Amanda Knox opened up about the events that led to her conviction and later acquittal in the murder of her roommate in Italy for a new documentary available on Netflix now.
Simply titled “Amanda Knox,” the documentary features Knox carefully describing what she went through as first the police, then the media, and then the entire world debated whether she brutally stabbed her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, to death in their home on November 1, 2007.
Knox’s story would’ve been enough for most, but the film also includes interviews with her codefendant and former lover, Raffaele Sollecito; the attorney for the man believed to have really been behind the deadly attack; and the man who led the Italian investigation.
Here are five things we learned from Netflix’s “Amanda Knox”:
The weird moment the investigator first believed Knox killed her roommate.
The murder weapon was still missing. While at Knox’s boyfriend’s apartment, the police asked Knox to go through his knives in case one of them matched the murder weapon.
Knox began to panic and slap herself around the ears. Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini witnessed this and believed that memories of the crime were returning to her. This is when he first suspected that she killed Kercher – even without the kind of evidence you need for proof.
The police told Amanda Knox that she had HIV, even though she didn’t.
While it added to Knox’s fragile state in prison, the police wanted to get a list of people she had sex with. They hoped it would lead them to more witnesses or suspects. At the time, the theory was that multiple people were involved in the murder.
The media comes out as the real villain.
Not only did media outlets track everyday events during the trial, but they also reported a lot of sensational and untrue stories surrounding the case. Probably the worst defense for that comes when Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa admits in the documentary to not fact-checking his stories before they were published – all in the name of being first.
“It’s not as if I can say, ‘Right, hold on a minute. I just wanna double-check that myself in some other way.’ I mean, goodness knows how,” he said. “And then I let my rival get in there first before me, and then, hey, I’ve lost a scoop.”
Amanda Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito knew each other for just five days before her roommate was murdered.
Can you imagine meeting and then dating someone for just five days and then being roped into an eight-year ordeal in which you’re accused of murder together? For Sollecito, it meant a long incarceration, including six months of solitary confinement. After all that, he still had romantic feelings for Knox.
“She clearly told me her feelings were completely changed,” he said in the film. “This moment was kind of bitter, even though I knew her only five days. The five days were everything.”
It was nice to see that Knox hadn’t totally abandoned him. She called him when they found out the Italian Supreme Court had held up their exonerations. She had already flown back to the US, but the poor guy was at home in Italy and had been taken back into custody until the ruling.
Mignini had romantic ideals that often shaded the investigation.
Mignini fancied himself a fan of detective stories, like those of Sherlock Holmes. In keeping to that appreciation, part of his style was to make inferences about the evidence. For example, he believed that because the victim’s body was covered with a blanket that the killer was a woman. Only a woman would think to do that, he believed.
It would help explain why he had no problem reaching for grand storylines surrounding the murder. He spoke of crimes of passion and characterized Knox as some kind of seducer of men, which would allow for her to convince her boyfriend of five days and a perfect stranger to help her murder her roommate.
He was also a devout Catholic and often waxed poetic about good and evil, guilt, and God’s judgment. Although he still believes Knox and Sollecito committed the crime, he said:
“If they are innocent, I hope they’re able to forget the suffering they’ve endured. If they’re guilty, if earthly justice didn’t get to them, I hope they own their guilt, because I know that life ends with a final trial – a trial with no appeals, no second chances, and no revisions.”