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. bobcat2u.


    If that girl is stupid enough to put herself in that position again, I can't feel sorry for her anymore. I feel she did get railroaded the first time, but if she puts herself in that position again, she deserves what she gets.
    I know that sounds all kind of cold, but why take that chance again.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT2U

      @bobcat2u: how exactly did she put herself in this position in the first place? She lived at the flat and came home to a crime scene. If you do feel she was 'railroaded', what exactly do you think her misstep was?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      @bobcat2u, the article does reflect of repeating her situation to live in Europe just merely states about her future and timing of a book and movie. Your comment is very confusing or reading into something that just is not present.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. clearcauseblog

    American students on abroad programs should be informed when they go abroad of 'guilty until proven innocent' countries. Universities should offer hostage and kidnapping insurance. Amanda's family invested heavily in her innocence. They never gave up. They'll get to have their daughter back because they were vigilant.

    Please support http://www.clearcausefoundation.org for safe global youth travel. Keep them safe.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      There's a lesson here. If you are an American student abroad who does not get along with your roomate, don't kill her.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andy

    She is hot!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    She is 100% Guilty. It is the incompetence of the Italian Police that allowed her to be free.

    She is this generation's OJ Simpson

    October 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      And your proof is??? Let the courts do their job...

      October 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jumbotron

      I, too, am curious as to your proof. If you had knowledge and information, how could you be so selfish to not share it with the authorities. Doesn't that make you guilty, too, since you kept information from the police about this 'killer'?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully


      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Alex, you are a dolt. There is nothing in any of the reporting other than the fevered imagination of the Italian prosecutor to suggest that she was involved in the murder.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      and what do you base giult on there is nothing that even puts in the room that she was killed in. There is DNA from a man that they had in custody. No DNA of hers anywhere in the room!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I am also curious as to what evidence you have that the Jury in the second trial did not have. Surely if you are 100% confident that she is guilty then you must have knowledge that the rest of us do not have. I could see if you were 99% confident, which would imply you strongly believe she is guilty, but the possibility of innocence still exists. I am sure the whole world could benefit from the knowledge you have that applies 100% certainty to her guilt

      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      I thought this generation's OJ Simpson was Casey Anthony.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Your an idiot!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      This girl was rail roaded...the prosecution's case was that because Meredith did not have defensive wounds Guede (spelling) could not have acted alone. That's were Amanda came in...they tried to say she held the girl down. No one disputes Guede being there, not even Guede himself and his DNA was all over and that was never disputed.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • scotonfire

      Some of the foolish drivel people expell in these CNN forums as laughable. It's got to be more entertaining than the National Enquirer!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
    • linda

      Rudy is guilty

      October 5, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      Sorry Alex. Casey Anthony took the OJ trophy home a while back. Nothing links Knox or her Ex to the crime scene. Nothing.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Karen

    Money talks b.s. walks.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully

      Yeah, Kertchner want to sue everyone, someone's got to pay, cuz it's everyone's fault

      October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. George Patton

    Hopefully this girl will be left alone at least for a while. Most probably just like Julius and Ethel Rosenburg who were innocent of their purported crime, Amanda Knox is equally innocent of hers too. In Italy just like here in America, the justice system does fail at times! Besides, this girl has suffered enough. Then again, at Gitmo, out of some 750 alledged "terrorists" who were originally sent there, only about 15 or 20 at the most were actually guilty of anything at all.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Actually George, the Rosenbergs were guilty of espionage, despite their sons repeated efforts to prove otherwise.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

      Julius was GUILTY of Treason by sharing Atomic Secrets with the Russians – that has been proven beyod any doubt -Ethel Rosenburg, on the other hand, did absolutely NOTHING at all: They electrocuted her just for GRINS...

      October 5, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      I think Loren and Jean have broken sarcasm meters.......

      October 5, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. DAVID

    Why did she use bleach & smash windows to make it look like there had been a break in?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      She didn't. Next question?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully


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

      The smashed window portion is completely true!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ember

    Will we ever know the real story? I wonder if on their deathbeds women like Amanda and Casey will finally tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sorry, I wont be buying any book or movie – so long as justice is denied the victims.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      I take it you've never heard the name Rudy Guede.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully

      BIG DUMMY!

