The Daily Beast has published a section of Angel Face, Barbie Latza Nadeau's book on Amanda Knox. Nadeau includes excerpts from Knox's short stories, which prosecutors used as evidence against her, especially the one about rape.
Weirdly, Nadeau describes "Baby Brother," the short story posed on Knox's MySpace page as "not too unsettling overall, but it includes a rather cavalier reference to rape." Reports of the story from 2007 describe it alternatively as a "gruesome" piece about rape. Prosecutors claimed that it showed Knox's disturbing innermost desires, that it was the work of a sociopath who had long been interested in rape.
However, the actual story does not just include a single reference to rape - it is about an older brother (Edgar) confronting his younger brother (Kyle) about his rape of a drunk woman - but it is also not a disturbingly gruesome account of rape. Nadeau quoted this excerpt, in which the confrontation goes down:
Kyle laughed deep in his throat. "Icky Vicky, huh? Jeez, Edgar. You had me going there." He picked up his calculus book and flicked with his thumb to find his page, shook his head side to side with his smile still confident on his face. "A thing you have to know about chicks is that they don't know what they want." Kyle winked his eye. "You have to show it to them. Trust me. In any case," He cocked his eyebrows up and one side of his mouth rose into a grin. "I think we both know hard A is hardly a drug."
Hard A, she informs us, is a "toxic cocktail of vodka, whiskey, and schnapps." The story ends with a fight, as Kyle punches his older brother in the face.
Just as Nadeau downplays the significance of rape to the central plot line, prosecutors played up this point, making it seem much more salacious than it actually was:
Whether or not Amanda meant to condone sexual violence, prosecutors took this story as proof that she had at least fantasized about it. It was there in her mind. Add drugs and alcohol, they reasoned, and it wouldn't take long for such hidden thoughts to lead to action.
The idea that writing about - or even thinking about - the possibility of rape is somehow equivalent to fantasizing about it is absurd. But even as Nadeau writes about the schism between the two groups of thought (Amanda Knox, victim and Amanda Knox, rapist and murder), she falls into the same pattern of twisting and manipulation that prosecutors used. "Baby Brother" is a crappy short story with rape as its central theme. It is no more than that. But we don't have to downplay the fact that Knox may have thought about, and wrote about, rape long before she was accused of the crime. The reality of the situation is that many women think about rape on a daily basis - we're conditioned to fear every dark parking lot and frat party. Knox may have had rape "in her mind," but really, in today's crime-obsessed culture, who hasn't?