Friday, May 6, 2011

Amanda Knox: A Case Dominated By Sexual Obsession

In late 2007, student Meredith Kercher was found brutally murdered in a hillside cottage in Perugia Italy. Her murder sparked a media frenzy due to the alleged sexual nature of the crime. News out of Perugia told unsubstantiated tales of a satanic ritualistic sex orgy that led to murder. At the heart of these accusations was Meredith's roommate Amanda Knox. This outrageous fantasy all began with a kiss.

The morning following the murder, Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were standing outside the cottage watching investigators and members of the media converge on the murder scene. As both stood there in the cold, Raffaele held Amanda keeping her warm and at one point they shared a few short kisses. At that moment cameras flashed, images of the two kissing were viewed around the world, instantly creating the fictional satanic ritualistic sex crazed killer "Foxy Knoxy." The media failed to note that Amanda was scared and shaking, looking for comfort in an extreme moment of shock. They also failed to note that the nick-name pulled from Amanda's MySpace page was actually a childhood nickname earned for her skills on the soccer field. "Foxy Knoxy" made for salacious headlines in a story that was becoming more sexually charged with each coming hour. Sex sells and the media saw the opportunity to cash in. Unfortunately the truth was nowhere on their radar.

In the days and weeks that followed, the fantasy of a lust driven and sexually motivated sex killing was the topic of conversation about a case that in reality had absolutely nothing to do with sex. Police moved forward with their investigation of what they would call a "threesome sex-orgy gone wrong." False claims fueled what quickly became a sexual obsession that overwhelmed every media report. One story in particular sent the obsession into overdrive. It was reported that Amanda went to a lingerie shop with Raffaele shortly after the murder to by a g-string. Readers were told they were seen laughing and talking about "wild" sex in the store. As it turns out, the witness claiming to hear the sex talk didn't speak any English. Amanda and Raffaele just so happened to be speaking English in the store. We would later find out that the witness was paid by a tabloid. Even worse, the store wasn't even a lingerie shop. Elizabeth Vargas, an ABC reporter, reported on the Oprah Winfrey show that she visited the store and observed that they didn't even sell the sexy lingerie that was described in the media. She described the store as being similar to a Target store in the United States. Unfortunately, the security camera footage that showed a brief moment when Amanda smiled at Raffaele was all the media needed to propel the lie around the globe.

Barbie Nadeau
One of the most salacious writers in the case, yellow journalist Barbie Nadeau was front and center when it came to fueling the sexual obsession hovering over the case. She printed outright lies regarding excerpts leaked from Amanda's prison diary stating that Amanda claimed to have slept with seven partners during the time she was in Italy. The truth is, in a dishonest attempt to gain information about her sex life, Amanda was told by corrupt prison officials that she tested positive for HIV. In a very responsible manner, Amanda put together an honest list of partners she had been with during her lifetime. Little did she know that immoral journalists such as Barbie Nadeau would use this information to formulate egregious lies to be used against her.

Nadeau consistently shows how out of touch she is with the current culture in Perugia Italy. For example, Nadeau left college students in Perugia baffled when she made this observation:

"I don't think it's completely out of the picture to assume that group sex is part of the university experience now.  Based on interviews I have done, it's just what kids are doing in Perugia. These kids are not strangers to what I would consider to be extreme sex games."

Most readers would probably be quite interested in hearing from those Barbie claimed to interview. If group sex is a normal part of college life, Barbie Nadeau is the only one to realize this.

But Barbie's salacious style is not just used to sexualize the students of Perugia or Amanda Knox. Instead, Nadeau is one of the few yellow journalists willing to take her constant sexualization to the next level by disrespecting the murder victim, Meredith Kercher, in her book Angel Face, describing her lifeless naked body in lurid and sexualized terms ( as viewed during autopsy). There was no reason whatsoever to mention anything about the appearance of Meredith’s private parts and Nadeau should be ashamed for stooping to that level to promote her career. 

Sexually charged headlines for articles written by Barbie Nadeau, and others like her, came easy for editors all around the world.  For those who haven't followed the case, salacious headlines like the following were the norm:

"Lesbian Sex Plea to Knoxy"

"Foxy Knoxy plays the field from her jail cell with new romance"

“Diary reveals Foxy Knoxy’s sex secrets"

“Hayden banned from seeing sex monster Knox”

Giuliano Mignini

The Prosecution and the Court
The media carries much of the blame for fueling the sexual obsession, but we must not forget that they were being fed erroneous information from the prosecution's office led by Giuliano Mignini. Mignini was the media's source for many of the lies that were spread early on. Prosecutor Mignini would change his theory of the crime many times throughout the course of the trial. He eventually dropped the sex game theory that filled the headlines for over two years leading up to the verdict, going with an equally ridiculous theory that Amanda simply hated Meredith enough to kill her. Along with the baseless motivation of hatred, he was able to keep lust in his narrative. He created dialog for Amanda during his closing argument and imagined her saying this to Meredith during the attack: "You are always behaving like a little saint. Now we will show you; now we will make you have sex."

Judge Massei, the head magistrate in the case, didn't buy Mignini's theory and instead created his own lust driven theory of the crime. Massei suggested that Amanda and Raffaele were being intimate in Amanda's room when they overheard Rudy Guede attacking Meredith. Instead of coming to Meredith's aid, Amanda and Raffaele decided to join in on the attack. The amazing thing is that Massei's theory is even more ludicrous than Mignini's. Why would Amanda decide to help a virtual stranger attack and murder her friend? How would they have known that Rudy would not attack them? Common sense was nowhere to be found and apparently any sexually driven theory would do.

