Amanda Knox trial ordeal is over, but Meredith Kercher murder mystery remains

October 6, 2011

Amanda Knox has returned to the United States after four years of incarceration in Italy. Her release after she was acquitted on appeal for the murder of Meredith Kercher was greeted with relief by her supporters and family. As AP reported:

The emotional strain built steadily for years as Amanda Knox sat locked away thousands of miles from her loved ones, all the while maintaining her innocence, wondering whether anyone who mattered would ever believe her.

Knox’s father, Curt, suggested that at least some of that pressure was released when she gained her freedom. “She pretty much squished the air out of us when she hugged us,” he said.

Curt Knox, for the time, is no longer a legal advocate, he’s only a father. And, as Amanda Knox returned to her hometown of Seattle on Tuesday after being acquitted on murder charges after four years in prison, he shifted his concern to her future.

“The focus simply is Amanda’s well-being and getting her re-associated with just being a regular person again,” he said in front of his home in West Seattle.

He said Amanda would like to return to the University of Washington at some point to finish her degree, but for now, he’s apprehensive about what four years in prison may have done to his daughter, though there are no immediate plans for her to get counseling. “What’s the trauma ... and when will it show up, if it even shows up?” he said. “She’s a very strong girl, but it’s been a tough time for her.”

The 24-year-old’s life turned around dramatically Monday when an Italian appeals court threw out her conviction in the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate. On Tuesday, photos of Amanda Knox crying in the courtroom after the verdict was read appeared on the front pages of newspapers in Italy, the U.S., Britain and around the world.

Amanda Knox’s travel back to the United States, covered by media from several countries, is far from the end of her story. And the question of who really murdered Meredith Kercher remains a mystery. As AP explained:

Amanda Knox returned to her hometown of Seattle on Tuesday with four years in an Italian prison behind her, the stabbing death of her roommate still a mystery and the media frenzy surrounding her case as strong on U.S. soil as it was in Europe.

Friends and family who held spaghetti dinners, bowling events and concerts to raise money for Knox’s defense were thrilled to have her home, but her supporters were a small presence at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport compared to the media: dozens of U.S. and international reporters, along with cameras and satellite trucks.

The court’s decision, fueled by doubts over DNA evidence, stunned the victim’s family and angered the prosecution, which insists that she was among three people who killed 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. But for Knox’s grandmother Elisabeth Huff, “it was like the weight of the world had gone.”

“We all are as happy as can be. I can’t tell you how long we’ve been looking forward to this day,” Huff told The Associated Press outside her home in West Seattle, a tight-knit community a few miles across Elliott Bay from downtown.

Many are wondering if Amanda Knox will write a book about her ordeal, as has been common for others with her celebrity. As Steven Livingston reported :

She was convicted of murder then cleared of the crime — and in the long process became wildly famous. The betting now centers on whether Amanda Knox, like so many before her, will cash in on her celebrity by writing a memoir.

Type Amanda Knox into Amazon’s search engine and a cascade of titles fills the page:

“Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox” by Barbie Latza Nadeau.

“Injustice in Perugia: a Book Detailing the Wrongful Conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito” by Bruce Fisher.

“Take Me With You - Talks with Amanda Knox in Prison” by Rocco Girlanda.

The public, obviously, is fascinated and publishers, clamoring for the rights to her own story, will no doubt see reason in showering her with an enormous advance.

In her conversations with Italian parliamentarian Rocco Girlanda, which he published as the book “Take Me With You,” Knox revealed the edges of her hopes and dreams. But there’s still much more to tell. Despite Girlanda’s conversations and the many other books, an audience clearly would snap up whatever Knox wished to add.

More from The Washington Post

Interview with Knox trial blogger Frank Sfarzo

Meredith Kercher’s brother says family back to ‘square one’

Video: Knox supporters watch verdict

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