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.
I hate to make comparisons but there is so much similarity between Jody Arias and Amanda Knox. They are both obviously sociopaths, even down to the apparent intelligence and desire for education. Point is they have no feelings at all and see others as external individuals to be used for their own benefit. Empathy to them is just a word. Even down to using sex as a means of control.
Great post Miriam.
It is again obvious why Italians simply don’t trust Knox. This reporting from staff and official visitors of Capanne Prison continues to form an unbroken pattern. Other corroborating testimony is surfacing and we posted previously on some of it here.
Not only the tone but the whole way of writing of these letters is very different from the book. Even more than Sollecito’s shadow, Knox’s shadow Linda Kulman seems to have taken over or been made to take over the tone and the content of the message. Poor legal work to allow such a contrast, and it will make Knox a lot quieter back in court, removing what was really her only trump card.
One small surprise might be her mention of Chris Mellas as someone she gets strength from. The Sarzanini book (only in Italian) quotes her early prison diary as saying he calls her an obtuse retard and she was glad she wouldnt have to deal much with him.
Quite a contrast here. As always, the writing reads as if it was intended to be leaked.
Thanks Miriam for these translations.
The handwriting analysis is for the birds.
Has the analyst ever tried handwriting on lined paper and inserting margins? It is almost impossible to keep the left margin in line, and you can really only do a right margin by typing on a computer.
Knox has typically immature handwriting like millions of children and the complete lack of corrections, changes, edits, or crossings out probably indicates that what we see are “fair copies” written out in her best writing for public view.
Well, that’s my opinion.
OK, there are a couple of small corrections, but it still looks like a “fair copy” to me.
Thankyou very much Miriam for all your work in doing these translations. It’s important to see original source.
I was very impressed with the handwriting analysis. I had thought firstly, that it showed immaturity, and then that it was confident or wanting to be continually assertive, controlling/ controlled, and extroverted.
Evi Crotti’s analysis rang very true to me.
I have always written by hand, and hardly ever correct, first time, Domingo. Maybe that’s the girls? Also, maybe one would be going a bit more slowly anyway, because of the Italian ?
I was wondering what you thought about her asking Maurizo, if he also writes to the priest?
At first, I thought it was a bit intrusive on her part, but then again I am from an older generation!
Simple curiosity perhaps? Or a deeper worry that they might be writing each other and mentioning her?
Interesting question. I dont know if Knox had a concern about the priest Don Saulo back then, but she does now.
As Andrea Vogt reported, he is named in the contempt of court complaint to the chief prosecutor in Bergamo about her book, and unless he can claim he only talked with Knox in the confessional he may have to say what he heard from her about prison conditions under oath.
Knox may also find herself sitting opposite her former friend Maurizio in any contempt of court trial. An example of poor legal work on this book once again.
That’s interesting, Pete.
I didn’t feel the description of the relationship with Don Saulo rang particularly true in the book. The writing to me describes cardboard cut-outs, not credible human beings.
Yes I agree with you (and I’m older too!)... I think AK is most concerned about whether she is a point of discussion. One could be cynical about the reason why, or could also just attribute it to her general preoccupation with ‘how people think of me’...
Thanks Miriam for bringing us those prison letters of Knox.
While she clearly longs for the outside world like any prisoner in any prison in the world, it’s clear that she doesn’t complain to her social worker supporter Maurizio about the sexual harassment from prison guards and overly friendly fellow inmates that she remembered to develop years later for her “shocking” memoir.
Funny how a disappointingly low number of readers (from the PR campaign point of view) have actually been titillated enough to go out and buy it. I guess that Amanda Knox is simply not as marketable as the PR campaign hoped for, and that’s good news for justice: let the courts do their work without outside marketing interference!
I am way too busy to respond….but I want to thank you for this piece.
RIP dear Meredith.
Thank You for translating these letters.
