The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. ~~Aristotle
These words exemplify the ordeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the Italian court system. First the Perugian authorities, then the tabloids and finally the Internet trolls deliberately and repeatedly twisted the facts of the murder investigation to fool the public into believing that the pair had killed Amanda’s roommate, Meredith Kercher.
As these false and defamatory factoids were embellished the end result was a mythology created to cover up official incompetence and duplicity, even the highest courts in Italy are having trouble untangling the mess. The really sad part is how many bystanders were duped in the process and no doubt this case will go down in history as an unparalleled study in Internet Bullying Gone Global.
Rudy Guede, a local burglar, killed Meredith in 2007 when she had the sad misfortune to walk in on a robbery in process. Thanks to the mythology, the Perugian authorities deftly distracted the public from Guede, brokered him a fast-track trial and now he will be eligible for parole in 2014 while Amanda and Raffaele are still fighting in court. The myths have done their job, no one cares about the man who murdered Meredith Kercher in cold blood in their zeal to discuss what sort of panties Amanda is wearing. Not even Meredith’s family seems concerned that her killer will soon be back on the streets, so effective were the lies.
But who is behind the propaganda? And why is the character of innocent people being assassinated?
The Perugians and the Constantly Changing Motive
Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, Chief of Homicide Monica Napoleoni, Head of the Roman Scientific Police Edgardo Giobbi and their subordinates have been trying to turn angels into devils since November 2, 2007 using textbook propaganda techniques. The lies began the moment that the Public Minister arrived on scene, the original fable began with the Public Minister and police calling Amanda what amounts to an insane, murderous, slutty, drug-addled Satanist before any evidence was processed. Then it became “Amanda is jealous of Meredith,” then “Amanda robbed Meredith.” Then, after the appeal court’s experts ruled out the Double DNA Knife and proved once and for all that there was never any of Amanda’s DNA in Meredith’s bedroom (the murder scene), Mignini changed his story to “Amanda was out in the hall ordering the men around.” Most recently it was “Amanda and Meredith fought over Rudy’s Guede’ poo in the loo.” The definition of a Perversion of Justice.
The Tabloid Mistranslations
The British tabloids mistranslated Amanda’s June 26, 2011 appeal testimony and quoted her as saying that Guede ‘knows we were there, he knows we all got drunk that night,” meaning the night Meredith was the murdered. Amanda actually said, “We were not together that night and Rudy knows the truth.” Another infamous mistranslation by the same British tabloids was from an interview with one of the appellate judges, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, two days after he pronounced the October 4, 2011 innocence verdict that set Amanda and Raffaele free. The British tabloids reported the day after his interview that Judge Hellmann had said, “A truth that was created in the proceedings, but the real truth may be different. They may be responsible.” What Judge Hellmann actually said was, “The truth is that there is no proof to condemn them for the murder. Therefore they are not responsible.” These are but two of many examples of how the tabloids used online translators, like Google Translate and Bing, to garble information from nearly every Italian article written about this case. It’s simple to accomplish because the Italian to English conversion switches sentence structure, gender and certain words. Courtroom becomes classroom, cell becomes hut, he becomes she and murderer becomes murderess. In the case of ‘murderer’ becoming ‘murderess,’ for example, the English-speaking public thought that the reference meant Amanda, when it was usually referring to Rudy or Raffaele. I often envision the tabloid “journalists” cackling gleefully whenever they found a particularly juicy mistranslation.
The Internet Troll Hate Sites
The willing and eager helpers of both the Perugians and the tabloids are the trolls. Two hate sites sprang up in the United States within a year and a half of the unjust incarceration of Meredith Kercher’s innocent friends. One is based in Seattle and moderated by a West Seattle resident living near Amanda’s parents and a person associated with the University of Washington, where Amanda is a student. This website splintered a couple of years ago and there are now competing websites, one of the moderators is a self-describe “healer” living in Canada, he preaches peace but does not recognize obvious innocence. The other site is in New Jersey and is moderated by a person who was labeled “stalker” by a foreign ballerina and the police were called in to rectify the situation. The Seattle/Canada sites are used as discussion forums and the New Jersey site is used as a “news” blog. None of these moderators nor any of the members have ever met Amanda, Raffaele or their families, yet they obsessively collect massive amounts of information, both case related and personal, on every member of both families, including minor children. They also collect information on every person who has supported these innocent people; myself included. From 2008 to present they have provided false and misleading information to the public so that many people with scant knowledge of this case believe that Amanda and Raffaele got away with murder.
The Legend of Harry Rag
Harry Rag is the Uber Troll, the Troll CEO, who carpet-bombed the Internet with false and misleading information based directly on the prosecution’s point of view. More than 99% of the online articles and blogs written about this case have the copy-and-paste document created by Harry Rag in their comment sections; a Google search turns up over 9,000 hits. There are two parts to the Harry Rag persona, the document and the online blogger personality.
