focuses on questions that point towards forethought and premeditation.  And no, crying, having a fit, and refusing to answer just won’t do it.  An open challenge to not answer in a Hellmann-court-type wail.

1. Keeping the ‘‘See you later’’ Text to Patrick

You kept the message that you sent to Lumumba, which you wrote in Italian.  The literal translation from English implies that you actually intend to meet, rather than the English one that means a parting of ways.  As a language student, this common expression was likely one of the first things you learned, if you didn’t know already.

At your voluntary questioning, of November 5th/6th, you give that message to the police, and claim it as proof that you left Raffaele’s apartment to meet him.  The police didn’t force this knowledge from you, rather you volunteered it after Raffaele withdrew your alibi.  Patrick was falsely arrested, due entirely to your statements, and that message.

I considered, and rejected the idea that you might have kept the message in case Patrick might have wondered why you didn’t show.  If that were the case, you would have kept his message not to come in, and not your response.

Here is the 2009 trial video, the relevant part starts at about the 7:30 mark.  At the 10:30 mark, she talks about the message. At 12:15, she says she doesn’t know how to delete sent messages.

Question for Knox: Why did you keep Patrick’s message, if not to use later as a backup plan?

2. The Lack of Videotaping for the ‘‘Interrogation’‘

You and your supporters in the U.S. frequently complain that your November 5th/6th ‘‘interrogation’’ was never recorded.  You claim that if there was such a record, it would corroborate your claims, and prove you were beaten/smacked around/tortured.  A video would go both ways: it could either prove police brutality and misconduct, or it could definitively prove a suspect or witness was lying.

Until that night, you claim nearly 50 hours of interrogation (see December 2013 email to Judge Nencini), yet none of it was recorded.  Odd, if you were the suspect all along.  Witness summaries routinely are not, but suspect interrogations almost always are, if only to cover the police officer’(s) butt(s).

That night, when you said you witnessed a crime you did not report (Patrick attacking Meredith), your legal status changed from a witness to a possible suspect.  You were given a miranda warning, but still continued to talk.

At this point with your new status, the police would have wanted to videotape or audio record any questionings.  And if they had, any claims of the ‘‘police beat me’’ would have been very easy to refute.  So, by staying away from the camera, it actually creates at least a bit of ambiguity, and gives some wiggle room, should you decide to make complaints later.  It turns an open-and-shut matter into your-word-against-theirs where you lose.

Question for Knox: Did the police ever ask to videotape any of your ‘‘questionings’‘?  And if so, why did you refuse?

3. Transporting Raffaele’s Knife to Your Apartment

You and Raffaele were charged in addition to murder and sexual assault, with transport of a weapon, namely, a knife to your apartment and back.  Despite all the denials of your lawyers, it had Meredith’s DNA on the blade, and your DNA on the hilt (the infamous ‘‘double DNA knife’‘).  Most spontaneous violent crimes involve objects in the immediate area, such as the room, whereas this knife was taken from another location and brought to the crime scene.  Frankly, it reeks of pre-planning.

I considered, and rejected the argument of needing protection.  Knox never claimed she felt unsafe walking around Perugia, heck she sleeps with random people there.  If she did feel afraid at times, many women just clench keys in their fists, for something like that.

Even more disturbing, (as you admit you are a CSI fan) the knife was brought back to Raffaele’s apartment, cleaned with bleach, and put back.  Had the bleach actually destroyed all the DNA—it tends to miss DNA in cracks and grooves—it would have implicated Raffaele only, being his knife, and would not implicate you.  Rather than throw it away, like a ‘‘smart’’ killer would do, it is put back, where it is fairly easy to be found.

Question for Knox: Why did you bring the knife from Raffaele’s apartment, if not to use against someone?

Question for Knox: Why was the knife returned to Raffaele’s kitchen?  Were you hoping (as a fallback), that it might lead to him alone?

4. The Staged Break-In

You finally admitted, after long denying, that you staged an April Fool’s Day prank on April 1st, 2007, by simulating a burglary against a housemate.  You found it funny, while others found it disturbing.  However, in order to do such a prank, you needed to think in advance about how you wanted things to look. In short, this had to be planned out.

Well, the November 1st ‘‘break-in’’ at your apartment when Meredith was killed, was ruled by the courts to be a staged burglary.  There are just too many holes in your story, and in the crime scene, to believe it was legitimate.

But what is not clear, is whether the killers staged the burglary as a panicked response to Meredith’s death, or whether some of the details were worked out ahead of time.  And you had, as a prank, done this before.

I considered, and rejected the claim that it was a real burglary.  However, Judges Micheli, Massei, Nencini and the Court of Cassation disagree, and they can summarize it better.

Question for Knox: Did you think of simulating a break in at your home BEFORE or AFTER Meredith was murdered?

5. Rudy Guede’s Involvement

FoAK has long smeared Guede as a drifter, drug dealer, orphan, burglar, and many other things.  There was one bit of truth there: Guede had broken into at least one place, prior to Meredith’s death, although he had not been charged at the time.  He recently got his jail time extended though, as a result of this.

Interestingly, while you claim to not know Guede, your book seems to include a lot of detail about him.  You knew he was interested you.  You say he had done a break in, and you had staged a break in.  You allege his was done in Perugia, while your prank was far away, in Seattle, where no police were involved.  And let’s be frank: men say dumb things to impress women.  What an interesting person to bring along.

Question for Knox: Did you know about Guede’s prior break in BEFORE or AFTER Meredith was murdered?

6. Turning Off the Cellphones (you and Raffaele)

It is now common knowledge that most cellphones contain GPS that can track the movement of a user.  Police know this, and can often track suspects’ movements this way.  Smart people looking to avoid police attention have figured this out, and can turn their cell phones off (or leave them at home), to make their movements more ‘‘anonymous’‘.

Even smarter police have now figured out that people know, and can now find out if turning off phones is routine, or just a one time thing.  Jodi Arias was caught out this way.  Thomasdinh (Dinh) Bowman was caught out this way. See this.

You and Raffaele had never turned off your cellphones, but chose to (and together) the evening before Meredith was killed.

You gave multiple excuses. (1) Sollecito says in his book it was so you could fool around undisturbed.  (2) You say in your book it was so you wouldn’t receive a message from Patrick if he changed his mind and wanted you to work.  (3) You said in your December 2007 questioning with Mignini that it was done to preserve the charge in your phone.  (4) At trial, your lawyers disputed that the phones were shut off?

Question for Knox: Why did you and Raffele turn off your phones the night Meredith died, if not to cover your movements?

7. Ditching Meredith’s Phones

Meredith’s phones, both her English and Italian phones, were found well away from the home.  While it is normal to have a cell phone, very few people have more than one, and other than a friend, family member, or roommate, who would know this?  Meredith’s attackers took them both, and rather try to sell them or use them, dumped them.

Police have speculated that this was done to divert attention, and to give out false leads.  However, this amount of thought in a ‘‘hurried and rushed’’ crime seems very much out of place.  The unexpected consequence is that it helped narrow the focus.

I considered, and rejected the idea that they were part of an actual robbery.  A killer who seems to know so much about evidence, and about cell phone evidence, would take them, knowing the GPS would help track his movements.  Really, what smart killer would take a mobile ‘‘ankle bracelet’’ with him?

Question for Knox: Why did you take Meredith’s phones, if not to throw off the police investigation?

8. Keeping Frederico Martini’s Number in Your Phone

It is now well known, even if not reported at the time, that Frederico Martini (a.k.a. the ‘‘Cristiano’’ in your book), was a drug dealer you met on the train to Perugia.  You ditched your sister, Deanna, to be with him.  And since then, he had been supplying you with free drugs in return for sex.

It is also well known that you gave Frederico’s number to police, probably trying to divert attention from yourself once again, and that he ended up serving time for drug dealing.

You have enough sense to turn your cell phone off prior to phones (see sections 1, 6, and 7), so you clearly knew that phones can provide serious evidence against you.  If you truly were worried about the police searching your phone, you could have deleted his number, changed a digit or 2, changed the name, or otherwise hidden that information.

The police weren’t concerned with drugs, only with catching a killer. 

Question for Knox: Why did you keep Freddy’s number, and then give it to police, other than just another diversion tactic?

9. The Lamp From Your Room on Meredith’s Floor

The lamp from your room, the only source of light in your room, was found on the floor in Meredith’s room.  This would seem odd, as Meredith had two lamps of her own, and your room would be left dark.  Police have speculated that the lamp was used during the clean-up, and then forgotten.

This demonstrates a lot of control, as rather than grabbing an available lamp from Meredith’s room (if it were needed for cleanup), the killers would have moved outside the bedroom, grabbed a lamp from another room and brought it back.

It further demonstrates control, as there was no bloody footprints into your room.  Therefore, the killer must have cleaned his or her feet, then gone into your room to grab the lamp.  And that lamp was found wiped off prints, so whoever took it had the foresight to make sure their own weren’t on it, but had Meredith’s lamp been used, finding it wiped clean would have been a dead give away.

All of this smacks of planning, and had the lamp not been forgotten in the locked room, we would never have known any of this.

Question for Knox: Why was your lamp found on Meredith’s floor, if not to clean or search for evidence?

10. Gloves Used for Cleanup?

The police went through the house.  Although they did not test everything, very few fingerprints were found at all in the house, and only one belonging to Knox, on a glass.  Of course, it raises the question of why any random burglar or killer would do that, and points to someone who is there regularly—a resident.

Such an undertaking would have taken a long time, again, pointing to a resident of the building.  And while a sock or a cloth may be used a few times, it seems extremely impractical to use for any length of time.  That leads another obvious suggestion: gloves.

However, Perugia was still warm.  Amanda, (in that God-awful interview with Simon Hattenstone), said that she could sunbathe in October.  Even if she had them in her luggage, they would probably take time to find.  She was not known for wearing gloves as a fashion accessory.

Given her living habits, it is extremely unlikely she had her own cleaning gloves, and Laura and Filomena never reported such things missing.  Nor did anyone else.  So, where would they come from?

Question for Knox: Did you purchase (or steal) gloves prior to Meredith’s death?

11. Clothes and Supplies

You were seen in Quintavalle’s shop first thing in the morning on November 2nd, even if your lawyers contest it.  He claims you were looking in the cleaning section, but then left.  Strange, as you are not much of a cleaner, however he has no reason to lie.  You also claim that you were not ‘‘missing’’ any clothes, even though Filomena mentions a sweater you were wearing but has not been recovered.

It is also known that you have made many cash withdrawls in the month of October, with seemingly little to spend on.  Police and the media have speculated drugs, but with absolutely no paper trail, there is no way to know for sure how much was spent on what.

Question for Knox: Did you purchase any cleaning supplies, or extra clothes, either before or after Meredith’s murder?

12. Concerning The Gubbio Trip

You have travelled to many places, sure, but hadn’t really gone anywhere after settling in Perugia.  Yes, you had given serious thought to ditching the town, even buying a ticket to China.  Since meeting Raffaele, you two had kept in a relatively small area.  Therefore, the trip planned to Gubbio, for the day after Meredith was killed, seems somewhat out of place.

I may very well be wrong, but was this the first road trip you had taken with him?  You hadn’t packed anything, and you left your house (after the shower) without taking anything.  You apparently also didn’t notice Filomena’s broken window in front of you.

Question for Knox: Was the Gubbio trip for real, or was this a staged cover?


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Victim As Seen Through The Eyes Of A Past Abuser: Insights From Dr Sam Vaknin

Posted by James Raper




1. Overview Of This Post

My past posts here have been from the perspective of a lawyer, commenting on aggregations of evidence and how justice systems perform.

If there are to be any gains at all from this sad affair, both wider understanding of policework and law and also wider understanding of the relervant psychology should definitely be among those gains.

I dont have formal qualifications or expertise in psychology but several years ago I drafted a post on the psychology of perpetrators and then shelved it as it seemed then that our knowledge of the sciences and the perps in this case were both still lacking.

This is the post revisited, modified and upgraded to contribute to all the new knowledge we have been acquiring.

I want to concentrate on the work of Dr Sam Vaknin and especially his respected book Malignant Self Love (see Amazon reader rating below) which has helped many to understand why some people inflict pain.

2. Essentials Of Dr Vaknin

It transpires that in fact he also has no academic qualification (or anything approaching it) in psychology.  Indeed he is a colourful, controversial character and, it seems, an inveterate self publicist. Rather like, say, Hampikian? Aha.

There is a Wiki page on Vaknin. He has twice been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and has also been found to be borderline schizoid.  He has accepted the diagnosis.

Who better, however, to write on the subject of narcissism than someone who has both extensively done the research and himself been the subject of an accepted diagnosis? His output has been enormous.

In any event his book gave me what I have considered to be helpful (if not authorative) conceptual and investigatory tools or windows on the subject and I have found these to be invaluable.

So this post concerns narcissism in its many forms and consists of direct quotes from “Malignant Self Love“ with my own observations and some tentative conclusions. However (and given that I am just an amateur), I have to leave it to the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.




3. Insights For Our Case

Primary Narcissism

“Primary Narcissism, in psychology, is a defence mechanism, common in the formative years”

Pathological Narcissism

“Secondary or Pathological Narcissism is a pattern of thinking and behaving in adolescence and adulthood, which involves infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of others. It manifests in the chronic pursuit of personal gratification and attention (narcissistic supply), in social dominance and personal ambition, bragging, insensitivity to others, lack of empathy and/or excessive dependence on others to meet his/her responsibilities in daily living and thinking.”

We do not know as much as we should know about Amanda’s childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately much of what we are told comes from partial observers which provides a picture of relative normality. This contrasts sharply with the picture as it unfolds once Amanda leaves Seattle. Immediately we see an Amanda in chronic pursuit of personal gratification and attention (sex and drugs etc), freed from what may have been excessive dependence on her parents. Not uncommon with adolescents but the word “chronic” does seem an apt part of the picture.

Amanda does not like not being the centre of attention. Witnesses report that when conversation leaves her in the background she starts singing loudly in protest.

The constant strumming of the same chord on her guitar to annoy others (again when she is being ignored) is another comically classic case of narcissistic supply.

She also knew (insensitively) how to make Meredith feel awkward, even humiliated “Me and Giacomo get on really well …. But I’ll let you have him”.

When things start to go wrong with her narcissistic self image she retreats into a dependency on Raffaele, - quite excessive in it’s intensity, - and the relationship is belatedly paraded at the cottage in what may have been an attempt to re-establish, if not social dominance, at least social equality.

The phone calls to mother when the postal police arrive at the cottage can be interpreted (amongst other things) as a need to re-establish a dependency, or mutual dependency, to see her through the uncertain events ahead.

Pathological Narcissism is at the core of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

“Research shows that most narcissists are born into dysfunctional families. Such families are characterised by massive denials, both internal (“you do not have a real problem, you are only pretending”) and external (“you must never tell the secrets of the family to anyone”). These families may encourage excellence, but only as a means to a narcissistic end. The parents are usually themselves needy, emotionally immature, and narcissistic and thus unable to recognise or respect the child’s emerging boundaries and emotional needs”.

“Pathological narcissism wears many forms;

  • classic or malignant narcissism

  • appropriative (e.g histrionic)

  • schizoid, and

  • aggressive destructive”

The foregoing forms are arbitrary categories, helpful to investigative analysis. As with all psychology the labels that are used describe mental conditions inferred from behaviour and language.

The foregoing forms of pathological narcissism represent solutions, adopted by the subject, to the ongoing gap between fantasy/the false self, and reality/the true self. They are not, as categories, mutually exclusive but can overlap as circumstances dictate.



Above: an online poster for one of Dr Vaknin’s recent presentations

(1) The Classic Narcissistic Solution

“This dissonance - the gap between grandiose fantasy and frustrating reality - gives rise to the unconscious “decision” to go on living in the world of fantasy, grandiosity and entitlement.”

“Thus the true self is replaced by the false self.”

“The Schizotypal Personality Disorder largely belongs here because of it’s emphasis on fantastical and magical thinking. The Borderline Personality Disorder is a case of a failed narcissistic solution. In BPD the patient is aware that the solution is failing. This becomes a source of separation anxiety (fear of abandonment). This generates identity disturbance, suicidal ideation and action, chronic feelings of emptiness, rage attacks and transient paranoid ideation”.

The Schizotypal PD is a mixture of Schizoid and Narcissistic Solutions. Amanda, for me, is not schizoid but I think her use of drugs, and an ego in free fall, tipped her behaviour into the schizotypal, if that is not a contradiction in terms.

Of more interest is Borderline Personality Disorder as I believe her behaviour in the lead up to Meredith’s murder is indicative of a case of failing narcissistic solution.

I think that Amanda’s perceptions were that she had little in common with Filomena and Lauretta, that she was probably regarded as little more than “trash” by the boys downstairs, and that she was “dumped” by Meredith on Halloween night. She perceived that Meredith was clearly now preferring her english friends to her, and furthermore was very likely going to supplant her at Le Chic. There was no one to reinforce her (deteriorating) self image/false self other than Raffaelle and the manipulated Rudy.

Bringing Raffaelle to the cottage on the morning of the 1st November was probably in part an attempt to establish some social dominance (or at least equality)  vis a vis Meredith but perhaps also in part an attempt at a sort of peace offering, both of which seem to have backfired. Meredith spent much if not all of the morning in bed and then was off again to see her friends. It is perfectly possible that whilst Meredith was no doubt polite she pretty much ignored the two of them. Again Amanda may have felt demeaned.

I do not know what Raffaele actually told her about his mother’s death. There is some suspicion that it may have been suicide and he may have told her that. In any event she talks of “her suicide” and the thought of that may have affected Amanda though there seems to be nothing to suggest that Amanda herself has ever thought of suicide.

I am also interested in Amanda’s “fascination” with Harry Potter. The boy who as a child survives a murderous attack on his parents by an evil wizard and is “marked” (like Cain) but who discovers his own magical powers with which to confront the evil wizard. The fascination even extends to picking a boyfriend who looked like the actor who plays the hero in the films and she even claims to have been reading a Harry Potter book on the evening of Meredith’s murder. These are elements of fantasy, grandiosity and entitlement to reinforce the False Self.

“Narcissistic rage is not specifically a reaction to stress - it is a reaction to a personal slight, insult, criticism or disagreement. It is intense and disproportional to “the offence””.

(2)  The Appropriation Solution

“This is the appropriation of someone else’s self in order to fill the vacuum left by the absence of a functioning Ego.”

““Appropriators” misjudge the intimacy of their relationships and the degree of commitment involved, they are easily suggestible and their whole personality seems to shift and fluctuate with input from the outside.”

Here I am thinking again of the brief intensity of her relationship with Raffaele.