Interesting that she states in the August 30 letter: “I am well enough here.” So ... obviously no complaints about any sort of harrassment by prison officials in these letters. And it seems she has had quite a time getting “manicures” and reading and playing volleball ...
There was one thing that I thought to be rather “childish” : after she signs her name, there are references to well known Beatles’ songs. That comes across as something “childish” in my opinion—like something I would have done in grammar school—not college.
Or is there a meaning to these Beatles’ songs, other than Knox’s obsession with the Beatles?
Again, Thanks Miriam ... And Thanks to all of you in your continued efforts for True Justice for Meredith Kercher !
Thank you for translating these letters. They make for ineresting reading and help in the growing understanding of Knox’s psychology.
I don’t actually agree with the analysis presented in the article that her handwriting is sophisticated. To me it is schoolgirl script and I also think it is laboured because of the Italian. Most definitely ‘fair copy’.
I am busy with a tragedy at work so am out of touch. Do I understand correctly that they have already filed contempt of court against AK? Your post seems to suggest so…..
I agree with you. The real test of complete writing is to do so without lines. Actually, and I am sure you are aware, there is a physiological analysis/test which dictates that people who write with an upward motion are extroverted whereas people who write down are introverted. Be that as it may, Knox is no scholar of course but only an idiot who has managed to get away with the minimum amount of work required to even attempt a pass which of course she didn’t in Parugia etc: Sure she was intimidated being surrounded by people of real intelligence who’s main purpose in life was to succeed. Who wouldn’t be. Knox was/is incapable of that and anything approaching ‘Normal’ and can only hope for a future in MacDonalds restaurants or the equivalent. By the way Miriam, thank you for this and thank everyone else who contributes. We will never stop of course no matter what the eventual outcome. Cheers everyone and keep up the good work. Meredith will never be forgotten.
Re the writing analysis :
Perhaps one has to make some allowance for the translation of ‘sophisticated’?
Perhaps Miriam could help?
The writing is definitely immature, but I guess that’s slightly different? I agree the lines on the paper are misleading.
What I do notice about it is that there is a distinct lack of ‘joined-up ness’ - of flow, fluidity, spontaneity.
A child would normally either be struggling to get these, improve to these, or would have achieved them.
At least in my day! We were so proud when we could say we did ‘joined-up writing!’ And it really was.
I seem to remember that this stiltedness in an adult was /is significant. None of the letters curve -like a ‘t’,‘f’, ‘i’. Almost like a computer script, uniform.
I do think there is an issue of control here, of which more later.
You said” “Be that as it may, Knox is no scholar of course but only an idiot who has managed to get away with the minimum amount of work required to even attempt a pass which of course she didn’t in Parugia etc. “
To be fair, she seems to be able to spell correctly in a foreign language, though I suspect the letter shown was prepared in an earlier draft form.
A very large proportion of US college students today are unable to spell common words (for example ‘definitely’ is nearly always written as ‘definately’ or ‘loser’ as ‘looser’) in English correctly, so I think she probably does demonstrate superior intelligence relative to her peers. Even the ability to learn a foreign language at all would put her in the top ten percent.
Perhaps not law school quality, but above average.
However Meredith Kercher was a graduate of Leeds University, one of the top level academic universities in the UK, so probably a bit of a high flyer.
[By the way, the city is ‘Perugia’, not ‘Parugia’.]
You said: “What I do notice about it is that there is a distinct lack of ‘joined-up ness’ - of flow, fluidity, spontaneity.”
I agree. It looks to me like she has ‘printed’ it one letter at a time, which is how my 4-year-old writes. That is why there is no rhythm or flow.
Also note that the name of the correspondent is written at the top in super large letters in green crayon. Isn’t this a bit childish too, or at least a bit odd as a way to write a letter to one’s social worker?
Maybe I am just being too hard here, but it is not very professional, and this has more the air of a love letter than a professional communication.
The thing that intrigues me about the publication of her letters is that these were supposedly people who were batting for her - who had her interests at heart.
