As a new verdict in the death of Meredith Kercher draws near, Defendant Amanda Knox has vowed she is prepared to become a fugitive, while Defendant Raffaele Sollecto may be preparing a home in the Dominican Republic, a country with no extradition treaty with Italy. Knox did not appear for the trial. Noteworthy for someone whose own her memoir of the incident is entitled "Waiting to be Heard." Like anything else she says or does, it is self-contradictory.
Knox has admitted that if found guilty, she will be "on the run," a "fugitive." As the the verdict approaches, it is reported that Sollecito has left the courtroom, and is not expected to be present for the verdict.
What is there to run from? A lot, if you are afraid of the result. Knox and Sollectito, figuratively, if not literally, have been running from the facts for a long time. Who wouldn't want to hide from this evidence?
1. Knox falsely blamed her boss, Patrick Lumumba. He sat in jail for two weeks before being able to clear himself with business records. In that time, Knox made no effort to indicate she had falsely accused him. It appears that she would have let him rot indefinitely if it would have successfully steered blame away from her. Knox was convicted of making a false statement for this and assessed money damages in a civil suit. Despite being paid millions for her book about the subject, Knox has never paid Patrick his judgment. The pub he owned at the time is closed. It appears Knox substituted the name of Patrick Lumumba for that of Rudy Guede, who was in fact there, and who was convicted in Meredith's killing. There is no evidence whatsoever that had her boss not been able to clear himself, that Knox would have ever done so. She would have been content to allow him to remain in prison for decades as long as she got away. No one involved with the case contends the blaming of Patrick by Knox was anything other than a lie.
2. Knox's behavior following the crime was abnormal. Meredith Kercher was one of Knox's flatmates and fellow college student. As police dealt with the crime scene shortly after the discovery of the body of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were photographed kissing extensively. Later that day they were seen shopping for lingerie and heard joking about having wild sex. Later, while at the police station, Kercher's mourning friends watched in disbelief as Knox and Sollecito were "giggling" and "sticking tongues out at each other." Police say Knox was turning cartwheels. She claims she was merely doing the splits. From making out her painfully naïve boyfriend as police gathered the evidence immediately after Meredith’s body was discovered, to turning cartwheels at the police station to the shock of Meredith Kercher’s mourning friends, Knox did nothing in accordance with the societal norms of America or Italy.
3. Knox delayed calling police for an extended time after finding blood and Meredith missing. Knox's story was that after a night of pot-smoking and sex with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, she went to her dwelling the next morning, to find signs of a break in, blood in the bathroom and that Meredith would not respond to knocks on her bedroom door. Although later emailing friends that she was in a "panic" at that point and even went out on a balcony to see if there was an intruder in the area, Knox made no effort to contact police at that time. Instead she took a shower, then went back to Sollecito's apartment, then returned with him to the home she shared with Kercher. After a period of time spent there, with Raffaele allegedly trying to break down Meredith's door, and Knox having made a number of calls to her mother, Raffaele finally called police. In his call, he said: "There's a lot of blood in the bathroom." (But not enough for Knox to have called police promptly with Meredith also missing?)
4. Knox's first statement closely matches testimony of Rudy Guede, who was convicted of Kercher's murder. Knox curiously knows the same key facts testified to by Rudy Guede, who was convicted of murder. He claimed he had consensual sex with Meredith Kercher, then while he was in the bathroom, heard her scream, found her dying and fled in fear. Knox's first statement to police was that Patrick Lumumba was in Meredith's bedroom with Meredith. Both Guede and Lumumba happen to be black. Lumumba was cleared and Guede admitted being there, so we have Knox knowing that a black man was in Meredith's bedroom at the time Meredith was killed, proven undisputably true by the testimony of Guede. Guede testified he heard Meredith scream. Knox said in her first statement she heard Meredith scream. Not all rape/murder victims would have the opportunity to scream, either out of being threatened not to, or out of having their mouth covered, until the fatal stab was delivered. So both Guede, convicted of murder, and Knox, had essentially the same story, there was a black man in Meredith's room, and Meredith screamed. Knox had no way of knowing what Guede's testimony would be at the time, he was not apprehended until much later. The facts strongly support that upon being questioned, Knox relayed events she actually witnessed, but substituted the name of Patrick Lumumba for Rudy Guede, in an elaborate ruse.
