In the fall of 2007, twenty-year old college coed Amanda Knox left Seattle to study abroad in Perugia, Italy for one year. But that November 1, her life was shattered when her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, was murdered in their apartment. Five days later, Amanda was taken into custody and charged by the Italian police; her arrest and the subsequent investigation ignited an international media firestorm. Overnight, this ordinary young American student became the subject of intense scrutiny, forced to endure a barrage of innuendo and speculation. Two years later, after an extremely controversial trial, Amanda was convicted and imprisoned. But in 2011 an appeals court overturned her conviction and vacated the charges. Free at last, she immediately returned home to the U.S., where she has remained silent, until now.
I’ve read a few books about the trial of Amanda Knox and I figured it was time to dust this library book off and finally see what was inside. Now, before I continue with this review, I will point out that I am not convinced Amanda Knox is innocent in the murder of Meredith Kercher. I’m not claiming she’s guilty, but there was evidence and events that lead her to look as if she is. Truth is, no one will ever know the extent to her involvement (if any) in this crime. But I’ll also point out, she’s not the innocent victim she tries to portray herself. Even if she were completely innocent, she lied time and time again to the police. She misled, pointed fingers at truly innocent men and repeatedly continued to create more and more absurd stories about that night. The victim here is not Amanda Knox (though I agree that due to the way her trial was handled, she deserved to be set free), but Meredith and ONLY Meredith.
Now for this book…
First off, I would like to say I tried to come in with as open of a mind as I could. That being said, I’m not buying what this woman is selling. Maybe it’s true she and Meredith were really close compared to the other housemates. But it’s funny no one else in Meredith’s life can attest for this close friendship. Maybe it’s true they never had any huge blow ups or anything. But it’s funny how even Meredith’s own e-mails complained about Amanda’s attention seeking behavior and her unsanity habits.
From the beginning, Amanda Knox begins to tell her side of the story from the day she informs her parents of her decision to study abroad. Seems simple enough, right? Well, then tell me how in the beginning of the book, you can already catch Amanda in her first lie? She claims she only messed around with the guy on the train, but didn’t have sex. Yet, she put him down as a sexual partner in her journal and even listed him as one of seven guys she had sex with. This is an important fact for later on in my review. So please remember the number seven.
Fine, maybe they just did mess around. Maybe she truly got oral herpes from “making out” with him. Moving on.
Next, she begins her search for a place to live and finds a place with two rooms available. Yet, again, Amanda’s memory seems to be off as it was proven Meredith had already procured the first room before Amanda ever arrived. This is a little detail, but it contributes to all of the tiny details Amanda continues to feed the reader that don’t add up with the actual facts.
As she spends her time in Italy, she randomly hooks up with two men (thus making her total partners four according to this book), before she meets and begins to fall for Raffaele. In a week long love affair, the two constantly have sex and smoke weed. Whatever. She was twenty, this seems normal. But that makes five men. So why is it, when she’s told she has HIV, she hands over seven names? I don’t know about you, but that seems odd. In her own words, Raffaele was number five. Where the hell did the other two men come from?
Now we come to the discovery of Meredith’s body. If you know anything about this case, you know the details that don’t add up. For example, Meredith’s room being locked and Amanda saying it happened sometimes. Yet, the other roommates blatantly stated she never locked her door. The blood in the bathroom is another highly debated fact of the case. But seeing as it’s reported that Amanda was well known to be unsanitary in her own bathroom habits, i.e. leaving a urine and menstrual blood filled toilet unflushed, I don’t find it odd she didn’t think anything of some blood.
But what about her lamp, which was found in Meredith’s room? It was Amanda’s only source of light besides a small window, so how/why would it wind up in Meredith’s locked bedroom. What about the fact Amanda’s hair was found in Meredith’s vaginal region? As a woman, you could explain this away if the girls had a tub, but they didn’t. And as Meredith had recently had a Brazilian wax, it’s highly unlikely Amanda’s hair could have wound up there from just normal living arrangements. None of this is addressed in Amanda’s book. After all, the hair evidence was lost and Amanda claimed to have never noticed the lamp missing. It was day time, so maybe she hadn’t.
But what about the magically poop? Amanda didn’t notice it in the bathroom when she got the hair dryer. But noticed it when she put it back. She noticed it was gone when she checked again, but the cops found it sitting, unflushed in the toilet. I can’t explain it, but it does seem to help support the idea that she and Raffaele at the very least, lied about only smoking marijuana the night before.
This is just the tip of the iceberg about why this girl doesn’t stand out as completely innocent in my mind. Though she never mentions cartwheels in her book, other witnesses (i.e. the other roommates, the boys from the flat beneath hers and Meredith’s friends) saw her doing handstands and splits in the hallway while waiting to be seen. Yet, Knox claims she only did the splits after a cop asked her to show him. Days after the initial questioning of everyone else and ironically, days after the reports of her odd behavior was spread all over the news. And don’t get me started on the constant lies she tells the police time after time. The girl, to this day, hasn’t gotten her story straight. Even what she said happened in this book, doesn’t fit the timeline of what was finally proven (and helped) get her released.
None of this stuff proves Amanda Knox is guilty. But what this book does prove is the fact this is a calculating, self-centered woman who is desperate to make everything about her. I have never seen someone comment on how naive or ignorant they were being. In fact, those are just the terms used by the Knox Press during the first trial to explain every odd thing she did. I don’t know if she helped Meredith or tried to help cover it up (which is actually what I suspect probably happened). But what I do know is, if you want everyone to believe in your innocence don’t write a book full of exaggerations and half-truths about it. Either be completely honest or don’t try to cash in on the story. Either way, she’s being disrespectful to the Kercher family. So yes, while I agree, the case against her failed and a lot, I mean a lot of mistakes were made while handling the crime scene and dealing with her interrogation and such… Amanda Knox still comes off as a woman who is not trustworthy and who is still desperately seeking attention, when it’s not her who is the innocent victim in all of this mess. It never was Amanda Knox who was the victim. True, she suffered a grave injustice at the hands of the Italian courts. But in the end, it was always and only Meredith Kercher who was the innocent one in this entire ordeal. She’s the victim and it’s a shame everyone, Knox included, has forgotten this fact.
Reviewer’s note: My review is based off of this book as well as others I have read about this case. In no form or fashion will I tolerate any threats or hateful comments for how I view the events and evidence as it was presented. I do not claim to know what happened the night Meredith Kercher died and unless you were present, you do not know what happened either. You may disagree with my opinion, but please respect it, for I will give you the same respect. I feel, Amanda was unjustly found guilty because the evidence against her was not handled correctly. That being said, Rafaelle’s defense team and Amanda’s own mother, did admit to having evidence that would prove Knox was present the night of the murder. Not that she committed it, just that she once again lied about where she was. Whatever happened, I still find it to be in poor taste for her to be making money off of Meredith’s murder, which is exactly what this book is. I did not purchase it and had it not been available at my local library, I would have never read it.