Peggy Ganong and Perugia Murder File
The sexual obsession fueled by the court and observed in the media was quickly adopted by a group of individuals running an ongoing hate campaign against Amanda Knox online. This group assembles on a discussion board called Perugia Murder File (PMF) run by Seattle resident, Peggy Ganong. The same group also runs a so called informational site called True Justice (TJMK) run by New Jersey resident, Peter Quennell. This group claims to be dedicated to preserving the memory of Meredith Kercher but in reality their only goal is to smear Amanda Knox. They continuously show an obsession with sex in their daily conversation attempting to paint Amanda's supporters as middle-aged men that only support Amanda because they are sexually attracted to her. Here are a few quotes from PMF, the site moderated by Peggy Ganong:

"They are middle aged Perverts who dream of being the foxy to Amanda's knoxy"

"All are middle-aged men driven by fantasies of recapturing lost youth, being a hero and carrying the damsel in distress off into the sunset."

"those middle aged one hand typists who spend their sleepless nights imagining romantic interludes with Amanda."

"seriously sick, pitifully perverted, lust aided attraction that some bored middle aged males with keyboards, have for a unanimously convicted, justly incarcerated young female"

Recently, this group suggested that Wikipedia Founder Jimbo Wales became interested in the Amanda Knox case because he was looking to have sex with Amanda.

"I don't see the pay-off in the end. Right now, Jimbo is on the verge of losing any sense of respect as a new media entrepreneur (lying about his checkuser results, for example) just for a chance to catch a peek of some tender young sex killer flesh."

"Jimbo is precisely the profile of the aging Lothario looking for access to tail through his powerful media connections. He isn't thinking with his correct head and everything he's proposed is straight out of the FOA manual."   

"Somebody should give Jimbo a cold shower. He's really lathered up and ready for brunette sex killer action"   

Peggy Ganong should have been ashamed to be part of that conversation, but as moderator she not only endorsed the dialogue but joined in with a zinger of her own: "In all seriousness, what is it with these wiki guys and their wicks?"

Peter Quennell: The worst of the sexually obsessed 
Peter Quennell, who runs the website True Justice, does nothing to hide his obsession with murder victim Meredith Kercher on his site, giving readers an experience that is outright creepy. He doesn't hesitate to carry on the sex laden talking points of his group. He had this to say about me when he felt the need to talk about my daughter while accusing me of lusting over Amanda:

"Hmmm. Someone now tells me that Bruce Fisher who runs some FOA website claims to have a daughter. I have never paid much interest in him, but one has to wonder why he is slobbering kinkily over Amanda Knox while at the same time undermining those public institutions that are the bedrock of the future of his daughter and, when she has them, her own kids."

Even though many of the people that support Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are women, Peter Quennell, Peggy Ganong and their followers, like to spread lies that the support comes primarily from perverted middle-aged men. This line of thinking is disgusting, but not surprising.  More likely than not, followers of Quennell and Ganong project their own shameful and creepy sexual obsessions onto others.

Recently, Quennell showed his obsession with young women when he stalked and attempted to extort money from a young woman who resisted his advances. This young woman's name will not be mentioned in this article in order to protect her privacy. Quennell attempted to lure this young woman into a business deal in which he would create a promotional website to help build her career. She was new to the United States and Quennell's offer sounded pretty good in the beginning. Quennell proceeded to create a website telling the young woman that he was creating the site free of charge to show her the benefits of his promotional expertise. The site included many personal details of the young woman's life and she did not approve. The young woman was shocked at the website Quennell had created and also became concerned (and was warned by at least one friend) that his interest in her was not solely business-related. Quennell's emails were at times sexual in nature, repeatedly asking for her to take trips with him. He refused to cease communications with her when asked, and he appeared to her to be obsessed.

The young woman asked Quennell to take the website offline but he refused, demanding money to remove it. Quennell sent the young woman hundreds of emails encouraging (pressuring) her to work with him. This disturbing daily barrage of emails led the young woman to become afraid of Quennell and she decided to go to the police. It was only after being contacted by detectives that Quennell finally removed the website ending this young woman's nightmare.

Quennell has been instructed by the police to have absolutely no contact with this young woman. In fact, if, as a result of this article or any other catalyst, Quennell decides to disobey the instructions of the police and contact or harass this young woman, or repost the offensive website he created, he knows that he will be in violation of stalking laws, and will be subject to arrest.  Additionally, individuals close to the case are in possession of several hundred emails sent by Quennell to this young woman. To this point, they have been kept confidential, and will remain so, unless Quennell violates stalking laws by any of the previously mentioned actions or continues to harass the young woman in any way, shape or form.

I know of other women that have been mistreated by Quennell that have chosen to stay silent for personal reasons. I encourage anyone that has been wronged by Peter Quennell to come forward. Exposing the truth will help to prevent Quennell from mistreating others in the future. Peter Quennell is one of the leaders of the ongoing hate campaign against Amanda Knox. If this information doesn't cause readers to pause and reevaluate what kind person Peter Quennell is and how credible his website is, nothing will.

The truth in this case has been clouded over by a disturbing sexual obsession that began with the prosecution. This obsession spread like cancer throughout the media, distorting public perception, fueling a hate campaign, eventually leading to the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who now face a quarter century behind bars.

The murder of Meredith Kercher was a brutal crime but not a complicated one. Rudy Guede ambushed Meredith when she arrived home while Guede was in the process of burglarizing the residence. Meredith endured a violent attack which included rape. This crime was not one of lust acted out by three sex killers. This crime was one of extreme violence inflicted by one man in an act of pure evil. The sexual obsession that overwhelmed this case was based on pure fantasy; it was never about sex.