I have been profoundly shocked at the recent and ongoing exploitation from certain individuals, seemingly with the aim of securing personal or financial reward for their own tenuous links to the brutal murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher. This exploitation sadly seems to be increasing in both instance and severity.

Meredith’s body was discovered concealed by a duvet on the floor of her bedroom on the 2nd November 2007. She had been sexually assaulted, strangled and fatally stabbed in the neck. Meredith’s 21 year old American housemate Amanda Knox and Italian national Raffaele Sollecito are currently on trial for their suspected involvement in Meredith’s tragic death.

As the case unfolded many people became entranced by the spirit of Meredith and angered by the brutal way she met her tragic end, not least as it appeared certain subjective parties were playing a rather sick and twisted game with what appeared to be the emerging facts: The evidence suggesting both Amanda and Raffaele are firmly at the centre of this crime.

Many people will agree that exploiting this sort of tragedy to achieve a desired objective is morally questionable, yet exploitation in its many forms has been the underling motive of certain individuals following or involved in the case from the very beginning.

Personal and/or Financial Gain?

Most of these guilty parties are made up of the friends, family and supporters of the defendant Amanda Knox, otherwise known as the FOA, who quickly initiated a PR campaign with the apparent aim of ensuring a ‘balanced and fair’ representation of Amanda in order to combat a perceived ‘negative and overblown’ representation of her as a seductress or man-eater in the press. Funny then that instead of focusing on their primary objective, many of Amanda’s friends and supporters began a vicious and extensive internet hate campaign aimed at ensuring those following the case saw only the picture of Amanda they so carefully constructed, those that rejected or questioned this doctrine were deemed ‘anti-Amanda’ and their forums and blogs relentlessly trolled with talking points that were either factually incorrect or hostile in nature.

A number of the questions I have had since I started blogging about the case: Why are Amanda Knox’s supporters so aggressive? Who are these people, what do they have to gain and more importantly, is it helping Amanda?

The FOA Doctrine

The FOA I believe, have officially disbanded, yet many of it’s ‘members’ appear to be very much active.

Amanda the victim
One of the most outrageous insinuations to date has been the suggestion that Amanda Knox is somehow a victim in this case. Unsurprisingly, most of the people proclaiming there is not a ‘shred of evidence’ linking her to the crime are those with a specific interest in ensuring Amanda is released immediately, without even considering the evidence suggesting she was involved. Those pieces of evidence they cannot dismiss are usually distorted by the outright lying or manipulation of its significance.

The recent 48 hours show on the case actually made me feel physically sick and I hope the victim’s family never see it. As a result of this show I have seen more and more instances of individuals turning up on blogs and forums proclaiming Amanda’s innocence on the basis of this hugely biased and offensive excuse for journalism. Just another example of the exploitation of the victim in order to achieve the objective of negating or distorting the case against Amanda Knox. Unfortunately, many accomplish only the aim of smearing the name and reputation of victim, but what do they care? She always has and will continue to be an irrelevant and unimportant detail to these people. What does this say about Amanda Knox and her ever deluded supporters?

Dirty Tricks
Some of Amanda Knox’s supporters have even gone as far as smearing the name of the victim in order to somehow dissolve the perceived ‘good girls do and bad girls don’t’ comparison between Amanda and Meredith. Amanda’s mother Edda actually stated she’d feel sorry for Meredith’s parents when the court heard how Meredith was not as good girl as she had been portrayed. This was her apparent message of support to Meredith’s grieving family. Certain media outlets even went as far as suggesting the victim was drunk when she was killed. This was later shown to be an outright fabrication. Who I wonder did that benefit? Then we have certain Knox supporters like Kelly13 suggesting that the Kercher family put aside their grief (her actual words) and jump on the ‘free Amanda’ bandwagon.

Then we have the associate of Amanda’s stepfather Chris Mellas, Goofy, a repulsive individual who appears to be going through a mid-life crisis and who seems to enjoy relentlessly smearing the name of the victim in the comments section of Perugia Shock. Not to mention revealing personal details about certain posters that hold an opposing view on the case to him. One individual, a administrator on a popular forum has been forced to file a harassment complaint to the police on account of Goofy’s ever escalating, obscene and grotesque behaviour. He’s even gone so far as to smear the name of her husband, revealed their approximate location and personal details about her family. If it were physically possible I’m sure this sad and deluded creature would blame the victim for her own death. All in the name of securing justice for his own ego Amanda Knox. Pretty sick huh? There’s more…

Lies
Amanda and her supporters have told so many lies during the course of the investigation and trial. These are well documented and there is no need to list them all here. One of the most vicious has been that the prosecutor Mignini is mentally unstable. As the case against Amanda mounted, the FOA began to up their smear campaign against the PM, by attempting to ensure the public believed he is some sort of psychotic maniac, obsessed with sexual orgies, who consults a lunatic conspiracy theorist blogger for advice on the case. Who do you believe? Those with a vested interest in ensuring the case against Amanda is dismissed? Or those without ties to Amanda who believe Mignini is the right man for the job?

Strange how the FOA never seem to mention Mignini’s co-prosecutor  who would, should Mignini step down, be more than happy to continue in his absence. The main tactic of the FOA has always been to take cheap shots at each and every perceived obstacle in its way, if it takes a lie to achieve this objective so be it. If it means smearing the name or reputation of an innocent individual, whatever. They don’t care, after all everyone but Amanda is part of a giant conspiracy to stitch her up for murder. Gimmie a break.

Then we have the allegations that Amanda was hit during her ‘interrogation’ which have not only been demonstrated to be false, they’ve actually succeeded in slapping a further investigation and possible slander charge against her as well as giving her lawyers a red face. Amanda’s lies are of course deemed irrelevant by her supporters, unfortunately they will be considered by the jury and will probably go against her.

