Monday, November 24, 2008

Does The Defense Campaign Really Have ANY Plan B?

Posted by Deathfish2000

[Added: This was posted in November 2008 after which the demonizers really got carried away; five years later, see how they are all in the soup]

The only ones to claim on the airwaves and in the papers lately that the defendants are being framed seem to be those who seem very out of touch with the facts as they look now.

As previously pointed out here, those very few in Perugia who actually have had access to the full tidal wave of evidence, in the still-sealed 10,000 pages, seem to go notably more quiet.

And not one of them has emerged yet to resume the cries of frame-up.

There have been three possible defenses. A mental or psychological defense, which might have flown, but which no-one has touched. A cool and dispassionate contending of known facts, and a shot at mitigating circumstances such as, it wasn’t planned, and, we were doped. And this peculiar and seemingly now failing “frame-up-of-true-innocents” defense.

The prime suspects in the case, Amanda Knox and her then flick-knife carrying boyfriend of the time, Raffaele Sollecito, now await the trial that starts in about 10 days. With prospects, frankly,  that do not now seem to be looking good at all. Plan A seems to be failing - and there seems to be no other plan.

They are jointly charged with murder, sexual violence, simulation of a crime, and theft - with Amanda Knox facing an additional charge of slander against the former employer she hurt. This was after an astonishingly cautious pre-trial phase, with the evidence being run past judge after judge and found credible again and again.

Rudy Guede was dispatched to serve his 30 year prison term for his part in the crime after opting for his separate fast track trial. His lawyer stated they had chosen that route as they believed Knox and Sollecito were conspiring to frame Guede. It seemed like it might turn out to be a smart strategy - perhaps the first in this case.

But he got no break from the judge. Why did he not - why did he get a stiff 30 year sentence?

Three possible reasons. One, the evidence is tough and very extensive,  it hangs together, and points to a truly depraved scene in the house. Two, Guede and his lawyer chose to contend some of it, but that “some” was quite marginal at best. And three, Guede chose not to come clean over what happened, even in the slightest, or to show any remorse.

Although they were not immediately taken into custody after the murder was discovered, Knox and Sollecito managed to make themselves into almost instant suspects. They themselves really knocked the pins out from under any good “they were framed” defense. Nearly a year ago now.

On initial questioning by the police as witnesses, Knox and Sollecito told conflicting stories, with Knox stating she was with Sollecito at his apartment all night.

Then Sollecito stated that Knox left around 9PM and returned at around 1AM (the period of the murder window).

In light of the failure of Alibi #1, Knox then claimed to have been in the house when Meredith was killed, and covered her ears to mask Meredith’s screams, as the kindly employer who she fingered, Patrick Lumumba, raped and then murdered Meredith.

This disarray in the alibis led to the arrest of all three as suspects - Lumumba of course was soon released though, as he really DID seem to have been framed. By Knox.

And since their arrests, Knox and Sollecito have both changed their stories several times. Knox has stated she is “confused” and suffered memory loss during the time when the murder happened. She finally reverted back to the statement she made early on, that she was at Sollecito’s all night, as the “best truth I can think of” story.

Her story would have changed again, if not for the intervention and advice of her then lawyer - fired by the Knox family for stating to reporters that Knox indeed intended to change her story again, and that Knox really must now start telling the truth.

None of this above is exactly a strong foundation on which to base a “they were framed” defense.

Knox’s mother has frequently appeared on TV in tears claiming no evidence, a position that really should have been moved away from months ago. And her father, notably in a British TV interview for Channel 4 TV, described the knife-obsessed and flick-knife carrying Sollecito a “nice kid” although he had never met him. He dismissed his flick knife and dagger collection as simply “art pieces”. Art pieces?

Equally indicative of a wrong strategy is the absence of any message of condolence to the Kercher family over the loss of their daughter and sister. Truly extraordinary. A great way to go - if you want to look callous, and by extension make your own daughter look callous. Did they get no good advice on this point, from any of their many advisers?

Since Meredith’s death, a veritable cottage industry based on the framed-innocent concept has sprung up in Knox’s home town of Seattle, with the “Free Amanda” campaign, the “Friends of Amanda Knox” and the “Amanda Defence Fund” to name but a few.

Are the Knoxes getting the financial help they say they need? It is hard to tell. The website asks for your donations of money and air-miles, and it displays images of Amanda Knox as a child, the implication being that an innocent child is not capable of such a crime as this.

Someone does seem to be doing very well. Online, you can buy tee-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, trucker caps, handbags, coffee mugs and teddybears all stamped “Made in the USA”. Emblazoned with an infamous image from the crime scene - the seemingly drug-addled Knox looking nervously at the camera. Tee shirts are available in any colour you like, and have “Free Amanda” printed underneath.

Who on earth invented this somewhat surreal and increasingly losing defense campaign? Whoever really though it would fly? Whoever thought it would keep Knox from a lifetime in jail - or knock even one year off her sentence if found guilty?

The strategy looks all the more incongruous when you look at the enormous contrast of the family of Meredith. The ones who really are victims in this horrific affair. 

Since the news of the senseless and tragic murder of Meredith hit the news just over one year ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that her family - the Kerchers, are nothing short of remarkable.

The inner strength and dignity they have displayed in their conduct this past year has moved so many people so much that websites like this have come to exist. To honor Meredith and the family, and to help to push back against those who would dismiss or dishonor them or make a profit from their grief.

Not once, not ever, have they lost their composure in what must be the worst situation for them to endure as a family that they have ever experienced in their lives. The loss due to a brutal moment of madness of their beloved daughter and sister, Meredith.

Quite a contrast with those who have not suffered equally, and whose campaign seems to increasingly comes across as illogical, unbelievable, and losing.

