Rescuing Amanda Knox

Ultimately, “Amanda Knox’ is a project of restoring lost innocence, and the filmmakers seem eager to play their role.white-knight-2

The newest true crime documentary from Netflix, “Amanda Knox,” centers on Amanda and the eight years of court proceedings regarding the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.The movie presents interviews with Knox, her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, and British tabloid reporter Nick Pisa. The film resonates with American audiences, who have been primarily exposed to news media reporting favorably on the “home-town girl.” Amanda is America’s “woman in distress;” and the filmmakers are her white knights who have arrived to rescue her from the evil beasts of Nick Pisa and Guiliano Mignini.


Cultural Constructions of the Femme Fatale by Steve Simkin

In the film, the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher is sidelined by focusing on Nick Pisa and the British tabloids as a stand-in for all media reporting, then portraying Knox (instead of Meredith) as the victim of Pisa’s reporting.

American audiences in particular have been outraged at the she-devil, femme fatale portrait of Amanda that is created by the British tabloids. Very few critics, if any, have looked at the role the Netflix filmmakers have in overturning this narrative.

While some feminists have spoken up, they have staunchly insisted on pushing the HIV claims made by Pisa (without fact-checking) as a key example of how Knox was persecuted for her sexuality. (The truth, according to Amanda, is the prison officials TOLD HER NOT TO WORRY; that the test could be a false positive and they would retest; and they DID NOT REQUEST her list of partners; it was her decision to write it in her diary) Almost all reviewers (save one) have missed that the it is the filmmakers who arrive to rescue Amanda and restore her lost “innocence.”


To understand how the film reinforces that women need saving-and the positive American reception to the film-you first have to understand the narrow view of the case in the US media. After she was arrested, Amanda’s innocence campaign in the US pushed back on the image that was coming from the British tabloid media. Amanda’s family hired PR professional David Marriott, claiming this was done to manage the media requests coming into the family. However, later news reports tell it differently: “By enlisting her friends and family, and targeting specific news organizations to tell the family’s story, Marriott eventually helped reshape how the world saw the young American.” The Friends of Amanda pushed a counter-story of Knox being persecuted by the lead prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini.  The US media organizations were seemingly as content to report on what Knox’s representatives said without fact checking, as Nick Pisa was content to report on what trial informants told him without fact checking. Largely absent from US reporting was any real information on the case or evidence (a problem repeated in the Netflix documentary).

As supporters joined the campaign for Amanda’s innocence, they too focused their sights on Mignini and tabloid media reporters. Bruce Fischer targeted Guiliano Mignini and Nick Pisa as the “Architects of Foxy Knoxy.” Former FBI agent Steve Moore claimed that Amanda was being framed to cover for Guede. Jim Clemente, a behaviorist whose expertise was in child predators, claimed to know what happened to Meredith simply by ‘looking at a couple of photos.’ Amanda even had support from Seattle’s Judge Heavey, who wrote to Mignini in a plea for Amanda’s release.


Knox’s innocence advocates: Bruce Fischer, Steve Moore, Greg Hampikian, David Marriott, Jim Clemente, Judge Michael Heavey (ret)

Over time, Knox’s innocence campaigners established the narrative in the US that Knox was being unjustly accused by a prosecutor with a vendatta. For its part, the US media was content to allow claims such as ‘Amanda was interrogated for 14 (or 43, or 46, or 53) hours,’ without ever fact checking whether this was true or not (See a recent Time magazine article with this claim). Knox’s innocence campaign was particularly focused on combating the tabloid narrative of “Foxy Knoxy.”

Another key component of her US based innocence campaign was that she was unfairly (according to the system in the US) retried and re-convicted, a belief which persists to this day. News organizations were content to think their audiences wouldn’t understand the Italian Courts, so instead they reported that Knox was unfairly being subjected to “double jeopardy,” that is, being convicted again after a trial court found her innocent.

king 5 double jeopardy

Enter the filmmakers.

Sometime in 2011, Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn and Stephen Robert Morse decided to embark on the “filmmaking journeytogether to produce a movie on the case. The directors and producers were all in Perugia for Knox and Sollecito’s first appeals hearing in October 2011. Producer Stephen Robert Morse was clearly in the pro-Knox camp, and to a lesser extent, so was director Rod Blackhurst. Morse appeared to have adopted fully the innocence campaign’s narrative, including attacking Nick Pisa as a “shit journalist”. (Recently, posters to Fisher’s online forums have stated that Morse was with people from “Injustice in Perugia” when he confronted Nick Pisa on the street in Perugia).