Harry Rag the Blogger is a sophisticated and aggressive and passionate person. He is as relentless as he is elusive. It would take dedication and coordination to blanket the Internet with the Harry Rag Document; such organization needs a director. He is considered by many to be an IT expert with media connections. He is remarkable not only for his ability to conceal his identity, a Big Bang talent that the average person does not possess, but also because of apparently unlimited word count access in certain comment sections, mere mortals have to stay within the word counts. In keeping with the expertise, he has now branched out into Twitter and, in Troll King fashion, is reigning his own personal kind of hell down on Amanda and Raffaele’s supporters.
The Harry Rag Document (HRD) experienced an evolution from 2008 to 2011. My impression of the early version is that it had a youthful quality, like something highschool or college students would throw together, it looked like parts of two or three chunks of information, perhaps emails, copy and pasted together. A rough draft. Regardless of the version, it single-handedly promoted most of the Myths that Amanda and Raffaele are contending with today.
Two things are known, Harry Rag is located in the UK and his treatment of Meredith shows familiarity; so there seems to be a close connection. A family member or a community member who deeply cares about Meredith…no one really knows for sure. Harry is concerned for the well being of Meredith’s family and is possessive of all things Kercher; he vehemently resents any Innocentisti expressing sympathy for the Kercher’s ordeal or concern for their well being. He encourages followers to do the same, effectively controlling discussions involving the Kerchers through guilt.
Imagine being told that you were not “allowed” to feel sorry for Meredith and her family because you support Amanda and Raffaele’s right to fight this injustice?
Harry Rag possesses a single-minded hatred of Amanda and Raffaele, as well as, an unparalleled dedication to smearing their reputations. Harry says he is fighting for “justice for Meredith” when he is actually confusing the public with his widely spread misinformation. Regardless of who this persona is, he is a tool of the prosecution whether or not the Perugians are personally involved.
I’ve considered that the large volume of Harry posts from early 2008 to late 2009 could have been a group of people working together, perhaps from Meredith’s own community. A daunting task for just one person, since there are thousands of articles, but several working together could accomplish it, that would be a way to assuage their rage and despair and a need to “do something.” The posting continues to this day, regimented and organized. It’s easy to see that the anger is still red hot.
I can understand that anger. I feel it too, but toward the Perugians. We are all very protective of our friends, but I wish Harry could see it from my point of view. His point of view has been crammed down my throat for years, so I think it is only fair that he take a deep breath and step back to see the whole picture. Harry, honey, you are after the wrong people. Take that vitriol, that passion and put it where it belongs.
The Kerchers lyin’ cheatin’ lawyers.
The Wiki War
The “Murder of Meredith Kercher” Wikipedia page has also been a battleground for the truth and exemplifies why teachers insist that Wikipedia should not be a source used in academics, and for good reason as this page has lavishly illustrated. From 2008 to 2011 the page was being held hostage by Wiki Trolls who edited out the facts and replaced them with the factoids from the prosecution’s arguments, the defense was not represented. In 2011 Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia’s moderator, was called upon to intervene in the blatant misuse of the page as a platform to spread lies. He saw first hand how certain Guilter editors were undermining and banning Innocentisti editors who tried to correct information. Since then the page is making improvements, it is currently 50% correct, but is heavily sourced using a tabloid reporter’s book on the case. Now copycats are springing up as angry Wiki Editors stomp off to create their own pages, including one that looks exactly like the original Wikipedia article. Still acting like college kids, imho, the Wiki War continues to wage.
THE MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE MYTH
This essay serves to outline some, but not all, of the constantly evolving mythology those Internet Trolls refer to as the “Mountain of Evidence.” This mountain is nothing but character assassination and propaganda. There is no basis in fact for much of it, what little that includes a fact is twisted and muddied. The trolls stack the myths, on one top of the other, in an attempt to create a mountain, but this is no mountain, it is not even a molehill, it is dust in the wind. Each Myth is an attempt to deceive the public. Each a heinous lie. And eventually it will come out how each lie was created; someone will take the time to dissect them.
Um, like right now….OH! You know me so well. 😉
This group is being used to insinuate that Amanda and Raffaele have some sort of psychopathy, that they are mentally ill and incorrigible. And you know how bullies can be when they are making shit up, they go on and on and on. The story gets ever more fantastic and bystanders eventually reach a point where they think, “Wait a minute!” This is by no means all that exist; only the most talked about. The facts show three things:
1. Neither student has a history of mental illness or personality disorder, no matter how much a troll, or a Perugian, would like it to be true. It’s the opposite; they are both well-known kind and calm personalities. And you will notice that Amanda received the brunt of the abuse, when people refer to a witch hunt, well, that is exactly what happened. Personally I tried to not accept the connotation of “medieval behavior,” but I finally had to deal with the fact that Perugia is not Milan or Rome. Unlike Salem, Perugia has not advanced past slut-shaming misogynic behavior with a devilish twist.
2.The Perugians did not know Amanda and Raffaele personally when they advanced these assertions three days after they had met them.
3. The Perugians never ordered any sort of psychiatric examination of either student nor contacted such professionals in the hometowns of either student before making such serious assertions.
