Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were exonerated by Italy’s Supreme Court for the murder of Meredith Kercher on March 27, 2015. On September 7th the court released the motivation report explaining the decision which has since been translated into English by volunteers from Injustice Anywhere — An organisation working to correct wrongful convictions. The Bruno-Marasca Motivations Report is scathing in it’s findings and a complete repudiation of the fantasies of the former prosecutors, Giuliano Mignini, and his side-kick Manuela Comodi, as well as the report from the court a quo that convicted them in Florence.
Some of findings include:
- It was a completely inadequate investigation at the scene and in the days following it;
- the sex game motive is bunk, and there is no evidence at all that Sollecito knew Guede;
- the forensic traces were too small, and the computers of the defendants were trashed by the carelessness of investigators;
- time of death issues revealed the deplorable carelessness of the investigation;
- the selective “clean up” theory was ridiculous;
- the real time of death was between 9pm and 10.13pm as the defense had always said;
- the bra clasp has no evidentiary value because of the 46 day delay in collection. Stefanoni wore obviously dirty gloves;
- it was manifestly impossible for AK and/or RS to have been involved with this crime and have left no trace of their involvement;
- the compelling issue about the alleged weapon, the kitchen knife, is that there is no blood evidence associated with it. The starch which was found (!) was of the absorbent kind which manifestly would have sopped up blood if it had been there!
- the media hype accelerated the need to pin the crime on someone.
At only 52 pages, the report didn’t even need to address all the so called “evidence” in detail because it was so bad.
Here’s some of the recent news and articles since its release:
- Amanda Knox’s lawyer on why she was acquitted September 7, 2015 – Carlo Dalla Vedova talks about the Italian Supreme Court motivation report and acquittal of his client, Amanda Knox;
- The Supreme Court shows fists to those who work without professionalism in the justice system by Massimo Prati, September 9, 2015
- Bongiorno: “Those who were wrong [must] pay” By Erika Pontini September 8, 2015 – Sollecito’s lawyer on the attack: “Minister must intervene”
- Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito: Final Words by Luca Cheli, September 22, 2015
One article that caught my attention was by Russian radio commentator, investigative reporter and blogger, Yulia Latynina on the popular Russian news site Snob.ru. In the 2 weeks since publication it’s had over 169 000 views at the time of writing. Amongst other things Latynina mentions the “internet freaks” obsessed with Amanda Knox and the websites they’ve created to smear both her and Raffaele Sollecito.
These “internet freaks” are all regular contributors at 3 cult like anti-Amanda Knox hate sites, two of which are called “Perugia Murder File” (PMF). PMF split into 2 separate groups (.org and .net) because the original moderators, Peggy Ganong and “Michael”, couldn’t get along and started hating on each other. The activities of the anti-Knox hate group have been well documented. Author Nina Burleigh wrote about them in an articled titled: “The Amanda Knox Haters Society: How They Learned to Hate Me Too.” Best selling author Douglas Preston wrote about the group in his recent Amazon single: “Trial By Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case.” And Bruce Fischer wrote about the group in his book: “Finding Justice in Perugia”. You can read the complete chapter here.
Latynina singles out one in particular, Canadian conman, Naseer Ahmad, who posts on the internet as “Ergon” and “ManFromAtlan”. Ahmad has been smearing Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito via twitter and the hate forum (PMF.net) he moderates for years. When not smearing them or Kate and Gerry McCann, he spends his time leading his “disciples” on his blog, “ManfromAtlan.com”. You see, Naseer believes he is God. In fact, he boldly proclaims himself to be the “Messiah Jesus Christ” from a planet called “Atlan” and that he can heal sick people, in particular children. Of course this charlatan wants to be paid for his “healing” and insists on post dated check and his services can cost up to $10 000. You can read more about Ergon here.
