Amanda Knox

Crime Suspect

Born: 9 July 1987
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Best known as:

The Italian murder suspect known as "Foxy Knoxy"

Amanda Knox is the American student who was convicted, then acquitted, then convicted again of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, while both were students in Italy in 2007. The gruesome murder was discovered on 2 November 2007, when police found Kercher's body with her throat cut in the apartment she shared with Amanda Knox. Knox, then 20, was a student from the University of Washington spending the term in Italy. She and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were soon arrested and charged with the murder, along with a third man, Rudy Guede.  Guede, a drug dealer from the Ivory Coast, was convicted of murder in October 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Knox and Sollecito remained in jail and had their own sensational trial, which lasted nearly all of 2009 and made "Foxy Knoxy" (as she had been nicknamed) a national obsession. Prosecutors called Knox "a she-devil, a diabolical person focused on sex, drugs and alcohol" and said she had killed Kercher as part of a drug-fueled sex game. Knox insisted she was innocent and said she had been beaten by police -- but she and Sollecito were convicted of murder and sexual violence on 4 December 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and ordered to pay Kercher's parents a million Euros each.  Amanda Knox continued to maintain her innocence, and in 2011 her appeal led to a stunning reversal: she was acquitted after an appeals jury said the 2009 guilty verdicts for Knox and Sollecito were not supported by evidence. She returned to Seattle and published a memoir, Waiting to be Heard, in 2013.

However, her case continued to work its way through the Italian legal system, and on 26 March 2013, Italy's highest appeals court ruled that her aquittal was flawed and ordered a fresh trial for Knox and Sollecito -- in essence, a repeat of her 2011 appeal trial -- to be held in an appeals court in Florence. That trial ended on 30 January 2014 with a guilty verdict for both Knox and Sollecito. Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months in prison, but (again) appealed the verdict. It is unclear if the United States would extradite her to Italy to serve the sentence if it is upheld.

Extra credit:

The "Foxy Knoxy" nickname was taken by the press from Amanda Knox's MySpace page; although Italian papers used it to mean sexy or devious, Knox's family said it referred to her quickness on the soccer field... Amanda Knox attended Seattle Prep, a Catholic high school... Amanda Knox behaved oddly when she was first interrogated by police; as The Daily Telegraph reported, "While Miss Kercher's other friends had been distraught and tearful, Knox appeared entirely detached and showed no signs of distress, even performing cartwheels and doing the splits while she was waiting to be questioned." Knox later said this was her way of relieving stress... During the initial investigation, Amanda Knox accused a local bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, of the crime; he was later cleared and then sued Knox for defamation. Knox said she had accused him only after police hit her and pressured her without letting her have a lawyer or translator... Meredith Kercher was a citizen of the UK and a student at the University of Leeds; her family was from Coulsdon, a suburb of London... Amanda Knox was played by Hayden Panettiere in the 2011 TV movie Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial in Italy.

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