Words say one thing, but is the body REVEALING or attempting to CONCEAL more? And, are we paying enough attention to catch the difference?
In the Italian criminal justice system, American young woman Amanda Marie Knox (born July 9, 1987) was convicted, acquitted, and once again convicted of the 2007 murder of her British housemate Meredith Kercher in Perugia.
Accurate Body Language LLC conducted the following body language and statement analysis of Chris Cuomo’s May 01, 2014 CNN exclusive interview with Amanda Knox.
Direct statements from Amanda Knox are indicated in bold quotes with supporting analysis and commentary from Accurate Body Language LLC:
Amanda Knox: “I…I did not kill my friend.”
AK didn’t say the definitive denial statement,
“I didn’t kill Meredith.” Or, “I didn’t kill my friend, Meredith.”
Since AK did not state Meredith directly, she could be referring indirectly to her boyfriend at the time Raffaele Sollecito, and allowing the audience to incorrectly think the friend was Meredith.
People who have motivation to deceive will state as much of the truth as they will allow under the radar. AK used the less specific and weaker word friend rather than the most definitive statement she could’ve used, “I didn’t kill Meredith.”
Throughout the rest of this interview, AK used Meredith’s name, but not in the specific sentence,
“I…I did not kill my friend.”
Amanda Knox: “I did not wield a knife…I had no reason to…”
AK explains that she had no reason to wield the knife…someone else did that part.
She didn’t go further to say, “I had no part in Meredith’s murder. I didn’t restrain Meredith. I didn’t hold her back, or keep her from fighting, or getting away.”
Amanda Knox: “I…I…was [incomplete sentence]…in the month that we were living together, we were becoming friends…”
Again, AK didn’t say or confirm that she and Meredith were friends.
A stronger statement would be, “Meredith was my friend.”
Amanda Knox: “A week before the murder occurred, we went out to a classical music concert together…like…”
AK used one example to convince the audience that they did things together, but AK did not directly confirm, “I liked Meredith, Meredith was my friend…”
AK hesitated, lowered and looked away, raised her eyebrows, tightened and constricted her throat muscles, took a big gulp, and swallow before Amanda Knox said, “Like……we had never fought…”
IMPORTANT NOTE: this is the only time when AK’s throat muscles tightened and constricted to a point that she had to take a big gulp and swallow.
AK non-verbally leaked micro-expressions that she had difficulty, discomfort, and distress right before stating the phrase, “Like……we had never fought…”
A shorter and more definitive statement of “We never fought” has a stronger and different meaning than “Like……we had never fought…”
The use of the word ‘had’ refers to an earlier past time and is used to compare something to a later past time. AK uses the word, had, but she does not complete the sentence, “Like……we had never fought…” to give us a comparative time frame of when they had never fought….
For example, “Like……we had never fought…” before the night of the murder…
Amanda Knox: “…Well, of course our DNA was there…we lived there for a month…it was there…”
Amanda Knox admitted to the embedded sentence,
“… our DNA was there…it was there…”
In her written statement to the police during her arrest and during questioning, AK wrote,
“One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time. In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.”
In this written statement, with the plural pronoun “we,” she revealed that both she and Raffaele “…washed ourselves for a long time.” Notice AK does not mention that this shower experience was sexual, sensual, or erotic as one might expect for new lovers.
Instead, she wrote that “he cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.” EARS sound like an unusual part of the body that her new lover would pay attention to and make sure were clean. Why did AK’s ears and hair need to be cleaned, dried, and combed by Raffaele? Did he need to make sure blood, DNA, and crime scene evidence were completely washed out of AK’s ears and hair, and other areas of AK’s body that would be difficult for her to examine on her own.
K also stated in an interview with Diane Sawyer that she took a shower the next day, after she arrived home and found the door ‘wide-open’ she took a shower.
This would be another shower in addition to what she previously stated in her written police statement that,
“…I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.”
