Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #28: The Palm Riviera, For Her, Less Than One Hour East

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Posted by Our Main Posters on 06/27/10 at 07:35 AM in Concerning Meredith

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Splish-splash. Gorgeous beaches.

Maybe no beach book, but “Angel Face” by Barbie Nadeau was good. On page 164 I learned that “Raf’s dad had already threatened him with rehab.” P. 163 Barbie explains that AK’s prison diaries said that Raf “had been reminiscing about his incredible highs on heroin and cocaine, and she may have been eager to try it.” 

About AK’s tattoo, which I thought was a jailhouse tattoo, but p.25 says that Deanna, Edda, and Amanda all “got matching tattoos of a yellow flower on the backs of their necks just before Amanda left for Europe.”

Barbie mentions “broken glass on Meredith’s floor that no one was ever able to explain”, thinks it may have been from liquor bottles. She theorizes that AK introduced RS to Hard A, a mix of vodka and other liquors common in Seattle. She thinks AK & RS were high as kites the night of the murder, got the drugs from Rudy, asked MK for $$ to cover it. This explains Rudy’s DNA mixed with MK’s blood on the zipper of her handbag but only MK’s fingerprints were on her wallet since she got the money out herself. No murder was intended, but malicious hazing began and got out of hand. 

Main point Barbie makes pp.162-171 is that the mental fog they were in accounts for why they didn’t crumble worse and spill more details to police under pressure. “The hazy, disjointed statements about that night…suggest a genuine blackout; a purposeful lie would certainly be more coherent.” I’m having a hard time reconciling their mental fog with the careful cleanup, but I don’t know much about drugs. She suggests RS walked to town dumpster to dump liquor bottles and during this time AK went into paranoia and anxiety which prompted her super early phone call to mother.

She thinks AK was uneasy as she reached over MK’s body to pull the duvet off the bed to cover her with. P. 169 “In doing so, Amanda loses her balance and steps off the towel, putting an unstable foot on the pillow underneath Meredith’s body—how else explain the bloody footprint on the pillow consistent with Amanda’s shoe size?”

P. 199 ventures a guess that “Most legal observers in Italy predict that an acquittal at the high court level would be the best outcome…” I assume this means the best for AK & RS. Seems the high court meaning 2nd appeal would not retry the facts of the case but focus only on points of law. “Did the evidence…pass all legal requirements?” Barbie thinks the knife might not. Thus the high court’s where RS & AK have best chance of conviction being overturned. We shall see.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/28/10 at 05:42 PM | #

“Most legal observers in Italy predict that an acquittal at the high court level would be the best outcome…”

We detect a much stronger line. If such a survey was actually done, it seems a safe bet that it was done before most legal observers had read the judges sentencing report, and before the prosecution had announced that they would appeal for a stiffer sentence.

Barbie always frets over that knife. The chart for Meredith’s DNA on the blade was as sharp and clear as such charts ever come. And the knife in question was a very small part of a large body of evidence and a guilty verdict would have happened without it.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/28/10 at 06:46 PM | #


Yes, a few things in Barbie’s book are already a bit dated.  DNA on knife, I agree, a match is a match. Though an infinitesimal speck, it is MK’s blood. Raf’s crazy lies about pricking MK while cooking to account for her blood on his knife prove his extreme deception and guilt. I’m grateful this case is founded on more than one or two facts. There is a lot of evidence. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The more I read, the more deceptive RS and AK appear.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/28/10 at 07:32 PM | #

Hi Hopeful,

I don’t believe for a second that Knox and Sollecito suffered a genuine blackout. They had already had hatched a plan to divert attention away from themselves shortly after Meredith had been murdered.

They took Meredith’s phones shortly after midnight and went down a dark and deserted road beyond the city gates and threw them away in a place where it would be difficult to find them. They did this and locked Meredith’s door to delay the discovery of her body until they had finished removing their own incriminating traces from the crime scene. They knew that the best time of the day to clean up the cottage was the morning when there would be more light.

