Knox in the box

I’m not sure what I think about the Amanda Knox affair. She didn’t come over well in the lead-up to the original trial, and all the ‘Foxy Knoxy’ stuff certainly blackened her name. Then, when she started dressing like a nun in the witness box, she seemed shamelessly manipulative. The trouble is that we still don’t know what to do with women who step out of line. We don’t like facing the notion that women, as well as men, are capable of horrific crimes. We are supposed to be the ones who nuture, the endlessly patient and kind Florence Nightingales who soothe others’ paths through life. We are not supposed to go mental with knives. Looking at Knox, you did get a sense, though, that all was not as it should be. Meanwhile, her murdered friend Meredith Kercher was, by all accounts, a nice girl from South London with a very supportive family.

Yet, despite all this, I’m as bad as anyone else – I can’t really bring myself to believe that she had a hand in her former flatmate’s death, and in so grisly a fashion.

To be really sure of what happened, I suppose I’d have to trawl through the details of the crime – and I can’t bring myself to do this. I remember a horrific number of wounds, some talk of black magic, and a bevy of suspicious visitors to the flat. What on earth were these girls up to? Whatever Amanda Knox may now be – it is four years since the murder and she has no doubt been changed hugely by the whole experience – it’s clear that the life she was living back then was Not Good. It really puts you off allowing your children to try living abroad. I’m not sure I’ll ever let mine go as far as Catford, at this rate – which is silly, as grislier things happen at home, as I know.

It’s also true that Italian justice comes out of this looking very bad. If the evidence, four years ago, was compelling enough to convict Knox and her boyfriend, how can it now be ‘unsafe’? All very strange. All very corrupt. And not a great ad for the European Union.

Now, worst of all, it looks as though Amanda Knox has gained a strange sort of heroine status. She is trending on Twitter, she is all over the news, there are Americans no doubt dancing in the streets and seeing the whole affair as some sort of US victory over Europe. There is talk of who will play her in the movie (it’s got to be Lindsay Lohan, in my view). I don’t wish her ill, not at all. It’s just that, whatever Hollywood A-lister signs up, however huge her inevitable book deal and no matter what rewards her notoriety heaps upon her, her poor friend Meredith Kercher is still dead.

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