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. zechmo

    Not guilty.... not every pretty girl accused of murder is guilty... Hope she can live some sort of normal life after the media and the Italian judicial system failed her. Between the media, our government and judicial systems in this WORLD... their all corrupt! Were all screwed!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. eddie

    Acussation and more acusations, but no proof! is that simple

    October 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Clinton

    anybody? care to fill me in? just want to understand why everyone is convinced she's innocent... i am admitting i didn't follow the trial or anything just heard that there was DNA evidence that was thrown out because of some reason or another... also heard she initially admitted to it and then recanted her statements... so why is it again everyone is convinced she's innocent? ..... what are the facts of the case? did she have an aliby for the time of the murder? any witnesses to say she wasn't there? ...

    October 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Clinton, Guede was convicted of her murder through DNA evidence. He was the one who said that Amanda and Raffaele took part. Yet there is no evidence supporting this claim. It is impossible to know you are cleaning up DNA selectively. If they wiped down surfaces, it would have wiped Guede's DNA clean as well.

      I don't know Knox personally, but I am acquainted with several friends and acquaintaces of her who will all testify to her strength of character, hard work and determination. I know this alone doesn't mean she couldn't have commited this terrible crime that stole a young girl's life. However, I think her character has played a large role in this case. I think if people knew the real Amanda, they would be less apt to judge her and convict her of a crime she did not committ. This girl spent 4 years in a foreign prison because of negative media attention. Jurors were not confined, they were actually allowed to listen to and hear the terrible things the Italian news was saying about her.

      I hope this sheds some light. She was a young, naive girl who acted like a normal 20 year old with her first dose of freedom. 20 year old girls have boyfriends, go out and party a little bit, and smoking marijuana is legal in Italy... so really, what of this makes her a terrible person?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Would also like to direct you to the friends of Amanda site which clearly states the evidence that is unsubstantiated.

      http://friendsofamanda.org/home_eng.html

      October 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gregorious

    She is innocent. The lack of any evidence otherwise proves it, and it isn't her burden to prove her innocence, it's the other way around (even in ridiculous Italy). And this story is absurd: she will be fine. She'll write a book, they will make a movie, if she's smart she'll give some of the profits to the victim's family. She's hot and will be interviewed on TV forever as a result. If she has any telegenic presence, maybe she can replace that corpulent, hair-helmet wearing monster Nancy Grace in time.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    One good thing Knox has in her favor is she's nowhere near as hated as Casey Anthony. Yes, you'll have people forever convinced of her guilt, though there's some pretty compelling evidence in her support (as the Italian court proved, but also as pointed out even by some HLN commentators who were quite willing to jump all over Anthony when she was aquitted). But I don't see her having as hard a time of it as Casey. It's basically up to her now to decide whether to bring "Foxy Knoxy" back or to keep the maturity she's gained in prison and use it for the good.

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

      I'm so happy that the;Florida jury got it right.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rabidmob

      Maturity learned in prison??? How naive are you? Prison breaks people down.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim

    Amanda was acquitted because there was zero evidence indicating that she was guilty. End of story. The prosecution was desperately accusing her of everything else they could think of to make it seem that she was a horrible person, and because she was so horrible, she had to be guilty of murder as well. It seems that there are a few posting their comments here who fell for that, but the jury fortunately did not.

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

      Indeed, Jim. Indeed. I'm glad that not everyone on the Internet is a raging idiot and can actually see this case for what it was.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • makuka

      Amanda must have some involvement. I'm sure she's guilty to some high degree. Just think about it: Have anyone of you been accused of murder? I mean, nobody gets in such a huge amount of trouble just coincidentally. Besides, she's got that evil face she can't hide. She's just horrible. Something in her eyes freaks me out.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      @makuka... REVIEW THE EVIDENCE... oh wait, what evidence?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      @makuka – "I mean, nobody gets in such a huge amount of trouble just coincidentally." Please never be on jury. Ever. Just call in sick or something.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • guy

      @makuka, I would maybe say that in the immediate presence of an individual one could say they have and intuitive sense that someone has a malicious temperment. However, even then a look in someone's eyes isn't grounds for conviction when carefully evaluated forensic evidence doesn't incontrovertably bear out the accusation. I've met people that people said the nastiest things about based on appearance, but have turned out to be thoughtful, kind people, maybe a bit aloof because of judgements like yours. I not only wouldn't want you on a jury, I don't know if I'd even want to be around you socially.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nixo

    @least shes not dead, she has a chance to rebuild her life...meredith doesnt, not saying amanda is the killer..jus think she knows a lot more then she is saying

    October 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Perspective is important. She lost four years of her life and had to deal with significant stress. Her life path is forever altered, likely for the worse. But she still has a life, and her family and friends still have her.

      Her ordeal is nowhere near as bad as what happened to the victim, nor the ordeals of women like Dugard or Smart. Knox will recover from this in time.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Clinton

    This DNA thing is getting out of hand by the way... Everybody just assumes that no matter what if you commit a crime you're GOING TO LEAVE DNA ........ lol F!@#$ing ridiculous... DNA isn't always easy to find... nor is it often widely available at a crime scene... just because we all watch CSI now people think you need DNA to be proven guilty of a crime and it's bull@#$^ ... Seriously NONE of you know if this chick is guilty or not, but for some reason a large majority of you are screaming that she's innocent because they couldn't prove her guilty...... REALLY? she could have murdered her roommate with her boyfriend and none of you would know... why are you convinced she's innocent? because she cries a lot?

