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. Lingerlater

    Profound difference between reactions of verdict in Casey Anthony trial and Amanda Knox. Anyone who thinks Amanda is guilty should consider these opposite responses.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJon

      Casey – Guilty as Hitler
      Amanda- Innocent as Casey would like us to believe she herself is.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JFritz

    The question is, when are the real journalists at CNN going to jump ship and move to Current?

    October 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TDrrf

    I'm not sure she didn't do it- but I highly doubt it. Question is – how some many people can be so sure she did it? That's the problem, with the nightmare justice system today, if your accussed your 95%- based on the accusation alone, and on top of it, the vultures that run the system take every advantage of that angle while judge sit back and let them do it. I cringe to thin how many innocent people and they're families, have been ruin or worse – and nobody gives a dam because they were bad enough to be accused. There's gotta be a better way.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. clarke

    the media needs to lay off. Let her and her family be.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LadyGagGag

    What's next? A part time job at an adult toy store maybe... What, too soon?

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

      too soon

      October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Factors

      Who really friggin' cares!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • 7TX

      give her a few months to get back in the groove of things and she'll be killing a new roomate in no time.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. M.Q.

    That girl is guilty. I can't believe they let her walk because she was pretty and oh, so sorry about what happened to Kercher. She got off with a slap on the hand. The fact that she's suing and probably going to profit over killing that girl is an injustice, ranking up there with Troy Davis' execution and the acquittal of Casey Anthony.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wired

      Go back to Italy

      October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • thomas


      October 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJon

      Her appearance had nothing to do with it. The DNA evidence to convict just wasn't there. However, the evidence to convict Casey Anthony was staggeringly high. To bad defense lawyers keep sabotaging the justice system.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • smartamerican

      Id like to see miss knox and miss anthony on a new type of mythbuster show. They could dispute dna myths.......he he

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


      I have a few questions for you. First, why is she guilty? How can you kill someone and have no dna on or around the body. Secondly, Rudy Guede says he never touched Meredith, but yet is dna is all over her body and inside of her body. Explain that for me. While i was not there and have no idea what really happened, i do beleive that she did not kill her roommate. Plus you have every trial judge in the world agreeing that the evidence was not only poorly collective, but contaminated. Now i have anohter question for you. Please answer the following questions for me about Casey Anthony. Where, What, How, When, and Why. Please remember you must answer them beyond a reasonable doubt. I know that she guilty, but in a court of law you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and ther is no way possible you can answer the necesary questions beyond a reasonable doubt. If you going t opronounce someone guilty of a crime, make sure that you can prove it.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FM

      It's a good thing that we've moved onto trying people by public opinion and what we hear in the media rather than basing justice on facts based on reliable evidence. Can't wait for the good old witch trials to start again based on flimsy complaints of outbreaks warts or weighing the same as a duck,eh, M.Q.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donny

    I am glad she is free, if you watch the movie on lifetime, it shows alot of the whole story, good movie.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJon

      The movie isn't accurate. Hollywood usually adds and takes away detail to gain viewers

      October 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sparty_Rulez


    October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. iduna

    she will most likely end up in therapy for a number of years. She will end up needing every penny she will receive for her interviews and movie deals. She will also most likely go out with friend..get drunk, and get laid... at some time soon. I don't think she had anything to do with the girls death. Now her boyfriend, thats a different story.She will have plenty of people trying their damndest to be a part of her life. I suggest she goes slow. Keeps her family and real friends close. Go on a vacation somewhere small and out of the way. Try to start enjoying life again. Also, stay the hell away from Italy for a few years. They are still out to get you.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JimmyJon

    Now if we could only convict Casey Anthony of a crime. Lets just wait until she murders her next child.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ashish

    shame on forensic science experts for not being able to solve this case with 100% certainty

    October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mz Brown

    I find it very interesting that some people are absolutely convinced of this woman's guilt. No one but Amanda and Meredith will ever know if Amanda is guilty. Such hatred.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stupidamericans

    you americans are so stupid..

    October 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shanck

    guade clearly did this himself. and to think he was originally sentenced to 30 years, appealed and got down to 16. way to F up Italian government.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clinton

    So... what if she is guilty? Seriously... this is the girl's roommate i didn't follow the trial like some so if you have the time and interest, explain to me this, did she have an aliby for the time of the murder? I understand that DNA evidence used to convict her was thrown out because of issues with it but... does that really mean she's innocent? I mean... Casey Anthony didn't have DNA evidence linking her to her daughter's murder but many of us are fairly convinced she killed her daughter... lack of DNA evidence doesn't really say anything... we used to be able to determine guilt or innocence without it once upon a time... so did she have an aliby?

    October 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
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