Amanda Knox: As Sweet And Innocent As A Montmartre HousebreakerS

Defense: Amanda Knox isn't a cold-blooded killer with a penchant for sordid, Cruel Intentions-style sex games! Rather, she's an adorable gamine who skips around Paris to a whimsical accordion score!

Just when you thought the Amanda Knox murder trial couldn't become anymore luridly bizarre, defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno went ahead and upped the ante. The prosecution, you'll recall, has made the case that the 22-year-old, in concert with ex-boyfriend Rafael Sollecito and friend Rudy Guede, murdered Knox's roommate, British student Meredith Kercher during a night of sinister debauchery in 2007. Bongiorno, however, paints a different picture. A candy-colored one! As UPI reports,

Bongiorno, in a blistering critique of the prosecution's case in the hotly debated trial, compared Knox to the naive character played by actress Audrey Tautou in the French film "Amelie," which Knox and Sollecito contend they were watching together the night Kercher was slain..."There is a more simple truth to Amanda," the Web site quoted Bongiorno as saying. "She looks at the world with eyes of Amelie: A naive, slightly extravagant, spontaneous young girl who is 60 percent imagination and 40 percent reality."

Of course, this is largely apiece with the embattled case, in which Knox has been treated, always, as a decidedly female killer. Her demeanor and appearance - viewed by some as preternaturally calm and cheerful - have been criticized. Certainly, presenting the young woman as a cheerful naif would be a much more attractive explanation for behaviors like sporting "All You Need Is Love" tees, going on lingerie-shopping sprees, doing cartwheels, and riffing on rabbit shaped sex toys, then the sociopathic callousness the prosecution has suggested. Coverage of the case, and of Knox, has always been aggressively pink-hued. The Daily Mail, that arbiter of taste, quickly took up the attractive student's MySpace nickname, "Foxy Knoxy" and described her as, for starters, as "like a Hollywood diva sashaying along the red carpet."

If the prosecution has its way, she's what the Guardian termed "a manipulative femme fatale who helped to kill her friend in an orgiastic sex game" - the ultimate villainness out of B-movies. If the defense is to be believed, she's instead the ingenue. It makes us wish, not for the first time, for some more nuanced female characters - and a swift end to the sensationalistic tragedy.

Attorney: Knox Naive Like Movie's 'Amelie' [UPI]

Amanda Knox's Court Demeanor In The Spotlight
[Seattle Times]
The Friends Back Home Intent On Telling The 'Real Amanda Knox' Story
[Guardian]
The Foxy Knoxy Show: Smiling Murder Suspect Makes Grand Entrance As Trial Begins [Daily Mail]

Earlier: Prosecutor In Amanda Knox Trial Pushes For Life In Prison