All our posts on The psychology
Thursday, April 02, 2015
The Psychology Of The Human Race Puts Us On A Rising Curve Toward True Justice For All
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
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.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Pondering motive, Meredith-case hoaxes, Demonized pair hoax
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (37)
Monday, January 12, 2015
The Scale Of Evil By Forensic Psychologist Professor Michael Stone Of Columbia University NYC
Posted by Mark
1. Who Is Dr Stone
Dr Stone is increasingly on American TV and in American courts as demands for better answers to heinous crimes grow.
He has published a lot and is a partner in a research clinic in New York. These are Dr Stone’s professional credentials as posted on Psychology Today.
Dr. Michael Stone is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia. His specialty is personality disorders - most especially “borderline personality disorder.” But in recent years he has concentrated as well on the extremes of personality, as shown by persons who show antisocial, psychopathic, and sadistic traits. This led to an interest in the kinds of people committing murder - spanning the spectrum from jealousy murders to serial killers and torturers. Recently he served as the host of the Discovery Channel show, “Most Evil,” for which he was sent around the country interviewing serial killers and murderers of other types.
This experience, plus his research over the past twenty years, led to his writing The Anatomy of Evil (appearing in July of 2009). The book explores the “why” factor: what are the inborn and environmental factors that cause certain people to commit murder and, at the extreme end, to behave with uncommon cruelty toward their fellow man. Modeled after Dante’s Inferno, the book progresses from the least to the most “evil” crimes, and contains a chapter devoted to recent contributions from neuroscience toward understanding the mind of the psychopath.
2. Interviews On Radio And TV
In the video above, how Dr Stone explained his scale of evil on a Canadian interview show, and below how he explained it on American National Public Radio.
Perhaps no surprises for Americans in the names of the killers in the examples. How they divide up confirms some postings we have had here before. For one thing, most don’t fit in the full-blown psychopathic group (Group 4).
Columbia University professor Michael Stone knows evil. He’s a forensic psychologist — the type of expert that provides testimony on the mental state of accused murderers when a declaration of insanity can mean the difference between life and death row.
Inspired by the structure of Dante’s circles of hell, Stone has created his own 22-point “Gradations of Evil” scale, made up of murderers in the 20th century. “I thought it would be an interesting thing to do,” he says.
His scale is loosely divided into three tiers. First are impulsive evil-doers: driven to a single act of murder in a moment of rage or jealousy. Next are people who lack extreme psychopathic features, but may be psychotic — that is, clinically delusional or out of touch with reality. Last are the profoundly psychopathic, or “those who possess superficial charm, glib speech, grandiosity, but most importantly cunning and manipulativeness,” Stone says. “They have no remorse for what they’ve done to other people.”
Stone hopes the scale could someday be used in prosecutions. “The people at the very end of the scale have certain things about their childhood backgrounds that are different,” he says, from those who appear earlier in the scale. And because the scale follows a continuum of likelihood a killer will kill again, courts may be able to better categorize the risks posed by releasing a psychopath.
Conspicuously absent from Stone’s scale are wartime evil-doers. “My scale is a scale for evil in peacetime,” he says. That’s because assessing wartime evil from a criminal-psychological standpoint is more complicated because of factors like culture, history and religion.”
And in war, there are often two sides. Take Hitler, Stone says. “He thought we were evil, we thought he was evil.” But, he adds, “in that particular case, we were right.”
The Scale Of Evil
1. NOT EVIL
1. Justified Homicide
The least malevolent: Those who have killed in self-defense and do not show psychopathic features.
Long Island native Cheryl Pierson had been repeatedly molested by her father after her mother died. He was a domineering man with rigid and bizarre rules — for example, he insisted she eat three items on her dinner plate incrementally in a clockwise rotation; if she didn’t he would become violent. In desperation at age 17, she paid a classmate $400 to kill her father. She was sentenced to six months in jail for what was, in Stone’s words, “in effect a self-defense killing.”
2. IMPULSIVE MURDERERS
People who are not really psychopaths, not subject to routine unspeakable acts without remorse. “Ordinary people that get caught in some terrible situation,” Stone says.
2. Jealous Lovers, Non-Psychopathic
Though egocentric or immature, evildoers in this category committed their crimes in the heat of passion.
School director Jean Harris led an exemplary life before she became romantically involved with “Scarsdale Diet” doctor Herman Tarnower. But when she found another woman’s panties in his dresser, she snapped. Harris shot her lover to death in a crime of passion — and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
3. Willing Companions Of Killers
Still far from psychopathic, some have antisocial traits and an aberrant personality. They’re often driven by impulse.
Jack Olsen’s 1987 book Cold Kill describes Cindy Campbell as a manipulative, chaotic woman. She claimed she was the victim of incest and was accused of enlisting her lover, David West, to kill her parents in their sleep. Both she and West were convicted of murder.
Susan Cummings. Larry Morris/AFP/Getty Images i
4. Provocative “Self-Defense”
These people kill in self-defense, but they aren’t entirely innocent themselves; they may have been “extremely provocative” toward their victim.
A shy, tomboyish daughter of a billionaire arms trader, Susan Cummings fell in love with an Argentine polo player, Roberto Villegas. But after two years together, they fought: She was stingy and began to refuse sex; he would get angry and verbally abusive. Finally she shot him to death in her kitchen in 1997. Originally charged with first-degree murder, she was ultimately convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
5. Desperate Measures
These are traumatized, desperate killers of abusive relatives or others — but they lack “significant psychopathic traits” and are genuinely remorseful.
Susan Wyche was a topless dancer who married and had a child with Jeff Wright, a successful carpet salesman from Houston. He used cocaine, had affairs, gave Susan herpes and was physically abusive. In 2003, she reached a breaking point, and in a fit of rage stabbed him 193 times. Portrayed as a battered wife by the defense and a vicious seductress by the prosecution, she was given a relatively light sentence: 25 years. A new punishment hearing is set for October.
6. Hot Heads
Killers who act in an impetuous moment, yet without marked psychopathic features.
Born in Japan, Issei Sagawa was pampered by his mother, but became highly irritable and prone to tantrums. In high school, he developed cannibalistic fantasies, and in 1981 he was accused of carrying one out in Paris. His victim: a Dutch student named Renee Hartevelt. He lured her to his apartment, shot her to death, sexually assaulted the body and then began eating her muscle tissue. He was declared legally insane in France and sent back to Japan, where he was released from a mental institution in 1986. He’s now a minor celebrity and has written books and magazine articles about his experience.
Highly narcissistic killers who are often possessive, not distinctly psychopathic, but “with a psychopathic core.” They typically kill loved ones or family members out of jealousy.
In 1968, college student Prosenjit Poddar met Tatiana Tarasoff at a dance class in California. They dated briefly but she rejected him. Poddar then told his therapist about wanting to kill her. His therapist wanted to commit him to hospital, but Poddar convinced campus police he was not dangerous. In the summer of 1969, after she returned from a vacation, Poddar stabbed Tarasoff to death with a kitchen knife. Poddar was convicted and deported back to India after his conviction was overturned. Her parents sued the campus police for failing to warn that their daughter was in danger. This led to the famous Tarasoff decision, which ruled physicians now must warn potential victims of a psychiatric patient.
8. Fit of Rage
Non-psychopathic people, who live with an underlying, smoldering rage, then kill when that rage is ignited.
In 1966, ex-Marine Charles Whitman gunned down his wife and his mother, then ascended a tower at the University of Texas and began shooting people with a rifle. He killed 14 people and wounded 32, before being shot and killed by police. His early life was plagued by physical abuse by his father. A UT psychologist who met with Whitman before the murders described him as “oozing with hostility.” An autopsy revealed that he had a brain tumor, which may have contributed to his rage.
Those who show a “fair number” of psychopathic traits — grandiosity, superficial charm, or general lack of remorse.
9. Jealous Lovers, Psychopathic
The scale’s first foray into psychopathic territory, these killers are jealous lovers but with marked psychopathic features.
Paul Snider “discovered” Dorothy Stratten when she was working at a Dairy Queen at age 17. He became her manager and steered her to Playboy magazine, where she became Playmate of the Year in 1980. They married, but their relationship soon deteriorated, and she became involved with film director Peter Bogdanovich. In a jealous rage, Snider lured her to his apartment and shot her to death with a rifle before killing himself. Bob Fosse made a film about her tragic life, Star 80.
10. “In The Way” Killers, Not Fully Psychopathic
Killers of witnesses or people who are simply “in the way.” These evildoers are egocentric, but not totally psychopathic.
Born in 1925, John List was described as rigid, joyless, angry and a neighborhood crank. A failed accountant with poor executive ability, he kept losing jobs, yet bought a big house for his wife and three children — which he couldn’t afford. Caught between his indebtedness and his monstrous pride, he decided to kill his family. In 1971, he shot and killed his mother, wife and children, and fled to Colorado under an assumed name. He was at large for 18 years, until an image constructed by a forensic anthropologist was broadcast on America’s Most Wanted. He died in prison in 2008 at age 82.
11. “In The Way” Psychopaths
Psychopathic killers of people “in the way.” Premeditation is not usually a major factor in their killings.
An Army Green Beret doctor named Jeffrey MacDonald began showing signs of violence and hatred of women in his adolescence. In 1970, was accused of killing his wife and daughters, and then staging the scene to look like a cult slaying in the mold of Charles Manson. MacDonald was convicted of murder, but his case — the subject of the book Fatal Vision — has dragged on for four decades. In August 2010, his lawyers filed a brief in federal court asking for a new trial and claiming that DNA evidence could prove MacDonald’s innocence.
12. Power-Hungry And Cornered
Power-hungry psychopaths who kill when “cornered,” or placed in a situation they wouldn’t be able to escape with their power intact.
Born in 1931, Jim Jones was attracted early on to a Pentecostal religious group that practiced “speaking in tongues.” He later became a charismatic leader of the Peoples Temple. Grandiose and fanatic, as well as psychopathic and paranoid, he gathered a large group of followers and moved with them to Guyana. In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan and his entourage went to Guyana to investigate; he and four others were shot and killed. Cornered, Jones told his followers to commit group suicide. In all, 914 people died, 276 of them children. He also took his own life.
13. Inadequate And Rageful
Murderers with shortcomings that follow them throughout life, who also express psychopathic impulses and are prone to rage.
Karla Faye Tucker
Karla Faye Tucker was born the illegitimate daughter of prostitute and abused drugs since she was 9. She married at 16 — by which time she had already had a hysterectomy for pelvic inflammatory disease. She divorced at 20. In 1983, she and boyfriend Daniel Garrett invaded the apartment of Jerry Lynn Dean while the two were high on methadone, valium, heroin and alcohol. Tucker and Garrett killed Dean and the woman he was with, using a hammer and pickaxe. After 14 years on death row, she was executed in 1998. She was the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.
Ruthlessly self-centered and psychopathic, schemers stop at nothing to deceive, con and steal.
Sante Kimes was born in 1934 and soon became a self-trained con artist. Briefly married to Lee Powers, she had a son, Kenny. Many more thefts followed, along with use of numerous aliases. She made her son into a kind of slave; the two became “grifters” — accomplished at stealing. In 1998 she and her son conned their way into the good graces of Irene Silverman, a wealthy Fifth Avenue widow in New York City. They got her to sign over her property and then killed her, disposing of her body. Kimes is a classic psychopath, and is considered responsible for other murders besides that of Silverman. She and her son are serving life sentences.
15. Cold-Blooded Spree
Murderers who kill multiple people calmly and with a psychopathic motive. Often pathological in their denial of guilt or inability to confront reality.
Charles Manson was born in 1934 to a troubled family. At a young age, he began stealing, ending up in reformatories then jail and prisons. In his 30s he began to attract a following of waif-like women who were in his thrall. Then in 1969 he had his group invade the home of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, killing her, her unborn baby and four friends. Later they killed Rosemary LaBianca, scrawling “Death to Pigs” in her blood around the house. He received the death penalty, later commuted to a life term in Corcoran Prison in California.