I am also thinking of Amanda’s ability to change her persona like a chameleon (from the little girl lost routine, to earnest and sympathetic co-operation, to help me if you please charm). This is a skill derived from somewhere.

Meredith’s murder is the ultimate appropriation of another’s self.

(3) The Aggressive Destructive Solution

“These people suffer from hypochondriasis, depression, suicidal ideation, dysphoria, compulsions and obsessions and other expression of internalised or transformed aggression directed at a self which is perceived to be inadequate, guilty or disappointing. Many narcissistic elements are present in exaggerated form. Undulating self esteem is transferred into impulsiveness and failure to plan ahead.”

A sexual humiliation of Meredith may have been pre-conceived as an act of revenge when she was at a low and feeling inadequate and this may have temporarily raised her self esteem as a consequence but quite obviously without any planning ahead as to the consequences.

Impulsive behaviour is common to the above categories and the misuse of alcohol and drugs is common.

Psychopathologies ( in adolescence and adulthood)

“Psychopathologies are adaptive mechanisms”.

“The (narcissistic) mechanism is three-phased:-

(1) The person encounters an obstacle

(2) The person regresses to the infantile narcissistic phase

(3) Thus recuperated, the person confronts the obstacle again.”

Vaknin terms this mechanism The Psychopathological Default; a perfectly natural mechanism and being the only option an individual - even a perfectly rational, balanced,  and mature individual - has when confronted with some personal trauma or major life crisis with which he can not cope. The Pathological Narcissist will have the Default pre-set at a lower threshold to address any attack on the False Self.

“While in step (2), the person develops childish, immature behaviours. He feels that he is omnipotent and misjudges his powers and the might of the opposition. He underestimates challenges facing him and pretends to be “Mr Know All”. His sensitivity to the needs and emotions of others and his ability to empathise with them deteriorates sharply. He is pre-occupied with fantastic, magical thinking and daydreaming”

Perhaps here we can consider Amanda’s behaviour at the police station. The forthcoming questioning and the actual questioning being seen as obstacles to be encountered. There are the cartwheels and splits, the behaviour with Raffaelle and the appallingly insensitive remarks about Meredith and her death in front of M’s friends. The overconfidence under questioning suddenly breaks down and all too rapidly becomes the dreamlike incident at the cottage with Lumumba attacking Meredith.

“Whenever we experience a major life crisis (which hinders our personal growth and threatens it) - we suffer from a mild and transient form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder“…..(but)….“the contrast between the fantastic world (temporarily) occupied by the individual and the real world in which he keeps being frustrated, is too acute to countenance for long without a resulting deformity”.




4. Some Tentative Conclusions

The defining attribute of the psychopath is that he has no moral conscience and he is highly skilled at fooling people and carrying off the appearance of being perfectly normal.

Amanda, by contrast it seems, only fools those who are easily fooled and furthermore, particularly because of what she says and does, merely draws attention and suspicion to herself.

In nearly all her statements, verbal or written, Amanda has had two different narratives before her. One narrative is the true version (the obstacle) and the other is the false version (the way through or around).

She has struggled to cope with the narratives when she is subjected to examination. The result has been the lying and the spider’s web of confusion and deceit, and the childlike, sympathy-seeking, performances to which we have become accustomed.

This is the narcissistic psychological default. Since being suspected of and charged with Meredith’s murder Amanda has been stuck in the default position because this time the obstacle - the evidence -  has always been in her way and, until the court case has final closure, will continue to be in the public domain and in her way. In this context the default position became critical and primal with the accusation of Patrick Lumumba and has continued playing out, but with some modification since her release from prison, ever since.

Since her release from prison her life has been organised for her in a manner that ensures that she receives the constant ameliorating narcissistic supply that is required to sustain her ego, in this case the False Self, and this has partially empowered and enabled her. It has come in the form of the publication of her “Memoir”, and interviews on TV. In the public domain she is a celebrity, even if that book and the TV appearances were not the success for which she and her managers would have wished.

She has also had narcissistic supply from (as might be expected) her family and close friends, but also from those outsiders in the PR campaign devoted to “demonstrating” her innocence. Vaknin talks of “inverted narcissists” - those whose egos obtain sustenance from providing the “supply” the narcissist feeds on. Or, as we put it in this case as regards the outsiders, white knights charging to the rescue of a damsel in distress.

Both the narcissist and the inverted narcissist have an unhealthy symbiotic relationship with each other.

I think that psychologically it will, without help, be impossible for Amanda to tell us about her involvement in Meredith’s murder. Incarceration would be preferable to a public demolition of her False Self.

I do believe that she is at least a pathological narcissist and as such has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Her condition at the time of Meredith’s murder was probably exacerbated by alcohol, drugs and an ego which was in free fall. At the same time her False Self probably tipped sharply towards the Aggressive Destructive Solution.

“Narcissistic rage is not specifically a reaction to stress - it is a reaction to a personal slight, insult, criticism or disagreement. It is intense and disproportional to “the offence””.

On the night of Meredith’s death, as a result of some event, or something said, or as the culmination of a series of events, (in which she had colluded - or which, far more likely,  she had instigated), and probably as a result of all three happening,  Amanda may well have flown in to an uncontrollable rage at the cottage. That would fit with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Posted on 12/09/14 at 06:58 PM by James RaperClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, December 05, 2014

Boiling Frustration Leads Many To Kill: The Possible Parallels Of The Lord Lucan Case

Posted by Odysseus




1. Introduction

End of one’s tether: thoughts on humiliation, crises and the wounded ego.

Out-of-control anger and violence may be an offloading of the violence experienced in traumatic births and violent and abusive pregnancies. Whatever we may think of this, people’s anger has deep roots and a current conflict is usually a trigger for a reservoir of buried emotion to surface.

It’s a perpetual battle for the ego to stay in control in the face of unconscious emotions that threaten its precarious existence. When the emotions are threateningly close to the surface it can seem that one’s very identity is at stake, and social humiliation close at hand.








Above: Lord Lucan when he was young (and first diagnosed) and getting married

2. Case Of Lord Lucan

John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, is generally believed to have bludgeoned the family nanny to death in Belgravia, London, 1974, probably mistaking her for his wife in the dark.

Those with deeply suppressed emotions are more-or-less unwittingly engaged in a life-long battle to keep the feelings from arising into consciousness. Thus for example they can be driven to activities that require intense mental concentration e.g.,  in Lucan’s case,  bobsleigh and powerboat racing, and high stakes gambling on games that require skill (as distinct from those of pure chance) which helps keep emotions suppressed, or to drug taking which can perform a similar function.

Lucan’s life in the period leading up to the murder was beginning to unravel and he undoubtedly feared humiliation - a sure sign that the false self is under siege. His financial problems were coming to a head (his gambling losses were said to exceed $10 million) and when a friend suggested filing for bankruptcy he demurred, saying he didn’t want the humiliation.

His wife had also just been awarded custody of the three children following their break up - also humiliating since it was now clear and made public that the court took the view his occupation (professional gambler) made him unsuitable to raise children.

In fact his desire to have custody of the children seems less motivated by his love and concern for them than by the need to keep up the display of the sober, responsible adult when all the evidence and his lifestyle was pointing in the opposite direction -  towards social humiliation.








Lord Lucan with wife and three children and lower floors of his townhouse now


This kind of crisis is more than can be borne by the ego mind. Psychotherapy usually resolves such issues but unfortunately it’s the case that only those who have exhausted ways of denial seek such a route.

Gambler “Lucky Lucan” still thought he had a good hand to play. Murdering his wife would at a stroke (or blow) enable him to sell the family home thus resolving his financial problems and also enabling him to gain custody of the children, restoring his status as a responsible parent.

The parameters of a false self in Lucan’s case were already evident when he was diagnosed as having an attachment disorder on his return to England after wartime evacuation to the U.S in 1939, at four years of age,  though its origins may well lie in a primal, birth or pre-natal experience. From his surviving wife’s website:

“Upon his return from the USA in 1945, the future 7th Earl suffered from emotional problems which caused his parents to seek professional help from a leading psychiatrist of the day — a Dr. Winnicott.

As a result of the consultations the eleven year old boy was given a dog called Deirdre [can we infer from this that his mother chose/named the dog?] in the hope that it might help him overcome these problems. The 7th Earl of Lucan’s emotional problems were never fully resolved and he continued to suffer frequent headaches, nightmares and insomnia throughout our life together…”

After the bludgeoning Lord Lucan disappeared, leaving a borrowed Ford Corsair with bloodstains and what appeared a duplicate weapon (a length of pipe with the same kind of tape around one end to hold it firm) at a port on England’s south coast, and has never for sure been seen again.








The murdered nanny Sandra Rivett and a car similar to that found on the south coast


Ripple effects in this case have gone on and on. Havoc was wrought on so many lives.

The wife and three small children struggled terribly with poverty and the psychological impact. They have all fallen apart and apparently don’t talk, all with theories of their own.

The nanny Sandra Rivett (image above) appears to have been the mother to two babies she gave away who grew up to be quite startled to find who they were.

Books and artilces continue to be written and a TV movie was made. And a reporter who pursued the notion that Lord Lucan’s rich and powerful gambling friends helped in his escape was hounded in court. 

3. Case Of Amanda Knox

It seems likely that humiliation was a major factor in the events leading up to the murder of Meredith. TJMK has carried various posts summarising why so many suspect this.

It would have been undoubtedly humiliating for Knox to find that her housemate Meredith was more popular with, and attractive to, both men and women in their social circle, as well as being more mature, intelligent and just more present than her (i.e. less driven to desperately act out unconscious emotions).

Then to cap it all off, on Halloween Knox found herself left out of the group that partied till the early hours. Plus of course there was the looming humiliation of Meredith taking over her job at the Le Chic. Was her money also running out? If so the loss of a job, however small, would be threatening, and she might well have anticipated the humiliation of asking her parents for a loan or of returning home before the end of her course.

So it seems that the stage was set for the night of the “prank” when the plan (if that’s the right word. Jokey impulse, more likely) was for Meredith to find out just what it’s like to feel humiliated. And the prank got out of control, as pranks often can when drugs and/or alcohol are involved.

Again the origin of Knox’s suppressed emotion and false self construction might lie in her parent’s explosive separation or earlier in primal events. In either case she was probably destined to become a suitable (but unfortunately not an actual) case for treatment.

Knox’s narcissism has of course been much discussed. At bottom narcissism is an inability to just be, in the present. An inability to stay with one’s core self (Jung’s “The Self”). The narcissist’s attention is constantly directed to how they look to the world, from the outside, not on how the world appears to them from the inside looking out. They are really not fully born, literally and metaphorically.




Above Italian master Caravaggio’s version of Narcissus staring at his image in a pond


Knox was apparently given to loudly strumming a single chord on a guitar when she was in a group and insufficient attention was directed her way i.e. when suppressed negative emotions surrounding being wanted and needed were threatening to come into awareness.

With the group of friends gathered at the police station in Perugia it seems on the one hand she wanted to impress the others with her inside knowledge of the victim’s wounds but on the other hand she had to keep a lid on it in case it became obvious she knew too much.

This dilemma (a perennial one probably for those criminals who are unconsciously driven to seek attention) no doubt led to the weird acrobatics and gymnastics (the police had to tell her it wasn’t appropriate) as a way of acting out and relieving the tension.

Her relatives of course are quick to dismiss all this as “Amanda being Amanda” (i.e. “quirky”), to which the proper reply could be “so she always acts like this whenever she’s in a dilemma and trying to cover something up,  does she?”


Below Knox thrilled with herself at her 2009 trial in the notorious “all you need is love” teeshirt

Posted on 12/05/14 at 10:08 PM by OdysseusClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Amanda Knox Confirms She Staged A Break-In in Seattle Long A Sore Point To Previous Victims

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Knox’s off-campus house shared with others near the University of Washington]


It was an open secret in November 2007 among those who had known Knox in Seattle that her charge for murder did not exactly surprise everybody.

“That figures” was in effect their take.

We got to hear about boozing and drug-use. Also (see here and here) about deep anger issues in the Knox-Mellas family, and also about Knox writings (scroll down here to “Baby Blue”) in which violence and cruelty appeared front and center.

We got to hear the hard facts about the rock-throwing abuse of neighbors and passing cars in the course of a drug-fueled party in which Knox was probably lucky to be charged only with a misdemeanour.

And we got to hear rumors, but no hard confirmation, about a staged break-in near the University of Washington campus, in which Knox apparently exulted while those hoaxed were left pretty shaken.

Nobody else ever reported that they found it at all funny, but Knox herself has now off-handedly laughed it off on her increasingly bizarre and telling website. Steven Wentworth has an excellent commentary on TEKJournalismUK. It is all worth reading. These are key excerpts:

She admitted that the hazing prank, played on her flat-mates at the University of Washington, involved messing up the flat and hiding things to make it appear as if items had been stolen. Knox used “mutual friends” of her other housemates to help fake the burglary in her own premises. She acknowledges that it caused “distress” to her housemates and she and her accomplices had to apologise for the act…

Rumours of the hazing prank have been around for years, after a former acquaintance of Knox’s let the story slip, just a month after her arrest. On being pressed for details, the informant clammed up, and the incident has subsequently been vociferously denied by members of Knox’s family and her supporters. Meanwhile her defence have made repeated references to Rudy Guede’s past actions as character evidence against him.

Yesterday’s revelations will come as no surprise to case-watchers. Her decision to stay away from the appeal hearing in Florence was widely seen as an ‘own goal’, and her emailed plea to the court clearly irritated the judge. In it, she suggested that the court would be unable to remain neutral in deciding her fate – a move not designed to curry favour with the judiciary. Whether her latest admission makes an impact on the current hearing remains to be seen.

And then according to her own words based on a huge lie to her parents and others in her circle in Seattle, this loose cannon headed for Europe, with little structure, little money, and little intention to do any serious study. In reality she was taking a year off.

Everybody she came in contact with there was well-meaning, hard-working and acting responsibility.  By all accounts except her own, she then in sharp contrast evolved into a grating unhygienic nuisance who made few friends, and soon lost all but that oddball Sollecito. Even he she described as soon shrugging off.

Knox is already being remarked upon in Italy as “too cowardly” to turn up at what is in fact HER appeal and have to face all of those she has been smearing. Her ill-advised blog is being observed and could result in yet another obstruction of justice charge as it rarely strays too close to the truth.

Way to go to ensure a stiff sentence? Probably this time with zero mitigating factors.


Monday, January 06, 2014

Curious Parallels Between Scott Peterson And Amanda “I Am Not A Psychopath” Knox

Posted by giustizia



[Above: Laci Peterson and Meredith Kercher, the victims in the two cruel crimes]

1. The Violent Deaths Of Laci Peterson and Meredith Kercher

Laci Peterson was soon to give birth in California in December of 2002. On Christmas Eve, her husband Scott reported her missing. In April of the following year, her body and the body of her unborn son Connor were discovered in the San Francisco Bay.

Five years later, in Italy, on 2 November 2007, foreign study student Amanda Knox was at her rental home with her Italian lover Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, Italy, when the postal police arrived early one morning to return some cell phones traced to her flatmates; the phones had been found dumped in a nearby garden.

Shortly after, the shocking discovery was made that her flat mate Meredith Kercher had been murdered.

2. Parallels Between Knox and Peterson In Their Personalities, Crimes And Court Cases

There is a number of striking parallels between the behaviors of Amanda Knox and Scott Peterson and their alleged crimes and convictions.

The horrific murders of two beautiful young women (one almost at the end of the full-term pregnancy of her first child) unleashed in each case a maelstrom of publicity rarely seen in search of the murderer.

When arrests were made, there also came the stunning revelation in each case that the accused was well-known to the victim – in Laci’s case, it was her husband, Scott Peterson; in Meredith’s case, it was her roommate, Amanda Knox.

Ultimately, three people were arrested for the murder of Meredith (as we know, the fourth person arrested, Patrick Lumumba, falsely accused by Knox as Meredith’s murderer, was released when his solid alibi was proven). Of the three people arrested for the murder of Meredith Kercher, evidence suggested to prosecutors that Amanda Knox was the instigator of the crime.

In each trial, the defendant presented a seemingly normal and middle-class appearance. Neither defendant had a significant history of violence or widely-obvious mental illness. Their families insist on their innocence.

Yet both were convicted of brutal murders (and both now fight their convictions on appeal).

Knox and Peterson were each described by casual acquaintances, neighbors and friends as nice, regular people.

Ann Bird, Peterson’s half-sister, described him as being “charismatic, charming, courteous, polite.”  On Dateline NBC television, a friend of Amanda Knox described her as being “generous, kind, genuine, optimistic, bubbly. Pretty much all the good words that you can find in a dictionary, she was.” 

But they proved superficial assessments that in fact really only scratched the surface.





3. Reckless Odd Behavior And Lies By Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox had been cited and she had received a fine (a sentence which could have been more severe) for disturbing the peace and throwing rocks at a party in Seattle shortly before her departure to Italy.

Knox abruptly and without clear reason dropped a much-sought-after internship in Berlin, Germany, before arriving in Italy.

She posted a vignette on Facebook about a sexual liaison she had with a stranger, a middle-aged man, while on a train in Italy.

Her roommate Meredith had become increasingly disenchanted with the American flatmate who brought home different men without warning. “So she’s [Meredith] waking up in the morning and there’s someone making tea. And it’s, who are you again?” commented Meredith’s friend Brittany Murphy on the subject of Meredith’s unease at the strangers Knox brought to their rented Italian home.

Richard Owen, the Italy correspondent of the London Times in Italy, who has written multiple stories on the case, stated that Knox brought home “people who Meredith Kercher distrusted. Didn’t like the look of. It got to the point where she actually confronted Amanda about this.”

And Amanda Knox’s behavior after the Meredith’s murdered body was found in their rental home was more than atypical for someone who had their flatmate killed in such a horrific fashion in such close proximity.