In recent days Naseer Ahmad and the hater trolls have been harassing the twitter account of Loyola Law Chicago who announced Amanda Knox would a guest speaker at Loyola University on December 3 to talk about wrongful convictions. Loyola is the latest in a long list of people or groups who have been targeted by the hate group. In late 2013 Sir Richard Branson tweeted in support of Knox and Sollecito and was subjected to hundreds of abusive tweets. In 2011 Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia was mocked and ridiculed simply for asking for the Murder of Meredith Kercher article to be rewritten. Professor Peter Gill has been harassed by a troll called Patrick Clear who tweets as “Pataz”, retired FBI agents Jim Clemente and Steve Moore were subjected to constant online abuse and harassment for years. In 2013 Naseer Ahmad went to Italy and stalked an Italian journalist and then proceeded to obsessively write and tweet about him for 12 months. The Italian journalist wasn’t the first victim of Ahmad, believe it or not, on his blog he openly admits to following Shirley MacLean into a female toilet — “because he wanted to talk to her”.
One of the more disturbing bloggers who has obsessively written about Amanda Knox since 2008 is a guy called Peter Quennell. Quennell is an eccentric New Jersey pensioner who one blogger recently described as an online sex predator after emails came to light in 2011 of his communication with a young woman who reported him to the police for stalking and harassment.
Peter Quennell in 2009 traveled to the University of Washington which Knox attended to “get a look” at the place where she studied. It’s also believed on that trip he went to the Knox family home for a look. Quennell also admitted traveling to Boise State to where Professor Greg Hampikian works. Hampikian is the DNA expert from the Idaho Innocence Project who spoke out against the reliability of the DNA evidence. Quennell also admitted on his “True Justice” blog to looking up where Francesco Sollecito (Raffaele’s father) lived using Google Earth and researching which routes he might have taken to work.
Author Nina Burleigh wrote about receiving emails from Quennell where he said he was going to “train his scope” on her apartment in Manhattan, and closed emails with “how are the kiddies?”
Ahmad and Quennell are clearly lunatics who need professional psychiatric help.
I’ll be writing more about the hate group and the fringe websites they operate over coming weeks.
Amanda Knox and the Rules of the Big Lie
by Yulia Latynina
On September 7, 2015, Italy’s court of appeals (analogous to the Supreme Court) published its ruling in the case of Amanda Knox, an American, and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who had been accused of murdering Meredith Kercher, a British student. The court used rather strong expressions. Not only did it fully acquit Knox and Sollecito but wrote of “astonishing weakness” and “glaring errors” of the prosecution. So ended the saga that had lasted for almost eight years.
The case of Amanda Knox is not merely an amazing detective story. It also provides striking evidence that one person’s evil will can deform people’s lives and create a myth that tens of thousands of other people would believe.
On November 1, 2007, in a small cottage in Perugia, an Italian town, Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student, was found dead. Her housemate, Amanda Knox, an American, was not at the cottage that night: she spent it at the apartment of her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. They had dinner, watched a movie, had fund in bed and smoked marijuana. Everyone smoked marijuana in the house and grew it right in the yard.
When Amanda came back home in the morning, she saw that the door was ajar and there were traces of blood on the bathroom floor. Amanda thought it was menstrual blood from one her housemates, and took a shower. In general, Amanda was a rather carefree soul. She was twenty; she changed boyfriends like gloves, and even while working at the bar (she had a side job at a bar owned by a certain Patrick Lumumba) she kept flirting with young men all the time. On her MySpace page, she had a picture of herself in a miniskirt, holding a Gatling gun.
Gatling or no Gatling, but when no one answered her call, Amanda began to worry. She started calling Meredith and knocking on the door of her room. Then she called Raffaele, and he called the police. When the cops broke the door open, they saw Meredith’s dead body at once. Her throat had been cut. Meredith had been raped; her things were strewn all over the floor; everything around her was stained with blood. There were bloody shoe prints on the floor and a bloody palm print on the pillow shoved under Meredith’s hips; there was also blood on the girl’s purse, from which, as investigators later found out, credit cards 300 Euros and went missing.
