As a campaigner for liberty, and a sucker for damsels in distress, I was looking to work up a piece in defence of Amanda Knox.
Incarceration is a horrible thing. We lock up far, far too many people in the UK. Punishment is necessary in society, but there are innumerable other forms of punishment possible apart from prison. The only real reason I can think of to lock somebody away is that they pose a physical danger to others; why we lock people up for non-violent property crime I have no idea, especially as in the vast majority of cases the cost of incarceration is greater than the value of the property which was stolen.
But I am genuinely sorry to say that the more I researched the more I came to the conclusion that locking up Amanda Knox is rather sensible. Having previously simply seen the odd bit of news coverage, I am quite sure after further research that the balance of that reporting has been rather kinder to Amanda Knox than she deserved.
She gave a series of lies to the police about where she was at the time of the murder, and has no corroborated alibi. She did not just (as news reports I have seen implied) suggest to the police that it may have been Patrick Lumumba, she actually told them that she was present in the flat when he murdered Meredith. Lumumba – who it is worth stating is entirely innocent – had many witnesses to the fact he was in his bar all evening. Knox later changed her story back to not having been in the flat that evening at all.
She also claimed that the next morning she came back to the flat, found a broken window and blood on the floor and wall, and Meredith’s door locked, but did not call the police or in fact anyone. Instead she took a shower and washed her hair in a bloodstained bathroom. Rudy Guede’s unflushed faeces now eight hours old and presumably pretty smelly – we in the toilet, and it was one of those ledge ones so they sit above the water. She didn’t flush them, but showered, brushed and blow dried her hair all standing in the small bathroom next to them.
That tiny detail is for me a clincher that her story is untrue. Yes, it is of course physically possible to wash brush and blow dry your hair right next to a pile of someone elese’s faeces, but do you know a girl who would do it?
The glass from the broken window had fallen on top of belongings of another flat mate that had been strewn around the floor, and had not been strewn around when the flatmate left that afternoon. But the glass landed on top of the strewn around things. So the strewing around was not done by someone who broke in through the window. The window breakage therefore looks like a later effort to simulate burglary.
Knox testified that she had been worried when she found the blood and the broken window and no Meredith, so she had phoned several times to check if she was OK. Phone records show that she had phoned each of Meredith’s phones, but only once – and for three seconds and four seconds respectively. That is less than two rings.
Knox was leaving the flat with a mop and bucket when the police arrived. She had not called them and Meredith’s body was still locked in its bedroom. Police had been alerted by finding Merdith’s phones, apparently flung out of her window. Knox had a mop and bucket with her which she said she was taking to her boyfriend’s house to clean up a pasta spill. When police got to his place, everything was newly cleaned – with bleach – including the knife which matched one of the wounds. Have you ever cleaned a knife with bleach?
So the white charger is staying the stable on this one. The defence are making much of the fact that Knox had no motive. But what precisely is the motive of the Perugia authorities for setting her up meant to be? Chillingly, someone who worked with Knox in the US and is Jewish said that Knox, who has German ancestry, taunted “My people killed your people! My people killed your people!”