On your first comment, yes, a contempt of court investigation has been initiated in Bergamo (home to Oggi), but as a proactive response to the aggressive PR it’s under wraps so precisely who has complained is not known.
We know there were “some” from Andrea Vogt’s great reporting though it doesnt make any difference how many, this is not calunnia, even when there is only one complaining, the investigation would look at all claims of crimes and all damage down.
In two ways, this new secrecy puts the defenses in a pretty tough spot: (1) They cant rebut or undermine any charges in advance or even get prepared for that; and (2) they themselves have been named as persons with important information for the prosecutor to demand.
At minimum, this invidious role makes their defenses of RS and AK much more difficult (along with all the “new facts” in the books) and at max it could mean the lawyers have to resign from the re-run of the appeal.
Theoretically, they could even be charged, as they are named in the books as having helped with the books, and so in effect turned a blind eye to or encouraged what will be concluded are false accusations of crimes, like this.
Ted Simon and Bob Barnett might even conceivably be charged, and they are likely to be interviewed and maybe put on the stand. They’re all noticeably more quiet now.
As to whether the letters are re-writes or not, Italian speakers still say that her spoken Italian tended to contain wince-making mistakes which might point to a re-write, maybe with help.
And yet there is a sort of stream of consciousness flavor to what she wrote, which might suggest that she only wrote it out once. Either way, that IS how she writes and speaks and it’s the writing in the book that rings seriously false.
Meredith hadn’t graduated yet from Leeds (she was awarded a BA posthumously and Stephanie accepted it for her) though you are right, it is a great school and very tough to get into. John Kercher’s book shows how smart and fast-track she was. Also check out this short profile here.
Knox in contrast only enrolled for a language course in Perugia, for which entry requirements were nil (other than an ability to pay the fees) and credits would probably not be transferable to her university in Seattle. She might not have stayed more than one semester (in Europe one term) as she sure did not have the funds for a full year.
Knox’s book contains some laugh-out-loud claims and one of them is that she didnt realise until Meredith told her that there was a huge university right there or she would have enrolled.
First, the language school is an arm of the university, and that would have been quite clear both when she researched it and signed in. And second, she took no steps to get funded or enrolled for anything that would have given her a full year of credits.
That was exactly what she didnt want as the post in the link just above shows.
She was throwing a year away to do dope and have fun, and Meredith saw through all the smoke Knox blew (in apparent stark contrast to Knox’s parents) and despised it. And Knox would have known.
You said: “The thing that intrigues me about the publication of her letters is that these were supposedly people who were batting for her - who had her interests at heart.”
Her many Capanne associates were indeed batting for her. The letters themselves make it plain that Knox herself saw them that way. She points to no-one having being unkind.
Now they find out that 2/3 of the Knox book hangs them out to dry, presumably as a reason why she should never go back to Italy and Capanne to face these mean brutes, and so they merely show there is another side.
They are a reaction, not an aggressive first move.
Italian published commentary on Knox and the case has a whole different feel from that in the US and UK, mostly relatively restrained and polite and low key either way.
And Italians are naturally forgiving people who gain no pleasure in seeing anyone locked up (proportionally very few are) and so if there is any inkling that perps show remorse they can get a ton of breaks.
Even when Porta a Porta had a show last September on the Sollecito book and Francesco Sollecito was put on the spot by false claims of crimes he was given the last word.
Given the strident and hectoring tones of the Knox and Sollecito books and the numerous accusations of crimes, the quality of legal advice she or her writers got was really bad.
At malpractice level, one could conclude, as the false accusations of crimes plus a re-run of the appeal put her at risk of a life sentence now.
