Specializing in the representation of crime victims, women and children.


By Wendy Murphy    Mar. 26, 2013



As painful as it is to imagine a cute American college student being guilty of committing a vicious sex and drug-fueled murder, Italy’s high court got it right this week when it reversed a decision from a lower court that vacated Knox’s conviction for the brutal murder of her British study-abroad roommate, Meredith Kercher.  The decision lays the groundwork for Knox to be found guilty of murder again, and though Knox claims to want the “whole truth” to come out, her lawyer says she has no plans to return to Italy for the retrial.

Two men had also been convicted in the group attack, including Rudy Guede, an Ivorian black man who remains imprisoned, and Rafelle Sollecito, an Italian white man who was freed along with Amanda.  Only the two white perpetrators were released after their convictions, and only after a powerful PR campaign, paid for by Knox’s family, brought relentless pressure on Italian authorities.  Such overt racism would have generated Trayvon Martin-like protests in the United States but for the fact that the black man isn’t American and the white girl is rich.

It’s not only hypocritical but embarrassing that so many people in the United States have supported Knox’s strategic use of racism to save her own skin, not only by allowing Rudy Guede (a drug dealer she admitted knowing) to take the heat for a crime everyone agrees he did not commit alone, but by falsely accused a different and completely innocent black man of committing the crime.  Knox told cops that a local bartender killed Meredith, and she not only identified him by name she let him sit in jail for a long time knowing full well that he was completely innocent.  The man eventually proved that he had nothing to do with the crime and was elsewhere at the time of the murder.

Sweet-faced Knox doesn’t look like a murderer type, but so what.  Scott Peterson looks like “Dream-Date Ken.”  If a person has the capacity to falsely accuse an innocent black man of murder, she has the capacity to kill because life behind bars is like death.

Granted the murder wasn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill homicide.  Amanda and her two co-defendants were apparently under the influence of drugs, and when people are wasted and sexual energy is out of control – even the nicest people can do very bad things.

It’s convenient to have a foreign legal system to blame when we’re looking for reasons to disbelieve the obvious, but Italy didn’t only go after an American; they convicted Sollecito and Geude, too.  And while their inquisitorial legal system isn’t the same as the America’s adversarial process, lots of people (even in this country) prefer the Italian system because the goal isn’t winning so much as truth.

In short, Italian jurors couldn’t care less that Knox presented herself as sweet by wearing braids and a frilly peasant shirt when she went to court (even though her sartorial style before the murder was more Playboy Bunny than Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm).

The jury was more focused, as they should have been, on the compelling facts that proved Knox’s guilt, including the following:

1-DNA from Knox was found on the handle of the knife that killed the victim matched Knox – and DNA on the blade matched the victim.  The knife was found at Sollecito’s home and though the defense claimed the sample of Knox’s DNA was too small to matter, they had no explanation for how DNA from the victim just happened to land on the blade of ANY knife, or why the blade had been scrubbed clean with bleach.  More damning was the statement Sollecito gave police when confronted with the discovery of the victim’s DNA on the blade.  He said the victim’s blood got on the knife during a group dinner his apartment and that Meredith cut herself during food preparation.  Prosecutors pointed out that the DNA they found hadn’t been identified as blood, and could have been skin cells, which made the claim about Kercher cutting herself very revealing of Sollecito’s state of mind regarding the KIND of DNA that cops found on the knife.  Moreover, prosecutors proved that Meredith had never even been to Sollecito’s apartment for any purpose, much less to prepare dinner.  (She had been in Italy for only a couple of weeks at the time of the murder).

2-Knox’s DNA was found mixed with the victim’s blood in five different spots at different places around the apartment where the murder took place.  Although the defense claimed this was no big deal because they both lived in the apartment, the mixtures were found in several different locations where, according to Knox, there had been NO blood from anyone prior to the night in question.  This means Knox’s DNA had to have become mixed with Kercher’s blood during the murder.

This was such powerful evidence at trial, the only thing the defense could say was that the cops contaminated the samples, but there was no evidence of such contamination – and even if contamination were theoretically possible, you could only make such a claim with a straight face for ONE drop of blood – not five samples taken from five different locations.

3-Knox changed her story several times, first saying she wasn’t even at her apartment the night of the murder.  Then she told police she WAS present – and could hear the victim screaming – but couldn’t recall the details because she was under the influence of drugs.  At the time of trial – she changed her story again and said she was at her boyfriend’s apartment at the time of the murder – but phone and computer records – as well as her boyfriend’s own statements – proved that her alibi was a lie.

4-In one of her statements, Knox relayed such specific details about the crime, it revealed her involvement because only someone who was really there would know information such as the room where the murder took place.

As painful as it is to look at the face of the girl-next-door and see a killer – the choice is simple.  Either see the truth and accept it – or look away, and shut up.

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