Home » Wrongful Convictions » The forty myths that convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito – Part two

The forty myths that convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito – Part two

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy

Part Two – Myths one to twenty

Myth 1 – The Confession that was not a confession

There never was a confession, though this is not what the Rag inspired trolls would have you believe.  Amanda and Raffaele were tired, nervous and traumatised, following the murder and had been helping the police whenever they were asked to, every day.  Mignini arranged to bring in crack interrogation teams, who usually worked on Mafia suspects.  Former FBI agent Steve Moore describes in detail how the non-confession (in fact a confused, police induced, ‘false memory’) was obtained, here:  http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/FBI7.html  All Amanda ever said was that she imagined a vision.  Lumumba’s name was pushed at her by her interrogators.  The convenient absence of recordings, the lack of an independent interpreter and the refusal by the police to allow her a lawyer, tells you all you need to know.  In spite of all this pressure, Amanda did not admit to any involvement in a murder and did not name the real murderer, Rudy Guede.  How could she have done, when she was not there? 

 The lie is given by Edgardo Giobbi (chief investigator), “She told us what we knew to be true” –  which means they kept at her till she told them what they wanted to hear. Not truth or lies, but what they wanted to hear. If she hadn’t done it in 3 hours, they’d have taken 6, and if not 6 then 12. She never stood a chance.”  – commentator ‘freeski’, on the Injustice Anywhere Forum.

Myth 2 – Amanda changed her story countless times

Candace Dempsey explains:

 “Amanda and Raffaele changed their alibis only once –during their controversial, lawyer-less, all night interrogations – and immediately changed them back.  None of the other roommates was questioned in this way.  In fact, Amanda’s two Italian roommates hired lawyers the moment they heard about the murder, as did the victim’s Italian boyfriend.  Amanda wrote a letter on Nov. 9, 2007 to her lawyers, questioning the Patrick story – only a few days after her arrest.  She has apologized to him in court on more than one occasion.”     

Commentator Stu Lyster:

I find it strange to find that Amanda Knox is accused of lies, when the police controlled all information about what she was supposed to have said or not said.  All three of those wrongly arrested on the morning of Nov 6, 2007, tell stories of being abused at interrogation.  Then they were in solitary confinement, and the lies being told were what the police were telling each the other was saying. . .   None of the three of them were in a position either to lie or not lie, because the confessions were written out for them. They either signed or not signed, and the latter had consequences – slaps, etc. . .  At some point all these myths about “lies” have to be seen for what they are.”

 The police claimed that Amanda had information that only the killer would know, like the fact that Meredith was stabbed in the neck, but she was told this during her journey to the police station immediately after the murder. 

Myth 3 – Amanda and Raffaele bought bleach and destroyed evidence

This is one of the most persistent myths and remains widely believed.  It came straight from the police.  On November 19th 2007, the London Times reported:

“Police said that further evidence against Mr Sollecito had come to light in the form of receipts from a shop near his flat for bleach, bought on the morning after the murder and allegedly used to clean an 8in kitchen knife and Mr Sollecito’s Nike trainers. The first receipt was timed at 8.30am on November 2, and the second 45 minutes later, suggesting that the first container of bleach had not been sufficient. The bleach was also used to clean up the flat itself.”

This was an incredibly detailed smear and was a complete lie.  The police even produced receipts which on examination proved not to be for bleach purchase at all.  One year after the crime, a local store owner came forward to say that he had seen Amanda buy bleach on the morning after the crime.  He described her as wearing clothing she did not possess and his testimony was refuted by his own checkout girl.  Claims that the flat was cleaned are untrue.  Bleach leaves smears and these would be obvious during luminol testing.  It would be impossible to clean a crime scene and selectively remove DNA and no credible source has claimed that this happened.  Rudy Guede’s DNA was found in Meredith’s room and on her body.  Amanda and Raffaele’ DNA was not.  It is that simple.  This story came from the police and the man directing the police operation was Mignini.  It is hard to see how this could have been anything other than a deliberate attempt to float a lie in the media and prejudice a future jury.    