In essence the Perugians have no proof whatsoever that either student have mental issues, these myths are nothing more than character assassination, one of the easiest tools for authorities to use against the public. The trolls have taken the myths and spent years trying to one up each other with increasingly outlandish lies, some take hold in the blogosphere and some do not.
The Sexy Satanist Myth
The first Big WTH? Public Prosecutor Mignini, on the advice of a spirit channeler, advanced the Satanism Theory because Meredith was killed a day after Halloween, but there is no evidence of Satanic worship done by either Amanda or Raffaele, or their family and friends. The spirit channeler also insinuated that Meredith and Amanda were recruited on the campuses of Leeds University and the University of Washington. I demand to see evidence that the Order of the Red Rose is secretly recruiting on the Husky campus. I mean really, if your red flag is not up right now, then we ARE in trouble. The prosecution portrayed Amanda as an alluring mastermind who was able, using her sexuality, to turn Raffaele and Rudy into her Purse Dogs with a swivel of her hips and a shake of the magic tambourine while dancing naked under a full moon. Oh wait…I think it was a crescent moon. Whatever.
The Foxy Knoxy Myth
Stealing Amanda’s charming childhood nickname was a monstrous insult, but then forcing a lascivious persona on her was mind-boggling; none of these so-called “journalists” had ever met Amanda. The first to use it was British writer, Nick Pisa, who mined Amanda’s MySpace page just after her arrest and used the information to shape Foxy Knoxy into a sex-crazed-maniac for his articles. The real Foxy Knoxy has wings on her feet, like her father, and a short stature, like her mother. Small, fast and smart, just like a fox. Amanda’s soccer teammates dubbed her “Foxy Knoxy” when she was a girl not only because she was exceptionally quick on the pitch, but also had a quick mind to match. The 1967 hit “Foxy Lady,” by Seattle native Jimi Hendrix, is a hugely popular song in the United States and to have “foxy” bestowed as nickname is a great compliment, not just anybody gets to use it. Amanda was one of lucky ones until the British media came along.
The Knife-Boy Myth
Like many young men, Raffaele is interested in guy stuff and that includes knives. Like many guys he carried a pocketknife and he had it him the day he was arrested; it was taken into evidence, tested for DNA and ruled out. His Facebook page was also mined and a silly Halloween picture surfaced showing him wrapped up like a Mummy, holding a cleaver, a look of merry amusement on his face. Raffaele also read Manga in the course of his studies as a computer graphics student, a Japanese genre of science fiction or fantasy themed cartoons, comic books, and animated films that are popular with today’s high school and college students. The trolls spun these two interests together to create the persona called “Knife Boy” and added a completely false accusation of “porn addicted” in a convoluted attempt to “prove” that Raffaele is a violent, lecherous monster that uses knives to heighten his depraved sexual experiences. In reality Raffaele epitomizes the concept of gentleman and has far more integrity than all of the officials in Perugia and all of the trolls on the Internet who conspire against him.
The Kissing Myth
A simple kiss for comfort on a tragic day became one of the very first myths to damn the “behavior” of Amanda and Raffaele. This “infamous kiss” was broadcast to the world that the university students were “making out” at the murder scene and adults everywhere were horrified. First of all, anyone with experience “making out” can tell those pecks, all ten-seconds of them, was not a slobbery, passionate, French kiss. Amanda and Raffaele were not undulating in a bad version of the Lumbata right in front of God and Everybody. It would be to the benefit of horrified adults everywhere to revisit this kiss in the context of how it was given, an emotionless buss, mechanical and perfectly in keeping with people who are in shock and grieving. Much was made of Amanda’s eyes as she looked away, the trolls dramatically call them “the dead, cold eyes of a murderess,” but Amanda’s eyes to the compassionate or the professional show her to be in deep shock at the loss of her friend. Plus Raffaele and Amanda were acutely aware they were under the watchful gaze of several cameras and many gawking bystanders in the road just above them. What is interesting, when you consider it, is that out of more than an hour of filming the two walking around the yard, trying to stay warm, talking with police and the other young people at the scene, only these few seconds of film made the news. More than likely it was hand picked by Public Prosecutor Mignini himself to help push his agenda.
