I expect many of you will have seen the interesting analysis of Amanda Knox’s statement to an Italian judge explaining what had happened to her the night she was questioned and made the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, on the blog ‘Eyes for Lies’. You can find the audio clip of the statement here. Eyes is one of very few people with the gift of being innately intuitive when it comes to detecting deception.

My first thought when I heard the audio clip and read the Eyes for Lies post was how bumbly Amanda’s statement to the judge actually is and I completely agree with the author, Amanda really isn’t making much of an effort to convince the judge or get her side of the story across. Her statement lacks substance and in my opinion any kind of purpose.

Eyes makes the comment “Yet when I realize she had one year to compose herself, and get her facts straight, I’m surprised even more by this statement. She really doesn’t say much to her defense. You would think after a year in jail, she would have worked out a feasible account of that night, wouldn’t you?”

This in itself seems to pinpoint what a lot of people following the case are beginning to realise, Amanda Knox doesn’t have a feasible account of what happened that night, at least not one that she wants to share with a judge, jury or any law enforcement officer. Amanda claims to have been at home with Raffaele on the night of the murder but he claims she went out. Since the evidence has virtually annihilated his computer alibi, neither agrees with the other and hence we can come to the conclusion that both have something to hide.

It’s interesting that Eyes has made this comment so early on in her analysis and it does underpin the essence of what she has to say about the statement and its content. Amanda Knox, after a year in prison and about to make one of the most important statements she could ever make, a statement that could clear her name or at least provide some sort of clarity, basically chooses to witter on for several minutes about absolutely nothing and sound like a chugging tractor in the process.

Eyes further comments: “The question I and everyone else should have at this point is, if Amanda is telling us the truth, why did she have to “try to give” information? Why didn’t it come naturally? When we are honest, we don’t struggle and try. Speaking and fact recollection are second nature to us.”

I’d love to see Eyes take on the email Amanda sent to 23 of her family and friends a few days after the discovery of the body, there would be an abundance of information that would confirm the interesting point she makes here: “why did she have to “try to give” information? Surely it should come naturally?” and this is so true. In her email Amanda also says “Its like im trying to remember what i was doing before all this happened” yet just a few paragraphs earlier Amanda had seemingly perfect recall of what she had been doing ‘before all this happened’ and it seems, what Meredith had been doing too.

Another statement I found strange in the email was this: “im going to tell this really slowly to get everything right so just have patience with me.” I’ve always been curious as to why Amanda needed them to have patience when reading her written account of what had happened, surely if she felt the passage needed further clarification she could have put the email aside for a few minutes whilst she thought about what she wanted to write? This part of the email encourages my belief that Amanda was almost ‘practising her lines’ by writing an email that was essentially a statement. Her choice of words “I’m going to tell this” reminds me of several instances in her statement to the judge that Eyes picks out. Including:  “I did my best, to give the same information over and over and over again” and “I tried to– re-express, re-explain what I had done”. As Eyes justifiably points out you don’t need to ‘re-express or ‘re-explain’ anything, just tell the judge your side of the story or preferably the truth.

There is a marked amount of difference in the style of storytelling Amanda adopts in the email and the method she adopts for her statement to the judge. In a few minutes of talking virtual gibberish Amanda does manage to express the following bits of information:

  • After the discovery of the body she spent a few days trying to help the police.
  • She wasn’t called to the police station with Raffaele but went because she didn’t want to be alone.
  • She was tired, stressed out and confused.
  • She was questioned but the questions became more aggressive, they wanted specific times and dates and information about the SMS she sent to Patrick.
  • She was called a liar, told she’d go to prison for 30 years and hit by a police officer
  • She was told a lawyer would have made things worse for her.
  • She was asked to sign a declaration with content she didn’t remember saying.

I was very interested in Eyes comments about the way Amanda was speaking and the contradictions in content, structure and meaning. I’m not sure how much Eyes knows about the details of the case but I thought it’d be interesting to take the points Amanda was trying to get across and see how they compare with what we already know. So with that in mind…

Let’s take this one apart

After the discovery of the body she spent a few days trying to help the police
This statement is slightly misleading: “After– the discovery of Meredith, I had spent days in– cooperating with the police, to try to just give as much information as I could.” Though it is true that Amanda was conversing with police and giving her side of the story after the discovery of the body, it wasn’t a matter of co-operating voluntarily she really had no choice. Amanda and Raffaele made themselves appear suspicious in the hours following the discovery of the body and if witness statements are anything to go by, Amanda may not have been as delighted to help the police as she and her family have continuously maintained.