Blackhurst, to his credit, was more reserved in his views; he tweeted out “Free Amanda Knox”  in three posts in 2010 and 2011 prior to starting the film;  one of the posts linking to the sensational Rolling Stone article, “The Never Ending Nightmare of Amanda Knox” which describes how Knox was “coerced” into a confession. On the day the Supreme Court threw out the case, Blackhurst’s tweet was a simple heart.


The filmmakers of “Amanda Knox”: director Brian McGinn, producer Stephen Robert Morse, director Rod Blackhurst

51lzeme4xnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_The filmmakers may have had a ready-made outline in the way of Douglas Preston’s novel the Monster of Florence. Douglas Preston had joined Knox’s innocence campaign in part due to his own confrontation with Prosecutor Mignini. Preston’s novel  describes Mignini’s role in the search for the serial murderer called the Monster of Florence. Mignini’s search is portrayed as an Ahab-like endless pursuit with an uncertain resolution. While the Mignini of Preston’s novel is not destroyed by his pursuit of the “monster;” it does consume him.

Preston learned of the serial killer case while living in Italy from journalist Mario Spezi, who co-wrote the novel. While Preston was researching the case, Prosecutor Mignini accused Preston of obstruction of justice, and Preston was given the option to leave Italy. After this, Preston had an axe to grind with Mignini- and he ground it to a fine point in his novel. Preston believed Mignini was a “rogue prosecutor,” and Preston was particularly fond of pushing a story that Mignini saw satanic conspiracies, that Mignini “believes that Satan walks the land.” This satanism claim was pushed in the US and elsewhere by sympathizers in media organizations like CBS. Preston’s co-writer, Mario Spezi, was also charged by Mignini with obstruction of justice for interfering with the Monster of Florence investigation.

monsterBack to Perugia; in 2011, after the filmmakers decided to start their project, Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn hung out with Mario Spezi in Florence. Producer Stephen Morse was with Spezi at the courthouse when the appeals court issued their ruling. (Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi are thanked in the credits of the Netflix film).

The film suggests Knox has become Mignini’s new monster to pursue; as she narrates in the film: “people love the idea of a monster.” Netflix’s imagery for the film puts Preston’s story in Times Square in banner ads. But to American audiences used to the reporting over the last nine years, its Amanda who is being persecuted, and she is the damsel in distress.

Of course, damsels need their saviors, and Stephen Morse in particular seemed ready to be one of Knox’s white knights. In a now deleted blog post, he telegraphed the role he perhaps eagerly pursued: “it is my hope that one day her world will be free of the misplaced hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.” It was Morse who got Plus Pictures on the project and it was Morse who connected the directors with Knox. Netflix has reportedly distanced Morse from the project, saying his producer title is only honorary. Indeed, it was the directors, who, after hanging out in Florence with Mario Spezi, managed to get the participation of Mignini, Knox, Sollecito, and Pisa.

white-knight-chronicles-reviewAmanda finally had her white knights. The”white knight syndrome” is a “compulsive need to be the rescuer.” White knights “see women as powerless and unable to defend or take care of themselves; their problems are a result of misfortune or the cruelty of this world, never as their own fault.”

In the film, everything happens to Amanda; she is not responsible for anything. Knox is presented entirely as a victim of a prosecutor colluding with the media to create the myth of Foxy Knoxy, and any of Knox and Sollecito’s actions that counter the film’s narrative are left out. Her incredulous story of coming home, seeing blood, taking a shower, using the bathmat (with blood on it) to “surf” to her bedroom and back is hardly explored. The cell phone and computer records that contradict both Knox and Sollecito’s stories are ignored. Knox says her slander of Patrick is because she “broke” under the pressure of interrogation, and there is no mention of her following statements and writings where she acknowledges Patrick is in jail because of her (oddly, though, in the film she doesn’t repeat the 53 hour interrogation claim). The film ignores that Knox’s conviction for slander was upheld in all five courts that heard the case. There is almost no mention of Raffaele’s inability to maintain a consistent story and his refusal to support her alibi throughout the trial and first appellate hearing. Sollecito makes a lone passing comment about getting stoned, though at Knox’s apartment pot was as common as pasta.

white-knight-2To fully save Knox, the dual media images of guilt and sexual promiscuity needed to be confronted.  To deal with the image of guilt, Knox’s questionable reactions after the murder are swapped out with Pisa’s clear lack of empathy. The film cuts between Pisa’s statements on orgasmic headlines with scenes from Meredith’s funeral, putting Nick Pisa’s amorality at center stage. He becomes the wolf in pursuit, preying on innocent victims for his own gratification.  Knox’s own insensitive actions after the murder are replaced by the actions of someone who responded even worse.