Perugia is a quiet town. Murders don’t happen often there. The previous one was twenty years before Meredith’s death, the next one would be in 2013. That’s why all the police bosses of the town flocked to the scene at once, and so did prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. They did not have much experience investigating murders – for lack of such – but prosecutor Mignini quickly figured out that Meredith Kercher had been killed by Amanda Knox and her co-conspirators during a Satanic orgy.
Later, prosecutor Mignini dropped the word “Satanic” and started talking about a sexual orgy.
Amanda and Raffaele were subjected to surveillance, and soon it bore fruit. The prosecutors found a great piece of evidence. Exactly the day after the murder, Amanda and Raffaele went to a popular underwear store and bought a pair of strings.
“We’re going to have crazy sex!” said Raffaele, kissing Amanda.
The videotape from the shop was leaked to the press, and the prosecution triumphantly declared it had solved the murder, committed by a vamp, a devil with the face of an angel.
It was not the first time that Prosecutor Mignini had investigated Satanic murders. He was a great expert, as it were, at Satanic murders.
Prosecutor Mignini’s investigations
In the 1970s and 1980s, a maniac was active in the environs of Florence. He was nicknamed the Monster of Florence. He killed lovers and sliced up the women. He murdered eight couples in total. The serial killer’s identity has never been established.
In October 1985, Dr. Francesco Narducci’s corpse was found in a lake near Perugia. A court declared it a suicide.
In 2001, six [16?] years after Narducci’s death, prosecutor Mignini decided that the Monster of Florence and Dr. Narducci were connected. Mignini made up his mind that Narducci was part of the Satanic sect that killed women to use their body parts in ritual black masses. Narducci, the prosecutor believed, stored those body parts at home, and was killed to keep him mum.
Although all of the Monster’s victims were killed with the same gun, the prosecutor decided that different people were responsible. He ordered Narducci’s body dug out. With the body exhumed, prosecutor Mignini decided that it was not sufficiently decomposed, and declared that it had been replaced. When genetic testing showed that it was Narducci’s body after all, the prosecutor said it had been swapped one more time.
Eventually, prosecutor Mignini charged 20 people – including civil servants and policemen – with being part of the sector. A judge threw the case out.
Just as Mignini was selflessly battling his first satanic cult, two journalists – Mario Spezi and Douglas Preston – were working on a book about the Monster of Florence. To their misfortune, they thought Mignini’s theory was nonsense.
In 2006, Preston and Spezi were arrested. Mignini interrogated Preston for several hours. He told Preston that he was a Satanist and an accessory to the murders. He threatened Preston, saying he would never see his loved ones again. Preston’s knees were trembling, as he recalls. Eventually Preston was forced out of Italy. As for Spezi, he was far less lucky: he was simply locked up in jail for three weeks without any pretext, until astonished journalists and freedom-of-speech activists started writing one letter of protest after another.
Mignini, the prosecutor, freed Spezi, the journalist, but signatories of the letters in Spezi’s defense ended up on a blacklist. This blacklist came to light when authorities searched Mignini’s own computer while investigating Miginini himself for illegally wiretapping and searching people he tried to intimidate during the Monster of Florence inquiry.
The blacklist found on Mignini’s compute included, for instance, an ex-mayor of Florence, his deputy and a minister of environmental protection. All of them were preventing Mignini from tackling those who prevented him from tackling the satanic cult. Surely they were members of the cult, too.
In other words, when Mignini solved the satanic murder of Meredith Kercher, he was under investigation himself.
As has been said, the prosecution concluded that Amanda and Raffaele killed Meredith during a sexual orgy. Prosecutor Mignini has one problem though. The killer left traces in Meredith’s room. Plenty of traces. Sperm, DNA, fingerprints, shoe prints. And that was not the DNA of Amanda or Raffaele. There were no traces of them in the room.
