What’s next for Amanda Knox?
Amanda Knox was cleared Monday in the murder of her roommate in Italy, ending a four-year courtroom saga.
October 4th, 2011
02:24 PM ET

What’s next for Amanda Knox?

Amanda Knox is back on U.S. soil after four years in prison and a media-circus trial connected to a high-profile slaying. She returns to an uncertain life in America.

Instead of a buoyant college student growing in self-assurance, snippets and courtroom soundbites have shown a trembling, sobbing woman-child accused of unspeakable acts of wickedness.

On Monday, a five-woman, three-man Italian jury overturned Knox's conviction on the five most serious charges in Meredith Kercher's death. She was immediately released from prison.

Knox, 24, arrived back in Seattle, her hometown, Tuesday evening.

Her family and small network of friends, which have sustained her in a foreign prison, will be even more important to her now as she readjusts, said Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life."

“Unlike a lot of people who go to prison and have tremendous problems re-acclimating and who aren’t perhaps a young person still struggling to find out what to do with their life, she still has time,” Saltz said.

Going forward, Knox now has a chance to finally reclaim and craft her image, Saltz said. And she may do fine, at least publicly.

“Once you have tremendous notoriety, the kind of things that may come your way may be of a specific sort, giving interviews and so on,” she said.

Indeed, Knox may find it cathartic to write a book, a venture that would be publicly risky but financially beneficial.

“From a public standpoint, it’s the timing," said Josh Kaplow, a psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Profiting financially from a traumatic experience, I think there’s nothing wrong with that, if it helps tell her story. The pitfalls are twofold: The timing of it is one. If the book is out in the first few months of her being home, people could say, 'Well, how traumatic was it that she’s able to write a book in such a short time?' On the other hand, there’s lots of research that shows it’s actually very helpful psychologically to write about a traumatic event."

Meanwhile, the pop culture obsession with the case continues. Lifetime, which produced a TV movie about the infamous case, is amending the film in the wake of the successful appeal. "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy" will air Tuesday night and again Saturday.

A full-length movie may not be far behind. The Guardian reported that filmmaker Michael Winterbottom may be tapped to make a movie about the Knox-Kercher case, starring Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth.

For the real Amanda Knox, it may be tough to make real friends. “In terms of the substantive things that can make life fulfilling and bring contentment, being intimate can bring negative consequences,” Saltz said.

Already understandably wary and mistrustful of media types, she will likely be equally put off by newcomers in her life, Saltz said.

“It could be hard to blend in. It could make relationships tricky,” she said.

Overheard on CNN.com: Knox innocent, readers say

Whatever happens, Knox is a changed person.

“It’s unlikely to literally pick up where you left off,” Saltz said. “She has definitely changed. Living through the trauma of your roommate being murdered, being incarcerated, all these things change you.”

Seeking justice for Meredith Kercher

"But having a trauma such as this and overcoming it, which she has, can build an incredible resilience.”

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Filed under: Crime • U.S. • Uncategorized • World
soundoff (398 Responses)
  1. shelby s solberg

    What dumb un-educated posts...maybe u should go to law school!

    October 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Victor

    "Lifetime, which produced a TV movie about the infamous case, is amending the film in the wake of the successful appeal. 'Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy' will air Tuesday night and again Saturday." Shame on Lifetime for refusing to trash the Amanda Knox movie forever! And shame on the tabloids and partly the news media (including CNN) for portraying Amanda Knox and Raffelle Solecito as real convicts in the beginning.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      The biggest shame goes to London's "The Daily Mail" for making an ultra-biased report that Amanda Knox plead guilty for "murdering" Meredith Kercher yesterday!

      October 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zuma

    Joran Van Der Sloot comes to mind. Maybe Casey could join in too? OJ is too old for these youngsters.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fallen

    Just a side note: why does CNN and most American media tend to ignore and not report the shady stuff that led police to originally doubt her story? I guess the lesson here is to go the Knox route and spend the family fortune on an expensive PR rep first and foremost.

    ...Maybe Casey Anthony is looking for a roommate?

    October 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MB

    A lot of people are just throwing out statements. Here's the first thing, she's a young American is a foreign country accused of murder. Considering people around the world don't exactly have a high opinion of Americans to begin with I find a lot of the European positions highly suspect on this issue, on the flip side Americans generally don't like their own citizens going through a foreign court system and so their opinions are also suspect. Either way 99% of people on this board don't have any experience in the legal field, let alone the justice system so this is my conclusion....