The Amanda is an Insane, Drug-addled Slut Myth
The focus on Amanda’s sex life by both the prosecution and the trolls is disturbing; she is a normal and mundane 20-something. Yet these people persist in feeding the public a steady stream of lies centering on the prosecution’s theory that that Amanda was strung out on nuclear-powered pot, straddling Meredith, butcher knife in hand, drooling and yelling, “You little Saint! Now we will make you have sex!” Oh my, they went on and on in court about erotic sex, rough sex, forced sex, old nasty pervs. Ew. Mignini kept making up dialog between Meredith and Amanda, it was disgusting. Sex and toilets and catfights, they couldn’t get enough of it. Yuck. In 2011, after the court-appointed DNA experts ruled that Amanda’s DNA was nowhere to be found in Meredith’s bedroom, Public Prosecutor Mignini then said “maybe she’s in another room” strung out on nuclear-powered pot, drooling and yelling orders to her lapdogs Raffaele and Rudy. “Now we will make you have sex.” Who says stuff like that? Jeeze, Wait! I just flashed on an SNL moment, two wild and crazy guys! That’s who says stuff like that! It doesn’t belong in a courtroom coming out of a lawyer’s mouth. In late 2007, the foreign media came to Seattle to find dirt on Amanda and they brought blood money, 30 Pieces of Silver. We are still snickering that they left with their wallets intact. But a Nice Girl is boring so when they got home they focused only on the prosecution’s version of events. I think I know who qualifies for the moniker “insane, drug-addled slut” and it isn’t Amanda.
The Amanda Didn’t Cry Myth
Amanda was crying uncontrollably when Meredith’s body was found, her mother testified to that fact, that is why she looks so ragged in the ‘infamous kiss’ video. Amanda was in shock. When taken in context, her behavior proves that she acted like someone who was suffering through a tragedy. She was also seen crying by a number of people at the scene, Raffaele, Filomena Romanelli and her boyfriend, and the other young adults, the police, the press and bystanders in the road above them. The press somehow forgot to release the part of the film showing Amanda crying while they were busily focusing on the Kiss. Then the prosecutors suppressed any reference to Amanda’s grief and told reporters that she was cold and unemotional. All the while she was in solitary confinement unable to speak in her own defense. It was over a year before the truth came out during 2009 court testimony, one after another, witnesses testified that they saw Amanda crying at the scene and in the aftermath of the murder of her dear friend, Meredith.
The Amanda Acted Quirky Myth
The police reported that Meredith’s British girlfriends said Amanda was acting strangely, that Amanda and Raffaele were kissing at the police station, that she refused a hug, that she didn’t cry enough, that she was mean to them and that she swore. Meredith’s British girlfriends saw every nuance as an insult, never taking into consideration what a terrifying day Amanda had been dealing with. The Head of the Scientific Police, Edgardo Giobbi, added to the quirky myth when he decided that Amanda was acting strange because he saw her eating pizza four days after the murder, he felt that she should have “been in bed, crying and grief stricken, not hungry.” During a walk-though of the downstairs apartment, unseen by anyone but him, he claimed that she “swiveled her hips” and acted sexy, adding to the lecherous undertones that police had advanced when referring to the young woman. Giobbi also saw her cry at the crime scene when shown a drawer of knives in her kitchen; she was asked if any were missing and she broke down crying uncontrollably; so he found that “suspicious.” He famously stated to the press that he did not need to see any forensics to ‘know’ that she was guilty of murder. If quirky is illegal then the cops have a whole lot of arrests to make and the Public is in big trouble.
The Catfight Myth
Bratty schoolgirl gossip became “proof of a catfight” for Public Prosecutor Mignini, as he zeroed in on any hint of negativity emanating from Meredith’s British girlfriends. Mignini mined their statements and cherry-picked the conversations specifically to “create” friction, where none existed, between Meredith and Amanda. But in court roommates, friends and other bystanders testified that they never witnessed any “discord” between the young women and, yes, they saw “Amanda crying,” grief-stricken over Meredith’s death. Ironically, it was noted that the court testimonies of the British girls was nearly identical, almost as of they had been coached.
The Amanda Did Not Speak Up for Patrick Myth
Amanda’s Perugian employer, club owner Patrick Lumumba, was caught up in the drama when police forced Amanda to “imagine” where she was in the apartment when Patrick “killed” Meredith. This event occurred during the illegal interrogation and it was the police who told Amanda that Patrick was the killer. She was already sleep deprived and increasingly terrified by their violent behavior towards her, when they shocked her to the core with their insinuation of Patrick’s involvement. Then they lied and said they had evidence against her and that she had “forgotten” what happened due to “shock.” They coerced her to imagine a scenario for them: “If you were in the villa when Patrick killed Meredith, where would you be?” Cowering in the kitchen “covering my ears” was her answer after being threatened with “you will never see your family again” if you don’t comply. Patrick was taken into custody along with Amanda and Raffaele based on this visualization. He was held for two weeks, even with an airtight alibi, until Rudy Guede was arrested. Amanda, once she understood what had happened, retracted her “accusation” of Patrick in her second memoriale, mere hours after giving the police the visualization they wanted. She also expressed remorse in a letter to her lawyer a few days later, but she has been chided by the trolls ever since for “not speaking up for Patrick” during his two-weeks in prison. Obviously that is false as they ignore the fact that she has repeatedly expressed her sorrow for dragging Patrick into the mess and “not being strong enough” to resist interrogation tactics used on Mafia Dons. Like a barely-out-of-her-teens girl can even do that, right? Patrick, once released, quickly joined the Perugians and sued Amanda for slander, he continues to whine like a mule.
