Why the focus on Foxy Knoxy?
It’s ironic that Amanda Knox’s autobiography, entitled Waiting to be Heard, is set to be published at just the same time that Italy’s highest appeal court has sensationally announced that Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will face a re-trial for the tragic and highly controversial murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007.
Knox’s story has been one, unsurprisingly, of controversy, drama and fierce emotions. Viewed as an innocent victim by most American citizens, who whole-heartedly supported her when she returned to the USA in 2011 following her incredible acquittal, Knox has divided opinion around the worldwide. I read an interesting article in The Daily Mail, which suggested that, unlike the USA, most countries continue to view her with ambivalence, if not open hostility, and thus question how correct it is that her memoirs are being published at this controversial time. It emerges that the re-trial has been ordered, not because of new evidence on Knox and Sollecito’s guilt or innocence, but because it’s been felt that the appellate trial may not have been properly conducted.
Certainly the trials have been tainted in controversy; Knox herself claimed that the use of evidence was questionable, and many have agreed with her. Insufficient forensic evidence tests were particularly condemned, and prosecutors alleged that the court which acquitted Knox and Sollecito had ‘lost its bearings’ in the case. Knox issued a statement shortly after this announcement that it is ‘unfounded and unfair’. She maintains that ‘our hearts go out to them [Meredith’s family]. No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity’.
But is this process ‘unreasonable’, as Knox claims? Look at the incredible drama surrounding the case – as I write this, there are no fewer than 1096 comments on the Guardian’s article covering this development. Knox arouses strong opinions and feelings; whether love and respect from American citizens, or hatred and hostility from those who believe she had a crucial hand in Meredith’s murder.
It is my firm belief that the real victim, Meredith Kercher, is being ignored and neglected in all of this. If Knox is truly innocent, then it is understandable why she, famously, made numerous cartwheels and reacted with wild celebration on discovery of her acquittal, and celebrated even further by reportedly signing a multi-million book deal to reveal, in her eyes, the ‘truth’. But her reaction, for many people, seems callous and insensitive. Yes, she’s been acquitted, but what about the girl who she spent time living with, socialising with, befriending, eating together, sharing confidences etc? Does that friendship mean nothing? In my reading of this case (albeit only from newspapers), Knox appears to have made very few utterances regarding Meredith herself.
Meredith’s death was brutal and appalling. It shows the depth of sadism which sexual antics can degrade to and the murky nature of that night in 2007 will never be fully known. She was dead at the unbelievably young age of 21, her whole life ahead of her. Many people’s comments on the Guardian seem to agree with my stance – ‘AhBrightWings’ opines: ‘To make money off another young woman’s death is grossly insensitive. She should hand over the proceeds to charity. That would go a long way to clearing her name’.
I am not suggesting Knox is guilty, far from it. But she does not seem a likeable woman. She has been portrayed by the media as calculating, manipulative, insensitive and fully aware of the sexual power she holds over men. Whether or not this is true, and one must remember how much the media exaggerate and distort, there is something very distasteful about a young woman who, rather than mourning her housemate’s tragic and brutal death, is currently celebrating the millions she will make from a book supposedly revealing the ‘truth’ of her case. Let’s remember who the real victim is here, who is forever silenced, and who may never receive justice.