Tag Archives: amanda knox

The Monster of Florence – A Book (and Audio) Review



monster of florence[1]Last month, my friend gave me the audio version of The Monster of Florence, a true story about a serial killer who brutally murdered seven young couples as they made love in their cars outside of Florence.


The author of this book, Douglas Preston, had moved his family to Italy while he was doing research for a crime novel he was planning on writing.  When he discovered that a brutal murder had occured in the olive grove right by his idyllic country home, he became interested in the tale of these horrific murders.  He teamed up with Mario Spezi, a journalist who had chronicled the murders.  Together they took it upon themselves to see if they could figure out the mysteries that surrounded the case, and to discover who this Monster could be.  They pieced together lots of evidence and met and interviewed a multitude of people, including those they thought might be the Monster himself.  In the end, they were even indicted as being involved with the Monster killings.  This is a tale not only of murder, but of corruption within the Italian judicial system. Oddly enough, the same judge from Perugia that tried to pin these murders on Mario Spezi, the journalist (just because he “knew too much”) was also the same judge involved with the Amanda Knox trial.  An interesting similarity of finding an easy “victim” to be the culprit!  There was never a real  Monster of Florence conviction, even though the real culprit was probably involved in the investigan at some point.  Many were arrested and many people’s lives were tainted and ruined from the speculations against them.  The interesting thing to me was that these horrible murders did not make  many headlines outside of Italy – why not?


Victims and accused

The story was well written, but I cannot say the same as to the quality of the narration of the audio verson by Dennis Boutstkaris.  He has a great voice to do these audio books, but his imitation of the Italians in the story speaking is pitiful.  He does that horrible pseudo-Italian accent which sounds like he is joking ( and in the context of this book, there are no joking matters.)   His pronunciation of Italian words is even worse!  His accents are always on the wrong syllables, to the point where you cannot even understand the word he is trying to say.  In my opinion, it would have been better if he just read the words spoken by the Italians in plain English like the rest of the text, and he brushed up on the Italian words before attempting to pronounce them.

The Verdict is In…but Was Justice Served?


Amanda Knox’ fate was decided earlier this week…and, luckily for her, she was found to be innocent!  She spent 4 years in an Italian prison, accused of killing her British roommate while they were both studying in Perugia, Italy.

This case has brought tons of media coverage, both in Italy and throughout the world.  The story has become sensationalized, and the media has loved covering it.  And why wouldn’t they?  A beautiful American girl accused of killing another beautiful girl in a sexual game gone wrong – this story had everything to  make it exciting!  It even involved a black man from the Ivory Coast to add to the mix!

Unfortunately, since the beginning, there were too many questions raised about the evidence and it’s unreliability. And, of course, Amanda’s lawyers ran with this.  They used this to base their defense…and it finally worked to Amanda’s benefit.

But the question still remains: Was Amanda involved with the death of her roommate?

I have an opinion on this – and whether it’s right or wrong, I cannot judge – but it’s just my gut feeling.  I’m sure there will be arguments on both sides, but this is my feeling:  I believe that Amanda was involved.  I don’t believe it was a pre-meditated act, but I feel that she was high on drugs at the time and got involved in a sexual game.  Perhaps they were all high on drugs and during the course of “play”, things got out of hand and poor Meredith became the victim.

I think it’s a shame that Meredith’s parents cannot get closure on their daughter’s senseless death.  I haven’t heard if the investigation into finding her killer will begin again, but I’m not sure how they will without any reliable evidence.  Perhaps they will turn their attention to the prisoner they already have behind bars and pin the entire murder conviction on him.

Meanwhile, Amanda is free and back home in Seattle.  It will be interesting to see how her life will progress from now on, but I’m hoping that if she is truly guilty, her conscience will prevail and she will confess. And,  if she is really innocent, then I hope that she has learned from her ordeal and will use it to benefit others.