Myth 4 – The simulated break-in

The claim made by the police that the break-in was faked is arguably the most important single prosecutorial decision in the entire case.  It fatally derailed the whole investigation – perhaps deliberately – and it inevitably led to the arrest of Amanda and Raffaele.

Harry Rag repeatedly lies:

“No-one managed to scale the wall and climb through the window when Sollecito’s defense team attempted to show that it was possible.” 

The truth is somewhat different:

ABC News – July 2009:

Prosecutors say Knox and Sollecito staged a break-in to make the murder appear to be the result of a botched theft. A window in the bedroom of Filomena Romanelli, Knox and Kercher’s housemate was broken, and glass shards and a 9-pound rock were found in the room. The prosecution presented witnesses and evidence that suggest the window was broken from the inside.

Francesco Pasquali, a retired forensic police officer hired as a consultant by Sollecito’s defence, presented a video in court that included three different scenarios showing how the rock could have been thrown from the outside to break the window, located 13 feet off the ground.

According to Pasquali, the rock was thrown from a terrace across from the window, making the glass “explode” on the inside and spreading glass fragments everywhere on the inside and the outside of the windowsill.

Pasquali said that he had re-created the same conditions that were found in Romanelli’s room at the time of the break-in. Pasquali said he constructed a window of the same size, with the same paint and the same type of glass, and threw the rock through it into a room with the same characteristics as Romanelli’s room. Two video cameras — one inside and one outside — filmed the rock being thrown through the glass.

By analyzing the trajectory of the rock and the projection of the glass shards, Pasquali said he could “exclude that the glass could have been broken from the inside.”

Myth 5 – ‘My people killed your people’

Irrelevant but often repeated is the story that Amanda is anti-Semitic.  It started out in February 2008, soon after the murder, as a quote in the Seattle paper, ‘The Stranger’ in an article written by Charles Mudede.  This is the full quote:

 You know, a lot of people are saying she is a sweet girl and they can’t believe she could have done such a thing.  But, to be honest, I’m not surprised she is a suspect. Really.  The first time I met her, when I got the job here, she asked me if I was Jewish. I told her I was.  She then screamed: ‘My people killed your people and began laughing hysterically.  I didn’t know what to say.  She just kept laughing about her Germans killing my Jews.  After that, I did not like her.  She really freaked me out.”

 It is attributed to an anonymous ‘friend’ of Mudede’s called ‘Matthew’.  His identity has never been revealed.  It is likely that he does not exist and the quote and the person are figments of Mudede’s imagination.  The quote quickly went viral in the heated atmosphere created by Mignini and contributed to the public perception of Amanda as cruel, heartless and likely to be a brutal killer.          

 Myth 6 – The cartwheel

Seattle writer Karen Pruett researched the cartwheel myth back in 2010.  The story first surfaced in February 2009, almost a year and a half after the event is alleged to have occurred.  Amanda was waiting in the police station while Raffaele was being interrogated.  She began to stretch and strike a few yoga poses to ease cramp and tension.  This attracted attention and inappropriate comments from a policeman.  There was no cartwheel.  Amanda’s mother confirmed that the space Amanda was waiting in was too small for her to have been able to do a cartwheel even if she had wanted to.  The myth was picked up by the media because only murderers do cartwheels (obviously).  

Myth 7 – The riotous party in Seattle

There was a party and there was noise.  It was a student party.  Neighbours called the police.  Amanda answered the door and being sober and organised she paid the fine and collected donations from her friends.  There were allegations of rock throwing but no one was seen throwing anything.  You can see the noise ticket here, courtesey of Candace Dempsey:  http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/files/library/knoxincidentreport.pdf

In the city of Seattle

I was on uniformed patrol in the marked unit as 3U5. At approximately 0028 hours, I responded to the report of a loud party in the listed location. The complainant relayed to dispatch that participants from the party were throwing rocks at his house and at passing cars. The complainant requested officer not contact him. Upon arrival, I noted loud amplified music coming from the listed address. The music could be heard from a distance greater than 75 ft from the source. I also noted several rocks in the street. I did not locate any damage at that time. I contacted a party participant and had them retrieve a resident.

