Guilty Or Not Guilty?
It has been over a decade since the Meredith Kercher murder case first became global news. Her roommate, Amanda Knox, was one of the prime suspects and the case took over the young lady’s life, with many twists and turns along the way.”Foxy Knoxy,” as she was branded by the media, was portrayed as a manipulative individual who would do whatever it took to prove her innocence. While the public is still torn over the young lady, new developments are still emerging about the case. Did she do it?
Living The Italian Dream
The story began with Amanda Knox, a 20-year-old from Seattle who, in 2007, was living the typical student life. She was a fun-loving individual who was thought of highly by her peers. Passionate about her linguistics degree, Knox traveled to Perugia, Italy for an exchange program. Upon arrival, Knox moved in with another exchange student named Meredith Kercher. Although they were excited to begin this new journey, both women had no idea of the horrors they were about to face…
It seemed as if Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher worked well together as roommates. For the most part, the pair were fairly compatible living together. Despite a couple of issues revolving around their cleaning rotation, there was no issue too big that the two young ladies couldn’t solve it in a mature manner. While Knox started dating Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian computer student, Kercher was happy to live the single life. Things were pretty lowkey in their Perugia apartment. Until one fateful day…
An Italian national holiday came around on November 1, 2007. While their other roommates were out of town on trips and visiting loved ones, Knox and Kercher stayed in Perugia. However, the two ladies’ nights were about to go down very different paths. Meredith went to a friend’s house to have dinner while Amanda was hanging out with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. When Meredith left her friends at about 8:45 pm, it would be the last time that anyone would see her alive.
The next morning, Amanda Knox returned to her apartment. As soon as she walked through the door, she noticed two worrying things. Firstly, Meredith Kercher’s bedroom door was locked, and secondly, there were a few blood stains on the bathroom floor. Although this was a potential red flag, Knox gave it the benefit of the doubt, had a shower, and then invited Sollecito over. It was at this point that the couple noticed another warning sign: one of her other roommates’ windows was broken.
After repeatedly knocking on Kercher’s door, but to no reply, Knox and Sollecito decided to call the police. However, before the cops even arrived, fellow roommate, Filomena Romanelli had already taken matters into her own hands. Not only were Kercher’s two cell phones found in a garden close by, but Romanelli’s friend broke into Kercher’s bedroom. There on the floor lay Kercher’s body in a pool of blood. It should come as no surprise that the roommates were absolutely horrified by what they saw.
Eventually, Kercher’s body was taken to receive an autopsy and the results were truly unsettling. With many bruises and cuts all over her body, the pathologists could only conclude that this was an extreme form of assault. Suicide was completely out of the question and naturally, the prime suspects were Knox and Sollecito. However, it wasn’t just due to the fact that Knox and Kercher were the only roommates around at the time. It was how Knox reacted at the scene of the crime…
Authorities were very quick to suspect that Knox was a prime suspect, primarily due to her peculiar behavior when Kercher’s body was discovered. The natural reaction would have been to cry or at least to be in some form of shock. However, Knox simply embraced Sollecito and kissed him. It wouldn’t take long before the media got involved and Knox’s behavior quickly took over the story, making it extremely awkward for investigators to piece together this ensuing murder mystery.
As a result of her peculiar behavior, detectives Monia Napoleoni and March Chiacchiera were ruthless in their interrogation of Knox. They recognized the correlation between Knox’s behavior and her failure to call the police immediately after discovering the bathroom blood stains. “I wasn’t just stressed and pressurized,” she said. “I was manipulated.” As a result of this pressured interrogation, she ended up giving false statements, such as being home during the time of the murder. However, that was just the start of the confusion…
Was It Her Boss?
Knox also suggested to the investigators that she believed Patrick Lumumba, who was her employer at the time, killed Kercher. As a result, Knox, along with Lumumba and her boyfriend Sollecito, were all charged with murder. Despite the confusion of where exactly each party was during the time of the murder, Lumumba was ultimately held in custody for the next two weeks. However, it wasn’t just Knox, Sollecito, and Lumumba who would become suspects in this increasingly confusing case.
Someone Else Was There?
Upon returning to the scene of the crime, police discovered bloody fingerprints of someone who, up until this point, had no connection to the case whatsoever. Rudy Guede was already known for his criminal record as a burglar and had fled Italy. He was eventually found in Germany and brought back for interrogation. One theory was that Knox, Sollecito, and Guede had actually been hanging out with Kercher before something went horribly wrong that night. However, Guede shared his side of the story.
More Than One Person?
Rudy Guede’s account of events was just as confusing as Knox’s. He first claimed that he had been with Kercher that night and that no one else was in the house during the time of the murder. However, he then backtracked and implicated the couple. While in the bathroom, he heard a scream, which suggested that somebody else was in the apartment. He claimed to have seen two people fleeing the apartment. Guede was convicted of murder, but the jury believed that he had an accomplice…
There was no denying that Amanda Knox became front and center of this infamous case. This is mainly due to her circumstances, being a young, American woman who seemed to have everything going for her. Therefore, why would she throw it all away? Although the outside world was skeptical about the way that Knox was treated in Italy, she was also portrayed as manipulative. The media even referring to her as “Foxy Knoxy.” However, the case was far from over.
