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Amanda Knox was a household name in the early 2000s–– everyone knew who she was, and everyone knew that she may be a killer. 

At the time of her unfortunate fame, Knox was just a college student and, in what was supposed to be a fun, experiential semester abroad in Perugia, Italy, Knox became known as a convicted murderer across the world. 

Knox’s case is gaining traction yet again after the popular podcast, Call Her Daddy, released an hour and a half long episode interview. Although it has come under fire in the past, the podcast is known for its open discussion of sex and female pleasure. This is the first time its host, Alexandra Cooper, has interviewed someone known in the true-crime universe. 

In November 2007, Amanda Knox became the prime suspect in the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Knox lived in a house in Perugia with three other female roommates and after returning home from a night with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, Knox suspected something was wrong in the house after finding blood in the sink and feces in the toilet. Later, Kercher’s dead body was found locked in her room in what looked like a staged break-in. 

Knox quickly became the prime suspect in the case, under the belief that she forced Kercher into playing a disturbing sex game while on drugs. After a long, grueling night of interrogation where she was hit and badgered, Knox signed a confession that she was in another room of the house while her boss, Patrick Lumumba, killed Kercher, which was untrue. The police carried a narrative that Knox was the mastermind of the whole thing. 

Knox’s sexuality was a primary reason for her vilification. At 20-years-old, the fact that she slept with multiple people led others, particularly the police, to believe that she had a devious, disturbing sex addiction that led to her killing Meredith Kercher. 

The prosecutor in the case was open about his Catholic beliefs, which classified Knox as evil and sinful, making her believed to be guilty of murder. She became known as “Foxy Knoxy” by the media and much of the world now percieved Amanda Knox as a murderous sex addict. 

The lack of acceptance of female pleasure and sexuality caused many to believe that Amanda Knox was guilty. As a result of  the narrative driven by the media and law enforcement in Italy, the fact that Knox had sex, enjoyed sex and was not secretive about it made her untrustworthy. While her behavior following the murder was not typical, as she was not seen crying or in shambles, she was accused and convicted based on these behaviors and her sexuality. 

The lack of normalization of female pleasure in sex put Amanda Knox in prison for two years, and today she is still fighting to maintain her reputation as innocent. Had the case been decided on true evidence rather than speculation, opinions and sexism, Amanda Knox likely would not have taken the fall for a murder she did not commit. 

Meredith Kercher’s true killer, Rudy Guede, was convicted solely of the crime, and Italy paid Knox for damages after overturning her conviction. Still, she will never get back the years she spent in prison, the damage she endured through the seven years that the case went on for, her innocent reputation and a life before being known as an accused murderer. The condemnation of Amanda Knox’s sexuality took away much of her life, and she still has to pay for it today.

Sana Mamtaney (she/her) is a second-year student at American University studying journalism and political science. She loves writing about social justice issues and how they affect our daily lives. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching reality TV, and listening to Hozier and One Direction.
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