Powerpoints #16: We Now Examine The Compelling Evidence For The REAL Railroading From Hell

Click here if you have (1) Windows MS Office or Powerpoint Viewer (downloadable here), or (2) Apple Mac iWorks Keynote or Apache OpenOffice.

1. The Unforthcoming Trio

As we approach the closing arguments and the verdict late in 2009, what strikes me is the lack of information which any of the three suspects have directly contributed to the proceedings.

  • In the case of Rudy, since his trial followed the fast-track procedure, justice was served principally on the basis of the investigation report.

  • In the case of Raffaele, he maintains the same silence ever since stating two years ago that Amanda had made him tell a crock of lies, and that she had left his apartment for four hours on the night of the crime.

  • In the case of Amanda, there had been some early hope after her arrest that she may be more forthcoming in her explanations and replies to questions posed by the investigation. However, those hopes were dashed after the mid-December 2007 interview with her lawyer by her side, when at one point she decided to invoke her constitutional right to no longer reply to questioning, a posture she maintained until the 2009 trial was well underway.

My opinion is that this decision and attitude is due in part to explicit and / or implicit pressures to follow a public posture established by a series of concentric rings of advisers and hangers-on around her.

2. The Concentric Rings

These start with her immediate family, the Public Relations team hired by her family, a semi-formalised group of supposed well-wishers and supporters called the Friends of Amanda, and then a larger cloud of other supposed supporters who aren’t necessarily part of the Knox Mellas family or the Friends of Amanda, whose motives for supporting Amanda are wide and varied, and whom I call in general terms “The Entourage”.

I don’t include her Italian lawyers in these groups, as their legal advice to her does seem to be based almost entirely on good professional criteria (as good as it can be in the circumstances). In addition, her Italian legal team has even gone to the point of stating that The Entourage’s activities in bad-mouthing the investigation and the prosecution’s actions could cause negative results for Amanda in her trial.

These circles of advice - especially the innermost ones - I believe will be responsible for making it impossible for Amanda to ever make an opening to the need for answers to many outstanding questions. Indeed, she is being pushed, guided and chaperoned along an inflexible path of limited participation in the legal process around her.

3. The Marriott Railroading

One of the fervent supporters of Amanda, Chicago Private Eye Paul Ciolino, coined the expression that Amanda is being “railroaded”. Indeed, when you look at the results of the expensive PR campaign captained by Seattleite Public Relations professional David Marriott, of the Public Relations firm Gogerty Marriott, you can not agree more.

I believe that the concentric shields around Amanda prevent any progress along a road of ensuring her maximum contribution to clarifying the crime against Meredith Kercher, and only allow Amanda to cocoon herself further into a limited space of denial. 

The Gogerty Marriott web page says:

“For more than three decades, Gogerty Marriott has been building communication strategies for clients involved in public affairs issues. These issues range from behind-the-scenes to highly controversial, but invariably are crucial to the client’s financial success or mission ... At Gogerty Marriott we apply campaign-style strategies and tactics to communicate in ways that help clients achieve their goals. Based on our experience, we believe this research-based campaign model is the most effective way to develop compelling communications. Of vital importance is developing messages that intersect with the values of the audience receiving them.”

“...messages that intersect with the values of the audience receiving them.”  Translation: the Gogerty Marriott firm is all about spin.

4. The Task At Hand

This Powerpoint tries to examine some of the human elements of PR campaign at this crucial point in the trial, and the wider activities supposedly in support of Amanda Knox. Thei presentation reflects personal opinion, often expressed through satire. I urge any viewers to get a broad set of information and further opinions on the following excellent discussion boards, and in general through quality international press:

Any irony or sarcasm which may be encountered in the presentation or our discussions is not meant by any means to trivialise the pain and suffering, and butal senseless murder of Meredith, nor to reduce her memory. (Since she has no means to reply to any comments herein or scenarios described in other presentations, and the repeated use of her name in this context would only further hurt anyone close to her, in some circumstances I sometimes refer to Meredith simply as “the victim”.)

I can only hope that there will be one single ending, that justice is served to those responsible for each of the crimes which have been determined by the Italian judiciary.

3. More Commentary After Watching

Rudy Guede has already been sentenced for the maximum allowed (30 years) under “abbreviated” form of trial which he chose. And in ten days or so, Amanda Knox and Raffaele may be found guilty and be sentenced to the maximum punishment allowed (life in prison) under their own form of trial.

Rudy Guede did not show the slightest true repentance, contribute anything respectful to the memory of Meredith, or provide anything close to a credible explanation for the night of Meredith’s attack.

Raffael Sollecito and Amanda Knox seem to have managed only to muddy the waters, insult the memory of Meredith, and do themselves much harm with their own various widely differing explanations.

I believe that all three have shown an attitude which approaches arrogance at times. And in the case of Amanda Knox, in the days after Meredith’s murder and in her second day on the stand, she seemed at times almost gleeful.

