Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Meredith Might Have Survived If The Attackers Had Cared And Called For Help Very Fast

Posted by Cardiol MD

Malala Yousafzai, world-famous Pakistani victim of a Taliban assassination attempt, survived via a tracheostomy

Absence of full medical picture outside Italy

For this post I wear my medical hat - I am a cardiologist who has had many lives in the balance under my hands.

Parts of the prosecution’s evidence back at trial in 2009 were very stark. Some was presented behind closed doors and with no CCTV feed, although good summaries in Italian appeared in the Italian press.

In Italy the reporting on the trial was several times as deep as anywhere else. There were TV chat shows to review the case as it was being made, and many in Italy read the entire Massei Report when the Department of Justice put it on their website.

Nobody in Italy gives the slightest credence to the theory of the Lone Wolf. Many or most have not even heard about it, and to almost all Italians the idea that Guede could have acted alone (as Knox and Sollecito claimed in their English-only books) would seem absurd.

Many Italians were therefore quick to realize that the Hellmann court did not see the prosecution present its real case, and had been led astray by cherrypicking and innuendo by the defense and an unqualified judge. 

In contrast, as I said above, foreign reporting was not deep. The Massei report now being argued against by Knox and Sollecito (yes, this is THEIR appeal) has not yet been carried in English by even one non-Italian media site.

Even the amazing Massei report summary which PMF posters so carefully prepared appeared only here.

How this can affect the January outcome

Among the starkest items of the evidence that are well known in Italy but almost nowhere else are the autopsy findings and the whole-day crime scene recreation testimony.

They were presented (1) only in closed court in mid 2009 and (2) in the attack recreation video shown to the court late in 2009. during Summations. The highly effective video, which took months to get just right, was not entered into evidence and so no jury other than Massei’s has seen it since.

Closing this yawning chasm really matters now because (1) the Supreme Court is in no doubt that Guede did not act alone and (2) the Sollecito and Knox defense attempts to prove one or two other perps staged the attack with or without Guede have fallen off a cliff.

Here is the blunt truth:

  • Meredith’s killers at the end inflicted terrible, terrible wounds, and witnessed what she went through.

  • There is evidence that Meredith might have SURVIVED if medical help had been called very quickly indeed.

Instead of course her killers cruelly ignored her dying pain, took away her phones, locked her door, and for a while at least they simply went away, while she died.

These truths about the attack and in particular the horrific wounds is relevant both to what Meredith’s killers are guilty-of, and to what sentence would be appropriate if it is confirmed they did the deed.

Brief explanation of the medical facts

While this subject is tough for most people, it has to be viewed objectively by medical-professional care-givers and by judges, and now may be an acceptable time to objectively clarify the subject.

Such information is considered highly relevant in US courts, under Federal Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses, US state Good Samaritan Laws, and possibly in Italian courts, under Art. 593 of the criminal code ““ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance.

Even though I can find no references to Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance in the various Motivazioni, many TMJK readers may be interested in this discussion of the subject:

MK’s airway-wound, taken in isolation, was certainly survivable for hours or even days; her superior thyroid artery wound was potentially survivable if simple manual compression was quickly applied there-and-then by anyone present, and urgent professional assistance was then obtained.

MK’s dying occupied at least as much as 15 minutes; it was the combination, and proximity of the 2 wounds that was lethal.

The kind of injury to Meredith’s airway, intentionally inflicted with malicious intent, is well within the spectrum of accidental injuries seen and treated in hospital ERs.

The elective therapeutic procedure - tracheostomy - has   consequences very similar both to malicious and to purely accidental airway-injuries.

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe).

A tube is usually placed through this opening to provide an airway and to remove secretions from the lungs. This tube is called a tracheostomy tube or

The cutting part of the procedure is called ‘the tracheotomy’; ‘tracheostomy’ is the name assigned when the artificial tube has been inserted.

Tracheostomy is frequently performed in hospitals, all over the world. The subjects of tracheostomy cannot phonate unless the tracheostomy-opening is sealed, typically using a finger to divert the exhaled air through the larynx.

Injuries to the tracheobronchial tree within the chest may occur due to penetrating forces such as gunshot wounds, but are more often the result of blunt trauma. TBI due blunt forces usually results from high-energy impacts such as falls from height and motor vehicle accidents; the injury is rare in low-impact mechanisms.