Fully psychopathic by every modern definition.
16. Vicious Psychopaths
Those who commit multiple vicious acts that may also include murder, rape or mutilation.
Born in 1962 into a wealthy Japanese family, Miyazaki Tsutomu had a congenital hand defect, such that he was unable to hold his hands palm-up. He was ostracized as a child and began to lurk around young girls, stalking them. In 1989, he kidnapped and murdered four young girls, mutilated their bodies and drank the blood of one victim. When his crimes were discovered, his father committed suicide out of shame. Miyazaki coldly regarded that as “just punishment” for not raising him correctly. He was executed in Tokyo in 2008.
17. The Sexually Perverse
Serial killers with some element of sexual perversion in their crimes. In males, rape is usually the primary motive and killing follows to hide the evidence. Torture is not a primary motive.
Ted Bundy was born in 1946, performed well in school and was acutely shy. His sexual homicides began in earnest in 1974, near his alma mater, the University of Washington. He worked his way down to Florida, luring, raping and killing at least 28 girls en route. He escaped from a Colorado prison in 1977, and continued killing until identified and apprehended (thanks to bite marks that matched his teeth) in 1978. He was executed in Florida in 1989.
18. Torturing Murderers
Though psychotic, they do not typically prolong their torture. Murder, not torture, is their primary motivation.
Gary Ridgeway, a.k.a the “Green River Killer,” grew up in Washington state. He was troubled by his sexual attraction to his mother and of his feelings of lust and humiliation. He’s one of the serial killers showing the famous childhood “triad” of bed-wetting, fire-setting, and animal torture. He began serial killing of prostitutes in earnest after a third divorce in 1982. Some investigators believe he may have killed as many as 90 women, subjecting some to bondage or necrophilia. He’s now serving 48 life sentences plus 480 years.
19. Non-Homicidal Psychopaths
Psychopaths who fall short of murder, yet engage in terrorism, subjugation, intimidation or rape.
Gary Steven Krist
Gary Steven Krist had served prison time for robbery and fraud in three different states before he was 18. Out of prison in 1968 at age 23, he planned a ransom kidnapping. His victim was Barbara Mackle. Krist buried her underground, allowing her to breathe using a tube, while he awaited a $500,000 ransom from her father. She was rescued after 83 hours buried alive. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled and later convicted of importing cocaine into the United States. He’s in a federal prison in Florida, with a planned release in November 2010.
20. Murdering Torturers
Psychotic (legally insane) and primarily motivated by their desire to torture.
From a young age, Joseph Kallinger’s foster family abused him so severely that at age 6 he suffered a hernia inflicted by his foster father. He was psychotic and schizophrenic, and when he married and had children, he was equally brutal. In 1972 he was held on charges of child abuse but was later released. In 1974, he and his 13-year-old son Michael began to break into houses in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Jersey, where they terrorized and tortured four families, and then sexually assaulted and killed a 21-year-old nurse. Finally arrested, he was sentenced to life, and then sent to a mental hospital where he died in 1996 at age 59.
21. Pure Torturers
Not all torturers murder. These psychopaths (evaluated to be in touch with reality) are preoccupied with torture “in the extreme,” but never convicted of murder.
Cameron Hooker was born in 1953. As he grew older he read pornography, particularly that which portrayed women being tortured. He married his wife, Janice, in 1975. He fantasized about having his own sex slave and allegedly reached an agreement with his wife that she could have a baby if he could have a sex slave. After the birth of their child, Hooker kidnapped 20-year-old Colleen Stan in 1977 and kept her captive for seven years. She was whipped, strangled, burned, electrically shocked and raped. For much of that time, she was locked inside a box for 23 hours a day. She and Hooker’s wife fled together in 1984. He was convicted and sentenced to 104 years in prison.
22. Psychopathic Torture-Murderers
Defined by a primary motivation to inflict prolonged, diabolical torture. Most in this category are male serial killers.
Born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer was sexually molested by a neighbor when he was 8. At 10, he was decapitating animals and mounting their heads on stakes in the backyard. At 17 he committed his first murder, a male hitchhiker whom he bludgeoned, strangled, dismembered and buried. After a failed stint in the Army, his serial killing began in earnest in the late 80s, ending up with at least 17 victims — all males, some homosexual, like Dahmer. Finally arrested in 1991, he was convicted the next year of 15 murders and sentenced to 936 years in prison. In 1994, another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin bludgeoned Dahmer to death with a bar from a weight machine.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, Demonized pair hoax
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (3)
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, in psychology, is a defence mechanism, common in the formative years”
“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.
(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.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Pondering motive
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (11)
Friday, December 05, 2014
Boiling Frustration Leads Many To Kill: The Possible Parallels Of The Lord Lucan Case
Posted by Odysseus
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
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Pondering motive, Other legal processes, Others elsewhere
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (16)
Monday, November 24, 2014
Italian Media Spotlighting The Perversion Of Killer Groupies Of Alleged Murderer Of 38 Patients
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Alleged Nurse-Killer Attracting Deviant Males
Convicted killers and alleged killers facing trial often attract deviant support with sexual undertones.
Why the case of Nurse Daniela Poggiali, arrested a month ago in north Italy, is capturing so much attention is not only the seeming extent of her crimes - some 38 patients in her care died mysteriously - or her bizarre selfies exulting over one dead patent.
It is also the astonishing volume and and rabid lust of the fanmail now arriving at the place where she is awaiting trial, and the increasing numbers of Italian killer groupies emerging online and jostling to head her parade, Italian Knox groupies such as Luca Cheli maybe among them.
Here is a UK report and a translated Italian-media report will follow.
Italian nurse who took photos of herself with patients she had murdered is flooded with fan mail in prison – including marriage proposals
An Italian nurse who took photos of herself with dead patients she had murdered is being flooded with fan letters from male admirers, including some containing marriage proposals.
Daniela Poggiali, 42, from the town of Lugo, in the Emilia-Romagna Region of central Italy, was arrested after police investigating the mysterious death of a 78-year-old patient stumbled upon 38 other unexplained deaths on her shifts.
Rosa Calderoni, 78, was admitted with a routine illness but died after being injected with high levels of potassium - the compound used in lethal injection executions in the U.S.
Nurse Daniela Poggiali from Lugo, in central Italy, has been sent fan mail and wedding proposals while she awaits trial in relation to 38 unexplained deaths on her shifts
Further investigations revealed that over a three month period, 38 out of 86 patients under Poggiali’s care at the Umberto I hospital in Lugo had all died mysteriously.
Now awaiting trial at a prison in Forli, a city in central Italy, Poggiali is being inundated with fan mail from admirers calling her ‘good looking’. A prison spokesman said: ‘Over the last few weeks since she was placed here there has been a steady stream of letters from males.
‘Most of them say how pretty and good looking they think she is, and one or two have even contained proposals of marriage.’ Prison officials said Poggiali has received a steady stream of letters from men calling her ‘good looking’
According to investigators the nurse had found the dead patients ‘annoying’ or that they had ‘pushy relatives’. During their investigations they discovered pictures of Poggiali grinning alongside the dead bodies.
The lead magistrate investigating the case, Alessandro Mancini said: ‘We believe she is sound of mind, but simply took satisfaction, and real pleasure in killing.
‘The photos reveal an unbearable cruelty that I have not seen in 30 years on the job.’
A spokesman from the hospital where she worked said: ‘She always came across as being a very cold person. ‘But she also used her charms to flirt with male doctors if she thought she could get favours from them.’
Poggiali has denied killing any patients and says she is being framed by jealous colleagues.
2. Killer-Groupies Get More Media & Research Attention
The growing fear in justice circles is that killer groupies are helping to elevate murder rates.
They are certainly elevating anger levels, and making potential killers feel competitive and jealous of the media coverage of others. They are damaging professional careers and sparking death threats, making law-abiding people more distrustful, making police-work and convictions more difficult, and distracting hard-pressed politicians and populations from looming world-wide problems.
All of which comes at a high cost and puts all of us in a great deal more danger. So the spotlight upon killer groupies is intensifying. Here is one media report.
A look inside the bizarre world of serial killer groupies
If you type the phrase “serial killer addresses” into an Internet search engine, you’ll get some disturbing results.
A number of websites list the prison addresses of convicted killers, and police investigators told FOX 12 there are plenty of people — serial killer groupies — writing to convicted serial killers.
Portland police homicide detective Jim Lawrence said he once investigated a Portland man who corresponded with two convicted serial murderers.
Lawrence showed FOX 12 some of the correspondence, including a letter he said the Portland man wrote to serial killer Douglas Daniel Clark.
Clark and a partner were known as “Sunset Strip Killers.”
The pair were convicted for a series of killings in Los Angeles. The letter to Clark included an illustration of a hand with the phrase, ”Who knows what these hands will do, what they’ll do 20 years from now.”
“He really seemed to put a kind of hero worship behind this serial killer, and it was a kind of morbid fascination,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence also showed FOX 12 violent artwork the man received from serial killer Ottis Toole, convicted of killing six people in Florida in the 1980s. Police believe Toole also killed 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981. The sketch depicts a decapitated head.
Criminal psychologist Dr. Frank Colistro said serial killers often radiate a perverse charisma that groupies find attractive.
“A lot of them get caught up in the drama that’s associated with these people forever,” Colistro explained.
And the list is long for love behind bars, for killers who’ve been married in prison.
I-5 killer Randy Woodfield, who was convicted for murder and attempted murder and suspected in dozens of other crimes in the early 1980s, has been hitched twice at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and Scott Peterson all have had loyal female followers.
“The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, convicted of 13 brutal murders in California in the 1980s, had groupies who called themselves, ‘the women in black,’ who attended his trial.
“You do get a lot of inadequate, insecure women,” Colistro said. “In a sense, they’re the perfect boyfriend, the perfect husband. In a sense, you can do a relationship light, so to speak.”
Then there are groupies who want to befriend the notorious. Lawrence said some write to convicted killers for profit, to potentially sell the letters online. He said others have a bizarre admiration for the killers.
Lawrence said he interviewed the Portland man who wrote the detailed, expletive-filled letters after out-of-state police discovered the man’s relationship with killer Ottis Toole.
“So they contacted us and I had a little chat with him,” he said.
He said it turned out the man was trying to get letters and artwork from Toole to sell online.
Colistro, however, said there are some people hoping to become copycats.
“They’ll study the M-O of the offender and they’ll start to duplicate it,” he said.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, The wider contexts, Italian context
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (9)
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Case For More Observation And Firmer Action As Psychopaths Among Us Do Enormous Harm
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
In Leeds in the UK a 16-year old boy has been sentenced to 20 years. He has also been publicly named, unusual for one so young, and an image released, to hopefully protect the public from him for the rest of his life. The judge warned him that he may never be released.
The more you read about Will Cornick the worse it gets.
He slashed a popular teacher in front of a whole class. She escaped wounded and terrified but he followed her to another room with glass panes and tried to push in. Another teacher kept him out but Ann Maguire was too far gone.
Grim clues are still coming to light. From one of the latest reports.
Cornick attacked Mrs Maguire after boasting to friends that he was going to kill her. He also said he was going to murder other teachers, including a pregnant woman ‘so as to kill her unborn child’.
He later told doctors: ‘I said I was going to do other stuff but I never got the chance, other murders. It was a triple homicide.’
After the murder the teenager told psychiatrists that he ‘couldn’t give a s***’ and added: ‘Everything I’ve done is fine and dandy.’...
Far from having an unhappy upbringing, Cornick comes from a middleclass background and his parents have been described as loving and supportive…
Cornick’s former girlfriend believes Mrs Maguire, who has been called the ‘mother of the school’, was killed because she was being tough on the intelligent teenager in a bid to unlock his potential…
Friends had started to think of him as a ‘loner and weirdo’ and ‘disturbing’ aspects of his personality became apparent.
