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With ‘Amanda Knox,’ an infamous story is finally told right

Amanda Knox at the Perugia court, Italy, Monday, October 3, 2011, for Meredith Kercher murder appeal trial. An Italian court cleared 24 year-old American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend of murdering British student Meredith Kercher in 2007 and set them free on Monday after nearly four years in prison for a crime they always denied committing. (Fabrizio Troccoli-Photomasi/Abaca Press/MCT)

Amanda Knox at the Perugia court, Italy, Monday, October 3, 2011, for Meredith Kercher murder appeal trial. An Italian court cleared 24 year-old American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend of murdering British student Meredith Kercher in 2007 and set them free on Monday after nearly four years in prison for a crime they always denied committing. (Fabrizio Troccoli-Photomasi/Abaca Press/MCT)

Nine years ago, everyone knew who Amanda Knox was.

She was the American student on every newspaper and TV station charged for killing her roommate in Italy. Her face and story were in the news for years with thousands of twisted versions on what happened that fateful night in November 2007. Netflix is now delving into this sordid, tragic story and promises to get the facts straight according to “Amanda Knox,” a documentary that claims the press and prosecutors butchered the real story.

The documentary starts off with a black screen with an eerie static sound playing. The date “November 2, 2007” slowly appears and the viewer knows exactly what they are about to see. We see a little house in the Italian countryside. It seems like the perfect place to spend a holiday, a place to get away and relax. But there is unfortunately much more than meets the eye.

We hear an Italian man making an emergency call to the local police department. He states he’s making the call on behalf of a woman named Amanda Knox. The screen transitions to a crime scene video taken by the Italian police. We see bloodstains, broken windows and bloody clothing like something straight out of a horror movie, but we all know this is real.

A bloody handprint is shown and then we see a bare foot, the rest of the unmoving body covered by a blanket. It is undoubtedly the homicide victim, who we learn is named Meredith Kercher. The frame serves these tragic facts straight.

We finally meet the woman we all think we know, Amanda Knox, ready to tell the world what happened. She’s 29 now, with experience for more than two lifetimes. She wears a pink sweater with minimal make-up. There appears to be a vulnerability in her eyes, as if she were taken somewhere she didn’t belong. She looks like someone who experienced true trauma, the type you cannot forget but try to move on from.

Directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn beautifully take us back to Italy in the fall of 2007. They use the entire case file, including police crime scene footage, recordings and media footage. Most importantly they interview Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her then-boyfriend and alleged accomplice, providing their commentary about what happened during that time.

In their quest to be fair and balanced, Blackhurst and McGinn also provide commentary from lead prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Nick Pisa, the Daily Mail journalist known for publishing Knox’s diary. The directors should be commended for providing both perspectives to provide a fuller narrative concerning the incident.

What this documentary really makes clear is how big a role the mainstream media had in this case. For example, the media quickly published articles with titles like “Meredith Killed in Sex Orgy” and gave Knox monikers like “Foxy Knoxy” even though there was no proof behind the salacious headlines. The media turned this case into a tabloid feast about sex-obsessed students committing murder.

Sensationalized coverage claimed the over-sexualized devil of America had invaded the pure old world of Italy. There are countless clips of Knox and her family being followed by paparazzi and journalists as if they were movie stars. The courtroom turned into a sea of reporters with thousands of cameras. Different articles came out regularly, shifting details ever so slightly, fanning the flames of misinformation. A young American murderer obsessed with sex sells more magazines than an innocent and scared woman who just wants to go home.

It wasn’t until the acquittal of Amanda and Raffaele in the Italian Supreme Court in 2015 that the media was finally to blame. The court stated that there was an increased media attention for creating a “frantic search” for the guilt of Knox and Sollecito.

Nearly a decade after the case first unfolded, the public may finally get a better understanding of what happened. “Amanda Knox” seems to suggest there may have been a third party responsible for the murder and that Knox was a victim of an aggressive narrative created by the media. The Italian Supreme Court expressed this view when it ultimately acquitted Knox and Sollecito of all charges in March 2015.

“Either I’m a psychopath in sheep’s clothing or I am you,” Knox says at the documentary’s opening. Viewers are left to make up their own minds.

Lauren LaMagna can be reached at llamagna@umass.edu and followed on Twitter at @laurenlamango.

Comments
7 Responses to “With ‘Amanda Knox,’ an infamous story is finally told right”
  1. November2007 says:

    “I was there ………. I heard Meredith’s scream”

    (Amanda Knox, Nov. 2007, Perugia / Italy)

    …. she did it !

  2. November2007 says:

    After the “Documentary” it’s very clear …

    She did it !