Prosecutor Mignini found a simple solution to that puzzle: Amanda and Raffaele were not alone. A third person was with them. Cops interrogated Amanda Knox for 53 hours. First in a friendly way – we only want to help you – then harsher and harsher. They kept pressuring her, yelled at her and even – so she says – clouted her twice. Of course these are only Amanda’s words. The police had a chance to disprove them by presenting a video of the interrogation but no video was provided.
They shoved Amanda’s phone with an SMS in her face. The message had been sent to the owner of the bar where she worked, Patrick Lumumba. Patrick was letting her know she was not needed in the bar that night; Amanda replied, “See you later.”
According to the prosecution’s “brilliant” insight, it did not mean “bye” but a secret agreement to meet again to have a sexual orgy and kill Meredith. Amanda was assured that Raffaele had confessed everything. The cops kept showing her the cell phone. “Look, you were going to meet someone. Who’s that? Confess,” they demanded.
Amanda Knox, with her weakness for men and g-strings, could not stand the pressure. She was high on marijuana on the night of the murder and did not remember well what happened to her. She signed a confession and said she had sent the message to her boss Patrick Lumumba. To arrest Lumumba, a procession of seven police cars set out, glittering like a Christmas tree. The police broke into his house, dragged him out of bed, yelling “black swine,” and started pressuring him, like they had Amanda.
At that point, however, a problem presented itself. First, Lumumba had a 100% alibi: he was at the bar all night. Second, the killer’s DNA did not match Lumumba’s.
It wasn’t hard to identify the murderer of Meredith Kercher. His name was Rudy Guede; he was a native of Ivory Coast and a career burglar. In Perugia alone, this man had committed at least six burglaries before the murder. Christian Tramontano had come to the precinct four times to report a young black guy who broke into his place holding a knife and stole five Euros [?] and three credit cards – but each time, the police ignored him. Tramontano also named the burglar: Rudy Guede.
That way or another, Rudy’s fingerprints ended up on the file after one of the burglaries. To identify the owner of the bloody fingerprints at the murder scene was easy. Rudy was put on a wanted list, and vigilant ticket-checkers took him off the train in Germany, as he was travelling without a ticket. Rudy was superficially acquainted with Meredith and Amanda. He had met them in the street and had been to their house a few times.
Rudy Guede was caught. Only his traces, his prints, his sperm and DNA were at the scene of crime. His DNA was everywhere: in the victim’s vagina, in her anus, on her clothes, in the blood, on the body. From the 400 DNA samples taken from the crime location, 100 belonged to Rudy. At that moment, prosecutor Mignini could still turn back and say that the crime was solved. That the career burglar Rudy Guede threw a stone against the second-floor window, broke the window, climbed up and opened the window through the broken glass (this is how Rudy had gotten into other houses); then, finding her at home, raped and killed her and stole from her.
But prosecutor Mignini had invested too much in the case. He had already declared the orgy sensationally solved and the burglary staged. If Amanda had been freed, he would have to answer for the insane accusations. His reputation would have suffered, and considering the earlier satanic investigation, it might have sunk to the bottom altogether.
That’s why the prosecution advanced a new theory. Meredith was killed during an orgy in which Rudy Guede, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito took part. But why was there no DNA from Amanda and Raffaele at the crime scene, you may ask? It’s very simple. They destroyed all the traces of their DNAs. But they left Rudy’s. The prosecution was unfazed by the fact that it would have been physically impossible.
How the murderer became the principal witness for the prosecution
The prosecution had a problem with their new version, too. Whatever way you looked at it, prosecutor Mignini did not have the tiniest bit of factual proof to support it.
Instead, the prosecutor now had a witness. A real live witness who saw everything with his very eyes and was ready to confirm that Amanda was the murderer.