He spoke openly about murdering his teacher, messaging a friend on Facebook about brutally killing her and spending the rest of his life in jail. But no one - including his former girlfriend - believed he was capable of carrying out such psychotic threats.
After the murder it was revealed that he had numerous images of knives on his mobile phone. The teenager used a picture of the Grim Reaper for his Facebook profile. He also had a keen interest in ultra-violent video games, including Dark Souls II, in which players hack zombies to pieces.
Players devour the souls of their fallen enemies to the sound of cries of agony. Disturbing images include a character made up of hundreds of human corpses. It was voted one of the ten Most Violent Video Games of 2014.
One pupil recalled Cornick saying disgusting things at a party. He said: ‘He was saying twisted stuff like “imagine jumping on a pregnant woman and seeing the baby come out”, and saying horrible stuff about cancer and stuff like that…
The teenager later confessed to a psychiatrist that the killing had been on his mind for three years, and one expert said he had engaged in a ‘considerable amount of fantasy’ about killing Mrs Maguire.
And so the debate on psychopathy and what to do about it ratches up anothert notch.
The word ‘psychopath’, like ‘narcissist’,has become known in common usage. This is both good and bad,- good if we understand more, yet bad if we assume wrongly or more superficially.
One assumption too frequently made is an association with only adulthood. Surely a child can’t be psychopathic? Unfortunately the answer is Yes.
Another assumption : surely if a child were to be nurtured correctly - with all the optimal nutrition and healthy lifestyle, and love possible, with encouragement and guidance from the parents - any tendency towards psychopathic traits could and would be overcome?
We want to believe this is so. It hurts us, on a fundamental human level, to be informed that,
‘No, this is not the case’.
A child from what is considered a ‘good background’ CAN nevertheless have a psychopathic personality. (This is also what the judge said in the Cormick trial).
With the advance of new technology - in particular MRI studies of the brain- we are beginning to explore and discover the structural differences in people’s brains (at every age). We are also recording the differences in our responses to varying events, stimulation, and emotion.
Our brains do not react in the same ways, not at all. Even introverts and extraverts are physiologically different, with regard to the amount of stimulation they can take, and also what might be called ‘method’ pathways.
In the more normal mind, it is a customary impulse to respond to pain, humiliation etc by lashing out oneself. The ‘taking it out on others’ scenario.
But, from when we are very young,this impulse is moderated by an awareness of what the pain we would be causing would feel like. In other words, we feel like pinching our sister very hard, say because she has stolen something small, but we remember how that severe pinch would feel, and bruise etc, and so we restrain.
As we continue to grow, this restraint to the impulse becomes a strong and immediate inhibition. Hence we become socialised and civilised. We feel each others’ pain, literally. It is a function of imagination, memory and neurology.
There is growing evidence from advancing research that in the truly psychopathic mind, this inhibition does not happen, because the first stage - of feeling for others - is absent. Perhaps some of the pathways are missing or diminished; the amygdala is different, perhaps, or other brain structures.
Such people therefore are able to impose violence and pain upon others with impunity. Hence we observe and say they are ‘cold’.
One important difference between this type and the more normal type of mind, is that they are like this irrespective of whether they have been loved or not. Of course disadvantageous and dysfunctional upbringings make the situations a whole lot worse.
Experiments have been done, and are still being explored, to define the extent of these differences, with some accuracy. It will take some time, as of course the neurology in the brain is highly complex, and subtle, and a single event will involve several or many pathways and several ‘hubs’ -as one might describe them.
So far, Baron-Cohen has identified about twelve ‘centres’ that will be involved in high or low empathy circuits in the brain. There may be more. Also, he and other distinguished researchers (many of whom have spent their life’s work on the subject) are examining what the genetic components are that underlie psychopathic traits.
Unfortunately, all this worthwhile work meets some resistance, and therefore delay (and difficulty in funding of course). Sadly such resistance comes from both left and right, ( leaving the researchers treading a fine line down the centre).
On the left, those who advocate improving social conditions, alleviating poverty, greater nurturing etc., fear that a discovery of the violent, cruel, anarchic nature ‘being genetic’ would undermine their raison d’être, and the case for more funding for the deprived and under-privileged.
On the right, there is a substantial fear, valid to a degree, that finding the root cause of psychopathic behaviour in brain structure and genes would give the worst and most unanswerable opt-out clause when psychopaths are on trial, to the effect of,
“Sorry, M’Lord, I couldn’t help it ; it’s in me genes”. (Etc).
A nightmare, indeed, for the prosecution.
This objection is something psychologists are already familiar with, where attempts are made by the defense to proffer psychological truths or diagnoses as mitigating factors, or ‘get-out’ clauses.
It cannot be stated clearly enough : to understand something is not to excuse it. To establish something in fact does not dilute the need to bear responsibility for the behaviour that ensues from it.
We can, and must, find ways to exert restraint and control over anti-social, destructive and undesirable behaviour. Preferably before it becomes criminal behaviour. It becomes more and more imperative, as we realize that ‘the enemy’ - the terrorist - the destroyer- moves among us, as ‘the kid next door’.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, Demonized pair hoax
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (35)
Friday, July 18, 2014
Seeds Of Betrayal: Multiple Examples Of How RS And AK Have Tried To Apply More Blame To The Other
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
This report of 18 July 2014 will be updated soon. There were myriad instances in their two books and several new instances in the media since, the latest being Sollecito on Porta a Porta on 6 February 2015. Knox’s silence and the spiraling nastiness of her gang suggest stark reality is setting in. Stalking of the Kerchers is reaching a dangerous pitch. Whatever happened to “nice girl Knox”?
How Sollecito and Knox So Threaten One Another
The other day, a claim was posted that claimed sources had said Knox would soon accuse Sollecito.
This inspired quite an outcry, and the claim’s heavy-handed suppression. Can you believe: by legal means? That claim really rattled a few cages.
Why was the claim so dangerous? Because for nearly seven years Sollecito and Knox have repeatedly cycled between occasional chummy hugs and numerous aggrieved potshots. And for the most part the more-aggrieved Sollecito has come out ahead.
- In 2007 (see below) Sollecito really dropped Knox in the drink and both fired off a lot of potshots.
- From 2008 right through 2011, desperate for confirmation of an alibi, an anxious Knox beamed pleas at a sullen Sollecito, for example in the form of love letters she wrote, and a public request to have a private chat.
- From 2012 upon provisional release it was Knox being sullen and hard to get and Sollecito in puppy-dog mode. He might have been driven by a genuine desire for a renewed relationship, but a bid to set himself up safely in the United States might have made Knox wonder if this was true love.
- And from mid 2013 public potshots have been fast and furious, many now on Twitter, and Italy in particular is closely watching the show and waits agog as the justice system applies more and more pressure.
Our main posts tracking this dont (for now) include the numerous veiled potshots in the RS and AK books, the reason being that we are waiting for the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors’ new charges for what they identify as the defamatory claims in each book to be made public. As usual we are tracking them closely, rather than jumping the gun, to avoid confusion.
Some of the potshots were active-aggressive (as in: they actually complain about one another) and some are passive-aggressive (as in: they try to help themselves but conspicuously ignore the other.)
You can sample both flavors below.
1. The year 2007
Our emerging Interrogation Hoax series quotes multiple witnesses testifying how quickly and decisively Knox and Sollecito got off to a fast start in dropping the other in the drink. Too many posts of relevance to include all here, but see this.
From 6 November 2007 Knox and Sollecito were kept separated, and were not allowed to talk. (That continued to late 2011.) Sollecito was pretty easy to read: he had little interest in talk. A sulky silence was his norm.
1. On 6 November Sollecito’s statement to Inspectors Moscatelli and Napoleoni included this about Knox :
I know Amanda for two weeks. From the evening I first met her she started sleeping at my house.
The first of November I woke up about 11.00, I had breakfast with Amanda, then she went out and I went back to bed. I then met up with her at her house around 13.00-14.00. In there was Meredith who left in a hurry about 16.00 without saying where she was going.
Amanda and I went to the [town] centre about 18.00 but I don’t remember what we did. We remained in the centre till 20.30 or 21.00.
I went to my house alone at 21.00, while Amanda said that she was going to the pub Le Chic because she wanted to meet with her friends.
At this point we said goodbye. I went home, I made a joint. Had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. About 23.00 my father called me on my house phone line.
I recall Amanda was not back yet.
I web surfed on the computer for two more hours after my father’s phone call and I only stopped when Amanda came back in, presumably about 01.00…
In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.
2. Yikes. Knox finds her best alibi yanked. Not so long after, possibly knowing about this, Knox comes out with a statement which points at Sollecito in turn.
I don’t know for sure if Raffaele was there that night [during the attack on Meredith] but I do remember very well waking up at my boyfriend’s house, in his bed, and I went back to my house in the morning where I found the door open.
3. Then on 8 November 2007 Sollecito submitted a statement to Judge Matteini which began “I never want to see Amanda again. Above all, it is her fault we are here.”
4. There were multiple further instances throughout the rest of 2007, quotes of which will be included soon in the Knox Interrogation Hoax series.
2. The Year 2008
5. Knox and Sollecito each appealed Judge Matteini’s ruling to the Supreme Court. Neither helped the other at all. Both appeals failed in April and they were each kept locked up.
6. Click here for Sollecito Turns On Knox? This Is Extraordinary…
In October toward the end of Guede’s trial and RS’s and AK’s remand for trial Sollecito’s DNA expert testifies to Judge Micheli that he found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra and bra-clasp.
7. Click here for Sollecito Family Trial: On The Component About Their Alleged Attempt At Political Interference
Francesco Sollecito phone conversation in March 2008 with Vanessa captured by the Carabinieri in which he shows his extreme distrust and dislike of Knox who he blames for RS’s plight.
3. The Year 2009
8. Click here for The Letters Between The Women’s And Men’s Wings In Capanne
Letters sent from Knox to Sollecito in February are published, showing an eagerness to get together, suggesting she really needs Sollecito to speak up and confirm her latest alibi.
9. Click here for Trial: Defendant Noticeably Bubblier Than Meredith’s Sad Friends
This kind of callous, flippant behavior by Knox had the entire court backed off, not least the Sollecito team which had no desire to be chained to this seeming dangerous nut.
10. Click here for Sollecito Not To Be Trumped By Knox Antics In The Female Wing Of Capanne
While RS and AK didnt have access to one another they sure had access to the media and in the Italian media a competitive Sollecito posted a steady stream of stories
11. Click here for Trial: Knox Claimed Not To Have Been At The House On The Night
Knox suddenly claims this, despite contrary 2007 claims by both Knox & Sollecito, which messes with Sollecito’s alibi that he was at home alone on the computer.
12. Click here for Seems Sollecito Is Feeling Really Sorry - For Himself (So What’s New?)
Sollecito tries to give himself an edge over AK by being extra-whiny about how awful he finds prison, and the distasteful little people he was being made to mix with.
4. The Year 2010
13 Click here for How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire
The Knox team avoided this popular Porta a Porta TV series, maybe too scared of hard questions, while the Sollecito lawyers and family used it to promote suspicion of AK and Guede.
14. Click here for Newsweek Report From Italy On Damage Shrill Campaign Is Doing To Knox’s Interests & America’s Image
The shrill Knox campaign was irritating Italians and so hurting Sollecito’s image and prospects and it was not shoring up his own story. Bongiorno especially disliked the campaign.
15. Click here for Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony
The strange kinky Member of Parliament (now voted out) paid numerous visits to Knox (“monitoring conditions”) and tried some nasty (though ineffective) political tricks - but not for Sollecito.
16. Click here for The Knox Movie: Sollecito Reported Angry - Real Risk That His Defense Could Break Away From Knox’s
The Sollecito camp had a strong belief that the Knox camp was behind this TV movie and so they fought it, though it turned out quite even-handed and the RS role was minor.