At this time, Meredith’s death, shown in images of the funeral, becomes simply a temporary stand-in for Knox, and Meredith is quickly replaced on the way to Knox’s eventual redemption. Knox’s sex life becomes the topic of Pisa’s reporting, and the film similarly replaces Meredith’s death with Knox’s victimization by tabloid media. By the time Pisa makes the claim that the HIV test result was a ploy, Knox has almost fully replaced Meredith as the victim, and Pisa has replaced Mignini as the primary evil pursuing Knox. Even though Pisa admits himself that much of what he wrote was false, audiences are quick to latch onto Pisa’s newest salacious statement that the HIV test result was a deliberate ploy to get and publish Knox’s sex partner list. The implication is clear- Amanda is being pursued by Pisa and the tabloid media because of her sexual promiscuity.nxj6s

Meredith is reduced to an afterthought in Amanda’s tale; Meredith is not the one needing saving now. She doesn’t even warrant a R.I.P.  mention in the film’s conclusion.

The filmmakers have disclaimed any role in constructing a narrative by stating they have simply let the subjects of the film a free and open space to say what they wanted to say. The production of a feature film, instead of an interview, obviously involves many decisions. This is where the narrative is constructed; whether through deliberate storytelling on the part of the filmmakers or, as may be the case, inadvertently through their own background and assumptions. They filmmakers stated they ‘started with the final supreme court ruling and worked backwards;’ which privileges Knox’s story and appearance in the film. The film takes the Supreme Court’s statement on “media pressure” and swaps in Pisa’s tabloid reporting on “Foxy Knoxy.” Musically, the film could have replaced the score with Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” to the same effect. Instead of contrasting Meredith’s funeral with  Knox’s diary writing that she “could kill for a pizza” (made days after the murder), the film instead edits the funeral together with Pisa’s pursuit of headlines over any sense of humanity for lost life. And-as the directors later state-they didn’t have a film without Mignini, the target of many of Knox’s US supporters.

abc.pngA successful narrative is as much a process of exclusion as it is of inclusion, and the film makes several significant omissions. One key omission is the ruling from the Nencini appeals court, which contradicts the film’s narrative of the damsel in distress. The Nencini court was the second court to uphold the conviction of Knox and Sollecito, and Mignini had nothing to do with it. Judge Nencini harshly criticizes the independent experts Conti and Vecchiotti who appear in the film. The film reduces this appellate hearing to a quick 10 second screen mention.  During the appeals, the focus in the US was still on Mignini. Commentators on news sites in the US blamed Mignini for ‘retrying Amanda until he got the ruling he wanted,’ thus American audiences were primed to accept this story of redemption.

patrick-lumumba_1361210cOne person excluded from the film is Patrick, the Congolese man Knox blamed for the murder after about about two hours of questioning on the evening of November 5th. The filmmakers chose not to go from Perugia to Poland, where Patrick resided after losing his business in Italy. Patrick would have offered a more nuanced telling of the story. But ultimately, the black man who lost his business due to Knox’s accusations destabilizes the narrative of the woman in distress.

Rudy Guede, who had an apartment near Raffaele, is also almost entirely left out of the film. Guede is the only person serving a sentence for Meredith’s murder. The film’s editing suggests that Guede changed his story and blamed Knox to get a reduced sentence; again reinforcing the pursuit of Amanda as the central theme.

By the end of the film, Mignini becomes more of a moralistic Ahab; except Mignini’s monsters that he chases endlessly are everywhere. Mignini’s statement when looking at the brutality of Meredith’s murder- “was it a monster that did this”-  becomes an indictment of his own pursuit. Instead of the film presenting a richer view of the evidence that led a trial court and an appellate court to convict Knox and Sollecito, the film concludes with a religious commentary from Mignini; final judgement will not come in this lifetime, but in death.

Ultimately the blame for the “Foxy Knoxy” myth is laid at the feet of Nick Pisa. He becomes the real wolf preying on innocence, and it’s Nick Pisa that the filmmakers ultimately slay.  In doing so, the white knight filmmakers restore Knox’s lost innocence and rescue her from the beasts that have pursued her for the last nine years.

In the end, the brutality of Meredith’s murder is all but forgotten.

By and large, those who have not been subjected to the “woman in distress” reporting in the United States have rejected the film’s narrative. They remember that the real story of a girl enjoying la bella vita before she is interrupted by the evil that besets her…

…is Meredith Kercher’s story.

As it currently stands, the Italian courts have ruled that Guede did not kill Meredith alone. The case is unresolved.

For additional information and reactions to the documentary:

Full list of evidence in the trial of the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Stephanie Kercher, sister of Meredith: “Why will Amanda Knox not stop speaking about Meredith Kercher’s murder?” Sister of victim speaks out to warn we still don’t REALLY know what happened despite ‘unnecessary’ Netflix show. (UK Daily Mail)

Documentary leaves people of color out of the story (The Stranger)

Producer Stephen Morse attacks credibility of Nick Pisa.

