Monday, July 12, 2010

The Very Telling Parallels Here With Murder Cases Like Christian Longo’s

Posted by lilly

Many of the apologist writers claiming that Amanda Knox was railroaded have made “there was no motive” a main argument of their articles.

Most recently, The Machine took apart that claim as made by Amy Jenkins in the UK and Judy Bachrach in the US.

Other posters here on TJMK and and on PMF have frequently noted that neither under Italian not under UK and US law is any proof of a motive required for conviction.

Many of the apologists have also claimed that what looked to most watchers like bizarre red-flags patterns of behavior by Sollecito and Knox before and after Meredith’s death and at trial were just, you know, kids blowing off some steam.

Really. Nothing to sweat over.

Had the writers been experts in the relevant fields, or consulted some experts, or even simply done some online research, they would have turned up hundreds of examples where a motive remained hazy or non-existent. And where the killer came across as pleased with themselves, attention-seeking, and totally self-absorbed, regardless of pain inflicted on others. 

Christian Longo is one of many examples who confused the more gullible of the watchers over his motive and mindset.

In 2001 Christian Longo killed his wife and three small children on the northwest coast of Oregon. He still won’t or can’t explain why he did it, and at first he tried hard to deny it.

The Last Psychiatrist blog (TLP) has a fascinating analysis of Longo’s story.

Longo is a pathological narcissist, and there are some interesting parallels with the way Knox has behaved before and after her conviction for the murder of Meredith.

Longo’s crime is sickening. He strangled his wife MaryJane, attempted to strangle one of his daughters, packed her into a suitcase and then dumped her, still alive, into a river.

Then he drove his other kids to a bridge, tied stones to them, and threw them still alive into the water as well.

That done, off Longo went to Mexico.

When he was finally captured by police, he was enjoying a lifestyle of socializing, snorkeling, beer, drugs and pretending to be a journalist. His behavior was highly attention-seeking, and he seemed very pleased with himself.

Longo had no prior convictions, and no history of violence.

According to TLP, Longo’s behavior is that of a classic narcissist. Narcissists don’t feel guilt. Longo doesn’t feel remorse for his crime.

Initially, Longo denied murdering his family. It wasn’t him; it was an unknown intruder. Later, he blamed his wife. It wasn’t him; she actually started it.

When that didn’t work, he claimed he couldn’t remember what happened. He gave testimony, but he never explained his actions - as if what really happened wasn’t important.

The Last Psychiatrist writes: “This isn’t a coherent defense, it’s pass interference, it’s reasonable doubt.  It’s not important what did happen, it’s only important that it wasn’t him.”

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t him. Remind you of anyone yet?

Everything Longo says in his defense is “bullshit” says TLP. “These endless words…are a way of wearing you down into giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Look, you know me, you know the kind of person I am, right?  I can go on and on about this all day; just trust me.”

Even in prison, on Death Row, he’s wearing the mask of a real nice, successful guy who’s been badly treated.

Knox is another convicted murderer who deosn’t seem interested in explaining what happened to her victim, Meredith. It simply is not important to her.

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t her.

Immediately after the cruel murder of Meredith, Knox raised the suspicion of investigators by her oddly smug and strongly attention-seeking behavior.

From the very start, Knox attempted to upset the investigation by leading police down the wrong track. Her judges and jury (and earlier Judge Micheli) concluded that she and Sollecito cleaned up the murder scene to remove the traces of their involvement.

They moved the victim’s body. They faked a break-in to make police believe a random intruder did it. And when questioned, Knox recalled Meredith screaming, and coldly and deliberately accused an innocent man, her kindly employer Patrick Lumumba, of sexual assault and murder.

Then she claimed she couldn’t remember what had happened on the night. She early-on put this down to drugs. And in court, she said she made the claim against Patrick because the interrogating police beat her.

The message Knox gave when she had the chance to address the judges and jury at the close of the murder trial was a strong indicator of a pathological narcissistic mindset.