Amanda complained about a lot of things in the police station in the hours following the discovery of the body all whilst Meredith’s friends and acquaintances grieved. One of Meredith’s English friends had this to say: “At the police station Raffaele was very quiet, nothing strong, but Amanda was always talking at the phone she was very affectionate to Raffaele but she would keep complaining: ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I’m thirsty’.” Not exactly the model of the little miss helpful witness wouldn’t you agree?

I also recall reading that Amanda complained that the police couldn’t keep her at their ‘beck and call’ all the time, not to mention her allegedly complaining to Patrick, who she later falsely accused, that he had no idea what it was like to be questioned by the police. He had this to say: “I told her I was so sorry about Meredith. She seemed completely normal. But she had a nasty look in her eye and simply said I had no idea what it was like to be probed by police for hours on end” This statement must seem eerily ominous to Patrick in hindsight, as Amanda later accused him of rape and murder.

Indeed if this part of her statement is to be true, the only way Amanda actually helped the police was by weaving such a loose tapestry of lies that they immediately began to unravel around her. The statement ‘trying to help’ also implies that she may have known she wasn’t helping possibly because the police had seen some obvious holes in her and Raffaele’s alibi. The realisation that the police were cottoning on to their possible involvement could have resulted in Amanda desperately trying to ‘re-remember’ or ‘re-explain’ certain facts to get the situation back under her control, but as Eyes quite rightly points out; you don’t ‘try’ to help the police by ‘re-examining’ or ‘re-remembering’ things, you either help or you don’t. On a similar note, you either remember accurate times and dates that correspond with the facts of the case and exonerate you or you don’t. The police generally find vague witness statements coupled with erratic behaviour suspicious.

On a similar note the FOA like to claim that Amanda’s ‘decision’ to stay in Perugia and ‘help’ the police is clearly evidence of her innocence, however there’s no chance she would have considered running away for fear of incriminating herself. If the allegations that a clean-up took place can be proven it seems unlikely that Amanda and Raffaele expected they’d be probed too deeply especially if they can be linked to attempting to shift the focus of blame entirely to Rudy Guede. It’s also useful to bear in mind that Amanda had not been cleared to leave Italy by the police so her ‘brave decision’ to stay and ‘help’ the police is merely smoke and mirrors.

She wasn’t called to the police station with Raffaele but went because she didn’t want to be alone

I find this statement ridiculous in the extreme: “The day of the fifth, I wasn’t called to the Questore. Raffaele was called, but I decided to go with him, to keep him company, but also because I was scared to be alone.” In her email Amanda describes how she walked calmly around her house; a house she suspected had been burgled. She describes the signs of a break in including a broken window, spots of blood and un-flushed faeces in a toilet bowl. So what did she do at this point? Call the police? Get the hell out of there? Nope, she took a shower. At no point in the email does Amanda mention being frightened, on the contrary her words describe the thoughts and actions of a person who knew very well what had happened, where Meredith was and that a lone predator wasn’t hiding in the laundry room waiting to pounce.

Why then does Amanda claim to have suddenly developed ‘the fear’ in a matter of days, where did this mysterious fear come from and why had nobody seen it before? Surely there was no further threat of danger? In any case was Raffaele the only person in Perugia who could have alleviated this mysterious fear, didn’t Amanda have any friends in Perugia she could have visited whilst Raffaele was talking with the police or had she perhaps alienated herself from them by behaving like a total maniac in the police station? What I find strange about this statement is that Amanda suddenly claims to be scared and therefore doesn’t want to be alone, yet she knew when she arrived at the police station that she’d be alone whilst Raffaele was being interviewed. It seems likely that Amanda was reluctant to let Raffaele out of her sight and it could be suggested that she was present at the police station to keep an eye on him. I don’t doubt Amanda was scared of something; most probably what Raffaele was saying in the interview room.