Slightly off topic but interesting never-the-less, I’ve been trawling the web and can find nothing new on Amanda Knox’s PR blitz or indeed anything from FOA. As Peter mentions it’s all gone very quiet. I note that her book, week three, is now at No: 36 in the US book selling charts. Looking at things with a slightly different perspective I found this astrological analysis on AK and RS for this year, the main trust being the truth will out, there’s no where to hide which cheers me greatly: http://mandilockley.blogspot.com/
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a year off to study a language, even if the credits aren’t transferable (although I don’t understand why the Language School courses wouldn’t have counted as foreign language credits). Between the courses and the linguistic and cultural immersion, you can probably walk out with the sort of skills that are more attractive to employers than having finished college early.
I think the reason why people are dismissive of her school activities is because she presents herself as such an overachiever, when she really was just a middle-of-the-pack student. Had she been a little more reserved about her supposed academic accomplishments, it would have been harder to be critical of her coursework. As it is, there’s a discrepancy between the image she’s trying to sell and her actual mediocrity.
Meredith would have done well no matter what school she attended, and I think she would have done much better than Leeds if she had the chance to graduate and go on to a master’s. She was smart, a good student, and she had the advantage of a magnetic personality and exceptional good looks. I also have the feeling that if she wrote her autobiography, she wouldn’t have been all pretentious about her academic inclinations and achievements (even though she was doing much better from this point of view than Knox). She probably would have written a lot about her family and friends, since she actually cared about other people and didn’t put all her energy into being the center of attention.
Regarding the graphologist’s analysis, I think it’s severely flawed.
For one, like Domingo pointed out, I don’t think anyone leaves margins when writing on lined paper, unless there’s an edge. So that part seems pretty irrelevant.
However, what I would consider relevant, is the choice of lined paper. It could have been the only type available to her, but I have no doubt that Chris, MadPax, her mom, etc. could have gotten her plain paper if she’d asked. Hence, I think she has a preference for it, which would indicate two things: one - rigidity and control (on that point, I agree with the graphologist); two - immaturity. It’s the sort of paper children use because they can’t keep their lines straight very well yet. It’s definitely an odd choice for a self-described “free spirit.” I’ve never considered myself a free spirit, but I’ve had an aversion to lined paper for as long as I can remember.
The other thing is the style of writing itself. I understand that American print handwriting is different from our cursive (much more legible, to be fair), but I agree that it looks like a much younger person’s writing.
Incidentally, my current project involves cataloging an estate library, and I’ve had the chance to see the owners’ “ex libris” change over time. Their childhood books were signed in a nondescript, calligraphic cursive, which changed dramatically by the time they were roughly Knox’s age. It’s interesting how their adult handwriting matches what we know about them - the younger princess was the more responsible one (and ended up managing the estate), and her handwriting is neat, even though a bit hard to decipher; the older sister was a painter and had a more adventurous life, and her writing dissolves into lines, like it didn’t want to be contained into prescribed shapes. This woman was a true “free spirit,” and I think her adult handwriting reflects this faithfully.
Knox’s handwriting, by contrast, is probably the same as it was in primary or secondary school: neat, organized, generic. It does match what she says about being very disciplined in prison, but it doesn’t look at all like the handwriting of a creative, highly individualistic person.
I disagree completely that it’s sophisticated. It’s not fluid, it doesn’t have any individual flourishes, and it’s not beautiful: just neat and rounded and legible.
I agree that her handwriting is not sophisticated. Can’t find where it says that in the analysis, as SeekingUnderstanding has said it might be a mistake in my translation. I have reread the analysis, but cannot find that part. If you point it out I will definitely check.
Has anyone noticed only one letter is signed in cursive? The undated one,which I believe is the first, because after that her Italian improves quite a bit.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a year off to study a language…” If you are quoting me, that is not really what I said, and in that part of your comment I think you miss a really key point.
In the Knox book that year (if it was to be a year) is made to look like a really big deal, the third year of her degree with full credits, and she would work like crazy to achieve a lot. That is what she says she made her parents understand, and why they blessed the trip. There is no sign that THEY knew she was taking a year off. In fact she makes it sound like her dad would never have approved it if he had known.
