Some of our neighbors had their Halloween decorations up early this year. Now that what used to be called Decoration Day has become “Memorial Day weekend” and Easter is hardly observed at all, Halloween is the new hot holiday, rivaling Christmas as the occasion for decorations. Among those on the front lawn of one of the neighbors this year was a sign reading: “You say witch [the word written in scary, shivery italics] like it’s a bad thing.” The joke, I suppose, is that hardly anyone ever does say “witch” like it’s a bad thing anymore. And if anyone does, he—it always seems to be a he—becomes the joke.

So Carlo Pacelli discovered when he called the Seattle co-ed Amanda Knox an “enchanting witch” at her re-trial in Perugia on a charge of having murdered her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Mr. Pacelli was the lawyer for the man, Diya “Patrick”...

 

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