Amanda Knox concedes being ‘tone-deaf’ in days after roommate’s murder
By Eliott C. McLaughlin
(CNN) — Amanda Knox describes her strange actions after her roommate’s murder as the behavior of a “tone-deaf girl in a trauma” during a wide-ranging and at times tearful interview that aired Tuesday.
Knox, whose memoir, “Waiting to be Heard,” has been equally panned and applauded, said she also hopes to earn Meredith Kercher’s parents’ forgiveness and, one day, permission to visit her study-abroad roommate’s gravesite.
“My need for justice for myself is not in contradiction with theirs,” she said during the ABC interview. “[I hope] that eventually I can have their permission to pay respects.”
Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in the 2007 rape and slashing death of 21-year-old Kercher at Knox and Kercher’s apartment in Perugia, Italy. A jury overturned the conviction in 2011, and Knox flew home to Seattle.
An Italian appeals court overturned Knox’s acquittal earlier this year, but experts disagree over whether the U.S. State Department will extradite her to be retried.
Kercher’s parents have repeatedly said they simply want the truth surrounding their daughter’s death. They said after Knox’s exoneration that they were not yet ready to reach out to the now-25-year-old, who says she’d like to be re-evaluated as someone other than “Foxy Knoxy.”
Knox opens her memoir with her reaction to the Italian court’s verdict and sentencing during the 2009 trial.
“Over all the noise and confusion, I could hear my sister and mother sobbing. My legs couldn’t support me. The guards held me up by my armpits and carried me, crumpled, out of the courtroom. In the chaos of my shattered world, I never heard the judge sentence me: ‘Twenty-six years.’ Done. It was done,” she wrote.
During Tuesday’s interview with Diane Sawyer, Knox provided details of her reaction after the murder, a response that would be key to the prosecution painting her as a sex-mad killer with no emotions.
Knox explains how she was drawn to Sollecito because he reminded her of Harry Potter and how they stayed in smoking marijuana, having sex and watching “Amelie” the night Kercher was killed.
“We smoked. We had sex. We were together. We just hung out together. We made faces at each other. We were being silly and together,” Knox recalled. “I had smoked a joint with Raffaele, and what that did to my memories was it made them less concrete, but it didn’t black them out and it didn’t change them.”
When she got up the next morning, she went home to bathe because Sollecito had a “crummy shower.” When she got home, she ignored the open front door because the latch was sometimes broken. The “speckles of blood” in the sink? She just figured they were something Kercher had failed to clean up, or perhaps it was from her own newly pierced ears, she said.
“I had never before experienced anything in my life that was drastic. I didn’t think, ‘Oh my God, someone’s been in here and murdered someone,'” she said.
After Kercher’s murder, Knox was filmed smooching on Sollecito outside the murder scene. At the police station, Knox reportedly sat on Sollecito’s lap, making faces. She told Kercher’s friends she must have suffered.
“How could she not? She got her f***ing throat slit,” she reportedly said.
Knox told Sawyer that, at the time, she was thinking that under different circumstances it could have been her dead in the house. She felt lost, alone, vulnerable, she said.
“I wish I would’ve been more mature about it. … I think everyone’s reaction to something horrible is different,” she said. “My friend had been murdered, and it could have just as easily been me. Somehow she died in the house where we were living, and it could’ve been me.”
Reminded of some of the monikers applied to her by the ever-colorful Italian tabloids — “she-devil with an angel face,” “heartless manipulator,” “sphinx of Perugia” — she teared up.
“I haven’t heard those. I mean, I’ve heard the gist of them, and they’re wrong.”
She further said she doesn’t know anything about the case that she hasn’t shared with police or written in her memoir.
“I wasn’t there,” Knox told Sawyer, referring to the night of Kercher’s murder.
Knox’s book, for which she was reportedly given a $3.8 million advance, has drawn quite opposite reactions from readers. Reviews have ranged from complimentary, noting that the tales of police corruption and lesbian prison guards harassing her will make it a big seller, to indifference.
On Amazon, its dozens of reviewers were diametrically split, with only two reviewers as of Wednesday afternoon giving the book a rating other than one or five stars.
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Rome bureau chief for Newsweek and author of “Angel Face: Sex, Murder, and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox,” told CNN that Knox’s book demonstrates she has a “selective memory.”
“She really glossed over the night of the murder,” Nadeau said, explaining she read the book hoping to hear why Knox’s and Sollecito’s alibis were so incongruous and fluid.
Knox told Sawyer she’s much different from the girl who in 2009, as she explains in her memoir, “walked into the ancient Perugian courtroom, where centuries of verdicts had been handed down, praying that a tradition of justice would protect me now.”
“I’m not quite as chirpy anymore,” she said.
After viewing a video her sister made before she left for Perugia, in which fresh-faced Knox says with a playful grin how attractive she finds guys, Sawyer asked what she would tell the youngster on the tape.
“I want to tell her not to be afraid of what’s going to happen because what happened to me hit me like a train, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.”