    October 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • soupfork

      Sounds like your fed up with the world.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juls

      Because when Rudy Guede first confessed he said Knox and her boyfriend had nothing to do with it,

      October 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chainyanker

      Ever heard of 'touch DNA'?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. B

      She only knew her roommate who was murdered for only one month, what possible motive did she have to do that?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cali

      Clinton: "...why are you convinced she's innocent? because she cries a lot?" No because one is innocent until proven guilty.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      MYTH: Someone cleaned the cottage with bleach.
      This story has its origins in the events surrounding the drainpipe as well as misinformation fed to the media. On November 19, 2007, Richard Owen reported for the UK Times that police had found receipts showing purchases of bleach on the morning after the murder. The information was specific: one alleged purchase was made at 8:30, and a second was made at 9:15. But in fact, no such receipts were ever found. Then, in a November 25, 2007, report, Owen quoted an apparently official source as saying that the entire cottage, except for Meredith's room and the bathroom she shared with Amanda, had been "thoroughly cleaned with bleach."

      At the trial, the prosecution presented no evidence that anyone cleaned the cottage with bleach, and video of the crime scene strongly undermines such a claim. Along with the latent footprints in the corridor that were revealed with luminol, investigators found a number of faint but visible blood traces matching Rudy Guede's shoe. It would have been hard to mop the floor without destroying these blood traces.

      MYTH: Amanda tried to remove all her fingerprints throughout the cottage.
      Prosecutor Mignini himself is the source of this misconception. A November 28, 2007, AP story carried in USA Today noted that just one fingerprint belonging to Amanda had been found at the cottage and quoted the prosecutor as follows: "It is reasonable to hypothesize that she herself felt the need to eliminate the traces of her presence from an apartment in which she lived."

      At the trial, the prosecutor's own fingerprint expert, Giuseppe Privitera, flatly refuted this hypothesis. He said fingerprints tend to get smudged, often it is hard to find good ones even of someone who lives at the scene of an investigation, and nothing he found at the cottage suggested that any effort had been made to remove fingerprints intentionally.

      What forensic investigators found was the mixed DNA of Meredith and Amanda in a total of six samples among dozens that were taken. Three of these samples were from the bathroom shared by the two women (the other housemates shared a different bathroom).

      All of the mixed DNA samples from the bathroom were visible bloodstains. Most likely they were composed of Meredith's blood mixed with an organic residue containing Amanda's DNA. No test was performed to determine if any of these samples contained the blood of both Meredith and Amanda, and there is no evidence that any of them did.

      The other three mixed DNA samples were taken from latent stains revealed with luminol. No test was performed to confirm the presence of blood in any of these samples.

      Click here to read more about the luminol results.

      The prosecutor has tried to insinuate that these findings are incriminating, but, as with other aspects of his case, the insinuations do not lead to a specific theory. The most plausible explanation is that the mixed DNA is simply a result of cohabitation. As an example for the sake of comparison, investigators used luminol in Raffaele's apartment and found a latent stain with the mixed DNA of him and Amanda. All it means is that two people have been sharing the same space.

      Need more?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dulcie

      I completely agree with you. Don't listen to the rest, they somehow know all about this case.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clark

      Stephanie,
      Who's going to read all of that!?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Just let it go ok?! God knew what happened on that day and He even anticipated the outcome of it all. None of us will ever know the truth because we're ALL human on this earth. It's not for any of us to judge and the jury+2 judge has done their job....case closed! Meredith RIP.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iliketoread

      @Clark – I read it.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutThere

      "she could have murdered her roommate with her boyfriend and none of you would know... "
      What are you suggesting; that she picked up her boyfriend, swung him around in a circle, and hit her roommate with him? With confusing statements like that (which we all make), you could be the next one accused of murder by the Italian police. That's how guilty Amanda appears to be.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. soupfork

    Amanda and Casey should get an apartment together.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John Winters

    I'll tell you what's next for Amanda Knox......mucho, mucho dollars in her bank account (and I'm talking the big mills), which might, just might, go some way toward compensating her for the terrible ordeal she has been put through. OUTRAGE!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Raquiles

    What no one is questioning is the delusional person that places these 2 people in jail for 4 years, even so they didn't have proof and also considering that they got the killer. Italy is one scary place if someone can be place in jail base on someone idiotic delusions. Also, will be interesting to see how many people are in jail base on this guy gut feelings. I can't understand how someone can compared this case with Casey Anthony's, is like comparing oranges and apples, very idiotic and stupid do so.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Let's put it in perspective, though. She was in jail for a long time, but as CNN pointed out in a video article, the jail had events like rock bands performing. Italy may have gotten it wrong the first time, but the U.S. sometimes does, too - consider the men freed after ten, sometimes twenty years because new evidence proved their innocence. Knox got out in less than four years.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alan

    Killer or not, she is toooooooooooooooo pretty to be locked up in jail!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Terry Brookman

    Lets hear it for cheese burgers and apple pie or was this a trade off for the IMF guy.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anonymous

    read my lips....W E D O N " T C A R E

    October 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. anonymous

    Who are the Nazis withe the military berets and uniforms on in the photo? Are they Italian Gestapo?

    October 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
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