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. WOT

    Let the Black out also! Black of the world take notice!
    SCAPEGOAT!!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. scotonfire

    Why do people try to make something out of nothing? The only guy that killed Kercher is in prison but he will be out soon to kill again.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
    • bao.bab

      Rudy Guede has been judged fo r complicity in murder... this means if there has been complicity other people helped him to kill Mez... Who are those other people? ....

      October 5, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. oldman100

    can't wait to see the p0rn pics!!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brian Gillespie

    Time to heal. That's without the constant harassment of the media. Back off. We are not the judge/jury in this case. Giving her space and quiet will be the best for now.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. giggle's

    she finnly came out off prisoin. After like4or more it scemes like but no sence they made a movie bout her they need to change the ending

    October 5, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Digz Raymundo

      Amanda Knox sins are unpardonable meaning she's unforgiven because her wickedness blotted unto her soul.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. drc239

    I cannot say whether Amanda Knox is guilty or innocent. I was not there the night the crime was commited, and I was not in the courtroom during either the original trial or during the appeal. All I have to refer to, is what I read in the news or see on TV. Yet, here under the comments section, there are people ready to crucify her and judge her as guilty. They seem so sure of her guilt. But why? The fact that she lied or changed stories initially? That she pointed a finger at someone else? She was interogated for something like 50 hours, wasn't she? Without a lawyer? Have we never heard of innocent people giving false confessions after hours of intense interogation? Have we never heard of Police putting words in someone's mouth? Hello, it happens. The prosecutor & media painted her to be something that they can't possibly know for certain being that they were not able to know her personally before this event took place ... yet they called her s ex crazy. They called her a she-devil. All sorts of things. Character assassination happens. And the so called physical evidence, fell completely apart. There is NO proof of guilt. And there is no proof that more than one person commited this crime either. The prosecutor argued that there were no defensive wounds so therefore, there must have been others involved. But I need more detail. Could Guede not have kneeled on her arms so she couldn't fight back? Maybe he caught her off guard and cut her before she had a chance to react. Has anyone heard if the victim had a full atopsy to prove she wasn't drugged herself? If she was, then she wouldn't fight back. I don't know. You don't know. None of us know. Amanda's home. Let's move on. If you believe in God or Karma ... then if she's truly guilty, she'll get her dues eventually. But if she's not, than hey, good for her, she's free.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • frank

      100% correct imho. I think she was just young, scared and said whatever she thought she needed to say to make the cops happy. We all grow up understanding that cops are there to help us, so its hard not to trust them. But they burn people all the time to get a suspect. The cops create a story of what happened, then go find the evidence that supports that story. Shame on the Italians, now finish prosecuting those Earth Quake guys for not predicting it lol.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Grim Reaper

      Keep playing those John Lennon tracks. I'll wait for her and Casey Anthony to star opposite each other in a Larry Flint production.

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

      Well written. Well said....

      October 5, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Wonderfully put. Also, people should note that when she accused Lamumba initially, the police put the idea into her head after HOURS of interrogation. They slapped her in the back of her head until she said what they wanted her to say.

      THE SAME NIGHT she "accused" Lamumba, she wrote a note saying that she still didn't know if it was true, that it felt like a dream. The coercered her into lying about Lamumba due to a series of text messages about not coming into work. The end text message said, "See you later." That is what the police latched onto.