Given a golden opportunity to voice real sympathy for Meredith and her suffering family, Knox instead said only that she didn’t want to be forced to wear “the mask of an assassin”.

TLP makes a very interesting comment about motive in Longo’s case. Narcissists kill because they are scared of being exposed. They are scared that the masks they have carefully constructed will be ripped away or replaced. Their identities are threatened.

Knox seems to desperately need people to believe in the identity she’s carefully constructed and maintained.

In reality, sadly, she was in danger of losing her job, she was quite close to being broke, she had chosen an insignificant study-load in Perugia, she was on drugs going back to Seattle, she had not managed to make any real friends in Perugia other than Sollecito, and she had a conviction back home which could have incurred a serious penalty.

But she wants and needs people to believe she was actually a talented student, a pretty young woman with a bright future, a popular and attractive person with a nice family back home.

Some mask, one has to say.

Meredith Kercher was the opposite of Amanda in so many ways - in fact, Meredith was a popular, well-funded, hard-working super-achiever with a very bright future. 

When we delve a little into Knox’s history, in light of the above, we see there are many possible motivations.

Her seeming callous narcissistic syndrome, often noted before she ever left Seattle. Her known growing jealousy of Meredith, whose perhaps rather disdainful presence Knox seemed to find a threat to her self-image and economic security. Fueled by drugs, strong drink, an obsession with violent rape fantasies, and risky casual sex. Coupled with a troubled boyfriend on drugs with a penchant for violent porn and a combat knife collection.

Meredith was perhaps the biggest threat to her mask that Amanda had ever encountered.

TLP says of Longo: “You want a simple answer: why did he do this?”¦The important question is the one no one asks anymore: What was there that would have held him back?”

Sadly now it is too late for Meredith and her family. But instead of continuing to paint Knox as a suffering innocent victim, Knox’s parents should ask themselves: Who and what should have held their daughter back?

If they’d answered that question early-on, when they should have, Meredith might very well still be alive.


The more I think about Knox, the more I see parallels to the infamous Jeffrey McDonalds, the “Green Beret Killer” who murdered his wife and two young daughters in 1970 and tried to blame it on intruders. At first glance, the cases have little in common, but dig a little deeper and think a little more, and it’s clear that McDonald and Knox are fairly similar personality types. In short - scumbags.

Posted by Janus on 07/12/10 at 09:20 PM | #

Hi Janus. Interesting. Such personality types whether born or made that way often give out warning signals throughout their lives that to the clued-in say: take great care. And hopefully say: get me treated. Often, now, as with Knox, right here on the internet.

Early warnings are a big deal here in the US because of the occasional mass shootings, and there have been rampages in Europe as well. The body count already is considerable. I drove past the Austin Texas university campus where 14 died and through the Virginia Tech campus where 32 died. A lot of preventive measures have now been taken at those places.

That these cases get considerable publicity on websites like this and in best-selling books about charming psychopaths next door is hopefully preventing some more occurrences.

It is being said to be REALLY important that family and friends and college staff do not try to deny or hide such symptoms as the body count goes up and up. Dozens of people knew of the symptoms of the Virginia Tech shooter and could perhaps have prevented him being in a position to rampage. 

Many seem to have encountered Amanda Knox acting really quite odd around Seattle long before she was allowed to go off to Italy under-funded, on drugs, with no work-permit, and with no structured supervisory support.

It looks like both Seattle Prep, Knox’s Jesuit school, and Washington University might have been worried that they did not do more, and both have acted to try to reduce liability and future occurrences.

Oprah Winfrey’s role in all of this is really disturbing.

She is an avid book reader who should have known better than to fawn over Knox’s parents as if they are the true victims. She could have made her entire program on Meredith’s case about what are these early warnings, and why the Knox-Mellas family didn’t act in a way that could have had Meredith still alive today.