Perhaps the two showers, with the first shower being for a long time, was literally and symbolically necessary to wash away their guilt, the evidence, the DNA as Amanda Knox admitted,
“… our DNA was there…it was there…”
Amanda Knox “…there is no trace of us …”
Notice AK’s use of the minimal word trace, the collaborative pronoun us, instead of saying there is no trace of me, and the change from using past-tense to now present tense language.
Amanda Knox: “If Rudy Guede commited this crime, which he did…”
AK gave an asymmetrical shoulder shrug at this point, suggesting deception
AK’s hands shook several times before saying… “We know that because his DNA is there…”
AK’s voice was pressured and animated.
Nonverbally, AK used both hands to gesture parallel, palms facing inward to each other, arms extended outward
Amanda Knox: “…on the vict…”
AK stopped herself from using her intended and distancing word victim to change her words to,
Amanda Knox: “… on Meredith’s body…”
AK clapped her palms together in synch with her verbal words
Amanda Knox: “…around Meredith’s body…” AK clapped her palms together in synch with her verbal words
Amanda Knox: “…his handprints and footprints in her BLOOD!”
AK had fluent voice, rhythm, and speed when she talked about fellow convicted murderer Rudy Guede.
AK placed emphasis on the word BLOOD and subconsciously gestured with open, palm-up, hands which were in synch with her verbal words.
Amanda Knox: “…None of that exists for me…”
IMPORTANT POINT: AK changed to use present tense language and her voice started to quiver at this point.
Amanda Knox: “…and if I were there, I would have had traces of…Mer-ed-ith…”
How likely would innocent people, who didn’t have anything to do with the murder and who weren’t physically at the crime scene use hypothetical language as AK did (i.e., “…and if I were there, I would have had traces of…Mer-ed-ith…”) that would place them at the scene of the murder? Remember, OJ Simpson’s Book title: “If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened”…
IMPORTANT POINT: AK’s voice and lower lips quivered again when she had difficulty uttering the name
AK’s eyes looked downward and away from interviewer Chris Cuomo…toward her bottom, lower right…
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT POINT:
AK gestured with her right hand to her right shoulder subconsciously indicating location of where,
Amanda Knox: “…I would have had traces of Mer-ed-ith…broken body on me…”
At no other time during the interview did AK’s right hand gesture to her right shoulder, except at this point when
Amanda Knox described, “I would have had traces of Mer-ed-ith…”
AK’s eyes gazed downward to her right indicating remembered feelings and kinesthetics right before AK said this statement…
Amanda Knox: “…broken body on me…”
Amanda Knox: “And I would have left traces of myself around…”
Amanda Knox: “…around…Meredith’s…corpse …”
IMPORTANT POINT: AK’s voice changed and got softer, as her eyes gazed downward to her right indicating remembered feelings and kinesthetics as she said this statement.
Notice the repeated use of the less offensive word traces, instead of blood, DNA, evidence, and also the change in words from the use of
“broken body” to now “corpse…” Each word has its own specific meaning to the individual and therefore the odd use of the word “broken body” and then “corpse…” are not close synonyms.
The change in description to “corpse…” reflects death.
Amanda Knox: “And…I…I am not there.
AK switched from the correct past-tense language
“…I wasn’t there…” to using the present-tense language in order to make the statement,
“And…I…I am not there” truth-based.
At this point, AK’s nostrils flared as she breathed in…
Amanda Knox: “And that proves my innocence.”
Flared nostrils often occur when angry and need to take in more oxygen for a battle.
In this Accurate Body Language and Statement Analysis, Accurate Body Language LLC indicated the various sensitive areas, stress, and possible deception indicators for Amanda Knox during this May 1, 2014 CNN interview with Chris Cuomo.
At the beginning of 2014, on January 30th, Knox and Sollecito were found guilty once again and sentenced to prison terms of 28.5 years for Knox and 25 years for Sollecito.
Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, stated that Knox intends to appeal to the Supreme Court of Italy.