      This girl is innocent and we welcome her back to Seattle with open arms.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • AMG

      Yes I agree with what you said. Isn't it possible that this Guede fellow could have seen her (Kercher) at a bar and slipped her something and then followed her home? For Knox, there was no prior indications that she was that type of person. No prior convictions, no prior mental illness, no prior drug or alcohol indications. I think she was a normal college student who participated in normal college activity. How can a prosecutor, accused of corruption himself, justly try anyone? I think Italy needs to seriously look at their laws and justice system.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tell214

      Those who consider her guilty without knowing the facts are nothing but self righteous hypocrites who are trying to hide their own inequities. Shame on all of you!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • drc239

      Right on AMG ... good point! And what does "normal college activity" include? Parties, drinks, smoking joints, even hooking up with someone ... I mean, let's be real ... look at college kids taking part in Spring Break! It's like Sodom and Gamorrah sometimes! Yet, most of them aren't killers- or even breaking any smaller laws. They are just testing boundaries, trying things, & experimenting whether you agree with them morally or not. Unfortunately for Amanda, her roommate was murdered by a drifter and because she was being a normal, young, college girl, having fun with her new life abroad ... she was slandered and judged and thrown under a bus as being evil & perverse. Now she's free and people continue to judge ... I read a comment today by someone calling her a Sociopath and saying that for someone who was in jail for 4 yrs, she doesn't look traumatized enough. What?!?! Now we are judging her tears, her facial expressions? We all deal with things differently. She's crying and it's not good enough? Now we are judging what the tears "seem" like? Give the girl a break. None of us know what it's like to walk in her shoes, to be interrogated for 50 hrs, to spend 4 years in a foreign jail when quite possibly- she could truly be innocent. If there is any solid, physical, evidence of her guilt, let me see it. Otherwise, welcome home Amanda!

      October 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Victor

    Amanda probably felt wrongly accused of killing Meredith, but how did she feel when she accused a black man Lumumba of killing Meredith ?
    Are the US media one-side biased?

    October 5, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • linda

      They asked to think of her boss...after hours of interrogations.
      50 hours

      October 5, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • onlyinterweb

      Louise Woodward. Look it up

      October 5, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • drc239

      That's a good point ... but I read that she was interogated for something like 50 hours. And that police put Lumumba's name in her mouth because they'd found a text from Amanda to Lumumba on her phone that night. We don't know. Maybe Amanda was aware of a crush that Lumumba had on Kercher? I'm looking forward to an interview with Amanda. Up until now, we haven't been able to hear directly from her. Not to say she might not be lying, but I'm still curious. There are some things we will just never know. Anything is possible. Here in America, we have heard of people giving false confessions from the stress of a long interrogation. And we, who have never gone thru something like that ask: "How could they do that? If I'm not guilty, I would NEVER say I was." ... But again, we've never been in their shoes ... stressed & sleep deprived. Desperate for the questioning to stop and to be allowed to rest. And even though Amanda spoke Italian well ... it's still a foreign country ... it's still not her native language. I speak another language pretty fluently but I was born here and English is still my primary.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • tony

      Ever been incarcerated in Southern European prison accused of a sensational crime? Believe me...after a short time ...you will say just about anything to end the harassment.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      Yeah, drc has it right. Amanda was interrogated for a long time without benefit of counsel or understanding Italian at the time. She was 20 and isolated from family and home soil. The police coerced a name from her and for that she was handed a 3 year sentence unjustly. I'm just glad that someone finally came to their senses regarding the forensic evidence.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. jean allen

    Glad she is out of prison – the police would not give her a drink of water – in 50 hours – that is not interrogation – it was torture. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS GO OUT OF THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW – very dangerous – and they get into foreign prisons and cannot get out – some have even been put to death – and are innocent. Stay at home – Amanda is innocent – and can you imagine how scared she was.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bobby Kinard

    NOW MEDIA,
    YESTERDAY AMANDA IS HOME.SHE HAS GONE IN FRONT OF YOU AND SPOKE.NOW LEAVE HER AND HER FAMILY ALONE FOR AWHILE.LET HER GET HER FEET ON THE GROUND!! SHE HAS FOUR YEARS TO CATCHUP ON.THINK ABOUT,REALLY THINK ABOUT IT,"WOULD YOU WANT TO BE HOUNDED EVERY MOMENT,I DON'T THINK SO!!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Akahn

    I can't believe all the pathetic media hype over this garbage. There are more important things going on in the world to have to see the murder accomplice in Kercher's death, Knox on the front page of every news. The world gets it, some psychopathic American girl helps murder her roommate in Italy and the world goes in a media frenzy over it.

