So, did anyone watch that Lifetime movie last night?

The one about the roommate killing in Italy? I’m trying to avoid the Search and Destroy insane family PR patrols that the murderer’s family sends about. Seriously. And so am trying to avoid the obvious links. There are crazies out there, and I don’t really want them in here.

Anyway, if anyone did watch last night’s movie about Amanda Knocks (see how I cleverly hide from the Google bots! – It’s spelled as in John K–x or Fort K–x), or if you catch it tonight, and you end up mostly confused by it, here is where to go to get the actual facts on the case:

www. or


Both sites have masses of information: texts of interviews, testimony, photos, videos, translation of Italian news, and of course discussion and explanation of these materials. There is also a link to the court report.

What is a court report, I hear you say.

The court report, named for the judge, and so the Massei Report, is a summation by the jury [which includes two judges along with what we would consider regular jurors] explaining how they came to reach their decision, what evidence they accepted, what they did not, why, and what they believe to be the true facts of the case. Italian courts don’t find for one side or the other so much as listen to all the arguments and come to their own assessment of facts, which in the end can differ from what both sides offered. The court report is a required part of their verdict, their justification of their action.

So that’s the Massei Report. It is linked at the top of both sites. People at PMF translated the entire document from the Italian, legalese and scientific language included. Anyone who says they read the verdict is using their translation, which is the only one. And anyone who discusses the case without having read it, and without addressing its conclusions, is a fraud. And that’s most of the people pontificating about this case in the US, since the news here has covered this case abominably.

I became fascinated by all this because I heard about the murder as I was sending Sair off overseas and it resonated with me. And because when the story first broke here, the first thing I saw on it was the report of the arrest of a lone man for the murder, a black man, a non-student, who ran a bar near the university, and was known for being involved and interested in the student community. The man, of course, proclaimed his complete innocence, but there was an eyewitness to the killing, a roommate of the murdered girl, and I remember thinking, “Oh sure, fellow, you’re just guilty as sin” when I heard his denials, and I completely believed he was the killer.

I am still atoning for my initial unthinking acceptance of that story by working to understand what really happened. It turns out that of all the people involved in the case, that man is the one person who is, in fact, obviously and completely innocent, having been accused out of the blue by this girl, who had been his employee. A girl to whom he had given a good job when she needed one. The girl who let him be arrested in front of his wife and son, and let him sit in jail for two weeks, while his business folded, until the police finally cleared and released him because of the lack of any physical evidence tying him to the scene and, further, because of their discovery of witnesses who corroborated his alibi.

Amanda AND her mother – she apparently had told her mother almost immediately – knew he was innocent that whole time. They were both constantly meeting with their Italian lawyers. But neither of them ever spoke a word to get an innocent man freed. Oh yeah, an all-American nice girl next door there.

Ironically enough, her family claim her conviction is all a gigantic frame-up, motivated by the corrupt Italian police and prosecutor, who couldn’t stand to loose face by releasing her once they had arrested her. Odd how they had no such difficulty in releasing her employer. And how they somehow managed to avoid framing a black man in favor of framing a middle-class American white girl and her well-connected Italian boyfriend.  The logic is a bit odd, to say the least.

I will stifle myself at this point. I can ramble on indefinitely about the case. But if you have already heard about the case, a good point to consider is this: Almost all the coverage from the US media on this subject is just so much hooey. The family has set in motion a million+ PR campaign. (And you do have to wonder about their priorities there…. a PR firm, really?) But the family has talking heads, they have sock puppets, they have phony experts up the wazoo, and basically all her supporters just lie like rugs. It has been an education hearing the same fake and easily discredited  talking points appear over and over again. (Oprah, I mean you! and CBS, naughty, naughty, try researching your own stuff like a Big News Network next time.) It has been an education be able to follow just how much of what passes for news is just the unquestioning passing along of prepared press packets.


4 responses to this post.

  1. The impression I had from the beginning (and I really can’t say why exactly) was the one you are putting forth…this girl is a bitch, and self aggrandizing spoiled all American Me Me Me bitch and her family is right behind her all the way.

    I feel so bad for the murdered girl’s family.

    I didn’t know about the innocent man who had hired her. Frustrating to say the least! And I always have to tell myself that very little of what we hear is ever accurate.


    • The man, Patrick, is apparently a very sweet guy, still pulling his life back together, working more with his music and arranging events.
      Random fact is that he is apparently the son of Patrice Lumumba.


      • Wow! Now that is interesting! All I know about Patrice Lumumba I learned from reading Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible”.
        I hope Patrick does get his life back together.


  2. Posted by A Mom on March 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Very interesting discussion on this


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