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. Sam

    Who Cares! She is/was a spoiled child who screwed up in another country and expected being an American to get her off. Maybe she will have grown up spending 4 years in jail and will become a responsible adult.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The actual evidence is that she was wrongly convicted of a brutal murder.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • yes

      spoiled....???you new her personally.

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

      A "spoliled child"? What a foolish remark. Go away fool.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      How incredibly unfeelinged. She was a YOUNG girl, young and privaleged does not mean spoiled. She worked hard to get into the University of Washington, worked hard to earn this opportunity to study abroad. That girl worked hard at everything she set her mind to. Her teammates and opponents in soccer say she worked harder than most. Don't call her spoiled until you have all the facts.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ejhitter26

      yea sam you know her?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SMS

      A 20-year-old student working to save money to study abroad hardly sounds spoiled to me. More like ambitious and hard working.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatorguy959

      I actually read she worked in a coffee shop to pay for her semester abroad. Not exactly what I would call spoiled.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      lol sounds like Sam knew Amanda personally. Do tell Sammy, do tell. Idiot.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. bailoutsos

    Boo, then movie.

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

      Book, then movie.

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

      The film will be an adaption of the book.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ashley

    @Ellie, the focus is on her in America because she's an American. The only "evidence" that the prosecution had that Amanda or Rafaelle did it was Rudy Geude saying they did after he confessed to the murder.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernando

    who killed the girl?

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

      The guy who is already in jail and who left ALL of the evidence. The same guy who had his jail term cut b/c the prosecutors were obsessed with railroading "Foxy Knoxy"

      October 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      Rudy Guede. You know, the dude who is already serving time for the crime?

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

    I think there is more to Meredeth that they aren't saying...I bet she was a bad girl and hung out with unsavory dudes.

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

      She's a victim of a horrible crime. Let her memory rest in peace. You don't know anything.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Matthew

    Why do the italians over here look like greasy pigs, when the ones over there are hot like those cops?

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

      Matthew, Why does someone like yourself with such limitied intelligence (basically a moron) without any knowledge of this case post comments? get educated and get a life!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michele

    I agree, this girl should be acquitted, but her behavior prior to the murders did not do her any favors and cost her nearly her life, partying and screwing around in Italy.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SMS

      What a ridiculous statement. No amount of behavior makes one guilty of murder. Murder makes a person guilty of murder.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      She was 20 years old at the time living in a foreign land away from her family. What's so outrageous about her behavior? I haven't met a single 20 year old that didn't have "dumb tendencies" (including myself). Admittedly her episode at the police station was quite strange and begged a few questions, but that was after the fact.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    I really hope she's able to get a normal life back, like Casey Anthony, there's probably always going to be that social stigma following her around for awhile till people forget.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio

      Unlike Casey Anthony, more than 3/4 of the people believe she's innocent.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phatti

      In Caseys case, it's justified. Nothing links Knox or her Ex to this crime. Absolutely nothing.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Juan

    I hope at some point she explains what happened that night. Meredith Kercher's family deserve that now she does not have a prison term to fight. I don't think she was guilty but there seem to of been a lot of lies and distortion of the truth. To think the media will pay her to go on chat shows and sell her story is not right and I would like to think she would not accept any money. She was given 3 years for lying when she blamed a bar tender for the crime.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • fourforfore

      Know did NOT blame the bartender. The police coerced her under extreme duress to agree with them that Lumumba "might" have been at the cottage the night of the crime based on a voice mail from him found on her phone. Get educated on the case. Al the statements she signed from the initial interviews were in in Italian which she did not speak at the time. She had no translator or lawyer. She was 20, in a foreign country and terrified. Research the facts before you judge.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      @fourforfore THANK YOU! Finally someone with their head screwed on all the way.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Akin

      He's NOT a Bar tender, he owns the bar, Amanda works for him as a bar tender.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. elizabeth

    I am eternally grateful that people like Sam ("Who cares?...") were not deciding Ms. Knox' fate, and I sincerely hope he, and those like him, NEVER serve on a jury in any country. We need to care about whether justice is served for all people, whether they are young and international students, or old and US citizens, or anything in between. If we do not care, no one will. Society fails when people do not care. It's dangerously close already. There are enough of the "Care Less" people already. We need a lot more "Care More" types.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stranger1980

    Who cares about Knox. She is free now. Let's focus on the economy.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SMS

      You took the time to click on this headline, read (or skim) the article, and leave a comment. So, obviously, you care.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mikedeatworld

    Id date her.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mott the Hoople

    She's way too pretty to be guilty. If there is anything I have learned from TV and movies: it is that ugly people are bad and beautiful people are good.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. maggieb

    This young woman has a lot to adjust to. I watched the live feed via CNN yesterday even before anything was really going on in the courtroom. Watching her speaking to her lawyer one could see how very fragile and frail she has become from this devastating experience. Fortunately, she has a strong support system including one friend who took the year off to live in the town and visit Amanda every week. She is going to need it. People need to give her space and time to recover. I agree with Loren that the Italian prosecutor, who, in my view, was extremely unprofessional, created a fantasy of how Meredith died and her poor family are now flailing around wondering how it could all become untrue. The problem for the prosecutor and the authorities is that investigators believe, probably rightly, that there was more than one person as Rudy wouldn't, apparently, have had the strength to hold Meredith down and kill her on his own. So there may very well be someone out there whom Rudy is protecting. I just wish the best for both families, all of them have suffered far too much.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • LaK

      I hadn't heard of her friend; that says a lot for Amanda's character, and the friend must be wonderful! Is she the dark-haired girl seen encouraging Amanda in many of the video clips?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. a disgrace

    it looks like italy simply wanted to get rid of her...

    October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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