Oh and remember that Knox HAD to work in Europe to make ends meet for her presumed 18 months there. As an American she HAD to get that work-permit to work in Italy - unlike Meredith, who was an EU citizen.

Did Knox ever take action on getting such a work permit? Did Oprah ask? Apparently not.

Did Knox’s parents ever ask her if she was working on getting it? Did Oprah ask? Again, apparently not.

A drug addict who is running low on funding with no easy way to fuel their drug habit is a potential loose canon, just as much as someone who is rendered psychopathic from near birth. 

The problem here should be framed as highly disturbed kids or kids on drugs who eventually snap - not a beleagured Italian justice system which struggles at the best of times.

Oprah and Judy Bachrach and Amy Jenkins and Knox’s parents and the adolescent Knox groupies are all acting in a way that may facilitate rather than prevent future killings.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/12/10 at 10:21 PM | #

They knew of problems as she was growing up, but chose to ignore them, ‘That’s just Amanda, being Amanda’ -

Posted by John on 07/13/10 at 01:14 AM | #

sounds a lot like joran van der sloot as well. great post, lilly.

Posted by mojo on 07/13/10 at 10:06 AM | #


Is it known if Amanda Knox had a work-permit for Europe? 18 months is a long time and she didn’t had the funds to survive anywhere near 18 months. She certainly would have needed to work quite a bit to support herself for more than a year.

Her parents are so very irresponsible. They obviously didn’t even have a clue how much money she would need approximately for food and accommodation to begin with. This whole thing was a huge financial miscalculation on their part, besides the fact that Edda Mellas and Curt Knox simply misjudged their daughter’s maturity for such a venture. How horrible.

As a parent I feel really sick the way they left their daughter to take care of herself in a foreign country. She wasn’t disciplined enough and probably spent a considerable amount of her money right from the start for alcohol, drugs and partying.

Posted by Nell on 07/13/10 at 10:56 AM | #

Great post Lilly,

But Longo’s case sounds like many other psychopaths’.

I just finished watching ‘The Serial Killers’ (available on DVD online) which is a fascinating and shocking documentary of 13 of the most notorious murderers of our time. Great stuff but rather chilling and disturbing to watch.

Some segments show interviews from the killers themselves such as Ted Bundy who admits being a violent porn lover which actions he repeated on his victims. Each case offers similar clichéd tale of tormented childhoods. If I remember correctly Knox wrote a rape fictional short story which she posted online and Sollecito has a strong liking for knives and violent porn manga.

But I also found shocking the amount of similarities between all these murderers’ behaviour and that of Knox and Sollecito:  Lies, denial, drugs, confusion… it’s all there!

Your post is great Lilly but Longo’s (and more recently Van der sloot as mentioned by Mojo) case is similar to dozens and dozens of other murderers including Sollecito and Knox.

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/13/10 at 11:39 AM | #


You are so right! The family Knox/Mellas always maintained that Amanda wasn’t violent at all and that she could not have become a murderer in a few weeks. I always found that this was their weakest and dumbest point ever.

Amanda’s short stories certainly didn’t help to deflect the attention. I believe she wrote another short story about rape while sitting in prison. Wasn’t that for a “literacy contest” that she won?

I believe Peter even wrote on TJMK about the jury members including in their sentencing report Amanda’s short story (Baby Brother?) as proof that she at least had fantasised about rape and violence. Correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by Nell on 07/13/10 at 12:06 PM | #

lilly, your post is spot-on. All the indicators are that Meredith was the unlucky person that Amanda vented her wickedness on. The sad thing is that Amanda would have struck somewhere else anyway.

The two (what I believe to be) gullible men helped her implement her destruction. They should have known better, perhaps it happened too quickly for them to step back and take a reality check. But, that is academic now.

There is one thing that my wife and I regularly affirm with our two boys, since they were very young, and that is that they should ALWAYS use their sixth sense, i.e. common sense. Life is not predictable, so watch out for the ‘curved balls’.