  • “As she put them on she swiveled her hips, pulled a face and said ‘hop la’ - I thought it was very unusual behavior and my suspicions against her were raised.” (Edgardo Giobbi, a police forensic scientist, testifying in court, describing Knox’s behavior just hours after the murder, after he handed Knox a pair of shoe-covers to prevent contaminating the evidence during a search of the house. Sky News, UK, May 30, 2009.)
  • “While I was [at the police station] I found Amanda’s behavior very strange. She had no emotion while everyone else was upset. I remember one thing that really upset me. [Meredith’s friend] Natalie said, ‘I hope she wasn’t in too much pain.’ Amanda said, ‘What do you think? She fucking bled to death.’ At that point no one had told us how Meredith died.”  (Robyn Butterworth, a friend of Kercher’s, testifying in court. London Evening Standard, Feb. 13, 2009.)
  • “Their behavior at the police station seemed to me really inappropriate ... They sat opposite each other, Amanda put her feet up on Raffaele’s legs and made faces at him. Everyone cried except Amanda and Raffaele. I never saw them crying. They were kissing each other.” (Amy Frost, a friend of Meredith’s and a student at the University for Foreigners in Perugia at the time, testifying in court. The Independent, London, Feb. 14, 2009.)
  • “My daughter was a Leeds student with Meredith in Perugia. They went out together on Halloween. When Amanda Knox was asked how she felt on 2 November, she said: “Shit happens”, which contrasts rather sharply with the contrived way she addressed the Italian court about “my friend Meredith”.  (Marc Rivalland, in a letter to the editor of the Observer commenting on the Knox case. The Guardian, UK, 12/13/2009.)
  • “They came into the shop at about 7 p.m. and were there for about 20 minutes. She bought a camisole and G-string. I heard her tell him that ‘Afterwards I’m going to take you home and put this on so we can have wild sex together.” (Store owner Carlo Maria Scotto di Rinaldi’s testimony in court about Knox and Sollecito’s behavior in his store, taped on closed-circuit TV.)
  • “Knox and Sollecito were seen laughing as they hold up various G-strings. In one still shot taken from the footage, Raffaele is standing behind Amanda with his hands on her hips and his groin pressed into her. It was the same day as the candle light vigil memorial for Meredith, a few days after her murder.” (Excerpt from the book Angel Face by Barbie Nadeau.)

Perhaps the most controversial claim in the Knox trial was Knox’s accusation of Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher. Lumumba was placed under arrest and jailed for two weeks, until his solid alibi set him free.

Knox, who said nothing to help him during the two weeks Lumumba was incarcerated, changed her story after he was freed. She then claimed she was coerced by the police into making confusing statements. Knox’s entourage have made charges of human rights violations and anti-Americanism against the Italian justice system, though to date the U.S. government has refused to become involved.

  • “He’s bad. He did it. He killed her…It was him, it was him, he was crazy, he killed her.” (Amanda Knox’s statements, according to police at the police station, accusing Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith Kercher. The Daily Telegraph, UK, March 6, March 21, 2009)
  • “She was angry I was firing her and wanted revenge. By the end, she hated me. But I don’t even think she’s evil. To be evil you have to have a soul. Amanda doesn’t. She’s empty, dead inside. She’s the ultimate actress, able to switch her emotions on and off in an instant. I don’t believe a word she says. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie. But those lies have stained me forever.” (Patrick Lumumba, bar owner in Perugia and Knox’s boss. Daily Mail, UK, November 25, 2007)


4. Reckless Odd Behavior And Lies By Scott Petersen

Scott Peterson had all the appearances of an upwardly mobile middle-class white-collar worker. He was a salesman with a pretty wife and a baby on the way, and they owned a nice home in Modesto, California.

His friends and family described him as charismatic and friendly. But under the surface was a lifestyle filled with lies and mistresses.

Scott Peterson had hooked up with a mistress, Amber Frey, in November of 2002, leaving his pregnant wife home alone during the holiday season to see Amber Frey, with excuses of business meetings.

Peterson told Amber Frey that he was a widow, and also that he was traveling in France when he was actually in California - two of many false claims Peterson made to her.

  • “I’m near the Eiffel Tower. The New Year’s celebration is unreal. The crowd is huge.”  (Scott Peterson, from a taped telephone conversation to his mistress Amber Frey, telling her he is in Paris, when he is really in Modesto, California, about to attend a candle-light vigil for his missing wife. Dateline, NBC, 1/4/2005)

Shortly after Laci Peterson was reported missing, that candle light vigil was held for Laci. It was on New Year’s Eve.

  • ‘Three witnesses testified that Peterson’s behavior at the candle-light vigil seemed inappropriate for a worried husband. One woman said that he showed no emotion during the service and was grinning as he “socialized” with friends afterwards.’  (From The Murder of Laci Peterson, TrueTV.com)

The jurors were shown a photo of the grinning Peterson at the vigil at the trial as evidence. He called his mistress before and after the vigil ceremony, while Laci’s distraught family members tried to cope with the situation of their missing relative.

  • “Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing, it was just another day in paradise for Scott, another day that he had to go through the motions,” said one juror, Mike Belmessieri. “Scott had no emotion on his face. Scott was being Scott.” (Juror of the Scott Peterson Trial, commenting on his unusually cool demeanor in court. New York Times, March 17. 2005)

Shades of Amanda…

  • “The cartwheels? This is Amanda just being Amanda. As her friends would say, it’s an Amanda thing.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Knox turning cartwheels at the police station. The Guardian, UK, June 27. 2009)
  • “I couldn’t help but think how cool and calm Amanda was. Meredith’s other friends were devastated and I was upset, but Amanda was as cool as anything and completely emotionless. Her eyes didn’t seem to show any sadness, and I remember wondering if she could have been involved.” (Giacomo Silenzi, Meredith’s Italian boyfriend who lived in the apartment downstairs from the murder. Metro.co.uk, November 18, 2007)


5. Parallels In Forensic Evidence

In both cases, there were no eye witnesses or “smoking gun.”

In Scott Peterson’s case, the ONLY piece of hard evidence was a single strand of Laci’s hair, found on pliers in Scott’s boat, which the defense charged as being contaminated evidence.

This and all rest of the evidence at his trial was circumstantial. Nobody witnessed any deed.

Both the circumstantial and forensic evidence in the Knox trial were more considerable. Key items of hard evidence included the knife found in Sollecito’s apartment that had Meredith’s DNA on the tip and Knox’s DNA on the handle, and it was accepted at trial as one of the murder weapons.

A bloody footprint, the size of Knox’s foot, was found on a pillow underneath Meredith’s body. Mixed DNA material of both Knox and Meredith were found in several spots in the house where the murder occurred.

6. Parallels In Strange Coincidences

Laci and Connor’s bodies were found in the water in the bay area of San Francisco. Scott Peterson happened to own a boat and liked to fish – in fact, he said he went fishing on Christmas Eve, the day Laci disappeared, at a location where later the bodies turned up only about 3 miles away.

Meredith was sexually molested, strangled, and ultimately killed by knife stabs. Raffaele Sollecito has a fascination with knives and he owns a large collection. Amanda Knox created and posted a fictitious story about a violent rape on the Internet.

Sollecito posted a photo of himself on the Internet swathed in bandages and holding a large meat cleaver and a jug of a chemical-looking liquid. Knox and Sollecito were the only ones at the house on the day when the police showed up and later discovered Meredith’s body.

The juries in both trials concluded that these factors were more than mere coincidences, and represented incriminating evidence of guilt of the crime.





7. Parallels In How The Families Supported Their Children

Not all convicted murderers have a history of mental disturbance or violence. If there were any red flags regarding Knox’s and Peterson’s behavior, one would not know it from the descriptions provided by their families:

  • ‘Lee Peterson said his son never posed a discipline problem, did not rebel as a teenager and was a perfect baby. He was said even to lose golf games because he did not want to hurt the feelings of his opponents. ‘‘He woke up smiling and went to bed smiling.’’  (Scott Peterson’s father of his son, testifying to the jury after Scott’s guilty verdict but before sentencing.  New York Times, December 2, 2004)
  • “She was an incredible easy-going kid even from a baby. She was so mellow…She loved being read-to, she loved books. As she got a little older she always wanted to be outside - building camps, playing soccer. She never watched a lot of TV - she still doesn’t. She was an excellent student.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Amanda Knox’s character the week of her guilty verdict. The Sun, UK, December 5, 2009)


8. Parallels In Family And Groupie Websites

Peterson and Knox’s families insist on their innocence. There are family and groupie websites for each convicted murderer. They each proclaim innocence for the guilty, make charges of police incompetence, and make requests for money for the defense cause and legal expenses:

  • “Scott Peterson Family Mission Statement: ‘This web-site is a combined effort of our family and our support system. We know Scott is innocent and that he has been unjustly convicted. Our pursuit of justice for Laci, Conner and Scott remains steadfast. We want to keep you informed as to the specifics of the case, the appeal, and related topics. We also want you to know how grateful we are for your prayers and support.’ (From: http://scottpetersonappeal.org/)
  • “Amanda Knox - A heartfelt thanks for your support. On behalf of Amanda and her family, we want to thank everyone who has contacted FOA to express their concern and to offer help in the wake of an unjust and unsupportable guilty verdict. We are developing a strategy to raise public awareness of this case and help bring about a reversal of the verdicts against both Amanda and Raffaele. Once it is in place, we will welcome all the help we can get, and we will be in touch with you.” (From http://www.friendsofamanda.org/home_eng.htmleartfelt)

Scott Peterson of course has never managed to get online. Amanda Knox of course runs a jubilant, taunting blog which trashes the memory of the victim and harasses her family - a first in global crime history and a foolish move given the current cold, remorseless rejection of her appeal.. Knox’s blog has a following among others also seemingly unable to succeed in normal ways.

9. Parallels In The Verdicts Jurors Delivered: Guilty As Charged

The jurors in each trial fitted together all the pieces of the puzzle: timelines, witness testimony, cell-phone records, forensic evidence, lack of solid alibis, incriminating lies, and odd behavior of the defendants.

They each concluded after lengthy deliberation that the defendants were guilty of murder.

10. And The NON-Parallels In How The US Media Has Reported Both Cases

Of these two cases, not many people have questioned the jury’s decision in the Scott Peterson trial. He has been sentenced to death via lethal injection, and he is currently incarcerated in San Quentin prison in California.

There are no repeated media interviews of Peterson’s mother in tears, insisting on his innocence and his release from prison. There are no angry declarations from Peterson family that the police, prosecution and legal system abused, railroaded and framed Scott Peterson.

If such media coverage were to exist, it would be widely considered in the US to be extremely upsetting and insulting to Laci’s parents and family and to the memory of the victims Laci and Connor.

Peterson’s media coverage, thankfully, has dissipated. He still pursues an appeals process, possibly to be heard next year by the California Supreme Court.

Amanda Knox’s story plays out very differently. After her arrest, her family hired a public relations team that puts forth a determined effort to change Knox’s image of wild child and murderer and to keep her in the news.

They obviously do not consider their repeated loud public outcries for release of their daughter distressing to Meredith’s parents and family, and they don’t perceive their actions as being disrespectful to the victim, Meredith.

Or of course, as many people suspect, perhaps Knox’s relatives do realize it but they simply don’t care.

11. Parallels In Future Legal Prospects

Imprisoned in Italy, Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in prison. She is now appealing that verdict and sentence for the second time after the first appeal was corrupted. In 2012 Scott Petersen’s lawyers filed the automatic appeal against his death sentence to which he is entitled by California law. He may end up serving life.

Knox’s prospects seemed considerably brighter than Peterson’s when the now-annulled Hellmann appeal of 2011 set her free. Now under the worst scenario she loses her new appeal and may end up serving life.





12. Epilogue – Master Manipulators

It is curious that the fervent supporters of Amanda Knox do not crusade for the release of Scott Peterson as well. After all, he was convicted on LESS direct evidence, and also in the midst of a maelstrom of publicity. CNN.com had called the Peterson prosecution case so weak and “unimpressive” that they speculated that he could end up with a “Not Guilty” verdict.

But with the exception of his own family, no one has picked up beating the drum to overturn the jury’s conviction of Peterson. Perhaps it is because Peterson doesn’t fit well the damsel in distress role? More likely, it is because the American public trusted the jury’s assessment of the evidence and trial, as they and the American media usually do, and they feel that the jury delivered a just verdict, and justice to Laci and Connor Peterson.

How is it possible that two “regular” people like Knox and Peterson ended up in jail for horrendous murders? Below is a condensed version from an AP article about the type of personality attributed to Scott Peterson:

It is interesting to note that life transitions are tremendous stresses to a psychopath. Psychopaths also wear “false faces” and are master manipulators. They are the ultimate con artists and they are able to fool even those closest to them.

Peterson’s closest friends “never suspected there was a monster inside Scott’s psyche.
Motive still a question in Peterson case
By the Associated Press
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP)—Of all the questions surrounding the Laci Peterson murder case, the one that seemed to be running through practically everyone’s mind was this: If Scott Peterson was so unhappy in his marriage, why didn’t he just get a divorce?

Experts on the criminal mind say the answer may lie in what lurked beneath Scott Peterson’s charming veneer —a psychopathic personality.

“When you say you’re going to get a divorce, everyone knows that it’s a long, tedious process. The psychopath wants the short-term solution,” said San Diego forensic psychologist Reid Meloy.

Peterson, 32, was convicted earlier this month of murdering his eight-months-pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying, and the jury decided he deserves the death penalty.

Criminal psychologists say Peterson appeared to be a master manipulator who lacked the capacity to feel remorse or consider consequences —some of the same psychopathic characteristics exhibited by serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.

Psychopaths “tend to con people very well and they wear false faces,” said former FBI profiler Robert Ressler. “They tend to be able to fool everyone from their families to their friends to society, schools, their community.”

At Peterson’s trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a callous liar who continued to carry on an extramarital affair even as police searched for his wife. They said he killed her to escape marriage and impending fatherhood for the freewheeling single life.

Whether Laci’s pregnancy was the catalyst for Peterson’s plan may never be known. But experts said pregnancy can lead to seismic changes within a relationship.

Pregnancy “represents commitment, fatherhood, another dependent, a lifelong bond ... and all of those things are strongly despised by the psychopath,” Meloy said… pregnancy represents a life transition, and there are stresses around that transition.”

Peterson’s case was made all the more perplexing by the lack of signs that the couple’s marriage was in trouble. Although Peterson had cheated on Laci at least three times, according to defense attorney Mark Geragos, he appeared to family and friends to be a doting husband and father-to-be after Laci became pregnant.

Those closest to the couple said they never suspected there was a monster inside.

Heather Richardson, the maid of honor at the Petersons’ wedding, is still hoping for a plausible explanation to emerge. Perhaps, she said, Peterson suffers from a disorder that has yet to be revealed.

“It would be at least comforting. Then I would realize that the person I knew and loved dearly was there. He was that person and the other person, too,” Richardson said. “So at least part of him was not a lie.”

Here is Amanda Knox in her own words talking about masks — while taking the stand for the final time at her trial in Italy (CNN, Dec. 3, 2009): “They say that I am calm. I am not calm ... I fear to lose myself, to have the mask of the assassin forced upon me.”


This is an update of my post of 24 July 2010


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Questions For Knox: How Do You Explain That Numerous Psychologists Now Observe You Skeptically?

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding


Links to both ITV interviews kindly provided by Clander of PMF:  Daybreak Seattle interview and Daybreak London interview.

Please see the key past posts here and here and also here for some context.

Amanda Knox appeared in an English TV interview on the early morning of Monday September 23rd.

She spoke from Seattle to a detached ITV reporter in Seattle and a tough Daybreak anchor in London - tough. though she badly lacked second questions in follow-up. The interview was, by all accounts, fair, and also duly respectful towards Meredith’s family, who are in England.

But the girl or woman who is Amanda Knox we observed was neither calm nor happy.

There was not one authentic smile, and not a moment when the light came into her eyes. Her hair and make-up looked good - her presentation had been considered. But her skin was not well. As most women know, the skin, especially on the face, reveals your inner health, your inner peace.

As a psychologist, one is trained to distinguish ‘signs’, if you like, or indicators that illustrate the most crucial factors about the state of mind. One is taught to look beyond presentation and image, and too, beyond the actual words delivered, to hear what is actually being said - from the inner self or true self. Some people might prefer to use the term ‘the soul’.

What I heard in this interview is a person struggling and deeply disturbed and unhappy. I saw someone genuinely very afraid with strong feelings of hopelessness. Anger, defiance, and combativeness also showed.

But, newly, there were also signs of weariness with the self-elected fight. I believe Amanda is intelligent enough to realize that the weight and strength of the factual, combined evidence is stacked against her. Knowing this, as I believe she does, can only put her in an anguished state.

At times, one could plainly observe that a pre-rehearsed ‘PR’ line was being delivered. Amanda was being ‘a good girl’, and doing what she had been told.  Examples seem to be especially where she says such things as, “I am innocent”, “my innocence has been proven”, ‘...this case is not complicated..”

Since, by applying a little elemental logic, most of these statements can be shown to be untrue, they unfortunately sounded somewhat like mantras being delivered. Rather more that these were the things AK would LIKE to believe are true. As if perhaps, if she closes her eyes often enough and wishes hard enough, they might become true…and her nightmare would now be over.

But, alas, childish unreality cannot last. We live in a world where we are required to become adults, and to act responsibly as adults.

At junctions in the interview, where some of the more penetrating questions were asked involving human relations, an ‘inner adult’ Amanda could be seen trying to emerge. One point was where she was asked about what she would do if found finally guilty.

A burgeoning sense of realism could be detected in her reply. She knows herself in this respect: she would find it unbearable to try and live as a fugitive in the free world, labeled as a murderer and a slanderer. She actually said so, with strength of feeling. It is people’s hatred of her that she can’t bear, and it is that she is protesting about so much. And indeed it must be hard to bear.

The interviewer, Lorraine, spoke at length about the Kercher family, asking AK what she would like to say to them. When Amanda replied, also at length, she said,

“... I would like them to give me a chance…”

This sounded authentic to me, I felt she meant it. However, she added to this, sounding almost like an addendum, that she wanted them to believe she could be innocent. This latter phrase, added in a different voice and intonation, didn’t ring true to my ears.

I believe that what is truly in her heart is that she longs, beyond all measure, for the Kercher family not to totally hate her. (She gives the impression that she believes they do or could hate her). She seems to truly not to be able to bear the thought of being hated, and even more unbearable, the thought that by her behaviour (as a ‘kid’) perhaps, just maybe, she might deserve that hate.

This would seem to be the source of her anguish, and also behind many other of her statements in this interview.

There would be a way through for her - a third way. This would be to start telling the truth, the whole truth, now. It is never too late to speak the truth, and it is never too early, either. The truth endures. This is a fact of history.

It would indeed take enormous courage for Amanda to take this step. It would be immensely difficult for her because of the PR campaign. But if she could begin to answer the outstanding unresolved questions, factually and honestly (unembroidered and not exaggerated),  - she would, I believe, begin to heal her life, if this is genuinely what she wants.

She might be surprised at how much forgiveness there might be if she were to find the courage within herself to take this huge step. She quoted her priest/mentor from the Italian jail, when he advised her about how, at challenging times, we can find unknown resources and strength within ourselves that maybe we didn’t know we had.

She has a choice, and she could choose to do it. Making wise choices is what adults do.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Funny Talented Very Smart Woman, 21, Killed By Another Woman With No Record Of Crime Or Violence

Posted by devorah





Sound familiar? Sadly, probably too much so.