S1/Knox contacted me (in front of the house). She stated that she was one of the current residents. She stated that she was the one who was hosting the party (as she was moving out). She stated that she was not aware of any rock throwers at the gathering.

I issued S1/Knox this infraction for the noise violation and a warning for the rock throwing. I explained how dangerous and juvenile that action was.

See Cad event 264012 for further.

No further action taken at this time.

Myth 8 – Amanda brought strange men back to the flat

London Times, November 19th 2007:

Italian press reports at the weekend said that Ms Kercher had often rowed with Ms Knox over her “slovenliness” in the bathroom and her habit of bringing home strange men.” 

This story was planted by the prosecution.  Amanda’s own statement revealing the number of men she had sex with in her whole life (see Myth 12) shows that there was only one man she brought back to the flat, apart from Raffaele.  Meredith was in a relationship with one of the men downstairs and there is no evidence that either Amanda or Meredith had the least concern about the others’ men friends.

Myth 9 – Foxy Knoxy name origins

Amanda was nicknamed ‘Foxy’ when she played soccer as a child.  She was (and remains) athletic, lithe and sure footed.  She kept the name and used it on her MySpace page.  Big mistake.  Nick Pisa, an Italian based freelance journalist and frequent Daily Mail contributer came across the name and immediately recognised its tabloid potential.  From then on, Pisa and the Mail used it at every opportunity and proceeded to trash Amanda’s character.   

Myth 10 – Investigators found Amanda and Meredith’s mixed blood

There was no mixed blood but this myth is one that Harry Rag and his friends always repeat.  The forensics team that collected samples at the cottage thought it was appropriate to wipe a swab in a sample of what turned out to be Meredith’s blood on the bathroom tap or wall and then smear it around random patches of wall, thereby collecting the DNA of Amanda, who shared the bathroom.  There is nothing surprising about finding Amanda’s DNA in her own bathroom – it should have been there and is not incriminating in the slightest.  The mixing was done by the forensics team during collection.  Videos of this sloppy procedure were shown to the court during the second trial.      

Myth 11 – Amanda had a wound on her neck

Amanda had a hickey on her neck.  The police knew that at the time.  John Follain alleges in his guilt-leaning book that it was more:

“Laura noticed that Amanda had a long vertical red scratch in the middle of her throat.  Laura was certain that Amanda didn’t have that scratch on the day Meredith died – the last day Laura had seen Amanda.  Questioned by Napoleoni, Laura said, ‘I absolutely rule out that it could have been a love bite or an injury other than a scratch.’”

It would have been impossible for Amanda and Raffaele to have been involved in a violent murder in a small room without sustaining even a scratch, yet they were both examined after they were arrested and nothing was found.  This absence of evidence has not prevented myths being propagated and smears appearing.  Follain again:

Robyn guessed that she’d chosen the long thick socks to cover up scratch marks”. 

There were smears and implications but no evidence and no photographs.

Myth 12 – Amanda had seven lovers in the two months she was in Italy

One of Mignini’s more original ruses was to arrange for a ‘doctor’ (read ‘prison guard in a white coat’) to tell Amanda that a blood test result showed that she was HIV positive, no doubt with the expectation that this news would prompt her to implicate Guede as a sexual partner.  When Amanda then made a list of all the sexual partners in her life (seven), it was taken from her and given to the tabloid press who reported that she had had sex with seven men during her short time in Italy.  This misrepresentation helped to convict her in the public’s mind.  The organiser of this stunt should face criminal charges for lying or fabricating medical test results.

