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. tony silver

    guilty of killing meridith

    October 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HM

    Is this another Casey Anthony story ????

    October 5, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. HM

    Is this another Casey Anthony story???

    October 5, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. dana

    blood on her hands . should rot in the slammer .

    October 5, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. DN3

    How can anyone say if she's guilty or innocent? Based on the MEDIA? No one was there and there has been so much lying from all parties, a botched investigation that no one can say whether or not she's guilty or not. I can say that there is something wrong with this girl. She has sociopath like tendencies because no normal person is as unaffected and indifferent as she was after the murder of her own roomate!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • karel de Grote

      Fair comment........but if she or her boyfriend did not do it....who did?

      October 5, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim K

      @karel de Grote: Rudy Guede, a drifter, is currently serving 16 years for the murder. He was one of the three originally charged.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • James Vond

      The irony of this comment is mindblowing. She's not guilty because she's not pretty?

      October 5, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Johnny Walker

    Whats next for her? P0rn...

    October 5, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Nataly

      thats a pretty stupid comment...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan Jones

    I doubt if we will ever know if she is guilty or innocent. The evidence was confusing, the lawyers made it worse, so the truth is unlikely to come out. She certainly isn't going to tell us if she is guilty so any claims to her innocents is pretty pointless. If she writes a book she will only tell people what she thinks will make her look good and make her money with little regard for the truth. People really need to stop being so stupid and buying these kind of books, after all the dead girl isn't going to get a chance to write her story. Of only one thing can we be sure, it won't be easy finding her a room mate.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Allie

    The point that seems to be ignored, while people discuss if this ruling is fair, is where do the Kercher family go from here. They are back to not knowing the truth regarding Meredith's death, which I can only imagine how painful that can be. I hope that someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, the truth, whatever it is, comes out. I hope that the memory of Meredith is not forgotten to people as they are caught up in this interesting and complicated story.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. stamps

    For all the Knox doubters....Where is the MOTIVE? What reason would she have had to kill Kercher? And the prosecution's arguments for why she did it...well, lets just say he was reaching a little

    October 5, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon Peck

      Since when did murder always need a motive? Alright then, what was her 'motive' for accusing some poor bartender, for constantly changing her story, for shedding out on a load of cleaning products conveniently at the same time? Had she been tried in a country with a remotely adept legal system, I'm fairly sure she'd be still stuck behind bars.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. John Russell Andersen

    To the bottom of my heart, I myself, am convinced that Amanda Knox and his boyfriend were purely innocent. Evidence shows a complete tampering and botched due to multiple re-investigation, research and crazy findings without considering the internationally acclaimed SOP investigating DNA sample being widely used worldwide. This woman, just after long of miserable journey, can totally change her life's direction toward serene and rewarding fulfillment of her with the help of loving tender care of her family. Her pain soon will come to heal, though, the final stage of fight with her whole life is – how to become the real Amanda Knox inspite of tainted image that most known for of her? Hope she will with God's help.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Happytoknowyou'rehomesafe

    Welcome home Ms. Amanda Knox!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Boobless

    I wanna bang kercher and amanda too.......... OH WAIT........

    October 5, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. b00bless

    i wanna bang kercher and amanda OH WAIT.............

    October 5, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lyn Boucher

    Her and her former boyfriend should still be inside – for life . . .

    October 5, 2011 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. bao.bab

    Everyone in Perugia knows she is guilty... the fact is the only guy in jail is a black one (from Ivory Coast) with a public defender...the only thing I can say is that since Cermis tragedy (when a nice american jet pilot decided to pass under a chair lift killing more than 20 peopele) american people is quite lucky with italian law.... unfortunately we it's not the same for italians with american law...

    October 5, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • walkergw

      I like how you say "know". That has been the problem from the begging she was found guilty before the evidence or "lack of" was even shown. This time they retried on the basis of the evidence and see what happens? People need to go back to the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Emmela

      You do know that his DNA was all OVER THE PLACE, right?? I personally don't think she did it either. Her facial expressions and demeanor on top of the fact that there was no proof... make it pretty clear for me.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • bao.bab

      Emmela it's clear you never have been in a loboratory. DNA proof it's one of easisest proof to disproove having good lowers and enough money. Science it's based on probability (I work in chemical laboratory since 10 yesrs). Proceed in total agreement with procedures it's almost impossible because of time and costs... this is the point!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
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