Since her return to Seattle two years ago, Amanda Knox has slowly regained her life as a U-dub student. Her hopes and dreams for a normal life, six years after her Italian nightmare began. Part Two of Amanda Knox: Her Life Now.
For many college kids, standing out in the crowd is something to strive for -- to be a star athlete, a student government leader, or even the host of the craziest parties. But after four years in a jail in Italy, Amanda Knox would be just fine if she could blend into the crowd at the University of Washington -- and so far, she tells KING 5's Linda Byron, her fellow students and instructors are just fine with that.
Amanda Knox walks on a path at the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
"I don't look at people and think, 'You're going to be mean to me.' In fact, most people are very nice," Knox said of what it's like to be back on campus. "I'm not hiding who I am. I'm not running around in a disguise."
Still, Knox admits that people in the UW community are understandably curious about a fellow student who was convicted of killing her roommate in Italy, then acquitted on appeal. She said she's not afraid to engage when asked: "I am really open about who I am and what I've been through. I'm a creative writing student and what do I write about? I write about what I know and that's this experience."
Knox walking near the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Here, she's a student worrying about a math mid-term. In Italy, she's on trial for murder...for the third time. The conclusion to Linda Byron's exclusive talk with Amanda Knox. Part 3 of Amanda Knox: Her Life Now.
Amanda Knox published a 460-page book earlier this year, sat for multiple media interviews and spoke for herself during two criminal trials in Italy. Still, Knox tells KING 5's Linda Byron she feels she has not been able to tell her full story.
In part, she blames the fact that she's once again on trial in Italy for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. "It's very frustrating, I did not believe that I would be going through this again. ... At the same time, I shouldn't have gone through any of it," Knox said.
Knox is emphatic that the investigators created an outlandish theory for how Kercher was killed and chose to interpret Knox's behavior through that tainted lens. "I was doing the best I could, and they wanted to see evil in me and that is simply it," she said.
To make her point, Knox points to investigators' reaction after DNA belonging to another man -- Rudy Guede -- was found on Kercher's body and in the house. Police refused to believe Guede acted alone, so they alleged that Guede was lured to the house by Knox along with Sollecito for a drug-fueled sex game.
"It doesn't make sense," Knox said. "It's impossible for me to have participated in a[n] orgy where I would be the one who stabbed my own friend to death. It's impossible -- there's no trace of me in the room [where Kercher's body was found], so how would I have done that?"
An obscure child custody case in Perugia, Italy has revealed what prosecutors allege was a rogue group of four detectives in the town's elite homicide squad. Three of the detectives currently under investigation worked on the Meredith Kercher homicide in 2007 - and may shed light on how the murder squad bungled the interrogation of Amanda Knox in November 2007.
The lawyer is Vittorio Recolcati. The woman who had her car tires slashed is Francesca Ciammarughi, a psychologist. Perugia prosecutors say Recolcati and Ciammarughi have one, key, person in common: Monica Napoleoni. Monica Napoleoni is a deputy commissioner in the Perugia police department and was, until recently, chief of the murder squad. Italian newspapers have referred to her as "super-cop." She stands out in a crowd.
In February 2013, a judge suspended Zugarini from the police department for two months because of her misuse of the police computer system. She, Napoleoni and two other murder squad detectives remain under investigation for abuse of power, though a judge has said it is not inconceivable that Zugarini could have "operated on her own initiative" - in other words, went rogue.
Have there been other times when murder squad detectives operated on their "own initiative" and violated a person's right? Say, for example, in the Meredith Kercher murder case? In that case, which detective decided not to have an audio tape recording of Amanda Knox's interrogation, even though it was otherwise standard procedure? Which detective determined Amanda Knox was not a homicide "suspect" until police got an incriminating statement from her? Zugarini has said she offered Knox a "French pastry," but did not mention a lawyer, even though it was Knox's right to have one.
Amanda Knox's legal defense got a boost Thursday when forensic tests on a knife that Italian prosecutors claim was used to kill roommate Meredith Kercher ruled out that Kercher's DNA could be in the spot that was newly tested.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito pictured outside the rented house in Perugia, Italy on November 2, 2007, the day after British student Meredith Kercher was murdered
The latest tests check a minute spot -- called a trace -- on the knife where the handle meets the blade, but prosecutors are expected to argue that another trace on the knife which was previously tested indicate the presence of Kercher's DNA. The next hearing in the trial is scheduled for Nov. 6 when the forensic police experts will report on their findings. Their written conclusions were filed in the Florence court today. Italian news agency ANSA is reporting that the tests found the "presence of a extremely small quantity of genetic matter which could derive from one or more female profiles."
Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, said: 'These results once again underline the distance between my client and the murder of Meredith Kercher. This shows that the court was right to dismiss this evidence when the pair were cleared of murder in 2011. 'It once again underlines that this knife is not the murder weapon and the investigators have worked well in difficult circumstances as the amount of DNA on the knife is very, very small.' Sollecito's lawyer, Luca Maori, said: 'This proves that all Amanda Knox did with that knife is pull it from a drawer in my client's kitchen and simply use it for cooking. There is no trace of Meredith on that knife as we clearly proved at the second hearing.'
A third person, 24-year-old African immigrant Rudy Guede is serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted in a fast-track trial for taking part in Kercher’s killing.
In earlier leaked reports, the test had previously determined that Knox's DNA was likely in the trace. But according to the forensic experts comparative tests "led to the exclusion of the presence of any genetic matter belonging to Meredith Kercher...on the DNA trace being tested." The knife was retrieved from Sollecito's kitchen where the couple had originally said it was used for cooking purposes. The new appeals judge had ordered forensic experts to re-test DNA on the knife and had asked the experts to evaluate if it were possible to test the DNA to determine the validity of an initial finding stating there were traces of Meredith's, since a second set of forensic experts said the first set of tests had been incorrect in identifying Kircher's DNA since the strains found were not sufficient to be tested.
With issues like immigration reform and the budget looming, Congress is turning its attention to a completely different subject: Amanda Knox. On Thursday two Washington State Democrats — Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Adam Smith — are hosting a panel discussion about the third trial of Knox, who served jail time in Italy for murder before her sentence was overturned.