The stabbing death of Susan Sarkis is believed to have happened in a spiral of anger and violence on Saturday night, in Brighton Le Sands, a southern suburb of Sydney Australia,

The woman arrested is the apartment’s 31-year-old owner who is now being held in custody. A video and the story so far are included in this report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Details about Ms Sarkis are still emerging but she was clearly talented, warm, and admired. Messages posted online by her cousins are quoted as follows.

“RIP little cousin. When I received that phone call on New Year’s Day and u were wishing me a happy birthday I was almost in tears seeing as you always remembered my birthday,” he wrote.

“Well now I’m in tears remembering you. We miss you. Your life was cut too short, but your in a better place. Love you cuz and we will definitely see you later.”

Another cousin wrote: “RIP Suzie.. A life cut short but the memory of a beautiful young girl will live in our heart forever. May God give your parents, Chrissy & Anthony the strength to get through this very difficult time. Love you cuz xx”...

“Sweetie, habibi susie my little sister. I’m shattered you’re a beautiful sweet angel sweetness,” another wrote.

Below: Brighton Le Sands is south of Sydney downtown, by the airport, on its “other harbor” Botany Bay









Posted on 02/11/13 at 10:07 AM by devorahClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, April 13, 2012

In Close Parallel To Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony Faces Court Action For Falsely Fingering Another

Posted by Peter Quennell



Both recent images. Above the plaintiff Zenaida Gonzalez; below the defendant Casey Anthony


Amanda Knox provisionally got off on the main count (the murder of Meredith) but anyway was sentenced to three years (which she served) for fingering Patrick Lumumba.

Casey Anthony definitively got off on the main count (murdering her infant daughter Caylee, see previous posts) but anyway was sentenced to some time in prison for time-wasting and expensive misleading of the police officers.

She received no sentence for falsely fingering a nanny, Zenaida Gonzalez, for making off with Caylee, and as she had never even met Zenaida Gonzalez it is unclear how she came up with Zenaida’s name.

The Orlando Sentinel reports an issue is whether or not Anthony identified Gonzalez specifically enough when she talked to her parents when they visited her in jail.

Anthony’s attorney said details offered by Anthony did not match Fernandez-Gonzalez and clearly showed Anthony wasn’t talking about her. Gonzalez’s attorneys say she still was damaged as the only person with that name interviewed by investigators.

Fernandez-Gonzalez had never met Anthony. Investigators believe Anthony may have seen the name on an apartment rental application.

During Anthony’s trial last year, her attorney Jose Baez said Anthony made up the story about the babysitter and that Caylee truly drowned in the family pool. Anthony was acquitted of murder and other serious charges.

Nevertheless, yesterday a judge in Orlando, Florida, ruled that Zenaida Gonzalez may sue Casey Anthony for defamation of character, and the case is scheduled for January 2013.

In Amanda Knox’s case she absolutely did know Patrick Lumumba, her kindly employer who gave her a job without a work permit, and she and her mother let him languish in prison for several weeks.

Pretty hard to look worse than Casey Anthony, but in her cruel act of framing Patrick, Amanda Knox certainly does.



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Explaining The Massei Report: How Motive For The Crime Is Addressed By Judge Massei

Posted by James Raper





The Massei Report in the main I thought was excellent. He was incisive with his logic, particularly, though not exclusively, with regard to the staging of the break in and how that necessarily meant that Amanda was present at the scene when the murder was committed.

However, I thought that he was rather feeble in his coverage of the defendants’ motives as to the attack which led to this brutal murder. Perhaps he thought it better to stick with the indisputable evidence. Since this pointed to a sex attack he surmised that Guede had a go at Meredith first, and then - because the stimulation was too much for them - he was joined by Amanda and Raffaele. This works but does seem a bit weak.

Micheli, the judge who committed Amanda and Raffaele to stand trial, was more certain in his mind as to the roles played by these three. He said that there was “an agreed plan”, “to satisfy sexual instincts” with “murderous intent” and that effectively Amanda was the instigator and catalyst.

Motive is largely an area of speculation but it is surely possible to draw inferences from what we know?  As Micheli did.  The Appeal Court and ultimately The Supreme Court of Cassation may well adopt the same reasoning and conclusion – maybe go further.

And there were, to my mind, undoubtedly many factors at work, and it is these which I wish to address. I have always been interested in the possible dynamics of just how these three came to murder poor Meredith. Pro-Knox campaigners once made much of “No Motive”. Now not so much because the issue draws people in to a discussion of the evidence and of Amanda’s personality.

For instance, Massei asks, though he says we can not know, had Amanda egged Guede on as to the “availability” ( my word, not his) of Meredith during or prior to their presence at the Cottage?

Frankly the answer to that has to be “yes” since it is a bit difficult to figure out why Amanda and Raffaele would otherwise wish Guede to join them at the cottage. I doubt that Amanda and Raffaele would have wanted Guede around if they were just going there to have an innocent cuddle and sex and to smoke cannabis, as Massei implies. The evidence is that Raffaele hardly knew Guede and in the presence of Amanda was very possessive about her. If he had known of Guede’s interest in Amanda he would have been even less keen to have Guede around.

Also, if all was so innocent beforehand, then why would Guede have tried it on with Meredith and then pressed the situation in the face of her refusal to co-operate, knowing that there were two others there who could have come to her assistance?

The answer is of course that Guede knew full well in advance that there would be no problem with Amanda and Raffaele. He had been invited there and primed to act precisely in the way he did, at least initially. Why? Well there is plenty of evidence as to why Amanda, in her mind, may have been looking for payback time on Meredith. Come to that later.

What does not get much attention in the Massei Report, other than a terse Not Proven at the end, is the matter of Meredith’s missing rent money and credit cards and whether Amanda and Raffaele stole them. It is as if the Judge ( well the jury really) felt that this was a trivial issue that brought nothing much to the case and thus it was not necessary to give it much attention. And indeed there is no summation of or evaluation of that evidence.

Now that does surprise me. Of course there may have been some technical flaw with the charge and the evidence. But in the absence of any comment on this then we do not know what that may be.

What I do know is that the matter, if proven, is not trivial. A theft just prior to the murder significantly ups the stakes for Amanda and Raffaelle and produces a dynamic, which, threaded together with a sexual assault, makes for a far more compelling scenario to murder. It also leads one to conclude that there was a greater degree of premeditation involved : not premeditation to murder but as to an assault, rather than the more spontaneous “ let’s get involved” at the time of the sex attack as postulated by Massei.

What is the evidence? What evidence was before the court? I do not have access to trial records. Therefore I stand to be corrected if I misrepresent the evidence or if my interpretation of it does not met the test of logic.

There were two lay witnesses to whom we can refer. The first was Filomena Romanelli, the flatmate and trainee lawyer. If there was anyone who was going to ensure that the rent was paid on time, it would have been her. She gave evidence that the rent being due very soon she asked Meredith about her contribution of 300 euros and was told by Meredith that all was OK because she had just withdrawn 200 euros from her bank. Filomena assumed from Meredith’s reply that the balance was already to hand.

Is there a problem with this evidence? Is it hearsay and thus inadmissible under Italian law?

Perhaps it is not enough by itself because of course had Meredith not in fact withdrawn the money from her bank, or sufficient funds to cover the stated amount, then that would be a fatal blow to that part of the theft charge. Her bank manager was summoned to give evidence, essentially to corroborate or disprove Filomena’s testimony. I do not know what exactly that evidence was. One would assume that at the very least it did not disprove her testimony. Had it done so that would, as I have said, been fatal. It is also unbelievable that Massei would have overlooked this in the Report. I am assuming that Meredith did not tell a white lie and that the bank records corroborate this.

There may of course be an issue of timing as I understand that the bank manager told the court that transactions at a cash machine are not necessarily entered on the customer account the same day . However that does not seem to me to be significant.

One must also think that the bank manager was asked what other cash withdrawals had been made if the credit cards were taken at the same time as the money.

I understand that there is of course a caveat here: my assumptions in the absence of knowing exactly what the bank manager’s evidence was.

It would be useful also to know how and when the rent was normally paid. It sounds as if it was cash on the day the landlord came to collect.

We do know that the police did not find any money or Meredith‘s credit cards. Had Meredith, a sensible girl, blown next month’s rent on a Halloween binge? Unlikely. So somebody stole it. And the credit cards. Again, just as with the fake break in, when according to Amanda and Raffaele nothing was stolen, who and only who had access to the cottage to steal the money? Yes, you have guessed it. Amanda, of course.

Does the matter of missing rent money figure anywhere else? There is the evidence of Meredith’s phone records which show that a call was placed to her bank late on the evening of her murder just prior to the arrival of Amanda, Raffaele and Guede. Why? I have to concede that there is no single obvious reason and that it may be more likely than not that the call was entirely unintentional.

But if, as may seem likely, the credit cards were kept with her handbag, and the money in her bedroom drawer, then on discovering that her money was missing she may have called her bank in a funk only to remember that the cards were safe and that no money could be withdrawn from her account.

The missing money also figured in the separate trial of Guede. He made a statement which formed the whole basis of his defence. Basically this was that he had an appointment with Meredith at the cottage, had consensual foreplay with her and was on the toilet when he heard the doorbell ring etc, etc. What he also added was that just before all this Meredith was upset because her rent money had disappeared and that they had both searched for it with particular attention to Amanda’s room.

Now why does Guede mention this? Remember this is his defence. Alibi is not quite the right word. He had plenty of time to think about it or something better. His defence was moulded around (apart from lies) (1) facts he knew the police would have ie no point denying that he was there or that he had sexual contact with Meredith : his biological traces had been left behind, and (2) facts known to him and not to the police at that stage ie the money, which he could use to make his statement as a whole more credible, whilst at the same time giving the police a lead. He is shifting the focus, if the police were to follow it up, on to the person he must have been blaming for his predicament, Amanda.

If all three, Amanda, Raffaele and Guede, went to the cottage together, as Massei has it, then Guede learns about the missing rent money not in the circumstances referred to in his statement but because Meredith has already discovered the theft and worked out who has had it and challenges Amanda over it when the three arrive. Perhaps this is when Guede goes to the toilet and listens to music on his Ipod. After all he is just there for the sex and this is all a distraction.

Although Micheli thought Guede was a liar from start to finish, he did not discount the possibility that Guede was essentially telling the truth about the money. Guede expanded upon this at his appeal, telling the court that Amanda and Meredith had an argument and then a fight over it. It is a thread that runs through all his accounts from his Skype chat and initial statements in Germany to his final appeal.

Guede’s “evidence” was not a factor in the jury’s consideration at Amanda’s and Raffaele’s trial. Although he was called to give evidence he did not do so. Now his “evidence” and the findings and conclusion of the courts which processed his case come in to play in the appeal of Amanda and Raffaele.

When were the money and credit cards stolen?

I have to accept that as to the money at any rate a theft prior to the murder is critical to sustain the following hypothesis. The credit cards were in any event probably taken after the attack on Meredith.

According to Amanda and Raffaele they spent Halloween together at Raffaele’s and the next day went to the cottage. Meredith was there as was Filomena.  Filomena left first, followed by Meredith to spend the evening with her friends, and Amanda and Raffaele left some time afterwards.

So Amanda and Raffaele could have stolen the money any time after Meredith left and before she returned at about 9.30pm - the day of her murder. Incidentally Filomena testified that Meredith never locked the door to her room except on the occasions she went home to England. Meredith was a very trusting girl.

What motive had Amanda for wanting the money apart from the obvious one of profit?

There are numerous plausible motives.

To fund a growing drugs habit which she shared with Raffaele? Not an inconsiderable expense for a student. Both Amanda and Raffaele explained during questioning that their confusion and hesitancy was due to the fact that they had been going rather hard on drugs. Mignini says that they were both part of a drugs crowd.

Because her own financial circumstances were deteriorating and to fund her own rent contribution?  She was probably about to be sacked at Le Chic where she was considered by Lumumba to be flirty and unreliable and to add insult to injury would likely be replaced by Meredith. In fact Meredith was well liked and trusted by all whereas Amanda’s star was definitely on the wane. 

But maybe Amanda just also wanted to get her own back on Meredith.

Filomena testified that Meredith and Amanda had begun to have issues with each other.

Here are some quotes from Darkness Descending.

Filomena – “At first they got on very well. But then things began to take a different course. Amanda never cleaned the house so we had to institute a rota ….then she (Amanda) would bring strangers home….Meredith said she was not interested in boys, she was here to study”.

“Meredith was too polite to confront Amanda, but she did confide in her pal, Robyn Butterworth. Robyn winced in disbelief when Meredith said that the pair had quarreled because Knox often failed to flush the toilet, even when menstruating. Filomena began noticing that Amanda could be odd, even mildly anti-social.”

It seems that Amanda did not like it when she was not the centre of attention. It was observed that, comically if irritatingly, she would sing loudly if conversation started to pass her by and when playing her guitar would often strum the same chord over and over again.

On the evening of Halloween Amanda texted Meredith enquiring as to whether they could meet up. But Meredith had other arrangements. Meredith appeared to be having a good time whereas Amanda was not.

Indeed there has been much speculation that Amanda has always had deep seated psychological problems and that just after several weeks in Perugia her fragile and damaged ego was tipping towards free fall.


With Meredith’s money both Amanda and Raffaele could have afforded something a little stronger than the usual smoke and I speculate that they spent the late afternoon getting stoned.

Of course Amanda was still an employee of Lumumba and she was supposed to turn up that evening for work but perhaps she no longer cared all that much for the consequences if she did not.

Again I speculate that she, with or without Raffaele,  met Guede at some time -  perhaps before she was due at work, perhaps after she learnt that she was not required by Lumumba -  discussed Meredith’s “availability” and agreed to meet up again on the basketball court at Grimana Square.

The notion that Amanda and Guede hardly knew each other seems implausible to me. We know that they met at a party at the boys’ flat at the cottage. Guede was friends with one of those boys and was invited there on a number of occasions. He was an ever present on the basketball court in Grimana Square which was located just outside the College Amanda and Meredith attended, and just metres from the cottage. He was known to have fancied Amanda and Amanda was always aware of male interest.

What else did Amanda and Raffaele have in mind when arranging the meeting or when thinking about it afterwards? Guede was of course thinking about sex and that Amanda and Raffaele were going to facilitate an encounter with Meredith later that evening. However Amanda and Raffaele had something else on their minds. The logic of their position vis a vis Meredith cannot have escaped them. They had taken her money whilst she was out. Had she not already discovered this fact then she would in any event be back, notice the money was missing and would put 2 and 2 together.  What would happen? Who would she tell? Would she call the police? How are they going to deal with this? Obviously deny it but logic has it’s way and the situation with or without the police being called in would be uncomfortable.

They decided to turn the tables and make staying in Perugia uncomfortable for Meredith. Now the embarrassing, for Meredith, sexual advances from Guede were going to be manipulated by them in to a sexual humiliation for Meredith. Meredith was not going to be seriously harmed but as and when they were challenged by Meredith over the missing money, as inevitably they would be, she was to be threatened with injury or worse. Knives come in useful here. Amanda may have fantasized that Meredith would likely then give up her tenancy at the cottage, perhaps leave Italy. Whether that looks like the probable and likely outcome I leave you to judge, but the hypothesis is that they were starting to think and behave irrationally and that this was exacerbated by the use of drugs.

In the event there came a point when neither Amanda nor Raffaele had any other commitments anyway. They got to the basketball court. They waited for Guede.

We know Amanda and Raffaele were on the basketball court the evening of the 1st November. This is because of the evidence of a Mr Curatolo, the second lay witness. He was not precise about times but thought that they were on the basketball court between 9.30pm and 10pm and may have left around 11.00 – 11.30pm and then returned just before midnight. In any event he testified to seeing Amanda and Raffaele having heated arguments, and occasionally going to the parapet at the edge of the court to peer over. What were they looking at? Go to the photographs of Perugia on the True Justice for Meredith website and you will see. From the parapet you get a good view of the gates that are the entrance, and the only entrance as I understand it, to the cottage.

So why the behaviour observed by Mr Curatolo? They may have been impatient waiting for Guede to arrive. Were they actually to go through with this?  Was Meredith at home, alone, and had she found the money was missing and had she called the police or tipped off someone already? Who was hanging around outside the entrance to the cottage and why? There was, apparently, a car parked at the entrance, a broken down car nearby with the occupants inside awaiting a rescue truck, and the rescue truck itself, all present around 11.00pm. Amanda and Raffaele did not wish to be observed going through the gates with these potential witnesses around.

We, of course, cannot know for certain what went on in the minds of Amanda and Raffaele between the time of them leaving the cottage and their departure from the basketball court to return to the cottage. It has to be speculation but there is a logical consistency to the above narrative if they had stolen Meredith’s money earlier that day, and their meeting up with Guede just before leaving the basketball court does not look like a co-incidence.

From there on in to the inevitable clash between Amanda and Meredith over the money.

It is my opinion that at the cottage Amanda came off worse initially: that she got caught in the face by a blow and suffered a nose bleed.
Stefanoni and Garofano both say that there was an abundant amount (relatively speaking) of Amanda’s blood in the bathroom washbasin, and to a lesser extent the bidet.  Whereas most of Amanda’s blood in the bathroom was mixed with Meredith’s, the blood on the washbasin tap was Amanda’s alone. Both of a quality and quantity to discount menstrual (from washed knickers) or bleeding from ear piercing. Their conclusion was that Amanda bled fairly profusely though perhaps briefly at some stage.

Possibly Amanda may have cut her feet on glass in Filomena’s bedroom but if so it’s difficult to see how blood from that ends up as a blob on the basin tap and in the sink and cut feet are painful to walk on and she did not display any awkwardness on her feet the next day.

Amanda’s blood may have come from a nick by a blade to her hands. I think the nick would be obvious the next day .If so, she was not hiding it. She was photographed the next day outside the cottage waving her hands under the noses of a coterie of vigilant cops.

She might have got a bloody nose during the attack in Meredith’s bedroom save that there is no evidence of her blood there.

On the other hand if she got into a tussle with Meredith (say in the corridor outside their rooms and where there was little room for other than the two to be engaged) and was fended off with a reflex blow that accidently or otherwise connected with her nose, Amanda’s natural reaction would be to disengage immediately and head for the bathroom sink and staunch the flow of blood.

A nose bleed need not take too long to staunch especially if not serious and there is no cut (certainly none being visible the next day).  Just stuff some tissue up the offending nostril. A nose bleed is not necessarily something of which there would be any sign the next day.

Raffaelle fusses around her whilst Rudy briefly plays peacemaker. But Amanda is boiling. As furious with Raffaelle and Guede as she is with Meredith. She eggs Guede on and pushes him towards Meredith.  Raffaele proudly produces his flicknife, latent sadistic instincts surfacing.