Injuries of the trachea cause about 1% of traffic-related deaths. Other potential causes are falls from high places and injuries in which the chest is crushed. Explosions are another cause.

Gunshot wounds are the commonest form of penetrating trauma that cause TBI. Less commonly, knife wounds and shrapnel from motor vehicle accidents can also penetrate the airways.

Most injuries to the trachea occur in the neck, because the airways within the chest are deep and therefore well protected; however, up to a quarter of TBI resulting from penetrating trauma occurs within the chest. Injury to the cervical trachea usually affects the anterior (front) part of the trachea.

Notables who survived via a tracheostomy

Many public figures have received tracheostomy in the past. These are perhaps the most well-known:

  • Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives received a tracheostomy after being shot in the head.

  • Elizabeth Taylor had an emergency tracheostomy for pneumonia in 1961.

  • Stephen Hawking (physicist) received a tracheostomy because his muscles of respiration are paralysed by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as “˜Lou Gehrig’s disease’)

  • Catherine Zeta Jones (actress) when a little girl, contracted a virus that prevented her from breathing normally, and underwent tracheostomy surgery.

  • John Paul II (Pope) had an emergency operation after a breathing crisis

Others whose tracheostomy saved their lives

  • Ariel Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister)
  • William Rehnquist (U.S. Chief Justice)
  • Friedrich III (German Emperor)
  • Laura Innes (actress)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (actor)
  • Constantine P. Cavafy (poet)
  • Luther Vandross (singer)
  • Gordon Lightfoot (singer)
  • Roy Horn (Magician - Siegfried & Roy)
  • Jack Klugman (actor)
  • Roger Ebert (Movie Critic)

  • Medical and legal conclusions from this

    Repair of Meredith’s airway injury was potentially survivable, given the conditions indicated in the medical text above.

    It was the simultaneous severing of her right superior thyroid artery, and the failures not only to seek emergency care, but the abandonment by her attackers that resulted in her death.

    The right superior thyroid artery is about the same size as the radial artery of the wrist, which when severed suicidally, leads to a similarly slow death from blood-loss alone.

    In Meredith’s case, she inhaled the blood and died less slowly, by coexistent drowning.

    The Nencini Court should take her killers’ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance into account in its decisions, especially if they now try to claim it was just a prank-gone-wrong.

    Malala Yousafza who survived via a tracheostomy; the tube is visible below her chin


    It is wise to always keep in the front of our minds just what torture Meredith went through at the hands of these two murdering cowards.

    Sollicito and Knox just ran away. As to Guede he did also except as yet, we do not really know when that was. (panic running on the stairs etc:)

    In my view it is dangerous to start analyzing   the analysis because that loses the remembrance of how these two killed her in the most cowardly disgusting way possible. ie a slow death while Meredith understood full well what was happening to her.

    And yes I am angry, I have been from the very beginning. My main hope is that true justice will prevail and these two will go to prison for a very long time. However let me point out that even if for some reason Knox does not she will not be able to hide from us for the rest of her natural life. This goes on. What is it now five years? Doesn’t matter how long it takes.

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 12/12/13 at 11:45 PM | #

    What do you think of this one ?
    Maybe a little inappropriate , please fell free to remove if anyone finds this offensive but I do feel interested .

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/13/13 at 02:00 AM | #

    Hi, aethelred23, Lovely story. Many have had similar spiritual experiences, but shared quietly because some react to the subject or don’t believe in spirits. It explains why you follow the case, nothing wrong with that.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/13/13 at 03:42 AM | #

    Slight correction. Malala Yousufzai is the brave Pakistani, not Afghan schoolgirl who spoke up for her right to an education.

    What happened to that beautiful country after the events shown in “Charlie Wilson’s War” is a tragedy in itself.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/13/13 at 03:48 AM | #

    Hi Cardiol

    Very sad. Some people can be so cruel and one thing I believe now that I didnt believe five years ago is the number of cruel people is going up.

    Such medical detail matters so much but also it haunts some jury members for years.

    In the case of each presentation in 2009 that Cardiol describes, several of the lay judges and some others in court were in tears.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 04:53 AM | #

    Hi Ergon

    What happened? Colonialism? I trace a lot back ultimately to messy and reluctant handover at the end. Also poor growth knowhow which is still not getting any better.

