Amanda Knox

Samantha Acosta, Staff Writer

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   A newly released Netflix original documentary, “Amanda Knox”, is about a case that took place in Perugia, Italy in 2007. It follows the case of Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who were accused of killing Meredith Kercher, her roommate at the time. With little evidence used against her and also being mentally and physically abused by the Italian police, both Knox and Sollecito were accused of killing Kercher and spent four years in prison but got released in 2011. The question everyone has been pondering is, did Knox actually leave enough evidence behind to convict her or did the police fabricate evidence to advance their prosecution?    

  It starts off with Knox explaining the first weeks of living in Italy, the beautiful house she was living in and the young woman she was living with. Knox was born and raised in the United States, she worked hard to fund an academic year in Italy. Kercher also worked hard to earn an education, but a pivotal difference is that she was born and raised in South London. Knox and Kercher both lived in Perugia, Italy. They were living in a  downstairs apartment with two other Italian women. Knox had a job working at a bar for Patrick Lumumba which it would be later used as evidence that the Italian police tried to use against her. A week before the murder, Knox met Sollecito and later developed into a relationship.

  On November 2nd, 2007, news broke out about the death of Kercher. The police invested time into their own fabricated timeline of events which regarded a “group crime” or “sex game gone wrong”. According to Knox, the night before the murder she was expected to work but before she arrived Lumumba informed her in a text message telling her that she no longer needed to attend her shift. Knox decided to spend her night off at her boyfriend’s house. The following morning, Knox went back home and noticed that her front door was open. She entered the bathroom and discovered drops of blood over the sink, but she didn’t think much of it. Knox decided to take a shower, but when stepping onto the bath mat she notices a splotch of blood.

The pictures of the blood on the sink and the mat with blood were shown in the movie. Once again Knox thought nothing of it. Knox uncovers that someone has left unflushed feces in the toilet and the interesting part is that, this is all of a sudden catches her attention. Even the feces in the film were shown as part of the evidence. This is when Knox decides to call her boyfriend, Sollecito, for help and soon after reaching him she decides to check on Kercher. Knox knocked on Kercher’s door and calls out her name thinking she would hear a response, and then urges Sollecito to kick the door down, but they were unable to do so. Sollecito made a crucial decision to call the police and in the film you would hear the recording of that same phone call that Sollecito made to the police that morning. Once the police arrive they successfully knock down Kercher’s door and discover her dead body on the floor.

 The autopsy report concluded that there was a sexual interference with Kercher’s body. Forensics also found traces of male DNA on her neck, which was slit open.    

  Police at the scene asked Knox questions to advance the investigation, which regarded any missing items in the house, specifically a knife that could have been used as the murder weapon. This is when the reality of the situation hit Knox and she became hysterical, hitting her hands to hit her head. Ciuliano Mignini, head investigator on the case, assumed that this was Knox having a flashback of the murder and this very moment made Knox a prime suspect.    

 Sollecito was the first person to be called into the police station, and from his perspective the police were instantly aggressive and pushy. Explaining the situation, Sollecito said that the police made rude and unnecessary comments about Amanda to persuade him into turning his back on Knox. Sollecito caved and changed his entire story, which concluded with Knox not even being at his place the night before Kercher’s body was discovered. At this point, Knox was confused and tired which frustrated the police officer’s who were interrogating her and resulted in her being slapped twice behind her head. All the police were saying was “remember!” over and over as Knox recalled.   

Under extreme circumstances, Knox changed her story and accused Lumumba of murdering Kercher. Ultimately all three were arrested but after three weeks Lumumba was released due to providing a solid alibi.    

  In prison, Knox did a medical exam and was told that she tested positive for HIV and was going to develop AIDS. While in prison, Knox kept a diary and this was later released to the public. Knox soon found out that her exam was fabricated and was a tactic used by the prosecution to play mind games.

 The police in charge of the investigation did a poor job, the investigators fabricated evidence to build their case, falsified fingerprints on the murder weapon, having a new suspect and not following through because he [Rudy Hermann Guede] fled the country even though his DNA was found inside Kercher’s body. Even Guede admitted that he was with Kercher that day of the murder, this was recorded over video chat Guede had with a friend. Explaining that he went to the bathroom and all of a suddenly hears a scream. Running out the bathroom Guede sees a man but didn’t see who it was exactly, the man runs out the front door and then finds Kercher bleeding. He explains how she was clinging onto him, seeing blood on him and becomes scared.   

    Despite the police having DNA evidence that linked to Guede during the crime, the police were still focused on Knox. Miginin made up his own story for the events that took place the day of the murder. His version of events regarded Kercher walking in on Knox, Sollecito and Guede doing something she didn’t agree with and this made Knox feel humiliated and this resulted in Knox lashing out. This was all made into a video, showing how it all went down and using this for court. Three years after the murder, Knox and Sollecito attended their appeal. The court accepted the review and re-examined the evidence regarding the case and this is when they discovered that the police disregarded pivotal evidence such as Sollecito’s DNA being on Kercher’s bra.

  The verdict absolved both Knox and Sollecito and they were immediately released. After hearing the good news, Knox burst into tears and gathered with her family in the courtroom. On the other hand, outside the courtroom people were disappointed that Knox was found not-guilty. Yelling “not to give up” and “this is a shame”. Knox was now able to head back home with her family. With the media following her around, Knox didn’t feel like the same person after coming home. She ignored the media every time she was out in the open, taking pictures and asking questions to Knox. Six years after the murder, an Italian court threw out Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and the pair were found guilty again. This time the guilty verdict focuses on circumstantial evidence including Knox’s behavior and relationships. The guilty verdict was appealed to Italy’s supreme court. Luckily both Sollecito and Knox got the news that 6 years after the murder, both have been exonerated and are free. Guede was eventually found guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in the murder but was reduced to 16 years.

   Towards the end of the film, justices found “a complete lack of biological trace”. The court even blames “stunning flaws” and even increased media attention that created “a frantic search”. Everything in this investigation was made up like some reality show.  It ended up looking like it was all scripted, so everyone can watch a U.S girl’s nightmare in Italy. It all seemed like it was a setup, pinned all against Knox because the police “thought” it was all of her work and only focused on her instead of other important suspects in the case. With humiliating headlines and Knox having all of her business out, she will never be known as a “normal girl”. She wasted six years on a case that she wasn’t even a part of and four years in prison. Everything out there about Knox is out in the public, it won’t go away and she will always be known as the girl who was accused wrongly of a murder that she never convicted.