Monday, November 12, 2007

Foxy Knoxy and the Presumption of Guilt

Being innocent until proven guilty is a central platform of many justice systems, not least in this country. And, of course, our media is more than happy to adhere to this. Unless the case happens to involve the brutal murder of a photogenic, female, English student abroad and the suspect(s) happen not to be English. And have committed the fatal flaw of having MySpace and Facebook pages filled with photos.

Meredith Kercher’s murder was pretty horrific, and just a preliminary reading of any article about the killing will give you such terrible words as "raped", "held down" and "throat slashed". However, to date, no-one has been convicted of this crime, and so much of the coverage of the suspects is completely irrelevant. And perhaps inevitably, The Mail is leading the way with inane, judgmental shite printed in the toilet paper that constitutes that hate rag.

Much of the focus is on Amanda Knox. It is difficult to know why, although I rather suspect it is because Knox herself looks good on camera and, more crucially, gave herself the punchy online name of "Foxy Knoxy."

For the Mail is now incapable of Amanda Knox anything other than Foxy Knoxy. And if you type the words "Foxy Knoxy" into The Daily Mail’s search engine, you come up with a massive 82 results. Which is not bad going for a suspect in a murder committed just 12 fucking days ago!

And look at some of the neutral, non-judgmental headlines:

Foxy Knoxy: Inside the twisted world of flatmate suspected of Meredith's murder

Which contains such gems as:

"In a series of meandering short stories, she outlines a string of scenarios which includes two brothers discussing the drugging and rape of a young girl."
Because, of course, writing bollocks stories on line is a sure sign that you are a foaming mouthed, evil rapist murderer just waiting to strike. And:

"Last night a fellow student said she had not liked Knox. "I never really liked her on a personal level. Me and a friend found her a bit brash. When she introduced herself to the class she just went up to one random guy and didn't go up to anyone else. She talked a lot and laughed at her own jokes.""
Fucking hell, what an evil cow. Not liked by fellow students. A bit brash. She must have done it!

But the second headline is more compelling, and insulting:

Foxy Knoxy, the girl who had to compete with her own mother for men

The summary of the story reads:
"Her father walked out when she was only four and her mother then married a toyboy... the disturbing past of the student accused of killing her British flatmate."
Disturbing past? Coming from a broken home is disturbing? Marrying a toyboy is disturbing? Fuck me, don’t let anyone from The Mail watch Hollyoaks, Eastenders or Coronation Street. They’ll be utterly traumatised!

And then we have:

Meredith's father says she found Foxy Knoxy flatmate 'eccentric'

Because Meredith’s father, a distraught, bereaved father and secondhand source, is a completely honest and open, reliable contact simply because his daughter was killed. But even if Meredith did find Amanda Knox "eccentric", "sure of herself" and had been "entertaining men "within a week of arriving" in Italy", so the fuck what? How many other students are eccentric, full of themselves, and sleep around when at university? Hell, you could’ve described me as "eccentric" and "full of myself" when at university. And I would have slept around too, given half a chance.

And I could so on and on and on, highlighting more and more judgmental ignorance and ill-founded attacks on a girl not because she is guilty of murder, but rather because she had the misfortune to become part of a murder investigation at the same time as having an online, accessible identity.

But then I read something at the bottom of the last online article that gave me just a momentary flash of optimism. The first comment reads:

"Perhaps in a case of this seriousness, the media should stop calling her 'Foxy Knoxy' at every opportunity and stick to her real name. She's a murder suspect, not a celebrity."
Then we have:

"This woman - neither convicted nor charged with any crime - is being demonised simply because of her nickname and (alleged) reputation for having fun."
And finally:

"I agree with the others. It is unfair to refer to the suspect as Foxy Knoxy."
Maybe, just maybe, there is some hope for The Daily Hate if the comments on their website are willing to criticise the paper from some of the more outrageously insulting and bullying behaviour.

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Blogger Harry said...

The preliminary judge in the investigation, judge Claudia Matteini, the judges at the Italian Supreme Court, and now judge Paolo Micheli have all said there are serious indications of Amanda Knox's guilt.

There are 7 pieces of forensic evidence that link Amanda to the crime, including Amanda's DNA on the handle of the knife found at Raffaele Sollecito's apartment and Meredith Kercher's DNA on the blade, and Amanda's bare footprints set in Meredith's blood.

Amanda knew precise details about the crime and the crime scene which she could only have known if she had been present when Meredith was murdered. Amanda herself admitted she was present when Meredith was murdered in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November.

Amanda and Raffaele not only gave conflicting witness statements, but also gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing on the night of the murder.

There are two excellent pro-evidence, pro-victim websites about the case.

True Justice For Meredith Kercher:

Perugia Murder File:

10:50 AM  
Blogger Harry Rag said...

The English translation of Judge Massei's sentencing report can be downloaded from here:

3:30 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Everything in the original Matteini verdict was later proven wrong. The Massei verdict is so full of contradictions and leaps of logic it's hard to imagine how something could be written other then to conclude their was really never a case and the judge was required to write something that justified a guilty verdict after the first trial in 2009.

5:08 AM  

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