5. Raffaele Sollecito said the alleged murder weapon had cut Kercher. Knox supporters question the DNA evidence on a knife found in Sollecito's apartment, said to have Kercher's DNA on the blade, and Knox's DNA on the handle. DNA is not needed to support a conviction. Raffaele told his father that Kercher (improbably) had used the knife at his apartment while helping make dinner, and cut herself, thus explaining evidence of its contact with Kercher. If the DNA was unreliable and a "false positive" then why the need to explain why it had cut Kercher. Setting the DNA aside, we have a defendant in the case having said he witnessed the knife cut Kercher. The only question is where it occurred, and how. First you say Meredith was cut by the knife, then you argue there is no proof of what you said. That is running from the truth.
6. A burglary of the crime scene was staged. Rudy Guede did not reside with Knox and Kercher, and had no motive to make it appear someone had broken in. Only someone who lived there had any motive to falsely suggest a stranger to the home broke in, drawing attention from themselves. Glass from the broken window appeared on top of items that were move around, as though rummaged through by a burglar, instead of underneath. Another roommate testified the window was shuttered, so the shutters, well above ground level, would have to be opened from within before the glass was broken.
7. Sollecito's changing stories implicate Knox. Shortly after the murder, Sollecito told a reporter he and Knox went to a party with a friend. When questioned by police he told them he and Knox spent the whole night at his apartment. Seven days after the murder, he was on his third story, now telling police: “In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” He now said that he and Knox arrived at his apartment at 8:30 p.m. the night of the murder, then she left, not returning until 1:00 a.m..
Sollecito has appeared at this trial and testified, and his defense has been distancing itself from Knox, so there is more distance involved than the thousands of miles between Seattle and Italy. Why does not one person claiming to be innocent want to associate his own defense fully with that of Knox, if she is innocent?
Instead of appearing at this trial, despite "Waiting to be Heard," Knox sent an email for her lawyers to file with the Court. Perhaps a text would have been too informal. But Judge Alessandro Nencini said, “Who wants to speak at a trial, comes to a trial.” (To the surprise of no one, except Knox and her legal team.) Is her non-appearance living up to the title of her book? Patrick Lumumba's opinion on that aspect: “If Amanda Knox is innocent as she claims, she should come to the court for the verdict. I think she's running away.”
One of the claims of the Knox PR campaign after the original conviction was that things would have been different under the American system. Let’s test that theory with the current refusal of Amanda Knox to show up for the trial. In her home state of Washington, she would certainly be required to attend all proceedings in a criminal case, or a warrant for her arrest would be issued. All persons accused of a crime in any jurisdiction of the US have the right to remain silent, but that is far different than a refusal to attend the trial. All orders of release in the State of Washington are conditioned on showing up for all court appearances. Failing to show up could be considered a form of “flight.” A defendant's flight to avoid prosecution may be admissible evidence to prove guilt. State v. Reed, 25 Wn.App. 46, 604 P.2d 1330 (1979), State v. Freeburg, 105 Wn.App. 492, 20 P.3d 984 (2001). The Courts in her home state of Washington refer to this as evidence of “consciousness of guilt.”
In Italy, defendants are not required to appear at the trial, and Knox has taken full advantage, if it is an advantage, in terms of how it will look to the Court. Most would consider it an important right to be able to appear.
Knox has tried to deflect attention from the real facts by every sideshow and extraneous influence upon the case anyone could dream of, from Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell severely criticizing the Italian justice system, attributing the verdict to "anti-Americanism," to King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey getting in trouble with the Washington Judicial Conduct Commission over sticking his nose and official influence into the fray. Heavey's daughters attended high school with Knox, therefore, she could not be guilty of murder. There have been, believe it or not, comedy fundraisers for Knox's defense, one-sided presentations on Oprah, a book making the whole thing into a lighthearted romance, and even a fairly balanced documentary on the matter on TLC. Anything but deciding this thing on the straightforward evidence.
When first questioned, Knox blamed Patrick, so we know beyond all reasonable doubt she did not tell the truth. Has she ever? When she lied about Patrick, she lied about the death of Meredith Kercher. Is there any difference between the day she lied about Patrick, about the death of Meredith Kercher, and now?
Amanda Knox is not the victim in this story, Meredith Kercher is the victim.