November 1, 2007, Perugia, 9:03pm. CCTV Telecamera #7, located in a garage across the street from Via Della Pergola 7, captures the image of a woman walking into the garage, seven years later that image has resurfaced and some are speculating if it might be Amanda Knox, the roommate of slain exchange student Meredith Kercher of Britain. The same camera also captured Meredith’s legs as she took the last few steps toward her doom, she would be dead within an hour of arriving home. Meredith was murdered by Rudy Guede, a local burglar, who had already broken into the apartment she shared with three other women, she entered not realizing that there was a prowler just out of sight. Guede’s palm, finger and footprints in Meredith’s blood were found in her bedroom (the murder scene), on her purse, a rug in her bathroom, and trailing down the hall to the front door. Guede’s DNA was also found on her body and clothing, but police did not care about the story Meredith’s savaged body told.
In a classic case of tunnel vision the Perugian authorities focused on Meredith’s American roommate, Amanda Knox, and we witnessed xenophobia rear its ugly head. The vendetta against Amanda continues as these nine frames of the long discarded video are being used to cast doubt on her version of events the night Meredith died. This video is one more pathetic and cruel attempt to abuse a person who is already suffering under a crushing weight. In effect, Italy is using Amanda as a whipping post for every indiscretion the US government has ever committed in Europe, or any American woman for that matter. They are enjoying themselves watching this young girl battle against insurmountable odds and they are even sacrificing one of their own citizens, Raffaele Sollecito, to justify what they are doing to Amanda. Amanda and Raffaele had been dating for a week when the Perugian officials trapped them in the judicial system by falsely accusing them of murder. In Italy a prosecutor can say and do whatever they want and a defendant must prove every lie false, it’s like swatting at a disturbed nest of hornets.
This mystery woman in the video being bandied about as “possibly” being Amanda is based on an enlarged, fuzzy picture released to the public, but when you compare the real with the faux Amanda it is easy to see three key things, the hair and the body size are different and the woman is carrying her bag on the opposite shoulder.
The first five frames of the clip show that this lady is several dress sizes bigger than Amanda’s petite and slender 20-year old frame; even without a clear shot of her face she appears older than Amanda as well. This woman’s hair is also smooth and shiny; the lights from the garage glinting off it, and it appears to be longer than Amanda’s 2007 shoulder length cut, it is pulled back in a clip or messy bun. As creatures of habit, we all have a favorite shoulder for our purses, bags and backpacks, this woman is carrying hers on the left, Amanda carries hers on the right. Amanda and this lady also have different gaits. This woman walks like a dancer, toes pointed out, as opposed to Amanda, who is slightly pigeon-toed.
In an industry well-known for its off-camera primping and critical eye for fashion, even the interns can see that is not Amanda. So purposely trying to fool the public with a deliberately edited frame and copying each other’s headlines of “Footage Casts Doubt Over Knox’s Alibi” is intentional misdirection on the part of the media to garner clicks, drive the Buzz Meter or start a Trend. They copy and pasted the defaming photo like robots, never bothering to take a close look at the video as whole. This behavior is oft-repeated to the point that the media must believe that they have the right to destroy someone’s life without a second thought.
Quarto Grado, the Italian crime show who released the video, also showed a police photo taken of Amanda’s clothing in her room at the villa, insinuating that a gray garment in her closet was the same coat the woman was wearing. However another police photo taken at the same time, from a slightly different angle, shows that the same garment is much too thin to be the puffy coat bundling up the mystery lady.
This is not the first time that this particular video has made the rounds, it was reviewed and discarded during the initial 2007 investigation, except for two instances that show a man walking toward the villa thought to be Guede, his back to the camera, just before Meredith legs are seen walking toward the villa on the opposite side of the street.
The media is abusing the Buzz Meter like a junky needing a fix. Their vainglorious attempts to explain how two people can be involved in a murder while not leaving any hard evidence exposes the ugly underbelly of an industry that churns out made-for-TV-movies and fauxumentaries for their own self-gratification. This latest silly and irreverent behavior has reignited the fantasy Amanda was not with Raffaele enjoying a pleasant evening, instead they speculate that she randomly left to help a stranger kill her friend in a bloody and gruesome murder.
A murder in which there is no trace of her but copious amounts of the real killer, Rudy Guede.
The public is being conditioned to look for guilt where there is none and the appalling behavior of the media in this high-profile case is proof that the days of true investigative reporting are dead. The public must now take it upon themselves to find out the truth regarding any number of topics on today’s news. Disasters, politics, shampoo ingredients, food production and international murder investigations all require the average person to do research themselves in order to see both sides of the story so that they can make an informed decision.
Gone are the days of Walter Cronkite, today the talking heads Tweet that Amanda “knows more than she is telling” in an overt attempt to drive the Buzz Meter and garner attention for their overinflated egos.
This continual Slut Shaming of Amanda reveals misogyny on every level, from the original prosecutor, to the Supreme Court, to the breakfast tables of condescending old women, as people pontificate about a girl they have never met. I find it supremely ironic that the same media who beats a path to the door of the serial killer’s family, hangs on their every word, then solemnly discusses details from the interviews, cannot seem to wrap their heads around the fact that neither Raffaele nor Amanda has a criminal record, much less any sign of a troubled childhood.
Worse, the media completely misses that the prosecutor who first accused these two kids, and set this whole mess in motion with the stroke of a pen, has multiple decades of abusing citizens in his own public record. To date Perugia’s public prosecutor has falsely accused over 20 people of crimes they did not commit, yet by accident or design the media never mentions that fact. No, they trot out ridiculous videos to endlessly discuss.
This case is certainly a cause for reform, Italy needs to redefine the Public Prosecutor’s role and it needs to allow the Appellate and Supreme levels to apply reverse osmosis to case files full of factually incorrect information provided by dishonest prosecutors. After witnessing that what is happening to Amanda is the norm in Italy, I hope the Italian people rise up against these abuses of their Human Rights, for themselves as well as for visitors to their shores.
Amanda and Raffaele’s case is also a call to redefine what Freedom of Speech really means regarding the media and the internet, because, as a member of the public, I didn’t mean for this Protection to become a License To Lie.