That incomparable witness was the true murderer, Rudy Guede. Without batting an eyelash, he told the court that he had not killed Meredith. He only had sex with her out of mutual desire (which was not exactly confirmed by tests) and anyway, he was in the bathroom when that bitch Amanda suddenly went rabid. Rudy Guede touchingly depicted for the court his horror at seeing Meredith with a slit throat and the way she reached her arms out to him, dying, in a silent plea for help.
In any adversarial trial, this testimony would be subject to a challenge so the prosecution resorted to a simple trick. Rudy Guede was tried separately, as he admitted his guilt and struck a deal with the investigators.
He received 16 years for the “right” testimony. At the next trial, Amanda’s and Raffaele’s, prosecutor Mignini acted as Rudy Guede’s defender. He said it was dishonest to accuse a man that could not defend himself, and the court barred Rudy’s cross-examination.
How could society accept that insane situation? A situation when prosecutors conspire with the obvious murderer to lock up the innocent?
The answer is simple: society was well prepared. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in the papers before the trial started. Every baker in the city of Perugia knew they were the murderers. Well-organized leaks to the media painted Amanda Knox as a crazed she-devil wallowing in affairs with men, in sex and drugs. Knox is a “natural-born killer,” said the prosecutor Mignini. Grounds? None. Amanda was a typical student of her generation, saucy, weak-willed, weed-smoking. Her computer could have confirmed it but the prosecution accidentally destroyed the hard drive. Moreover, the prosecution accidentally destroyed the hard drives in all the three computers, Meredith’s, Amanda’s and Raffaele’s.
Of course there was the problem of totally missing DNA traces from the defendants at the crime scene. But that problem was easily solved, too: in November 2007 a “source from the investigation” told Richard Owen, a reporter with The Times, that Amanda had bought a detergent in a store the morning after the crime, and that the receipts had been found during a search. Even the exact time of the receipts was named: 8:30 and 9:15 am. In his next piece, Owen wrote that the whole cottage had been cleaned with a detergent and that police caught Amanda and Raffaele on the doorstep with a bucket and a mop in their hands. All of that was pure bunkum: there were no receipts, no mop, no detergent. But all of Perugia was talking about it: “The prosecution has found the receipts! They are guilty!”
Something unbelievable was happening to the press. While Amanda was in jail, she was told that she had AIDS and instructed to make a full list of her lovers. She named seven people. The list was leaked to the press at once. But even that was not enough and the prosecution merely resorted to perjury at the trial.
During the very first search at Raffaele Sollecito’s a knife was seized from the kitchen. It is not known why that knife was chosen. One of the policemen declared later that he had picked that knife by relying on his intuition. It was a rather odd declaration for policemen without experience in murder investigations and unable to record a case of burglary after four attempts.
Nevertheless, the knife was seized and Amanda’s DNA was found on its handle, naturally – she often cooked at Raffaele’s apartment. The problem is that neither the victim’s blood nor traces of her DNA were found on the blade of the knife.
These results did not satisfy the prosecutors. That’s why search parameters were broadened. Still no DNA showed up. The parameters were broadened again and again. Finally, traces of DNA appeared on the blade – so microscopic that the DNA could belong to anybody, including, for example, a judge hearing the appeal. At the trial, the expert witness Patrizia Stefanoni testified under oath, unperturbed, that she had found the victim’s DNA on the knife. The defense lawyers were denied access to the test file.
From the 400 DNA samples taken from the crime scene, not one belonged to Amanda or Raffaele. The prosecution continued to look for Raffaele’s DNA. More samples were taken time and again. At last, 47 days and an unknown number of searches later, the police found Meredith’s bra clasp with a piece of cloth at the crime scene.
The cloth had Rudy’s DNA all over it. There were tiny traces of someone else’s DNA on the clasp. The same story repeated itself: test parameters were broadened until it was possible to say that it could be Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA.