    It's no surprise she got off, look at OJ, look at Anthony. Justice never gets served in these situations, all it does is waste all our money and monopolize our media with endless crap about it. We all get it, help murder someone and get set free. Shouldn't it be time the media gets on the next case where some poor supposedly innocent girl cries and pretends she knew nothing about killing someone else regardless of evidence tying them directly to the scene of the crime and lies they told while under oath?

    October 5, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Yet, here you are, reading the story, and taking time to comment on it. Pathetic indeed!

      October 5, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. bbc

    No one can say whether she is innocent or guilty. Only she, Sollecito, and Guede truly know what happened that evening. However, this is what I can say...

    Anyone who does cartwheels in the police station and rubs noses and kisses her boyfriend after learning of the murder of her friend is indicative of a very troubled young lady. This is NOT normal behavior. It goes beyond immaturity and shows a person devoid of morals and a sound mind. I would be heartbroken and shocked to hear if a friend of mine was murdered.

    I don't see a woman who is guilty or innocent. I see a very troubled soul who needs psychiatric help.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • mll

      No, only Guede can truly know what happened that night. Unless you have proof that Knox and Sollecito were there at the time of the murder.

      Have you ever been in that situation? Do you know how you would have reacted? There is no "normal" reaction to discovering someone you know, let alone lived with, was murdered like that. If I'm made to wait a long time for something, late at night, when I'm highly stressed, anxious, etc., I would get up and do stretches, cartwheels, headstands to wake me up, get blood flowing to my brain, take my mind off the situation for a moment. And if my boyfriend was there, you can bet I'd kiss him and probably be cuddling/snuggling with him. He comforts me. Amanda was shocked, traumatized, scared, etc, etc.

      And, yes, anyone who has been through what she's been through needs psychiatric help. Her, Sollecito, the Kerchers, and their families and friends all need help. No one goes through what any of them went through and not need therapy. Best of luck to Amanda and Raffaele.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • drc239

      I'm with mll, unless you're in the situation, you have no idea how you'll behave. And even then, you may behave one way, and someone else would behave differently. My ex-boyfriend used to laugh at funerals. Most people would say: "Who does that?!?!" But he laughed whenever he was uncomfortable or nervous. It was awkward, yes. But he couldn't help it. Maturity also matters. The way I behaved when I was 20 is probably way off from how I would behave now at 36. And everyone matures differently. One person aged 20 could be an old soul, while another may behave as if they are 10 years old mentally. One's behavior is too open to debate.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Too bad you don't find out what is common knowledge before you comment.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Phatti

    What's next for Amanda Knox? Hopefully obscurity and a life of mediocrity, for her sake and those around her. Ditto for Casey Anthony.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Phatti

    Yeah I'd definitely be looking at getting some kind of recompensation from the Italian police. Their forensics practices in this case were beyond shady.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Donald

    REALLY!!!!

    When did you need DNA to convict someone.

    There was enough Physical Evidence.
    Amanda's 1st story to Police.

    She did it alright.

    You seen it on all their faces in Seattle. She had nothing to say...

    Innocent? You would be screaming at the top of your lungs. This story is just gonna go away.

    What did law enforcement did before DNA, and PLEASE do not say convict the innocent. Police officers used their brains and wit to solve cases.

    Hard evidence.

    You kill someone in Italy and your punishment is to learn Italian!!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Tell214

      You how signs to be a self righteous hypocrite. What is it that you are trying to hide with your comments?

      October 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Donald

    When you are guilty you are NOT gonna open that can of worms.

    I would be getting a lawyer or start a Boycott of Italy. CNN,FOX,MSNBC

    But you know you are not gonna do anything. You are GUILTY!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
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