The Sexy Undies Myth
The day Meredith was discovered Amanda was locked out of her apartment with only the clothes on her back. The next day, essentially homeless, she bought underwear and this poignant act became sensational fodder for the tabloids and trolls as they endlessly speculated on her personal garment, again reducing Amanda to a sexual object. Was she wearing a sexy thong or granny panties? A shopkeeper’s statement, taken a about a year after the murder said the couple were talking about “hot sex” and that sent the tabloids into another dither. The only problem is, the shopkeeper doesn’t speak English, so he would not understand what they were talking about. Amanda will not have access to any of her personal clothing until her mother brings some to Capanne prison, until that day she had only the prison castoffs handed to her just after the Perugians told her she was going there “for her own protection.” Weeks after her arrest, Amanda’s father was able to retrieve what is left of her personal belongings from the apartment and she didn’t see much of it until she returned home, four years later. This overreaction to a pair of undies leaves one to speculate that the highly indignant trolls must feel that Amanda should not have access to clean clothing. That’s rather barbaric in my opinion.
The Cartwheel Myth
Chief of Homicide Napoleoni is the source of the cartwheel story. Amanda, after sitting in a cramped waiting room while Raffaele was being interrogated (unknown to her), had stood to stretch. A male officer observing commented on her flexibility and, after she shared that she did gymnastics and yoga, he asked for a demonstration of the splits, not a cartwheel. Chief Napoleoni and another female officer witnessed the interaction but did not admonish the male officer for his lewd and unprofessional conduct, then, an hour later, the already prejudiced chief was intimately involved in Amanda’s interrogation. After Amanda’s arrest she spun the story that the young woman had turned a cartwheel and the media embellished it by saying that Amanda was “merrily turning cartwheels in the police station, glad that Meredith was dead.” The lie was faithfully reproduced in a Lifetime movie, a particularly cruel untruth that hurt Meredith’s grieving family.
CASE RELATED MYTHS
This group encompasses court documents and evidence that has been taken out of context or deliberately twisted to benefit the prosecution. It shows how capricious the Perugians are treating their own laws, behavior that is mirrored in the Court of Cassation’s “osmotic” requests. They wanted the Florence appeal court to revisit the Sex Game theory and check out Raffaele’s fingernails, but the judges argued about poo in the loo instead. Did they finally allow the defense access to long-denied evidence? Noooo, they did not. Hmmm, I wonder why there is no myth about that?
The Poor Black Boy Myth
Rudy Guede killed Meredith Kercher in a violent home invasion and his DNA alone was present in Meredith’s bedroom, the murder scene. Yet with all this obvious connection to the murder, Guede has continually been swept under the rug by the Perugians and excused as a hapless bystander who “tried to save Meredith.” The Race Card has been played continually to try and paint Guede as a “poor black boy” who is being picked on by the racist defense, and by extension—racist Americans. But one must ask oneself how did a “poor black boy” afford one of the most well connected and expensive lawyers in town? And why are the Perugians protecting him from public scrutiny? Why is so much effort being expended to shield a killer? This from the very same people who targeted Amanda’s black employer, Patrick Lumumba, and then blamed his false arrest on her.
The Massei Motivation Myth
A Motivation is written by an Italian judge to explain his verdict in a trial. This was written after the 2009 Trial of the First Instance and gives the reasoning for the Guilty Verdict. One would think that much care would be taken when sentencing two 20-somethings to a quarter century in prison for a murder they did not commit, yet this important proclamation is riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions. Even worse than the actual trial. A majority of the legal professionals who have reviewed it remarked that it has the look of being “written by a staffer” who did not bother to fact-check and they find it shocking that any judge would sign it, yet that is exactly what Judge Massei did. The trolls are quite fond of this document and hold it up as proof that Amanda and Raffaele are murderers, while minimizing the mistakes it contains.
The 10,000 Pages of Legal Documents Myth
The prosecution heaped a mountain of libelous factoids upon the murder investigation and the trolls often point to “10,000 pages” in some file as proof of their accuracy. But I say to you, dear readers, doesn’t EVERY legal case produce that and more as a matter of course? In fact, the defense has also produced 10,000 pages. So what the trolls are really trying to get you to buy into is that the accuracy of any legal discourse is to be judged by the amount of paperwork it produces, how many pages in a file. That is just silly, or a bureaucrat said it, either way the utter stupidity behind this myth is mind boggling.
The Constantly Changing Alibi Myth
In an 8-hour period overnight on November 5th and 6th, 2007, both Amanda and Raffele were encouraged by police to imagine certain scenarios; those imaginations were artfully spun as fact. Except for this 8-hour period, the innocent university students have never wavered from their original statements; “We were at Raffaele’s apartment when Meredith was killed.” Amanda did not have a firm grasp of the Italian language when she was illegally interrogated without a lawyer or accredited interpreter present. In fact she didn’t have an interpreter, as provided by law, from November 2, 2007, when questioning began, until after she was arrested on November 6, 2007. She spent an entire week being grilled by foreign cops without an interpreter, what sort of professional does that? Oh right! The ones that are framing you for murder. A few Italians around her, like Raffaele, had a slightly better grasp of English than Amanda’s Italian, but none of them were qualified to question her about the murder in English. Amanda constantly reframed of both questions and answers, struggling to make herself understood. The police capitalized on the language barrier and instead of calling in an interpreter they spun the perfectly normal, and expected, lack of understanding to the media as “multiple attempts to change their alibis.” The cherry on top was adding cherry-picked statements from the confused ramblings in Amanda’s two memoriales and the coerced-compliant confessions from both students to the language barrier present during the numerous interviews.