It is quite possible that it was his DNA indeed. It was present in such a nano-quantity that it could have been brought in with a dust particle in those 47 days – Raffaele had often been to the cottage. Or, perhaps, Raffaele slept with Meredith a fortnight or so before the tragedy. Regardless, Stefanoni testified at the trial that Sollecito’s DNA had been found at the crime scene.
Another expert witness, Dr. Lorenzo Rinaldi, said without hesitation that the bloody print of a bare foot left by the murderer on the small mat in the bathroom corresponded to a width of 66.7 mm and was too wide for Rudy Guede but a perfect fit for Raffaele Sollecito. The print corresponded to a width of 55.2 mm and belonged to Rudy Guede, and it was hard to imagine how a professional expert could make such a rough error in measuring the print.
Patrick Lumumba crosses over to the prosecution’s side
But this is not all.
One of the prosecution’s most vulnerable spots was Patrick Lumumba’s experience. Whichever way you looked at it, for two days they were beating information out of Amanda at the precinct – and finally dug up dirt on a man with a perfect alibi. Patrick Lumumba sued the police and told of being pressured.
If prosecutor Mignini did not know how to solve crimes, he had a different gift, no less precious: he knew how to make everyone around him to share his point of view. Patrick Lumumba was contacted, and suddenly became a star witness for the prosecution. Now he was accusing not the prosecutor’s office but Amanda Knox, the evil she-demon who had intentionally poured dirt on an innocent man. He even claimed that Knox slandered him because she got fired, although the message he sent on the night of the murder was about her work and showed that he had not fired her. “The American told lies about the bar owner to protect the true killer,” papers wrote.
It was easy and pleasant to speak out against Amanda. But there was zero tolerance for those who tried to defend her. When Amanda Knox stated at her trial that she had experienced pressure, prosecutor Mignini immediately opened a new case against her, for libel. When Amanda’s parents repeated her claim, a case was opened against them. Mignini initiated a total of 11 cases against those who did would not write the right stuff.
On December 5, 2009, the court in Perugia sentenced Amanda to 26 years, and her friend Raffaele, to 25, for a murder committed during a sexual orgy, for theft and slander. Yes, Amanda, among other things, was officially convicted of calunnia – the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. She was also convicted of stealing 300 Euros and credit cards from Meredith’s purse, although there were bloody fingerprints of Rudy Guede’s in the purse and neither DNA nor fingerprints of Amanda.
The case against Amanda and Raffaele was heard by two professional judges and six lay judges, de-facto jurors – common people who sat for 11 months, read newspapers, chatted with neighbors and were, naturally, convinced well ahead of the trial by the most obvious and clear proof of the defendants’ guilt presented to the press by sources close to the investigation.
In 2010, Knox received an additional term – a year in prison – for slandering the police.
Appeals and Cassation
Italian courts are famous for the abundance of judgments quashed by higher courts. Two years later, October 3, 2011, an appeals court chaired by Claudio Hellmann and Massimo Zanetti found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito not guilty of murder. Amanda left Italy, having served four and a half years. The appellate court left the sentence for accusing Patrick Lumumba in effect so it appeared that Amanda had served her time for a good reason.
The prosecutors were not giving up. On January 30, 2014, judge Nencini of the supreme court of cassation found Amanda and Raffaele guilty of murder again. By that time, all the experts’ conclusions regarding DNA and footprints had been discredited, and the court did not take them into consideartion. Judge Nencini found Amanda and Raffaele guilty of murder on the basis of Rudy Guede’s testimony. In his ruling, Nencini explained that their DNA was absent from the scene of crime because they had destroyed it.
And then, finally, in March 2015, by the same supreme court of cassation, but this time on appeal, Amanda and Raffaele were ultimately found not guilty. The ruling was published on September 7. The five-judge panel accused the investigators of “glaring errors,” “investigative amnesia,” “sensational gaps” and “deliberate omissions” regarding the means of obtaining evidence.
The logic of the big lie
The case of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is only a particular case in a world engulfed by falsification, but that’s what makes it interesting.
