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. Ladeda

    The press is determined to give this story legs for rating purposes. Yesterday CNN seemed elated that Knox was free today they are taking this other approach is she evil or will people hate her. If there is no further story then the media will invent one.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Johan

    Her future will depend on whether she killed Kercher or not. If she did not do it, then I hope she will soon get over the negative consequences over the last 4 years, but if she is guilty and got away with murder, then I hope that her life will remain a mess from now on. if she has a conscience she will perk up if she is not guilty but if she is guilty she will ruin herself very soon.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bille walters

    does anyone really care about this woman? By next month people are going to be saying Amanda who?

    October 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PatG

    Although I believe the appellate court got in right in overturning the verdict, it was Amanda Knox's lies that got her into this mess. Who lies to the police? 1) She did in fact go back to the apartment she shared with Meredith the morning of the murder to take a shower, saw a broken window and blood in the bathroom, but continued to take a shower, grab some clothes and go back to Rafaelle's apartment. She told police that she called the emergency police as she was leaving the apartment. They have no record of her call. 2) She lied about Patrick Lumumba's involvment in the crime and she was found guilty on that count; 3) She said that she was at her boyfriend's house between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of the murder, but he said she wasn't there. Who knows what Amanda did or did not do, but lying to the police anywhere in the world is going to bring you trouble.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    I really don't see Colin Firth as a good choice to play Amanda Knox.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OnWaldenPond

    Welcome home Amanda Knox. We're glad you're back.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juliette

      We are? Please speak for yourself. I'm not glad she's anywhere.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silence

      Juliette So you are judge and jury?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zuma

      Yeah right. Will you share a flat with her?

      October 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. michelle

    l never support amanda knox cnn u should think about meredith kercher shes not here anymore rip u should be ashamed

    October 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • chele

      I agree with you, Michelle.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nicky

    I have heard a lot of b.s. In a lot of statements. Amanda has had a rough time I am sure. Why not stand behind her. Shed was convicted and then appealed. Her lawyer said that this is normally what happens. There was no evidence against her. So she is not guilty also to the ones that hbave quoted the bible it also states do not judge that God is our judge. No one is forgetting the other things going on all over the world but we need something to celebrate and it just happens to be Amanda. We here about the bad things all the time. I am ready to hear something good.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Marquardt

      Face, if she wasn't a rich little girl, she'd still be behind bars! I am sick of the media's and people like you obsessing about things that really have little or no impact on the lives of the rest of the world. What about jobs, corporations ripping us off, the Koch brothers, you need a life! It is no wonder America is in trouble, its people spending all their time following the trials of two spoiled brats, Casey Anthony and now this Amanda Knox! Maybe if we spent that time and money working to solve the "real" problems in our lives, things would get better! But then it seems you haven't grown up anymore than these two chicks who got caught!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Remford

    If she IS culpable, she'd better have the good sense to keep quiet – lest Italy not be quiet so vigilant about the notion of double jeopardy.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert E. Lee

    I hear Casey Anthony is looking for a new roommate.

    You two should hook up.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • michelle

      l agree

      October 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zuma

      They might invite Joran van Der Sloot to share the flat. A marriage of soul mates.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob Marquardt

    I am so disgusted with CNN and their obsession with this trial and this "girl". If her daddy wouldn't be rich she'd still be behind bars! Can't we get on to some real news? Today I turned off CNN. It seems lately CNN is obsessed with this trailer trash news. I am so over Anderson and his obsession with this trailer trash...Give us something to educate us as the world in which we live. If this is the only news there is, then spare us! I ahve decided to turn you off!

    October 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      is not educational to talk about the broken judicial system.....i don't like you or your comments

      October 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nicky

    We have not forgoten about meredith. We are sorry for the lose of someone so young. But they have there guy already but here is the kicker. He only has to serve 14 years. Why is his sentence so much less than Amandas and ralphels. When Rudy confesed and the evidence pointed to him.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Zuma

    What a horribly cruel way to murder a young girl, slitting her throat.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WIL69R

    Like Casey a jury said INNOCENT get over it

    October 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kristin

    I wish her nothing but the best of luck in creating a beautiful, new, fulfilling and gorgeous future – along with PRIVACY to do so!

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