Is a scene like this played out inside the cottage or outside? I think of the strange but sadly discredited tale told by Kokomani.

In any event motive is satiated and the coil, having been tensed, is sprung for the pre-planned, but now extremely violent, hazing of poor Meredith.

I am also thinking here of Mignini’s “crescendo of violence” and where a point is reached where anything goes – where there is (from their warped perspectives) almost an inevitability or justification for their behaviour. A “Meredith definitely needs teaching a lesson now!” attitude.

Psychology is part of motive and there is much speculation particularly with regard to Amanda and Raffaele. They have both been in prison for well over three years now and during this time psychological assessments will certainly have been carried out.

Based on specific incidents and and general patterns of behaviour, speech and language, and demeanour, some preliminary conclusions will have been reached correlated with the facts of the crime.

If their convictions are upheld these assessments may be relevant to sentence in so far as they shed light on mitigation and motive.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Thoughts On Meredith’s Tragic Case And Its Significance In The Bigger Scheme Of Things

Posted by Saskia van der Elst


As one of the regular commentators on this forum once pointed out, the question we all are trying to answer regarding the pointless murder of the talented and beautiful Meredith Kercher in Perugia is: What is it, that keeps on drawing us to this case?

We all have our own reasons. According to me, a murder case seldom has so much in common with an old school murder mystery, or ¨whodunnit¨. A victim that you instantly sympathize with, several suspects, each with their own particular background, ethnic origin and possible motives, a tragic event taking place on the day of the Death, a charismatic prosecutor, who himself is the center of some controversy, and all of this set in the stunningly beautiful medieval hilltop town of Perugia, with its two universities, its relatively small population and its many temporary residents, studying and partying in the small town center.

All are ingredients for a captivating story: a small universe, that can easily be explained to an outsider and once you heard the beginning of the story, you crave more. More information, more depth, more color. For those that have a normal, healthy brain, there comes a point in any murder mystery where you are convinced of the guilt of one or more of the characters in the story and as you near the end of the story, there might be an unexpected twist, but you can rest assured that you will find out who did it.

Of course, in real life stories don´t follow formulas, most of the time they don´t have a definitive ending and in the case of the murder of Meredith, the book is not closed. The three perpetrators of the crime have been convicted to a total of 67 years in jail between the three of them, but all three maintain their innocence. We all know that three cannot keep a secret, so it is a matter of time until one of them reveals more about the exact events that took place on the 2nd of November in 2007.

Each of the three perpetrators will go through a process of maturing in prison. Once they feel they have paid a significant price for their crime, they may realize the graveness of they crime and realize that they made bad decisions in their past. Not until that moment, they can find redemption and may feel the need to let the world know that they have changed as a person. All three perpetrators were immature in their own way when they committed their crime, so it might take a while for them to mature enough to be able to face reality.

Rudy might be the first one to reach that point, since he is more or less an orphan, with no controlling relatives, friends and others with vested interests in the lies that have masked the truth. Nobody will lose face if he decides to confess his participation in the crime. The same thing, but to a lesser degree,  is true for Raffaele. Since he never even cared about clarifying all inconsistencies in his stories, he implicitly has already admitted his involvement. He too, doesn´t affect many people if he opens up and gets clean. The only close relatives he has are his father and sister and they have not publicly expressed a strong believe in his innocence.

Amanda is in a much more difficult position, because of the amount of people that was mobilized to defend her. By now she has been the income generator for quite some people and although nobody envies her parents, they have a clear mission, that keeps them occupied and that gives their lives meaning. The moment Amanda would confess her involvement, the parents would be forced to exchange the “free my innocent daughter” banner for one that reads “I raised a murderess that is serving two and a half decades in a foreign prison”.

On top of the above, the process of coming clean might be a slow one, because all three suffer from uncertainty about how the other two are doing. That uncertainty might cause postponing the advance, until they are forced to speak up, because one of the others did so first.

The result for those that are following the case is that we know we don´t have all information yet and for us to fill in all the blanks and be able to understand what exactly has happened to Meredith we need that information. Until we have it, we cannot accept the story as is as it leaves us unsatisfied. Of course we are talking about a true story here and not about a work of fiction, but for the rational part of our minds that doesn´t make a difference.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

More On Motive: Some Of The Cases Of “Nice” Girls Who Killed With Little Or No Motive At All

Posted by The Machine



[Above: One of the Manson girls’ murder victims, Hollywood film star Sharon Tate]

The conspiracy theorists trying so hard to spring Amanda Knox now have about zero credibility - because they can’t field even one good expert that any other expert respects. 

The various claims of their various faux experts about this or that aspect of the evidence having been mishandled or misread or contaminated lack the one really crucial element. ANY real evidence.

And NOT ONE Italian interrogator or investigator or prosecutor has been proved to have done even one thing wrong with intent.  Which seems these days to be making the conspiracy theorists more and more shrill in their claims.

An ex campus security guard Steve Moore is now one of the shrillest faux experts - but the conspiracy theorists still seem to think he is their great ace in the hole.

Steve Moore is not exactly what we might call competent as a real-crime-scene investigator. He seemingly can’t get even one core fact right and his knowledge of the Micheli and Massei reports are absolutely abysmal.

Few of this faux expert’s claims arouse more ridicule and sardonic contempt than one sweeping claim made to any lazy and gullible reporter who will listen - Ann Curry, Linda Byron and Steve Shay, for example.

The claim that there is some standard profile for women who kill. And that well-bred educated middle-class girls like Amanda Knox do not fit “it”. That profile.

So it is impossible that they would ever kill.

In an interview with Anne Curry on NBC the faux expert actually claimed: ““This was an honor student; she is not a violent person….  What they are alleging is that she not only helped assault the roommate, but stabbed her in the throat. That kind of deviant, violent behavior doesn’t go unnoticed for 18, 19, 20 years. Some things leak out; you see some episodes, some indication that this person has issues.”

Actually she DID have issues.

Their faux expert clearly does not know the history of Amanda Knox very well. She seems to have started putting out warning calls for help from around the age of four, and there are a number of stories about her quirks and her drugs up to when she left for Perugia.

In this piece, we will look at some some high-profile murder cases in America, Italy and New Zealand involving seemingly normal young women with profiles not unlike Amanda Knox who suddenly committed horrific and senseless murders.



[Above: Laurie Ann Swank’s victim, hotel night clerk Janet Chandler]

USA: Laurie Ann Swank

If anyone thinks the idea that a woman would arrange for men to sexually assault and murder her friend and roommate is totally far-fetched and beyonds the realms of possibility, they should read about the Janet Chandler case.

In January 1979, Laurie Ann Swank held a position of responsibility, working as the manager of the Blue Mill Inn in Holland, Michigan. She was also the roommate and friend of Janet Chandler, a 23-year-old student who worked as a desk clerk at the hotel. 

Laurie Ann Swank lured Janet Chandler to a “party” where she was tied to a chair and raped and tortured for hours by five security guards who were staying at the Blue Mill Inn. After Janet Chandler had been gang raped, she was strangled and her body was dumped on the side of Interstate 196.

The officers involved in the case concluded that Laurie Swank orchestrated the attack on Janet Chandler out of envy and jealousy “to teach her a lesson.” The motive behind this vicious murder was actually admitted by Swank to have been petty jealousy, especially over a boy. She actually watched while Janet was raped and then strangled with a belt.



[Above: Two more of the Manson girls victims Leno and Rose Labianca ]

USA: Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel

Steve Moore seems to think that honor students are incapable of committing murder. His apparent refusal to believe that someone who is from a respectable background and well-educateed could be involved in murder is not an uncommon phenomenon.

Vincent Bugliosi was the chief prosecutor in the Manson trial. He has pointed out that the backgrounds of the Manson killers terrified America precisely because they were from fairly good backgrounds and that many people refused to believe they could be involved. Vincent Bugliosi, chief prosecutor in the Charlie Manson case:

The other thing that terrified the nation so much is when the identity of the killers became known. And who were they? Young kids from average American homes with fairly good backgrounds. There was a feeling that this could be our own children.

Tex Watson, Manson’s “chief lieutenant” at the murder scene, was from Farmersville, Texas, hometown of World War II hero Audie Murphy. Watson was a football, basketball, and track star. He had almost an A average in high school. And when the people in Farmersville learned he was being charged with these murders, the general consensus was this is absolutely impossible, it must be a case of mistaken identity.

Patricia Krenwinkel—another one of the main killers—her father was an insurance executive; she sang in the church choir; got good grades in school; at one time she even wanted to attend a Jesuit college in Alabama. Leslie Van Houten—another killer—she was a homecoming princess at Monrovia High School here in L.A.



[Above: Manson girl Squeaky Fromm attempted to murder President Gerald Ford]

Leslie Van Houten was an honor student and a homecoming queen. She came from a middle class background; her father was an auctioneer and her mother was a school teacher.

In 1968, she joined Charlie Manson’s family. She was not involved in the vicious killings at Roman Polanski’s home - which upset her - but she took part in the savage murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.  She along with Patricia Krenwinkel attacked and stabbed Rosemary LaBianca. Van Houten tied the electrical cord from a lamp around La Bianca’s neck and put a pillow case over her head before stabbing her 16 times in the lower back.

Patricia Krenwinkel came from a fairly normal background. Her father was an insurance salesman. She graduated from high school and then attended a Catholic college for a semester before moving in with her sister. In 1967, she met Charles Manson when he was visiting her sister.

Krenwinkel participated in the Tate and LaBianca murders. She stabbed Abigail Folger more than 70 times. When the police found Folger’s body, they thought she was wearing a red dress.

Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel are currently serving life sentences for the Tate and Labianca murders. They are still being denied parole 40-plus years later.

USA: Amy Bishop

Dr. Amy Bishop, a Harvard-educated neurobiologist, inventor and mother of four, went on a shooting rampage at the University of Alabama. 

Amy Bishop had already shot and killed her 18-year old brother, with a shotgun, during an argument in 1986. Bishop claimed it was an accident and no charges were filed then - but 24 years later, charges were indeed filed.

According to witnesses, Amy Bishop later killed three professors and wounded three others during a meeting at the University of Alabama. They said that she sat through the first 30 minutes of the meeting and then pulled out a 9mm handgun and opened fire until the weapon jammed or ran out of bullets.



[Above: Karla Homolka murdered her own sister Tammy and and Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French]

Canada: Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo

Karla Homolka was the oldest child of three. She was regarded as well-adjusted and intelligent. She was a popular child who received plenty of love and attention from her family and friends. She loved animals and after high school she went to work at a veterinary clinic.

When she was 17, Karla Homolka attended a pet convention and met 23-year-old Paul Bernado. They soon discovered they shared the same sado-masochistic tendencies.

On 23 December 1990, Homolka and Bernado gave alcoholic drinks spiked with halcyon to Homolka’s 15-year-old sister, Tammy, at a Christmas party. They took her to the basement and Homolka held a cloth soaked with Halothane to Tammy’s mouth until she became unconscious. Bernado and Homolka then raped her. Tammy choked on her own vomit as she was being raped.

On 15 June 1991, Bernado kidnapped Lesle Mahaffy and took her to the couple’s home, where they repeatedly raped over a number of days. The couple videotaped many of the assaults. They then killed Mahaffy and cut her body into pieces and encased the pieces in cement.

On 16 April 1992, they kidnapped 15-year-old Kristen French and took her to their home and videotaped themselves torturing and sexually assaulting her. The couple killed French before they left for Easyer Sunday dinner with Homolka’s family.

Karla Homolda was convicted for her role in the raping, torturing and killing her own sister, Tammy and Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. She was released from prison after serving 12 years in prison. Paul Bernado is still in prison.

There are videos on the seeming normality of very dangerous people like these two here and here.



[Above: Julet Hume who with Pauline Parker battered Pauline’s mother to death]

New Zealand: Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker

Juliet Hulme was the daughter of Dr. Henry Hulme, an eminent physicist and a rector at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In 1954, Juliet Hulme and her friend, Pauline Parker, battered Parker’s mother, Honora Rieper, to death with half a brick in a lisle stocking. At the trial, it was revealed that Honora Rieper had been subjected to a sustained and brutal attack. Hulme and Parker had planned to murder Parker’s murder because they didn’t want to be separated.

After the murder, Parker and Hulme ran to a nearby tea shop, upset and covered in blood, claiming that Pauline’s mother had slipped and fallen.

Honora Rieper had 45 separate wounds on her head. The torn blood-soaked stocking with the brick in it was found nearby.

Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker were found guilty of murder.



[Above: Kelly Ellard was convicted of murdering Indian immigrant Reena Virk]

Canada: Kelly Ellard and Warren Glowatski

Kelly Ellard came from a middle class family and lived in a well-to-do neighborhood.

In 1997, she and Warren Glowatski murdered convicted of murdering Indian immigrant Reena Virk, who was the 14-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants. Ellard and six other teenage girls beat up Reena under a bridge. Ellard and Glowatski then dragged Reena to the other side of the bridge and beat her for a second time. It is believed that Ellard forced Reena’s head under the water and held it there until she stopped struggling.

Kelly Ellard was sentenced to life imprisonment for the second-degree murder of Reena Virk on 20 April 2000. . A second trial in 2004 ended in a hung jury. The Supreme Court of Canada reinstated the second degree murder conviction against Ellard in 2009. Warren Glowatski was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999. Six girls aged between 14 and 16 were sentenced in 1998 for their roles in the initial attack.

Next year Kelly Ellard will apply for parole. Reena’s parents are still waiting for any sign of remorse or sorrow for their loss.



[Above: Nadia Roccia was murdered by her friends Anna Maria Botticelli and Mariena Sica]

Italy: Anna Maria Botticelli and Mariena Sica

Anna Maria Botticelli and Mariena Sica lured their school friend Nadia Roccia to Botticelli’s home with the excuse of doing homework together and then they killed her. It was their second attempt as The Independent reports.

They turned off the lights and Sica began strangling her with a scarf. Botticelli urged her to pull it tighter and kicked Roccia in the stomach. Once satisfied she was dead, they looped a rope around her neck to simulate hanging…

The mother of Nadia Roccia yelled “Bravi ... finally justice for Nadia” as the sentences were read out. In imposing the toughest sentence, the court accepted the prosecution argument that the crime had been “premeditated, ferocious and for futile motives”.

Investigators are still at a loss to uncover a motive for the murder - with theories ranging from Satanic sects to prostitution rings. The pair appeared in court only once, but refused to answer questions and never showed any repentance.

It was discovered that the pair had tried to murder Roccia several months earlier. They offered her a cola drink laced with rat poison, but she refused to drink it. They made her sign a blank sheet on which they later typed a fake suicide note. “I am lesbian and in love with my best friend, that is you, my sweetest Anna Maria ... unfortunately you like men but soon you won’t have to worry about my jealousy any more,” read the note found by Roccia’s body.

Anna Maria Botticelli and Sica, both now 20, heard the sentence on television from their cell in Foggia, 90 miles from Naples. In jail they have completed their high-school leaving exam and are now studying law and economics.

Before Wednesday’s verdict Botticelli’s father pleaded: “I beg you on my knees to give these two girls a chance.”

There was widespread disbelief that Botticelli and Mariena Sica could be guilty of such a horrific murder because they were normal girls from respectable backgrounds. It was only after they were recorded admitting that they were involved, that many people acknowledged their guilt.



[Above: Erika de Nardo at letf with dark hair murdered her mother and brother]

Italy: Erika de Nardo and Omar Fasaro

Erika de Nardo came from a wealthy middle class family - her father was a factory manager and her mother was an accountant - and she grew up in an affluent part of Novi Ligure in Italy. From Wikipedia:

The crime scene, indeed, didn’t suggest a robbery: doors and windows weren’t forced and nothing precious had been stolen. Neighbours noticed nothing unusual and De Nardo’s dogs didn’t bark all evening long. Moreover, Susy and Gianluca had been over-killed (medical examiner counted almost 100 brutal wounds on their corpses), while young Erika was safe and didn’t exactly seem shocked.

She immediately described the presumed aggression she faced, but her version of the facts was full of contradictions. Policemen showed her several mugshots and she “recognized” without any doubt an Albanian teenager named Cezar: the boy was immediately interrogated but proved he had an alibi. Erika stated that she ran away from the garage’s door, but police easily observed that her footprints didn’t mark a run: in fact, she had walked quietly.

Some close friends described the 16-year-old girl as a neglectful, pampered girl, recalled she often squabbled with her parents because of her bad school marks and because her new boyfriend, a bully named Omar Favaro, was someone her mother disliked.

Investigators found Erika’s diary in her bedroom. It was full of terrible sentences such as “That damn child (her brother) made me angry today and I beat him… ” or “This is the end, Mommy, I hate you” or “However we know that everything will be finished by death” and so on. Two days later, Erika and Omar Favaro (a 17-year-old) were left alone in a room at the police station where some hidden microphones and a camera recorded their shocking confession.

It is reported that Erika even performed the very scene of the stabbing and whispered: “I hit her (referring to her mother) right here…” and recalled: “My brother was so strong, he didn’t want to die… he fought so much… was as strong as a bull… oh my God, he was my little brother! He was just eleven years old!” and later ironically asked Omar: “You enjoyed yourself by killing them, didn’t you?”.

But Omar was upset: “You don’t understand, Erika, this is not a game… two people have died… we do risk a life sentence for this!” whispered “Come here, you, murderer!” the boy screamed while shaking her. The girl stated: “I hate my mom, I hate my brother and if you keep on saying this I’ll hate you too! They (policemen and judge) can’t do anything, there are no evidences, they are to believe me!”

De Nardo’s false claim about Albanians (shades of Amanda Knox) caused immense collateral damage. There was an anti-immigrant outcry with Italian newspapers articles demanding a crackdown on illegal immigrants, and anti-immigration demonstrations.

Erika de Nardo drew only a short sentence as a minor and is due to be released in 2012. Omar Fasaro was released a few months ago.



[Above: Erika de Nardo murdered her mother and brother, above]

*******

There are some clear parallels between the Meredith Kercher case and the cases above. There was widespread disbelief that some of the highlighted killers were capable of committing brutal murders.

Like Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, many of these killers attempted to derail the police investigation. And nearly all these murderers came from respectable, middle class backgrounds, were well-educated and had no previous history of violence.

Real experts know that it is indisputable that murderers come from all walks of life. The motives behind the horrific murders described above are beyond the comprehension of any normal person, and in some of these cases a motive was never uncovered.

The claims of faux experts like Steve Moore that Amanda Knox is innocent because she doesn’t fit the profile of a someone who would kill in a violent rage are in fact the complete opposite of true.