Knox was waiting for Marco Quintavalle’s shop to open at 7.45am on a national holiday because she wanted to acquire cleaning products. She was fully aware of what had happened the night before and was intent on removing all incriminating traces of herself and Sollecito from the cottage.

Knox and Sollecito being acquitted at the high court level would be the worst possible outcome. Lyle Kercher said that it would be like killing Meredith again if those responsible for her murder got away it.

Posted by The Machine on 06/28/10 at 08:14 PM | #


Hear hear! I couldn’t agree more, The Machine. Barbie’s theory of drug and alcohol blackout doesn’t square with their actions. They certainly had their wits about them with the phone toss, locking the door, using the morning light so they could scrub meticulously and leave no trace, buying cleaning products first thing. They are the worst kinds of killers, supremely cautious and clever, at least in the short run.

I think they were high on something, not sure to what extent, but I think an adrenaline rush could override a mental fog, as they grew enraged at MK or afterwards when faced with their own destruction.

I’m glad Lyle stood up for Meredith in no uncertain terms. I don’t want to see these vicious killers walk. They need every month of their already merciful sentence to grow some respect and to affirm the value of Meredith’s life. 

I agree with Peter Quennell and you that a high court reversal would not be justice.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/28/10 at 09:21 PM | #

It would be perfectly legitimate in a court of law in the USA or the UK, and (I assume) in Italy, for judges to say “we reject the evidence indicating that the knife in question was used in the murder, but we are still convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the accused are guilty”. Just as there is no requirement in law to prove motive, so there is no requirement to identify the murder weapon.

Posted by Janus on 06/28/10 at 10:31 PM | #

No alibi, a staged break in, mixed DNA from Knox and Meredith in several locations in the house, DNA from Sollecito on the bra-strap, the lies they told after the murder, including Knox implicating an innocent man, and so on, and so forth…and Barbie thinks a higher court could say “the knife MIGHT NOT be the murder weapon, so the defendants should be acquitted” ?

Not in this world, Barbie. Not in Europe.

Posted by Janus on 06/28/10 at 10:35 PM | #

Hopeful,I agree with your claim that, ” They [Knox and Sollecito] are the worst kinds of killers, supremely cautious and clever…”.

One of the main reasons that the judge denied house arrest for both Knox and Sollecito, was given their “states of mind”, both were capable of committing
another murder, while they were awaiting trial!

Posted by True North on 06/28/10 at 11:59 PM | #

I wonder if Barbie Latza Nadeau did not want to sound “objective” so she had to play devil’s advocate in order not to be accused of being ... “a hater” like we are!

She wanted to be on the safe side in case the Knoxes/Mellases clan would win, so she would not be clawed do death.

But nobody in his safe mind can believe they are innocent. Even with some “oh, they could be genuinely mistaken here about the time or the place”, or “this could have another explanation”, “maybe they really do not remember” etc… there are still too many things that you only can explain with: they are guilty.

Posted by Patou on 06/29/10 at 01:34 AM | #

Hi Patou. People coming to this site thinking they’ll find hate are usually pretty happy (or pretty ticked!) to find that there is none. We have always stood for justice for Meredith and kindness for her family, end of our story, no hate.

I suspect the difference between Barbie Nadeau and ourselves is not that she is scared and we are not.

Barbie has written perhaps the frankest and most objective of all the reports and she has been accused of a lot more things in the Comments under her pieces than we have.

I haven’t ever met Barbie (though I’d like to) but I suspect two things are at play in her here.

1) Blogs narrowcast, usually to a highly informed crowd, and depart from that at their peril. News magazines broadcast to a wider audience with many shades of opinion and far fewer facts, and depart from that at their peril.

2) It was possible to be in the courtroom and detest the antics of Knox supporters and how they hurt the Kerchers, while still observing that Knox is something of a lost soul, probably damaged at a very young age, probably still dangerous, probably a drug addict, off-putting and essentially friendless, and concluding that she is fundamentally a case for mental treatment.