Had Knox not felt so egged-on and overly-confident, she might never have taken the stand - which was possibly when she cooked her own goose.  Who actually encouraged Knox and Sollecito to take these seemingly disastrous positions?

I find it hard to believe that their Italian lawyers did. All I have ever heard about the lawyers for Knox and Sollecito (and for that matter about the prosecutors) is that they despise the antics engineered from the US. 

The impression gaining ground now amongst court observers is that the main factor in Knox’s attitude has been the many participants - some there as part of a plan and some seemingly self-appointed - in one of the most disastrous defense-support campaigns in legal history.

The concentric rings of participants that seem to have been busy appear to me to be these four following:

  • The immediate families. The Sollecitos did less than the Knoxes and Mellases to raise a storm, but they have already received negative payback in three ways: investigation of the whole family for releasing a video showing an uncovered Meredith to a Bari TV station; Sollecito’s sister losing her job as a carabinieri, and Sollecito distinctly no better off.
  • Gogerty Marriott, Inc. The Seattle public relations outfit hired by Knox’s family, which seems to have allowed or at least not stopped continued denigration of the prosecutor, the investigators and Italian justice generally, and repeated mis-statements and severe under-statements of the small mountain of evidence against Knox. Believed not to get along well with the group below.
  • The Friends of Amanda. A semi-formalized and shadowy group of supposed well-wishers and supporters organized with spokeswomen Anne Bremner, most of whom are in what seems a cowardly manner still unnamed and lurking in the shadows. Believed not to get along well with the prior group.
  • Finally, a group know on the discussion boards as The Entourage. A larger cloud of supposed supporters who aren’t necessarily part of the Knox Mellas family or the Friends of Amanda, and whose motives for supporting Amanda are wide and varied but often seem to revolve around money.

The outer circles of meddlers have seemed to want to prevent normal Italian processes to provide true justice for Meredith from ever playing out. Even very recently, one loudly threatened to take a guilty verdict straight to the top ranks of the US State Department (good luck with that one).

They seem to have antagonized just about every case-watcher in Italy, definitely the prosecution and police services in the case, and quite possibly the judges and jury. In fact, they seem to want to prevent the judges and jury from watching the media, presumably so that they don’t get affected by this train-wreck of a campaign.

These circles of advice may now be making it impossible for Amanda Knox if guilty to show any penitence or remorse, or to plead psychological impairment, or even come out with a truthful story that, if guilty, might actually get her some time off.

For a long time Knox has seemed to be pushed, guided and chaperoned along an inflexible path of limited options in which she seems to have no direct control herself or over the legal process playing out around her.

  • Why does an American woman on trial for murder in Italy need an expensive public pelations campaign aimed principally at an American audience?
  • Having decided to go ahead with this expensive PR campaign, why does Amanda’s family then complain about their financial woes on prime time television?
  • Why is this expensive PR campaign maintained when Amanda’s Italian legal team has stated that it is counterproductive?
  • Has the expensive PR campaign produced “positive” personal results for some of its participants in such a way that they may carry out actions or make statements which are neither here nor there for Amanda’s cause, but which benefit them?
  • Has the expensive PR campaign made it impossible (or too late) for Amanda to open up, contribute further information to the body of knowledge of what happened on the night of 1 November 2007, provide some closure to the Kercher family, and possibly ensure some leniency in any guilty verdicts which she may possibly receive for any of the charges against her?

One of the fervent supporters of Amanda, Chicago Private Eye Paul Ciolino, coined the expression that Amanda is being “railroaded”.

The true railroading to Hell of Amanda Knox seems to have been done by her own supposed supporters.

Posted by Kermit on 11/26/09 at 05:31 PM in

Tweet This Post



Another masterpiece.  Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.


Posted by Tara on 11/26/09 at 06:59 PM | #

Kemit, you’ve outdone yourself - and given your track record that is a very difficult task. As strange and twisted as all this might seem to newcomers to the case, your story is as true as they come.  It’s a story that is ready to be told.

Some media outlets have called the Meredith Kercher Murder Trial the “trial of the century” but your PowerPoints clearly reveal that most media outlets, particularly here in the USA, are completely missing out on the opportunity to tell of the “story of the century.”

Let’s hope that as this initial trial comes to a close, at last bringing justice to Meredith Kercher and her family, that this chilling story finally begins to be told outside of the few online resources you document in your presentation.

Many Cheers!

Posted by Fly By Night on 11/26/09 at 07:29 PM | #

This is amazing work, thank you!

Posted by Patou on 11/26/09 at 08:27 PM | #

After looking at both sides of the story and the websites devoted to both points of view, this one is far and away the most sincere and compelling.

I do hope those that are on trial get the punishment they deserve. Having served on juries-and this isn’t a revelation- changing stories and constantly lying is a one-way ticket to a conviction, which this sorry saga seems to be being played out to it’s rightful conclusion.