Myth 13 – The washing machine was warm

As soon as Amanda and Raffaele were arrested, reports began to circulate that the flat’s washing machine was warm when the police arrived and it was implied that incriminating and bloody clothes had just been washed by the murderers.  In fact, the machine was cold and contained clothes that had been placed there by Meredith twenty four hours before.  It is likely that she was attacked as soon as she arrived home and before she had even had time to empty the machine.  Amanda and Raffaele had no clothes missing.  Every item that they had ever been seen wearing was accounted for and was not blood stained.    

Myth 14 – Amanda showered in a blood soaked bathroom

There were a few specks of blood that even the police did not find suspicious until after Meredith’s body had been discovered.  Later the police sprayed pink dye around the bathroom, took photographs and released them to the press to imply that this was how the bathroom had looked before the investigation started.

Myth 15 – Amanda was weird because she went home to shower

Amanda lived a few minutes walk from Raffaele.  She had a change of clothes and all her toiletries back at her flat.  Naturally she went back there to shower before getting changed and ready for the planned trip to Gubbio.

Myth 16 – Amanda bought sexy underwear

Amanda was locked out of her flat because it was a crime scene.  She had no access to her clothes and belongings.  She bought a pair of clean knickers.  Amanda and Raffaele were already being followed and monitored by the police.  The security film from the store and a statement from an employee (who did not speak English) were later used by the police as part of the myth and smear campaign.

Myth 17 – Amanda acted inappropriately after the murder

Commentator Quentin Zoerhof : 

 On the issue of Knox’s “behavior” it is apparent that the press heard only what it wanted to hear and disregarded the rest.  If you look at the entire clip of her and Raffaele kissing in slow motion, you get a very different impression.  He initiates the chaste encounter (he has since said she was distraught and he was trying to comfort her), and when she turns away from him she looks hollow eyed and stricken.

Abundant evidence was offered at trial that Knox was devastated by Meredith Kercher’s death.  She wasn’t sleeping or eating and she was crying constantly.  But for some reason the press chose to ignore all this and focus only on the testimony of the most hostile witnesses.”

Myth 18 – The multi-million pound PR operation

Quentin Zoerhof reports from America again:

“The idea that the coverage was influenced by the family’s hiring a public relations firm seems to have some currency in the UK but is viewed as rather silly in the US.  The Marriott firm is a very small (app. 12 employee) firm based in Seattle and its ability to influence the national media here is close to zero.  The firm’s basic responsibility was to help the family choose which interviews to grant from hundreds if not thousands of requests.  It helped family members to develop a message and to stay on it.  But the firm had nothing to do with the large volunteer effort that emerged on Ms. Knox’s behalf nor did it set up any web sites.  What did influence coverage immensely was the work of two highly respected, prize-winning U.S. journalists: Tim Eagan of the New York Times and Peter Van Sant of CBS.  Egan’s thunderous denunciations of the proceedings in Perugia had an incalculable influence here.  And Van Sant used two segments of the 48 Hours program to demolish the so called evidence in the case.  The work of Egan and Van Sant helped change the tone of coverage in this country.”

Myth 19 – Amanda and Meredith didn’t like each other

Amanda and Meredith were becoming firm friends and attended the Chocolate Festival and the classical concert (where Amanda met Raffaele) together.  Meredith even drew a temporary tattoo on Amanda – hardly the action of someone who wasn’t a friend.  Meredith’s English friends did not know Amanda very well – some did not meet her until after the murder.  Photographs of them together were stored on their laptops which were conveniently destroyed by the police.

Myth 20 – Amanda was callous so she didn’t go to the vigil for Meredith

Amanda spent most of her waking hours with the police, at college, or trying to sleep in the days following the murder.  The vigil was held on the evening of Monday, November 5th.  This was the day when Amanda went to college, to try and maintain some kind of normality, was talking to her former flatmates about looking for new accommodation and accompanied Raffaele to the police station again for further questioning and their arrest. 

Link to Part Three: