Amanda Knox: what happened to me was surreal, but it could have happened to anyone


Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student who was tried, found guilty, then acquitted two years ago on appeal in Italy for the murder of her college flatmate Meredith Kercher in 2007 broke her silence in a long awaited interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. She was articulate and seemed very sincere. I’ve written a bit about the case, which is confusing and contains a plethora of information from sources that contradict each other. My overall take is that one truth is undeniable: Italy’s system of justice has a lower standard with regard to the rights of the accused.

Also, Amanda Knox was demonized and subjected to a total character assassination during the trial in a way that would be disallowed in a U.S. courtroom for good reason.

This case has given me a deeper appreciation for the U.S. system of justice and for the reason incriminating details about the life or history of the accused that are not relevant to proving the charges are inadmissible in a U.S. court. The prosecution in this case, aided and abetted by a sensationalist media, created a caricature of this young woman and put that caricature on trial Рcomplete with avatars in a video created to show how Amanda Knox Рagainst whom, of the three individuals who stood trial for this murder, there was the least amount of evidence  Рsupposedly acted as ringleader, manipulating two men into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Having listened to Knox this evening, I stand by my earlier assessment of what went on in this case: it was a perfect storm of hysteria on the part of the Italian media, the prosecutor, Amanda and Meredith’s housemates, and Amanda herself. Far from coming across as some sort of unfeeling demon or actress, she strikes me as a hippieish, guileless type of person who if anything demonstrated utter naivete (having gone to the University of Washington and spent many years in the Pacific Northwest, I also get the sense this was cultural. Meaning, this is not a shrewd east coast type of young woman with a shrewd east coast type family who would have made sure to lawyer up immediately). Rather, Knox had no idea she was under suspicion when initially questioned and not only did she not flee, she cooperated entirely without demanding an attorney, which suggests innocence but unfortunately was used against her by Italian authorities.¬† Thus it seems to me it was her very innocence–and naivete–that contributed to this perfect storm.

Of course, no one knows exactly what happened. But the theory that Knox and her boyfriend conspired with Rudy Guede, a drifter whose DNA is all over the room where Meredith Kercher’s body was found and whose bloody footprints are all over the floor there was always a stretch. Occam’s razor would suggest Guede broke in and murdered Meredith Kercher. And that’s probably what happened.

Ultimately, perhaps it was just a case of wrong place/wrong time. As Knox said this evening, “I’d like to be reconsidered as a person … What happened to me was surreal, but it could have happened to anyone.”


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