London Times journalist John Follain presents the most comprehensive account of the most publicized and controversial trial in a decade Shortly after 12:30pm on November 2, 2007, Italian police were called to the Perugia home of twenty-one-year-old British student Meredith Kercher. They found her body on the floor under a beige quilt. Her throat had been cut.
Four days later, the prosecutor jailed Meredith’s roommate, American student Amanda Knox, and Raffaele Sollecito, her Italian boyfriend. He also jailed Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast drifter. Four years later Knox and Sollecito were acquitted amid chaotic scenes in front of the world’s media.
Uniquely based on four years of reporting and access to the complete case files, and hundreds of first hand interviews, Death in Italy takes readers on a riveting journey behind the scenes of the investigation, as John Follain shares the drama of the trials and appeal hearings he lived through.
Including exclusive interviews with Meredith’s friends and other key sources, Death in Italy reveals how the Italian dream turned into a nightmare.
I knew a bit about the murder of Meredith Kercher and even some about Amanda Knox before reading this book. But I was always curious to see if the media buzz blew things out of proportion in regards to Knox’s bizarre behavior afterwards. After all, I remember watching Nancy Grace and seeing the same two or three clips of Amanda and her boyfriend kissing, replay over and over again during the one hour show.
Trust me, I don’t let the Nancy Grace show or actually most news coverage dictate my views on a case like this. But as I delve into this book, one thing became very clear to me: Amanda Knox is guilty. I can’t definitively say what her part in all of this is, but everything about this girl and her behavior act as clear signs that something is truly not right.
From the get go, it’s clear Amanda is a strange young woman, whose need for attention is so pathetic and desperate, I’d be surprised if she had any real female friends in her life. From the accounts of their roommates, Meredith and Amanda could not be any more different. Meredith was kind, funny, considerate and even sweet. And though she tended to get along with everyone, the one person she couldn’t stand was Amanda. She complained about Amanda’s constant need for attention, how Amanda tried to belittle her affections for a boy who lived downstairs by claiming he liked her (Amanda), not Meredith and had odd boundary issues (i.e. leaving out dildos, refusing to flush the toilet, constantly playing the same few chords on a guitar no matter what everyone else was doing around her, etc).
However, the biggest red flag doesn’t stem from their relationship, but from Amanda herself. For example, the day Meredith’s body was found, Amanda returns home to find the front door open, blood all over the bathroom and what does she do? Does she call her room mates? No. Does she call the cops? No. Instead, she proceeds to take a shower? I don’t know about you, but her parent’s excuse that she was naive doesn’t fly. I remember being five years old when a motorcyclist wrecked in front of our house. I called 911 right away. And yet, when it looks like someone may have broken into her cottage, she just hops in the shower like nothing is wrong.
It is only when she finds someone’s feces in the other bathroom that she “freaks out” and returns to her boyfriend’s house. Yet again, never calling the cops. When she finally makes a phone call, who does she call? Her parents, in Washington… Why?
There are also several witnesses that say she never reacts when Meredith’s body is found. She simply stands at the end of the hall as if the whole situation is keeping her from something. As if that isn’t odd enough, she is outside making out with her boyfriend while the police are in the cottage processing the crime scene. She continues her odd behavior in the police station, randomly alternating between making funny faces with her boyfriend, making out with him and blurting out how she could have been murdered as well. She never once even shows any sign of emotion towards Meredith’s death, only in regards to needing to be center of attention.
As if her behavior isn’t weird enough, she claims not to remember where she was the night before and none of the specifics of what she did. I’m sorry, but most people can tell you one thing they did the evening before. But not Amanda. I was eventually so convinced of her guilt, that I couldn’t bear the thought of reading how her conviction was overturned. Yes, I agree, there was not physical evidence. That being said, at every turn, Amanda told lie after lie after lie in order to stall and misdirect the prosecution. She accused an innocent man of murdering Meredith and subsequently ruined his life. Say what you will, but none of these actions are those of an innocent woman. No one suspected her of any wrong doing until she opened her mouth and said she was there. She even put herself into the middle of the investigation. The night she first confessed, they hadn’t even called her in for questioning. She showed up on her own.
There is nothing naive or innocent about Amanda Knox. Somehow, someway, she is responsible for Meredith’s murder and I just hope someone else doesn’t have to die because the Italian justice system couldn’t prove it.