How the documentary misrepresents the DNA evidence. (True Justice for Meredith Kercher/Krissy G)


New evidence emerges independent investigators weren’t so independent

Dr. Hampikian, a consultant for #AmandaKnox defense and long-time innocence advocate, previously claimed his research was rejected by the Italian court. A recent news segment states the independent investigators received and replicated Hampikian’s research.

If Conti and Vecchiotti received and replicated Dr. Hampikian’s research, this raises serious questions about the independence of Conti & Vechhiotti’s report to the Italian court.

BREAKING NEWS: In an Idaho news clip, a reporter suggests research from Knox defense consultant Greg Hampikian was provided to the “independent investigators” selected by the Hellmann appeals court. The reporter states that Hampikian’s research “was relayed to the Italian lab appointed by the judge in the retrial of Amanda Knox. And that team replicated the work done by Dr. Hampikian.” (at 1:59 in the clip)

The independent investigators are Conti and Vecchiotti, who appear in the recent Nextflix film “Amanda Knox” by directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian Mcginn and producer Stephen Robert Morse. Conti and Vecchiotti are presented in the film suggesting contamination of two of the items of DNA evidence.

Hampikian previously stated that his research and previous report was rejected by the Italian appeals court, which leaves the question of how did the independent investigators obtain Hampikian’s research?

The investigators  were selected by the Hellmann court to independently review DNA evidence in the ongoing case.

If the independent lab indeed received the research done by Knox innocence advocate Greg Hampikian, and the Italian investigators simply replicated Hampikian’s research, as stated by the Boise news report, it raises serious questions about the validity of their “independent” research.


Greg Hampikian with Chris Mellas


Dr. Greg Hampikian is a professor at Boise State University, and the director of the Idaho Innocence Project (also based at Boise State). Dr. Hampikian has advocated for Knox’s innocence, but his true role in Knox’s case has not been known. News reports have claimed that he was pivotal in Knox’s acquittal and that he actually analyzed the DNA in the case. Despite his many media appearances, Dr. Hampikian’s true role and activity in defense of Amanda Knox still isn’t known.

The complication is that there is, if Hampikian’s research was rejected by the courts, there is (supposedly) no way that any of Dr. Hampikian’s own research had a role in Knox’s appeal. The Perguian court appointed what were supposed to be “independent” experts (who, curiously, cited many US state “standards” when submitting their report).


How could Dr. Hampikian’s research have led to Knox’s acquittal if, as Hampikian stated, the courts rejected his letter and research? This is a simple question that has yet to be answered.

Boise State Public Radio had an interview in 2013 with Dr. Hampikian where he claims “I was a DNA analyst with the defense team and I’ve been working on the case about three years now with them.” (Boise State Public Radio, March 2013). Hampikian actually started his advocacy for Amanda Knox as early as November 2009, when he  signed on to a letter in questioning the DNA evidence against Knox. Hampikian, in an interview, stated that this letter and Dr. Hampikian’s subsequent reports were rejected by the Italian court

The independent investigators were selected by the Hellmann appellate court in January, 2011, a year and a half after Hampikian joined Knox’s advocacy campaign.


Dr. Hampikian (C); Chris Mellas (R)

After the Hellman court acquitted Knox, the English language press reported that Dr. Hampikian had a roll in freeing her. Idaho news station KTVB has had several articles and interviews with Dr. Hampikian. Even as late as January of 2014 , KTVB reported that he “helped analyze the DNA in this case” (KTVB, Jan 2014). He frequently told crowds “I know what happened,” suggesting he had an insider’s knowledge of the case (Spokesman Review, Oct 2011). Even his own university reported that he had a “key role in analyzing the DNA at the center of the case” (Boise State, May 2011). Another source reported that it was actually Dr. Hampikian who found Guede’s DNA! (Boise Weekly, Oct 2011)

However in a later interview, Dr. Hampikian corrected the reporter that he did not testify at Knox’s trial, though he went to Perugia. He said that what he needed was on disk and paper, thus he never had any access to the DNA in the case. The reporter unfortunately did not ask him to clarify what role he actually had in Knox’s appeal.

Reporter Andrea Vogt previously filed a Freedom of Information request with Boise State University for emails and documents related to the Knox case. The lawyers for the university refused to fulfill the request, citing both attorney-client privileges AND trade secrets.

Related: Hampikian talks on the radio days after the independent investigators were appointed describing that there is only evidence of Rudy Guede.