Hard to know what to do if there is truth in this, though I for one would never spring for early release, which would be truly horrific for Meredith’s many friends and family.

The Kerchers are very sparing with their interviews and have never to our knowledge talked with an American reporter. Barbie more than most might have been the one to talk with, but from her book it seems she never did gain enough of their confidence. We can still count on the fingers of one hand those few American reporters and TV commentators who went all out for Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/29/10 at 05:14 AM | #

Amanda Knox has been compared to several other “international media star” killers.

One that comes to my mind is that of Karla Homolka, a Canadian woman who, like Knox garnered international media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter in the 1991 sex/torture killings of two Canadian teenage girls.

In comparison to Amanda Knox’s behavior, one of Karla Homolka’s prison psychologists described her as, ” despite her ability to present herself very well, there is a moral vacuity which is difficult, if not impossible to explain.”

Furthermore, like Amanda Knox, another one of Karla Homolka’s psychologists noted that, ” what is particularly compelling - and telling - is how radically different are the faces she presents to each audience.”

Quite a remarkable comparison indeed.

Posted by True North on 06/29/10 at 06:54 AM | #

I have yet to read any of the books, but now that school’s out, there’s more time. Still, the more I mull this whole sad tale over, the murkier it seems to get.

Three years is a long time to wait for answers, and I can vouch for that because three years ago today my stepdad turned up to tell me that my mother (his ex) had been found dead in the house she had shared on and off for years with a motley collection of druggies.

Unlike Meredith’s death, hers was a suicide. Unlike Meredith’s room, her room will never again be occupied by some unsuspecting renter, or gawped at by crimestalking ghouls. After a fire in the meth kitchen, the house was condemned and demolished.

Had everyone inside burned with it, the world would not have been a sorrier place. People who turn other people onto poison are the lowest , next to outright murderers.

My mother, for no reason her siblings could explain to me, grew up with a thirst for excitement and a hunger for danger. My stepdad, who has been fabulous to me (he left a little while ago) was a latter-day pothead hippie, and he would never let anyone badmouth my mother, but he never tried any of the junk she put into her body.

She worshipped Hendrixx and emulated Joplin, and decided at the age of 20 that she would become an American. She came to Boston to study music, fell in with the jazz crowd in NYC and spent the next 23 years on and off the wagon, in and out of rehab, jail , jobs and relationships, and never really worked out what it meant to be healthy and happy.

If Amanda worshipped Laura for her piercings and imitated her, I’m sure she would have tried any and every drug that Raffie raved about. I once watched my mother put a needle full of heroin into her arm (she ruined a rare family reunion) and I can guarantee that put me off the stuff for life. But then, I am not trying to find myself, or prove to my stepdad, or the world, how tough and cool I am.

Amanda is better off in prison. Had she been allowed to continue her descent into a booze and drug-addled hell, her family would most likely be singing a funeral dirge by now.

Posted by mimi on 06/29/10 at 07:30 AM | #


Mimi, I’m so glad you survived.

Some relatives in my family skated dangerously close to full blown addiction. Alcohol still ensnares one, despite constant AA meetings, and has endangered the next generation’s destiny. What a waste of time and money it all is, so destructive.

When I see TV program “Intervention” the horrors revive, even though I experienced it at a far remove (thank God) and was shielded from it. Those living daily with it face enormous strains. It takes seeing the ravages up close to realize that Amanda is better off in prison. RS, too. The tendency towards substance abuse is like a neon sign flashing on a person’s body that they will be walking a very tough road. The sad part is, they take down so many innocents in their path. RS has drug fiend wannabe written all over him, and AK wanted to take risks in same direction, but hadn’t quite launched into it.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/30/10 at 02:56 AM | #

Mimi, I was saddened to read your post. Your brief description of your personal life illustrates what must have been a horrible childhood. Your words also reflect that you are a very strong person. I wish you all the best in the world, for the rest of your life - may it already be full of happiness now and continue so into the future.

Posted by Terence on 06/30/10 at 02:29 PM | #
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