    I was posted in two countries (northern Nigeria and Sudan) which were becoming more radically islamic while I was there. In both cases a huge factor (absent real growth) was oil money from Saudi Arabia - and the Saudis were okay guys till the British ratted on them after WWI.

    Which is the beautiful country? I guess I need to see the film.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 04:53 AM | #

    With the greatest respect I would hardly call this brave little girls attempted murder by crazed religious zealots a hazing.Isn’t this the little girl who was shot in the head?

    Posted by DF2K on 12/13/13 at 05:36 AM | #

    Hi D2FK, yes I see it really was an attempt on her life. I changed it. I think she lives for now in the UK and she’s just been in New York where the UN gave her a Human Rights award.

    She’s still only 16 and as National Public Radion website says “...has become one of the most influential voices for human rights in the world: She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; she has published an autobiography, and been feted by celebrities far and wide, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth”.

    Meanwhile, back home, the engineered rage there would make the FOA feel right at home.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 06:02 AM | #

    Hi, DF2K, I’m not sure where either attack, on Meredith or Malala Yousufzai, is described as a “hazing”. Both were horrible crimes.

    @Peter, the beautiful country is to the North Of Pakistan, now under siege by religious fanatics. Yes, indeed, corrupted by Saudi money.

    My cousin, who used to run expeditions to K2 base camp, knows Jon Krakauer, has the most beautiful photos of that part of the world, truly idyllic.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/13/13 at 06:07 AM | #

    Hi Ergon,

    Yes, I see Malala comes from a town a few miles north (and in the next valley west) from where Bin Laden was found. The attack helicopters who got to him might have flown right over her head.

    I think everybody who ever sees them finds the foothills of the Himalayas a haunting place. So many fine movies made there back in the day (not the excellent Black Narcissus though as you probably know.)

    We have an impressive level of readership in India and Pakistan, which is very nice.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 06:18 AM | #

    Hi, Cardiol!

    Excellent excellent article however stark.

    We need to keep these stark facts out in the open.

    We need to continue to let the world know exactly what happened. 

    Exactly what Knox and Sollecito (and Guede) DID to Meredith.

    Posted by thundering on 12/13/13 at 08:27 AM | #

    Hi Ergon,

    Just FYI,  The caption below the header photo of Malala initially said she was the victim of a hazing. It has now been edited and says “victim of a Taliban assassination attempt”.

    Posted by DF2K on 12/13/13 at 09:26 AM | #

    Thank you Cardiol

    The horrific nature of the attack on Meredith can’t be emphasised too often. There must be no mercy shown to AK and RS if and when they are finally convicted.

    I was reading details of the Manson murders the other day, as you do.(I have a bookshop so I get to read a lot that I wouldn’t normally buy!). There were frantic multiple stabbings in that case too and apparently the killers went back to the ranch in ecstatic mood.

    I wonder what mood AK & RS were in when they left. I doubt they were overcome by the enormity of their crime as has been suggested - maybe they were also in some mad delirium, possibly even when they were later doing the staging for the “perfect” cover-up. Certainly they were weirdly upbeat the next morning - and still when buying underwear some time later.

    Posted by Odysseus on 12/13/13 at 12:35 PM | #

    Thanks, DF2K. I missed that, I’m afraid. But Malala’s story obviously affects us all too, the dangers of religious fanaticism in this world.

    Most Pakistanis are Sufi Muslims which emphasizes religious tolerance, but that was then, when it used to be a beautiful country.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/13/13 at 02:32 PM | #


    If you’re interested I highly recommend “When the Impossible Happens”,by Stan Grof, for tales of extraordinary synchronicities, spiritual experiences, etc.

    The materialistic worldview is quite definitely not the whole story.

    Apologies if you’ve already come across it.

    Posted by Odysseus on 12/13/13 at 03:17 PM | #

    Thank you cardiol, for bringing attention to the Malala story and the small corrections.

    It is a story in which an individual showed extraordinary courage, without knowing what it is. She simply followed her heart and head. I do think that many grown up people are unable to do that.

    It is extraordinary because others failed to stand up. The courage came from conviction, not from physical strength. Physical strength has no meaning in front of a bullet. That she survived the bullet is a miracle, but that is beside the point.