RIP to dear Meredith Kercher…

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Deathfish’s post here is certainly an extremely good take on the strange charade we are seeing playing out in the US - a country where the victim normally gets ALL of the breaks and all public sympathy.

In my own encounters around Manhattan with experts in legal training, law enforcement training, and public relations, I don’t meet any who see it as being other than a real loser.

And why extend it to England - to the home turf of the Kerchers? That is REALLY baffling. To say nothing of callous.

Of course, being the polite people they are, the British TV and paper reporters dutifully report it. But few seem to believe it.

So why do it?

There really is a great book here. How one of the more misbegotten defense campaigns in the history of crime was mounted.

Pity the Seattle blogger and wannabe book-writer is otherwise engaged.

Posted by Fast Pete on 11/24/08 at 05:56 PM | #

Thank you for those really nice words about the Kercher family. I support them more all the time. We all know it but it deserves to be said again and again that they are some of the sweetest people and they sure dont deserve all the defense’s crap.

Almost every day now another piece of evidence leaks out and there is more now about people seeing Rudy and Amanda and Raffaele together, with Meredith. So was this pre-planned after all and not just something that blew up? I reckon we might be going to see them pleasd guilty and ask for a break.

Posted by Anne on 11/24/08 at 08:26 PM | #

Yes the incredible slighting of Meredith and her family is what got a lot of people motivated to speak out. Including us.

And yes it is like a dam has just broken and witnesses are suddenly not reluctant to speak out. My guess is that the news that there’d be 100 witnesses helped encourage others. Not so lonely out there when there is a hundred.

I doubt the witnesses feared the Knox team, though they have been very aggressive at times - a lot of threats made behind the scenes. Many reporters are telling us they were threatened. But witnesses might have been freaked by the Sollecito clan’s connections.

No more, now, perhaps.

Posted by Fast Pete on 11/24/08 at 08:45 PM | #

Is selling all those Free Amanda products a sort of a plan b? The teddy bear? Looks to me like they’re trying to grab some sympathy, now that the anti-Italy anti-prosecutor bus is spinning its wheels. In my business school we don’t rate this kind of strategy very effective. It should be the the sympathy pitch first, and then the hard line. The timing for a sympathy pitch is terrible with all this news of new evidence.

Posted by Jackson on 11/24/08 at 09:43 PM | #

Thank you DF2K for your brilliant post.

The latest take on the defense of the suspects from AK supporters little group, seems to be… blame the press!.

PI-Seattle cook blogger takes care of the English speaking press. She thinks they are to blame for the suspects situation.

Posted by Candace Dempsey at 11/23/08:

“Here are some examples of why Amanda’s support group (of which I am not a member) might feel she needs support.

1. Time Magazine calls her “expat” in a Oct. 30 story. She is said to look “beautiful and blank” in her photos as if she should be emoting when coming in and out of jail. Also, last time I heard she was still enrolled, taking distance courses.

Expat Knox to Stand Trial in Italy Murder.,8599,1854610,00.html


2. The Times of London’s has taken her graduation photo and achieved such a pink cast that she looks demented. It also calls her by the highly prejudicial name of Foxy Knoxy. Kind of harsh, considering she’s now facing a murder charge. I always thought the Times was the classy newspaper in UK.

Also the headline makes it sound like the latest witness is has already been vetted in court and totally nailed her. Whereas he’s new, waited a year to come forward, and isn’t even sure what day he saw Amanda, Rudy, Raffaele and Meredith coming out of the cottage—a most unlikely event.

“New witness links Foxy Knoxy to other suspects”


3. The Sunday Mirror, of course, take the prize for worst headline in the world. On the basis of this new sketchy unexamined witness it can announce:

“Meredith 3 were pals”

Frank of PS makes sure that the Italian press are also to blame (specially the local Giornale dell’Umbria) at his end. He truly believes that he is the only one that gives an informative, truthful, reporting of the case. He thinks that he is the one that gets all the “scoops” before any other Italian Media.

He is probably in trouble with that newspaper (GU) for this comment:

FRANK NOVEMBER 17, 2008 :“And a newspaper should be finally closed.”

Posted by Jools on 11/25/08 at 12:37 AM | #

Hi Jools,

Thank you and thanks for posting the above.

I never go to the cooks spurious blog, I rely on other people to post excerpts so I can get my laughs that way.

“she looks demented” - You said it dear!

“the highly prejudicial name of Foxy Knoxy” - wasn’t this the name Knox liked to be known as, and also plastered all over her personal internet presence by no other than herself?

“Meredith 3 were pals” - Why is this the worst headline in the world?

Is she suggesting Knox didn’t know Sollecito and Guede now?

What a strange table she sits at…

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 11/25/08 at 02:41 AM | #

How to lose all press sympathy in one easy move?

Lie to them.

Reporters in touch with us clearly feel they have been lied to - sold a bill of goods. They have gone out on a limb in their pieces to make Knox look a warm and sympathetic person - and now the disillusion starts to appear.

The rage of the press might be terrible to see in coming months.

And who lied to the press more than just about anyone?!! Seattle Blogger, as always.

Amanda Knox’s situation and her prospects for press treatment would be way better off if the ill-concceived Seattle blog had never existed.

Perhaps she is really on the payroll of Mignini. That would explain a LOT!

Posted by Fast Pete on 11/25/08 at 04:37 AM | #

A great post Deathfish!! It is a very good summary of of the Amanda Knox Campaign’s current situation and it’s a bad one. One fully of their own making.

Posted by Michael on 11/25/08 at 07:18 PM | #

Grazie from Italy for a great site and a brilliant takedown of the defense “strategy” by Deathfish2000.

And thanks for the love and respect you are obviously showing us. It is far from nice to be abused by American TV and papers almost daily.

Posted by Giovanni on 11/25/08 at 11:44 PM | #

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