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. melinda

    Just read she has to pay her lawyers about $1 million, well she will easily make that much in one interview.
    Her lawyers really must have believed her cuz their service fees are too low for a high profile case.
    She is so gulity in this matter and got away with murder! Karma will be a b#$%^ to her!

    October 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tell214

    I hope she does get royalties if her story gets published. Her family mortgaged their life away for her and this would give her the opportunity to pay them back

    October 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    It's fairly easy to figure out what some posters' politics are or, maybe, just their ignorance. Some probably think Italy too liberal since they don't have a death penalty which, fortunately in this case, had not been carried out. Another, made a comment that Italians hate Americans. Having spent time in Italy, quite the opposite is the case. They will go out of their way to help you. They may not like America but, they do like Americans. Some people just don't get that "do unto others" thing that's in the book they so much like to quote when it's convenient for them...

    October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AJ

    What is got is freedom. What she will not get, at least for the next couple of months is sleep. Even if she did not do it, her 4 year jail term will haunt her. If she did it, something else will haunt her.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MIa

    Amanda Knox is GUILTY!

    October 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • bodycark

      You guys are just as crazy as you say she is.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Banderman

    Who cares?

    October 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. thom.g.lin@gmail.com

    Crazy B****h

    October 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Arman Yousafzai in Mingora, Swat , Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

    So how many BJ's did she have to give to Berlusconi to be released?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nickroia

    thats craz they could do better than that SHE IS SOOOO GUILTY!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. minilumpi

    What's next? Amanda Knox joins the Sarah Palin team!

    October 7, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
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