On November 1, 2007, an unknown person or persons murdered Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. Italian prosecutors charged Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Patrick Lumumba with her murder. The tabloids quickly erupted with stories of witchcraft and Satanism. Yesterday, after four long years of prison, Amanda was released from jail in a stunning turn of events. Did she kill Meredith? And if not, who did?
Did Giuliano Mignini railroad Amanda Knox?
After Meredith’s murder, Amanda Knox attempted to help the police with their investigation. Little did she know that Giuliano Mignini had already decided she was guilty of the crime. Mignini tapped her phone (one of 39,000 conversations he tapped during the course of the investigation) and learned that her mother was coming to Italy and intended to get her a lawyer. Working quickly, he subjected her to a brutal interrogation which, according to Amanda, consisted of her being hit, shouted at, and denied water and the use of a bathroom.
It should be noted that Mignini, who recorded every other interview connected to the case, claimed that this particular conversation hadn’t been recorded and thus, Amanda Knox’s allegations proved impossible to prove. During the course of this interrogation, she eventually submitted answers to hypothetical questions where she essentially imagined what might’ve happened if her employer and bar owner Patrick Lumumba had been present at the murder. Despite this incredibly weak evidence, Mignini declared the case closed.
The Media Convicts Amanda Knox?
The arrest of Amanda Knox, Sollecito, and Lumumba caused a media sensation, especially in Great Britain, the U.S., and Italy. Italy has no laws against pre-trial publicity and jurors are allowed, even encouraged to follow the news while deliberating a case. Thus, Chief Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini immediately took his case to the press, spinning wild tales of witchcraft, Satanism, and a “sex game gone wrong.” Although these theories lacked any sort of factual basis, they were quickly eaten up and distributed without checking by reporters such as John Follain, Nick Pisa, and Libby Purves.
The Arrest of Rudy Guede and Mignini’s Bizarre Vendetta against Amanda Knox?
Two weeks later, Mignini’s case fell apart. Lumumba was able to furnish an air-tight alibi, making Amanda Knox’s so-called “confession” useless. More importantly, the police arrested the real killer, a drug-dealer named Rudy Guede. Guede’s fingerprints and DNA were discovered in Meredith’s room and on her body. When interrogated, he claimed he had sex with Meredith, left the room, and later returned to find someone standing over her with a knife. Months later, he changed his story, claiming that the mysterious man was Amanda’s boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and that Sollecito and Amanda Knox had killed Meredith after a sex game gone wrong.
Despite mounting evidence that he was wrong, Mignini stubbornly prepared his case. Italy’s Supreme Court threw out Amanda’s confession, but Mignini used a tricky legal maneuver to get it admitted into evidence. He also claimed that a knife found at Sollecito’s house was the murder weapon and that it had Meredith’s DNA on the blade and Amanda’s DNA on the handle. Furthermore, he stated that Meredith’s bra clasp contained Sollecito’s DNA. The DNA evidence proved powerful enough for a jury, which had already been swayed by months of Mignini’s leaked stories to the press, to convict Amanda and Sollecito in 2009. After the trial, psychoanalyst Coline Covington decided to add her two cents by comparing Amanda Knox, who she’d never met, to Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann.
“Knox’s narcissistic pleasure at catching the eye of the media and her apparent nonchalant attitude during most of the proceedings show the signs of a psychopathic personality. Her behaviour is hauntingly reminiscent of Eichmann’s arrogance during his trial for war crimes in Jerusalem in 1961 and most recently of Karadzic’s preening before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.” ~ Coline Covington, Signs that Suggest Amanda Knox is a Psychopath
The Vindication of Amanda Knox
Soon after, the evidence came under heavy fire. A witness who claimed to have seen Amanda Knox and Sollecito near the crime scene changed his story. The knife was found too large to fit the wounds and its blade contained no blood or DNA, in stark contrast to the prosecution’s claims. The bra clasp contained too little DNA to measure and video taken at the crime scene showed that it had been picked up by bare-handed police, tainting the evidence. Further analysis showed that the DNA evidence that convicted Amanda and Sollecito had been caused by lab contamination. Other witnesses came forth to reveal that Guede claimed responsibility for the murder. And on top of it all, Mignini was given a suspended 16-month sentence for “abuse of office” in regards to a separate case. Amanda Knox and Sollecito appealed their convictions and were finally freed on October 3, 2011.
But who Murdered Meredeith Kercher?
So who murdered Meredith Kercher? The most likely suspect is Rudy Guede. He changed his story at least once, his bloody handprint was found at the scene of the crime, and he supposedly told others that he had killed Meredith. But if Guede did it, then how did Meredith’s murder turn into such a sensationalized trial?
According to well-known author, Douglas Preston, the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of Chief Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. While investigating the as-of-yet unsolved “Monster of Florence” murders, Preston ran afoul of Mignini. Mignini had reopened the case and thought that the “killer or killers were Satanists from an ancient cult that harvested body parts.” During the course of is own research, Preston was arrested by Mignini and informed that he had to confess to “perjury or obstruction of justice.” Preston was ultimately given the choice of facing charges or leaving the country. Preston left and proceeded to co-write The Monster of Florence, with Mario Spezi, which detailed the case as well as Mignini’s highly questionable methods and vast wiretapping. In regards to the Meredith Kercher case, Preston has been quoted as saying:
“There was no evidence. I realized it was all bogus. Mignini believes that Satan walks the land and anyone who is against him must be working for the other side.” ~ Douglas Preston
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
It seems clear that there was an incredible amount of prosecutorial misconduct in this case. Mignini had it out for Amanda Knox and Sollecito from the beginning and when his case fell apart, chose to sacrifice their freedom rather than his own reputation. In addition, there are disturbing stories of Mignini and the police deliberately punishing and attacking anyone who tried to question the verdict. The media, outside of a few examples such as the heroic Frank Sfarzo who blogs about the case at Perugia Shock, have been complicit in the whole sad affair. John Follain, Nick Pisa, Libby Purves, Coline Covington and many others bear some moral responsibility for being more interested in creating sensational headlines than in uncovering the truth.
On October 3, 2011, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were finally released from jail. It is believed that Amanda has already left Italy and I’d advise Sollecito to do the same. Meredith’s murder was a sad, horrendous event. Unfortunately, the four-year imprisonment of two people who were in all likelihood completely innocent only made things worse. We may never know the full story of Meredith Kercher’s murder. And the blame for that fact lies solely with Chief Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini as well as the people who aided his vendetta against Amanda Knox and Sollecito.