Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder in Umbria: The Murder of Meredith Kercher

Friends of Amanda—and Enemies

Kurt Knox
Kurt Knox

Amanda's father Curt has reportedly spent half a million dollars on her case so far. He and his ex-wife have been taking turns visiting her during her confinement. He comforts Amanda in court; Edda is listed as a potential witness and is thus not allowed to observe the trial. And others are stepping in to help, with or without the consent of Knox or her family.

A group calling itself Friends of Amanda is acting as Amanda's advocate in the press in the U.S. and abroad. Chicago criminal investigator Paul J. Ciolino is working for the case for free, as is Seattle attorney Anne Bremner.

Bremner says that the Italian officials were incompetent. She alleges that the crime scene was tampered with throughout the protracted police investigation—but her allegation is based on video of the apartment downstairs. Crime squad director Profazio admits that several inspections were carried out later and that a month and a half passed before police found Meredith's bra clasp—with traces of the accused parties' DNA—on her bedroom floor. Giulia Bongiorno, one of Raffaele's lawyers, says that this evidence may be contaminated. Meanwhile, unknown intruders broke in and further degraded the crime scene.

Seattle Judge Michael Heavey has also condemned Italian authorities in this case. Other Knox supporters claim that Prosecutor Mignini is incompetent or even unstable or criminal. But this group does not represent Amanda in any official capacity. According to Knox's lead attorney, Luciano Ghirga, her family has rejected these other Americans' help.

Family and friends have talked to the press in an attempt to clarify what they see as misrepresentations. Amanda's parents, and her UW roommate, Madison Paxton, have said that the nickname "Foxy Knoxy" referred to Amanda's defensive soccer skills, not to her supposedly seductive ways. Madison reported that Amanda thought of herself as overweight and unattractive in high school. Her former drama teacher agreed, describing her, succinctly if ungallantly, as short and mousy. Amanda's mother said Raffaele was the only man Amanda was seeing in Italy; her sister Deanna declared that Amanda didn't have a boyfriend until she was 19.

In her defenders' rendering, corroborated by her diary and online postings, Amanda comes off as a once-awkward girl coming to grips with her newly found powers of attraction. She's getting fan mail in prison (and plenty of creepy support on the Facebook pages devoted to her); she recognizes that this is largely because she's pretty—but she also suggests that she's not all that pretty.

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