Amanda Knox, born July 9th, 1987 in Seattle, Washington, is best known for her conviction and eventual acquittal in the 2007 murder of British roommate Meredith Kercher. At the time of the murder the two college students resided together in Perugia, Italy. Knox was 20 years old and Kercher, 21.
The night of the murder Knox had spent the evening with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. This raised suspicions among investigators. The first authorities to arrive at the scene were postal police; not murder scene investigators which proved to be one of the many flaws in the investigation. They would discover Kercher’s lifeless body on the floor of her bedroom covered in a bloodstained duvet. The cause of death was determined to be suffocation and blood loss caused by knife wounds.
Knox and Sollecito were brought in for questioning where they were interrogated for five days. Later, Knox claimed that there was no interpreter present and that she had been bullied and beaten while in police custody. Knox did sign a confession claiming that she had been in the next room while Kercher was murdered by her (Knox’s) current boss Patrick Lumumba.
In November 2007 the Italian police announced that Kercher’s murderers had been determined and Knox and Sollecito were both arrested. Lumumba’s alibi was that he was working the night of the murder. Two weeks later forensic evidence recovered from the scene pointed to Rudy Guede, a friend of Italian men that lived in the apartment below the two girls. He admitted to being present at the scene, but denied any other involvement. The following year Guede was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Knox and Sollicito opted to be tried together. They were convicted of 26 and 25 years respectively. Prosecutors painted Knox as a sex-crazed “she-devil.” They also created an elaborate scene in which Kercher was an unfortunate victim in sex game gone wrong orchestrated by Knox. The case became a media circus with Knox’s supporters claiming that she was being discriminated against because she was an attractive American woman. The effectiveness of the Italian legal system was also brought under scrutiny.
The case rulings didn’t end there. In October 2011 Sollecito and Knox were acquitted of the murder charges. Not long after returning home in 2013 Knox and Sollecito were both ordered to stand trial once again for Kercher’s murder in which they later were both found guilty.
In March 2015 the Supreme Court of Italy, citing “glaring errors,” overturned the 2014 convictions for good.
Back to Crime Library