She may have been imprisoned in Italy for nearly four years, but that doesn’t mean that Amanda Knox will stay away from the country. Quite the contrary: she said she will someday return, despite whatever concerns she may have.
Once a convicted murderer and the target of tabloid fodder, a now-exonerated Knox speaks out for the wrongfully accused, hosts a podcast called “The Truth About True Crime" and a web series entitled “The Scarlet Letter Reports” where she chats with other women who have been sexualized by the media.
Knox’s former roommate Meredith Kercher was murdered in Italy in 2007 while they were both studying abroad. Knox was 20 at the time of the murder. She and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of Kercher’s murder and sentenced to lengthy prison terms but an appeals court threw out their convictions in October 2011, citing a lack of evidence. Knox and Sollecito were fully exonerated in 2015. Meanwhile, Rudy Guede, with whom the couple were accused of killing Kercher, was found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher in a separate 2008 trial. Knox spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after having her character ripped apart by tabloids.
"There was media out where they would hire a psychic who would raise their hands over a picture of my face and say ‘she’s evil,’” Knox recalled at a panel entitled “Wrongfully Accused,” held Saturday in New York City. It was part of the multi-day true crime festival Death Becomes Us.
Her initial reactions after the murder of her roommate were scrutinized in Italian media and European tabloids, which often painted her as sex-crazed — mainly because she was seen kissing her former boyfriend outside the home in the immediate aftermath of Kercher’s killing. Ultimately, she said she felt her case became strangely political.
“Prosecutors would come and say during their final arguments and say we not only have to put Amanda in prison, we have to defend the honor of Italy and we have to defend our justice system against the Americans,” Knox said Saturday.
Despite that experience, and despite admitting she is scared to return, she said she won’t let it deter her from returning in the future.
“Italy’s not an evil place,” she said. “If Italy’s an evil place, then everywhere’s an evil place.”
Knox said that facing one’s fears is part of a healing process.
“I know the main thing that still terrifies me most is returning to Italy,” she said. “It’s something I know I have to do and I will do it.”
She said she doesn’t hate anybody involved in her case, including prosecutors; she just thinks that people made mistakes.
“It’s hard to hate something that seems so human,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I’m not angry. I’m really angry about what happened to me but it’s so human what happened to me.”
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