Saturday, March 14, 2009

Confirmed: Neither Knox’s Father Nor Stepfather Were So Solicitous In Seattle

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for more in-depth reporting by Barbie Nadeau for the new mega news-site the Daily Beast.

The Beast is clearly the American media outfit most intent now on steam-rolling the floundering Seattle PR effort and throwing some serious resources into reporting the real story.

Particularly noteworthy in this repoort in Amanda Knox’s wider psychological context are these passages.

1) About an absentee biological father who several times defaulted on Amanda’s child support payments

Knox is the product of a broken home. Her parents Edda and Curt divorced when she was two years old. On more than one occasion Edda had to go to court to collect child support from Curt.

2) And on a snarling and abusive stepfather who moved in to the household when Knox was aged ten

When Amanda was around 10, her mother met and later married Chris Mellas, an IT specialist ten years her junior….  Mellas, who is taking his turn in the family rotation for the next few weeks, is also a father figure. People close to the family say his relationship with Amanda, who is only 14 years younger, was complicated and tenuous at times.

She complained about him to several friends, and expressed worries about her mother’s relationship. She wrote on Mellas’ MySpace page in August 2007, just two months before the murder, “Alright, does that mean we’re getting along then?”

In turn, Mellas’ MySpace page bragged about getting drunk with his stepdaughter. That same page, now offline but mirrored on several Internet sites, is rife with photos of drunk people vomiting and pictures of Mellas and his buddies holding big fish they’ve caught.

Describing himself as happily married, he wrote, “I have two kids by marriage, Amanda and Deanna. They are both shitheads and I love them anyways. They, as we all do, have their fare [sic] share of quirks”¦but we would all be white bread boring as hell if we didn’t.”

Mellas is hot-tempered and frequently lashes out at the press, accusing anyone who doubts Amanda’s innocence as “insane” and “stupid.” He also posts nasty comments on blogs about the case and has written harsh emails to many reporters.

On Friday, he physically shooed away Nick Pisa, an Anglo-Italian reporter who writes for a variety of British publications. “Don’t even bother,” he snarled in the open courtroom. “I am not talking to you. You don’t understand the truth.”

With friends like these in her family, does she need any enemies? At least we here at TJMK always try to be fair to her.

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Perhaps we can see now why the family is so keen to keep Amanda’s diaries under wraps. Perhaps it’s their own skins they are really worried about (so what’s new).

Knox’s family has STILL not reached out to Meredith’s poor family. Howe is that for lack of class - in spades? The Seattle end of the story looks set to get bigger and bigger.

Next trial post here will be a round-up later today. The testimony this morning was from Knox’s professor at the School for Foreigners. A good student, he found her to be.

But again, more of this weird post-crime behavior by Knox is the main interest. The fact that Knox was really looking forward to going shopping when her mother arrived in Perugia.

When her mom did arrive, Knox was already locked up, of course.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/14/09 at 01:34 PM | #

Lies, Damned Lies, and All Lies

Nothing much exciting in the testimony this week so I thought I’d generate some excitement myself.  The Drug-Fuelled, Extreme-Sex Game Gone Awry theory, after a year, still stands as a high probability scenario in this case.  Even with all the new evidence, nothing else seems to be an acceptable explanation.  I thought, let’s take this theory apart.  This theory has been posited because the possibility that the results were actually intended are simply too unimaginable.

Let’s start with drug-fuelled.  This is necessary to explain why two/three people could possibly do what was done while in full control of their faculties.  Plus we know it to be a fact because Amanda told us that’s why she doesn’t remember what happened (I’ll assume RS says what AK tells him to say so what she says is the only thing that’s important).  But wait, is there no other evidence to support this.  I don’t believe there is.  Hmmmmm.  A proven fact is that AK lied about Patrick which would have sent him to jail for decades and never retracted it until he was proven innocent through evidence that contradicted her signed testimony.  Is it possible she lied about doing all those drugs?  If it were to help cover things up, it is very likely.

How about the extreme-sex game.  This is needed to explain why three people would be involved in sex involving a weapon (most people settle for hand-cuffs or a whip).  Actually, there is nothing to link the arrival of semen on the scene with the presence of a knife.  One could have come before the other.  There also is no indication that RS was involved sexually with anyone. 

So.  Now what?  We have two clear-headed people turning off their cell phones and bringing a kitchen knife to a murder.  The only problem with this is that it is virtually inconceivable, isn’t it?

But wait, if this was a planned homicide it was one of the worst planned ones in history, isn’t it?  I mean, they didn’t even have a plan to dispose of the body.  On second though, they might have gotten away with it had in not been for that bomb scare.  Perhaps they just hadn’t finished creating the break in and it was an unfinished work-in-progress.  What might they have been planning for the clean clothes still in the washer?  Maybe they were going to take the laptop and other valuables.  Maybe there is evidence implicating Guede we don’t even know about. 