I hope Meredith’s family get the justice they seek from this sordid, tragic, cruel and depraved murder. The Knox team don’t seem to realise that the U.S has more than its fair share of miscarriages of justice (the WM3 is an questionable case at best) and had she been facing trial in the U.S, this would be a capital crime, where she might have been facing the Death Penalty- even though death sentences for women are rare.

How can someone be gleeful on the stand, wear clothing to a court that shows contempt for court and disrespect for the young woman so brutally murdered? The truth will out. No PR powder puff, sibling, friend, relation or lie spun can stop it from revealing itself.

Keep up the amazing work on this website and for all the best reasons, I hope you’ll stop having to update it, as the oxygen of publicity and notoriety, hopefully, become extinguished for those concerned, leaving them with plenty to think about as they reflect on the gravity of their heinous crime.

Sincere best wishes and justice for Ms Kercher.

Posted by Compboy on 11/26/09 at 09:57 PM | #

I think the oxygen of publicity is something Edda Mellas is getting hooked on personally Compboy. The whole PR thing is as much about the Knoxes as it is about Amanda in my view. It is nauseating how pushy this dreadfully trashy family are being.

The children clearly have no sense of propriety in the way they present themselves, and their parents are doing nothing to protect them from media attention. Instead they are positively pushing them towards the spot light. I wonder if they will be so happy when their daughters are known as ‘The sisters of brutal murderer Amanda Knox’?? Won’t be so keen on the attention then I suspect.

Maybe then they will cover up and dress respectfully (the semiotics of clothing - lets see how the family dress at the appeal when they’re not so cocky). Sick, and repellent, the whole circus. Maybe the contrast between the Knoxes and the Kerchers is the same as the contrast was between Amanda and Meredith. I think so. Meredith had a class and poise that Amanda would never have. Like her poor sisters.

It’s all down to upbringing. And I blame those dreadful parents. Letting them pose in hotpants in front of the murder house - for SHAME.

Posted by TT on 11/27/09 at 12:59 AM | #

Kermit, congratulations on a brilliant exposé of the forces at work in the shadows.

The meticulous documentation of the case you put and the clarity of its presentation, not to speak of the ironical humour which skewers the talking heads, are truly impressive.

Posted by Tiziano on 11/27/09 at 01:14 AM | #


You’re very right about the class contrasts, this is despite Amanda going to a private prep school, even the University of Washington doesn’t have the same rep at all as a redbrick university like Leeds. Yep, the mother and Amanda’s sisters are insensitive and crass. Meredith’s family have not sought publicity, whereas a delusional Edda has.

Jurors can’t fail to notice these things, especially as they’ll look at the news, and despite the best intentions, will make observations about the lack of conservative clothing worn in court, the shameless publicity seeking, and the crass, offensive macabre pictures of Amanda’s sisters in hot pants, as negatives, directing them, however slightly, along with all the other evidence, to opt for a conviction. 

If you appear contrite, humble and respectful of what is going on around you, as a defendant, you may not get the verdict you want, but it goes a long way to making a favourable impression for a juror in a case as horrifying as this.

If you’re not guilty, there would be no need for a PR campaign, and if you’re being accused of murder, especially so soon after the horrific act, then you would know where you were right then with far more conviction than has been on display.  Amanda may as well have said “No comment” throughout, which has the same effect on a juror.

TT, like you wrote, it’s a complete contrast of upbringings, which of course, may have led Amanda to resenting the more reserved Meredith in the first place.  Whatever their conflict, there was no excuse whatsoever for how such an innocent young woman should have met such a horrible death.

It has nothing to do with anti U.S feeling or Italy’s full of corrupt officials. It has to do with murder and the search for the truth and the justice that needs be met.  December the 5th should be a date with destiny for these inhuman individuals.

I can hear the crocodile screams already as the verdict is read out. And the sad, pathetic men that find Amanda “hot” are as crass as the improper conduct of the Knox family. Try and show a bit of respect. Someone has brutally died and two people are on trial for murder. It doesn’t get more graver than that, so let’s not trivialize it.

Posted by Compboy on 11/27/09 at 01:51 AM | #

did Tara say masterpiece? i couldn’t agree more.

if any of amanda’s so-called supporters are reading this story. wake up. one can only hope that some of the books that are due to come out on this horrific murder also take the time to consider the dynamics and agenda of amanda’s cheering squad.

thank you, Kermit for another brilliant article.

Posted by mojo on 11/27/09 at 09:07 AM | #

Excellent PowerPoint presentation! Well done Kermit! It is a pity that the key people that have vomited their spin all over the place will probably move on to new ground as the seasons change and those people that were taken in by the bile that has been spewed may never get the true story. Then again, anybody that forms an opinion without first gathering data from numerous sources (hopefully independant from each other), does not really want to get to the truth anyway. When one reads the horrible details of what happened to Meredith and the grotesque abuse inflicted on her body, then it makes my blood boil that there are people out there oblivious to the pain and suffering that was caused, people that are only interested in making a quick buck off the back of someone else’s misery. Hopefully, the cosmic wheel will turn and they will be forced to understand what they have done…

Posted by Terence on 11/27/09 at 11:01 AM | #

TT and Compboy,

I completely agree with your assessment re: the importance and contrast of upbringing between the Kerchers and Knoxes. However, I would say that it’s not just a question of “class,” which can be interpreted as having to do with money or social status, but a matter of values, knowing and practicing respect for other human beings, which includes appropriate private and public behavior.