    Taliban made her a hero. She was otherwise just a very unremarkable girl student in a small town. And the Taliban ideology took a beating. A slumbering nation woke up. That is something the taliban never bargained for.

    They have vowed to kill her again. Whether they will succeed or not is not important. The important thing is that the world is watching.

    Most of the medical treatment were carried out in UK. But millions of us prayed for her.

    Posted by chami on 12/13/13 at 04:15 PM | #

    Hi Chami

    That is a terrific comment. This will play out over many years and the groundswell already seems to be with her. I hope this has an effect where it really matters: in the systems society has created to advance and control itself - in this case the systems for education, policing, justice, and of course growth.

    I have immense regard for that kind of leadership. Time and again in development we see someone strike out in a new direction and it catches fire and sooner or later 80-90 per cent of everybody is after them.

    Why this paradigm change matters so much is that systems have a terrible habit of locking up, stagnating, freezing everything in place. This is happening all over the world, and slowing growth, but it is worst in the older societies where their systems go back a long way.

    It takes a real jolt to escape enough people out from under their iron grip and to suggest: let’s try something different. I’ve not doubted that Meredith wanted to be in development and had the leadership potential for that same kind of effect. Women are often better at this than men are.

    By the way, at 16 Malala is the same age as Katniss in the Hunger Games series

    Episode 2 is now showing in theaters worldwide and the series is having an appreciable effect on girls of that same age in the US and maybe beyond here. Of all fantasy series in recent years, Hunger Games seems to me maybe the most relevant

    I just hope at the end of Episode 3 it results in good government (our stance here) and not just no government which is never a good idea.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 05:14 PM | #

    I knew it! That there would be an associating of Katniss and Malala out there somewhere.

    In fact Google has 865,000 hits for the two together. This one is on a blog in a Pakistani newspaper, no less:

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/13/13 at 05:47 PM | #

    Thanks for putting things in perspective (again), people have to remember that justice must be served for the original crime in the original context (grueling, I know), not for the murder-lite projection of the crime and/or of the assumed evolution of the perpetrators’ character after many years will have passed. If such evolution is real, the perpetrators will be the first ones to take responsibility and try to atone for their sins (not the case here).

    After so many years, these two idiots (AK & RS) are still trying to get away with it, and sadly, in light of what I know now (or think I know) about their character, I cannot see how, with the adrenaline going through the roof at the moment of the murder, they could have rendered basic help to a beautiful human being they had wounded so terribly.

    Incidentally, I watched last night the interview (on YouTube) with novelist Anne Perry (aka convicted murderer Juliet Hulme), which you recommended in one of your comments on pseudoinnocence (original post by Vivianna) a couple of years ago, very powerful stuff, indeed. I don’t think I could truly forgive Ms. Perry for what she did, but I did shed a tear for her and for the things we humans cannot reverse, and I did ask myself who was I to forgive. Ms. Perry did a terrible thing, but she could look people in the eye now and say it with dignified and tragic remorse - it brings closure on Earth; after that, one is one’s toughest judge.

    Posted by Bjorn on 12/13/13 at 11:40 PM | #

    Just horrifying to relive what happened and to hear the details from a doctor.  Thank you for bringing that to the forefront.  It highlights even more strongly the bizarre, callous and disrespectful behavior of RS and AK in the police station cavorting, laughing, kissing as was reported by the other girls sitting with them.  It defies the imagination.  Even if one can think that the murder was done under the influence of drugs, the facts show that it was not a wild frenzy but rather a calculated series of blows and a complete and horrifying disregard for human suffering and life.  I can only hope that MK’s family is not reading this article but I think they know some of it already.  To imagine one’s beloved child dying like that, alone, fearful, in pain, is too much to bear.  Can even Italian RS escape justice in his new Carribbean idyll?  If he was only there after the fact to help in a clean-up or a very minor player, wouldn’t he have already confessed, and turned the tables on AK,  and would he be hiding there?  Surely his great admiration and affection for AK of two weeks acquaintance would not have held enough strength to carry on for 5-6 years and more unless he were more directly involved.

    Posted by believing on 12/13/13 at 11:51 PM | #

    Likewise RG’s behavior in not calling for an ambulance, fleeing a dying girl in panic, establishing an alibi by dancing at a nightclub, is equally terrible and he deserves even more time in jail.  He might have been a fool and coerced into something, but we don’t know that really, and he was definitely there, involved and left her to die.  Someone locked the door.  We don’t know if it was immediately afterwards or later after the clean-up do we?  It could have been only AK and RS who locked the door and threw away the phones, later in the night.