She could easily have organized more study with transferable credits AND FUNDING before she ever left Seattle. The post by Stewart Home that I linked to made clear that she was among only one or two in every hundred students that heads for Europe with no arrangements at all and pure fun or whatever in mind.
You might think there was nothing wrong, but universities all over the US clearly did. After Meredith’s death many universities moved to stop precisely what Knox had done - heading off with some notional connection to UW, but in reality with none at all.
Not only did a lack of arrangements leave her free to waste serious time in Perugia, as she did, it also left her totally unsupervised and unchecked for drugs. Meredith and others on formal schemes like Erasmus including most Americans were all checked out, and if their room-mates were seriously messing up, they could contact that roomie’s supervisor to intervene.
Meredith had no-one at all to contact, although she and everyone around Knox thought she was heading out of control - and Meredith ended up dead.
I have no knowledge of handwriting analysis but if I had to hazard a guess (necessarily biased by my totally unsympathetic view of her, and belief in her guilt) I would say the careful, contrived script is a feeble attempt to make it look like an objective, rational missive and so combat the general view of her as “flakey” (who’d have thunk it?). Probably if she’d had access to a typewriter/pc she’d have used that instead.
The flowery greeting is her more natural, flakey side intruding.It may have been added last.
What is the strange heart symbol all about? It looks like a cross between a heart shape and the UK CND(Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament)logo.
Being enigmatic (therefore presumably “special” and noticeable) seems to be a major concern for this strange child/woman. Unfortunately, her really desperate need to be special - and inability to just be who she is - also prevented her from dealing with everyday routine in Perugia, i.e. simple practices of tidiness, hygiene, good manners, sociability and genuine, polite interest in others.
Generally these symptoms are all part of neurosis and the flight from reality, and treatable. Factor in her part in an horrific murder (if that is the ultimate verdict), the cover-up, lack of genuine remorse at the time etc, and I think she’s ultimately untreatable. There’s no bridge or connection between her world and our consensual reality. Totally alien.
‘Sophisticated’. I was just wondering whether this was ‘complesso’ in Italian, meaning more impenetrable, tangled, inaccessible and so on?
I seem to remember that the Italians are not great admirers of this kind of complexity, and tend to see it as an adjunct of Northern European neuroses.
They tend to favour much more the ‘semplice’ ...the simplicity of elegant design, which they know is not simple to achieve!
Thanks to Miriam for the translation and to Pete for the platform.
I have just managed to read all six letters. My reactions are therefore febrile and initial, but I can say, she is a narcissist. ME ME ME. Thanking others for giving things to HER. No one outside of herself seems of much interest to her. That’s about all I can say at the moment. Thanks again for the post.
See my next posting, just completed!
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…
The Crotti handwriting analysis does not use the word sophisticated, but twice used “elegant” and speaks of a “notable sense of taste” which I think is bollocks. I cannot speak for the language being “fluid and polished”, as I am fluent in Spanish (which makes it fairly easy to translate Italian), but don’t know much Italian. However, as I said before, this looks to me like a rewrite of a rough draft. If I am writing in Spanish, I will draft in English, rough translate using Google, and then clean up the prose and make it more elegant in Spanish as the final step. I think something similar here, though she may not have had access to Google.
Handwriting analysis is a doubtful science, especially if the person doing the analysis already knows who the subject is.
Yes, I agree it isn’t elegant at all. Hadn’t noticed that.
Thanks for pointing that out. I kept looking for sophisticated and could not find it.
The first part of the analysis was not written by the psychologist Evi Crotti, it is the intro by whoever wrote the article. Also, this is a new magazine,that makes Oggi look great, so I do not thing they paid the best and brightest.
Still, I think she got something right: narcissistic behavior, need to control, etc.
Then again as you said:
The handwriting analysis is for the birds. That was also my first thought!
Liked your comment, also made me laugh.
Could it be a peace sign inside of a heart?
Yes that’s it - the peace sign, of course.