Their actions, as you point out, particularly with respect to their children are a perfect, and perfectly appalling example of their lack of propriety or respect: they allowed or even encouraged their kids to present themselves in outrageously sexualized ways and display that sexualized behavior for a world audience – at a trial for murder! As if this hot-pants parade was going to distract the jury from the facts of the case. Yes, I have also read comments from men who find AK attractive and think this is more important than whether she committed a heinous crime. Apparently, the Knox/Mellas clan is as stupid and immoral as they are, thinking that a bevy of cute sisters demonstrates AK’s innocence.

Any thinking juror can see that these people have no understanding or no respect for appropriate behavior and appropriate boundaries. And that’s the point. It’s not difficult to imagine or infer that these borderline people raised a daughter who has no concept of appropriate behavior and respect for another human being: that, ultimately, her desire to be the “queen bee,” as Patrick Lamumba so astutely pointed out – the most attractive one, the most popular one – was more important than Meredith Kercher’s right to live.

Posted by wayra on 11/27/09 at 03:39 PM | #

Great Kermit, nice perspective.

Im uncomfortable with the hidden-behind-lines in some comments: ‘White trash’ is such an ugly american derogative, unacceptable in Europe. Justice are for all people regardless of class, values, nationality, etnicity, gender, familiy, etc. - or it is not justice at all.

Point is, that Amanda is not more or less guilty because Meredith was a nicer person or her family behave better in court; nor is Rafaelle more guilty because his family has a little money and connections. I read you are judging Amanda for the sins of her family, while Kermits post is actually arguing au contraire.


Posted by Fiori on 11/27/09 at 08:02 PM | #

Being out of circulation for some time due to seriously bad health, I re-enter TJMK in a time where focus in the discussion has changed from concerning the facts of the crime to facts about medias, and I feel an urge to speak. I’m provoked by some of the comments in this, mainly inter-US debate. So are things up for discussion, or are we closing ranks, here just before the final victory?

As from day one, I’m puzzled about the psycho-sociology of this crime, and sorting out my mind has not become easier during these final arguments. Baseline for me was to avoid the framing of innocence, and keep open that Amanda COULD have not done this horribly crime. But crux of guilt is the facts of the crime = evidence. Social dispositions are possibilities, potentials, not signs of guilt or innocence - and structural arguments like “white, female US-high school students don’t commit crimes like this” or counter, “coming from such a family she must eventually turn evil”, are to me not valid arguments.

Amanda is responsible for what she did, for not speaking up, for behaving strange. She is the one who has the choice to speak up and tell the truth about the crime; the Mellases don’t have this choice, they supposedly do not know the truth.

I too admire the dignified behaviour of the Kerchers, but I feel deeply uncomfortable with what seems to become an upheaval of good manners, posh schools, “bildung” and class as signs of innocence or being better human beings. Likewise I’m uncomfortable with the religious notes in the closings of a. o. Patrick Lumumbas lawyer. I don’t agree with a division of the world into ‘angels’ and ‘devils’, I don’t agree that some people are born evil, but find that – in the wrong circumstances – we can all become killers, though – of course - some are more vulnerable for crossing that boundary than others (drugs and sex can make human beings do many stupid – even evil – things, but many of us have taken drugs nevertheless).

To me, the situation is definitively the crux of an explanation; not structural components, not class, not nationality, not gender. I would like to see a guilty verdict because I believe that Amanda is guilty, but I am not indifferent to how a verdict is reasoned. I would like the Italians to get it right = convince me of the solid base of the verdict.

I don’t feel completely confident about Prosecutor Migninis timeline, but I reckon that he possesses some crucial facts about the situation, about what actually happened in Meredith’s room the 1 Nov 2007, which I will never know. And I agree that the staged break-in is the key to develop an understanding of the crime-in-total, and that the staged break-in points directly towards Amanda. But I find that Mignini overstate the premeditatedness of the murder. To me, evidence still speaks of a series of events, starting with intentions of a crude prank, but developing uncontrolled, and ending by making Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy murderers. I do not find that the facts I know of, correspond with an intention to kill.

I also dislike the Mellases – from what I read and see -  but they have no legal part in Amanda’s crime. They are guilty in smearing Italy and manipulating medias, and by these actions, trying to prevent justice, but I don’t know of that they have broken the law (Italian or US). (Well, maybe the email-smearing of one of our friends in Seattle is a crime, then they must answer for this.)

Please comment.


