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. justin

    Since it's going to be impossible to get a real job she needs to write a book, do a few magazines, and the talk show circuit to make a few million fast. That should be enough to tide her over for 10-15 years so the public can forget about her.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • c4man

      good advice.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dano

    Get a 12 pack of beer and go fishing away from all of the s**t.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason

    Playboy spread?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Yo Yo...

    Like any other guy getting out of prison...get laid

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sybaris

    The usual, book/movie deal, talk shows, tabloid marriage, disappear rich.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    Whats next you ask. I'll tell ya.. She make money on the talk show circuts and get millions for a book and movie deal just for taking part in a murder....

    October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • truthiss

      right right

      October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. charley

    Hope she makes millions.....nothing can replace those 4 years...but hope she makes millions. Oh, and I hope Italy looses millions.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mauslap

      sue the Italian court system for holding her for four years without any solid evidence or witnesses

      October 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • RD

      Remember Charley, the it was Italians that freed her too.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LadyGagGag

    I figure she will take a few weeks off and recover from the incident. She might find peace working at an Adult Love and Toy shop where hte public can not see her through the windows. What?? Too soon?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. woodofpine

    She's a Celebrity!! She'll do fine. After all, its a cut throat business!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AJ

    They freed her. Can we move on?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      We can. But can she?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. augustghost

    My My so many childish ignorant comments today....Funny, so many of you "know it alls" are angry about Amanda.. But I haven't heard one word about her Italian boyfriend being freed.....

    October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. Tree

    Move the piano so moths re-align like un-opened envelopes.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • LaK

      Well, that was random!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. T

    Get a life

    October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. doubler

    Knox and Casey Anthony should hit the talk show circuit together.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FEDEXMAN

    Well, since Patrick Lumumba was allowed to sue her for defamation and won I might add. She should now turn around and sue Rudy Guede for the same thing after all its is on his testomy alone that she was implicated in this whole thing.. Italian police department has a case against her for criminal slander... looks like she will win that!!! She shouldturn around and sue them for the same thing plus since The Italian Supreme Court later found that Knox's human rights were violated because the police did not tell her of her legal rights, appoint her a lawyer or provide her an official interpreter she should go after them for that on a media trial and show the wolrd what the Italian Justice Dept. is really about.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Right

      I don't think she would voluntarily return to an Italian courtroom for ten million bucks.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
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