What with that and the “All you need is Love” T-shirt, I think we’re being asked to buy a bill of goods.
Rather like those who harp on about their honesty - it only makes you want to check you’ve still got your wallet!
Hi Miriam and all,
I am very sorry I confused things. I think I mis-remembered ‘elegant’ for sophisticated somehow. I read the post on my smart phone and by the time I had read all the comments it was too clumsy to scroll back. I had the word ‘sophisticated’ in my head but was writing about the idea that her handwriting is ‘elegant’. It must have morphed into ‘sophisticated’ as I read on.
That said, I stand by my comment even with the word ‘elegant’.
I don’t think it is anywhere near elegant and I agree with Domingo and Vivianna’s comments.
I work in secondary education and I can say with certainty that her handwriting resembles that of a 14-year-old girl’s fair copy, neat script handwriting when doing it in ‘best’ and to please the teacher. The flowery name at the top of one of the letters along with the smilies and the heart-peace sign are typical of girls of that age (14) - in my experience.
I also speak other languages and whenever I write a letter I still resort to drafting it out first and I believe she will have done.
To me it comes across as a desire to both please and impress. Please because of the neat appearance and impress because of the use of the foreign language.
Thank you for your replies. I must have missed AV’s article - shame. Is there a link? Great that the contempt of court has been filed and that it is under wraps. Good that the PR and Defense are on the back foot and wonderful that it is having a silencing effect over in the US of A.
I sent the WTBH book to Giuliano Mignini and was quite amused to note that Amazon dispatched it from Seattle.
The sad truth is that I was in Kinokuniya Singapore on Sunday and was stopped in my tracks when I saw AK’s glum face peering at me from a shelf in the new release section. So - sales in Europe and USA bad let’s try Asia. I wonder if it is on sale in Australia / NZ? However I don’t imagine many out here will know enough of the case to be interested in buying the ‘book’.
Funny that I couldn’t get ‘Meredith’ out here when I looked for it last year and had to wait to go to London to get it ........
There was a killing in Virginia of Skylar Neese. Her two “best friends” purportedly decided they didn’t like her any more (according to news reports) so they lured her to a remote location and stabbed her to death.
Here is an article: http://www.examiner.com/article/skylar-neese-s-friends-didn-t-like-her-anymore
In the article, a profiler notes that jealousy is the most common reason women kill other women. Here is an excerpt:
“Famed criminal profiler Candice DeLong has stated that the most common motive for murder is jealousy, and when women attack or kill other women jealousy is usually involved.”
It is again very simple and I think the same reason for what Knox did.
Well…never mind about the word mutation - it made for an interesting discussion, and several features have come out that there is broad agreement on.
Made me think, too, about differences in cultural perceptions.
I still think Evi Crotti’s conclusions drawn were on the right track - though how much they were arrived at from already knowing the person involved, one really can’t tell…
@Peter - Sorry if it was unclear, but I wasn’t quoting you specifically. I was talking in general, since the topic has come up many times before.
The way I see it, the problem wasn’t that she was taking easy courses or wasn’t enrolled in a specific program, but that she was a sociopath or psychopath with substance-abuse problems. The fault for letting her go lies primarily with her parents, who should have known that something was wrong with her (I’m fairly sure that they did know). Since she didn’t live on-campus, I can’t fault her Seattle university for not knowing, as she didn’t have an RA monitoring her grades and behavior.
My guess is that even if she had been enrolled in a proper program, with a full course-load, she would have probably still done what she did. Having too much free time doesn’t cause one to kill people; being mentally unstable does.
Regarding the discrepancy between what she said she was doing and what she was doing, we’re in agreement. She tried to make herself seem far more academically accomplished and harder working than she really was.
WTBH is still on sale here in Australia. It was near the entrance in Berkelouw in Newtown, Sydney at full price (AUD 27.99). I should have asked if they were selling many. I suspect not as when I made mention of the case to various friends (4 different people) recently I was amazed that none of them had ever heard of it - even the term ‘Foxy Knoxy’ didn’t ring any bells. And these are pretty cluey people who have a reasonable handle on current events and news in general.
