Two big names in true crime history joined forces to discuss how they were “shamed and vilified” by the media as their traumas played out before the American public.
Amanda Knox and Lorena Bobbitt held a live show for Knox’s podcast The Truth About Crime over the weekend to discuss the parallels in their lives—but the women also sat down for a live interview with Washington, D.C. station WTTG before the event.
“The thing that resonates most with me when we both spoke to each other over the phone was how this is a historic moment in the history of shamed and vilified women,” Knox said.
Knox said the pair had a “lot in common” in that both women saw their trauma become fodder for attention-seeking headlines, news stories and late-night television conversation.
“You don’t see shamed and vilified women coming forward, supporting each other, reclaiming narratives and calling into account all those forces that are turning us into characters that are in mortality plays and exploiting our trauma for the sake of profit and entertainment,” she said.
Knox first captured the public’s attention after she was accused of killing her 21-year-old British roommate Meredith Kercher as an exchange student in Italy. She was found guilty of the crime in 2009 and served time behind bars before she was eventually acquitted.
Bobbitt earned notoriety in 1993 after she cut off her sleeping husband’s penis. She claimed she had been the victim of domestic abuse and had been raped during her marriage to John Bobbitt when she snapped and made the infamous cut, before throwing the severed member out the car window as she fled the scene.
John Bobbitt would later be acquitted of rape, while Lorena Bobbitt was also acquitted of carrying out the act by reason of insanity in a separate trial.
Lorena Bobbitt revisited her public saga last year in the Amazon Prime documentary “Lorena” and told WTTG it was opportunities like that have allowed women to reclaim their narratives.
“Now people know the story, know the truth, (and) know what happened about our stories,” she said. “It is very important for us to get the message across.”
Knox went on to say that she thinks people like her and Bobbitt are expected “to crawl under a rock of our shame and die” but said the pair hopes to show that they are real human beings.
The public’s fascination with true crime, she said, has meant that those in its spotlight aren’t always treated fairly by the media.
“I think true crime does have this problem where there is sort of [a] sense of entitlement to people’s trauma and a kind of gleeful armchair detective work that doesn’t come with the gravitas of the situation. These are worst experiences of real people’s lives,” she said.
Bobbitt said she hopes people know that she is a mother and advocate for other victims of abuse despite her “tragic” past.
“I do help in my communities. I do help with shelters and survivors of domestic violence,” she said. “I dedicated my life (to) helping others.”
Knox also honored the women’s friendship with a picture of the two smiling on her Instagram account.
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