If guilt or innocence were decided by good looks and feminine wiles, Amanda Knox would never have been indicted. There have been at least two women in America who have been acquitted of murder against the evidence: Beulah Annan in 1924, and Belva Gaertner, the same year. Their cases and trials inspired the musical Chicago
Hart, played in the 2002 film version by Renée Zellweger, was based on Annan, who was arguably as beautiful as Knox, and nearly as ruthless.
Knox though has four problems Annan didn’t have: the world has moved on since the 1920s; she is not being tried in her native America; she lied repeatedly to the police; and even without those lies, the evidence against her and her (now former) boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is compelling if not damning.
On the plus side, unlike Troy Davis
, she didn’t shoot a man dead in front of witnesses, but on the negative side, unlike Michael Stone
and Omar Benguit
, she was not convicted on the basis of a confession allegedly shouted through a prison wall, nor on the evidence of a drug addict and habitual liar after two retrials.
Some background to their convictions for the murder of fellow student Meredith Kercher can be found here
Yesterday, the appeal court heard from Carlo Pacelli, the lawyer for Patrick Lumumba, the man initially Knox claimed murdered Meredith, and Pacelli had some very unpleasant things to say about the angel-faced killer. His client, Lumumba, spent nearly a fortnight in gaol before being cleared by the same police who apologists for Knox claim were so desperate to solve this crime they were prepared to frame both him and her.
After he was cleared and released nearly four years ago, Lumumba had his own explanation for why Knox had pointed the finger at him
: “Because I’m black ? Because I’m the perfect guilty one?”
That may indeed be true, but not because of good old-fashioned racial prejudice. The third person convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher was indeed black; Rudy Guede is usually described as a drifter, but he was also a drug user and small time dealer; both Knox and Sollecito were users, in fact, one of the claims Knox made is that at the time of the murder she was so stoned out of her tiny mind she couldn’t remember where she was.
If the prosecution’s claims are correct, that Meredith was indeed murdered by the three of them during a bizarre sex torture game gone wrong, that would explain why Knox pointed the finger at another black. She could not of course put Guede in the frame, but if she blamed the totally innocent Lumumba, that might at least throw the police off the scent, especially if a black man had been seen in the vicinity of the cottage she shared with the British student. Unfortunately, for a student, and presumably being a person of some intelligence, Knox rather stupidly implicated a man who owns a bar, and whose movements and alibi witnesses would be fairly easily traced and confirmed.
The number of wounds Meredith Kercher sustained is consistent with the prosecution’s seemingly bizarre claims, certainly this was no ordinary murder, robbery gone wrong murder or even an ordinary sex murder. The lies of Knox and her lover, her implication of Lumumba, and the obviously staged crime scene, add up to a powerful case, whatever doubts may have now been cast over the DNA evidence
. To that can be added the fact that Guede has never said one word that could be described as exculpatory of his two co-accused.
Knox is said to be a shadow of her former self, and losing her hair in prison. If justice is done next week, the next time she is seen in public, she’ll be bald.