    Posted by believing on 12/13/13 at 11:55 PM | #

    I meant Meredith’s bedroom door.  It’s unclear when exactly it was locked.  I suspect later in the night during the clean-up rather than immediately.  I think they all three ran, and possibly RG a little later than the other two, as he basically said in his story, fearing he would get all the blame, which he did.

    Posted by believing on 12/13/13 at 11:57 PM | #

    Odysseus has an excellent point. It has been repeatedly suggested that they enjoyed what they had done and were on some sort of a high for several or some days. In fact, for years.

    Recordings of them in the police station suggest they thought they were running rings around the cops and enjoying sending them in wrong directions.

    I do believe that buying the underwear gave them a kick and they didnt give a damn about Meredith’s memorial which they alone among all Meredith’s acquaintances chose to skip.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/14/13 at 12:27 AM | #

    We know that Meredith died clutching her kneck on both sides to try to stop the blood running out.

    A medical question therefore for Cardiol MD on this:

    “...her superior thyroid artery wound was potentially survivable if simple manual compression was quickly applied there-and-then by anyone present, and urgent professional assistance was then obtained.”

    Might we know where the pressure could have been applied? Where is that artery?

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/14/13 at 12:32 AM | #

    Yes, behaved like cowards.What exactly were Knox and Sollecito doing after Meredith had been fatally wounded but was still in her throes?


    By the way, Ergon, there´s another thing I would like to ask you , if I might.
    It concerns your article “The Criminal Mind” ,your analysis of how criminality takes root inside the brain .There i a certain passage in there that has always struck me :
    What is the relationship between criminality and biology? Nineteenth-century phrenologists insisted that criminality was innate, a trait inherent in the offender’s brain matter. While they were eventually repudiated as pseudo-scientists and self-deluded charlatans, today the pendulum has swung back.

    Does this constitute a reference to may I use the word :Eugenics?

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/14/13 at 12:34 AM | #

    Hate takes hold early in life. When we are children we believe what we are told. We copy our surroundings and in essence become our parents or for example, a woman who is in an abusive relationship will tend to be attracted to abusive partners no matter how many partners she has. A woman with an alcoholic father will generally end up with an alcoholic husband. This works in two directions of course both male and female. People develop who they are because of the lessons they learn in childhood which is familiar and therefore comfortable no matter how destructive that may be.

    The inference of bottled hate or dislike, or frustration, or the implication of being laughed at because the person feels inferior, if untreated will eventually explode with terrible results This is rampant everywhere. I see another School shooting in the US and this on the anniversary of
    Sandy Hook elementary school. Another student with a shotgun intent upon revenge against a teacher who he thought made fun of him or something along those lines.

    This of course is Amanda Knox all over. The lessons she learned from her mother who she described as a free spirit, and the obvious mental abuse and abandonment by her father plus her real dislike of her step father is indicative of repressed hate particularly when faced with superior woman such as Meredith whom Knox could never hope to emulate. This is the recipe for hate and revenge.

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 12/14/13 at 01:47 AM | #

    Not all people necessarily end up like their parents, therefore defying genetic and social predetermination. Take Liz Murray, for instance, a woman whose parents were both mentally defective alcoholics and drug -abusers but who decided to lead a better life and practically ascended from “Homeless to Harvard.”

    No idea if all school shooters have the same motivations and I can´t say what drove Adam Lanza to the insane act of murdering innocent defenceless children at Sandy Hook.As in my previous post on the Columbine boys I suppose all school shootings were characteristically carried out by psychopaths who had been ostracized by their communities:

    I think it´s all down to our own decisions who we decide to become.“There is no gene for the human soul”.

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/14/13 at 02:35 AM | #

    Of course not. That’s a generalization on my part. There are many exceptions of course but lessons learned in childhood are lessons we carry all our lives. Instinctively we feel comfortable with the familiar and gravitate towards that territory. Some children who come from perfectly good homes turn into complete animals of course. I’m not suggesting that every case in the same either but any study of Jung or Freud or in particular Alfred Adler will bare this out.

