Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Morning. I'm filled up with Manflu today, so my writing won't be as sharp and spectacular as it usually is(?) so I apologise greatly for that.

Today's news is dominated by Amanda Knox and her former partner, Raffaele Sollecito, who have been released from prison and acquitted over the murder of student Meredith Kercher. As far as criminal cases go, this one is an absolute cracker. No matter how much I read about that night, I'm still completely undecided as to what actually happened. We're pretty certain that Rudy Guede murdered and sexually assaulted Meredith, but did he act alone? Were Knox and Sollecito involved, somehow? I get the feeling we'll never know, which drives me mad with frustration, but such is life.

Whether Knox/Sollecito are guilty or not guilty however, what has horrified me during this case is the realisation that if they ever got out - and of course we now know that they have - they would become celebrities. Famous. As I've mentioned before, I really loathe the word "famous", and Amanda Knox provides a decent example of why. Perhaps they deserve their freedom, but the thought of them raking in the dollars and living the high life greatly depresses me, even if they are innocent. Of course, Knox's rise to fame has been, and will be, aided and abetted by the media. I note with an awful lot of regret that Meredith Kercher's body wasn't even cold by the time the phrase "Foxy Knoxy" had entered our lexicon.

So we'll have the "EXCLUSIVE!" first interview - probably with that morally bankrupt slimeball Piers Moron - and then she'll release her book, which will naturally be a best-seller. A few more TV appearances, then once those cheques have been cashed it'll be some form of photo-shoot, possibly involving the nice people at Playboy Mansion. After that, the reality TV appearances must surely follow. I reckon she'd be a hit on 'Dancing With The Stars'! Cynical? Maybe I am, but I'd be surprised if Amanda Knox ended up working at her local Starbucks, or indeed anywhere else. I hope she proves me wrong.

Let me make it clear - I'm not blaming Knox for that, per se. If I was innocent - and for all we know she might be - I'd go along with it as well, because the temptation to set myself up for life would be too hard to turn down. Instead I blame the "celebrity culture" we've been dragged into, a world where someone accused of murder can write a best-selling book which says "I didn't do it" for 300 pages, a world where Katie Price is a multi-millionaire, a world where the likes of Chantelle Houghton are famous. Nothing would make me happier than shite like "Heat" magazine or "OK!" going out of business because people stopped caring that Cameron Diaz has a spot on her chin, Cheryl Cole is getting married and Ryan Giggs is having sex with a Russian waitress called Olga. Deep down though, we all know that's not going to happen any time soon, and that's a shame. In the case of Knox, it's the sheer shamelessness of it all that bugs me. She's a good looking white girl, but that shouldn't excuse the media frenzy that spins and whirls its way around her wherever she now goes. If she is innocent, she deserves her freedom and allowed to return back home to the US. But what if she isn't? And there's still very strong doubts about her actions that night. One to remember when you're queuing to buy her book.

Ranting about the media aside, there's a bigger issue here and one that saddens me. For all the talk of "Foxy Knoxy" et al, Meredith Kercher has been left behind, a bloodied corpse resigned to being an afterthought when Knox is on TV, sobbing over the hardship of an unjust jail sentence. Whether Amanda Knox has - literally - gotten away with murder, or whether she's as innocent as you or I am over this one, let us not forget the true victim of this horrific crime. We may not know who did it, or why, but we know what the result was. RIP Meredith. I hope and pray that you are never forgotten.


  1. I don't know the case well enough to feel strongly either way - but are you saying we shouldn't feel sorry for her because you're cynical about how she may act? This seems to have an unusually accusing tone for you (ie. 'While you're queueing to buy her book') Having read your piece a couple of times, you seem to infer that 'Foxy Knoxy' (surely it should be FoKno by now?) is a label Amanda Knox invented herself. Surely it's the media who put that label on her?

    Is there some irony in writing a blog bemoaning the press coverage of Knox that sidelines Meredith Kircher, which itself is a blog predominantly about Knox and only mentions Meredith Kircher at the end, albeit as a poginant sign-off? I must admit the only story I've really read on the whole case is the BBC website's story this evening, which focused on the Kircher family.

    The only other place I saw a similar line of thinking to yours ('tho I only saw the headline) was on the front page of the Daily Mail ('Foxy Knoxy Free To Make Millions'). I'm not for a second comparing you to our man in the closet, Richard Littledick, but it's a very fine line you seem to be walking here. Unless of course she does sell her story to OK! and gets her own Jim'll Fix It-style reality show called Opportunity Knox, in which case you're vindicated and I'll look ever more the naive do-gooder.

    But until then: Innocent until proven guilty (or acquitted), m'lud?

    Yours devilishly advocating...

  2. Shaun, you make some excellent points. Perhaps I didn't explain my position firmly enough. Let me hopefully try and assure you a little!

    1) First and foremost - I made a conscious decision to write this blog post presenting Amanda Knox in a neutral state, if you see what I mean. Guilty or not guilty? For this piece, it doesn't matter. I tried desperately hard not to accuse/imply anything at all about her or the case.

    2) My main point is effectively this - at some point in the near future, Amanda Knox will go on TV and break down in tears over what happened and her prison sentence. I feel deeply uncomfortable about this. Amanda Knox wasn't the victim here. IF she was wrongly imprisoned then that's bad, obviously, but the Not Guilty verdict means she's effectively won that battle already - she's had her name cleared, she's been released, she's gone back home.

    2) I certainly didn't mean to infer/imply that "Foxy Knoxy" was invented by her. No, it wasn't, at all. You know when a kid dies and the press immediately find their Facebook page? The same with Knox, except five years ago it was her Myspace page. They saw her nickname of "Foxy Knoxy", saw some pictures of her (and she's a good looking young lady) and immediately launched this slogan. Again, I found that very uncomfortable. A girl has been murdered and the media are targeting a murder suspect, calling her "Foxy", analysing her sex life and splashing photos of her around? What kind of world do we live in now? Answer = a world where "Heat" magazine is popular. I tried to broaden the blog entry out into "celebrity culture" as a whole, and perhaps the link was a tad tenuous but them's the breaks.

    3) On the Meredith Kercher point - good one. You've got me there. The blog entry was intended to be about Amanda Knox - see how I stayed away from Raffaele and Rudy as well - but perhaps that makes me one massive hypocrite. I concede that point. I suppose my only defence to that would be that if I wrote a long, gushing eulogy about Meredith halfway through, people would look at that and (rightly) think "Well, this is bollocks, you didn't know her." Perhaps my point isn't about Kercher per se, it's about what she represents.

    4) I am cynical, and if I'm wrong on this one, then I'm wrong, and I'll happily admit it. I just think in the world we live in today, and considering what hot property Knox now is - would it surprise you if she signed a book advance for $1m?

    Again, that makes me uncomfortable, although others might not feel that way. In essence, the blog entry can be boiled down to this question:

    "Guilty or not guilty - is it morally RIGHT that Amanda Knox will make money out of that night?"

    In my opinion, no. Others will say yes. I was just giving my side of the coin.

    PS. No more comparisons to Littlejohn thank you!