#AmandaKnox producer Stephen Morse recycles claims from her innocence advocacy campaign


“Hopefully, when Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are acquitted, it will be the architects of the Foxy Knoxy myth who will have to finally answer some tough questions of their own.” -Bruce Fischer, Injustice in Perugia, Sept 2011

According to Stephen Morse and Rod Blackhurst, they and Brian McGinn first started the “Amanda Knox” project in 2011. It’s an odd coincidence coincidence that their film parallels a 2011 post written by one of Knox’s most outspoken advocates: focus on Prosecutor Mignini and Nick Pisa as being responsible for the conviction of Knox and Sollecito. From early reports its hard to say how the film diverges, if at all, from views expressed in that 2011 post. Even more striking is that producer Stephen Morse’s own twitter attacks directed at journalists and the prosecutor are almost identical to the views expressed by one of Knox’s most outspoken and activist advocates (Fishher runs the website Injustice in Perugia.) While Netflix has claimed Morse’s title of “producer” is only honorary, Morse and Blackhurst are clear that this was a joint project between the three of them.morse-film-2

On September 16th, 2011, Bruce Fischer, who runs the Knox advocacy site “Injustice In Perugia,” published a post on GroundReport. Fischer attacks Nick Pisa, Mignini, and two other journalists, Andrea Vogt and Barbie Latza Nadeau. He blames them for creating the media image of “Foxy Knoxy”:

“The Architects of “Foxy Knoxy: While the common wisdom is that the tabloid media played a major role in spreading lies and misinformation, the reality is that a trio of yellow journalists have been the worst offenders. Those journalists are Nick Pisa, Barbie Nadeau and Andrea Vogt. These three journalists were the chief architects of the Foxy Knoxy myth and have fueled the Anti-Knox fervor working as mouthpieces for Giuliano Mignini, the corrupt and convicted prosecutor that secured the convictions against Knox and Sollecito.

Media coverage of this case played a role in the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Knox was mistreated horribly by the media with disparaging headlines that were endless. These disparaging headlines and salacious articles were not confined simply to common tabloids, but to well known magazines as well, such as Newsweek.”

(Bruce Fischer, Injustice In Perugia, 2011)

Shortly after Fischer’s post appears on GroundReport, Morse, Blackhurst, and McGinn arrive in Italy for Knox’s first appeal. On September 15th 2011, Stephen Morse flew to Italy. On September 19th, Rod Blackhurst was in Florence with Mario Spezi for the day, likely with co-director McGinn. Spezi is the journalist that previously had a run-in with Mignini and charged with obstruction of justice for the Monster of Florence case. Morse tweeted during the appeals hearing, and from his tweets at the time its clear he believed Knox to be innocent.

In Perugia and shortly thereafter, producer Stephen Morse echoes many of the same sentiments that Bruce Fisher expressed on Sept 16, 2011. While in Perugia, producer Morse confronted Nick Pisa about his reporting in Daily Mail. On twitter Morse called Pisa a “shit journalist”:


A year later, Morse continued his attacks on Nick Pisa and the Daily Mail:


In 2014 (during a time he was apparently ‘producing’ the movie), Stephen Morse wrote a blog post describing his trip to Perugia and expressing his belief in Knox’s innocence. The now-deleted post stated:

“In the narrative of Amanda Knox, Amanda has been portrayed as the bad guy, especially for people in the United Kingdom, who saw the trashy, headline-driven press in The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Mirror that target “working class” citizens of that former empire…

I booked a flight to Perugia, Italy, with an open mind, determined to find out what actually happened to Meredith Kercher on November 1, 2007. Very quickly, I learned that the narrative in British media, the one detailed by prosecutors, was preposterous and false. In essence, the prosecutor, Giulano Mignini, overstepped his bounds and basically created a theory that Kercher was murdered in a sex game gone bad, a theory that he learned about from his trusted psychic who’s now, thankfully, dead.”

(Stephen Morse, 2014)

Also in 2014, producer Stephen Morse attacks the other two journalists Bruce Fischer claimed were responsible for the “Foxy Knoxy” myth, Andrea Vogt and Barbie Latza Nadeau:


In their closing comments to their articles, Fischer wants to see retribution for what Mignini and Pisa supposedly did to Knox; while Morse wants to address Knox’s media image:

Knox advocate Bruce Fischer, September 2011:

Hopefully, when Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are acquitted, it will be the architects of the Foxy Knoxy myth who will have to finally answer some tough questions of their own.

“Amanda Knox” producer Stephen Morse, 2014:

Amanda has responded with strength and intelligence to the people who have created hateful Facebook groups against her, like Perugia Vi Odia (Perugia Hates You), and it is my hope that one day her world will be free of the misplaced hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.

Given the similarity in sentiment between Morse and Fischer and the way the film presents Nick Pisa and prosecutor Mignini, we’re left wondering if its just a coincidence that the film made by Morse, Blackhurst, and McGinn so very closely follows a blog post published by a Knox advocate while the trio were in Perugia, Italy? Or is this film simply the retribution against Nick Pisa and Guiliano Mignini that Bruce Fischer wanted to see happen in 2011?