  3. The “I was there….” quote refers to Ms. Knox saying she was at Mr. Sollecito’s apartment when her mother said something about people not believing that. The “I heard Meredith’s scream” comes from the statements the police brainwashed Ms. Knox into believing. Her First Memorandum shows that she was too confused at the time of signing those forced statements to understand them. It’s not surprising that “November2007” would find the “Documentary” convincing of guilt with the kind of logic used with those two out-of-context quotes.

  4. Jodi says:

    I stood with Casey Antony but I can’t stand with Amanda Knox.

  5. November2007 says:

    BW ….. please stop fooling your fellow countrymen. It’s unworthy and pathetic. They are no idiots !

    Ms. Amanda Knox said it and she didn’t say it in regard of Sollecitos flat or fragmented as distorted by you.

    She confessed her presence inside the cottage „Via Della Pergola 7 / Perugia“ during the time of the killing when she heard that her „f**k & drug – buddy – for 7 – days“ & accomplice Raffaele Sollecito had contradicted her alibi; when Sollecito folded and changed his version; when suddenly he said that he „wasn’t longer sure that she was with him the whole night“.

    Then she immediately admitted that she’s taken her Boss from „Le Chic“, Mr. Patrick Lumumba, to the cottage that tragic night and that Lumumba (allegedly) had been in Meredith bedroom to have se**ual intercorse with Meredith while she, Knox, stayed in the kitchen from where she could hear horrific sceams at some certain point. Screams so loud and gnawing that she had to go down to the floor and cover her ears …….

    Face the truth BW …………. the evidence (including Knoxes & Sollecitos bloody bare – footprints made in Meredith blood) proves her guilt.

    That’s my point of view and I think I’m right.

  6. Guest says:

    In the the final Supreme Court report of the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the court found the following:

    * Knox was present at the cottage during the murder
    * Knox and Sollecito had no alibis for the night of the murder
    * Knox is a convicted liar who rightly spent four years in prison
    * Knox heard Meredith when she was murdered
    * Rudy Guede did not act alone
    * Rudy Guede did not hold a knife
    * Strong suspicion that Sollecito was at the cottage with Knox during the murder
    * There was a spot mixed with the victim’s blood and Knox’s DNA found in the bathroom
    * The crime scene was staged
    * Knox was aware of the sexual aspect of the crime before it could be determined by the police
    * There was no evidence of coercion by the police when Knox accused Lumumba of murder
    * Knox’s motive for falsely accusing Lumumba for murder was to cover up for Rudy Guede
    * Knox’s felony conviction won’t be affected in any way if the ECHR finds any human rights violations
    * Rudy Guede has less motive than Knox to commit crime

    All of the above would be more than enough to convict Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for either murder or accessory to murder in every common court of law throughout the world. But not this one. Why? Because of Sollecito’s and Bongiorno’s corruption through political channels and the mafia. This is now world wide news and is history now written in stone. Everyone throughout the world now knows that both Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito got away with murder, but it will never get away from them so they will never have lives of their own. Basically we own them and their futures of permanent poverty and re-incarceration are imminent.

  7. Guest says:

    It’s now legally certain that Knox and Raffaele were both “there” at the crime scene at the time of the murder, and proven that Guede assaulted Meredith and helped kill her with accomplices, are we now to assume that the lying Knox and Sollecito were not the accomplices, but that one or two other criminals were also on the premises at the same time and were helping Guede kill Meredith? That stretches credibility.

    This ruling is unfathomable. I can only imagine the reaction of the Kerchers and of their Attorney Maresca. This ruling defies common sense. It seems to imply that Rudy committed the killing but that Knox and Raffaele were too afraid of him to tell the police, and instead helped him hide the crime at the risk of themselves being prosecuted for it? That fear alone was the inducement to run an eight year long charade of lies and dissimulation, not to mention years of prison? When Raf’s father is connected to important people and when Knox’s family could afford a PR campaign to reach television? Yet Knox is so afraid of Guede counter-accusing her and of Guede being believed, that she has denied everything and even covered for Guede? Preposterous.

    Does Cassation think that Rudy set up the false burglary for his cover story, but then Knox and Raf lied to police about it for him? If Knox and Raf weren’t complicit in the crime but were there during its commission, what were they doing during the murder? Playing guitar and smoking weed? Knox and Raf overlooked Guede tracking blood around the cottage, heard Meredith’s scream but did nothing to aid her, too afraid to aid her and later ashamed of their cowardice? Were they threatened by Guede with the same fate? Or if they were hurting her along with Guede so that she did scream, they are still innocent?

    And why would Knox be washing Meredith’s blood off her hands into the bidet and washing up blood from the murder scene rather than call police and denounce Guede as the killer? Knox could have begged for police protection She had the USA to flee to. Raf’s father could protect him, his sister was Carabinieri!

    No. If Knox was washing Meredith’s blood off her hands, Knox was hiding her part in the murder.

    This ruling contradicts its own reasoning. It has proved the greater yet says it can’t prove the lesser.

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