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

      Amanda and Casey cannot even be compared! REALLY!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Don't worry, I will buy two copies of the book. The second copy will just be to compensate for the copy that your not buying, then your refusal to purchase a copy will have been for nothing.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butchie67

      There is someone serving time right now for the killing.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mernatti

    lots of money what a dumb qustion and she deservesn evrery dime dime

    October 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Laura

    She is anything but guilty! Let the poor girl live in peace!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Elllie

    She is the one who has to lay her head on her pillow at night. I hope she sleeps well. I sort of doubt it, though. Although, I just think so many people would act different if they were innocent. I believe the court should have imposed a restriction: she can make no money from this story. Or, if she makes money – it all goes to the Kercher family. Also, why all the focus on her and barely any on Rafaelle? Just because she is an American. One more thing – I'd like to think she is innocent but then I let myself slip and think... what if she IS guilty? Hmmm...that's an awful thought.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully

      She's not guilty so they can't restrict how she makes money, let alone a US Citizen outside of Italy.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      @ Elllie you must be Italian at the very least from Europe. She is not guilty or DNA would have been all over the room and it was not. She was roommate so naturally there would be DNA in the flat. I am sure she will sleep well. Hopefully Italy will go after the real murderer whose DNA was all over the room.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • morph147

      be nice if the victim family would get the money if she did do a book deal but heres the issue. on what grounds?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      This is the stupidest comment I have read today. Yea, the Italian court will pass a ruling that she has to pay the Kercher family with any roaylties she receives...Yea, and then she has to be their butler for 2 years as punishment....

      HAHAHA you are ridiculous.

      P.S. She is hot...and for that alone she should be let go.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggieb

      Ellie, why should the Kerchers receive all the money? Yes, they lost a daughter and a sister, but if Amanda is innocent, then she is also a victim, someone who was wrongfully imprisoned for 4 years and accused of horrific deeds. I have to assume that you've decided, despite the appeal decision, that Amanda is somehow to blame and therefore deserved this false imprisonment.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynic

      She'll probably be paying off attorney's fees for the next fifty years or so, and the book could be a good idea to try to pay down that debt if it's done in the right way. If she speaks of her experience, expresses sympathy for the murder victim's family, etc. ... but I hope she doesn't write one. It would seem like blood money, in a way. I think she's innocent, but writing a book could give more for other people to complain about. She should just have some peace and learn to feel safe now.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. J. Hunter

    How about the murdered girl

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

      The evidence against Rudy Guede:

      Rudy admitted he was in the room.

      Rudy's DNA was found all over the crime scene.

      Rudy's DNA was found in and on Meredith's body.

      Rudy's DNA along with Meredith’s blood, was found on Meredith's purse.

      Rudy's excrement was found in the toilet.

      Rudy's shoe prints, set in Meredith’s blood, were found in the bedroom and hallway.

      Rudy's handprints, in Meredith’s blood, were found on a pillow case in Meredith's room and on her wall.

      Rudy had a cut on his right hand that was still visible when he was arrested.

      Rudy fled the country.

      All of the evidence at the crime scene pointed to Rudy Guede. Amanda and Raffaele left no evidence at the crime scene. Why? Because Amanda and Raffaele were not there.

      Rudy Guede murdered Meredith Kercher and he acted alone.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kareem-O-Wheat

      What about her? You just want to convict SOMEBODY, doesn't matter who? Fail, r-tard.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      What about Meredith Kercher? While the Italian press seems to have forgotten her in its efforts to demonize Amanda Knox, her family hasn't and the shame of this is that the Italian prosecutor created an elaborate fantasy that has not allows the Kercher family an opportunity to accept that Rudy Guede was solely responsible for the crime and accept that there daughter dies in a meaningless botched robbery. That the prosecutorial fantasy has raised this to epic Greek tragedy proportions makes the Kerchers pain all the more heart-rending for how unnecessary this additional drama has been.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AgrippaMT

    Don't worry about poor little Amanda. By next month she'll being out there in the hottest clubs shaking her booty and tripping out. She deserves zero sympathy.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully

      Pray someone doesn't judge you for something you didn't do! Maybe you won't deserve sympathy.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • kimball

      What would be wrong with her going to clubs and "shaking her booty?" She's innocent and she can act like a normal 24-year-old FREE woman now that she's free.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      So Amanda should go to the nearest convent and disappear from mainstream American life now? SMH

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

    She'll write a book but first she sent pics to wickedimproper . com via the iPhone 5

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paully


      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Barry G.

    If she is innocent, I'm sure she will be fine, in time.

    If anyone other than the man who was convicted was in any way responsible for this terrible crime, they will suffer and pay for this, eventually. They will not have peace.

    Guilt has a way of hounding and stalking the guilty. Whoever was responsible for committing this terrible crime will suffer.

    Moses told the nation of Israel to do what is right; otherwise, he said, " Be sure, your sin will find you out."
    (The book of Numbers of the Torah)

    And it always did and does.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

      Moses can suck my derrierre!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
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