She was tired, stressed out and confused
Eyes makes the comment: “Does this make any sense? She couldn’t remember because she was tired? It was the middle of the night? Does anyone believe this is a good reason for a lack of all memory? When Amanda is telling us this, a year has passed from the crime, so why doesn’t she elaborate more in this statement? Why isn’t she setting the record straight for the judge here and now?”

Once again it seems that Eyes agrees with some peoples general consensus on Amanda’s various methods of avoiding answering the question or talking about what really happened that night. We’ve already heard: I was confused, I was tired, I don’t remember, I was stoned etc, etc and most will agree, including Lies it seems, that being tired or confused or as many medical papers will confirm, stoned, is not a valid reason for not cooperating with the police and telling the truth. Or at least a convincing enough ‘story’ that makes any kind of sense in the real world.

The contradictions in this statement tie in closely with her claims to have accompanied Raffaele to the police station because she was scared to be alone. Amanda was called into a room and questioned, she does not mention in her statement to the judge that it was at this point that she was informed that Raffaele was no longer providing her with an alibi, the police began questioning her about specific times and dates which she had trouble recalling, she says: “And was– it was difficult for me because it was in the middle of the night that I– we had been called. I was very tired. And I was also quite stressed out.” I find it even harder to understand why Amanda actually went to the police station with Raffaele when she also offers as an explanation for her confusion that night that she was tired and stressed out. I don’t know about you but if I was scared to be alone because my housemate had been murdered I’d go to a friend’s house, I certainly wouldn’t want to be sat in the lobby of a police station, similarly if I was tired and stressed out wouldn’t that be the worst place for me? All those uncomfortable chairs and bright lights, not to mention I’ve already implied to my former boss that all the questioning is extremely stressful. Perhaps instead I could take a long bath, watch a film to de-stress or go to bed and rest? Amanda also states “it was in the middle of the night that I – we had been called” when in reality Amanda had not been called in at all, Raffaele had. Why the contradiction? It’s blatantly false and implies that she had been called in for questioning when she hadn’t. I expect the police were wondering what the hell she was even doing there and why this weird couple were stuck together like glue.

From testimony given by one of the officers present in the police station it appears that Amanda may not have been as tired as she later claimed: “A few minutes later I walked past a room at the police station where she was waiting and I saw Amanda doing the splits and a cartwheel. It was around 11am on November 5th.” Telling indeed, stress perhaps or a little excess energy? It seems from the statements made by Amanda to the judge that she had been awake enough to accompany Raffaele to the police station and turn cartwheels, but had suddenly been cognitively incapacitated with fatigue the minute the police began asking her questions she didn’t want to answer.

She was questioned but the questions became more aggressive, they wanted specific times and dates and information about the SMS she sent to Patrick.

Amanda says: “ I didn’t understand. I became really confused. I tried to– re-express, re-explain what I had done– the fact that I didn’t have to go to work. At that point, they– I gave them my phone so they could see that I didn’t have to– I received– okay– okay– See – because I received an SMS, and for that reason, they kept repeating to me that I was lying about – SMS. I was confused.” Here is where we really start to see evidence of Amanda’s mini ‘breakdown’. Police officers have testified that she appeared distressed and kept hitting herself on the side of the head and it seems that talking about it causes some kind of stress reaction, you can hear it in her voice.

Amanda fails to mention that she accused Patrick when asked about an SMS she had sent to him on the night of the murder in response to his instruction telling her not to come to work that night. According to testimony from the head of the Perugia Flying Squad Rita Ficarra Amanda volunteered Patricks name when she was questioned about the SMS “she started crying and wrapping her hands around her head, she started shaking it, and then she said: it was him…Patrick killed her.” Anyone hearing the audio clip of her statement to the judge with no prior knowledge of the case would be forgiven for wondering why the questioning ‘suddenly’ became aggressive, but Amanda was being interviewed by an experienced officer with a case to solve. Officers who suspect you may have been involved in a murder they are investigating aren’t generally obligated to speak to you as if you were a member of the Royal family. Amanda’s interrogation may have been aggressive or she may have interpreted it that way having never seen or experienced that kind of questioning before. Plus Amanda is insinuating that there is somehow something wrong with the police attempting to clarify certain times and dates with Amanda especially seeing as she had all but admitted involvement at this point. It does not seem they were expecting or ready to receive the kind of information she gave them.