[Above: Erika de Nardo and Omar Fasaro after their arrest in Italy]

Posted on 11/25/10 at 11:10 PM by The MachineClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Master Manipulators, Masks, and Murder: Parallels Of The Amanda Knox And Scott Peterson Cases

Posted by giustizia



Laci Peterson was soon to give birth in California in December of 2002.

On Christmas Eve, her husband Scott reported her missing. In April of the following year, her body and the body of her unborn son Connor were discovered in the San Francisco Bay.

Five years later, in Italy, on 2 November 2007, foreign study student Amanda Knox was at her rental home with her Italian lover Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, Italy, when the postal police arrived early one morning to return some cell phones traced to her flatmates; the phones had been found dumped in a nearby garden.

Shortly after, the shocking discovery was made that her flat mate Meredith Kercher had been murdered.

Parallels Between The Perpetrators And Their Crimes And Court Cases

There are some striking parallels between Amanda Knox and Scott Peterson and their crimes and convictions.

The horrific murders of two beautiful young women (one almost at the end of the full-term pregnancy of her first child) unleashed in each case a maelstrom of publicity rarely seen in search of the murderer.

When arrests were made, there also came the stunning revelation in each case that the accused was well-known to the victim – in Laci’s case, it was her husband, Scott Peterson; in Meredith’s case, it was her roommate, Amanda Knox.

Ultimately, three people were arrested for the murder of Meredith (a fourth person arrested, Patrick Lumumba, who was falsely accused by Knox as Meredith’s murderer, was released when his solid alibi was proven). Of the three people arrested for the murder of Meredith Kercher, it appeared to the prosecutors that Amanda Knox was the instigator of the crime.

In each trial, the defendant presented a seemingly normal and middle-class appearance. Neither defendant had a significant history of violence or widely-obvious mental illness. Their families insist on their innocence. Yet both were convicted of brutal murders.

Knox and Peterson were each described by casual acquaintances, neighbors and friends as nice, regular people.

Ann Bird, Peterson’s half-sister, described him as being “charismatic, charming, courteous, polite.”  On Dateline NBC television, a friend of Amanda Knox described her as being “generous, kind, genuine, optimistic, bubbly. Pretty much all the good words that you can find in a dictionary, she was.” 

But they proved superficial assessments that in fact really only scratched the surface.

Parallels: Amanda Knox’s Reckless, Odd Behavior, And Her Lies

Amanda Knox had been cited and she had received a fine (a sentence which could have been much more severe) for disturbing the peace and throwing rocks at a party in Seattle shortly before her departure to Italy.

Knox abruptly and without clear reason dropped a much-sought-after internship in Berlin, Germany, before arriving in Italy.

She posted a vignette on Facebook about a sexual liaison she had with a stranger, a middle-aged man, while on a train in Italy.

Her roommate Meredith had quickly become disenchanted with the American flatmate who brought home different men without warning. “So she’s [Meredith] waking up in the morning and there’s someone making tea. And it’s, who are you again?” commented Meredith’s friend Brittany Murphy on the subject of Meredith’s unease at the strangers Knox brought to their rented Italian home.

Richard Owen, the Italy correspondent of the London Times in Italy, who has written multiple stories on the case, stated that Knox brought home “people who Meredith Kercher distrusted. Didn’t like the look of. It got to the point where she actually confronted Amanda about this.”

And Amanda Knox’s behavior after the Meredith’s murdered body was found in their rental home was more than atypical for someone who had their flatmate killed in such a horrific fashion in such close proximity.

  • “As she put them on she swiveled her hips, pulled a face and said ‘hop la’ - I thought it was very unusual behavior and my suspicions against her were raised.” (Edgardo Giobbi, a police forensic scientist, testifying in court, describing Knox’s behavior just hours after the murder, after he handed Knox a pair of shoe-covers to prevent contaminating the evidence during a search of the house. Sky News, UK, May 30, 2009.)
  • “While I was [at the police station] I found Amanda’s behavior very strange. She had no emotion while everyone else was upset. I remember one thing that really upset me. [Meredith’s friend] Natalie said, ‘I hope she wasn’t in too much pain.’ Amanda said, ‘What do you think? She fucking bled to death.’ At that point no one had told us how Meredith died.”  (Robyn Butterworth, a friend of Kercher’s, testifying in court. London Evening Standard, Feb. 13, 2009.)
  • “Their behavior at the police station seemed to me really inappropriate ... They sat opposite each other, Amanda put her feet up on Raffaele’s legs and made faces at him. Everyone cried except Amanda and Raffaele. I never saw them crying. They were kissing each other.” (Amy Frost, a friend of Meredith’s and a student at the University for Foreigners in Perugia at the time, testifying in court. The Independent, London, Feb. 14, 2009.)
  • “My daughter was a Leeds student with Meredith in Perugia. They went out together on Halloween. When Amanda Knox was asked how she felt on 2 November, she said: “Shit happens”, which contrasts rather sharply with the contrived way she addressed the Italian court about “my friend Meredith”.  (Marc Rivalland, in a letter to the editor of the Observer commenting on the Knox case. The Guardian, UK, 12/13/2009.)
  • “They came into the shop at about 7 p.m. and were there for about 20 minutes. She bought a camisole and G-string. I heard her tell him that ‘Afterwards I’m going to take you home and put this on so we can have wild sex together.” (Store owner Carlo Maria Scotto di Rinaldi’s testimony in court about Knox and Sollecito’s behavior in his store, taped on closed-circuit TV.)
  • “Knox and Sollecito were seen laughing as they hold up various G-strings. In one still shot taken from the footage, Raffaele is standing behind Amanda with his hands on her hips and his groin pressed into her. It was the same day as the candle light vigil memorial for Meredith, a few days after her murder.” (Excerpt from the book Angel Face by Barbie Nadeau.)

Perhaps the most controversial claim in the Knox trial was Knox’s accusation of Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher. Lumumba was placed under arrest and jailed for two weeks, until his solid alibi set him free.

Knox, who said nothing to help him during the two weeks Lumumba was incarcerated, changed her story after he was freed. She then claimed she was coerced by the police into making confusing statements. Knox’s parents made charges of human rights violations and anti-Americanism against the Italian justice system, though to date the U.S. government has refused to become involved.

  • “He’s bad. He did it. He killed her…It was him, it was him, he was crazy, he killed her.” (Amanda Knox’s statements, according to police at the police station, accusing Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith Kercher. The Daily Telegraph, UK, March 6, March 21, 2009)
  • “She was angry I was firing her and wanted revenge. By the end, she hated me. But I don’t even think she’s evil. To be evil you have to have a soul. Amanda doesn’t. She’s empty, dead inside. She’s the ultimate actress, able to switch her emotions on and off in an instant. I don’t believe a word she says. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie. But those lies have stained me forever.” (Patrick Lumumba, bar owner in Perugia and Knox’s boss. Daily Mail, UK, November 25, 2007)


Parallels: Scott Peterson’s Reckless, Odd Behavior And His Lies

Scott Peterson had all the appearances of an upwardly mobile middle-class white-collar worker. He was a salesman with a pretty wife and a baby on the way, and they owned a nice home in Modesto, California.

His friends and family described him as charismatic and friendly. But under the surface was a lifestyle filled with lies and mistresses.

Scott Peterson had hooked up with a mistress, Amber Frey, in November of 2002, leaving his pregnant wife home alone during the holiday season to see Amber Frey, with excuses of business meetings.

Peterson told Amber Frey that he was a widow, and also that he was traveling in France when he was actually in California - two of many false claims Peterson made to her.

  • “I’m near the Eiffel Tower. The New Year’s celebration is unreal. The crowd is huge.”  (Scott Peterson, from a taped telephone conversation to his mistress Amber Frey, telling her he is in Paris, when he is really in Modesto, California, about to attend a candle-light vigil for his missing wife. Dateline, NBC, 1/4/2005)

Shortly after Laci Peterson was reported missing, that candle light vigil was held for Laci. It was on New Year’s Eve.

  • ‘Three witnesses testified that Peterson’s behavior at the candle-light vigil seemed inappropriate for a worried husband. One woman said that he showed no emotion during the service and was grinning as he “socialized” with friends afterwards.’  (From The Murder of Laci Peterson, TrueTV.com)

The jurors were shown a photo of the grinning Peterson at the vigil at the trial as evidence. He called his mistress before and after the vigil ceremony, while Laci’s distraught family members tried to cope with the situation of their missing relative.

  • “Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing, it was just another day in paradise for Scott, another day that he had to go through the motions,” said one juror, Mike Belmessieri. “Scott had no emotion on his face. Scott was being Scott.” (Juror of the Scott Peterson Trial, commenting on his unusually cool demeanor in court. New York Times, March 17. 2005)

Shades of Amanda…

  • “The cartwheels? This is Amanda just being Amanda. As her friends would say, it’s an Amanda thing.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Knox turning cartwheels at the police station. The Guardian, UK, June 27. 2009)
  • “I couldn’t help but think how cool and calm Amanda was. Meredith’s other friends were devastated and I was upset, but Amanda was as cool as anything and completely emotionless. Her eyes didn’t seem to show any sadness, and I remember wondering if she could have been involved.” (Giacomo Silenzi, Meredith’s Italian boyfriend who lived in the apartment downstairs from the murder. Metro.co.uk, November 18, 2007)

Parallels In Forensic Evidence

In both cases, there were no eye witnesses or “smoking gun.”

In Scott Peterson’s case, the ONLY piece of hard evidence was a single strand of Laci’s hair, found on pliers in Scott’s boat, which the defense charged as being contaminated evidence. The rest of the evidence at his trial was circumstantial.

Both the circumstantial and forensic evidence in the Knox trial were more considerable. Key items of hard evidence included a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment that had Meredith’s DNA on the tip and Knox’s DNA on the handle, and it was presumed to be one of the murder weapons.

A bloody footprint, the size of Knox’s foot, was found on a pillow underneath Meredith’s body. Mixed DNA material of both Knox and Meredith were found in several spots in the house where the murder occurred.

Parallels In Strange Coincidences

Laci and Connor’s bodies were found in the water in the bay area of San Francisco. Scott Peterson happened to own a boat and liked to fish – in fact, he said he went fishing on Christmas Eve, the day Laci disappeared, at a location where later the bodies turned up only about 3 miles away.

Meredith was sexually molested and killed by knife wounds. Raffaele Sollecito has a fascination with knives and he owns a large collection. Amanda Knox created and posted a fictitious story about rape on the Internet.

Sollecito posted a photo of himself on the Internet swathed in bandages and holding a large meat cleaver and a jug of a chemical-looking liquid. Knox and Sollecito were the only ones at the house on the day when the police showed up and later discovered Meredith’s body.

The juries in both trials concluded that these factors were more than mere coincidences, and represented incriminating evidence of guilt of the crime.


Parallels In How The Families Supported Their Children

Not all convicted murderers have a history of mental disturbance or violence. If there were any red flags regarding Knox’s and Peterson’s behavior, one would not know it from the descriptions provided by their families:

  • ‘Lee Peterson said his son never posed a discipline problem, did not rebel as a teenager and was a perfect baby. He was said even to lose golf games because he did not want to hurt the feelings of his opponents. ‘‘He woke up smiling and went to bed smiling.’’  (Scott Peterson’s father of his son, testifying to the jury after Scott’s guilty verdict but before sentencing.  New York Times, December 2, 2004)
  • “She was an incredible easy-going kid even from a baby. She was so mellow…She loved being read-to, she loved books. As she got a little older she always wanted to be outside - building camps, playing soccer. She never watched a lot of TV - she still doesn’t. She was an excellent student.” (Edda Mellas, commenting on Amanda Knox’s character the week of her guilty verdict. The Sun, UK, December 5, 2009)

Parallels In Family And Groupie Websites

Peterson and Knox’s families insist on their innocence. There are family and groupie websites for each convicted murderer. They each proclaim innocence for the guilty, make charges of police incompetence, and make requests for money for the defense cause and legal expenses:

  • “Scott Peterson Family Mission Statement: ‘This web-site is a combined effort of our family and our support system. We know Scott is innocent and that he has been unjustly convicted. Our pursuit of justice for Laci, Conner and Scott remains steadfast. We want to keep you informed as to the specifics of the case, the appeal, and related topics. We also want you to know how grateful we are for your prayers and support.’ (From: http://scottpetersonappeal.org/)
  • “Amanda Knox - A heartfelt thanks for your support. On behalf of Amanda and her family, we want to thank everyone who has contacted FOA to express their concern and to offer help in the wake of an unjust and unsupportable guilty verdict. We are developing a strategy to raise public awareness of this case and help bring about a reversal of the verdicts against both Amanda and Raffaele. Once it is in place, we will welcome all the help we can get, and we will be in touch with you.” (From http://www.friendsofamanda.org/home_eng.htmleartfelt)

Parallels In The Verdicts Jurors Delivered: Guilty As Charged

The jurors in each trial fitted together all the pieces of the puzzle: timelines, witness testimony, cell-phone records, forensic evidence, lack of solid alibis, incriminating lies, and odd behavior of the defendants.

They each concluded after lengthy deliberation that the defendants were guilty of murder.

Non-Parallels In How The US Media Has Reported Both Cases

Of these two cases, not many people have questioned the jury’s decision in the Scott Peterson trial. He has been sentenced to death via lethal injection, and he is currently incarcerated in San Quentin prison in California.

There are no repeated media interviews of Peterson’s mother in tears, insisting on his innocence and his release from prison. There are no angry declarations from Peterson family that the police, prosecution and legal system abused, railroaded and framed Scott Peterson.

If such media coverage were to exist, it would be widely considered in the US to be extremely upsetting and insulting to Laci’s parents and family and to the memory of the victims Laci and Connor.

Peterson’s media coverage, thankfully, has dissipated. He still pursues an appeals process, possibly to be heard next year by the California Supreme Court.

Amanda Knox’s story plays out very differently. After her arrest, her family hired a public relations team that puts forth a determined effort to change Knox’s image of wild child and murderer and to keep her in the news.

They obviously do not consider their repeated loud public outcries for release of their daughter distressing to Meredith’s parents and family, and they don’t perceive their actions as being disrespectful to the victim, Meredith.

Or of course, as many people suspect, perhaps Knox’s relatives do realize it but they simply don’t care.

Non Parallels In Future Legal Prospects

Imprisoned in Italy, Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in prison. Italian prosecutors are now appealing that decision, and asking for life in prison. But regardless of this and the PR campaign, Knox’s prospects are considerably brighter than Peterson’s: she gets two automatic appeals and the worst case scenario is she serves life in prison.

Scott Peterson sits on death row in San Quentin Prison in California, waiting for the legal process to move his appeals case along.

It is curious that the fervent supporters of Amanda Knox do not crusade for the release of Scott Peterson as well. After all, he was convicted on LESS direct evidence, and also in the midst of a maelstrom of publicity. CNN.com had called the Peterson prosecution case so weak and “unimpressive” that they speculated that he could end up with a “Not Guilty” verdict.

But with the exception of his own family, no one has picked up beating the drum to overturn the jury’s conviction of Peterson. Perhaps it is because Peterson doesn’t fit well the damsel in distress role? More likely, it is because the American public trusted the jury’s assessment of the evidence and trial, as they and the American media usually do, and they feel that the jury delivered a just verdict, and justice to Laci and Connor Peterson.


Epilogue – Master Manipulators

How is it possible that two “regular” people like Knox and Peterson ended up in jail for horrendous murders? Below is a condensed version from an AP article about the type of personality attributed to Scott Peterson:

It is interesting to note that life transitions are tremendous stresses to a psychopath. Psychopaths also wear “false faces” and are master manipulators. They are the ultimate con artists and they are able to fool even those closest to them.

Peterson’s closest friends “never suspected there was a monster inside Scott’s psyche.
Motive still a question in Peterson case
By the Associated Press
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP)—Of all the questions surrounding the Laci Peterson murder case, the one that seemed to be running through practically everyone’s mind was this: If Scott Peterson was so unhappy in his marriage, why didn’t he just get a divorce?

Experts on the criminal mind say the answer may lie in what lurked beneath Scott Peterson’s charming veneer —a psychopathic personality.

“When you say you’re going to get a divorce, everyone knows that it’s a long, tedious process. The psychopath wants the short-term solution,” said San Diego forensic psychologist Reid Meloy.

Peterson, 32, was convicted earlier this month of murdering his eight-months-pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying, and the jury decided he deserves the death penalty.

Criminal psychologists say Peterson appeared to be a master manipulator who lacked the capacity to feel remorse or consider consequences —some of the same psychopathic characteristics exhibited by serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.

Psychopaths “tend to con people very well and they wear false faces,” said former FBI profiler Robert Ressler. “They tend to be able to fool everyone from their families to their friends to society, schools, their community.”

At Peterson’s trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a callous liar who continued to carry on an extramarital affair even as police searched for his wife. They said he killed her to escape marriage and impending fatherhood for the freewheeling single life.

Whether Laci’s pregnancy was the catalyst for Peterson’s plan may never be known. But experts said pregnancy can lead to seismic changes within a relationship.

Pregnancy “represents commitment, fatherhood, another dependent, a lifelong bond ... and all of those things are strongly despised by the psychopath,” Meloy said… pregnancy represents a life transition, and there are stresses around that transition.”

Peterson’s case was made all the more perplexing by the lack of signs that the couple’s marriage was in trouble. Although Peterson had cheated on Laci at least three times, according to defense attorney Mark Geragos, he appeared to family and friends to be a doting husband and father-to-be after Laci became pregnant.

Those closest to the couple said they never suspected there was a monster inside.

Heather Richardson, the maid of honor at the Petersons’ wedding, is still hoping for a plausible explanation to emerge. Perhaps, she said, Peterson suffers from a disorder that has yet to be revealed.

“It would be at least comforting. Then I would realize that the person I knew and loved dearly was there. He was that person and the other person, too,” Richardson said. “So at least part of him was not a lie.”

And A Last Word On Masks

Here is Amanda Knox in her own words about masks — while taking the stand for the final time at her trial in Italy (CNN, Dec. 3, 2009): “They say that I am calm. I am not calm ... I fear to lose myself, to have the mask of the assassin forced upon me.”

************

For all the sources used here, please “Click For More” below the videos for Laci and Meredith

Click here for more

Posted on 07/24/10 at 08:59 AM by giustiziaClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Very Telling Parallels Here With Murder Cases Like Christian Longo’s

Posted by lilly


Many of the apologist writers claiming that Amanda Knox was railroaded have made “there was no motive” a main argument of their articles.

Most recently, The Machine took apart that claim as made by Amy Jenkins in the UK and Judy Bachrach in the US.

Other posters here on TJMK and and on PMF have frequently noted that neither under Italian not under UK and US law is any proof of a motive required for conviction.

