- Posted July 31, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Dismantling the Amanda Knox ‘Victim’ Myth; Why The Facts Just Speak For Themselves
Earlier this month Huffington Post blogger Lisa Marie Basile had a message for us: “almost everything we've read about Amanda Knox is wrong”. This was Basile’s second immensely flawed Knox piece, aptly demonstrating that yes, there’s an awful lot “wrong” about the coverage of the Meredith Kercher case.
While it's true that for me Basile's articles exemplify the staggering double standards permeating this case, I am not interested in igniting a blogger war. Nor is this a Knox witch-hunt. My interest is in justice for Meredith Kercher, and my means of getting there? Logical analysis of the facts.
Herein lies my objection to the pro-Knox brigade: the focus on only CERTAIN elements of the case is one thing; the brazen touting of Knox’s ludicrous allegations and the total denial of circumstantial evidence – absolutely critical in determining guilt – are quite another.
Basile's latest article doesn't refute any evidence. Her discussion bats back and forth around the evidence without ever analysing or dissecting it. "The evidence was determined by sexism and character assassination," she states, a classic example of not only just cherry picking examples and failing to even note said evidence, but smearing an entire issue – “slut-shaming” in this case – across everything.
According to Basile, “the court very clearly twisted the scant information they had to fit their theory of the girl they hated.” If this is so clear, I am bemused why Basile does not illuminate it for the rest of us. We are told that the evidence is unreliable or contaminated without being told why or how. We must instead just accept it. 'The DNA has never been there, and Nelson can't seriously argue that point.” Well, actually I can.
How can we brush aside Sollecito's DNA on Kercher's bra clasp as invalid when, with a 16 loci match, the probability that the DNA belongs to anyone else is one in a trillion? How can we insist upon contamination when, with only ONE other trace of Sollecito in the cottage (a cigarette butt in an ashtray) the very idea of contamination is near impossible?
The infamous knife, which was apparently “proven not to be the weapon”, remains the weapon. Like much of the press, Knox supporters don't seem to understand that the sample of Kercher's DNA on the knife has not gone away. While it’s true the most recent test results found only more Knox DNA, new tests on an entirely different sample do not negate previous results. Despite the trace of Kercher being too small to test twice it was a perfect match, and no matter how the evidence is spun, there is simply no denying it’s Kercher's DNA on the blade. This is why Knox's defence didn't even try to contest that until last year.
It's odd that supporters of Knox take such issue with Kercher's DNA being on the knife, because Sollecito, to whom the knife belonged, had no trouble accepting it:
'The fact there is Meredith's DNA on the kitchen knife is because once when we were all cooking together I accidentally pricked her hand,” he wrote in his prison diary. “I apologised immediately and she said it was not a problem.”
An utter fabrication; one of the few Sollecito’s admitted to. Kercher had never been to Sollecito's house, they had never cooked together and her DNA had no business being on his knife. Sollecito's diary is most intriguing; when Guede was arrested, Sollecito wasn't relieved at the 'real killer' being caught; he was worried that Guede would “make up strange things” about him. The diary contains several other revealing comments:
“I was in a total panic because I thought Amanda killed Meredith or maybe helped someone kill her. Amanda may have stitched me up by taking the knife and giving it to the son of a bitch who killed Meredith.”
The fact so few Knox supporters ever address the circumstantial evidence is telling. The reason is because there's no easy way to counter it: you can't shout 'contamination!' or suggest everyone involved in this case is corrupt. Because that is what we are expected to believe; it's everyone else who is lying, not the two defendants. We must turn a blind eye to their multiple, proven deceptions and ignore the fact that, even now, seven years on, the defendants are unable to get their stories straight.
Should we ignore Sollecito’s recent alibi withdrawal for Knox? It is unimportant? Knox said multiple times she was with Sollecito “the whole night”. Sollecito now says otherwise, noting anomalies in Knox’s account and contradicting her testimony in critical places. With members of Sollecito’s family now saying on Italian TV that they think Knox may be guilty, the mound of evidence Knox supporters seem determined to ignore is piling up.
Basile sees only what she wants to see: she cites Rudy Guede’s (alleged) “mental instability and criminal background” as proof of his delinquency, and yet Knox’s links to a Perugia cocaine ring and previous encounter with police are inconsequential. Sollecito's bestiality fetish, admiration for serial killers, obsession with knives and documented heroin use are also negligible.
To back up her points Basile refers to journalist Andrew Gumbel, author of Sollecito's drolly-titled book ‘Honour Bound’, but perhaps should have mentioned that Gumbel is currently being investigated for defamation for myriad false claims. Indeed, Gumbel's impending charges indicate he would not be too happy at being wheeled out as Exhibit A. Ex-FBI agents Steve Moore and Jim Clemente are also cited, but if Basile had read the official court documents, she would know they have made numerous demonstrably untrue assertions about the case.
Mentioning Steve Moore to boost your credibility is an embarrassing own goal. Moore and his wife Michelle exemplify the bigoted, nationalistic views shared by many Knox supporters. Twitter gems from the Moores include the head-scratching claims that “the Italians hate the American white girl more than any other race” and that female police only put Knox in jail because they were “jealous".
In the face of cold, hard facts, the lengths Knox supporters go to are quite remarkable; a fake Twitter account was recently set up in the name of Meredith Kercher’s father to post odious statements such as “I’ve never believed Knox is responsible for my daughter’s murder.”
How can pro-Knox supporters have any credibility when they seem content to peddle Knox's lies? It is a proven fact that Knox's claims of a torturous, lengthy interrogation in which she was “slapped” and “denied food and water” are a complete fabrication. Knox herself testified that she was given food and drink and treated well, and official documents prove that her accusation of Patrick Lumumba took less than two hours. How can this be dismissed? These false claims are the crux of Knox's entire defence and until they are addressed there can be no credible argument for innocence.
It was feminism that was the initial stimulus for Basile's article – a calling to speak out for a supposedly wronged female victim. Staying true to that cause I will propose the real crime of feminists, and indeed of all decent human beings interested in this case:
In all the many media articles that express outrage at 'medieval' Italy's legal system and treatment of Knox and Sollecito, where is the outrage for Meredith Kercher? In the flurry of news stories over the years, in and amongst the dark accusations of corruption and abuse, how many even used the name of the victim herself? How sad and immoral it is that we are so often encouraged to feel sympathy for one of the defendants instead.
Knox sympathisers insultingly suggest that those who believe in her guilt are “haters” just out to get her as an end in itself. They’re not. Justice is the only end worth seeking, and proper analysis of the evidence is the only path to it. Unfortunately for Knox, belief in her guilt is just a logical product and final step towards that goal for Kercher and her family. The damning facts speak for themselves.