The saga that has consumed the last 11 years of Amanda Knox’s life began on November 1, 2007, when her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was found dead on the floor of her bedroom. Knox, then 20, and Kercher, 21, were both exchange students at local universities, and they shared the four-bedroom, ground floor apartment in Perugia, Italy with two Italian women in their late twenties.
Police investigators found physical evidence at the scene that led them to eventually arrest and charge Rudy Guede, 21, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast who had lived in Perugia since the age of five, with the murder of Kercher. However, Amanda’s unusual behavior while being questioned by police, which she claims was the result of physical and mental abuse by Italian law enforcement officials, apparently convinced the Perugia prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, to also charge Knox and her boyfriend of one week, Raffaele Sollecito, then 23, with murder.
Amanda’s case wound its way through the labyrinthine Italian criminal justice scene for eight long years. In a separate trial, Rudy Guede received a 16-year sentence for Kercher’s murder, and he remains in prison as of 2018. Knox and Sollecito were also convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison and 25 years in prison, respectively.
Sollecito and Knox had their convictions overturned on appeal on October 3, 2011, but Amanda’s three-year sentence for falsely accusing and defaming Patrick Lumumba was upheld. Knox had a part-time job in Patrick’s bar, and under the duress of intense questioning, Amanda accused him of the murdering Ms. Kercher. Since Knox had spent four years in an Italian prison prior to her successful appeal, she was released with time served in the Lumumba case and allowed to return to America.
Unbelievably, Knox’s journey was far from over, and on March 26, 2013, the Italian Supreme Court ordered Knox and Sollecito to stand trial for the second time. The Italian Appeals Court then convicted the pair on January 30, 2014, and Knox had her original sentence increased to 28 years and six months while her former boyfriend received a 25-year sentence. Knox remained in America, unsure if she would be extradited to Italy, and Sollecito was allowed to remain free on appeal.
Finally, on March 27, 2015, the Italian Supreme Court once again overturned Knox and Sollecito’s convictions and ruled that the case was closed forever. A young woman was murdered, one man is still in prison for her death, and two young adults had their lives ruined and changed forever before they were finally freed. The question remains, how did a well-respected, bright young woman who came to Italy to study for a year-end up convicted in one of the decade’s most sensational murder cases?
Sadly, as Knox herself has said on several occasions since the Italian Supreme Court finally overturned her conviction for the last time, an over-zealous prosecutor with a penchant for Satanic conspiracies allowed his bias against Knox to cloud his judgment, which resulted in a prosecution that relied on shaming, leaks to the media, and innuendo rather than evidence.
In their final ruling the, Italian supreme court vigorously condemned the prosecution’s conduct.
“The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn’t help the search for substantial truth.”
Knox recently addressed her ordeal in an interview with Newsweek. She was particularly distressed by the constant sexual innuendo by the prosecution during her eight-year journey through the Italian legal system, including the use of defamatory nicknames and what many refer to as “slut shaming.” The prosecution built their case around the claim that Knox, Guede, and Sollecito killed Kercher in a sex orgy gone wrong.
Although she vehemently denies the accusations of immoral behavior, Amanda Knox strongly believes the case should have been based on real evidence, instead of emotionally manipulating the public and the jury by casting aspersion on her moral character.
“I could have been the kinkiest person in the world, and it shouldn’t [have] mattered because it has nothing to do with the evidence of the case. The fact that I was accused of orchestrating a rape game—it was so absurd.”
One nickname that still haunts Amanda Knox was used with great relish by the Italian media. Amanda became known as “Foxy Knoxy,” as if she was some sort of wild, sexual-crazed she-devil who was capable of anything. In reality, the nickname was from her childhood, when she was said to be “quick as a fox” when she played competitive soccer.
Knox spoke about how the use of the nickname made her feel.
“It’s almost like living a double life where I’m in a limbo space where Amanda Knox, a real person exists, ‘Foxy Knoxy,’ an idea of a person exists, and I’m constantly having to juggle how someone is interacting with me based upon that two-dimensional person of me that has been in the public’s imagination for so long. And I’m not alone in that.”
While her life has been changed forever, Ms. Knox has managed to achieve a sense of peace and stability. Today, she has devoted herself to helping the wrongfully accused. She writes on the subject, and she attends events for the Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA testing and legal reform to help men and women who have been wrongfully convicted.
Recently, Knox began working with Vice Media on her new Facebook series, The Scarlet Letter Reports. On the web show, she plans to interview well-known women like Amanda Rose and Mischa Barton, who have been slandered and demonized in the media.
Even though her honesty and integrity have been called into question in an incredibly demeaning and public manner, Amanda plans to dedicate her life to helping other women avoid the shaming and character assassination that have become an unfortunate part of their daily existence.