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 12/14/13 at 02:48 AM | #

    As to Adam Lanza since he killed his mother first perhaps that is a clue. Mental sickness can be exacerbated by conditions.

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 12/14/13 at 02:50 AM | #

    Interesting, lovely question, aethelred23. Will answer after I meet my (self-imposed) deadline :(

    Posted by Ergon on 12/14/13 at 04:42 AM | #

    But no, Eugenics is what they were leading to, in their limited understanding of the so called ‘criminal underclass’ and trying to get past ancient views of ‘evil’. I have an idiosyncratic view of DNA, and we can also guess, nature vs nurture.

    Some people turn out that way, and until we learn the spiritual underpinnings of society, we will be arguing, forevermore, on physical causes.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/14/13 at 05:04 AM | #

    @ Pete: in response to your Post of 12/13/13 at 06:27 PM:

    I am saying that it is beyond any reasonable-doubt that the Motive of Meredith’s attackers was to terrify her.

    I know you already know that. I write it here only as an ingredient logically-necessary to my reasoning.

    The terrifying fact was that holding sharp knives to a person’s throat can be followed by a throat-cutting.

    It is also beyond any reasonable-doubt that everyone in Meredith’s room knew that throat-cutting is bloody, interferes with breathing, and is lethal.

    They did cut Meredith’s throat.

    When an artery is cut there is jet of bright-red blood, pulsating in synchrony with the heart-beat.
    Breathing is also pulsatile but at a distinctly slower frequency.
    When blood is inhaled there is a pulsatile gurgling-noise in synchrony with the frequency of the breathing.

    Those are what Meredith’s killers saw and heard, but they abandoned her, failing to provide any emergency assistance whatsoever.

    You ask: “Where is that artery?”

    That artery was where they saw the root of the blood-jet.
    They needed no more ‘Anatomy’.

    You also ask: “Might we know where the pressure could have been applied?”

    They could have pressed towards the spine with fingers +/- cloth at the source of visible bleeding, hard enough to stop the visible bleeding.

    Then they could also have called for Paramedics.

    It would also have helped to keep Meredith’s head lower than her chest to avoid blood being drawn into the lungs.

    Posted by Cardiol MD on 12/14/13 at 07:17 AM | #

    I disagree that the Taliban made Malala a hero.  Their heinous act did position her as a public figure, but she would have been a remarkable person even if she weren’t attacked or if her attack weren’t widely reported.  What made her (and others like her) a hero was the fact that she had the courage to stand up to an archaic, limited, and savage worldview and to refuse the sub-human status which was relegated to her by the aforementioned worldview.

    Similarly, it was not the murderous trio who made Meredith so admired and beloved.  I don’t think those who knew her, and especially those who weren’t part of her family, said she was an amazing person simply out of pity and respect for the dead.  She seems to have touched a lot of people’s lives in a positive manner and to have been well liked and appreciated.

    The beasts who tried to destroy them don’t deserve credit for what these women already were.

    Posted by Vivianna on 12/14/13 at 10:16 AM | #

    By the way, Lanza was in love with the Columbine boys, if that explains anything.

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/14/13 at 05:20 PM | #

    Good morning, aethelred23 (I was up till 3:00AM finishing something :(

    Yes indeed, the child of alcoholic or abusive parents can indeed turn out just fine, it becomes a matter of will, or spirit and soul, or free choice. It also depends on parenting then, but one thing that informed my views on psychology was seeing how my parents issues transferred to me and my siblings, I made a lifelong study of how one overcomes that, and how, some, can’t break free of that conditioned straitjacket. Maybe, being the first child helped me, I know Adlerian theory on birth order was influenced by the Tibetan philosophy on that, and Jung’s archetypes are based on astrology, and he just didn’t take it far enough, once he got into his psychotic period.

    Adam Lanza was clearly on the autism spectrum disorder, but he was influenced to a great deal by an unstable mother. And, not just him, how many people like Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were under the influence of psychotropic drugs? See

    Not to excuse Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito, but, to what extent were their actions that night under the influence of drugs? We will never know, since they were not done immediately or within the proper guidelines for the hair analysis tests done.

