(“Foxy Knoxy” led into court. Photo by the Harvard Political Review, hpronline.org)
She supposedly has “the face of an angel,” and we know that garners plenty of attention in the media, but she’s regarded in many quarters as “spawn of the Devil,” a she-witch, a woman whose beauty confounds men, luring them into dark arenas of selfish pursuits.
In this, she’s reminiscent of the sirens in Ulysses’ The Odyssey whose beauty and singing could lure men to their deaths on the rocks (if they had no ear plugs in). Then, too, there was Circe whose kiss could turn men into swine. But those are fictional characters.
Amanda Knox is real.
She’s the young American woman serving out a 26 year sentence in an Italian prison for stabbing to death her roommate, British girl Meredith Kercher. They were both exchange students, spending the year abroad, in Italy. Amanda’s been there for two years now, found “Guilty” by an Italian court in what prosecutors call: “A drug and sex-fuelled episode that went woefully awry.”
She wasn’t alone in the deed: Rudy Guede, supposed co-conspirator whose DNA was found on Kercher, is serving a 30 year sentence reduced to 16 (for acknowledging his crime early on) while Amanda’s boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito serves out his own 25 year sentence.
But, no physical evidence connects Miss Knox or Sollecito to the murder. That’s right—forensics, the science of analyzing all the many evidentiary pieces that signify someone’s been at the crime scene, says they weren’t involved: There’s no skin under the victim’s nails, no errant hair of Amanda’s, no sign of her being in Meredith’s room (and that’s where she was murdered.)
Modern science would have us believe that perpetrators always leave some sign—no matter how small (I watch CSI). The knife that was supposedly used does bear a print of Amanda’s but remember, the knife was one belonging to the household, and Amanda was one of its occupants.
What may be afoot here? These two may simply be regarded as “guilty” due to their inappropriate behavior. For instance, Amanda and Solecito were seen kissing and schmoozing inappropriately at the police station in the hours following the brutal crime.
They fondled while others grappled with the reality of what had occurred. In other words, they seemed immune to circumstances as their friends sat mutely, trying to fathom how something this awful could happen to one they knew. Sign of real guilt or supreme bad taste? The Italian court’s already determined and the tabloids painted the couple in the basest of terms.
Amanda’s behavior was deemed indicative of her coldly calculating nature: She did cartwheels in the hallway of the police station (later attributing those to her attempts to ward off nervousness.) Then, too, Soliceto and she went lingerie shopping shortly after the crime. They were overheard speaking of sexual antics they planned, unfazed by the horrific death of her roommate.
And that is what may ultimately have done them in—their callousness.
Existentialist author, Albert Camus, painted a similar scenario in his book, L’Etrangere (the Stranger). His central figure defies all societal expectations regarding behavior, for he lacks empathy. For instance, when he attends his own mother’s funeral, he’s no more than a casual observer, evidencing no feelings of loss.
Later, in the story, he kills an Arab who walks by him on the beach. Why? He fears the man bears him a grudge and could do him harm. More than that, however, he feels the insufferable heat, and his discomfort propels him to the deed.
He cocks the gun and fires 5 shots into the man.
When police take him into custody, he shows no remorse for the act of cutting short another’s life, nor even confusion for how it happened. In fact, he affects total indifference and doesn’t care about it one way or the other. Oh, they try to extract from him some measure of Christian repentance (for he frightened them) but he never evidences concern for his immortal soul.
And that’s what does him in, ultimately. They execute him–by guillotine.
Amanda Knox is another whose behavior defies the natural order of things (the one that states we’ll demonstrate compassion or at least feign it for others’ sake.) Perhaps because of that, she sits in a Perugian jail, sentenced to 25 years.
But it’s a stiff sentence for “attitude.”
(Now, what’s your thoughts on all of this? Do you think attitude of alleged perpetrator is too heavily considered when weighing guilt or innocence? And why do you think that same standard wasn’t used in the Casey Anthony trial? Is Italy way different than America in how it metes out justice? Comment at area below.)
P.S. Biddy Bytes will publish with less frequency (but be assured: I WILL publish) in order that I may work on my book. It just won’t be the 3-times-a-week format of this past year. I “Thank you” for your continued support and look forward to your comments regarding posts in the future.