The lies of her friends, family and supporters however will not be considered by the jury, who will not necessarily know how her supporters have undeniably and no doubt irreparably damaged both her credibility, reputation and the ability of the media and public to sympathise with her on any level. Some ‘supporters’ huh?

Money for Nothing

There are some who may believe that Amanda’s friends and family, having an emotional link to the case have some sort of excuse for their behaviour. I personally think they are old enough to know better, but people are of course entitled to their opinion. Once we remove the potential obstacle of those who have a personal or emotional link to the case we are left with the real dregs, individuals who seek to make money from the tragic death of Meredith Kercher and the hysteria surrounding the ongoing trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

I’m sure most of you read Frank’s little revelation about being paid for his tabloid smut blog, I’m sure all of you have noticed his apparent contempt for decency and u-turn from objective, honest reporting to his current fascination with the defendant Amanda Knox. One can only imagine him drooling over his keyboard as he writes the latest tripe, counts his hits, banks  the pay check and salivates further at his future prospects all whilst seemingly unable to moderate the comments on his blog which have become increasingly crude and disgusting. Reading his blog has become a fascinating example of unprecedented arrogance. This pales in significance when compared to the writings of Candace Dempsey who after discussing the case for about five minutes decided to write a book and promote herself as an award-winning journalist.

Then we have the recent revelation that the owner of the house where Meredith was killed has decided to sell tickets to those who wish to view the ‘house of horrors’. I for one had no problem whatsoever with her decision to clean up and re-let her house, it is after all her prerogative, as is selling tickets to gawp at the site of Meredith Kercher’s sad and tragic end. Despite this I fail to see how someone can be so motivated by the desire to recoup financial losses that they could abandon all rationality and decency by profiting from the tragedy that caused the loss of earnings in the first place, a tragedy that resulted in the brutal and sadistic death of an innocent young woman. I do not think the owner of the house should be allowed to capitalise on the murder in this way and fully expect the Kercher’s lawyers to express his views on this at some point during the next week.

I ask who will benefit from all of this, certainly not the victim, nor her family and not the woman accused of taking part in her brutal murder. There have been times when this case has made me consider the morality of certain people involved to a much deeper level that I ever thought possible. I am at this present moment in time frustrated and angered by it all.

This case is not about making a quick buck, earning a living or spring-boarding into a film/journalism career, this case is about ensuring dignity, honour and respect for the victim and her family, something which costs nothing to uphold and everything to forfeit.

It seems there are many that have forgotten what happened to Meredith that night and who seem determined to ignore those pangs of guilt that are surely emanating from within and if they aren’t I’d be seriously inclined to suggest they are either deluded or lacking in morals altogether.

“To protect the sheep you have to catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.” Training Day

After reading reports about the testimony of those present that fateful November afternoon in 2007, I began thinking about the implications of the events that happened that day and the decisions that whipped this Giallo into an international feeding frenzy with a full spotlight on the Italian judicial system.

The reporting of this case and the ‘facts’ that surround it have been marred by the personal, political and financial motivations of the people orchestrating the defence and PR campaign of the (seemingly) un-defendable Amanda Knox.

Amanda has a fantastic legal team, a supportive family and a lot of ‘journalists’ and media organisations on her side. Despite this there seems to be an overwhelming and growing population of media organisations (and in particular the online community) that are looking at the hard evidence and not fancying Amanda’s chances in the dock one bit.

Amanda’s PR campaigners (FOA) have attempted to derail the investigation from the start, making false allegations of abuse in custody and attempting to discredit the fine work of the forensic experts involved in collecting and processing the evidence collected from the scene. FOA have even tried to bully prosecutor Mignini by accusing him of being mentally unstable. Why? Because he dared to prosecute an American girl using 10,000 pages of hard evidence, a great team of legal experts and the support of a massive community of people who want justice for Meredith Kercher.

FOA are scragging with Mignini as if he is the only person responsible for the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. The case against the defendants is the work of a dedicated team of people who above all were determined to find out what happened to Meredith Kercher and catch the person/s responsible:

Let’s not forget the team of investigators that found Meredith and correctly preserved the crime scene, the team responsible for gathering and processing the forensic evidence, the team responsible for conducting all the elements of a thorough and careful police investigation without bias or fear of international wrath, the team of people responsible for compiling and processing the evidence, the same team that used the evidence to release an innocent man framed by the defendant Amanda Knox and last but not least; the team that are currently prosecuting the defendants and headed up by an extraordinary prosecutor who won’t be bullied, shamed or intimidated by a relentless and unashamed PR campaign.

This is not a witch hunt for Amanda Knox as FOA would have you believe. The prosecution has a strong case with a fantastic team of legal and forensic experts with one objective: justice for the victim and her family.

This has become a wolf hunt. The FOA including Paul Ciolino, Anne Bremner and family and friends of Amanda who seem to think that being a ‘nice person’ somehow disqualifies you from ever accepting responsibility for your actions, has acted with the ferocity and rabid narcissism of a pack of wolves.

Amanda Knox herself is sharp, canny and absolutely ruthless. Evident by her repeated lying and manipulation.

It takes a wolf to catch a wolf and there is no sharper wolf than Giuliano Mignini.

I’m fairly sure that Inspector Battistelli had the same feeling about Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as Prosecutor Mignini and probably the same feeling Judge Micheli did a while later. Now it seems and we only have to look at the recent court photos to see: it is precisely this same feeling Curt Knox is currently experiencing. Doubt. Doubt previously overshadowed by complete and utter denial.

If the PR campaign had been that little bit less ruthless, that little bit more sensitive and the situation weren’t so grave (or the stakes so high), I could almost sympathise with Curt Knox.

I think he has just realised his daughter is probably a killer and that no amount of money will make it go away.