Posted by Fiori on 11/27/09 at 09:35 PM | #

I agree that attending a more posh school, or belonging to a better “class” of people doesn’t mean that one will turn out to be an angel.  And there are countless young girls from broken homes, raised among more crass poeple, like Amanda, who do not commit horrible crimes.  But Amanda’s family members do offer themselves up as a comparison against the far more dignified Kercher family, and that is hard to ignore. 

Amanda’s family is far from impressive, but still her background is not indicative of future criminality, which has made her actions that much more perplexing. It’s hard not to try to analyze it in hindsight, and wonder how in the world something like this happened.

I wonder if Meredith had ever thought that Amanda might be a danger to her?  More likely, she just thought of Amanda as inconsiderate, but harmless.

Posted by Mechele on 11/27/09 at 10:31 PM | #

Fiori -

I believe this is only a result of anger. It is true that the trial is about what Amanda and Raffaele alledgedly did, and not about their families. On another hand, I understand the anger-exasperation that the Mellasses and their stupid “How dare you, we are American” attitude has generated.

I particularly resent Edda’s silence on some things she knew after talking to her daughter and not encouraging her to have Patrick Lumumba freed. Or the lies she is adding to a natural desire of seeing her daughter really innocent.

No parent can easily face the fact that maybe they raised an assassin.

But the parents are also victims, certainly not as innocent as poor Meredith was, but their lives are shattered too. They probably are making more money that what they claim with all this big show, but still, money will never give them back the daughter they thought they had. The keep saying that “this is not the Amanda we know”, but did they know she was carrying a rabid rabbit in her luggage, did they know she had sex randomly, did they know she smoke pot, etc…

These findings about their daughter are terrible to bear too, they will never have the same life ever.

I do not pity them because they behaved in such a horrible way, but I imagine their place is not a “comfy” one. So… I understand the anger of some, even if, true, this is not the families that are on trial…

Posted by Patou on 11/28/09 at 01:11 AM | #

That was extremely enlightening, mostly parts about Amanda’s statements, regarding Partick L.. I find the fact that she let him sit in jail for two weeks or so, when she knew that he was innocent, to be quite disturbing as well, not to mention that her mother had been confided in with that information. It certainly isn’t comparable to Meredith’s tragic fate, but Amanda seems to have ruined Partick’s life as well for the time being with her actions and the lack of them. I had no idea that Amanda had made such testimony about her previous encounters with Guede either. All this has been overwhelming, but thank you for the work that has gone into it. I really do appreciate it.

Posted by mortytoad on 11/28/09 at 01:25 AM | #


Like you, I am very uncomfortable with the religious element Lamumba’s attorney injected into his argument. I think it has no place in the courtroom, and, besides, is a terribly simplicist view of human beings. That kind of either/or division makes the world easier for some people to understand, but, as you say, people are capable of different things under different circumstances.

I also agree with you that ridiculing the Knox/Mellas clan because of their perceived social class or appearance is gratuitous and in no one’s best interest. They are, indeed, suffering.

However, I do think their behavior, especially the shameless way they have promoted their interests, in defiance of all evidence, lays them open to criticism. And though I don’t think her case should rest on her parents’ behavior, I do think their behavior supports what Amanda has already, in many, many ways, demonstrated. One of the reasons Patrick Lamumba wanted her out of his bar was because she was coming on to the customers. And there were many other instances of socially deviant behavior prior to the murder. It was, of course, her bizarre behavior following the discovery of Meredith’s body that led people to suspect her involvement in the first place. She is a very young woman who only recently left home. To me, her parents’ (especially Edda and Chris Mellas’) capacity for transgressing boundaries corroborates, even if it doesn’t implicate, her capacity for transgressing boundaries.

Posted by wayra on 11/28/09 at 02:48 AM | #

I don’t believe that the Kerchers class has ever been mentioned. ‘Class’ is not something with an economic basis for me. That is like saying that people with wealth and status are the only people capable of good standards and morals. Quite wrong, and I have not seen this suggested anywhere. I have no idea about the Kercher’s class, nor the Knox/Mellas’s ‘class’. What is painfully clear is the divide in the manners and respect they show for the legal process and the people of Italy. No class basis in that; what is also painfully clear is that they have shamelessly spun this whole case using money for PR to do so, and by using members of their own family to do so. I think they are fairly and rightly criticised for that. No class bias, just plain right versus wrong. I have no idea who refers to them as being trashy or white trash - these are not terms I am familiar with. To me they just lack judgement and manners. And they cannot self-censor. They just keep blabbing away to any camera that finds them, and it is wrong, in my humble opinion, to persistently denigrate the legal system of one of Europe’s finest nations. It is just wrong. I think they have harmed Amanda beyond measure.

So don’t feel uncomfortable about the ‘class’ issue. I don’t think there is one. The term is irrelevant here. People criticise them mainly for being crass and insensitive and ignorant. Perhaps you assign certain classes these attributes over others. I most certainly do not!

Mama Mia!

