Amanda Knox

In 2016, Netflix released a documentary called Amanda Knox. It told the story of the murder of English student Meredith Kercher and the trials that followed. It included interviews with Amanda Knox, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, and others associated with the case. It brought renewed attention to the case at a time when true crime was starting to become a major part of popular culture.

For those unfamiliar with the case, Meredith Kercher was an English student studying in Perugia, Italy. In 2007 she was murdered in her apartment. Amanda Knox and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were quickly considered suspects. During the interrogation Knox confessed to the crime while also implicating Sollecito and another man, Rudy Guede.

Almost as soon as she was arrested Knox became a celebrity in the press. She was often referred to as ‘Foxy Knoxy’ and her behaviour was scrutinised. During the trial it was alleged that the three suspects had wanted Meredith to have sex with them. When she refused they murdered her. In December 2009 Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of murder and sentenced to 26 years in prison. They immediately appealed this sentence, and in 2011 it was overturned and they were released from prison.

A second trial was held in 2015 and this found Knox and Sollecito not guilty. Rudy Guede was tried separately and was found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher.

I’m a true crime aficionado and I have been for years. The murder of an English student was big news in Ireland and so I followed the case closely. For the longest time I was convinced that Amanda Knox played some role in the death of Meredith Kercher. If you read the comment section on her YouTube series some people still think that she did. The documentary–told by Knox and as a result is biased towards her–made me question my preconceived ideas about her.

The prosecutor thought she was guilty purely based on her reaction. She didn’t play the role of the grieving woman the way he thought she should. The media quickly pounced on her relationship and portrayed her as the promiscuous American who liked to do drugs and party. She was vilified because she was a young woman accused of a vicious crime. While her name has been cleared in the courts, not everyone will be able to forget what she was accused of. She will spend the rest of her life being known as the infamous Amanda Knox.

The case also highlights the privilege that comes with being a wealthy American accused of a crime. Her family was able to afford a team of lawyers and lodged a number of appeals to free Amanda. One wonders if she wasn’t a pretty young American student would anyone care that she had been found guilty in the first place?

What is sometimes lost from any discussion of Amanda Knox is that another young woman’s life was taken. Meredith Kercher was only 21 when she was murdered. She should be remembered and spoken about far more than her accused killer is.

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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