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. RaKa

    Didn't you know? The media is jute, jury and executioner. This is do to the blind devotion of people like bofo.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jess

    I agree with some of the others, lets let this young girl, who is only 24, lost the last 4 years of her life, let her to have her peace. YES it's an interesting fascinating story, something Movie like to take our minds off of things, BUT it is someones REAL reality. I hope she can get the peace she needs and isn't thrown into a media circus. I do wonder what will happen with her and her " Ex ? " boyfriend . how much contact did they have when they were in what I think I read, separate prisons. Most of all of this was all "Amanda Knox" and not "Rafelle" ..

    But, Welcome Home Amanda, a long time coming, and I hope your friends and family give you the love and support you deserve and I hope you SLEEP WELL tonight, finally, in your own bed !!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. POPESAYS...

    She should not live in Seattle, it rains there a lot. I think writing a book is a good idea, but do not not publish it for many years or she will be hammered by those that love to stand in judgement.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Raxtich

    She's pretty. She'll make millions on movie and book deals as well as the talk-show circuit. She'll be just fine, so long as she doesn't screw up like that van der Sloot kid.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Light In The Black

    Good luck to Amanda.
    Those who believe she had something to do with this, will never be convinced otherwise.
    Amanda's side of the story should come out.
    How do you overcome something of this magnitude ?

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

      She will be in my magazine in less than 6 months.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David the Great

    Probably innocent black man executed in Georgia. Probably innocent white girl set free. What a wonderfull world we live in.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • z the one

      tell it like it is, that is the truth

      October 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike the man

      Nice, let's play the race card, people like you are what is wrong with this country. 2 cases and legal systems that have nothing to do with each other.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • drc

      Probably vindictive americans killed him, probably compassionate italians set her free...

      October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      REALLY!!! I mean, REALLY!!! This girl has been to hell and back and the only comment you can make is something racist. How in the world does race play a role in this? Please change your name from "David the Great" to "David the Idiot"!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • shelle

      David, this is clearly not apples to apples. We are not even talking about the same justice system. One trial was in Italy, the other trial was in the United States. Furthermore, race is not implicit in every scenario as some people would like to portray. The man was tried and convicted. "But there was no DNA evidence!" DNA profiling has not always existed and yet somehow, before it did, people were still convicted. With CSI, Law & Order, etc. people think that someone must be acquitted unless there is concrete DNA evidence. Why do you think Casey Anthony got off? I don't happen to believe that Troy Davis should have been executed. The ambiguity surrounding the case SEEMED great enough that it was too risky to put the man to death. I say seemed because everyone who says he's innocent seems to think that reading a CNN article about the details of the case from someone who may or may not be biased suddenly qualifies them to opine on the validity of the ruling. Is he innocent? Statistically unlikely. But with even a fraction of doubt, we shouldn't be putting people to death. But I digress. Black man getting convicted in the US hardly has anything to do with Amanda Knox and the Italian justice system!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJon

      Yes blame white people. Anyone that doesn't hand every black man the key to the city must be racist. Good for you for discovering that you can blame other people for your own problems.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mmmm hmmmmm

      *most likely innocent white female vs most likely guilty black male. The cases had nothing to do with each other. When all you see is race, it is easy to find faults in a system due to race.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rae

      Really? does everything have to be about race?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    Who cares....

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

      Why care?
      If you are not related to her, just stay out of her business and keep your nose where it belongs. Such a waste of news and time.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    She sound sue for 4 trillion. That's what i think it is worth. Be able to pay off debits and get revenge on Italy. It is all about getting back at being falsely held in prison for 4 years. get them back every one of them.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Myxlptlxk

      Do you even fu(king KNOW how much 4 trillion is, you idiot?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Alex; maybe you should sue your education system for not knowing how to spell.....

      October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. el

    It sounds like killing someone is becoming the fastest way to become rich and famous. Hmmm.....

    October 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Complete ignorance.... No grasp on who this girl really is and the hard work she put in to even have the OPPORTUNITY to study abroad in Italy.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      So, then, you have some inside information regarding her guilt that the rest of the world isn't privy to?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      @Bill.. obviuosly he must have an inside scoop the rest of the world isn't privy too... only MORONS make stupid conjectures based on zero evidence

      October 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    At the very least she may need special counseling. Good luck to her readjusting to life in the USA.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. scoto

    Whats next? Gosh I dont know but this is just so IMPORTANT that I'll be waiting breatlessly to see what CNN posts on this next. Gotta have my daily KNoxNews. Almost as engrossing as the Palin Chronicles which you bring us EVERY DAY

    October 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jimmie

    What's next for Amanda? $$$$$$$$$$ and LOTS of it. It's the American way !!!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mo

    I'm sure she will be able to move on after the media hype diminishes.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dolly

    I think she was railroaded by an unsavory, unqualified police dept.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mimi of Toronto

    What Amanda should do next is write a book & be absolute truthful in her account. Also, after paying off her parents' mortgage, I would dedicate a portion of the money to benefit Meredeth Kircher's family towards legal fees. By showing some selfless acts, Amanda will be able to gain some credibility back. Hopefully she has learned a valuable lesson from this ordeal, and for other young adults as well. When you go to a foreign country to study, do precisely that; that's where your focus should be, instead of what Amanda did; finds a boy friend right away, partying & smoking pot.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I assume you were a saint at the age of 20 and always had your nose in a book and never went out and partied? Were you subjected to hours on end of interrogations in a foreign country? If so, let's hear it!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      What legal fees? The country of Italy took Knox to court for the murder in their country. This was not the family suing in a civil lawsuit. Now donating to a fund in the name of victim / to pursue the killer etc those would be worthwile.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • SUNI

      When did having a boy friend become a crime?? She was simply being a normal young woman who had worked hard to save up money to go study abroad, when there met a guy and was falling in love – so what was wrong with that??
      Don't judge with ignorance!! That is what Italian judicial system did and failed miserably.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      I don't agree that she should volunteer money to pay the Kercher family. I am sorry for their lost, but Amanda had nothing to do with her murder. Amanda's own family should be paid back by her for all the money they put into it to get Knox back. And I am sure Amanda will make that money fast. I don't blame Amanda if she writes a book and does a few public appearances. Her story is interesting and should be told.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malatesta

      If I read her transcript, I beg to god that she does not write a book. It would be total trash....

      October 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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