    Speaking of Astrology, I met someone once who might indeed have been my doppelganger. At a party, one person says “I was born on Gurdjieff’s birthday” and I smile and say, “me too” (there is some dispute whether the reported day is correct) and we compare notes, and it was interesting to see the similarities, of two people born the same time, one in Pakistan and the other in the UK, and one went into the military and the other turned to petty crime/drug dealing, (I won’t say which of us 😉 but both came out of that and turned to a life of mysticism; I think it was inherent in both of us, but nature/nurture and free will/karma/determinism all played a role.

    And all this can indeed, play a role in how criminality takes root in the brain. Also, I look at the general, overall increase of psychosis in society, and its causes, and the increase of neurological damage.

    We all have free choice, though some might have less.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/14/13 at 06:26 PM | #

    Hi Ergon

    Absolutely correct. My interpretation of this phenomenon is directed, not so much at the family influence alone, but taking into account the society from which one comes. I managed to escape from a grotty little town in the North of England, and since then have been made aware of people still living there who bemoan the fact that they have never left, even though they wanted to.

    That’s because although they loathed the place they were too cowardly to leave preferring the familiar to taking a chance on the outside world. Others who did leave that smothering dead environment took it with them by surrounding themselves with people from the same place. This I believe has to be taken into account.

    For example, Knox came from an environment that to say the very least was unhealthy. She describes her mother as a ‘free spirit.’ which I hesitate to interpret. Sollicito came from privilege believing he could get anything he wanted since after his mother died he was spoiled rotten and never took responsibility for anything.

    Envision the latest fiasco in the USA, that of calling a murder defense. ‘Afluenza’ which translates into rotten parenting. The sixteen year old, in this case, got off without jail time just probation even though he had killed four people driving while drunk.

    My point is that Knox and Sollicito took not only their families influence but the influences of the environment they grew up in.

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 12/14/13 at 11:39 PM | #

    No idea , Harris and Klebold were nobodies before they committed the Columbine high school massacre, yet their photos would appear on the front page of Time magazine with the victims´ pictures reduced to small image. Adam Lanza was a nobody before he committed Sandy Hook yet here we are still talking about him.

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/17/13 at 12:50 AM | #

    If I may add another thought to my previous one and I hope I do not offend: Whilst I agree the Knox PR campaign was doubtlessly one of the most despicable media strategies ever created , helping free a murderer and allowing her to become a celebrity whereas Meredith was eclipsed I will also allow myself to add that thong used to be reversed before her death . Meredith was clearly the popular one, I mean , with a bunch of friend whilst Knox was an outcast in Perugia. Could this have been another sort of injustice ? Do we really need a world where people become superfluous ?

    Posted by aethelred23 on 12/17/13 at 01:01 AM | #

    Amanda Knox may have had a fear that people disliked her and/or rejected her, but this would be her own perception, and not necessarily a true reflection of others’ feelings.
    The indications are - in spite of her social gaucheness, and a manner which could have been irritating to reserved British - that people were in fact very tolerant towards her ‘eccentricities’ (her word), and did their best to accommodate her, even though it was fairly obvious she did not naturally integrate. People made allowances, as they do. Patrick was not unkind, on the contrary.
    Meredith obviously tried to be friendly, and certainly cared, but had a complete right to chose her own friends and activities. She was right to stand up to unacceptable habits - of hygiene for instance.
    Being unable to handle social situations is a flaw either in the character or development, which it is an enormous shame a responsible adult didn’t address - long before she was ‘let off the leash’ (untrained) in Perugia.

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 12/17/13 at 01:53 AM | #

    Prior to the Sandy Hook school shooting, Adam Lanza was not “a nobody”. Rather, he was an emotionally disturbed individual, whose mother’s judgement was clouded by her love for him. She was the irrational adult who provided him access to her own legally obtained firearms, though previously demanding that babysitters not let him out of their sight for an instant, because of his well recognised volatility. And she needed the babysitters so she could escape him for a few hours and occupy her monogrammed barstool at her local.

    Posted by mimi on 12/17/13 at 03:44 AM | #

    Hi, aethelred23, looking at Amanda Knox, I don’t see where her ‘celebrity’ status turned out so well for her. Yes, she made a lot of blood money, but, she clearly is haunted by Meredith. She must have felt really inferior to her, and that Meredith was distancing herself from Amanda, clearly was the last straw.

    Posted by Ergon on 12/17/13 at 04:03 AM | #

    Yes, quite. It really is ‘pathetic’ in the original sense - full of pathos.

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 12/17/13 at 10:30 AM | #
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