We can go further assuming Amanda Knox always lies than by giving her the benefit of sometimes telling the truth.

Posted by Arnold_Layne on 03/15/09 at 03:17 AM | #

I think there is a grey area where the accused may have had the intent of scaring Kercher - but also in the back of their minds committing a more serious threat. Perhaps there had been arguments over money, and Knox enlisted the help of Sollecito and Guede to play some sort of evil trick - seeking revenge or intimidation. Perhaps Kercher understandably panicked, or one of the participants flipped and went too far. This way the perpetrators could excuse their actions as not being what they intended, and the murder an “accident”.

I wondered about the extent of premeditation, and perhaps the involvement of Guede in order to lead to the framing of Lumumba. But the ineptness of the fake burglary etc, suggests a lack of planning. It seems more like they intended to do “something” without knowing exactly what it would lead to. The lack of thought towards consequences go with a lack of empathy for the victim, which often seem to be a hallmark of knife crimes. And people get killed over the most trivial of things, there need not be any great premeditation nor significant motive. It may just start with a grudge and a weapon, but ends in murder.

Posted by bobc on 03/15/09 at 04:16 AM | #


You are correct.  In fact everything we discuss is supposition at this point.  I think the point Arnold was driving towards was that if Amanada wasn’t stoned, the alternatives are sort of scary.   

There being straight when they arrived is sort of a whole new way of looking at the crime.  Is the prosecutions case weakened at all if they aren’t stoned?

Posted by Easy_Ed on 03/17/09 at 05:32 AM | #

Arnold and Bob, Its hard to believe anyone could do something like this if they werent using some sort of heavy drug.  But youre right, Amanda’s alibi was that they werent there and couldnt remember what they were doing because they were smoking hashish.  Im not sure how the police decided that they were using drugs at the time of the murder.Might they have some proof not yet entered?

Posted by C3PO on 03/17/09 at 08:57 PM | #

So many good points, fellow thinkers, and still so many nagging questions.
Drugs:  Variations in brain chemistry contribute to differing drug effects on their users (were any of the accused ever diagnosed/ prescribed for ADD, hyperactivity, bipolar or other depressive behavior disorders?. I watched a former coworker slip into a catatonic state a day or two following some extremely manic behavior). This could explain AK’s apparent inability to grasp the situation, between the murder and her subsequent arrest. Mania would allow for bizarre laughter and rude public behavior ( still high from the adrenaline rush/ power trip) Maybe the lovebirds believed they were in the clear, since RG was in custody and they were still free.
Timetable, cellphone records, alibis: 8:38 pm: Lumumba’s phone triangulated in vicinity. 8:38 pm: Guede claims he arrived for his date with Meredith. But normal people, when asked for a time say “about half-eight” or ” quarter til 9”. Was Guede in possession of L’s mobile? 8:40: RS/AK (and RG?) “syncronise their watches”, and shut down their phones?  9;10: RS and AK(if she was actually there) finish viewing the delightful Amelie ( who in god’s name could turn violent after watching Amelie!!!) and shut down the laptop. Was AK’s call to Patrick in fact a call to Guede to firm up plans? Did she lie to RS because he didn’t know about plans she may have had with Guede?
Name/frame the black man: Anyone who isn’t blind could plainly differentiate between the two African men, from their builds, if not from their utterly different faces. But if you are not “colourblind”, that is, if your ultra whiteness contributes to your self righteous view of yourself ( and perhaps I am completely wrong on this one, reflecting my own biracial perspective and brushes with social discrimination but… if the shoe fits…) then what does it really matter which nigger takes the rap, as long as one’s own precious fair skin is saved ? So what, if Ak mentioned seeing ” the most beautiful Black man” ever, upon her arrival in town. She still wouldn’t bring one home to Mother!  Lumumba deserves every cent he can get from her.
Shopping: retail therapy? A normal mother would have insisted her daughter come home, at least for a while, after being under the same roof as the murdered, as well as the murderer!  Yet AK honestly thought she could carry on her residency at the cottage. Where did she sleep between the discovery by police and her arrest? At Sollecito’s? Why not seek to move in with him, or would that have cramped her free-lovin’ lifestyle? Was she afraid that, with 24 hour contact, he might too soon figure out just how shallow she was?
Every killer has a backstory. Childhood cruelty, abandonment, abuse,psychoactive drugs. These things put the crimes in perspective, but they don’t excuse the behaviour.

Posted by mimi on 03/18/09 at 08:03 PM | #

AK and RS were NOT free when RG was taken into custody.  AK, RS, and Lumumba were arrested first, and RG was arrested later after DNA testing at the crime scene led police to him.

Posted by CamilleGrace on 03/19/09 at 10:49 AM | #

Yes, Knox is the product of a broken home and she had little control over the events of her first 18 years in life.  The choices, however good or bad as they are, have been hers alone since she walked out of the family hut.  However, Edda was responsible for Knox’s wellbeing for those first 18 years.
Eighteen years! That’s plenty time to get something right but a lifetime of hell for the recipient of a dysfunctional mother. 

