Thursday, 15 November 2007

Meredith Kercher

I've been asked several times what I, as a BDSMer, think of this murder. I figure I have to post something sooner or later, so here goes nothing.

Part of the reason I've avoided this is I hadn't even heard about it until I saw mention of it on my friend's blog. I'm still having trouble parsing exactly what happened.

That's a big part of why I've been silent for so long. All I knew until I saw that second post was that someone had been killed, allegedly because she refused violent sex, all taken from this blog post here.

While I could certainly see that any mention of "violent sex" or rape fantasy eventually gets us blamed and dragged through the media, I couldn't see the same direct parallels that something like the Glenn Marcus case would have. I didn't see any direct reference to sadomasochism at all -- what's "violent sex?" What's "sadomasochistic"? Were/are these people connected to the community in any way? I knew the answers to none of that until I saw Daisy's post today.

And, hell, I rarely if ever posted even about the killers and abusers known to be lurking in BDSM. I don't think I posted a lick anywhere about Glenn Marcus, for example, or paid enough attention to know his name, until I saw comments on blogs by his other slaves defending him. So I said "I'm not going to cover the Kercher murder; if any and every psycho who wants 'violent sex' (whatever that even is; like I said, that's so vague I don't know anyway) were my responsibility to talk about and deal with, I'd never get my own voice."

But then I saw this, from Daisy's latest post:
What really sets this case apart is the fact that Amanda had an ongoing narrative, as FOXY KNOXY--a MySpace blogger who openly wrote about BDSM scenarios and had something of a fan-base. One wonders if this case would keep us so enthralled if this pre-conceived character did not already exist, as the Columbine boys also had online personas that dovetailed with their real-life intentions. The Telegraph puts it very plainly, titling their update: AMANDA KNOX WROTE STORIES ABOUT RAPE (all that's required is an exclamation point, or several):
Apparently this person was actually connected with BDSM in some way, did it or wrote about it and knew enough to call it that. And apparently she was popular enough that some people might get their ideas about it from her.

Which matters. People saw this. People read this. Her stories are now evidence in a criminal case. And of course it's shocking and titillating that she wrote them. Perhaps especially so, since she's a woman, and we all expect women not to have these fantasies.

I'm female and have them too. Should I be worried?
What frightens many bloggers, is how Amanda's blog is now being used as evidence.

Moral of the story: Fantasies we write about may one day bite us in the ass, so be careful. For example, if I should write that a certain person makes me sick and I wish they would die, and they end up dead under questionable circumstances, does that automatically make me a suspect? (And if so, is that fair?)

If your roommate ends up raped and murdered and you have written fantasies on your blog about rape and murder, well, talk about some bad luck, huh?
Honestly, I don't know enough about the case to know. I don't know how much evidence links this person to the crime, or if the real story is that there is no evidence and violent fantasy is all they're going on. Is it almost definitely clear what happened, and they're looking for more information about motive, or is this the principal evidence linking this person to the crime?

And even if there is more evidence, what license does that really give the media to portray it all in this way?

I don't know. I've never hidden my fantasies. I've always thought that was the best policy. This raises more questions for me than answers, or concrete fears.

Does anyone know more about what happened?


DaisyDeadhead said...

Yeah, short version: Meredith Kercher dead, violent murder, throat cut, sexual assault. Roommate Amanda first says she wasn't there, then says she heard her scream, then says, no she didn't. Her stories are all over the lot; the cops go to work on her, as cops will. She implicates Patrick, the Congolese bar owner.

Then the dead girl's best friend Sophie goes to the cops and says "This girl Amanda is a sicko, my friend told me," and they discover the cache of online writing, so the whole thing has blown sky high.

They are currently running DNA tests on the hair found in the victim's hand, long hair that is thought to be a woman's. Tests are also under way on the knife wound, to ascertain if the knife belonged to her Italian boyfriend. Also, a bloody shoe print might be his.

And that's the story as it stands right now.

Anonymous said...

I haven't followed the story closely, but I think there was reference to drugs or alcohol in there (although that may just have been the tabloids throwing in a few more of the hate-phrases that get their readers foaming at the mouth).

I recall once finding a story online about a college student who had written a fantasy about raping his girlfriend after she'd just dumped him, and posting it anonymously to a rape-fantasy website. Unfortunately, he'd used her real name, and he was charged with a criminal offence to do with death threats and the like (I forget the exact charge used).

I'm open about my fantasies, and my sexual interests. Even so, because I have swords, replica firearms, BDSM equipment, and stuff all over my flat, if the police are ever investigating a sexual murder/serial killer in my home town, and have cause to enter my home, I'm probably stuffed!

Trinity said...

I read something in that mess of articles that said her (Amanda's) DNA was found on the knife.

Trinity said...

"I'm open about my fantasies, and my sexual interests. Even so, because I have swords, replica firearms, BDSM equipment, and stuff all over my flat, if the police are ever investigating a sexual murder/serial killer in my home town, and have cause to enter my home, I'm probably stuffed!"


Yeah, I don't know. I honestly didn't pay attention and was actually a bit weirded out by "what's your take?" precisely because all I knew was "some woman was brutally sexually murdered."

subversive_sub said...

I've read a few dozen articles on this case so far, and it seems that there's no substantive evidence or even a real motive. The DNA evidence was found on a kitchen knife in a flat that both women shared; the boyfriend's penknife was found to not have any connection to the murder. The confession was made under duress.

It doesn't really matter, IMO, what her role in the murder was -- the fact that reporters, if not police as well, are using her fictional writings as evidence against her is simply absurd. The thing is, the story in question isn't even rape fantasy writing. It's a piece of short fiction about a dispute between two brothers, one of whom has committed a rape. (The Stranger has a critique of the story here:

Trinity said...

Ahhh. Okay. What I thought was happening was that they'd found a story that sounded like a possible script for the murder (which is clearly how they're spinning it in the media.)

If that were the case, I think I'd be of two minds. One: that writing about violence doesn't reveal intent to commit it, but two: if there's also clear evidence that she had specific interest in a crime like that, it might well be worth looking at as possible evidence of intent.

But even then, the media firestorm about the mere fact of a violent story... well, it's off, probably just because this gives us something salacious.

And the confession, "you held her down, didn't you?" well, one: I worry about how accurate confessions are, and two: it's also quite compatible with "you held her down" that she held her down because she herself was forced to.

I don't know. There's something very *weird* about this story. The way Amanda is described, she doesn't sound entirely stable, but I don't know if that's the reporters already presuming guilt.

DaisyDeadhead said...

SubSub, thanks so much, I included that link in my piece.

And yeah, Trinity, that IS how they are spinning it in the media--since we couldn't get to the story after they yanked it, we couldn't see for ourselves. The whole trajectory of the story is like: it was a mystery who killed Meredith until we FOUND AMANDA'S VIOLENT-SEX BLOG!

And yeah, it's hinky, as they say...something doesn't fit, isn't making sense...

subversive_sub said...

I found a mirror of her MySpace blog where she posted the story, so if you're curious you can read the whole thing here.

I also think this writer sums it up pretty well, here. said...

I always have a great fun looking throught BDSM archives........ a real gold mine sadly forgotten ;-) said...

check this out too:
you might like it.

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