Director Rod Blackhurst described how he, McGinn, and Morse were on a “filmmaking journey”;


There are a number of decisions the directors could have made to have presented a more balanced picture of the trial.

  • Patrick Lumumba was falsely accused of a crime. If it is indeed Knox’s purpose to shine a light on exonerees, the exclusion of falsely accused Lumumba is curious. Lumumba’s life was forever changed due to Knox’s false accusation, yet the filmmakers left him out of the film with the flimsy excuse that he was in Warsaw and they were in Perugia.
  • The filmmakers could have done the work to look at the media in the country the trial was in, but they chose the lazy way and only looked at the British tabloid media.
  • Prosecutor Mignini had nothing to do with the Florence appellate court which upheld Knox’s original conviction. There was a separate prosecutor that the filmmakers could have included but didn’t.
  • The filmmakers seem content to let the US media continue to report the ‘salacious’ (and totally false) headline that Knox was “retried” and “reconvicted.”
  • The filmmakers reportedly mistranslate a portion of Mignini’s statement that appears in the film, leaving out the statement “why would an UNKNOWN man cover up the body.”
  • The filmmakers chose to only present Conti and Vecchiotti without presenting the subsequent court findings that negated Conti and Vecchiotti’s unsupported assertions. Conti and Vecchiotti only were charged to look at two items of DNA evidence, yet the US reporting has always presented them as if they undermined the totality of DNA evidence in the trial.


See #AmandaKnox producer Stephen Morse’s shocking comment about the Kercher family

Here’s what we know: Sometime in late 2010 or early 2011, “Amanda Knox” directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn hooked up with Stephen Robert Morse and decided to create a documentary on Knox. Morse and Blackhurst went to Perugia in September of 2011, when Knox’s first appeal was heard. It appears that McGinn may have been with them, and that they connected with journalist Mario Spezi (who had previously been arrested by prosecutor Mignini for interfering with an investigation).

The Kercher family was represented at trial by their lawyer, Francesco Maresca. In Italy, the civil suit happens at the same time as the criminal suit, so Maresca was there to represent the Kerchers in their civil suit against the defendants for Meredith’s death. As a part of the original conviction in 2009, the Kerchers were awarded damages.

Knox’s defenders frequently attacked the Kercher family and their lawyer, Maresca, for the damages awarded to the Kercher family. Knox’s defenders claimed Maresca and the Kercher family were driven by the monetary damages awarded to the Kerchers.

Producer Stephen Morse, while covering the appeals, joined in these attacks on Meredith’s family, claiming the Kerchers were blinded by money.  While covering the appeals, Morse stated his belief the DNA evidence would result in an acquittal. Three days later, while waiting for the verdict, Morse claimed the Kerchers were ignoring evidence. In a tweet (still availableSept 2016), Morse charged the Kercher family with being driven by money:

“i feel for the kercher family but they cannot ignore dna evidence simply because they were awared an 8 figure civil victory. ” –Stephen Robert Morse, 3-Oct 2011, 7:57 am.

For US readers, this is similar to claiming the Nicole Brown family was only out for money when they filed their civil suit against O.J. Simpson.

Two of the Kerchers- Meredith’s father John and her brother Lyle- have previously spoken about the symbolic nature of the damages, and that they do not care about the money awarded. In 2009 Lyle told the Guardian “It’s not the case that this has ever been about us seeking money, which is why we’ve been reluctant to do much media stuff throughout. That money will never really change anything in that respect.”

Meredith’s father John Kercher spoke to the Sun  after the Hellmann appellate court overturned the trial conviction. He spoke out against potential book and movie deals for Knox and Sollecito:

Kercher explained that their civil claim- and an £8million damages award made when Knox was convicted – were symbolic in Italian law. “I find it distasteful that Knox stands to make millions from what happened to Meredith. I don’t think anyone should make money out of it – not us, not them,” he said.

“How would any parent feel if their daughter’s murder was to be turned into a movie for people’s entertainment?”

“We would not take a single cent from Amanda Knox,” Kercher added.

Nobody has asked yet how much Netflix is paying Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn, and producer Stephen Robert Morse for the rights to add the “Amanda Knox” film to Netflix’s library on September 30th.


Shocking! Producer Stephen Morse attacks credibility of journalist Nick Pisa years before Pisa appears in Morse’s documentary!

Stephen Morse, a producer for the Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox,” has on several occasions expressed his criticism of Nick Pisa and the Daily Mail. On at least two occasions Morse accused Pisa and the Daily Mail of deliberately lying. Morse writes in one of his twitter posts from 2011 that he confronted Pisa on the “lies” published by the Daily Mail.

