Amanda Knox: The Real Demons In Her Case
The Prosecution Speaks
“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Mark Twain might have said it, but Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini must have it tattooed on some part of himself he sees regularly. For it was Mignini, who over time, made the following claims about the part Amanda Knox played in the death of her flatmate Meredith Kercher, stabbed to death in 2007 in her flat in Perugia, Italy:
*that Knox was part of a satanic cult and that Kercher died in a ritual sacrifice
*that Knox was a sex obsessed harpy who was psychotically jealous of Kercher’s looks
*that Knox liked sex orgies and killed Kercher because her flat mate wouldn’t take part
*that Knox hated Kercher because her flatmate owed her money
*that Kercher surprised Knox in the middle of sex with Rudy Guede (the only person whose DNA was found in Kercher’s room) and was killed as a result
*that Knox stole money from Kercher to pay Guede for drugs and killed Kercher to cover this up
And the list is probably longer than that – these are just the statements provided by a quick trawl of the coverage of the case at the time of Knox’s first trial. I was surprised not to discover Mignini claiming that Knox killed Kercher over who got to eat the last slice of pizza, or over who had the nicest toes.
I would think that reviewing the case, for the appeal that they so vigorously opposed, should have given the prosecution team pause for thought. Here’s a young woman of previously unblemished reputation, whose greatest confessed crime was smoking marijuana with her boyfriend, turning into the Grand High Witch of all Evil. Yes, according to Mignini (without a shred of supporting evidence), Knox is a knife-wielding psycho to rival the most twisted of bunny boilers, who got mixed up with drug dealers, satanic cult members and probably high-ranking Nazis if you look closely enough. There was no dirt that Mignini did not fling at Knox, some of it plain ridiculous and some of it contradictory. You would have thought that when the appeal came up, the members of the prosecution team would have quietly decided that it might be best not to dredge up these far-fetched accusations, lest they run the risk of looking a bit psycho themselves.
The Prosecution Is Obsessed, Perhaps Possessed
Let us also remember that Mignini is now in prison, serving a sentence of 16 months for illegal phone tapping. This offence was committed during his overzealous investigation of the The Monster of Florence case. Mignini claims – guess what? – that these killings (16 in all, committed between 1968 and 1985) were also the work of a satanic cult. Once again, there is absolutely no concrete evidence for this claim. You might be tempted to think that Mignini is a man possessed by demons of his own instead of possessing the reasoned deductive qualities required of a prosecution attorney.
But despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, the prosecution (along with other actors in the case) adopted Twain’s recommendation and didn’t let the truth get in the way of their good story. Carlo Pacelli representing Patrick Lumumba – a bar owner Knox implicated at one point during her interrogation – said that Knox was “a demonic, satanic, diabolical she-devil”. Just in case the jury missed the point, he also called her “an explosive mix of drugs, sex and alcohol” which makes it sound as though Knox could have committed murder merely by allowing herself to detonate somewhere in the vicinity of Kercher’s room.
The Prosecution Fails
This kind of hyperbole worked once. At the time of the original trial the media (and not just the Italian media) couldn’t get enough of this salacious nonsense. Mignini’s fantasies coupled with Knox’s good looks and the fact she had a gorgeous Italian boyfriend meant that the stories were printed and reprinted so often that they started to sound reasonable. Repeat something often enough and it becomes the truth, at least for a while. Second time around and we seemed to have awoken from the collective hysteria that often grips us in the aftermath of a sensational killing. The prosecutors could say what they liked. We looked at Knox and this time we didn’t see a witch. We saw a tired and desperate young woman and so did the jury. With the DNA evidence discredited and the conflicting witness testimonies exposed, the jury saw Mignini’s “facts” for what they were and found Knox innocent, along with her boyfriend Sollecito, who has also continually protested his innocence.
As for Mignini, he’s appealing his own sentence. Let’s hope the jury takes a look and sees him for what he is too – a man who never let the facts get in the way of sending an innocent young couple to jail.