The 47 Stab Wounds Myth
One of the crueler fables centers on Meredith’s autopsy in which there are over 40 abrasions, bruises and cuts in addition to the fatal knife wound on the left side of her neck. The trolls spun all of the injuries, which include “contact wounds” on the right side of her neck and her fingers, as Amanda terrorizing and torturing her by “pricking her repeatedly” with the knife. By reading the coroner’s report is it easy to see that this myth is not true and is deliberately misleading in order to ramp up the public’s emotion to incite them in what is already unfounded accusations against an innocent woman.
The Text Message Myth
Amanda worked for Patrick Lumumba at his club, a job she found shortly after arriving in Perugia and her text message to him the night of the murder, “See you later, good night” was twisted to mean “let’s make an appointment for later” instead of simply “goodbye.” Patrick spent two weeks in prison until police caught Rudy Guede and played the old switch-a-roo with the two black men. Magically the text message is still “incriminating” and trotted out as proof of slander now, instead of murder and mayhem.
The Staged Break-in Myth
Rudy Guede assumed that the villa tenants were gone for the weekend when he threw the rock through the bedroom window of Meredith and Amanda’s roommate, Filomena Romanelli. Then he waited to see if someone would be alerted and when no one noticed, he climbed in. Some of his movements were caught on CCTV in a garage across the street. Police know that a rock serves these two purposes in burglaries, yet it was they who decided that this particular rock was thrown from the inside in an attempt by Amanda and Raffaele to fool them. The room was lightly processed and not even considered as a Point of Entry. The “staged” theory was mentioned in passing by an officer without crimescene credentials and used by the prosecution to further their agenda by saying it would be “impossible” for anyone to break in using that window. In 2013 a local climbing expert demonstrated for a British documentary how easy it was to climb up to Filomena’s window.
The Mixed Blood Myth
Although it was not entered as evidence in court, the trolls claim that Amanda’s blood was found mixed with Meredith’s blood in samples collected from various locations in the apartment. But these samples are of Amanda’s cellular DNA mixed with blood tracked around by Rudy Guede. Or the blood could also have been tracked around by any of the 20 or so people who walked through faint bloody footprints on the floor of the apartment the next day, footprints that were nearly invisible to the naked eye. Amanda and Meredith lived together so their DNA would be mixed in their apartment, as would their roommates and guests, but it’s important to note that the police did not check for the other roommates DNA in any of the samples in question. And it’s also important to note that after the crime scene was contaminated by those 20 or so people, then the Scientific Police cross-contaminated the entire crime scene further by not following forensic protocol.
The Footprint Myth
Guede left a number of bloody shoe and footprints at the scene: In Meredith’s bedroom on the floor and a pillowcase found under her body. On a rug in Meredith and Amanda’s bathroom. And he left a trail of shoeprints from her bedroom to the front door that shows the moment he fled her apartment. The very same shoeprints that would be walked on by 20 or so people the next day. The myth attributes a few of these prints to both Amanda and Raffaele. Amanda proved in court that the bloody shoeprint in Meredith’s room was Guede’s half-shoeprint on the pillowcase, not her own foot. Raffaele proved in court that his shoes did not match the concentric rings of the bloody shoeprints, instead the rings matched Guede’s own shoes as evidenced by the empty box and dirty shoeprints found in his apartment. Raffaele also proved in court that the bloody footprint in the girl’s bathroom was Guede’s foot and did not match his own. After Raffaele proved the bloody prints were not his, the prosecution returned to the villa and magically “found” the infamous Bra Clasp, 46 days later from an unsecured crime scene.
The Double DNA Knife and The Bra Clasp Myth
The independent experts appointed by the 2011 appeal judges were “astonished” that the Bra Clasp and Knife ever made it into the courtroom as neither item was collected or processed under international standards. The lab was not certified to perform Low Copy Number (LCN) runs and did not provide proper documentation to prove decontamination protocol was followed between runs. Plus, one of the samples used from the Knife, reputed to be Meredith, was too miniscule to be tested twice, as required by law. The lab technician’s notes show the machine telling her that the sample was “too low” repeatedly, meaning the sample was insufficient to make an accurate reading. The Knife did test positive for DNA, bread starch DNA and Amanda’s DNA on the handle. It was never bleached, as insinuated by the prosecution, only wiped off—leaving evidence of Amanda preparing a meal, a common occurrence in Raffaele’s kitchen. The 2013 Florence appeal concurred that only Amanda’s DNA is on the handle because she used the knife to cook with. The Bra Clasp, collected 46 days after the murder from an unsecured scene should have never been entered into evidence. It was ridiculously contaminated and accompanied by a Keystone Cops DNA Collection video that elicited gasps and laughter by those attending court when it was shown during the 2011 appeal. The “20 skin cells” that are said to be Raffaele’s on the hook of the bra, could also be thousands other Italian men that share the partial ethnic DNA profile. The location of DNA is also at odds with the physics of ripping off a bra, it would not be expected to be found on the hook, rather on the rest of the garment in the places where Guede’s DNA was found.
