Despite all the airtime devoted to Amanda Knox, it’s still hard to reconcile the fresh-faced honor student from Seattle with the sexually rapacious killer convicted of the November 2007 murder of her British roommate. Few Americans have heard all of the powerful evidence that convinced a jury that Knox was one of three people to sexually assault Meredith Kercher, brutalize her body, and cut her throat. In Angel Face, Rome-based Daily Beast senior writer Barbie Latza Nadeau – who cultivated personal relationships with the key figures in both the prosecution and the defense – describes how the Knox family’s heavy-handed efforts to control media coverage distorted the facts, inflamed an American audience, and painted an offensive, inaccurate picture of Italy’s justice system. An eye-opener for any parent considering sending a child away to study, Angel Face reveals what really went on in this incomprehensible crime.
Since I read another book on this case, I knew a lot of what to expect in regards to the trial of Amanda Knox. However, as I sometimes do, I read through the first dozen or so reviews on Goodreads and was intrigued to find if this book was truly as biased as some readers claim.
First of all, let me say, I am someone who is not convinced that Amanda Knox is innocent in the death of Meredith Kercher. Yes, I believe there was hardly any real evidence tying her or Raffaele to the crime scene. But I see their behavior, the things they wrote/said in the days after the murder and even in prison as proof that these two had some part in all of this.
Second, while Barbie admits she doesn’t believe in Amanda Knox, I didn’t find this book to be biased. If anything, I felt as if Barbie was explaining how/why things went wrong for the duo during the trial. As a reporter, Barbie was able to give an interesting perspective on the media circus, the Knox-censored American news and also on how both the defendants and the family were perceived in the media. For example, Barbie points out how Amanda’s defense team did her a great disservice by not advising her on the proper dress/behavior in the courtroom. I was appalled to find she continuously used the forum as a means of flirting with Raffaele, by passing chocolates, doodling and even resting her head. Yes, I understand it can be difficult to endure an eleven month trial, but she clearly never comprehended exactly how serious this entire situation was. In fact, it’s quite possible her behavior and that of her family hurt her defense far more than anything else that came to light during those eleven months.
Third, Barbie was able to shed some insight into evidence that wasn’t mentioned in the previous book. For example, it was stated the reason Meredith’s anus showed an abnormal appearance was because she and her boyfriend from the downstairs flat has experimented with anal sex. It also came to light that one of Raffaele’s expert witnesses, found evidence that could be used against Amanda. The truth is, from everything I’ve read in these books, he was convicted because he tied his fate to hers in the trial. In reality, it’s quite possible the only thing he was ever guilty of was helping Amanda cleaning up the house.
Fourth, though no one will ever truly know what happened that fate night when young Meredith was murdered, I found Barbie’s guess to be quite logical. She took into account that it was possible Amanda and Raffaele did meet up with Rudy Guede and did consume some amount of drugs that could explain why they claim to have no solid memory of the night’s events. That being said, some of the things still didn’t add up. Thus continuing to add to the mystery about how/why Meredith was murdered.
Is Amanda Knox a murderer? I don’t know. What I do know is that everything she did, from her behavior in the police station to the courtroom leaves little doubt in my mind that she is guilty of something. The saddest part in all of this is how the true victim, Meredith was pushed out of the spotlight, thanks to the Knox media machine. They did anything and everything they could to make this trial into the Amanda Knox show and it worked. My big question is, since the Kerchers’ won their civil case against Amanda and Raffaele, how/why were they allowed to write books? Was that decision overturned when the two were released?