They may not come your way all the time, but recognise them when they approach and take evasive action!

Posted by Terence on 07/13/10 at 02:08 PM | #

@tempusfugit - thanks and I agree that Knox/Sollecito’s case has parallels with other psychopathic murder cases.

When you start to look at the details of the case and around it there are a lot of chilling details about Knox’s and Sollecito’s behavior before and after the murder.

@nell - yes, her parents did make a huge mistake…

Knox was out of control even before she got to Italy. Rape fantasies and terrifying pranks, impulsively blowing off a great internship in Germany, impulsive sex with complete strangers including on a train, and posting about that for all to read, experimenting with drugs, strong drink…

With all this, it’s really hard to imagine that Knox would not have been involved in something terrible and tragic.

Knox’s parents know their daughter is guilty. But like Knox they seem to believe that “the truth” is whatever you want it to be (hence Knox’s ‘this is the best truth I am able to say’ when writing a pack of lies).  They should stop telling lies, stop making excuses for Knox, stop disrespecting the real victim and start reflecting on their own behavior, and insist Knox explains what happened that night.

Posted by lilly on 07/13/10 at 02:26 PM | #

Hi Nell. On work permits and the income of Knox.

From what we know of Amanda Knox’s finances and her cocaine habit (people who knew RS and AK in Perugia have referred to them as coke-heads), without a job, she would have been headed for flat-broke around the end of 2007.

“Daddy, could you send me several thousand a month? The price of coke here has really gone through the roof.” True on the price of cocaine then, but that sure wasn’t going to happen.

So Knox really, really needed a high-paying job. Say $3000 a month for the drug habit and necessaries.  For which she absolutely would need a work permit.

There are illegals working in all “advanced” countries but they are not exactly working in high-paying jobs. Many non-European students hand out fliers advertising bars and restaurants, but no way that would amount to $3000.

Work permits are usually specific to a job, though once gained they can be easier to get the second time around. Knox did not yet have a permit for waitressing at Le Chic and Patrick was doing her a favor (and taking legal and tax risks) by letting her work there at all.

Patrick has never ever really talked about all of this (legal and tax risks sure make people shut up) but it must have been obvious to him that employing Meredith instead of Knox would reduce his legal and tax risks down to zero.

Given her troubled history back in Seattle, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox should have absolutely insisted that Amanda go to Europe only within a structured scheme - the usual route for all but a very few.

This would have resulted not only in her behavior and her finances being monitored, it would probably have resulted in at least some assured financial supply. 

And of course… Meredith would still be alive.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/13/10 at 02:54 PM | #

@ Peter

Thank you very much for your detailed response. I’ve read somewhere that Amanda Knox was down to approx. 4000 € when she was arrested. Is that true?  I remember that numbers were thrown around by the family of Knox to reassure the public that Amanda Knox wasn’t “broke” and that she would not have needed to steal Meredith’s money.

I couldn’t find that interview again. It was recorded some time ago, nothing that has been aired recently. I remember that Edda Mellas revealed with how much money they send her off to Italy and how much she still had when she was arrested. Both sums seemed ridiculous to me for a longer stay in an European country. Do we know something more specific?

Posted by Nell on 07/13/10 at 03:43 PM | #

Hi Nell. Ridiculous seems about right.

We know specifically that Knox had less than $6000 left, that she was on coke, that her real rent may have been higher than the published rent, that her costs including coke were probably around $3000 a month, and that she had no work permit and no high-paying job - quite possibly NO job.

Whether she took Meredith’s money we don’t know. But none of the three perps was exactly well off at that point, and she was the one with zero safety blanket and seemingly the most reasons to flare up or snap.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/13/10 at 04:28 PM | #

I agree the money issue must have been a serious issue for Knox.

On the evening of the murder, Knox got a text message from Patrick Lumumba. That message told her not to bother coming into work.

