Tag Archives: Amanda Knox

Knox exonerated, but Satanism remains on trial

Amanda Knox: still not a “She-Devil,” and never was.

As Amanda Knox — who was wrongly jailed in Italy for four years — gets ready for her first Christmas in freedom in many years, new details about her case reveal there was essentially no evidence against her. Including no evidence that she was involved in “Satanic orgies” the night her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered.

The appeals court that exonerated Knox released an 143-page report this week uncovering just how badly the lower court bungled the trial. “No murder weapon. Faulty DNA. No motive. Even the time of death was wrong by nearly an hour. The Italian appeals court that cleared Amanda Knox in the killing of her roommate explained its ruling on Thursday: The evidence just didn’t hold up,” according to the Associated Press.

In short, the report finds that the original verdict:

… Was not corroborated by any objective element of evidence and in itself was not, in fact probable: the sudden choice of two young people, good and open to other people, to do evil for evil’s sake, just like that, without another reason. It is not, therefore, sufficient that the probability of the prosecutors’ hypothesis is greater than the hypothesis of the defense, not even when they are notably greater in number, but it is necessary that every explanation that differs from the prosecutors’ hypothesis is, according to the criteria of reasonability, not at all plausible.

We can probably also presume that Knox is also not a “Satanic, Diabolic, She-Devil,” as one prosecutor put it.

After her Italian nightmare, Knox must contend with many things: the fact that she was separated from society for four years for a crime she didn’t commit; the fact that she was so boldly convicted in the press; and the fact that her sexual life and supposed “Satanic” inclinations were the stuff of international headlines — even though none of those suggestions were true.

Deeper than that, though, is the troubling idea that simply being involved with Satanism or the occult makes you de facto guilty of violence, regardless of other factors. We’ve seen this again and again, most troublingly with with the West Memphis Three, who spent half their lives in jail for murders they did not commit — all because people in their small southern town figured if a boy wears black and practices Wicca, he must be an evil child-slayer. All an unscrupulous attorney has to do is raise the “Satanic” flag and his case is as good as won. When you step back and look at it, that’s not a very impressive lawyering technique, is it?

And yet, it keeps working — and will keep working, as long as people continue to fear and misunderstand practicing occultists. Who, as much as any other religious group, are respectful, peaceful, law-abiding people.

How will Knox shed the “She-devil” image?

American Amanda Knox was acquitted today of murder charges after spending four years in an Italian prison.

How do you return to your life after being accused — even convicted — of killing your friend in a “Satanic rite” involving rough sex? How do you live down being called everything from a “She-devil” to “Foxy Knoxy?”

That’s what Amanda Knox must figure out. Today, she was acquitted in an Italian courtroom of murdering her friend, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. Originally, Knox was convicted of the murder, but a higher court released her this evening.

From the moment she was arrested, Knox was dragged through the mud, by tabloids and prosecutors who saw in the fresh-faced 20-year-old Seattleite some kind of kinky, bloodthirsty occultist, and they spared no effort in letting the world know what they thought of her. Now, as she returns to her former life, echoing the release of the West Memphis Three, it seems that the only sex games or Satanic practices were in the minds of the prosecutors.

In a New York Post piece, Nina Burleigh breaks down how the Knox trial turned into a “witch hunt”:

[Prosecutor Giuliano] Mignini always included witch fear in his murder theory, and only reluctantly relinquished it. As late as October 2008, a year after the murder, he told a court that the murder “was premeditated and was in addition a ‘rite’ celebrated on the occasion of the night of Halloween. A sexual and sacrificial rite [that] in the intention of the organizers … should have occurred 24 hours earlier” — on Halloween itself — “but on account of a dinner at the house of horrors, organized by Meredith and Amanda’s Italian flatmates, it was postponed for one day.”

Likewise, Candace Dempsey writes for the Seattle PI about the parallels between the Knox case and the West Memphis Three, down to the prosecutor’s obsession with sex and the occult:

In the Amanda Knox and West Memphis cases, even high-profile reporters at major networks cling to exciting crime theories, no matter how loony or baseless. … In Amanda’s case, tabloid journalists are of course the worst offenders–still enraptured by the satanic four-way drug-fueled orgy that made them so much money, even though it was just a sexual fantasy on the part of prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Independent experts have rejected the DNA that put the two college students at the crime scene.

There is also the matter that plenty of people celebrate rites on or near Halloween — Satanic or not — without killing anyone, because murder and human sacrifice are not part of their practices. In other words, even if Knox was a devout Satanist, she wouldn’t have been any more likely to murder than if she belonged to any other religion.

If you were Knox today, what would you do? Would you make an effort to clear your name? Or would you ignore the bad press, hoping it would eventually be forgotten?