She was called a liar, told she’d go to prison for 30 years and hit by a police officer
As with the above it would be difficult to prove one way or another exactly what was said by the investigating officers or to what extent Amanda was ‘threatened’ by her interviewers without seeing a video or hearing a transcript of her interview. But remember, Amanda Knox does not have a very good track record for telling the truth, neither it seems does Raffaele. The Machine’s excellent post on TJMK outlines his whoppers in detail.

Amanda says: “They told me that I was– of all the things that I had kept saying, over and over again, they said that I was lying.” Amanda was probably called a liar because at that point, with the fact that her previous ‘version’ of events about spending the night at Raffaele’s house coupled with his retraction of her alibi blatantly contradicting her new ‘revelation’ about Patrick, I see no reason why I wouldn’t come to the same conclusion: She was or had been lying. Therefore it seems that the police were quite right and to be honest quite fair to call Amanda out for lying to them.

Amanda says: “They threatened that I was going to go in prison for 30 years because I was hiding something.” With regard to telling Amanda that she’d go to prison for 30 years, again we have no confirmation that this was said and if it was in what context. If the police genuinely believed that Amanda had been at the cottage that night then they’d also come to the logical conclusion that she may have been involved, if they believed they had a strong enough case to charge her then it also follows that if convicted she could face 30 years (or more) in prison.

Eyes says: “Why does she change “make me” which is a strong statement to “help me”, which is much softer? I find this odd. If someone is hitting me on the back of the head, they aren’t “helping me” do anything. They are making me forcefully and brutally react. Why aren’t her emotional memories matching her story? These words are red flags for me. This is an indication she is trying to manipulate things.”

And I have to agree, with regard to Amanda being hit by a police officer I’m extremely sceptical for a number of reasons, firstly officers present during her questioning have stated under oath that Amanda was never hit nor mistreated. Amanda’s lawyer said she was not hit. When Amanda informed the court she had been hit Mignini ordered an investigation with a possible further charge of slander brought if the allegations are confirmed to be false. Would Mignini risk being publicly embarrassed? Surely he knows she wasn’t hit and many suspect there is video evidence to support this conclusion. Amanda nor her lawyers never made a formal complaint with regard to these allegations so for now they remain, at best, mere allegations. I for one believe that these allegations if proven are precisely as Eyes suggests, an attempt at manipulation.

She was told a lawyer would have made things worse for her

Amanda says: “After that – at a certain point, I asked if I should have had a lawyer. And they said that it would have been worse for me.” At this point Amanda may still have been considered ‘a person aware of the facts’ and not a suspect. Under Italian law Amanda would only have been entitled to a lawyer if her status changed to that of a suspect, therefore the police were probably correct in their assertion, if Amanda required or was entitled to a lawyer she would have been considered a suspect and yes, things would have been a lot worse for her.

She was asked to sign a declaration with content she didn’t remember saying
Amanda says: “So they asked me to make declarations about what I remembered, but I told that I didn’t remember anything like this. Because I was confused. What I remembered was different from what they were asking me to say.” Amanda’s formal statement accusing Lumumba of murdering Meredith has not been admitted as evidence in the trial, however a handwritten note which Amanda gave to a police officer the next day has been accepted as evidence. In the note she says “I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.” The day the note was written Amanda had rested and eaten. Amanda was not tired or confused or stoned. If she perceived that the events of the previous night had spun out of control she could have taken the opportunity to immediately retract the accusations against Patrick but she didn’t, instead she kept him as the equivalent of her emergency credit card by writing a long warbled note about still being confused. Amanda attempts to distance herself from the false allegation in the statement to the judge by claiming to have been confused when she made her first declaration, yet she failed to retract the declaration the next day and instead wrote a note to police officers in which she agrees to stand by the original declaration. Unsurprisingly the handwritten note has been admitted as evidence for the slander charge against her.

Some ideas and conclusions

The Eyes for Lies analysis of the audio clip was interesting and insightful and supports a great deal of evidence we have so far suggesting that Amanda has on many occasions failed to tell the truth. This is further confirmed when we consider the context in which Amanda is speaking, the events she is referring to and the many contradictions in her version of events.

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