Many of the apologists have also claimed that what looked to most watchers like bizarre red-flags patterns of behavior by Sollecito and Knox before and after Meredith’s death and at trial were just, you know, kids blowing off some steam.

Really. Nothing to sweat over.

Had the writers been experts in the relevant fields, or consulted some experts, or even simply done some online research, they would have turned up hundreds of examples where a motive remained hazy or non-existent. And where the killer came across as pleased with themselves, attention-seeking, and totally self-absorbed, regardless of pain inflicted on others. 

Christian Longo is one of many examples who confused the more gullible of the watchers over his motive and mindset.

In 2001 Christian Longo killed his wife and three small children on the northwest coast of Oregon. He still won’t or can’t explain why he did it, and at first he tried hard to deny it.

The Last Psychiatrist blog (TLP) has a fascinating analysis of Longo’s story.

Longo is a pathological narcissist, and there are some interesting parallels with the way Knox has behaved before and after her conviction for the murder of Meredith.

Longo’s crime is sickening. He strangled his wife MaryJane, attempted to strangle one of his daughters, packed her into a suitcase and then dumped her, still alive, into a river.

Then he drove his other kids to a bridge, tied stones to them, and threw them still alive into the water as well.

That done, off Longo went to Mexico.

When he was finally captured by police, he was enjoying a lifestyle of socializing, snorkeling, beer, drugs and pretending to be a journalist. His behavior was highly attention-seeking, and he seemed very pleased with himself.

Longo had no prior convictions, and no history of violence.

According to TLP, Longo’s behavior is that of a classic narcissist. Narcissists don’t feel guilt. Longo doesn’t feel remorse for his crime.

Initially, Longo denied murdering his family. It wasn’t him; it was an unknown intruder. Later, he blamed his wife. It wasn’t him; she actually started it.

When that didn’t work, he claimed he couldn’t remember what happened. He gave testimony, but he never explained his actions - as if what really happened wasn’t important.

The Last Psychiatrist writes: “This isn’t a coherent defense, it’s pass interference, it’s reasonable doubt.  It’s not important what did happen, it’s only important that it wasn’t him.”

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t him. Remind you of anyone yet?

Everything Longo says in his defense is “bullshit” says TLP. “These endless words…are a way of wearing you down into giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Look, you know me, you know the kind of person I am, right?  I can go on and on about this all day; just trust me.”

Even in prison, on Death Row, he’s wearing the mask of a real nice, successful guy who’s been badly treated.

Knox is another convicted murderer who deosn’t seem interested in explaining what happened to her victim, Meredith. It simply is not important to her.

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t her.

Immediately after the cruel murder of Meredith, Knox raised the suspicion of investigators by her oddly smug and strongly attention-seeking behavior.

From the very start, Knox attempted to upset the investigation by leading police down the wrong track. Her judges and jury (and earlier Judge Micheli) concluded that she and Sollecito cleaned up the murder scene to remove the traces of their involvement.

They moved the victim’s body. They faked a break-in to make police believe a random intruder did it. And when questioned, Knox recalled Meredith screaming, and coldly and deliberately accused an innocent man, her kindly employer Patrick Lumumba, of sexual assault and murder.

Then she claimed she couldn’t remember what had happened on the night. She early-on put this down to drugs. And in court, she said she made the claim against Patrick because the interrogating police beat her.

The message Knox gave when she had the chance to address the judges and jury at the close of the murder trial was a strong indicator of a pathological narcissistic mindset.

Given a golden opportunity to voice real sympathy for Meredith and her suffering family, Knox instead said only that she didn’t want to be forced to wear “the mask of an assassin”.

TLP makes a very interesting comment about motive in Longo’s case. Narcissists kill because they are scared of being exposed. They are scared that the masks they have carefully constructed will be ripped away or replaced. Their identities are threatened.

Knox seems to desperately need people to believe in the identity she’s carefully constructed and maintained.

In reality, sadly, she was in danger of losing her job, she was quite close to being broke, she had chosen an insignificant study-load in Perugia, she was on drugs going back to Seattle, she had not managed to make any real friends in Perugia other than Sollecito, and she had a conviction back home which could have incurred a serious penalty.

But she wants and needs people to believe she was actually a talented student, a pretty young woman with a bright future, a popular and attractive person with a nice family back home.

Some mask, one has to say.

Meredith Kercher was the opposite of Amanda in so many ways - in fact, Meredith was a popular, well-funded, hard-working super-achiever with a very bright future. 

When we delve a little into Knox’s history, in light of the above, we see there are many possible motivations.

Her seeming callous narcissistic syndrome, often noted before she ever left Seattle. Her known growing jealousy of Meredith, whose perhaps rather disdainful presence Knox seemed to find a threat to her self-image and economic security. Fueled by drugs, strong drink, an obsession with violent rape fantasies, and risky casual sex. Coupled with a troubled boyfriend on drugs with a penchant for violent porn and a combat knife collection.

Meredith was perhaps the biggest threat to her mask that Amanda had ever encountered.

TLP says of Longo: “You want a simple answer: why did he do this?…The important question is the one no one asks anymore: What was there that would have held him back?”

Sadly now it is too late for Meredith and her family. But instead of continuing to paint Knox as a suffering innocent victim, Knox’s parents should ask themselves: Who and what should have held their daughter back?

If they’d answered that question early-on, when they should have, Meredith might very well still be alive.


Posted on 07/12/10 at 09:16 AM by lillyClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, July 02, 2010

Italy’s LA7 Is Running A Series On The Rare Phenomenon For Italy Of Female Criminality

Posted by Peter Quennell


Italy’s LA7 network is running a five-part series on notorious crimes in Italy involving women.

Compared to the US and most of Europe, Italy has only a small fraction of its population in prison at any one time. And an even smaller percentage of its female population. The involvement of women in serious crimes is rare in Italy - and the subject of considerable public interest. 

The first segment (which is not yet on YouTube, although we have hopes that it will be) two weeks ago focussed on Amanda Knox’s involvement in the murder of Meredith. It was very highly rated.

The excellent American reporter Andrea Vogt was a main presenter, as she is throughout the LA7 series, and the Knox segment included interviews with Prosecutor Mignini and the lawyers for Knox and the other two perps.

The third segment, which aired this week, involved Antonella Conserva. You can see her in the image above and briefly in the LA7 report in Italian below.

She is married to Mario Alessi, who claimed earlier this year, to wide ridicule, that he had encountered Rudy Guede in prison, and that Guede had thoughtfully shared with him that Knox and Sollecito were not at the scene of Meredith’s murder.   

Antonella Conserva and her husband, Mario Alessi were convicted four years ago of the kidnapping and murder of a baby (“Tommy”) and, although she was not even present when her husband murdered Tommy, she was sentenced to 30 years.

That is generally accepted in Italy as a reasonable sentence. This could be the new sentence for Amanda Knox, revised upward from 26 years, that the prosecution might win on appeal.

Absent any confession and show of contrition, which seems to us the smart way for Amanda Knox to go, reaction in Italy would probably be neutral or positive.

Like the name “Tommy” everyone in Italy knows the name “Meredith” and no last name is required. Speak up, Amanda.

Posted on 07/02/10 at 01:18 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesPondering motiveItalian related
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sentencing Report: Barbie Nadeau Quotes The Motive, Physical Evidence, And Alibis

Posted by Peter Quennell


Please click above for Barbie Nadeau’s full report on the Daily Beast website. Key excerpts.

1) The motive

“One can hypothesize that the bad decision came after the consumption of stupefying substances.”

But they disagreed on the motive. The prosecution lawyers began their case in January, 2009 by arguing that Kercher was killed during a sex game gone awry. By closing arguments, they had changed the theory slightly, trying to make the case that Knox resented her prissy British roommate and killed her in hatred. The jury rejected both theories, and the reasoning document declares that “the killing was carried out with no planning, no animosity and no revenge against the victim.

”The two young lovers, interested in each other and in the intellectual and cultural world around them, would not have made a conscious decision to kill Kercher. Instead, the judge wrote, they killed spontaneously under the influence of drugs. “One can hypothesize that the bad decision came after the consumption of stupefacente—stupefying substances—that Amanda verified in her testimony.”

As the jury saw it, Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast native who was convicted for his role in Kercher’s murder after a fast-track trial in 2008, came to the house the two girls shared in order to get high. Guede used the toilet, then became aroused when he saw Knox and Sollecito making out. He went to Kercher’s room and made sexual advances toward her. The reasoning refers to evidence presented at Knox’s trial that Guede was the type of guy that “bothered women” when he was under the influence.

Then, according to the reasoning, Kercher cried out for help, but instead of helping her, Knox and Sollecito, their judgment impaired, decided instead to help Guede. The killing was based on “sexual-erotic violence” but not with Knox as the mastermind. The jury felt that it was Guede who led that attack, and the other two, too high to know better, joined in.

2) The physical and forensic evidence

The judge’s reasoning also underscores what the jury believed to be the most important elements of the prosecution’s forensic case. They believed that a kitchen knife with Knox’s DNA on the handle and a trace of Kercher’s on the blade was the weapon that made the large fatal wound in Kercher’s neck. They also referred to Sollecito’s “knife habits,” surmising that, as an admitted collector of blades, he likely used his own knife to make the second wound. The jury agreed that Sollecito and Knox conspired to stage a break-in in another bedroom to cover their tracks.

And they attributed an unidentifiable bloody shoeprint found on the pillow under Kercher’s body to Knox, even though the prosecution only implied that it was compatible with a woman’s shoe size. A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.

“These were left when Amanda was cleaning her hands and feet of Kercher’s blood,” the judge wrote.

3) The Knox and Sollecito alibis

The judge also wrote emphatically about the lack of credible alibi. Although Knox and Sollecito claimed to be at his apartment all night, “Not one phone call, not one meeting, no computer activity or any other element proved that they stayed at that apartment.” And the judge was particularly hard on Knox for accusing Patrick Lumumba, an innocent man, of the murder “knowingly and deceivingly.”

Overall, however, it appears that the jury was sympathetic to the two suspects, but ultimately felt that they committed a crime for which they must pay a hefty price.

Posted on 03/04/10 at 05:51 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesPondering motiveTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportGreat reporting
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Driving Psychology In The Perugia Case: Could Those Just Convicted Be “Charming Psychopaths”?

Posted by Miss Represented


Those not yet familiar with the “charming psychopath” concept may be in for a surprise when they google the term.

It has been quite thoroughly explored in the past decade, in part with the hope of preventing future crimes. Many thousands of relatives and friends of both victims and perpetrators have had their lives upended when one or other charming psychopath - probably part of a large pool - sheds any constraints and a cool callous murder results. 

The “charming” component leads easily to denial. There is quite a history of campaigns that set out to deny that any particular such murderer could actually have done it.

They simply seemed far too nice. 

A widely read article by Robert D Hare on charming psychopaths in Psychology Today presented a precise description of the symptoms that should hint to the perceptive eye that something might be seriously wrong.

These are two highly-rated book-length treatments of the charming psychopath concept which have recently been selling well

Psychologists well qualified in this field have now begun to float articles on the concept as it may apply to Raffaelle Sollecito and Amanda Knox and some books will presumably follow.

Here is an article “Signs that suggest Amanda Knox is a psychopath” by a highly experienced American psychotherapist, Dr Coline Covington, who now practices in England.

She was the former Editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology as well as the former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council and she has also worked for the London police.  In the article she describes Amanda’s behaviour in court:

Knox’s narcissistic pleasure at catching the eye of the media and her apparent nonchalant attitude during most of the proceedings show the signs of a psychopathic personality. Her behaviour is hauntingly reminiscent of Eichmann’s arrogance during his trial for war crimes in Jerusalem in 1961 and most recently of Karadzic’s preening before the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

The psychopath is someone who has no concern or empathy for others, no awareness of right and wrong, and who takes extreme pleasure in having power over others. The psychopath has no moral conscience and therefore does not experience guilt or remorse.

Most psychopaths are highly skilled at fooling those around them that they are normal by imitating the emotions that are expected of them in different circumstances. They are consummate at charming people and convincing them they are in the right. It is only when they reveal a discrepancy in their emotional response that they let slip that something may be wrong with them.

The psychopath is the conman, or in the case of Amanda Knox, the con-woman par excellence. Her nickname ‘Foxy Knoxy’, given to her as a young girl for her skills at football, takes on a new meaning.

Whether or not Knox, who is appealing her verdict, is ultimately found guilty, her chilling performance remains an indictment against her. Her family’s disbelief in the outcome of the trial can only be double-edged.

This is not the only time a suggestion has been made that Amanda has displayed behaviour which is often associated with psychopathy. It is a view that I myself have supported in the past.

And similar arguments have just been made by Professor David Wilson and Professor David Canter.  Rather lurid headlines, but their science is sound.

On my companion website to TJMK on the psychological dimensions of the case, Miss Represented, there is some interesting discussion in the Comments on the arguments for charming psychopathia now being presented.

These articles are probably only the tip of the iceberg as more psychoanalysts get drawn to this case.


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Prosecutions’ Closed-Court Reconstruction Of The Brutal And Prolonged Torture Attack

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Prosecution video not entered in evidence; this is from the fairly accurate Lifetime Movie

An Exceptionally Vicious Attack

This time-line below for the evening of 1 November 1 2007 was presented on Friday 21 November 2009.

This account is of a premeditated and prolonged attack on Meredith, in which Knox and Sollecito may have watched Meredith’s house from this position above in the park for an hour and a half before they even entered the house.

Click here for more


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Summations: More On How The Prosecution Launched Forth - And On Possible Motive

Posted by Tiziano



[Above: The two prosecutors today - click for larger image]

The TGCOM news service quoted this statement on the theory of the motive.

“Amanda Knox harbored hatred for Meredith… and so it was time for revenge rather than flirting….” According to the prosecutor Amanda wanted revenge on “that girl who was only with her English friends, and who reproached [Amanda] for her lack of cleanliness.” Thus was set under way “the calvary of Meredith.”

And this report from Umbria Journal adds details to the description posted below from Il Mattino

PM Giuliano Mignini spoke of a “unique event” of a trial which has “involved three continents”, opening his summing-up address in the trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

“A media trial in which the elements which emerged in court largely vanished,” the magistrate affirmed. “Detectives in search of notoriety, writers, bloggers, and mystery writers alternated with one another in a sort of parallel trial. But the trial is taking place only in this court room.”

Rudy Guede has been the “convitato di pietra” [literally, silent guest] in the trial of RF and AK according to Mignini. “In a way he has always been present,” the magistrate said referring to the Ivorian, already condemned to 30 years in prison by fast-track trial for complicity in the murder of Meredith Kercher with the two young people.

“Supporters of Sollecito and Knox” Mignini stressed “don’t stop at proclaiming their innocence, but they accuse him [Guede] too. They say that they were not at the crime house, but they also say the assassin is Guede. The accused wanted to create a parallel trial without his being able to defend himself.”

The PM then claimed that the breaking of a window in the bedroom of one of the Italian housemates of Knox and Meredith Kercher carried out according to the prosecution to mislead the investigations “is the special key to the event and the mystery. If it was simulated, as is evident, the authors are Knox, and Sollecito who always followed her. And the objective was to turn away suspicion.” The magistrate defined the break-in as “the nail on which the defences of the accused are hanging.”

“A nail” he averred “which has fallen down noisily and with it the the defences.” For Mignini the theft was simulated “from the inside, by someone who wanted to turn away suspicions and maybe direct them towards Rudy.”

Amanda Knox “knowingly accused an innocent man”... The reference is to Patrick Lumumba who, however, he did not expressly name, involved in the investigations of the murder of Meredith Kercher through the statements to the police of the young American and then absolved of any wrong-doing (he has actually nominated as a civil complainant against the American who is accused of defamation against him).

“Amanda” the [prosecutor] stressed “did not lift a finger while he was languishing in prison. Neither she nor her mother who was in her confidence. And what a coincidence” Mignini continued “it was a matter of a coloured person like Rudy”

 


Friday, June 12, 2009

Defendant Testifies: Is This A Prosecutor’s Dream Come True?

Posted by Arnold_Layne



[click for larger image]

To my knowledge, in the past when Amanda has spoken on her own behalf she was not challenged by the prosecution.  Friday will be different.  On Friday, she will be asked to reconcile discrepancies in her statements.  She will not be a sworn-in witness so it is not clear which lines of questioning will be allowed but the prosecutor will certainly try to impeach her.  If she is a psychopath, things could get knarly.

You’ve all seen it many times on crime shows.  On cross examination, the witness offers some testimony, for example, the fact that she has never been married.  The lawyer then asks to offer into evidence a marriage certificate.  Reducing the credibility of a witness in this fashion is known as impeaching the witness.  There are special rules that apply which allow the attorney to ask questions not normally allowed.  To discredit a claim made by the witness, the prosecutor could, for example, enter new evidence not presented previously during the prosecution phase of the trial.  The jury is then instructed to use the evidence only as it reduces the credibility of the witness but to ignore it when otherwise considering the guilt or innocence.  That’s expecting a lot.

One characteristic of a psychopath is the ability to lie with facility.  This does not mean the ability to spin a yarn or to make up a good story.  Most of us can do this.  It also doesn’t mean that the lie is particularly bad (a boldface lie).  When asked a question when the truth is not going to yield a desirable outcome, most of us will pause a little, maybe lift our eyes upward, as we weigh the consequences of the lie.  Someone who can lie with facility speaks the lie as fast as they would the truth and with the same conviction.

The problem, of course, is that without the pause there is no weighing of the implications of the lie.  There is little checking for consistency.  In social situations this can easily be maneuvered around by saying something along the lines of, “Aw, I was just jokin’”.  Guede adjusted his story to meet the facts as they emerged.  Amanda now also knows the evidence against her and she’s had plenty of time to create a story to match it.  She will be on stable ground here as the Judge and jury weigh her statements against those put forth by the prosecution.  This is a good reason to only have one of the two defendants testify.  They can’t trip each other up.

Cross, on the other hand, is going to be a minefield for her.  Not only will the prosecution point out discrepancies but they will challenge her on them and she will be under pressure to correct them.  She will be up against a trial lawyer’s strong suit.  Mignini will be trying to impeach her.  If she steps on one of his mines, she will probably step on many – and he’ll be laying even more as she speaks.

Other incendiaries include her basking in the attention and notoriety she is getting.  Additionally, she is a creative writer.  Who can say what this might lead her to say if she strays from the straight and narrow.