Knox knew that Meredith had been offered a job at Patrick’s bar.

Patrick’s rejection of her both left her without a job - and it seems her money situation wasn’t great. I think the loss of the job was an affront to her identity too: she wasn’t the hip, popular girl with the cool bar job. Meredith was.

Soon after she got that text message, Knox and Sollecito turned off their cellphones.

The loss of her job, and to Meredith, must have filled Knox with rage.

She murdered Meredith.

And later, she accused Patrick of rape and murder.

Posted by lilly on 07/13/10 at 05:23 PM | #

Let’s not forget about what Amanda Knox was really preoccupied with after Meredith Kercher’s death, as exemplified in her email admission:

“This is an email for everyone, because id like to get it all out and not have to repeat myself a hundred times like ive been having to do at the police station….”

“....Secondly, we are going to talk to the agency that we used to find our house and obviously request to move out. It kind of sucks that we have to pay the next month rent, but the owner has protection within the contract….”

Posted by True North on 07/13/10 at 05:25 PM | #

Hi Peter,

Thanks again for your quick response. 6,000 US$ would be approx. 4,150 € at November 1st, 2007. That is not nearly enough to survive 12-18 months. In fact - and without even taking into account her drug habit - that wouldn’t be even enough to live 8 months.

We should not forget that it is not only food, clothing and accommodation that has to be paid: she was studying. She probably needed books and/or materials here and then. Let alone eating in the pizzeria etc. I don’t know how high her rent was at that time, but I guess for a room it would have been a minimum of 150 - 200 € per month, maybe even more, plus food around 250-300 € a month, plus other expenses like telephone etc.

In my opinion to be able to live from 600 € a month only works if you are very disciplined and manage your money carefully. Being unsupervised, I don’t think Amanda was one of those girls who managed with little money. It would be interesting to know how much her parents had given her for her journey and see how much she spent since travelling to Italy. Did she already had a flight ticket home? Cause if she would have needed to pay that from her money too, you would have to discount another 800 - 1.200 € I estimate.

By asking about her financial situation, I wasn’t alluding that she was the one who stole Meredith’s rent money. I merely wanted to point out how delusional her parents were, thinking that she could effectively study in a foreign country AND work to such extent to be able to support herself in Italy. With 4,000 € left and still more than 12 months to go, she would have had only approx. 220 € at her disposal per month. She would have needed at least 8,000 € more in order to stay another 12-18 months, always provided she would use her money carefully. It is simply unrealistic to think she could have compensated the missing money by working in a bar handing out flyers for a few hours a month.

FYI, the currency exchange from 1st of November 2007 was 1 US$ = 0.6927671110 €, I guess the amount in dollar has been converted from euros to dollars? She had an account in Italy, didn’t she?

It doesn’t matter how you look at it: Most parents would have 1) informed themselves better about the actual living costs, 2) relied on some kind of organisation or exchange program so their kids would have someone to turn to in case that problems arise 3) preferred to pay their kids monthly instead of giving them a huge amount to deal with right from the start.


I absolutely agree with lilly and True North: the message from Patrick Lumumba must have in some way triggered the attack. I don’t see no other explanation. I found it always too convenient that she accused Patrick Lumumba who obviously was already looking to replace her.

Lilly, I completely agree with what you say. I too believe Amanda felt she was overshadowed by Meredith and she could not handle it. “Rage” probably nails it. Meredith criticised Amanda’s behaviour in the house and her ever changing male visitors, she won the heart of the boy Amanda had an eye on, she was popular among her friends unlike Amanda who was a loner with no friends except for Sollecito.

Meredith had already talked to Patrick Lumumba who had offered her a job at the bar while at the same time downgrading Amanda from working in the bar to hand out flyers. Meredith was a thorn in her side. Right after the murder Amanda’s actions speak louder than words. As True North already pointed out: it’s all about her. She only cared about herself.