5. The Year 2011
17. Click here for Sollecito Defense Team Breaking From Knox Defense Team On Legal Measures To Stop Lifetime Movie
Further differences reported here between the two camps on the Lifetime movie which until it was aired was believed to favor Knox and build a case for her innocence.
18. Click here for Tenth Appeal Court Session: Might Today’s Testimony Give Sollecito More Of An Advantage Than Knox?
After his team’s (attempted) discounting of the main evidence at Meredith’s house against Sollecito, Knox’s position looks way worse, as she has motives both for killing and cover-up.
19. Click here for Is The Raffaele Sollecito Defense Team About To Separate Him From A Radioactive Amanda Knox?
Final days. Sollecito has at least five advantages over Knox. Better lead lawyer, better family in Italian eyes with smarter campaign, not much physical evidence at the house, no obvious motive unlike Knox, and a weak and washy personality Bongiorno plays up.
6. The Year 2012
20. Click here for In Desperation A Council Of War? All Of The Sollecito Family Suddenly Hop On Flights To Seattle
Sollecito is the one now in puppy-dog mode, though his father has said publicly that the relationship with Knox is at an end; here the RS family sets out for Seattle to try to make it so.
21. Click here for Sollecito’s Book Honor Bound Hits Italy And Already Scathing Reactions And Legal Trouble
Sollecito’s book, which subtly promotes Knox’s guilt, runs into legal trouble for false claims, which could also impact Knox’s claims and legal future. His seeming sticking with Knox damages Bongiorno’s defense strategy.
22. Click here for Will Sollecito Drop Amanda Knox In It Further In A Public Seattle Interview At 7:00 PM Tonight?
Sollecito’s American book promotion tour often went badly and he seemed unaware of what was in his own book; though once again he was making out Knox was guiltier. His defense team despise the book.
7. The Year 2013
23. Click here for Knox & Sollecito Meet - To Attempt To Bury The Hatchet Other Than In Each Other?
The second public Sollecito attempt to end up with Knox, who already had chips on her shoulders about him but went through this charade. Soon, they were back to whacking one another.
24. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: Sollecito Twice More Implies Evidence Against Knox Much Stronger Than Against Him
Sollecito sustains this steady drum-beat of putting Knox down, highlighting the evidence against her, repeatedly saying he stuck with her despite no evidence against him (no deal helping RS was ever offered).
25. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito
Knox does an extended interview with Oggi (for which she and Oggi are being charged) lying about officials and the evidence, but also uttering her angriest blast yet against Sollecito.
8. The Year 2014
26. Click here for Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy
Sollecito (like Sforza) was desperately looking for someone to marry him, to keep him in the US. Kelsey Kay was briefly interested, but he dumped her; he had told her Knox had recently turned him down.
27. Click here for What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges
Bongiorno shows contempt for Knox; she effectively conveys the sense of the RS family that a crazed Knox dragged RS into this. She see the RS book as a pro-Knox con job by her team.
28. Click here for As Knox & Sollecito Try To Separate Themselves, Each Is Digging The Other In Deeper
Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox now, claiming that there is far more evidence against her than against him. Knox’s irritation with him is growing.
29. Click here forSollecito Suddenly Remembers He Wasnt There But Cannot Speak For Knox Who (As She Said) Went Out
Members of Sollecito’s family are believed to be taking their anger at Knox to Twitter and making numerous taunts while emphasizing how they believe Sollecito was dropped in it by Knox and is less to blame.
30. Click here for Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed
Really irritated at the US-written RS book, Bongiorno goes a long way to separating the two perps in the minds of Italians; however RS hedges a little though, after having said the evidence points only to Knox.
Knox As Present Big Loser; Where Next For Her?
These are not all of our posts which include talk of this pushing and pulling, and it happened so frequently that often we simply passed on posting for fear of monotony.
The war by other means continues on Twitter and briefly it hit the crazy-for-Knox Ground Report website. Much damage to Knox is already done, and Italians adamantly want her in prison.
Even in the US the media have cooled on Knox, and as her dwindling supporters become wilder and wilder they too do harm to her paid-for nice-girl image.
A brighter family and paid team would now be saying “It is time for a Plan B and doing something to warm up Italy”.
Archived in Smoking-gun posts, The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, RS versus AK, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, Demonized pair hoax, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book, Sollecito team, Lies Sollecito book
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (37)
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
With Sollecito’s First Plea For Mitigation Seen As A Flop, His Behavior Seems Increasingly Erratic
Posted by Peter Quennell
And given the minefield his foolish book and media claims amount to, don’t hold your breath expecting otherwise soon. However, last month Sollecito did use the Italian accuseds’ privilege of making an impromptu plea to the judges.
He was not under oath and not subject to cross-examination by the prosecutors. He did not address the copious evidence, and was seen as attempting to humanize himself to perhaps get some years knocked off a final sentence.
As always, Knox forces were left confused, thinking he had somehow helped both of them. But Sollecito repeatedly drew attention to his being an Italian and in effect to Knox and Guede not being Italians, thus once again separating himself from Knox on lines Barbie Nadeau also described here..
Our main poster Yummi was in the court and reported in part as follows:
One of the woman judges kept staring elsewhere and almost never watched Sollecito all the time he was talking. Sollecito’s speech itself was actually not that exciting. It was so overt that he was focused on portraying himself as a person who is so good and cannot hurt anyone, not the bad guy described in the media. The real and only topic of Sollecito’s statement was himself, who he is, his “true” personality, he begged them to look at what a good and suffering a boy he is…
And believe me, Sollecito was just whiny. For a big part of his speech he was just putting distance between who he is today and the person he was when he was 20 years old. He talked about the impossibility of finding a job (the job he would like to have in a corporation, obviously, not just any job) and wanted the judge to project to his condition from that of young Italians who can’t hope to see a future.
Then 10 days ago the skilled senior prosecutor Dr Alessandro Crini fired back, and effectively demolished Sollecito’s premature statement. As we reported, Dr Crini took nearly two days to do that.
Sollecito was again in court on the first day, but was seemingly unable to face Dr Crini’s onslaught on the second day. He remained holed up at his hotel.
Although Dr Crini settled on a lowest-common-denominator motive - a Lord of the Flies flare-up which had escalated into mob violence and the fatal stab to Meredith - his recounting of the evidence and associated behavior of the pack was comprehensive and very hard.
Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment. According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.
“The mouth and neck of the victim were contained in a fierce way to avoid Meredith going berserk and screaming, and when Meredith did in fact manage to scream, she received the final fierce stab to the throat.” Two knives were used in the crime at the house in Via della Pergola on the night between 1 and 2 November 2007”...
Dr Crini referring to the bra clasp of the victim, said that “the presence of the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito is quite certain” and explained at length why there was no “possibility of contamination”.
Amanda Knox was at the scene of the crime, according to the identification made by the scientific police in Meredith’s room of an imprint of a shoe (female size 36-38 according to the results of the analysis)... On the pillowcase, the center of gravity of this bloody history, were found a palmprint of Rudy Guede and this print of the shoe.”
Dr Francesco Sollecito was reported as being shocked by the unrelenting tone of the indictment. However, Sollecito’s plight is not nearly as bad as the ever-stubborn Amanda Knox’s.
Knox has already served three years and was fined heavily for obstruction of justice. She could face another year for that if it is found to have been aggravating. And as the post below mentions, she could face as many as three more charges for aggravating obstruction of justice.
Sollecito in contrast has respected the court by actually showing up, and, unlike Knox, has lately shown restraint in accusing his accusers.
However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s indictment, it looked like Sollecito was taking off out of Italy like a rabbit.
La Nazione reported that police at Florence Airport had held back a fully loaded Air France flight to Paris while they checked with the prosecution that he was indeed allowed to leave the country. La Nazione said the prosecutors have some concern that he might skip and not come back, but he did come back from Santo Domingo, and his family has always ensured a presence in court.
But next TGCom24 reported that Sollecito’s father had claimed that Sollecito had already gone home to Bisceglie, although he is a free citizen still in possession of a passport and can travel anywhere if he wishes.
But then TGCom24 reported that he had indeed flown to Paris, and had turned around and come straight back again, to stay with family friends. And that on 8 December he will sit his final exams in computer science at the University of Verona.
However soon after that La Nazione reported that Sollecito’s father had been contradicted by his lawyers, and his erratic son had slipped through his fingers and flown “for his work” back to Santo Domingo. Translation by Jools:
1 December 2013 – SCOOP. Denials, lies, game by the defenders. But in the end it’s up to the lawyer Luca Maori to admit: “Raffaele Sollecito returned to Santo Domingo, as anticipated on Friday by La Nazione”
He embarked from Florence’s Peretola Airport and made a stop-over in Paris, from where he then flew to the Caribbean island where he spent the last few months that preceded the start of the new appeals process. “But there is nothing strange - minimizes the lawyer - Raffaele went back to pick up the things he left there, will be back in ten days for the final exams and to await the judgment. With anxiety, but self-assured.”
No escape, just a normal “work” trip. Permissible, since there is no measure that prevents the accused to leave Italy. But the departure of Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox (already sheltered in the U.S.) caused some sneering. And even the agents of the Border Police, when they saw him in front of the [departure] gate, made a phone call to the Procura to be sure whether the journey in the midst of the appeal process was really “normal.”
IN FACT. Sollecito ‘s father, in an understandable effort to defend his already too overexposed son, slipped on the so-called banana peel, placing the young man within a few hours in various locations, but never in the true destination across the ocean: in Verona, preparing for the final exam in computer science in regard to the thesis, or in Paris, but just for a flash-stay from which he was back the day after. At Christmas, maintained the father, Raffaele will return from abroad. Maybe for the last break before the final rush of the Mark II process, which, according to calculations by the Assize Court of Appeal, could be concluded on January 15.
Meanwhile, the hearing on 16 December is for the remaining civil parties, then double date for the defence, (December 17 and January 9) and hearing on the 10 dedicated to counter-argument. With Sollecito in the courtroom, assures the lawyer.
More grief for Papa Doc…. In the movie Groundhog Day the obnoxious hero had to repeat a single day of his life again and again till he hit upon the right things to do and say. Judge Nencini did leave Sollecito an opening to address the judges again.
It is in Sollectto’s own best interests to go back to court, and try and try and try to look and sound chastened till he gets it right. Knox too.
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, The two knives, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Family + defense hoaxers, Sollecito team, Lies Sollecito book, Raff Sollecito
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (49)
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Questions For Knox: How Do You Explain That Numerous Psychologists Now Observe You Skeptically?
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
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.
Archived in Questions for AK & RS, The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Pondering motive, Meredith-case hoaxes, Demonized pair hoax, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (85)
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Questions For Knox: Ten Hard Questions That Knox Should Be Asked Monday On ITV’s Daybreak
Posted by The Machine
Amanda Knox will be interviewed for the first time in Britain on ITV’s Daybreak programme tomorrow.
No interviewer should unquestioningly accept everything Knox says as the gospel truth. Remember Knox served three years in prison and is labeled a convicted felon for life for malicious lying.
So let’s hope tomorrow’s interview is not yet another whiny mis-statement of the core facts, and not yet more sliming of Italian officials, of which we have just seen so many.
There are many questions on this site which Knox has never ever answered. Some arise from the evidence and some from her dishonest book.
1. Multiple false alibis
You and Raffaele Sollecito gave completely different accounts of where you were, who you were with and what you were doing on the night of the murder. Neither of you have credible alibis despite three attempts each. Sollecito told Kate Mansey from The Sunday Mirror that you and him were at a party.
He told the police that you and him were at his apartment. He then told them that he was home alone and that you weren’t at his apartment from around 9.00pm to about 1.00am. You first told the police that you were at Sollecito’s apartment. After you were informed that he was no longer providing you with an alibi, you repeatedly claimed that you went to the cottage with Diya Lumumba.
You changed your story yet again and claimed that you were at Sollecito’s apartment, but he might have gone out. All the other people who were questioned had one credible alibi that could be verified.