According to Morse and one of the directors, the three of them started on the film in 2011. Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito had been convicted at the trial level, and their appeal to the Hellmann court was scheduled to be heard in late September of that year.

Morse traveled to Italy in late 2011 to cover the trial and provided twitter updates. His belief in Knox’s innocence shows in his tweets. It seems that one of the co-directors of the “Amanda Knox” documentary, Rod Blackhurst,  was also in Perugia at this time.

During the appeal hearings, Producer Stephen Morse provided the first evidence of his criticisms of Pisa and the Daily Mail. He claims that citations to ‘fraudsters’ would be better than citing Nick Pisa and the Daily Mail:


Several days later, Morse confronted Nick Pisa in Perugia. While the details of this confrontation are not known, it is clear what Morse though of Pisa. His tweet uses the hash tag “#nickpisashitjournalist”; which reads “Nick Pisa Shit Journalist.” Morse writes the he confronted Pisa on the “lies” in the Daily Mail, which Pisa denied:


A year later Morse repeated his claim that the Daily Mail and its reporters printed lies:


In 2014, three years into working on the “Amanda Knox” documentary, Morse continued his criticism of the Daily Mail on his blog. Morse wrote that Knox was innocent, which he found out upon arriving in Perugia in 2011. Morse wrote of his desire to see Knox “free from the hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.”

“In the narrative of Amanda Knox, Amanda has been portrayed as the bad guy, especially for people in the United Kingdom, who saw the trashy, headline-driven press in The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Mirror that target “working class” citizens of that former empire.” -Stephen Morse, 24 Feb 2014

In a now-deleted blog post, while in the middle of working on the film, Morse describes his desire for a rehabilitation of Knox’s image in the media:

“Amanda has responded with strength and intelligence to the people who have created hateful Facebook groups against her, like Perugia Vi Odia (Perugia Hates You), and it is my hope that one day her world will be free of the misplaced hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.” -Stephen Morse, 24 Feb 2014

In recent reviews of the documentary, its clear Nick Pisa does not come across as sympathetic in the documentary. The Guardian writes that Nick Pisa becomes “a one-man symbol of how shameful that coverage became.” (Guardian, 15-Sep 2016). The Daily Beast writes “The filmmakers put much of the onus on tabloid reporters like Nick Pisa” (Daily Beast, 18-Sep 2016).

It leaves the question: did Nick Pisa know that this documentary was being produced by the person who confronted Pisa in Perugia in 2011 and accused Pisa and the Daily Mail of lying?

Netflix has attempted to distance Morse from the documentary, claiming the title “producer” was only honorary. But the film that will be broadcast across America on September 30th by all reports reflects the published views of producer Morse during the time he claims he was producing the “Amanda Knox” documentary.


I think not!


Netflix contradicts Stephen Morse on role with “Amanda Knox” film


2011-involvmeentNetflix recently announced that a new documentary will be released on September 30th. The documentary, titled simply “Amanda Knox,” was shown at Toronto International Film Festival. The two directors of the film have been doing the publicity circuit. In interviews, the two directors have been careful to not take sides, claiming they started from the final supreme court decision and worked backwards. In one article they claim their access to Knox was provided by an introduction through a “mutual friend;” though they declined to name this mutual friend.

Missing from this pre-release publicity is mention of producer Stephen Robert Morse, though it appears he had more of a role than Netflix cares to admit! Could it be that Netflix is trying to distance themselves from the extreme bias exhibited by “Amanda Knox” producer Stephen Robert Morse?

Netflix’s publicity for the documentary walks the line between innocence and guilt. Two trailers for the film appear to show both sides, asking viewers whether to “Believe her” or “suspect her.”

However, the newsite HeatStreet has uncovered a now-deleted blog post written by Morse in February, 2014, where Morse states that Knox is innocent. In his now-deleted post, Morse writes “For the record, it was Rudy Guede, the man who was convicted alongside Knox and Sollecito, who murdered Meredith, alone.”

In fact, Stephen Morse was in Perugia in 2011 covering the appeals hearings. Its unclear whether he traveled there specifically to research the case or was already there, as he has stated both things. What is clear is that Morse had an interest in the case in 2011 and has been “producing a documentary on Amanda Knox ” since then.

Yes- Stephen Morse was producing the Amanda Knox documentary while he was openly declaring Knox’s innocence.

A director for the film and Morse have both stated (in publicly available posts) that Morse’s involvement started in 2011. Director Blackhurst credits Morse with shared responsibility for the film.