I give her credit for doing this but I certainly don’t envy her.  I can’t say that I have ever done anything tougher myself.  I wouldn’t eat for two days, just as a precautionary measure. Btw “can you smoke on the witness stand?” I’d bring a carton, of Luckies.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 12:26 PM by Arnold_LayneClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsTrials 2008 & 2009The psychologyPondering motiveAmanda Knox
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Friday, May 01, 2009

Underlying All Scenarios: The Organised Versus The Disorganised Offender?

Posted by Miss Represented




An Overview

This post is cross-posted here from my own website.

The recent 48 Hours mystery show once again attempted to lend credibility to the virtually laughable lone wolf theory. Despite its inaccuracies it seems fairly clear that the friends and family of Amanda Knox in all likelihood encouraged the 48 Hours show to air before the presentation of the crucial DNA evidence shortly to be discussed in court.

Timing is after all everything and it may have been the last time anyone would actually take the show seriously, especially considering the main theme of the show boiled down to the simply ludicrous suggestion that Amanda Knox is somehow a victim in this case and the lone wolf theory is still a credible and valid scenario for what happened that night. For those of you who are still unaware of precisely what that means, it is the idea that Rudy Guede scaled a virtually un-climbable wall and crawled in through a window of the cottage in order to sexually assault and murder Meredith Kercher.

Many following the case long ago dismissed the theory as fantasy, even Guede himself who in his statements to police and diaries admits he was not the only person in the cottage that night. Yet we must also consider that this is virtually the only scenario that the defence can now use to exonerate Amanda and Raffaele as they both strenuously deny any involvement in Meredith’s murder.

Despite the physical evidence suggesting their possible role, copious amounts of physical evidence of Guede’s involvement was found at the crime scene and a smaller amount of evidence leading to the defendants. The defence maintain this is the result of contamination and the abundance of his fingerprints and DNA suggests Guede and Guede alone killed Meredith. The prosecution allege that both Amanda and Raffaele were present in the cottage the night Meredith was killed and that once Guede had fled, a well organised and methodical clean up took place to conceal any physical evidence linking them to the crime scene. Unsurprisingly plenty of Guede’s DNA and fingerprints were left for investigators to find.

I discussed the lone wolf theory a few months ago, but as I have often found with this case, new information, ideas and personal reflection often encourages me to revisit important areas in more detail or with a slightly different perspective. I have decided to take a fresh look at this theory and explain why it is completely at odds with current psychology research and how evidence available about the set up and implementation of the crime further discredit this theory as a possibility. I have decided to write this at what is possibly the most crucial part of the trial proceeding so far: The presentation of the physical evidence linking Amanda and Raffaele to the murder of Meredith Kercher.

The Organised vs. Disorganised Offender

Although the definition of homicide is reasonably clear cut, the definition of sexual homicide is much more ambiguous. There are several clear differences seen in sexual murders: Firstly the idea that killing itself is sexually arousing, secondly that the murder is carried out in order to cover up a sexual crime and finally that the offence is a homicide that has some sexual component, but in which the exact motivational dynamics remain unclear (Schlesinger, 2007). The latter seems to be the most likely scenario in this case, despite the definition being slight ambiguous it does seem clear that the murder of Meredith Kercher was a sex related homicide, possibly with a rape/sodomy motivation.

According to ‘The Handbook of Psychological Approaches with Violent Offenders’, the organised vs. disorganised crime scene characterisation of sexual homicide offenders provides a useful insight into these types of crime (Ressler et al, 1986). Clues left at the crime scene can often indicate possible personality characteristics or clues about those involved, as can the nature of the offence, the way it was planned and executed.

The organised offender

Crimes committed by an organised offender are often carefully planned and executed, there is often evidence suggesting the offender brought with them items necessary to commit the crime (such as rope or tape to bind and silence the victim), especially those that might ensure they are able to fulfil certain needs or fantasies through the act of committing the crime. There is often evidence of careful planning and as a result these offenders are usually harder to catch as they are careful about leaving trace evidence behind.

The disorganised offender

A disorganised offender on the other hand often leaves a chaotic scene behind with evidence suggesting a spontaneous or unplanned attack with very little prior planning or pre preparation. The staging of a crime scene often occurs as a direct result of a spontaneous disorganised offence and is usually spotted by investigating officers as the resulting scene is conflicted and full of red flags. By their very nature, organised offenders have no need to stage a scene as theoretically they perceive to have prepared sufficiently to avoid detection in other ways. Disorganised offenders will often stage a crime scene to cover the spontaneity of the act and the inevitable fear of being caught.

The murder of Meredith Kercher

The evidence available so far indicates that this was a disorganised offence. The crime scene photos that have been released show a messy and chaotic scene, clothes all over the floor and blood everywhere. Evidence of staging also indicates a disorganised offence as does the alleged clean up attempt. Despite the evidence suggesting a certain amount of premeditation with the murder weapon having been taken from Raffaele’s apartment to the cottage, there is no way of proving that the intention was to kill Meredith with this knife therefore we cannot necessarily conclude this was an organised offence based solely on this information. Similarly, injuries sustained by the victim also suggest she was forcibly held and that some attempt was made to silence her, yet if we are to conclude this was an organised offence, surely the offender would have brought something with which to bind and/or gag the victim?

This does not seem to be the case but rather a spontaneous group attack that resulted in a violent and chaotic murder with a subsequent panicked attempt at concealing the truth about what had happened. This leads me to conclude that the murder of Meredith Kercher is an example of a disorganised sexual homicide. None of the group had any history of violence which can in part be explained by a group dynamic. Unsurprisingly, research indicates that 64% of first time violent sexual homicides can be classified as disorganised.

Further Confusion

Despite certain pieces of evidence suggesting that this was a disorganised offence, there are elements of the crime that do not fit this conclusion. Meredith was almost certainly sexually assaulted whilst she was still alive, an attempt was made to restrain her and evidence from a break down truck driver suggests that Raffaele’s Audi may have been in the driveway of the cottage that night. Sexual assault on a live victim, evidence of restraint and evidence suggesting an offender may have driven to the scene of the crime are all associated with organised offenders. This coupled with the suggestion that the murder weapon may have been taken to the crime scene rather confuses a possible classification of a disorganised offence

As I have said many times with these types of theory and research based pieces, no theory is ever perfect especially one as reductionist as the organised/disorganised offender. This theory has been criticised for these reasons in the past. Despite this, many profilers and police officers find these sorts of classifications useful and can usually see evidence pointing to one type or another.

I believe this theory is perhaps too simplistic as it does not take into account the involvement of one or more persons in a violent sexual homicide. The slight confusion we have already seen in typology and classification of violence, added to this new confusion about whether this was an organised or disorganised offence only serves to encourage my belief that several motives, ideas and schemas about ‘how to humiliate/wind-up/hurt Meredith’ may have come into play that night. I have already suggested the possibility that there may have been a sadist in the room as well as very different motives for each of the individuals involved. The idea that certain elements of the crime are organised whilst others are disorganised not only encourages the idea that more than one person was involved but also suggests that at least one group member was firmly out of the loop.

The Blitz Attack

If Rudy Guede really had been a lone wolf killer, apart from the evidence suggesting that the break in was staged, he would almost certainly be a disorganised offender. Aside from the abundance of his DNA and fingerprints left at the scene, there are certain things we would expect to see from a lone disorganised offender that do not seem to be evident in this case.

Firstly, disorganised offenders often feel inadequate and their attacks are usually sexual in nature. These types of assailants, especially those with the intention of sexually assaulting or raping the victim, will often approach the victim from behind and due to the spontaneous nature of these offences they will usually initiate what’s known as a blitz attack. The blitz attack is primarily concerned with ensuring the victim is unable to resist or fight usually because the offender doubts their own ability to subdue the victim. The most common method of ensuring compliance is to render the victim unconscious. Unfortunately due to the amount of force employed when administering blows to (often) the head, the victim usually suffers horrendous blunt force injuries which more often than not result in serious injury or death. Meredith had no such injuries and any injuries she did sustain came much later than the initial attack.

If we are to conclude that Rudy Guede was a typical lone, first time, disorganised killer we can surely conclude he would have participated in this style of ambush, after all in one study 82% of young offenders who engaged in sexual attacks of this nature did so by initiating a blitz attack on their victims. Similarly the lone wolf theory suggests that Guede climbed through a window in order to access Meredith when he could quite easily have knocked on the door and pounced or at least chosen a method of entry that was easier and less noisy. If we are to accept the lone wolf theory as credible then we must also accept that by climbing through the window, Rudy Guede was aiming to surprise Meredith by initiating an attack to subdue, sexually assault and kill her yet the evidence suggests no such blitz attack ever took place and that the victim was very much conscious throughout most if not all of her ordeal.

The injuries sustained by Meredith are concrete, unchangeable and unchallengeable. These injuries cannot be manipulated or denied to suit. Meredith sustained defensive knife injuries to her hands in what the medical examiner likely concluded was an attempt to fight off an attack from a person standing in front of her brandishing a knife. Victims of disorganised offenders especially those that adopt the element of surprise (as the lone wolf theory suggests by insinuating Rudy climbed through the window), very rarely have defensive injuries suggesting a struggle, Meredith had several including various bruises.

Similarly research about these types of offenders indicates they often mutilate the victim by cutting or slashing the breasts, face, abdomen and genital area. Meredith sustained no post mortem mutilation. These types of offenders will often sexually assault or rape the victim after death, the medical examiner has stated he believes Meredith was in all likelihood sexually assaulted before she was seriously injured and later killed, this itself indicates some kind of restraint would have been necessary,yet this type of behaviour is not associated with disorganised offenders. The victims of certain sexual homicides often suffer injuries consistent with those found on Meredith’s body, injuries such as evidence of manual strangulation and those consistent with overkill, yet the injuries sustained by the victim do not fit the current theory of what we would expect to find in a lone, first time disorganised offender like Rudy Guede also he had no history of violence.

The crime reconstruction and evidence from injuries sustained by the victim suggests she was ambushed rather than blitzed. This in itself could suggest a planned attack, a sudden burst of ‘group’ anger or an escalation of a previously planned event.

I have previously spoken about how three people with no history of violence could easily be just as, if not more violent than a single individual with a history of violence. I still maintain that Rudy Guede would be extremely unlikely to commit this sort of violent offence alone and without provocation or consultation with anyone else. The same questions remain, why did he choose Meredith? How did he know she would be alone?

These are all questions that are never likely to be answered. This theory quite simply does not fit. It will never fit because it didn’t actually happen and insinuating that it did not only makes the 48 hours show and everyone associated with it look incredibly stupid, it also attempts to challenge an awful lot of literature and an awful lot of people, much smarter and more knowledgeable than I that will tell you exactly the same thing. Rudy Guede has not, will not and will never be proven a lone wolf killer.

A Toilet Break?

If we are to believe that Rudy Guede was a lone wolf, so overcome by lust for Meredith he broke into her house in order to rape and or kill her then we’d have almost certainly seen further evidence of sexual activity. So far the sexual assault Meredith suffered seemed to have been abandoned at some point, a point I believe Rudy ‘bottled it’ and, possibly due to excitement, fear or drugs, headed for the toilet. These sorts of actions in a lone offender do not make sense. Something spooked him that’s for sure and if he had been a lone offender there is absolutely no way he’d have left his victim in a position to escape or alert the police by going to the toilet in the middle of the attack.

Rudy admits to being at the cottage the night Meredith was killed and maintains he was on the toilet after eating a spicy Kebab when someone came into the house and stabbed Meredith. He claims to have tried to help her and then became scared and ran away. I don’t need to tell you that most of this story is what one judge accurately described as a ‘highly improbable fantasy’ yet his faeces was found in the toilet the next day indicating that he had at some point gone to the toilet. Some people believe that Rudy Guede’s version of events, despite being absurd do actually have some basis in truth as he has the awful habit of attempting to explain away things he knows the investigating officers can incriminate him with.

Like the faeces he left in the toilet for example. Rudy’s own version of events actually explains that he rushed off the toilet, had a confrontation with the killer and tried to help Meredith by stemming the flow of blood with towels, allegedly two blood soaked towels were found at the crime scene. With this in mind we could consider that Rudy became overly excited or scared during the attack, resulting in the need to visit the toilet, we could also suggest he was in the toilet before Meredith was killed. It seems highly likely that as the faeces was found in the toilet and Rudy attempted to explain it that he actually used the bathroom before Meredith was killed and certainly before he fled the cottage, after all I doubt he would hang around to use the loo after the piercing scream and the resulting knife wound, as Brian S explains in his theory, probably caused them all to flee. If the lone wolf theory is to be believed, doesn’t it seem a bit odd that Guede would be sat on the loo whilst the victim was left to her own devices? I think a far more likely scenario is that Guede was not alone in the cottage that night, Amanda and Raffaele were ‘taking care of Meredith’ while he dashed to the loo.

The Neck

I am still struggling to understand exactly how all three came to be present in the cottage that night and the exact sequence of events that led to the attack on Meredith. Arnold Layne recently put forward an excellent possible scenario as did Brian S, both can be found on TJMK.

Some evidence such as the knife and possibly Raffaele’s car in the driveway suggests an element of planning, yet other factors suggest it was anything but, as the crime itself seems rather disorganised. There certainly seem to be a number of fantasies coming through, specifically hinting at one or more of those involved gaining some kind of enjoyment in watching the victim suffer and, due to the nature of the injuries some possible fantasies linked to the victims neck.

Meredith sustained several neck injuries consistent with being manually strangled, cut with a knife before being fatally stabbed. The crime reconstruction has one of the defendants holding Meredith from behind, the other to the side holding her head up and exposing the neck with the third member of the group attacking with the knife.

So what is this apparent fascination with the neck? If they’d wanted to ensure the victim did not scream why not attempt to use a rudimentary gag such as a cloth or a sock? Though many have suggested that the neck injuries were specifically inflicted to ensure the victim didn’t scream it could (and this is where it gets pretty distressing) also be suggested that the attackers wanted to hear poor Meredith plead and beg for her life, they probably hadn’t counted on her screaming.

Any sex related homicide will usually reveal something that has a special kind of significance for the killer. I believe this may have been Meredith’s neck. They could have silenced her in any number of ways yet I believe they chose not to and underestimated her capacity to scream, it was in all likelihood her final scream, heard by a witness, that may have encouraged the fatal ‘panic blow’. It could be suggested that as this was possibly a panic blow, that the offenders had not yet finished ‘playing’ with Meredith, her final scream may have sadly sealed her fate but also ensured her suffering was not prolonged further.

Before she was fatally injured the medical examiner also determined that Meredith had been strangled. This attempt was clearly unsuccessful. According to this report:

“Only eleven pounds of pressure placed on both carotid arteries for ten seconds is necessary to cause unconsciousness.4 How-ever, if pressure is released immediately, consciousness will be regained within ten seconds. To completely close off the trachea, three times as much pressure (33 lbs.) is required. Brain death will occur in 4 to 5 minutes, if strangulation persists”

As Meredith was still very much alive when she was stabbed it could be suggested that whoever tried to strangle her, could not complete the act or believed they already had. Strangulation is more closely associated with sexual homicide than other injuries present. Most offenders who engage in strangulation apply the wrong type of pressure, use an incorrect and not yet perfected ‘technique’ especially if they are using their hands, I can imagine it’s very difficult to strangle someone if you don’t know what you are doing and especially if they are kicking and resisting. Meredith may have temporarily lost conscious, regained it and attempted to break free. This may have been the critical moment when the assailants decided to fatally injure her with the knife but not before she was taunted viciously.

Evidence available about the manner in which Meredith died suggests not only a vicious group attack but an apparent fascination with a specific area of her body upon which she sustained injuries above and beyond what was necessary to subdue or kill. This apparent fascination with Meredith’s neck could indicate the role of certain fantasies or schemas about ‘how to kill someone’. It seems odd that the assailants specifically chose to focus on her neck, after all stab wounds to the heart or abdomen are just as fatal. What was it about Meredith’s neck that provoked the injuries she sustained? I’m afraid we will never know but it is an important point to consider especially if we are to conclude that sexual fantasy may have played a role in her death.

The Two Stages of the Motive

If we consider that the murder itself was not premeditated we could also consider the motive in two different stages, this is not to suggest they are not inextricably linked as they inevitably are, however it’s a lot harder to consider the motive for the murder when attempting to understand not only the complex group dynamic but the crime as a whole. The initial motive for the attack on Meredith is still unclear. It may seem difficult to separate these two but when we do it becomes a little easier to understand.

At some stage and for whatever reason Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede ended up at 7 Via Della Pergola. They may have been high, they may have been sober or they may have intended to scare Meredith, initiate a group sex activity, even commit an act of violence. Though it may seem ridiculous to suggest this is unimportant, it really is the case. The crime scene evidence suggests the involvement of all three and though clarity and closure for the family would be ideal I fear we will never really know how or why this attack started. So it follows that we must study the trail of evidence left both at the crime scene and on the victim’s body itself. The evidence put forward so far suggests that if the plan was not to kill Meredith that night that the motive of the group may have suddenly changed at a critical point.

At one point the motive of the group changed and although the motive for the initial attack seems unclear, the motive for the later stage of the attack is not. At one point it changed from the sexual assault, argument or game, to killing Meredith.

This became the primary motive of one or all members of the group, why else would Meredith have been so viciously strangled? Why did this not kill her? Why was the attempt at strangulation abandoned in favour of the more intrusive method which caused the injury she sustained to the neck that later caused her death? Why were the group so determined to kill Meredith Kercher?

That part at least is probably easily explainable. She knew them, she could identify them and the attack had already gone so far they knew that letting her get out alive would almost certainly mean serving a long jail sentence. They decided to silence her forever. They cut her throat, took her mobile phones, locked her in her bedroom and left her to die. Later having realised the chaos and incriminating evidence left behind, two of them returned to begin the clean-up and staging of the crime scene, the other went to dance the night away.

This is why, with the evidence available so far that I believe the right people are on trial for their role in the senseless and brutal murder of Meredith Kercher. If any of you are coming here for the first time having watched the 48 hours show I implore you to seek out more information. The show barely touched the surface of how brutal and cruel the murder of poor Meredith actually was and hopefully with the aid of a little psychology theory I have successfully achieved my objective of showing how, aside from merely the physical evidence suggesting it is in fact an impossible scenario, the lone wolf theory has no credibility and doesn’t make any sense in the real world.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Seven Sad And Deprived Friends - Our Hearts Really Go Out To Them

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


[click for larger image]

Sophie Purton, Amy Frost, Natalie Hayworth, Jade Bidwell, Samantha Rodenhurst, Helen Powell and Robyn Butterworth..

Lifetime friendships would have formed in Perugia, as they do in such places.  Now probably sadly affected for the rest of their lives.

Shot outside the court complex today, by photographer Nick Cornish.

Posted on 02/13/09 at 10:38 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesPondering motiveEvidence & witnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009
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