The Clean-Up Myth
Amanda and Raffaele were accused of buying bleach and cleaning up the crime scene. No bleach receipts were found, as the Perugians initially reported, only pizza receipts. And it was never proven exactly how they could clean up only their DNA while leaving Rudy’s. The truth is, they could not have done that, no one can. Except for God Himself.
THE MIGHTY AND MUCH FEARED KNOX PR MACHINE MYTH
The trolls call us the “Groupies” who drank “Kool-Aid,” but in reality we are simply volunteers who helped out in a tragedy, and the plight of the Kerchers, Amanda and Raffaele is tragic. After reading all of the other myths, I guess you can see why one was started about the advocacy members—the propaganda machine is covering all bases. We never knew that we would become a myth and we think it’s hilarious to visualize that trolls think we are gathered in some smoky backroom of the Internet plotting to take over the brains of the US and Italian people. When you take a step back and look at it, you realize that it is impossible for everyone’s brain to have been sucked up by Gogerty-Marriott and that our every utterance is spoon-fed pabulum to the public. The advocacy membership is far too discriminating to accept pap, far to independent to follow the crowd.
But the truth is simple, so let me just whip out Occam’s Razor and give that grisly stubble an exacting shave.
The day after Amanda’s arrest, November 7, 2007, hundreds of requests for interviews inundated her family while they were trying to focus on her situation in Perugia. She was terrified; she didn’t understand why she had been sent to prison simply to be placed in “protective custody.” Edda was in town and the police were denying her access to Amanda, it was a horrifying, mind-boggling situation for the entire family.
The paparazzi appeared on the West Seattle lawns overnight, like little brown mushrooms and they were just as toxic too, demanding interviews. The jackals followed family members and snapped pictures that would appear in the European tabloids the very next day. They broke federal law’s tampering with Knox family mail, gone through and scattered on the lawn, and there were phone calls at all hours of the day and night.
I am a witness to the barbaric treatment of these poor people. My whole community saw with our own eyes what the media was doing to the Knox family in real time, not some discussion on a forum. It was terrifying to watch, because as average citizens we knew that it could happen to us too, who among us would know how to deal with the press in a situation like that? Precious few.
After three days of being assaulted by the local, national and international media, and fearing for his family, Curt told his coworkers what was happening and by an amazing stoke of good luck someone knew of Gogerty-Marriott. The firm had a crisis management department that dealt with the media and so the family sought advice. After they were hired, by family consensus (BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING TERRORIZED), Gogerty-Marriott forced the media to behave by instituting a protocol for talking to Amanda’s family. They now had a buffer zone from the press camped out on their doorsteps and someone to help them navigate the bewildering array of cameras stuck in their faces. They had someone to help them learn how to do interviews, because it’s not as easy as some might think.
But most importantly, NOW they could put their full attention on Amanda and what was happening in Italy.
When Gogerty-Marriott sent the media jackals packing, Oh My, how they grumbled and gnashed their teeth. Stomped away like whiny little babies vowing revenge, so they went home and started trash-talking Amanda. Not just “big time” either, they went nuclear in one of the most vicious assaults on a kid, an innocent kid, that I have ever witnessed. The neighborhood and local police now tell the assholes (can I say that here?) to take a hike, nobody puts up with the paparazzi anymore.
The Dawgs chased off the jackals. Ha-ha!
But the Perugians, ever the propagandists, immediately accused Amanda’s family of trying to influence public opinion and the trolls went frothing at the mouth berserk with that little nugget of information. This is where the whole PR Machine Myth originated and it’s evolved into (take your pick) Amanda’s dad, stepdad, David Marriott or Bruce Fischer sucking brains out and turning supporters into mindless zombies. Yeah, we had a hearty laugh, I hope you did too. Pretty ridiculous when one begins to consider the logistics. The Europeans in particular were suspicious of this need for Gogerty-Marriott, many discovered that they were unaware that hundreds of media outlets were besieging the family in Seattle. They thought it was just a few.
In reality the Knox family was trying to get a pack of baying hounds back into the kennel, not fit the public with tin hats.
As the case progressed through the Italian courts, people who studied it began to speak out against the illegalities occurring in Perugia. Websites like Friends of Amanda and Injustice in Perugia brought together a faction of unpaid supporters, like myself, who worked together to get the Defense Point of View into the news so that the uninformed public had access to both sides of this compelling story. Mainstream and tabloid news follows social media in all of its forms and we soon discovered that we had a voice in the blogosphere, those of us so inclined began to write about the case.