Posted by TT on 11/29/09 at 01:36 AM | #

Fiori wrote:

“Social dispositions are possibilities, potentials, not signs of guilt or innocence - and structural arguments like “white, female US-high school students don’t commit crimes like this” or counter, “coming from such a family she must eventually turn evil”, are to me not valid arguments.”

I agree. They are absolutely not valid arguments; neither are arguments about what someone does or does not look like.

I have found the PR aspect of this case extremely distasteful. It seems certain people have seen the case as an opportunity to further their careers or make money. Whilst horrible, in the final analysis the only thing that matters is the evidence given in court and the decisions that are reached there. Amanda’s parents - whatever class they are from and however they behave - simply cannot say whether Amanda is guilty or innocent. They were not there. They were not part of events.

The prosecutor was right when he stated that the only legal trial is the one being conducted in that courtroom.

Posted by lilly on 11/29/09 at 12:59 PM | #

I know a person with Bipolar Disorder and having studied the symptoms of this terrible illness my conclusion is that there are significant similarities in the behaviour of AK to suggest that she may be a sufferer.
The manic stage is characterised by a distinct period of an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood state. People commonly experience an increase in energy and a decreased need for sleep. Judgment may become impaired; sufferers may go on spending sprees or engage in behaviour that is quite abnormal for them. They may indulge in substance abuse, particularly alcohol or other depressants, cocaine or other stimulants, or sleeping pills. Their behaviour may become aggressive, intolerant or intrusive. People may feel out of control or unstoppable. People may feel they have been “chosen,” are “on a special mission,” or other grandiose or delusional ideas. Sexual drive may increase. At more extreme phases of bipolar, a person in a manic state can begin to experience psychosis, or a break with reality, where thinking is affected along with mood. Many people in a manic state experience severe anxiety and are very irritable (to the point of rage), while others are euphoric and grandiose.
Specifically…Excessive spending (buying exotic underwear) (cash stolen from MK) increased sex drive (promiscuous behaviour)(sex toys)(multiple partners), drug taking, increase in energy (cartwheels), impaired judgement (blaming PL)(Beatles Shirt)
It may appear tenuous to those who are not aware what actions can manifest themselves in a sufferer.  However, I know from personal experience the actions that can result and how unbelievably callous they can be.
I am not trying to make excuses for an abhorrent murder, but just want to find a reason amongst all the senselessness….

Posted by morrisoc on 11/29/09 at 05:08 PM | #

Amanda took the stand because her sociopathic, narcissistic nature compelled her, like Tom Capano. She thinks she’s smarter than any lawyers.

Bongiorno’s cracking under pressure. She may have wanted a male attorney to voice defense arguments for Raf.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/29/09 at 05:20 PM | #


Fiori, I’m glad your health has improved.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/29/09 at 09:44 PM | #

Ciao, and thanks for all comments (and wishes for health)

These was quite helpful, made me get a better perspective on your positions – and Patou, I do feel the heat of the anger against the ‘dirty tricks’ of the Mellases.

TT – two comments:

1) As Wayra, I see class as a question of economy as well as culture (i.e. manners). Any judgment is value-laden, I cant see how we can avoid this, but I feel it necessary to be aware and (self)critical about this.

2) I agree with you, which I said many times before, that the Mellases mocking of Italy and the Italian system of justice, is profoundly unacceptable. I find one of the great jobs of TJMK is to raise a voice against the Mellases and FOÃ… on their political manipulations, but I see this as a ethical and political matter, not as a legal matter. Further: if your statement (Italy being) “one of Europe’s finest nations” is anything else than a purely subjective value judgment of the beauty and culture of Italy, I disagree. Europe consists of all fine nations, all old cultures, all different and all equal in terms of striving for “liberté, égalité, fraternité” (sort of 😊). I’m a European citizen, partly living in Italy -  I love Italy, and will defend Italy and its system of justice towards any unfair smearing, but I don’t see Italy is finer than Germany or Portugal or XX in terms of being a ‘better society’ or having a ‘finer’ system of justice.

I like Kermit’s piece precisely because he points out the counterproductive behaviour of the FOA and the actions of the Mellases. Nice piece of analysis. My angle on this case is, that Amanda is in this mess, exactly because she is herself – she is part of her family and yet different from them. Amanda is a smart girl, intelligent, and she has learned to ‘play the game’ of making her way, making good grades, getting somewhere in her life – which seems not to be the case for most of her family.

Probably her major flaw is that she is narcissistic (I haven’t seen the psychological evaluations of her, but from her appearance here and there I assess this.) She seems extremely arrogant in her answers to the court, and in her attitude towards Italian police etc. She give the impression that she regards herself as a superior human being,  which can con and control situations, and which will not degrade herself to obey common rules for mundane people.