Funny enough, Sollecito’s book is still available in Kinokuniya but funny enough I didn’t see WTBH - might just not have been looking in the right place - it’s a big book store.
I bought John Follain’s book last October in the airport a good year after it came out and had seen it in a few bookshops in early 2012 so it looks as if it was selling.
So much for my take on how the case is seen from down here.
Thank you for your reply and the indication as to where the book has travelled to. It does interest me that the book is being put on sale out here as really I cannot imagine many people knowing an awful lot about the case as you also suggest.
Even as current affairs news it is rather specialised and I think that most people don’t follow the case or take an interest in it given that there is so much else happening on the world stage.
Scathing review of Amanda Knox’s book by former Manhattan prosecutor and crime novelist Linda Fairstein on Bookish dot Com which we capture here in case it scrolls away.
Amanda Knox’s Memoir ‘May Be Evidence Against Her’
As far as sensational murder trials go, the case of Meredith Kercher, a young English woman who was sexually assaulted and killed in November 2007, is one for the books. In 2009, American student Amanda Knox, Kercher’s roommate in Italy, was convicted of Kercher’s murder. Knox served four years of a 26-year sentence before her conviction was overturned in 2011. Finally, in March 2013, the Italian court ordered the case back to trial. A month after that, Knox published a memoir, “Waiting to Be Heard,” professing her innocence. Amidst the media noise surrounding Knox’s memoir, we decided to get an expert’s take on the book’s potential legal ramifications. Linda Fairstein, author and America’s foremost legal expert on sex crimes, gives us five reasons why Knox’s book may get her into trouble:
There is nothing in the law like a “high-profile” case, fueled by tabloid media coverage—often inaccurate—to cause public opinion to be wildly divided on the guilt or innocence of the accused. One such case involves the horrific murder of a young woman from England—Meredith Kercher—who was killed in her bedroom in the home she rented in Perugia with other students, including the 20-year-old American, Amanda Knox. Already convicted in a fast-track trial is Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede, whose fingerprints and DNA linked him to the sexual assault of Kercher, as well as to the stab wound in her throat that caused her to be asphyxiated by her own blood.
As those millions who have followed the events know, Amanda Knox and her then-lover, Raffaele Sollecito, were also tried and convicted of Kercher’s murder in 2009, a verdict overturned two years later by an appellate court. Knox returned home to Seattle, and her memoir, “Waiting to Be Heard,” was released this spring—not long after news that the Italian court had ordered a retrial of the murder charges.
While I would not attempt to analyze the trial evidence without firsthand reports of the testimony and physical evidence—both sides have strong supporters in this case—I couldn’t help but scratch my head and wonder why Knox included statements in her book that will undoubtedly give rise to trouble for her as the case heads back to the courtroom.
1. Doing the unthinkable: A false accusation of murder
When Knox was first questioned by police, it was because she was not only a housemate of the victim, but she was also one of the first people—a witness, not a suspect—to encounter the crime scene the morning after the murder. As the facts she recounted changed, and she learned that Sollecito had contradicted her alibi of being with him throughout the entire night, Knox began to dig herself deeper and deeper into an evidentiary hole. Then she did the unthinkable: She falsely accused a man she knew—her boss at the bar at which she worked—of being the killer. Just pages earlier in her memoir, when she bemoaned her dilemma, Knox writes, “the authorities I trusted thought I was a liar. But I wasn’t lying.” Then she goes on to describe how she came up with the idea to finger a businessman—a friend to her—to throw suspicion off herself. Can you think of anything worse than naming a person to police as a murderer, when you know he’s completely innocent? Can you imagine telling that blatant a lie to police, who then went out to arrest the guy? Amanda Knox’s credibility is the centerpiece of her case, and she not only undermined that in 2007, but writes about it again—already convicted of slander of the accused man—as though it was an act without profound consequences.