Extract of Sollecito’s witness statement.
“I went home, smoked a joint, and had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. At around eleven my father phoned me on the house phone. I remember Amanda wasn’t back yet. I surfed on the Internet for a couple of hours after my father’s phone call and I stopped only when Amanda came back, about one in the morning I think.
Question 1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito repeatedly tell the police and others a pack of lies?
2. False accusation
You falsely claimed that Diya Lumumba killed Meredith in two witness statements and you repeated the false accusation in your handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. You served three years in prison for this felony and your appeal to the Supreme Court was denied.
Question 2. Why did you repeatedly accuse Diya Lumumba of murder when you knew full well that he was completely innocent and why didn’t you or your mother retract your accusation when he was in prison?
3. The Double DNA Knife
According to a number of independent forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor, Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian - Meredith’s Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade of a knife from Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen.
He falsely claimed in his prison diary that he had accidentally pricked Meredith’s hand whilst cooking. Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory.
Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment, so contamination away from the laboratory was impossible.
Question 3. How do you think Meredith’s DNA got onto the blade of the kitchen knife?
4. The bra clasp
An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s on the exact part of Meredith bra clasp that was bent out of shape during the attack on her. His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17. Professor Torricelli testified that it was unlikely the clasp was contaminated because there was a significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on it.
Professor Novelli analysed the series of samples from all 255 items processed and found not a single instance of contamination, and ruled out as implausible that a contaminating agent could have been present just on one single result. David Balding, a Professor of Statistical Genetics at University College London, recently analysed the DNA evidence against Sollecito and concluded it was strong.
Question 4. How do you think Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA ended up on Meredith’s bra clasp?
5. The bloody footprint on the bathmat
According to two imprint experts - Rinaldi and Boemi - the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede. Rudy Guede’s bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house which indicates that he didn’t go into the bathroom after Meredith had been stabbed.
Question 5. Who do you think left the bloody footprint on the bathmat?
6. Mixed samples of Amanda Knox’s DNA or blood and Meredith Kercher’s blood
According to the prosecution’s experts, there were five instances of your DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage. Even your lawyers conceded that your blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were both bleeding at the same time.
Question 6. Why were you bleeding on the night of the murder and is it a coincidence that only your DNA was found mixed with Meredith’s blood?
7. The Luminol Enhanced Footprints
Bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol at the cottage. Three of them are compatible with your foot size and one of them is compatible with Raffaele Sollecito’s foot size.
Question 7. What do you think the Luminol was reacting to - Meredith’s blood or some other substance?
8. The staged break-in
There is absolutely no evidence that anyone stood outside Filomena’s window and climbed up the vertical wall on the night of the murder. There were no marks from soil, grass or rubber soles on the wall. The earth of the evening of 1 November 2007 was very wet, so if anybody had climbed the wall, they would have left some marks on it.
The glass on the window sill and on the floor show no signs of being touched after the window was broken, which would have been the case if the intruder had gained entry through the window.
There was not a single biological trace on any of the shards of glass. It would have been very likely that an intruder balancing on the window sill would have suffered some kind of injury or cut because of the shards of glass.
If the window had been broken from the outside, there would have been shards of glass outside, but there wasn’t even one.
Judge Massei and the panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court specifically mentioned the shards of glass on top of Filomena’s clothes which had been tossed onto the floor in her room and regarded it as proof that the break-in was staged.
Question 8. Who do you think staged the break-in at the cottage?
9. Knowledge of the crime
Umbria Procurator General Galati’s pointed out in his appeal that you knew specific details of the crime that you could have only known if you had been present when Meredith was killed.
According to multiple witnesses at the police station, you said you were the one who had found Meredith’s body, that she was in the wardrobe, that she was covered by the quilt, that a foot was sticking out, that they had cut her throat and that there was blood everywhere. But you weren’t in a position to have seen anything at all when the door was kicked in.
In your witness statement you described Meredith’s scream. Other witnesses have corroborated your claim that there was a loud scream.
Question 9. How did you know so many precise details of the crime?
10. Shower and the “bathmat shuffle”
The Scientific Police found 13 traces of blood in the bathroom that Meredith and you shared. Prosecutor Mignini and Filomena have both expressed their surprise that you showered in a blood-spattered bathroom.
Filomena told Mignini during cross-examination: “I thought it was odd that she’d had a shower when there was blood all over the place.”
You told Mignini that you used the bathmat to shuffle to your room.
Question 10. Why did you shower in a bathroom that was splattered with blood, and did you notice the visible bloody footprint on the bathmat when you used it to shuffle to your room?
And why so soon after did the police notice that you were stinking?
Archived in Questions for AK & RS, The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (70)
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: What The Newly Published Knox Writings Reveal To Professional Eyes
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
The New Writings
It is good to have an opportunity to see the letters from Amanda to her social worker, Maurizio. The writing style is very different from her book which seems more abrasive, more ‘jazzed up’, pointed, in comparison - presumably the influence of the ghost writer.
What is immediately and conspicuously obvious is that the letters make no mention of ill-treatment - a contrario in many ways. The recipient of the letters is someone whose support she needs, as is Don Saulo.
She goes out of her way to speak to them with endearment, even flirtation, to show gratitude, to build trust, or to appear to build trust. This is a person whose need to be liked and supported is paramount. One has the feeling, therefore, that she is presenting herself in the best possible light.
This includes being ‘good’ and saying things as they are. And they are: ‘OK’, ‘fine’, ‘bene’, ‘well enough’, ‘happy to remain’ (in Perugia) etc.
There has been much speculation about the psychology of Amanda Knox. I am glad to say that this site has deferred, by and large, from assigning labels to her. It is not for nothing that the official court psychological profiles of 2008 have not been disclosed. To begin with, a full analysis is not possible without personal encounter. And then there is the question about the value of such labels at all, especially with new research advancing all the time.
However, one can talk about observable patterns of behaviour, for example narcissistic behaviour. There are a number of established, well-researched traits in narcissistic behaviour which are worth discussing here.
I believe the following characteristics have been observable and continue to manifest in the letters just published. These are :
- 1) Immaturity, of a degree which indicates some arrested emotional development. And connected to this, an emotional neediness and dependence. This usually manifests as insecurity where it becomes important that everyone has to like, admire, and feel affection for them - most especially those who they need to ‘look out for them’, be their support system etc. A secure personality has a healthy ego which can quietly use reasonable judgement, and only needs to be assertive where occasion demands. An insecure person has a weak and fragile ego, contrary to the appearance they try and give, which can be loud, over-confident and assertive, or proud etc.
2) An inability to deal with shame, or admit guilt. This also connects with (in Jungian terminology) an inability to ‘own the shadow’, and admit one can and does sometimes make mistakes. The cultivation of a false sense of self or identity follows; an image projected of the ‘angelic’,‘innocent’ - always sunny and light, and, ‘special’ (cf : ‘here comes the sun’ as a mantra). Of course, a PR campaign can proliferate this advertising of the false image, and this is precisely how ‘celebrities’ make use of this process.
3) Self-esteem which in reality is rather low - together with compensatory behaviour which includes constantly needing attention, praise and to be recognised as perhaps clever, cultured, athletic, attractive…in short, ‘superior.’
4) Manipulation. This is connected to the lack of true empowerment, and therefore the attempt (which can seem desperate) to ‘get’ power through having power and control over others. Flirtation, seduction (and obsession with erotica) can show this manipulative tendency. Control, in this case self-control, is a prerequisite for manipulating a situation. A person’s unnatural focusing around staying in control will often belie an agenda of manipulation. A secure mind and ego can afford to allow spontaneity - an insecure one cannot.
5) Anger management can be an issue; also a ‘show of rage’ - melodramatic - can be used as a manipulative tool. (Tantrum…as in two year old). One could write a paper just on this anger aspect alone.
6) Feeling too different, and needing badly to be accepted by others. Rejection is unbearable. And, of course, people do reject them, even if it is just in the sense of being put off by their loudness etc, as above. Thus the problems escalate inside.
7) Lying. In severe narcissism lying is pathological. If a child is not taught why telling the truth matters - if their childish lies are humoured and not challenged by the parent, this sets up enormous trouble in the adaptation to the adult world. Again, one could write a great deal about pathological lying, - it is a topic in itself…suffice to say, here, that AK stands as a convicted felon for lying.
There is some interesting new research (Professor Raine) that has established a 22% difference in a specific brain layer, in people who are able to glibly lie. These people also have enhanced verbal faculties. Some people lie just because that’s what they do, (when they don’t actually ‘need’ to). It’s a modus operandi, - usually used as a tool to get what they want.
All of these characteristics above, added together, will give a person who is first, foremost and last, concerned with their own image, their persona - how the world sees them. Hence ‘Narcissus’, gazing at his own reflection, and mistaking it for reality. So much mental energy is orientated towards weaving together their ideal image of themselves in everything they do: ‘What people think of me’.
Then, too, the illusion of this constructed image has to be maintained. Therefore anything that contradicts it has to be denied. *Amanda the Innocent* - this is the image that, in this case, has been projected and maintained.
Notice that it is the perpetuating of the Image that matters - the actual point of whether she is - in fact and evidence,- innocent or guilty takes low precedence compared to the task of getting people to believe in the image of her being innocent. AK actually says so herself (in the way she often reveals herself) : “people thought I was.. ( a murderer) whether I am or not.” She couldn’t bear people to believe such an image of herself - whether she was or not, she didn’t want people to think it
It is what people think or believe about them that matters most to the image-creating narcissist. They cannot bear to be found faulty - they must be admired.
The Six Published Letters
Here are some points of interest that stood out in the published letters in the post below. (I expect others can be observed, and found also in the recent interviews, etc.) :
Letter dated April 3rd 2008.
This is the only letter of this group that contains a grumbling complaint. Firstly, she mentions the police thinking badly about her. It is striking yet again that what bothers her is how people think of her. She also repeats, as often, ‘I do understand that I have to be in control’. See point 4) above.
Then a passage that contains a couple of enigmatic statements :
“...Above all when they don’t know the truth?
It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation. I understand the motivation, but I do not agree. “Sweet” or not it is a “TORTURE”. I am being tortured and it is not right…...
Sorry. As I said I do suffer a lot in prison. Generally I am scared, alone, with no hope, sad, and tired, even if I am innocent.”
This rewards some analysis. ..“Above all when they don’t know the truth?”
No one can know the full truth, precisely because AK herself (and Sollecito) have declined, from the start, to give a full and comprehensive - let alone consistent - account of the tragic evening. So it is very illogical to then complain that the authorities are acting thus because they don’t know the truth…
“It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation”. These two clauses seem to be non sequiturs to me. I do not see what they mean. It is dark innuendo that she ‘doesn’t agree with.’ That is all we are told. Then :
If I was being gravely mistreated, with due cause for complaint, I would detail the wrong-doing as simply and clearly as possible, so it could be addressed. This does not. How is one to know whether the ‘torture’ (her inverted commas) is really frustration and annoyance at the way things have turned out? It also is expressed in a self-dramatising way.
...“even if I am innocent”. I really did read this as an ‘add-on’ - for safe measure, in case anyone significant were to read it. The word ‘even’ is out of context. It is another example of ‘distancing’, too.
Letter dated April 28th 2008 :
Don Saulo is ‘a true friend and a very good man’. At this point in time AK needs Don Saulo very much. He also, probably, offers her a role model of a positive animus (Jung again), in contrast to the other menfolk in her life, he is a man with forgiveness and without anger. Obviously, later on, she no longer needs him.
In a rare moment of veracity, AK says, “I am ignorant, unfortunately”. She also wants someone to give her explanations (for the meaning of the literature) - this indicates a passive intellect, possibly without the desire to grasp an understanding for oneself. She would rather be given the meaning, as a soundbite, almost. Then one can impress, with the knowing. Somewhat as tourists ‘get the knowledge’. I suggest, having lived in Rome, that some Americans are perhaps prone to this.