In Her Defense
There were plenty of reasons for Knox to feel optimistic about her chances of being proven innocent. Not only did her defense describe her as “weak and fragile” and having been “duped by the police,” all the arrows were pointing towards Rudy Guede. The burglar’s DNA was found in numerous parts of Kercher’s room, including on bras and pillows, while not one trace of Knox’s DNA could be found. Despite this, the jury was convinced that Knox and Sollecito were guilty.
After a long, grueling trial, the jury firmly believed that while Knox, Sollecito, and Guede were responsible for the murder of Meredith Kercher, it was her roommate who dealt the fatal stab to her throat. Building up to this, it was believed that the couple had physically attacked the British student, while Guede proceeded to have his way with her. The prosecution even stated that Knox had staged a burglary. Despite this scathing prosecution, the couple pleaded not guilty. So what was the conviction?
On December 5, 2009, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher. This meant that Knox would be sentenced to 26 years in prison. Despite the way she had been portrayed in the Italian media, the American public firmly believed that the young lady deserved a re-trial. There was much skepticism about the way that the media could have influenced the jurors’ preconceptions of Knox. One journalist went as far as to say that “Anti-Americanism” was the cause of Knox’s conviction. Nevertheless, the case kept reopening.
Ironically, the conviction was just the beginning of this incredible case. Many experts were quick to the jump on the DNA evidence. One of them, Gregory Hampikian, claimed that the DNA that the Italian forensic team had identified was far too small to take seriously. Not only did the experts deem the evidence unreliable, they questioned the methods that Italians had used. In fact, Hampikian was convinced, based on the evidence at hand, that Rudy Guede committed the crime without an accomplice.
Amazing Turn Of Events
After a review proved that the evidence the authorities had used against Knox and Sollecito was unreliable, there was a serious chance of a re-trial. Just a year later, the same court deemed the couple not guilty and they were eventually acquitted of all charges. The judges admitted that the initial verdicts were wrong. However, Knox still received three years after she had falsely implicated her employer, Patrick Lumumba. Nevertheless, she was released after already serving this amount of time.
Not Done Yet
Naturally elated by the news, Knox and Sollecito were relieved to finally receive the verdict that they were looking for. It wouldn’t take long before Knox returned home to Seattle and tried to get her life back on track. However, the Italian courts threw some more bad news at the student after overturning her acquittal. Although they ordered Knox and Sollecito to return for a retrial, they both refused to return to Italy. As a result of this, they were convicted once again…
Never Going Back
Upon hearing the devastating news, Knox was quick to release a statement expressing her frustrations. “Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system,” she said. “The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.” When asked if she would return to Italy for an eventual retrial, Knox said that she would need to be dragged “kicking and screaming.”
Two Long Years
Knox’s refusal to return to prison essentially became a judicial battle between Italy and the United States of America. As a result of this, her home country was overwhelmingly supportive of her, believing that Knox was the victim of a court that they fundamentally disagreed with. While Sollecito had no choice in the matter, as he was native Italian, Knox would eventually reignite the next appeal. When 2015 came around, Knox and Sollecito finally returned to Italy to settle things once and for all…
Time To Appeal
On March 27, 2015, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito entered the Supreme Court of Cassation and delivered their newest appeal. At its core, the appeal argued that the entire case, ever since it began in 2007, carried no weight whatsoever, that the wrong individuals had been accused and that there was no way that Knox or Sollecito could have been guilty of murder. They were proud of their bravery to stand up for their freedom one more time and the court finally came to a decision…
Not Guilty, Again!
With five judges sitting in front of them, Knox and Sollecito were unanimously acquitted for the murder of Meredith Kercher. In what was described as a calamity of errors that were both “sensational” and “glaring,” the Italian court recognized the error of its ways and that the original conviction only painted a fraction of the picture. Now 26 years of age, Knox had been cleared for the second time of killing her former roommate. But was it for good this time?
Two Sides To Every Story
Every story has more than one side to it. While the media has thoroughly examined Amanda Knox’s side of the story over the last decade, Meredith Kercher’s family have rarely had a say in this battle. All the Kerchers have wanted is justice for their beloved Meredith. The couple’s acquittal broke the family’s hearts once again. “The family is in shock after the verdict,” the Kercher’s lawyer said. “I’ve had to explain to them there are now no avenues open to them. There is a great sense of bitterness.”
Ever since finding closure in her life-changing case, Amanda Knox is determined to help others who have been the subject of crimes that they have been wrongfully accused of. Now, Knox is a writer, as well as a public speaker. “Though our backgrounds and stories are different, we were all attacked as women,” Knox said. “And, in trying to live our lives or come forward with the truth, we faced vicious campaigns against our characters, our identities distorted and crammed into prepackaged tropes, ready-made to be discounted, condemned, and rejected.”