Posted by Nell on 07/13/10 at 06:18 PM | #

Hi Peter. I understand the work permit issue, and I am utterly persuaded and convinced by your math about her financial situation and how dire it was getting,  but do we know for sure that Knox didn’t have a European Union passport? It is fairly easy to get an EU passport if you have a parent who was born in the country. I have an ex girlfriend from Costa Rica whose mother was born in France but left for Costa Rica as a baby. My ex girlfriend doesn’t speak a word of French, but qualified for a French passport, simply because her mother was born there. It really is that easy, sometimes. Do we know if Knox had/has a German passport? (I believe her mother was born in Germany, correct?), or if she made any effort to get one? It would add another tragic element to an already unspeakable tragedy for Meredith’s family if Knox was strung-out and stressed, simply because she didn’t realise that she qualified for EU residency, by filling out a couple of forms and paying a small fee.

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

Good point, Janus. Would the Bundestag in Berlin provide intern ships to those that do not have their paperwork in order? I´d be surprised if the Germans would be so flexible. It is my experience that applying for a job in Germany is an extremely formal procedure.

Maybe her ambiguous situation, despite the help of an influential uncle in Germany (Uwe), caused her to ¨be unsure whether or not she would get paid at the Bundestag¨, according to her own words and to walk out of that internship on the second day. How many Europeans would love to have an internship at the Bundestag!

It is clear that since day 1 in Europe she was preoccupied with money.

So many lessons for parents can be derived from this tragic story…

Posted by saskia on 07/14/10 at 12:16 AM | #

Hi Janus. An EU passport has never been mentioned that we can see in the media reports. That sure could have changed things, if she had known about it - some structured support for her study abroad would have included precisely that sort of advice.

She might even have been able to get office work or something more high-paying than bar work. That might have kept her away from coke and RS too, and on a par with Meredith and the other girls in the flat. 

I tend to agree with others above that the message from Patrick not to come to work that night and then the turning off of the cellphones look like the beginning of the end for poor Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/10 at 12:18 AM | #

Hi Sakia. “So many lessons for parents can be derived from this tragic story…”

We hope! Though in the US this money pressure and lack of structure for AK’s study abroad and irresponsibility of the parents are not the stories that are getting out. (Nor is the psychopathia that was the subject of Lilly’s post at top.)

No book has been written yet from this angle, and Oprah among many others blew her chance to reframe the whole debate in a way that could actually save lives. (American students in this same period have caused two Italian deaths in Florence.)

American universities have quietly moved some to tighten up on their advice and requirements though, and we reposted Andrea Vogt’s story on the changes to student study-abroad advice already made at UW Seattle.

We are hopeful that the judges sentencing report at least kills the “meanie Italians” and :“they were railroaded” memes. Posters here and on PMF (especially Skep and Michael and Machine) have prodigious knowledge of this case.

Readers have fed in hundreds of insights. Maybe we should all close out our mission here with a group book on the real story and real lessons learned, and a lot more on Meredith with all the proceeds to a memorial for her..

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/10 at 12:31 AM | #

Here is information about who can apply for an internship at the German Bundestag (unfortunately in German). Requirement to apply for an internship is being actually a student, matriculated at a university or having already a degree. Another requirement is the good knowledge of the German language and as a foreign student having a visa.

Interesting point Janus, regarding the German passport, but I don’t think it is really important if she had a European passport or not or in case she didn’t, if she had a work permit. Amanda wouldn’t have been looking for an office job anyway. Patrick’s description of her behaviour while working is eye-opening. I don’t see her making serious money from a serious job. For her it was all about fun, partying and flirting. Like Lilly mentioned before, the bar job was “cool”. An office job is not.

The main problem in my opinion is the naivety to believe she would be able to survive from only 4,000 € for a longer period of time. That is simply wishful thinking. It must have had a devastating effect on her to see how her money reserve melted down in no time like butter in the sun.