The judges are a very respected profession in Italy, but lawyers and the police don’t have the same aura of excellence attached – here qualities vary. I find it reasonable to be critical towards arguments presented in court by lawyers when they apply metaphysical arguments with religious colour. When it comes to the role of religion, positions are very divided in Italy. The catholic church and conservative politicians still pushes religious arguments and traditions in front (whether for belief or for political purposes), but a very large part of the Italian population are fairly relaxed or segregationists, and find that the Italian public institutions (including the legal system and the courts) must be cleaned for religious overtones.

Justice for Meredith comes through a fair trial for Amanda and Rafaelle: I want Amanda to be convicted due to her actions, not due to abstract ideas of what is considered “normal moral behaviour” for a “good person”. I find this extremely important, as getting things straight is necessary to fight the harsh critique and political manipulation which inevitable will follow in US after a conviction of Amanda in Italy.

Best, Fiori

Posted by Fiori on 11/30/09 at 03:11 AM | #


I’ve been following this case, either in the conventional media, or through forums such as this for quite some time and wanted to air a thought or two…

One of the things that has always occurred to me is what happens AFTER the verdicts. It is quite fair to assume that the verdict will be guilty, given the incontrovertible evidence.

Fiori makes a very astute point in her closing remarks in the previous post: -

“Justice for Meredith comes through a fair trial for Amanda and Rafaelle: I want Amanda to be convicted due to her actions, not due to abstract ideas of what is considered “normal moral behaviour” for a “good person”. I find this extremely important, as getting things straight is necessary to fight the harsh critique and political manipulation which inevitable will follow in US after a conviction of Amanda in Italy”

As many have pointed out here and on other forums, there is a definite slant to reporting, especially in the US.

There is an appalling lack of respect for real victim, Meredith Kercher, the Italian legal system, as well as Italy on the whole. I’ve watched various video clips - John Q Kelly had me wanting to hide behind the sofa - it was so cringe-worthy. Candace Dempsey’s blog is/was utterly appalling and has made me snort with laughter on many an occasion.

I’ve read comments about “legal systems based upon the Inquisition” (surely a Spanish thing and a great opener for a deluge of Pythonesque humour).

Now, I’ve worked extensively in the US and love to travel there, but am always surprised at a) what constitutes news out there and b) how things are reported. That makes me sad…

All of this makes me wonder what will happen if/when AK/RS are convicted? Will there be ribbons tied round trees? Will the State Dept finally get involved? Will people demand the marines invade? Petitions to “bring our poor angel home…”

I sincerely hope not.

All I can foresee is that the PR machine cranks up a gear and the real madness and hysteria will begin in earnest…

Quite simply, the fact the AK is American has no real bearing on the case whatsoever - what is important that she is on trial for suspected involvement in particularly gruesome murder and that justice should prevail - regardless of social class or nationality.

Posted by Yossa on 12/01/09 at 06:33 PM | #

Yossa, the only place there will be madness and hysteria will be among the small group know as the FOA. I am in complete agreement as I know everyone else is, with Fiori’s post. I don’t believe anyone wants to see Amanda railroaded for a crime she didn’t commit. However, there is more than enough evidence to prove she was involved and, that is only the stuff that has been given to the public. What about all the evidence we never heard? Yes, what passes for news here is definitely pathetic. Soon, we won’t have too many “print” papers left and won’t have to worry about all the slanted, biased, unprofessional and just plain horrid reporting…....Some of us only use our newspaper to start the fireplace or line the cat box….....

Posted by tigger34 on 12/01/09 at 09:25 PM | #

Hi Fiori

We see things differently then. I see ‘class’ as an attitude of mind. You can be the poorest of the poor and have a great deal of class. Many of the rich have appallingly bad manners, which I would describe as ‘graceless’. Actually it is commonly held that ‘new money’ suffers from this more. ‘Old money’ is another ball game all together. Ask any bank manager! Class IS about manners, respect for others, dignity and a certain high-mindedness. I am not talking about ‘economic’ class here. It is a complicated one in this country. Very touchy. I heard a woman being described as having ‘class’ today because she never gets drunk in public. It’s about self-respect. For me the class of the Mellas and Knox family is showing in their disregard for others, their rudeness, bullying and manipulation of the media coverage of this trial. The Kerchers are showing huge class by refraining from all of the above. They could have done exactly the same, but prefer to keep their dignity and let the trial take its course. It is just my take on it.

As for Italy being one of the finest etc. I did say ‘ONE OF’! Not THE finest. There are many fine countries in Europe, of course! Italy has a particular resonance for me, but it is very personal and of no interest to anyone else.

Enough already! It is an interesting discussion, but off topic!

Did not know you had been ill, but welcome back anyway!


Posted by TT on 12/02/09 at 02:55 AM | #


TT: Considering the amount of posts which have raised critique - rightly or wrongly – of the behaviour of the Mellas’es I do not find the discussion about the meaning of class or the implication of criticising ‘manners’ out of topic.

To me, as a sociologists, class is not similar to style (as you use it), but is a much discussed and well-defined concept.