The prosecution in Amanda’s case was guided neither by improperly understood state interests, nor by hateful imperial paranoia, nor by the crowd’s religious fanaticism. It was about penny-cheap interests of a small group of people, prosecutor Mignini primarily. The social hysteria that arose around this case provides a fine demonstration – free from government interference – of how easily reality can be tailored to one’s interest, and an excellent example of what happens then.
First, the lie must be big. Only a big lie can recruit passionate followers. If prosecutor Mignini had accused Amanda Knox of stealing boots, it would have hardly become an article of faith.
Apart from that, a big lie is capable of absorbing all the contradictions. Had Mignini simply accused an average female student of murder, at once it would have been clear that it wasn’t true. But a “natural-born killer” who manipulated men like a juggler and a nightmarish death during a sexual orgy – this giant accusation swallowed all the contradictions.
For example, the fact that the investigators started by forcing Amanda into accusing an innocent Patrick Lumumba should have completely discredited both prosecutor Mignini and his theories and methods. But a big lie has a surprising way of absorbing any facts, and the coerced testimony against Lumumba not only failed to discredit the investigators in the end but, on the contrary, became one of the cornerstones of the prosecution’s case, as evidence of Amanda Knox’s mendaciousness and rottenness.
Second, the lie must generate co-conspirators. The most puzzling in this case is experts’ behavior. What did expert witness Stefanoni think while looking, time and again, for Meredith’s DNA on a knife that had no traces of Meredith’s blood?
Her behavior is a good example of people often betraying the truth not in critical circumstances but merely because it is more convenient. And even more often, of trying to convince themselves that what is the most convenient is the truth. After all, Stefanoni could have falsified the results outright. She could have taken Meredith’s blood and transferred it onto the knife. But instead of that, she kept broadening the search parameters, leaving behind a wide trail but minimizing the scope of her lying.
Just one unbalanced man wielding power – prosecutor Mignini with his fantasies about sex, Satan and dismembering women – managed to captivate with his vision a large number of quite professional people and to create within Perugia’s small police and expert community a climate in which any doubt of Amanda’s and Raffaele’s guilt was perceived as heresy.
And, finally, prosecutor Mignini managed to convince, if not million, hundreds of thousands of people of his fantasy. One of the striking facts I have not so far mentioned is the enormous number of Internet freaks, the countless sites exposing Amanda Knox the “satanist.” Actually, some of the “experts” on those sites are housewives posing as professional mentalists serving with the CIA; and from time to time, a certain “Messiah Jesus Christ” from planet Atlan would flash in their midst like a dazzling diamond.
This, by the way, tells us that there are no different kinds of paranoia. There is one universal paranoia, and one freak will always lend support to another. But all those people are extraordinarily sincere, assertive and, most importantly, they – with singular obstinacy – keep generating messages capable of convincing even an unbiased public of the truth of their case.
A perfect example of this is the story of Amanda Knox’s Wikipedia page. For a few years, the page had been authored exclusively by freaks, who reprinted, as the pure truth, all the particularly insane rumors leaked to the press. Eventually Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales interfered himself. On his orders, the article was rewritten, after which the anti-Knoxians accused Wales… right, of distorting the truth because of his sexual interest in Amanda.
The big lie. Enlisting co-conspirators in this lie, who would build their status on it, so the higher the status, the higher the stakes in the game. Total intimidation of everyone who disagrees with your point of view, so that the lazy would shrug their shoulders and say, “better leave them alone.” Turning this lie into articles of faith to galvanize groups of freaks, seeking no monetary gain yet very assiduous, translating the lie further out.
Normally, we believe that this would require un-freedom, a totalitarian regime and, more generally, a special kind of cynicism prevalent in society. As we can see, lies are capable of crystallizing – with destructive results – even in a perfectly free society. Orwell is closer than we think.
Any society on the planet is two steps from Orwell.