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. Stephanie


    October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. prommy

    she is hot though..:)

    October 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gary


    October 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nancy

    or she could join the cast of Jersey Shore and improve her Italian accent–not to mention spiffing up that hairdo!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick Copley

    Next for Amanda Knox. Book and Movie deal. But she deserves it as she rot 4 year in jail for crime she did not committ.

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

      Yes, and lived a lifestyle any parent would be proud of. Yeah, right.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • maddymappo

      Rick Copley, yes I agree. Amanda and Raffaele should earn big bucks in interviews, mag spreads, books and movie deals and be able to pay off the huge debts for defense attorneys and in Amanda's case the law suits and fines for her so called defamation. Then they both should live long, happy, prosperous lives.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • A.J.

      Bofo, whatever lifestyle she lived, it doesn't make her a murderer by default

      October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Its so typical for murderess lovers. "so called defamation". ? Yeah your hero can kill if she wants, she can give false testimony of other people if she wants, and "so called" courts and laws are not for her.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. E.U

    Welcome back new american hero...Who cares about Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq? or even important new.Amanda should be the new CNN hero!

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

      I couldn't have said it better. This speaks volumes about the plummeting values of Americans if they think this girl is some kind of icon or hero.

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

      No one said she's an icon.... Where did you get that? Her story was just incredibly unique and interesting, demonstrating cultural rifts in the legal/judicial process and a faulty judicial system in Italy (I am Italian and love Italy more than anything, but come on). She may be innocent, and I believe she is, but she isn't – nor did anyone claim to make her out to be – an icon...

      October 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • middledocmom

      Boy if I listen to the chatter here, I don't see hero-worship. Quite the opposite. More like judge and tear apart.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • OG

      An excellent point. Every newspaper and web news service should have at the top of the first page, stories about those who have sacrificed and those who are serving. It is too easy to forget them because the news wants to shove more Lindsey Lohan (for example) down our throats.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • phearis

      Yeah, because only soldiers are military heroes. *rolls eyes* I think you're forgetting that there are a total of SIX military branches who save your butt on a daily basis, not just the Army. Get your facts before you make yourself look stupid again.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brenda

    I watched the events as they happened. Never was sure that she was culpable. Yes, she was there, but I think it possible that more sinister people committed the crime. Was she drug-induced? Probably. But, so far, that has not been a historical reason to find a person guilty of torture and murder. The whole thing rings similar to famous event in Aruba.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      You have proof that she was there? I hope you shared that with the Italian police, because they weren't able to produce any.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Buzz Aldrin

    CNN, will you idiots leave her alone? The media ruined her life for 4 years – along with corrupt italian authorities.

    Don't you think you've done enough harm?

    Leave the poor girl alone, stop putting her in the headlines.

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

      You're nuts. She ruined herself by a very questionable lifestyle and she escaped only because the prosecutors failed to make a strong enough case. Let's be honest, she's a clone of Casey Anthony.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • maddymappo

      Quite right. Amanda was demonized and slandered by Italian and British tabloid press, and now she is being exploited by American media. Give the kid a rest.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • RaKa

      Didn't you know? the media is judge, jury and executioner. Do to the blind devotion of people like bofo.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • middledocmom

      I agree with Buzz,
      We really don't know much about this girl, only hearsay by cops and lawyer's with an agenda and the media. The only thing we can say is that there isn't enough evidence to convict her of murder. I wouldn't invite her to be my daughter's roomate but lets not tear her apart.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joanne

    They should have put her back in jail and thrown away the key! This woman is not a nice person, but karma will take care of her.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • indignant

      oh do you know her?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • A.J.

      so dont you worry Joanne, relax and get a life 😉

      October 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I think they should put you in jail and throw away the key for slandering Amanda. Karma will take care of you too.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • rlp1509

      Joanne, let us all in on your "touchy, feely bff" relationship you have with her!!! I doubt you know her at all and to make accusations based on pure hearsay.... Based on your total BS, I know you better (never have met you thank goodness) than you know Ms. Knox. Give the girl a break she just may be innocent!!! But your statement makes you guilty of judging someone. Walk a mile in her shoes before you ignorantly criticize!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • fourforfore

      Joanne, You are not only not "nice", you are thoroughly ignorant. Hopefully you will never, ever be allowed on a jury, and live your life in your rusty trailer, munching JiffyPop nachos & enjoy the National Enquirer between your gator wranglin' performances.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Daisy

    I hope she and her family are left alone for a while, but we know that sadly wont happen im sure the Media is already camped outside her house, but lets hope they give her some time to reacclimate. When she is ready to talk, I hope she chooses wisely and talkes to an established person, Like Matt, Diane or Anne Curry, and Book, as she seems like a smart girl, who knows how to write and heard she read over 1000 books while in prison, so that may let her profit, while I hope at some point start to heal. Didnt all of this happen within like a month of her getting over in Italy ? Just my opinion, I think she is innocent, that Rudy guy I think was the one, just based on what I have read, I obviously dont know all the facts and to go just based on what we read on the net is not wise, but I think they just had her take the fall and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. IF she had not come home from her BF's house when she did and someone else had found Meredith, they, most likely, would have been in the situation Knox found herself in.

    But I hope she has a sense of relief and calmness, like a weight has been lifted off of her when she gets back "HOME" and can walk in to her bedroom and familiarity and have sigh of relief from the unimaginable ordeal she has gone thru, adn when she is ready, will talk, because im sure she has no idea the media craze and worldwide attention she has had following her ordeal. Seems she was caught up in an investigation that was not fair, in so many ways, and was obvious she was kept unfairly, due to a botched investigation. We can prob assume if it happened to her, other investigations were done the same way.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charley Manson

    She can come see me.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RaKa

    You response indicates you are probably Queen of the trailer trash pile.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juliette

      That's the best you can do? That's sad.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Charley Manson

    If anybody ought to be executed in Texas...it's Amanda Knox.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • passing the time @ work

      your a Dumb A$$...

      October 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Blogson

    More news media sensationalism to divert Americans' attention from situations which from a national perspective matter far more. From Knox's perspective it's great that she was freed if innocent.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Charley Manson

    Why is this the top story on CNN while the protests on Wall St didn't even make the top 20?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff B.

      Because Wall Street is NOT the problem, and because the protests dont mean squat because they will not accomplish anything.
      Wall Street is doing what they are LEGALLY charged to do – make money.
      It is the REGULATORS (and by extension, the government) who are the culprits.
      "Greed is good". More money for Wall Street is SUPPOSED to result in higher wealth, which is SUPPOSED to result in higher yields on our 401K's, among other benefits. HOW they do it, is up to them. HOW they DONT do it, (or shouldnt) is up to the regulators. If Wall Street makes money LEGALLY, stfu – you have NO say...as it should be; No one can force Wall Street to act "morally", only legally...and, when they DO act illegally, dont scream at THEM, scream at the regulators.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      @Jeff B...hmmm...by your logic, we should blame cops for crime. Doesn't work that way.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
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