I’ve always had strong doubts about the case against Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito, who are currently on trial in Perugia, Italy for the murder of Knox’s British roommate Meredith Kercher.
But it wasn’t until I watched CBS’s 48 Hours investigation of the case that I realized how truly insane the Italian prosecutor handling the case seems to be.
Giuliani Mignini is prosecuting the case despite being currently under indictment himself for abuse of power, so a big win in this high profile trial could be critical for his professional survival. Mignini decided within days of Kercher’s murder that the British student had been killed during a drug-fueled extreme sex game masterminded by Knox.
But Mignini doesn’t believe it to have been your normal everyday drug-fueled extreme sex game; the prosecutor’s theory is that the American student, her Italian boyfriend, and the Ivorian immigrant who has already been convicted of the crime were conducting some kind of Satanist ritual that went very wrong. Seriously.
Mignini ascribes to the theories of an Italian blogger, who “sees” with great clarity the evil acts Satan commits on the human plane of existence. This blogger “saw” that Satan had a role in Kercher’s murder, acting through Knox and Sollecito, so the prosecutor has a single-minded pursuit to defeat the evil he believes the two students represent.
After Mignini’s theories of Satanist influence in a previous murder investigation garnered criticism in a book co-authored by an Italian and an American journalist, he had the Italian writer imprisoned for three weeks, and detained the American for intense interrogation. The American, Doug Preston, tells 48 Hours that he is surprised the 20-year-old college student held out for 14 hours of Mignini interrogation before offering a confused and false confession of involvement in the crime. Preston, a grown man with more than 20 years experience as a professional journalist, cracked after only three hours of intense questioning and started agreeing to every hair-brained idea suggested to him. The day after signing his own false confession earned him release from custody, Preston packed up his family and moved back to the United States.
The spectre of sex and violence in the Kercher murder has driven a tabloid frenzy of coverage in the Italian media, which has led to widespread assumption of Knox and Sollecito’s guilt–largely as a result of false reports of supposed “evidence” assumedly leaked by the prosecutor’s office.
Watch the video of the 48 Hours investigation after the jump. If you finish it as shocked and disgusted as I am about the fuckedupedness of the case against Knox and Sollecito, send an email to the public affairs office of the Italian Embassy in DC and tell them. firstname.lastname@example.org