2. Errors in judgment: Trusting an unknown lover
Knox writes of her relationship with Raffaele Sollecito, described in most media reports as her boyfriend. In reading her book, I learned for the first time that the pair had only been together for one week at the time of the murder. A chance meeting resulted in a return to Sollecito’s apartment for marijuana and a one-night stand, which extended into seven days and nights leading up to Kercher’s death. It’s curious that Knox felt the need to describe how alone she felt, “detaching emotion from sex,” and yet believed that in the hours after being implicated in the crime, her brand-new lover—a virtual stranger with whom she communicated through a hodgepodge of languages, but mostly sex—would cover her back when she became a prime suspect. Instead, Sollecito threw their planned alibi to the wolves and denied that Knox had stayed with him through the night when Kercher was killed. “I knew I could trust Raffaele with my life,” Knox says, although it seems to be another of her great errors in judgment. Less about the romance, and more about how fragile their relationship actually was, might have strengthened her case.
3. Forensic evidence: What about the blood?
From reliable news accounts, I know that DNA played a significant role in this case. There is no question that it provided a solid link to Rudy Guede’s presence at the crime scene. But Knox shrugs off DNA with just a few glancing references to its importance—either in her defense or by the prosecution. Yes, Sollecito’s DNA on the bra strap was compromised by the police investigation, and her own blood on the knife found at Sollecito’s apartment could have been deposited at another time. Not enough is revealed in this book to know if it was the red herring that Knox claims—and may have been discounted by the court. But what about Knox’s blood in the bathroom sink, there along with Kercher’s? It seems that Knox simply discounts any evidence that is negative to her side, rather than confront and explain it. Again, where her credibility will be a critical factor going forward, she may regret how easily she dismisses forensic evidence in her telling of the story.
4. Loose ends: A laptop, a cell phone and a mop
There are two major areas in which what I would call Knox’s lack of candor will be a disservice to her. One is the issue of the laptop and the cellphones (Sollecito’s and her own). The electronic records don’t lie, but again it seems that Knox is dishonest in her description of their importance. The timeline Knox tried to establish for the night of the crime is belied by the fact that Sollecito’s computer was shut off at 9:10pm and not used again all night. Similarly, in activity quite different than their usage in the preceding week, both cellphones were shut off from 8:40pm until 6am. The prosecution apparently made important use of this fact, while Knox offers no logical explanation to us here.
The other issue concerns the mop that Knox claims to have taken from her home to Sollecito’s apartment. She never mentions the police claim that his place smelled of bleach, nor does she link it to the fact that the floor at the crime scene was so bloody that it was not illogical for the police to connect the mop and bleach to efforts by the two suspects to clean up after the murder.
5. Too much blame, too little introspection
Throughout the long narrative in this book, Amanda Knox manages to blame just about everyone in her orbit for the position in which she found herself, charged with the murder of a housemate. It’s the other occupants of the house, casual acquaintances, just about every police official trying to solve the brutal crime, prosecutors and court officials. There doesn’t seem to be a page of introspection which examines her own actions and statements—I don’t mean the cartwheels, nor the antics with Sollecito, nor the seeming lack of empathy for Kercher—but, rather, the lies, inconsistencies, unusual steps in the hours and days following the discovery of Kercher’s body—all of her own doing and all of which led to putting Amanda Knox in the docket. When Knox started to write this memoir, I assume she thought the case and the ordeal was behind her. Now there may be another trial, and many of the words in this book may turn out to be evidence against her.
Linda Fairstein is America’s foremost legal expert on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence. She led the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan for 26 years. Her 14 previous Alexandra Cooper novels have been critically acclaimed international bestsellers, translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.
A foolish and inaccurate comment was posted by the besotted Knox follower Halkidis. He is still quoting the discredited Conti and Vecchiotti, and making false accusations against the police.
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