One year after Amanda Knox (the documentary) premiered on Netflix and ten years after Amanda Knox (the person) was accused of killing Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, as part of some sort of twisted homicidal sex game, Amanda Knox (the person) has written an op-ed detailing the mundane interactions she recalls with her former roommate. She does not mention murdering her.
The piece, which appeared in Westside Seattle, recalls the sorts of prosaic everyday activities that roommates everywhere do together: Carrying groceries, shopping and sipping espresso after class. (“Meredith complimented me for showing restraint, eating no more than two cookies with my coffee.”) But Knox, who now lives in her hometown of Seattle working as a freelance writer and advocate for the wrongfully convicted, points out that she has never really had the chance to mourn the death of Kercher as a person, embroiled as she was with attempting to extricate herself from her roommate’s death:
There are some people who believe I have no right to mourn Meredith. They believe that I had something to do with her murder—I didn’t—or that Meredith has been forgotten in the wake of my own struggle for justice—she hasn’t. Either way, they feelthat Meredith and I are inextricably linked, so it’s simply not fair that I haven’t lost everything, as she has. They are wrong.
Kercher’s family, however, still believes that Knox is guilty, despite being exonerated in 2015 thanks to a dearth of evidence. Speaking to the Daily Mail about the documentary last year, Meredith’s sister, Stephanie, said that she wished Knox would just shut up about the whole thing already:
“We got to the end of last year and you’re trying to gather your own thoughts and your own feelings and try and build yourself up again into what your life is now meant to be and just a year later, even though there’s nothing new to bring into the picture, Netflix decide to do another program.”
There’s no doubt that the Kercher family will eternally mourn Meredith’s death, but there’s also no doubt that Amanda Knox will, whether she likes it or not, forever be associated with one of the most salacious study-abroad murder cases of all time. Years upon years of legal fees have left her family insolvent; paparazzi still follow her down the street. Given the option, I am sure Knox would have picked a very different way to spend her 20s.
It seems certain that Knox’s ordeal would have been significantly shorter had the media-perpetuated web of lies not spread as it did. Ferocious tabloid reporters, after all, played no small part in spinning Kercher’s death into the debauched international sensation that it became, feeding exaggerations and outright lies to a global audience that couldn’t get enough. Knox spent years having the defining event of her life manipulated and twisted by others; it’s only fair that the refreshing novelty of telling her story herself has yet to wear off. I hope that someday she can become known for something else altogether—maybe she’ll open a restaurant, or become a successful Formula One racer! Until then, she gets to write as many remembrances as she wants.