Letter November 26 2009 :
This is notable as, first, a copious expression of gratitude for being liked, and given support, and in continuation, as a definite plea for this support (and, she hopes, affection) to be ongoing.
Letter dated August 10th 2010 :
AK is first flirtatious over Maurizio’s marriage. Is she being risqué ? It seems typical of her to introduce a sexual nuance where in reality it is not appropriate.
Next, we have one of her cultural detours. She gives a (for her) fairly detailed reaction to a book by Umberto Eco, a writer of some standing. She mentions not just once, but twice that the writing is ‘meticulously built’. This obviously is something that makes the most impression upon her. Of all the stylistic and imaginative innovation, and colour, that there is in Umberto Eco’s writing, I find it most curious that this is what impresses her.
Letter April 20th 2010 :
AK is very happy to be credited as a translator : this will help her be seen in a favourable light, something high on her agenda. To be fair, credit where credit is due, (although one knows nothing of the details of the translation).
Next we have another passage of gratitude.
Then a description of how she is happy ‘playing…out in the sun’. This is immediately followed with ‘I have made a new friend’ - all important to her, and makes all the difference, - if she is liked, accepted, and preferably admired too.
Letter undated :
Here, AK says ‘I feel fine’, followed again, immediately, by a description of her new cell mate who likes her, helps her, and shares as a friend, both manicure and music. This being liked and accepted obviously gives her security, and she doesn’t want to move : ’ I am happy to remain in Perugia…’
These Knox letters describe a real prison situation that is at odds with the seemingly fictional Knox book. She may have been at some inner peace there. Outside, it is hard work.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, Nasty-prison hoax, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Amanda Knox
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (30)
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Focus In Italy Now On Knox Psychology As Her Claims Meet With Skepticism, Lack Any Proof
Posted by Miriam
The Amanda Knox We In Italy Know
Amanda Knox may have felt she was “waiting to be heard” in America but here in Italy we have heard her many times, and we feel we know her pretty well.
Her book and interviews don’t sound like her at all. They sound like nasty legal stunts and nasty PR at work. It is easy to disprove her disparagement of officials and her friends here, and an investigation by the Chief Prosecutor in Bergamo is already under way.
So the big question for us here is not angrily “Who are these appalling police, prosecutor and prison officials, and why did they do these terrible thing?” but sadly “Why was she compelled to invent all this stuff?” and “Why is she so scared to come back?”
I have translated six of her letters from prison just published in the crime magazine Giallo plus the introduction and the graphologist’s analysis. This is more like the Amanda Knox we know, not the invented one in the book.
1. The Giallo magazine’s Introductory framing of Knox’s letter below
Amanda: “Here In Prison Things Are Okay”
So writes Knox to a friend while she was a prisoner in Perugia. [The true crime magazine] Giallo publishes her letters, and then has them commented on by a graphologist and a psychologist
The letters you see published on these pages are from Amanda Knox, the young American accused, along with her ex boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, of the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, that took place in Perugia the 1st of Nov. 2007.
Knox, 26 years old, was acquitted in appeal, but now Cassazione has decided that the appeal must be redone. While waiting for this complicated judicial process to restart, Amanda lives in Seattle, and is traveling around America to launch her new book Waiting to be Heard for which she was paid several million euro by her publisher.
To the American television interviewers, the young American woman has said she is scared of coming back to Italy, because our prisons are terrible places, where she was threatened, molested sexually, and humiliated.
Well, in the letters that Giallo publishes in an exclusive, Amanda writes to a social worker, Maurizio, who helped her, and she seems neither desperate or scared, she has friends and cellmates with which to share many interests, From reading to music, up to manicures. There is a priest, Don Saulo, with which she talks, and confesses, and helps her in her moments of discouragement.
Sure, she suffers from the distance from her family, her loneliness and her imprisonment, but she can see her parents and speak with them frequently, and this notably relieves her suffering.
2. Six letters from Knox to the social worker Maurizio 2008-2010
April 3 2008
Thank you very much for that letter that for me is very interesting. I was thinking: “Why am I here?”, “why can’t I be with my mother?”, “ Yes the police can think badly about me, and meanwhile I do understand that I have to be in control, not run away from the situation, but why prison? I am 20 years old, never committed a crime, it is senseless. How can they say that I have to stay in prison like the people that can be a danger to others? Above all when they don’t know the truth?
It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation. I understand the motivation, but I do not agree. “Sweet” or not it is a “TORTURE”. I am being tortured and it is not right…...
Sorry. As I said I do suffer a lot in prison. Generally I am scared, alone, with no hope, sad, and tired, even if I am innocent.
Thank you for the article. It is interesting to know how people that do not undergo this torture as I and hundreds others think. To tell you the truth, I can’t understand how some judges can sleep at night, when they very well know that it can be a grave mistake. ah… mamma mia….
Come on! It is O.K. here. I am studying a lot and have started reading Italian Poetry.
Another thing that I like a lot is the song “A te” by Jovanotti. “perché tu sei…semplicemente sei….sostanza dei giorni miei…sostanza dei giorni miei…. (lyric of the song n.d.r.). Have you heard it? According to me it is a live song. It is true. Simple and strong. I like it a lot.
How are you? Do you like the change of weather? I spend more time outside reading a book and singing (I am still alone when I go outside). I am sun tanning but I’m still white white!
Hope you are OK. Love, Amanda
P.S. Let it be! Here comes the sun! I know that I am not alone, even when I am alone
April 28 2008
Thanks again for your thoughts and your gifts.
I really like the T-shirts and the book of art. Beautiful! Mamma mia the talent of the artists always surprises me! Thanks. But you know, you do not have to buy me anything. I am happy just to hear from you.
Really, [Priest] Don Saulo speaks to me so much about God’s gifts, especially about the strength to overcome the difficult moments, of which there are so many. He bought me a book on philosophy entitled “Umanesimo Integrale” and we speak often of my thoughts and my questions. He is a true friend and a very good man.
It’s true, I must start to read a bit of classic Italian texts. Maybe there are some books in the library for me….......Who can explain to me about “Divina Commedia”? I know it exists and that it is famous, but more than that I am ignorant, unfortunately.
Now my father is here with me, but he has to return to the United States, next week. In his place the husband of my mother, will come. I am happy, because from him I receive a lot of strength. He is like that.
Today I go to the gym course (in a bit) and I have a home telephone call. My first telephone call was last week and I was so excited. The voices of the people I love are really a gift. I trembled a bit after those so little ten minutes.
Now, I must go to the course to sweat a bit. I hope you are very well. Thanks again for your words.You are very kind.
A hug, Amanda
P.S. Let it be! Here comes the sun! I know I am not alone, even when I’m alone.
November 26 2009
Ciao, my friend. How are you? It’s from forever that I write you. I imagine that you must have basketball in your head, since it is the season’s sport. I send best wishes to your nephews, who play it. I am terrible at basket. I have very small hands, therefore I can’t control the ball.
I would like to thank you for meeting with my family. Chris told me nice things about your encounter, he was impressed by your generosity. I know that it is always nice and unique, every time that somebody comes toward you and they like you, just like that. Therefore, thank you, for having welcomed him, me and my dear ones.
Nearly, nearly there. O mamma mia, one has to remain strong in these days. I am always hoping so much, even if, in my stomach I feel sick, anxious. More than anything, the closer it gets, the more I have to reinforce my patience against the fatigue and frustration. But I will make it.
A lot of my family will come tomorrow to be in court. There will be my father, my mother, my stepmother and my aunt. My three sisters will be here on Dec. 2. I hope so much to be able to go home with them, finally, this time. I see it in “my third eye” the vision of being on the plane between my mother and my sister. Maybe, I am thinking to much about it.
Anyway, I hope you are well. I must go to sleep early tonight, to be ready for tomorrow.
Thank you for your continued support.
Your friend, Amanda
Here comes the sun! Let it be! I know that I am not alone even when I am alone,
April 20 2010
Hi! How are you? I’m happy that I made you happy with the full translation. For me it was a satisfying job, so I thank you too for the chance that you gave me. I don’t think it will be a bad thing put up my name as a translator. OK it is fine for me and yes if you like it, you can even put my second name Marie,
Thank you very much for the towels, to be truthful I really needed them. They are beautiful. I gave one of my pillow cases to the other inmate so we have twin pillows. She thanks you too and sends her best wishes.
Seems like that the weather is finally changing. With great pleasure I was able to wear a skirt in these days. Now people are out and we play volleyball together under the sun. I made friends with a new 19 years old girl: she is an athlete too. Every day we walk or play with the ball together,
Next Friday my mother, father and stepfather will be here for a visit. Mi mother and father are here for a short time to be interviewed on TV at “Quarto Grado” and then will come here. Can’t wait to see them, I miss them with all my heart.
Well, hope that you are fine. Thank you again for everything and salute you with all my affection
Hi your friend, Amanda
I know that I am not alone even when I am alone
August, 30 2010
Hi dear, how are you? Do you know that yesterday I was taking with D…. about you, only because you are a very special person in this world, for all that you do for others. She told me that you got married. Congratulations! Now I have to tell to my grandmother and break her heart! Just joking!
I am well enough here. I thank you again for the shorts and shirt that you send me. They were perfect as always. Thanks and I hope that you didn’t lighten your wallet too much. I am kind of disappointed that you spend your money on me, you are too generous. I am always the same here.
Just finished reading a book by Umberto Eco book that I liked a lot. In Italian should be “ L’isola del giorno prima”, I read it in English “The island of the day before”; maybe the “island of yesterday”? Anyway, I was favorably moved by Eco’s organization in this novel in order to communicate so many ideas on science, philosophy, ethic, imagination, literature. It was a book very rich on thoughts, and colpi di scena during it’s path.
I like Umberto Eco because he meticulously builds the story that he wants to tell. Of all he writes, nothing is taken for granted and this is remarkable, he has a fantastic mind to dig deep while following a long track. I saw a Sean Connery movie based on a book of his “Il nome della Rosa?” It was fantastic. Always meticulously built, deep and fascinating.
Seems like that the newspapers know before us when the appeal proceeding will take place. We still have not been officially notified, but my lawyers told me that it should start Nov. 24th; that in the USA is Thanksgiving Day. Hope that it is a good omen even if there is a lot in my life for which I should be grateful: to be alive, having the family that I have etc…
I am happy to hear from you again. I use now the paper you sent me to answer you. Sorry to make you wait. My mother has returned to the United States nearly a week ago, and my father returns to Italy tomorrow, to see me Tuesday.
I am happy to remain in Perugia. I do not want to restart everything in another place. Also I? (blurred) have heard that the prisons in Rome are harsher than here. Who knows?
I only know that at least I know some of the prison officers fairly well, after all this time. I would be sorry to leave Don Saulo. I feel fine in my new cell. I changed it so I could be with a girl my own age. We joke, cook, we do manicures. Further, she does a manicure for me, because I do not know how to do one. We listen to music a lot because she has a radio.
Thank you for all you do for me. The paper, your words of confidence, your prayers. To Don Saulo I will send your greetings. Do you write often to him too? I hope all is very well with you. I send you a big hug. Ciao! Thank you!
Let it be, Let it be! Here comes the sun! (drawing of a sun)
3. Comments by educational psychologist and graphologist Evi Crotti
Looking at the Amanda Knox letters it is evident right away how organized and precise she is: she has a perfect handwriting, elegant and without smudges. We try to interpret it with the help of the graphologist and educational psychologist Evi Crotti.
She explains: Her perfect, organized handwriting, without margins and few spaces indicates that we have before us a girl that is decisive, strong, who wants to dominate, and knows she can succeed in life. She puts herself In the center and leaves no place for others. Amanda displays a way of writing that is typically northamerican, in small print, called script.
The handwriting, elegant, big and curved, reveals an extroverted personality, and with a notable sense of taste. Her language is fluid and polished, and the accuracy with which she writes, tells us that this young girl has a need to maximize and nurse her image, to the point of becoming narcissistic: after her signature she draws herself with a smiling face.