No one wants to say or hear it - that all mothers are not apple pie and instant pudding.  We all expect them to be the reliable heartbeat of our family; it can be an ugly, dark topic because frankly, it does get ugly.

I have a difficult time believing this alleged murderer came from a happy home and I suspect most of you don’t buy it either.  Some killers did have a “nice” family but in my opinion this trio do not fit that category.  I wonder where the Ma & Pa puzzle pieces fit together and I am watching like a hawk.

I think striving to be a good parent and to not repeat bad behavior we have seen in others is universal. Perhaps unlike Edda, I think most mothers strive to rise above learned attitudes and actions that could strain relationships and create grief with their own children.  I suspect the struggle for many is to not be like their own self-centered “bad” mother.
I believe some children grow up with a sort of sixth sense acquired simply by being raised in an environment where they have witnessed horrendous behavior and the causes and effects of that horrific behavior. 

How does one rise above it?  I am not a professional but my opinion is that I believe children possess their own sense of knowing something better is out there; the hope that a family can be like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and through seeking and maintaining professional help.

I suspect, unfortunately, Knox (and I say this only for Meredith Kercher because no matter how FU’d someone is it does not give them a license to take another life) was never tossed that essential lifesaver. 

Based upon what I have seen in the news and witnessed firsthand I think her family unit is FU’d UP, and that includes her father & stepmother and her mother & stepfather. 

I feel a mother is the core heartbeat of a family so I hold them to a higher standard. Dissagree if you so choose.

I’m not holding my breath over what family dynamics fueled Knox’s fire but Edda was the person the courts decided was best “fit” to raise Knox when she and Curt divorced. 

If Edda made the poor choice and brought this turd Chris into their home then SHE MADE THE CHOICE!  It looks to me like her daughters were the ones who got the “railroad job to hell” and we know who the Engine is and who is the Caboose.

Mothers are supposed to be as the mother bear protecting her cubs – at all costs from the Papa bear that may, in fact, kill the cubs.  If a mother does not possess that basic protective instinct then the den is FU’d and the cubs will have a difficult life ahead. 

Not impossible, but an uphill battle that must be fought at all costs, getting help as needed along with a focus on hope and the belief that there is something better. 

The challenge is to find that personal determination to rise above the filth and to experience a genuine love.  This is the only way to break the bullshit cycle.

So, I am waiting to hear if Edda elected to be a witness for the defense (and she damn well better have some earth-shattering news to offset her lack of support to her daughter) or if the prosecution called her. 

Both ways Edda wins and Knox misses out on an opportunity to embrace the love she so desperately needs. 

If I am correct Edda doesn’t have to be made uncomfortable having to face her daughter and lend the support she simply doesn’t have in her because she doesn’t know how to be nurturing, and she doesn’t have the guts to face herself. I see it as a lifetime of denial. 

If she is being mandated to testify she gets the double bonus – “oh, I am so sorry I can’t be there but if you had not called me, Amanda, I would be able to be there for you.”

Posted by Professor Snape on 03/20/09 at 03:04 AM | #

Came across this while browsing through a small book on idioms, acquired just last night ( “I Didn’t Know That”, by Karlen Evins):
“Assassins were named for a secret sect of Muslims who, during the Crusades, terrorized the Christians with their cultlike murders. Members of the tribe committed the murders under the influence of hashish (or hash, as we know it today) given to them by their leaders. The Arabic word for hashish is hashashin. Thus, the original assassins took their name from the drug they ingested to commit the crime.”

  Can anyone attest to just how seriously the Italian locals take their day of the dead? Do they really take it to heart, as the Mexicans do, with festivals and parades, or is it more like Halloween to Americans? Is there any history of an increase in homicidal or other bloody crimes surrounding the holiday?
  As Knox was not a proficient speaker of Italian, how well could she have truly communicated with her “boyfriend” ( designated as such because she’d had more than a one-off with him?) . Perhaps they completely misread eachother’s signals and desires, without a common first language. He might have preferred his fantasies to remain that. Or, his family may have successfully used their clout to cover up his nasty childhood hobbies. Any history of cruelty to small furry animals? Does he carry the knife to pare fruit?
  Meredith’s departure from this life was unforgivable in its untimeliness, but, above all, it its nastiness. A crime of passion happens quickly, when tempers flare, and control is lost. What was done to her was calculated to ensure suffering. If it was not premeditated prior to the arrival of all parties at the cottage, then it was certainly carried out by someone with a history of inflicting pain on the helpless. To say that Meredith was worth a dozen Amandas is wrong, because the two were cut from utterly different cloth. Knox needs to fall on her face, and hard enough to permanently knock that ridiculous smirk off it.

Posted by mimi on 03/22/09 at 10:14 PM | #

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