Amanda Know: A Netflix Documentary

Courtesy of DailyMail

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Courtesy of DailyMail

Sarah B. '17

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Over 300,000 American college students participate in study abroad programs each year, but only one has been convicted of murdering her roommate while doing so.

Amanda Knox, a 20-year-old student at the University of Washington, traveled to Perugia, Italy for a semester to further her studies in linguistics. On November 1, 2007, a few months into the program, one of Knox’s roommates, Amanda Kercher, was found dead in her room. The police determined that Kercher was sexually assaulted and stabbed numerous times.

While the case made international news when it first arose in 2007, Netflix’s release of a documentary that captures Knox’s point of view brings the story back into the limelight.

Simply titled “Amanda Knox,” the documentary captures just that: Knox’s life leading up to the murder and her current life post-conviction.

Filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn first began working on the film in 2011, but it was two years before Knox first agreed to an interview.

The documentary offers an unbiased view by portraying two sides to the story. As well as capturing emotional footage of Knox and her point of view, Giuliano Mignini, the lead prosecutor in the case, shares his side of the story. This ultimately allows watchers to decide for themselves whether or not they believe she is innocent.
Although the documentary takes an impartial stance, the verdict of Knox’s innocence is highly controversial among Ursuline staff and students.

Some judge her character and the situation itself, believing that her innocence is far from possible.
“I think she is guilty: there is too much coincidence,” said Mr. Schneider.

Mary Young ’17 believes that her “lack” of human emotions speaks for itself.

“Amanda Knox is a psychopath who easily could’ve committed the crime. On camera, she comes off as an emotionless robot who does not have any sympathy.”

In contrast, a large number of students trust that Knox speaks the truth.

“Knox was a typical college girl who got mixed up in a very bad situation. The police targeted her because she was easy, not because evidence pointed to her. Even the Italian police said all evidence was contaminated,” said Lauren Gonzales ’17.

“Amanda Knox seemed so honest in the documentary footage,” said Leila Karna ‘17. “Maybe she is an unbelievably good liar, but I think that a guilty person would not try to call attention to the case all these years later. She’s trying to clear her name for a crime she had no participation in.”

Knox was first suspected guilty in 2007, when she and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito called police to her house after finding suspicious blood and a locked door.

Three days later, on November 5, 2007, Knox and Sollecito were called in for questioning. While detained, Knox confessed to being present at Kercher’s death, but claimed it was her boss Patrick Lumumba who committed the actual act. In the documentary, Knox says that this so-called false confession was due to hours of questioning and police brutality. Almost two weeks later, Lumumba was released from prison due to the accuracy of his alibi.

Police then questioned Rudy Guede, Kercher and Knox’s neighbor, after finding Guede’s DNA on Kercher. Guede admitted that he was in the bathroom at the time of the murder, but that it was not him.

On July 11, 2008, Guede, Knox and Sollecito were all charged with murder and their trails began. Guede was sentenced to 30 years in jail on a speedy trial, while Knox and Sollecito were indicted on December 4, 2009. Knox received 26 years in jail and Sollecito received 25.

After two appeals, Knox and Sollecito were finally exonerated in 2015.

Although Knox is legally free, the documentary shows her current life in Seattle as an endless challenge. With people constantly commenting on her connection to the case, Knox claims she can never escape.
With praiseworthy reviews, “Amanda Knox” is a highly entertaining must-watch. The Netflix documentary is sure to make an impact on whether or not one believes she is innocent or guilty, but no one will ever know the exact truth.

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