Like the saying goes, the Truth Didn’t Get It’s Pants On Faster Than The Lie, so it was after the 2009 Guilty Verdict that the Innocentisti (as the Italians call us) really began to get information out to the public. Up to that point knowledge on the case was hideously lopsided in favor of Prosecutor Mignini. Bruce Fischer was instrumental in bringing us all together when he started Injustice In Perugia. Its forum quickly became an international think tank; the discussions are fascinating and exasperating. But access to legal and science professionals has allowed the public to sift through the information and ask as many questions as they want. Bruce gathered together interviews, blogs, professional journalists and citizen journalists. Volunteers helped him compile what would eventually become a very nice library on the case.
Injustice In Perugia evolved into Injustice Anywhere, both websites are dedicated to giving average citizens a voice and chance to interact with professionals. A chance to have both a soapbox for their innocent loved ones and a place to ask questions.
The volunteers are wholly separate from Gogerty-Marriott, although we have a rolling joke on the forum about being “employees.” We have embellished the PR Myth with a private jet, a private yacht, a secret beach near Tulum, a private villa on the Riviera, a pent house in New York, London and Rome.
Oh yes, AND a supertanker, another nickname lovingly bestowed upon our honest efforts by the Guilters. Ironically, the Friends of Amanda advocacy group originally applied the term “supertanker” to the Perugians, in early 2008, as they remarked upon the Smear Campaign mounted against Amanda. Classic bully behavior, Projectionism specifically, “I’m not a supertanker, you are! Neeyah!!” This, of course, elicits more laughter as we sip fine brandy and puff on expensive cigars in our luxuriously appointed secret headquarters. Forum members have great fun with it; they are a very creative and diverse group, sinners and saints and Machiavellians, all mixed together.
In reality we are the epitome of a Grassroots Effort and only Amanda’s family uses the services of Gogerty-Marriott.
The fact remains that neither Gogerty-Marriott nor the Knox family has any influence on what the unpaid volunteers say or print; they don’t need to control us because we can see the truth for ourselves. Our efforts are all about alerting the public to the injustices that happened to two very nice young adults.
So there you go, baby butt smooth, Occam’s Razor works every time, how about a splash of Bay Rum? Now, I ask you, isn’t the truth better than some raggedy-ass, “brain-sucking” zombie BS? Especially when they cannot come up with a better beverage than Kool-Aid, EW!
The real Amanda Knox is an American girl who made friends easily and is well known for her compassion. She is funny, laughs often, and has a dedicated group of friends helping her family. Amanda is a serious student who belongs to the National Honor Society and the Dean’s list at the University of Washington. She spoke fondly of her new friends, Meredith, the beautiful English girl with whom she attended the famed Perugian Chocolate Festival and a concert, and Raffaele, the cute Italian guy she dated who looked like Harry Potter. She is heartbroken by the gulf between her and Meredith’s family because of the actions of the Perugian authorities.
The real Raffaele Sollecito is what every Italian man aspires to be, cultured, courteous, and well educated. He is soft spoken with a witty sense of humor and also has a dedicated group of friends helping his family. While in prison he finished one degree and had nearly completed another by the time he was released, he has since earned the second degree and would like to go to work, but the Italian judiciary is holding him hostage. When Meredith was murdered, rendering Amanda homeless, he elected to stay with her until her mother arrived, as any true gentleman would have done. He endured prison with grace and serenity and has remained Amanda’s faithful friend. Now he wants to quietly live his life, free from the fear that the Perugians might snatch him off the street.
They have already done that once.
In essence, the vast majority of what the public has read about Amanda and Raffaele is false. Many had no idea that the Public Prosecutor of Perugia, Giuliano Mignini, had mounted a Smear Campaign against them. Or that the media and Internet trolls were perpetrating those myths to the point that only those who closely studied the case were able to separate fact from fiction.
I have found that “complicated” task to be easy if you reject anything that the prosecution advances, not to be one-sided, but because they are liars.
Any propagandist will tell you that you only need a few people to start repeating a lie for it to spread on the Internet and become part of the mythology of any subject. The blogosphere is full of lies and half-truths as evidenced by Snopes and other fact-check sites; this case is no different. The Prosecution started all of these Myths in 2007 to advance their own agenda and the result is that in 2014 most of the public knows only one side of the case. But that is beginning to change because the media finally fact-checked and volunteers helped the Knox and Sollecito families.
The bottom line is that people deserve to know that Rudy Guede killed Meredith Kercher in a violent home invasion and that he acted alone. You deserve to know that forensics back up that claim. You deserve to know that Amanda and Raffaele had nothing to do with the murder and were not present when it occurred.
Justice for Meredith, Amanda and Raffaele can only be achieved by truth and these myths only serve only to prolong the agony of these three innocent families. Being able to winnow truth from myth in this case is a big first step toward that ultimate goal of justice done.