    Whether you think she is guilty or not is irrelevant because it is more than likely that you are expressing a biased, ill informed opinion regarding the matters of the case.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      Everyone is allowed their opinion ,just like you.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceegale

      Well said, MB. Most of us sit and blather on and on based on speculation, opinion and a healthy dose of media fueled sensationalism. We weren't there - and we'll probably never know exactly what happened. The only two people who know for sure are Meredith and her murderer.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wayne

    Four years in prison on account of a deranged Italian prosecutor–I hope Ms. Knox turns to Victor Hugo for literary guidance.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bmull

      The Guardian estimated she will make $10-30 million off of this. Not bad for a murderess.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kornholio

    She got in trouble because she lied ! Maybe if she had told the truth she could have avoied 4 years in the slammer !

    October 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schmoogalicious

      She "lied" during an extended, psychologically abusive interrogation by the police, who used a common tactic of asking a suspect to "imagine" how the murder would have happened, then turning around and using their purely speculative musings as evidence against them. At least 1/4 of all cases that ultimately end in DNA exoneration involved defendants that either confessed or pleaded guilty to crimes we KNOW THEY DID NOT COMMIT. Young people are especially vulnerable to this type of police abuse of power. Bottom line: never EVER talk to police without a lawyer present, no matter how innocent you are. Never.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • linda

      Our perhaps if they had someone that translated or she had a lawyer or she was interrogated for 50 hours she wouldn't have lied either.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |

    Finally Amanda is FREE NO QUILTY. I feel so happy for Amanda and her family.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. American

    She is now home let's leave her alone and let her live her life. She did not commit any crime, there is no DNA proof.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AK

      No DNA against Casey either. Hopefully people will leave hear alone too once she gets out to the public again.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Lesbia Blanco

    Thanks God, for Amanda's freedom. May our Lord bless her always!

    October 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vjay

    This can happen to any of you posting here and giving opinion, She is free, not guilty and let her live a normal life.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TJeff1776

    The State relied overwhelmingly on DNA. The State relied overwhelmingly on underpaid novices which proved their undoing. When the offense has NOTHING more to offer and THAT gets shot down, it becomes a simple case of dismissal. What more can be said.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andyvon

    Don't forget this unpleasant woman pointed her finger at an innocent man who was arrested and interrogated for this murder. Fortunately for him he could prove he was elsewhere. Amanda Knox was then fined $56,000 and sentenced to four years for that false accusation. She's not an innocent victim!

    October 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarah

      yeah i love how she parades around as if she's as innocent as a lamb after all she's done. whether she killed her or not i dont know but she definitely is guilty of something. and is about to make money out of it!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      After hours of interrogations and when the cops asked her to think of her boss and was it possible. no lawyer, young, no translator..and 20.
      We all think we would be able to withstand that treatment...really.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mitchell

    I don't know how anybody can cheer for Amanda. She lied, took drugs, implicated an innocent person and acted as if nothing was wrong in those first crucial days after Meridith was murdered. All I hear from American media is poor Amanda. What about Meridith's family? The hell they have been through. Now they are more confused than ever. Amanda was an arrogant, naive little girl who got what she deserved, until they let her off the hook for murder. I hope she sleeps well knowing how she got away with ruining a beautiful young woman's life.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • UneedMeds

      Dude, apparently you should have been in court to show all the proof you have that she is guilty. Or you're just another blow-hard with a biased opinion. Please don't post if you can't substantiate your feeble claims....

      October 5, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Idk about you, but I'm pulling for the high court to overturn this decision, hard to believe someone could be both so heartless and deceiving, and innocent.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • linda

      Meredith's family deserve answers...but people can't committ crimes like this and have no DNA on them, there clothes, etc. Amanda did lie, but under extreme conditions. How would you react at 20 with hours of interrogations, no lawyer and in a country where you do not know the language and a cop that asked you ...if your boss could have been involved. Remember she immediately after the fact...said it was't true...when she had counsel. I think there is a balance Meredith was murdered..and they have the guy with DNA..

      October 5, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. cws

    "A full-length movie may not be far behind. The Guardian reported that filmmaker Michael Winterbottom may be tapped to make a movie about the Knox-Kercher case, starring Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth."

    Is Colin Firth playing Knox or Kercher?

    October 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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