Amanda leaves no space between the lines: this signifies an element of interior loneliness, which she attempts to compensate at any cost with approaches of verbal intrusiveness. This tells us that that her strong narcissistic behavior can escape control and lead her to present unstable behaviors. The fact instead that her handwriting is always in horizontal lines, without blurs, gives testimony to her practical intelligence and her strong tenaciousness, that allow her to reach her goals.
Also, the handwriting is rigid and this signifies that she knows how to use words with care and determination. Evi Crotti underlines that the handwriting is static: It is a sign of a behavior that is very seductive. Attention, the need to be attractive at all costs can make her lose sight of the objectivity of judgment , taking her to a subjective vision of circumstance reality.
Conclusion: Amanda seems to be in a continuous search of approval and acceptance from those who live around her. Her egocentricity, maybe pushed unto the point of a bogus personality, demonstrates that this girl possess a highly emotional immaturity that doesn’t allows her to love in an unselfish way. The handwriting slightly slanted to the left indicates a contradiction between the need to be liked and the reactive refusal toward a feminine figure: for her, probably every woman represents a rival.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, The Dr Mignini hoax, Nasty-prison hoax, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book, Amanda Knox
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (42)
Friday, May 03, 2013
The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: How TV And Book Suggest Knox Is Increasingly Far From Facing Reality
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
Several TJMK posts below this one have already suggested that the book was rushed into print with very little fact-checking, with no restraint on damaging false accusations, and with no strategic legal considerations.
The same thing seems to have happened with the TV appearances.
Knox had a year and a quarter under wraps to prepare herself and yet her many exaggerated and over-emotional TV claims contradict many things SHE HERSELF has said previously.
She seems to have been rehearsed by handlers with little or no grasp of the extensive fact record.
And where has all this amateurism left her? Open to slow erosion of her credibility by an increasing number of commentators while considerably upping her peril in Italy.
Because many of her claims falsely accuse officers of the court, she could be further indicted for contempt of court, and she could see the five years which was lopped off her sentence by Judge Massei for “mitigating circumstances” reinstated.
Those of us with psychology credentials may not have all been expecting the same thing from Knox when she finally surfaced. But none of us expected to be confronted so forcefully with a classic case of a personality in turmoil.
My first impression after getting through to the end of the book was that it shows such serious disturbance psychologically, so much being revealed in her own words.
It wouldn’t be possible to classify AK as clinically insane, the niceties of this being so precise - but an abnormal mind is clearly illustrated. So clear that it is actually sad - that she has been allowed and encouraged to do this.
The ghost writing, or/and her own expression is also painful to read in terms of quality of writing. These are the main points that have emerged for me, from a psychological perspective, after reading:
AK’s grip on reality (even without drugs) is tragically lacking. It seems that she doesn’t know what a ‘fact’ is. Every fact and event is seen through a lens of her own feeling or emotion - logical connection being absent - together with how she believes it is best to make it appear.
‘Her “best truth” is this over and over again. She doesn’t even understand that this is considered by normal minds to be lying. She doesn’t seem to have a concept of lying.
- “their version of reality was taking over”... Does reality only come in versions?
- “something didn’t feel right. it seemed made up”. Does she not know?
AK continually refers to herself as “different”. She is, but not for the curious or trivial things she believes. She is also obsessively concerned to be seen and classified as a “good person”. This comes up over and over.
“I didnt want them to think I was a bad person”. Note, not: “I didn’t want to BE a bad person” but always “how will people think of me”. This is a continual theme. “I couldn’t believe anyone could think that of me”.
It does show a dissociative and non-integrated personality, with both deep roots and serious implications. There are also indications that she is unable to ‘read’ people’s faces /expressions with any accuracy. (Emotion recognition).
A more sinister and disturbing facet to her personality connected to the above, which comes through in every chapter, is the automatic disparagement of anyone who displeases her (which of course happens frequently - whenever, in fact, someone has a different version to ‘her best truth’).
Someone is then ‘useless’, ‘betraying me’, ‘stupid’, etc etc. These words are all said matter-of-factly…. as if they really are facts. Here are some more of these words, peppered within the text:
- ‘Repellant, self-serving’, ‘hostile’, ‘insincere’, ‘abandoned (me)’, ‘uninterested’, ‘aggressive’, ‘spiteful’, ‘curt’, ‘disdainful’
- ‘Old perv…lecherous’, ‘glared cruelly’, ‘idiotic’, ‘insidious’, ‘controlling’, ‘condescending’, ‘mean’, ‘hateful’, ‘ruthless’....
Note that it is not that AK finds these people to be these things, in her opinion- it is that they ARE these things.
The sub-text is: I am a good person, and they, having displeased or disagreed with me, are ‘bad’. Thus the mechanism for strong, unrestrained projection is at work.
Example: “The police couldn’t bear to admit they were wrong.” Could she, though?
Her projections are so blatant, that I quake for her lack of self-awareness. I used to read literature as a window into self-awareness, insight, philosophical depths, and questions of morality.
Sadly this book is about as far from offering these as one could go. A PR machine missile is not a ‘book’ in the sense I used to know.
AK reveals a very strong inner anger, the control of which is difficult, and which it would seem she is frightened of, and frightened of revealing.
She would also seem to be based in a passive aggressive stance, which gives rise to a side seen as nice and even gentle. These two sides seem badly split.
This would be in keeping with the Envy hypothesis (I refer to Melanie Klein’s ‘Envy and Gratitude’). There are a few definite examples of the consuming anger which Amanda herself describes graphically.
She continually justifies it, also. Sometimes, of course, anger may be justified (‘just anger’) but as described here it is nearer to a rage or a tantrum when things aren’t going according to how she wants them to.
This speaks of manipulation, which would be part of the same profile, and is essentially destructive and spoiling, as well as something that wells up with a will of its own.
She often exposes her state of mind in certain phrases, without realising the implications of what she is saying. This is why I think the whole thing is so sad, as she has been used (seemingly mainly for money) in this foolish venture.
For example: “In that instant I snapped.” when the detective said “you know who killed Meredith.” It wasn’t the pressure/abuse from the police that made her snap, it was being confronted with the truth.
NOT her ‘best truth,’ but one that was simply unbearable to hear. There are many other examples, littered throughout the book, of some of her inner chaos:
- “This is my own fault. I caused the confusion”
- “I wanted to disappear. I didn’t want to be me anymore”.
- “I didn’t know if I was allowed to keep my thoughts private…”
- “Like a roller coaster ride….can’t get off. This is all my own fault” .
- ” I was furious for putting myself in this situation”.
- Rafaelle - “He didn’t look at me. I wondered if he hated me”. (Why should he?)
- “We want justice. But against who? We all want to know, but we all don’t.”
There are many others. Amanda Knox said she loved Italy and I believe her. With adjustment she could have been a lot happier there than she perhaps ever was in Seattle. Now she is in the position of demonizing Italy and its good people there, and in the worst possible way.
Italy was in fact very kind to Amanda Knox, and her treatment there was on the right lines to give her hope of enduring stability. What a pity that dirty PR and legal tricks and money grubbing may have pushed that out of sight forever.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book, Amanda Knox
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (87)
Monday, April 22, 2013
Lawyers Are Puzzled At Why Knox Seems So Intent On Risking Extra Prison Time
Posted by Peter Quennell
So what are they telling her now? The huge risks her book and interview run are all spelled out in the Italian legal code. Accused perps dont ever, ever take their case to the court of public opinion in Italy (try finding another example) because that is a very serious contempt of the court.
Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.
At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.
Those powers finally now HAVE been invoked, because of the extraordinary assault on the Italian system and judges and prosecutors and police (rejected even by his dad) by Sollecito in his book.
They are perhaps the strongest and most extensive attacks on the court system Italy has even seen.
This is under confidential investigation in Florence and charges expected this summer could cost Sollecito a sentence of five years or more. His book also just about kills his chances at the new appeal, because it makes several hundred wrong claims which to the prosecution will be like shooting fish in a barrel.
The defense lawyers surely know all of this. Unless they feel their chances at appeal are so bad (which could be the case) that they require desperate long-shot measures, they will surely tell Knox the same thing.
Publishers’ necks and ghost-writers’ necks and ABC’s necks are on the line too. HarperCollins UK seem to have been very smart in yanking the book. Their lawyers must have figured all this out.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Meredith-case hoaxes, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog hoax, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book, Lies Sollecito book, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (45)
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Psychiatrist Dale Archer Suggests Jodi Arias Fits Sociopath Profile Except For No History Of Quirks
Posted by Peter Quennell
In his opinion (he has not had direct access to Jody Arias) she appears to accord to 6 of the 9 the symptoms below. He thinks she doesnt fit the key last one, no past history of anti-social or odd behavior going back prior to her affair with Travis Alexander, which he considers to rule out sociopathy.
We noted in the previous post that Jodi Arias had a turbulent family history and job history, and she made a good case on the stand that her boyfriend was debasing her. But absent actual signs of prior symptoms, Dr Archer doesn’t find that enough.
• Failure to conform to societal norms: Jodi has no respect for the law or the rules of society. She not only viciously killed another person, she openly and unabashedly sneers at the prosecuting attorney and the courtroom proceedings.
• Pathological lying: Ms. Arias has no problem lying. We’ve all seen it and know she’s good at it. Sociopaths lie easily and keep their cool because a lie is not considered wrong or immoral. It’s merely a way to get what they want. In the early stages of the investigation, Arias came up with three different lies for the police which explained what happened, changing her story as they disproved each.
• Manipulation, deception, and cunning: Arias hacked into Alexander’s email and Facebook accounts. He found her hiding in his closet when he returned home from a date. She introduced him to sex, playing the submissive partner though she was actually dominant in order to control him. It is the prosecution’s speculation Arias eventually filmed and recorded Alexander in compromising situations to blackmail him if he tried to leave her.
• Impulsiveness: A co-worker claimed Arias continuously called Alexander from work. If there was no answer, she would drop everything and leave to track down Alexander. She didn’t care if she lost her job, as long as she didn’t lose Alexander. Another point: while in the act of murdering him, Arias dropped a camera, and incredibly it snapped a picture of the murder taking place. Instead of taking the camera with her, along with the rope, the gun, her bloody clothes….. she impulsively threw it in the washing machine and ran it through a cycle. Miraculously, the images remained on the film.
• Irritability and aggressiveness: Arias was becoming increasingly irritable and when Alexander started seeing another woman she turned up the heat. She stalked, vandalized, plotted and then murdered. Twice she slashed the tires on his car. She sent a threatening email to Alexander’s new love interest.
• Reckless disregard for safety of self or others: We do not have record of Arias disregarding anyone else’s safety at this point other than Alexander- she killed him or herself; threatening suicide when Alexander would try to cut the ties. Ultimately the person she killed wasn’t herself, but Travis Alexander, the one person who consumed her thoughts, her life.
• Persistent irresponsibility: In her 20s, Arias worked at several dead-end jobs and was in and out of relationships, but nothing stands out. No convictions, jail time or other legal issues.
• Lack of remorse or guilt. In Arias’ mind, Alexander was not a person but her possession. He took her to interesting places, and she introduced him to sex. When he tried to pull away, she would reel him back with ever more outrageous sex practices. Eventually she killed him so no one else could have her possession. At the funeral, she did not shed one tear. Since the murder, the investigation, the arrest and the trial, not once has she said “I’m sorry.”
• Before age 15 and continuing, a history of antisocial behavior. Here is the real problem with labeling Arias as a sociopath. This condition starts in the young teen years, if not before. It is a persistent and consistent behavior over the first three to four decades of the individual- some say for a lifetime. No one has come forward with any prior behavioral issues, legal issues, problems with work, family or friends. She was reportedly a very “good girl” in high school and very “normal.” At this time there are no known problems with previous boyfriends.
