Amanda Knox has written her memoirs in the Italian prison.
Amanda Knox has written her memoirs during the four years she has languished in an Italian prison.
In her book, Amanda Knox is describing how she came to be convicted – unjustly, she insists – of brutally murdering her British flatmate, Meredith Kercher.
If Amanda Knox is absolved of one of the most grippingly macabre crimes of recent times, her story is expected to be turned into a multi-million-dollars Hollywood movie.
In the same time, a group of British film-makers led by award-winning director Michael Winterbottom are considering a rival film with Colin Firth, who owns a villa not far from the murder scene in Perugia, portraying a crusading reporter who proves Amanda Knox’s innocence.
At this moment, three American TV networks are already said to have offered a million dollars for the first interview with Amanda Knox should she walk free. Amanda Knox’ Seattle-based PR agent says he has piles of interview requests on his desk from around the world.
According to Italian media, one US TV network has hired a private jet to whisk Amanda Knox and her relatives back to the States if she’s cleared.
In response, Meredith Kercher’s lawyer Francesco Maresca said ironically:
“We have heard about a plane waiting to take the Knoxes away, but poor Meredith’s family barely have enough money to come to Perugia for the verdict.”
Should Amanda Knox be depicted as the martyr in a miscarriage of justice movie, it would seal a quite extraordinary image transformation, given that she has been demonized as “Foxy Knoxy”, a dangerously narcissistic, sex-and-drugs obsessed wild-child.
For the past three months, Amanda Knox has put aside her diary and used the internet-less laptop she is permitted in her cell to tap out the most important words she will ever compose – her personal address to the court.
Under Italian law, the defendant is entitled to make a declaration – and they usually wait until the end so theirs is the last voice the judge and jurors hear before considering their verdict.
At her original trial, which ended in December 2009, Amanda Knox was jailed for 26 years, a year more than her well-heeled Italian boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, 27, her supposed accomplice in what the prosecution portrayed as a gratuitous, cannabis-fuelled, sado-sexual slaughter.
Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito were alleged to have murdered Meredith Kercher, a Leeds University undergraduate studying in Perugia for a year on an exchange programme, in her bedroom with the help of a third man, Ivorian immigrant, small-time drug-dealer and petty-thief Rudy Guede. Rudy Guede he pleaded guilty and is serving just 16 years.
Amanda Knox has always denied being at the house that night, and when she rises to re-state her innocence on Monday she is expected to strike a more measured tone.
“Amanda has had four years to really reflect on who she is,” says her loyal friend Madison Paxton, who moved from America to Perugia a year ago so she can visit her regularly.
“Her character is really honed and she is more confident now than she ever was. It’s strangely beautiful.”
Yet as the Meredith Kercher’s lawyer reminded the court this week, Amanda Knox’s was not the only glittering future destroyed that grim night in November 2007.
The lawyer began by displaying a smiling photograph of the Surrey-born student, Meredith Kercher on a big projector screen. Then he replaced it with shockingly candid pictures, never previously displayed in open court, of Meredith lying, semi-naked and lifeless, the left side of her slender neck ripped by a gaping knife wound.
“Amanda has still never seen those photographs and to me that says a lot. I think she remains to this day shocked and ashamed of what she did. That is why she covered Meredith’s body with the duvet. Only a woman would have done that.”
Given that 21-year-old Meredith had attended a Halloween party in the guise of a vampire two days earlier and had then been subjected to a frenzied sexual assault at the rambling hillside cottage shared by Amanda Knox, he theorized that the attackers had enacted some twisted ritualistic fantasy.
But the prosecution case has been seriously undermined during the appeal – in effect a ten-month-long retrial before a new judge and jury.
The forensic evidence, in particular, is disgracefully flawed. Indeed, so many basic errors were made, both in gathering and testing the samples.
At the first trial, for example, the prosecution claimed traces of Meredith Kercher’s DNA were detected on the blade of a 30cm knife recovered from Rafaelle Sollecito’s flat, and thatAmanda Knox’s DNA was on the handle. She is said to have “trembled and shook” when police pulled it from the kitchen drawer.
The original judge refused to allow the test to be independently reviewed, but the second appointed two university experts to analyze it.
While they confirmed that Amanda Knox had touched the knife – as well she might have done when preparing meals at her boyfriend’s house – they said the sample attributed to Meredith Kercher was so tiny it could not even be re-tested, let alone relied upon as accurate.
Meredith Kercher’s family has reiterated their belief that the original trial verdict was fair. Four years after their sparkling, cherished daughter followed her heart to the Italian hills, they still don’t know why she met such a terrible end.
And whether or not Amanda Knox emerges a murderer or martyr after delivering her carefully-crafted speech on Monday, the case will remain the greatest tragedy of this sordid and deeply perplexing saga.