The silent bombshell of Heat Street’s article this morning is a closing statement from Netflix. Heat Street contacted Netflix for comment on the bias of producer Stephen Morse. Netflix disclaimed that Morse had any “creative input” into the film. As reported by Heat Street:

A Netflix spokesman said: “Stephen Morse was given an honorary producer credit for his role in introducing Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn to a family friend of Amanda Knox. Rod and Brian are the co-directors of the documentary and Stephen Morse did not have any creative input into the film.” -Statement from Netflix, Published in Heatstreet, 23 Sept 2016

Yet in a publicly available post on Morse’s facebook page he says he has been working on the documentary since 2011:

In 2011, I was a young #journalist, traveling alone around #Europe and beyond, when in #Italy, I chanced upon a story that couldn’t be topped. Since then, I’ve been producing a #documentary on #AmandaKnox. -Stephen Morse, Aug 9, 2016

Co-Director Blackhurst also says that Stephen Morse shared in the responsibility for the film:

“Six years ago,  Brian McGinn, Plus Pictures, Stephen Robert Morse and I started a filmmaking journey that I never expected to culminate with a premiere at one of the best film festivals in the world and an upcoming release on Netflix.” Rod Blackhurst, Twitter, 7 Sep 2016

Stephen Morse also talks about being a part of the “journey” and takes responsibility for the film by thanking people. In a publicly available post, Morse shared a Netflix post and wrote:

“The first public screening of #AmandaKnox is in #Toronto at TIFF tonight! It’s hard to believe that the journey to today started 5.5 years ago. Millions of thanks to the talented hearts and minds of: Rod Blackhurst Brian McGinn Plus Pictures Matthew Hamachek and so many others!” -Stephen Morse, 9 Sept 2016

Why would Netflix seek to distance the documentary from Stephen Morse? HeatStreet’s article this morning provides an answer- Morse’s bias and his openly expressed views of Amanda Knox’s innocence.

The relevant posts documenting Morse’s involvement with the film “Amanda Knox” since 2011 are below.



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Gaps in the “Burglar interrupted” theory

Amanda Knox’s advocates have long argued that Guede was robbing the place when he was interrupted by Meredith who arrived home at ~9:00 pm. The argument is that Guede killed and sexually assaulted Meredith at that time. They have repeatedly posted timelines arguing this point.

Meredith’s cell phones were found in a garden north of the city the next day; they had obviously been taken from the house and thrown down the hillside. Cell tower evidence shows that by midnight, Meredith’s phones had been taken. But cell tower evidence ALSO shows that Meredith’s phones were still in the area of the cottage at about 10:00 pm. Three separate connections confirm this; the first was to Meredith’s voicemail at ~9:50pm; the last was a failed call to the top entry on Meredith’s phone list at ~10:10pm.

Additionally, a witness testified running into a black man on the stairs of the garage across the street from the cottage at about 10:30pm.

If Guede was “burglar interrupted,” he would therefore have been in Meredith’s house for over an hour after she was murdered. And in the hour and a half he remained in the house after murdering Meredith he never flushed the toilet, leaving evidence of his presence at the house that night.

Below is a visual timeline of the theory that Guede was a “burglar interrupted,” who killed Meredith when she arrived home at about 9:00pm.

8:40 pm

Guede breaks in and ransacks Filomena’s bedroom

 guede at housefilomenas-bedroom-2
8:50 PM

Guede uses the bathroom

 guede at houseLBathroom
9:00 pm

Meredith arrives home and interrupts Guede while he is on the toilet.; he doesn’t flush the toilet

 guede and meredith at house
9:10 PM

Ten minutes after arriving home, Meredith is murdered. Guede remains in the college.

 guede at house
9:20 pm

After killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. Ten minutes have passed since the murder.

guede at house
9:30 pm
After killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. Twenty minutes have passed since the murder.
guede at house
9:40 pm

After killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. Thirty minutes have passed since the murder.

guede at house
9:50 pm

after killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. Forty minutes have passed since the murder.

guede at house
10:00 pm

After killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. Fifty minutes have passed since the murder. Guede never flushes the toilet.

guede at house
10:10 pm

Meredith’s final cell phone ping from the tower covering the cottage. After killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. One hour passed since the murder.

guede at house
10:20 pm

after killing Meredith, Guede remains in cottage. An hour and ten minutes have passed since the murder.

guede at house
~10:25 pm

After being at Meredith’s house for an hour and ten minutes after the murder, Guede flees, leaving his excrement in the toilet.

 guede at house


10:30 pm

A witness runs into a black man running in a direction away from the cottage, on the bottom of the steps at the carpark across from the cottage. An hour and twenty minutes have passed since the murder.


Meredith’s cell phones ping in a garden located in a direction away from the city center. Three hours have passed since the murder.

2:00 am

Guede is seen dancing at a discotheque. Five hours have passed since the murder.