Jodi Arias has one or two more days on the witness stand, and then defense experts will try to account for her behavior and blackout at the time Travis died in a non-incriminating way. This trial is being shown live on American TV (the HLN channel).
Arias somewhat withered under very tough questions from the jury. Would Knox? Plenty of still-unanswered questions for Knox here.
Archived in Other legal processes, Others elsewhere, The psychology
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (17)
Friday, February 22, 2013
Admitted Killer On The Witness Stand In Arizona Is Resonating And Polarizing In Familar Ways
Posted by Sailor
It is the weeks-long examination and cross-examination on the stand of Jodi Arias, who is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend and continuing sex partner Travis Alexander with at least 29 stab wounds and a slashed throat. In a few days she could be stuck with a death sentence, or conceivably even walk free.
We have often wondered how Knox would perform unfettered on the stand, as she may feel compelled to do if Cassation requires a reworking of the appeal verdict and sentence arrived at at the end of 2011.
There are some similarities and some differences.
The similarities involve her lying and her seeming callousness and attempted cover-up which suggest her mental acuity and balance are okay. The quotes below come from the ABC News account of Arias’ trial:
Arias “eventually confessed to killing her ex-boyfriend, but insisted it was self defense.”
And “the main reason (for lying) is because I was very ashamed of what happened. It’s not something I ever imagined doing. It’s not the kind of person I was. It was just shameful,” she said. “I was also very scared of what might happen. I didn’t want my family to know that I had done that, and I just couldn’t bring myself to say that I did that.”
The other parallel to Amanda Knox is Arias’ behavior after the murder. To avoid calling attention to herself, Arias carried on as if nothing had happened.
“Arias drove on to Utah where she was supposed to meet up with friends and a new romantic interest, Ryan Burns, for the rest of her roadtrip, she testified. There, the pair kissed and cuddled on Burns’ bed just 24 hours after Arias had stabbed and shot Alexander.”
The differences involve her family and the nature of Travis’s connection with the fervent local arm of the Mormon Church, which is especially fervent about no sex before marriage. .
Unlike Knox, whose father shut her up when she seemed to be getting close to confessing in Capanne Prison soon after her arrest, Arias credits her loving family with giving her the support that allowed her to finally admit what she had done.
“My family remained very supportive, and told me ‘it doesn’t matter what happens, we love you anyway.’ I realized even if I told the truth they would still be there and wouldn’t walk away,” she testified.
“By the time spring, 2010, rolled around, I confessed. I basically told everyone what I could remember of the day and that the intruder story was all BS pretty much.”
Travis Alexander was not only a fervent mormon - he was an elder in his local church where any pre-marital sex would taint both partners for life.
Having secretly slept with Jodi Arias for a long time, he discarded her as a “tainted” girlfriend (who he himself tainted) in favor of a virgin Mormon girlfriend - but continued to chase Arias down for sex anyway.
This is a take by an insightful reader calling herself Janine on the website Wild About Trial which seems to resonate with many, especially women.
Since Travis’s emails were read in court and the phone sex tape was heard in open court, it shows Travis’s personality in a dating situation. He had a Madonna Whore complex… the Mormon girls he would not touch because they were pure, then putting Jodi into the Whore category in which no form of sex or degradation was denied. IMO Travis should have paid for sex and not manipulating and degrading women who had fallen in love with him.
He treated her horribly. Her self esteem was obviously very low or she would not have permitted nor enjoyed being treated in this manner. He was chasing her as well, if only for a booty call. He was playing mind games when surely he must have known the person whose mind he was messing with was unstable. He didn’t care, as long as he could get the kind of sex he wanted when he wanted it and with no strings attached.
She slashed his tires, watched him, read his emails and he is still reeling her in and playing mind games a week before the murder. He messed with the wrong girl. She is guilty but not of murder one or two. I believe crime of passion or manslaughter. He had some culpability here even though I believe he did not deserve what happened. After a year of Travis’s form of abuse, she just snapped. He pushed her over the edge. And, yes, you would have to be unstable to be pushed over the edge but I believe he knew that she was.
She certainly gave him plenty of evidence that she was.
Even though Arias is now fighting to avoid the death penalty, she exudes a sense of peace that seems to have eluded Amanda Knox. The truth shall set you free!
First image below: this shot was taken by Jodi just minutes before Travis’s death
Archived in Officially involved, Other legal processes, Others elsewhere, The psychology, Amanda Knox
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (13)
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Should The Amanda Knox Defense Maybe Point The Finger At An Angry Daddy?
Posted by Peter Quennell
There is not the slightest sign that their defenses know how to contend with the Supreme Court appeal filed by Umbria’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati. One has already walked (Maori) and the fact that the others don’t respond publicly to Galati speaks volumes to Italian lawyers.
If the first appeal (called in Italy the second level) is rerun in whole or in part, Sollecito and Knox could see Judge Massei’s “mitigating factors” annulled and find themselves each facing 30 years inside or even life.
The whole thrust of Sollecito’s ill-timed book (subtitle “how to shoot oneself in both feet”) is that he deserves to serve less time than Amanda Knox (who he “nobly saved”) and preferably to serve no time at all.
The sliding scales of all discussion of the case
Many bright people follow the case. We have many lawyers and crime experts and even judges read here. Many took a long time to settle on a “guilt” point of view and approached it very professionally (reflected in many of the posts written by professionals here). This is contrary to the klutzy, amateurish FOA campaign and their inaccurate rants about “haters”.
There are various great sliding scales or continuums in considering all aspects of this case. A lot of what we talk about on PMF and TJMK is where, precisely, we should all come down on each of these various scales at the end of the day. Especially of course how the judges in Rome and Perugia should calibrate them.
Via Dr Galati’s appeal and especially Sollecito’s book, we now have a new one. If reconvicted, should Sollecito and Knox serve equal time? Or should one or other serve more? Let us approach this by considering first some of the most-discussed of the sliding scales.
1) Was Knox a good friend of Meredith or increasingly a pariah?
Many here incline strongly to pariah.
Knox has an obvious tin ear and sharp elbows, was doing little study in Perugia, was making life hell for all her flatmates, was bringing noisy threatening lowlife men home (the other three virtually never brought men home), was disturbing Meredith’s studies, was hitting on patrons in Patrick’s bar, and was definitely into drugs to the extent that she might already have become an addict.
2) Pre-meditated murder or a hazing or spontaneous spiral initiated by Guede?
At least some here incline to the view espoused by some psychologists that Knox and Sollecito were probably both at minimum fantasizing violence, Knox against Meredith, and Sollecito long-term generically.
Knox had become threatened by Meredith in several different ways: Meredith was prettier, was much funnier, had won the best available boy, was brighter, had a tougher study regime, was more directed and ambitious, and had left Knox in the dust on all fronts. Hints that Meredith was about to get Knox’s job at Patrick’s bar could have been the last straw.
To most here, Knox has always seemed the initiator and the leader in the rage against Meredith, and the other two were possibly drawn in by group dynamics.
Judge Micheli certainly believed this. Judge Massei might have done, and his pointing at Guede (espoused in spades by Hellmann and Zanetti) and Massei’s “mitigating factors” both seemed “humane” stretches to give them a few years off - stretches which Chief Prosecutor Galati in his appeal and the Supreme Court in their finding on Guede have already both rejected.
3) Isolated crime/unique family or does American society incline this way?
Statistics show that society here in the US is separated out between super-rich and the other 99% more than at any time in the past 80 years and although productivity has been going up amazingly, all fruits of growth have gone to those super-rich. Many of them have a mindset that basically tells them they made it on their own, and government roles in their success and that of their creative hard-working employees dont matter a damn.
The situation and the anger in the US has been worsening, and absence of true growth for most people also have European and Japanese societies in disarray
In the US one can see heightened levels of anger in the losers of the Superbowl, in the renewed buying of guns, in conspiracy theories on the Internet, in the success of the very thought-provoking Hunger Games books and movie (small people against rich and a captured, cruel over-militarized government), in politics (of course!), and in the vitriolic flames on the IMDB movie forums now against the front-runner movies and actors for the Oscars.
We may not see this at major play here in the crime against Meredith, though, except in the over-competition sense, and the sense that Knox grew up in slight poverty (see below) and was burning through her savings with all the cocaine use (Perugia cops think it was cocaine)
4) Mental ill health in the perps and/or families or original evil?
Sollecito’s dad has long admitted that Raffaele is not normal, and he has struggled to keep him off drugs and focussed hard on his studies. His dad also admitted to all Italy that Sollecito included defamatory lies in his book.
An open and shut case? Seems so. Raffaele now looks “uncomplicatedly” psychopathic and the myriad wrong and nasty claims in his chest-beating book really hammer this take on him home.
That book seems to be his equivalent of Knox’s abrasive, uncaring two days on the stand in 2009 which so damaged her with the Massei jury.
Knox’s mental health seems more complicated. She was widely known to be “quirky” as a kid and then she became pretty wild in Seattle after she moved to live near the university. That certainly wouldn’t have helped.
Most recently, Knox seems to be sliding away into a bubble world without any possibility of admitting she needs treatment, which seems to explain her being kept well out of sight for a year now and not working or studying.
Generally the PROSECUTION in Perugia has been the side to suggest she is not mentally fully well (after the psychological tests in Capanne Prison in 2008) and the DEFENSE and FAMILY has been the side that shrugs this off and hasn’t made it any part of her defence.
Knox seems to have given off plenty of signs in the days after Meredith died that she was alternating between glee and horror. So she seemingly did know what she was doing on the night, and our guess is that it was she who pushed the knife in. In these circumstances the original verdict and sentence seem appropriate.
5) Knox made herself what she was or did her family contribute?
Curt Knox’s seeming blind rage at Edda during their marriage and for years after are an open secret among some in Seattle. He apparently had one of the worst records in the entire US in not paying child support to Edda for Amanda and Deanna, and had again and again to be taken to Superior Court by Edda to be forced to make his monthly payments.
Here are two public records showing two instances of him being taken to Superior Court by Edda.
And we are told that Curt Knox was counseled by one or more judges to get himself some anger management therapy. Apparently he wasn’t formally required to take anger management therapy. He may have done so, though there seems no record that he ever did.
Okay. Not all kids growing up in such toxic family situations suffer, but some do, and a few end up with their hard wiring seriously messed up. Some even end up as drug-takers and murderers.
The classic example recently was the mass killer Anders Breivek in Norway, whose early childhood in a toxic family situation was not entirely unlike Knox’s. (In that case also, the prosecution thought maybe he was nuts, and the defense, successfully, argued otherwise.)
Italian lawyers tell us that it would be for the DEFENSE to bring this up in Perugia if it is a possible mitigating factor, and that it doesnt impinge on the prosecution’s case.
But how could they?
Curt Knox was apparently the one who shushed Amanda Knox at their first meeting in Capanne Prison, Curt Knox was apparently the one who misled her about the world-wide skepticisim against her (she didnt know about that until she came out of prison), and Curt Knox was apparently the one who drove the nasty PR bus - and most recently hosted all of the worst of the rabid PR nuts (including Sforza and Fischer) in Seattle.
Curt Knox has apparently consistently instructed the defense lawyers and PR honchos to keep the pedal to the floor, even though Chris Mellas once openly argued against that. Amanda Knox may have pushed the knife in, but Curt Knox for five years has not come clean about his own possible role in any mental condition.
Our present conclusion
Without a lot more information on Amanda Knox’s early days in her broken home in Seattle, and her current mental condition and condition back in 2007, it is pretty hard to calibrate this. It is not really possible to be precise about where she should be on any sliding scale of time deserved in prison if she is finally convicted.
It is really incumbent upon the defense counsel in Italy (their lawyers’ code of ethics requires this) to push hard for this information, and if they think it relevant to present it to court at any rerun of the appeal trial.
Amanda Knox herself should want this.
Archived in Officially involved, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Amanda Knox, Francesco Sforza
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (34)