Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Amanda Knox Testifies

Blame Game

Not only did police repeatedly call her a liar and threaten her with decades in prison if she didn't admit to involvement in the crime, Knox said, but a female cop twice struck her head. Recounting the episode in court, though, Knox boasted that it had not hurt.

Patrick Diya Lumumba
Patrick Diya Lumumba
She testified that a police interpreter had told her that people under stress forget things and had cajoled her to remember what really had happened that night. Knox said that, under pressure to "admit" her role in the crime, she started wondering if she really did have something to do with the murder. She explained to the six-member jury that pictures of the case had started coming together in her head like a movie montage, and that she had visualized her boss, bar owner Patrick Lumumba, as the killer. Thus disoriented, she had told police that Lumumba, a Congolese immigrant, had done it.

He hadn't. A wiretapped jailhouse conversation between Knox and her mother showed that Amanda felt bad about fingering an innocent man. Yet she didn't retract the statement. She claimed during testimony that she trusted police so little by then that she hadn't felt comfortable talking to them. Besides, she had been distracted by alarming news: A prison HIV test had come back positive. Only a few weeks later did a follow-up test contradict those results and confirm her good health.

Lumumba has been exonerated, and he's now suing Knox for defamation.

Rudy Hermann Guede
Rudy Hermann Guede
Another African immigrant, Rudy Hermann Guede, has since been convicted for his involvement in the crime for which the prosecutor now try Knox and Sollecito. Guede is currently appealing the plea-bargain fast-track conviction for murder that brought him a 30 year prison sentence; his appeal hearing is scheduled for November, when his legal team will likely attack police procedures and suggest tainted evidence.

Meanwhile, Knox has testified that she never knew Guede. She flatly denied witness Hekuran Kokomani's report that he saw Knox, Sollecito and Guede together. But Guede spoke to the press from prison after Amanda's testimony, to urge her to tell the truth and admit that she had been at the scene of the crime.


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