The kinky canoodling of Knox and her paramour outside the house of horrors conjured the climactic moment in the film noir “The Comfort of Strangers.”
Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren play an older couple (Robert and Caroline) who live in a palazzo in Venice. They gain the trust of the vacationing Mary and Colin (played by the late Natasha Richardson and Rupert Everett), a young English couple. As Colin sips a cocktail with Robert at the latter’s Venetian residence, Robert suddenly and swiftly (as planned) moves to cut Colin’s throat. He then steps over his gurgling victim and the gushing blood to engage in frenzied sex with his eager wife Caroline.
The two have fulfilled a shared fantasy.
“Some time during the night,” by the Times of London’s telling, “the couple had returned to the cottage and faked a burglary in the room of another housemate. But as the police picked through the broken glass they were told that nothing had been stolen. They would have left it at that had not the housemate asked insistently why the door to Kercher’s room was locked shut. Eventually, it was knocked down. Kercher lay virtually naked on the floor, her two cotton tops rolled up above her chest. Oddly, her body was partly covered by a beige quilt” [the telltale signature of a female perpetrator, as a behavioral analyst would subsequently explain].
Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, a local drifter born in the Ivory Coast and known to Knox, were convicted of the murder and sexual assault of Kercher. CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, on and on ─ all have united in advocating for Amanda, “An Innocent Abroad.”
Going against the grain of American-style boosterism, Barbie Nadeau of Newsweek stuck with “journalism” to detail the ample evidence against the pair, downplayed or downright suppressed in the American media. For one, “Neither suspect [had] a credible alibi for the night of the murder, and both told a variety of lies about that night.” Knox changed her alibi, not once or twice, but several times. In the process, she accused Patrick Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner, of the crime. Based on the convincing yarn Knox spun, Lumumba spent time in jail before being released.
After Knox had cast her pal Lumumba aside, she tried to implicate her lover of two weeks, venturing: “I think it is possible Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints on the knife.
“[C]redible witnesses had shattered Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder. Sollecito says he was home that night working on his computer, but specialists … testified that his computer was dormant for an eight-hour period the night of Kercher’s murder.”
“Theatrics aside,” wrote Newsweek’s Nadeau, “the Amanda Knox trial comes down to forensics. … Among the most damning evidence against Sollecito is his DNA on the metal clasp of the bra that was cut from Kercher after she died.”
Also revealed with Luminol was a bloody footprint at the crime scene that matched Sollecito’s. “Key forensic evidence against Knox includes her footprint in blood in the hallway outside Kercher’s room. There [were] also mixed traces of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood on the fixtures in the bathroom the girls shared. And a knife was found in Sollecito’s apartment with Knox’s DNA on the handle and … Kercher’s DNA in a groove on the blade.”
Like the original “Dream Team,” defense attorneys for Knox, “who at one time admitted to being at home when the murder took place,” alleged contamination (even though the crime scene was sealed off in-between searches), character assassination and insufficient amounts of DNA (it’s the type of DNA that matters, not the amount).
Knox’s vocal and voluminous supporters stateside yelped anti-Americanism and a general Italian backwardness. Amanda had been deprived of due process, they said. In American (positive) law, procedural violations can get evidence of guilt — a bloodied knife or a smoking gun — barred from being presented at trial. More often than not, such procedural defaults are used to suppress immutable physical facts, thus serving to subvert the spirit of the (natural) law and justice.
After attempting in vain to implicate Lumumba and the hapless Sollecito, Knox went on to scream police brutality, claiming she had been coerced into incriminating admissions. Knox was asked to identify the female officer whom she accused of slapping her during the interrogation, upon which she fell silent.
When the guilty verdict came down, a procession of fulminating female talkers soon convened on CNN to rubbish Italy’s legal system: The evidence (cited above) was weak, or practically non-existent. The prosecutor and the Italian jury were provincial bumpkins incapable of properly appreciating a high-spirited American. And so on and so forth.
In Italy, “if you’re accused, you’re as good as guilty,” asserted Judy Bachrach of Vanity (un)Fair. Bachrach was joined in ugly displays of American chauvinism by the likes of Lisa Bloom (spawned by ambulance-chasing attorney Gloria Allred) and the scary Stacey Honowitz. The two soon backed down somewhat, Bloom later admitting, on Anderson Cooper 360°, that indeed Knox’s confession, her “damaging behavior” following the murder, as well as the blood evidence, would be enough to bring down a conviction in our hallowed legal system.
The Knox clan has since recruited a veritable media mafia to put the Italian judicial system on trial for railroading their cherub. Agitating for Amanda are Secretary Hilary Clinton, Senator Maria Cantwell (WA), King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey, ubiquitous tele-attorney Anne Bremner, public relations advisor David Marriott, and “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant, who has abandoned impartiality for outright advocacy.
©2009 By ILANA MERCER