It matters, if one have the perspective you describe: “Many of the rich have appallingly bad manners, which I would describe as ‘graceless’. Actually it is commonly held that ‘new money’ suffers from this more. ‘Old money’ is another ball game all together.”

I find this position problematical as a basic for judging behaviour as normal/deviant or good/bad as it does not seem to take into account that it is the ruling classes who defines what is ‘good manners’. It is much easier to gain in life behaving ‘decent’ - i.e. be classy, as you call it - if you are born wealthy and have learned (par example) the stiff upper lip and the ‘no public disclosure of emotions’, than it is, if you are born poor, and don’t know how to play your advantages.

If you are born on the wrong side of the track and wants to move in society, you definitely has to break with the behavioural codes of your culture, and move into unknown games. In short: New money NEEDS to break the rules of the game, as the rules of the game is defined by the ‘establishment’ - the old money.

Breaking the rules of the game is crucial for the social dynamics and the innovativeness of a society. (To complicate things there can emerge ideas about ‘right’ ways to break the rules and ‘wrong’ ways to break the rules, and definitely we are in need for general principles of some kind (in the European meaning of ethics), when judging behaviour.)

My point here is still that Amanda has demonstrated that she is on the move in society, away from her parental culture, that she can get jobs, get good grades, get attention, get rich boyfriends, etc. Nothing wrong with that. She is revolting and re-defining her identity, and has not yet produced a fixed set of ethical rules which works for her. Probably she had an upbringing in which she has always seen as the bright one in the family – lots of expectations.

Despite of the positive in inventions, it is problematic that ‘breaking the rules of culture’ tends to be brought about of a feeling of superiority (Madonna is a very good example on this: very innovative, and very ‘bad’ behaviour). To me it look as if Amanda (especially in her behaviour when taking the stand) suffers from this kind of narcissism and arrogance, and I don’t think that the Italian police is wrong when seeing her psychology as a key to the crime.

My other point was that true justice is a matter of arguing evidence, presenting a convincing and reasonable case, not a matter of manners.

Best, Fiori

Posted by Fiori on 12/02/09 at 01:18 PM | #


Fascinating discussion. But I have to take issue with your view of the down-trodden and helpless working class pitted against the establishment who define what good manners are.

Good manners are universal, in every society. There are nuances to this, but on the whole good manners are NOT defined by the establishment. Manners and respect are the cement that keeps any group or society together. No society would be stable without them. If we all routinely abused our neighbours, left our rubbish in the street and spat in people’s faces we could expect censure in ANY society by any class.

You say you are a sociologist. It is a long time since I studied Sociology now! But I am using the term class in a non-academic/economic sense in some ways, yes. As for the working class needing to break rules in order to raise themselves up, I find this a somewhat patronising attitude! I have many working class friends who have ‘raised themselves up’ through sheer bloody hard work, thank you very much! It is more down to education than anything, and an ability to apply yourself.

But even without that bright people will generally rise whatever their socio-economic position. There has been a huge amount of social mobility in this country over the last generation, and not all of it was achieved through ‘rule breaking’ in the sense you speak of. My own parents came from extremely working class roots in the East End of London; my father lived with five siblings in a virtual slum without a book in the house.

It was damned hard work that found him, years later as the Chief Architect at the Department of Health in the UK. No rule breaking, just study at evening school whilst working during the day. Today he is one of the most cultured people I know, and you’d never know his roots were it not for his socialist credentials!

I think your model is too simplistic. I don’t see Amanda as doing what you describe, if anything her behaviour seems to mirror the values she has been brought up with. In Edda I see someone unable to take on responsibility for her actions (recently), or her daughter’s. In Chris I see someone who is a crude, foul-mouthed bully (as on Perugia Shock). These are the values she grew up with, and these are the values she is displaying.

I think Curt is a more interesting and intelligent parental role model, although even he did not take responsibility for his children and Edda had to take him to court to get the child support he owed.

I could argue this all night Fiori! Glass of red and some cheese, a roaring fire and we could rabbit into the small hours!!!



Posted by TT on 12/02/09 at 07:42 PM | #

Ciao TT,

It sounds like a really nice and competent family you have. With all my respect.

And I shall not pursue this subject…. though .... I cant help it !!: I dont know one single theory within the social sciences nor ethics who supports that “good manners are universal in every society”, and neither do I know of any research that supports that “bright people generally will rise whatever their socio-economic position.” If this happens so in UK, you truely have a marvelous society.

But dont you take notice of my position: this is spoken from a Scandinavian cultured mouth and many English people complain about the utterly bad manners of the Scandinavians (i.e. we never use the phrase ‘please’) - rude and bad mannered we are all!! And by then probably guilty in all bad deeds we are accused of…..

😊 😊 😊

Best, Fiori

Posted by Fiori on 12/03/09 at 05:02 AM | #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Powerpoints #17: Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

Or to previous entry Powerpoints #15: A Knox-Ghouls Parody, Inspired By Two Mountains