Posted by Nell on 07/14/10 at 01:36 AM | #

I concur with everyone here.  Amanda was jealous of Meredith, and most likely viewed Meredith getting the job at Le Chic as being the last straw.  Meredith got the boy downstairs that Amanda wanted, Meredith was well prepared for her stay in Perugia, Meredith was very popular….smarter, prettier…..Meredith was everything that Amanda was not, and was a stick in Amanda’s eye.  Amanda seems to need to have constant attention and rather than try to improve on her own shortcomings Amanda chose to eradicate the competition.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 07/14/10 at 01:02 PM | #


“Meredith was everything that Amanda was not” - exactly.

Both Knox and her parents have stated that Knox and Meredith were “friends”, therefore Knox could not possibly have murdered her. They’ve tried to twist things by forcing us to accept this as the key argument - they want us to debate whether or not Meredith and Knox were buddies, as if that were important. They’ve even brought up some text messages (as I recall) that are supposed to show that since Meredith and Knox traded messages, they must be friends. Right? So Knox could not possibly have killed Meredith. Right?

All wrong.

It’s what Meredith represented to Knox that led her to kill. Meredith was everything that Knox was not.

Posted by lilly on 07/15/10 at 10:18 AM | #

I also remember that Amanda’s aunt said that they had many pictures of them together but that unfortunately the police had destroyed them while searching in her pc. As if, if that were true, nobody would have received a copy with an email (look at me and my friend, look what we did together…).

She also said that they had been together at the festa del cioccolato days before, while it had been weeks before…

The neighbor witnessed that lately, they left the house separately to go to the university, walking one behind the other, and she understood they were not friends anymore.

Posted by Patou on 07/15/10 at 01:28 PM | #

We know from a number of sources that Meredith and her friends and flatmates were increasingly finding AK grating, loud, rowdy and raucous. Meredith clearly wanted nothing to do with Amanda on the night of Halloween, ignoring her text messages that seemed an attempt to get together. 

And of course Meredith occupied the next room, and the walls in that “new” part of the house are paper-thin. Meredith was inclined to do her homework just when AK was inclined to party with boys she had just met.

The situation was made very difficult for them all because as AK’s stay in Perugia was totally unstructured, nobody checked on her, and no supervisor was there in Perugia for them to call.

Amanda didnt just snap unexpectedly. For some weeks, this was a slow-moving trainwreck.

Last Psychiatrist’s and Lilly’s points about Meredith increasingly seeing behind AK’s mask are very compelling. Increasingly, as the cocaine addiction took its toll, everyone around her was, too.

Just like the Virginia Tech mass-shooting case, so many of AK’s friends and acquaintances saw the warning signs in Seattle, and didnt, or couldn’t, act. Now 99% of them are silent in her defense.

Sadly, there must be dozens in Seattle who feel guilt.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/15/10 at 02:41 PM | #

I agree that there are many in Seattle who feel guilty about this case. There were red flags about Knox’s peculiar behavior. Poor Meredith was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time - and the fact that she was a talented, pretty, self-assured girl sealed her fate. This fact will grate on an unbalanced personality. Then Knox was told by Lumumba not to bother to come into work, and perhaps Knox was tipped off that Meredith was going to be her replacement at work. I see Knox, in her own way, as a highly competive, must-win type. That tragic evening Knox, with her two lap dogs Sollecito and Guede, had the upper hand to humiliate Meredith. Some young women in university settings can be very controlling, competitive and vicious with each other - and when mind-altering drugs, heavy alcohol and unbalanced personalities are thrown in the mix, it can be deadly.

Posted by giustizia on 07/16/10 at 04:24 AM | #


Many thanks for your excellent post!

Posted by True North on 07/19/10 at 05:41 AM | #

Hi Lilly,

This is a great piece and an important reminder that seemingly normal people commit horrific crimes.

Posted by The Machine on 08/20/10 at 03:27 PM | #
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