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All Posts, True Crime

Author Guest Post: Helen Saxton

The five ‘M’s which shaped the trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

In November 2007 the body of British student Meredith Kercher was discovered in her bedroom in Perugia, Italy. She had been brutally killed. Over the course of the next eight years one man, Rudy Guede, would be convicted of her murder and two other suspects, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, would be convicted, acquitted and convicted again for their part in the crime, before having their convictions overturned for the final time in 2015.

The case was, and continues to be, contentious; but why? Here we look at 5 of the main reasons behind the notoriety of the case.


The fact that this was a multinational case may not be contentious but it’s certainly part of the reason why it became so notorious worldwide. A British student from Croydon studying in Perugia, Italy, sharing a villa with a student from Seattle, US. An Italian boyfriend enters the scene, along with a murder suspect who had spent most of his life in Italy but was originally from Ivory Coast, and lastly appears an innocent man from Zaire falsely implicated in the murder. Not to mention brief appearances by an Albanian witness and a Moroccan who was briefly suspected but swiftly eliminated from the enquiry.

It’s little wonder that this case became famous across the world, not least because of its horrific nature but because of its crossing of borders. Certainly, tensions between Italy and the United States emerged, with insults being exchanged about the effectiveness of each other’s legal systems. Donald Trump even became involved, characteristically jumping in with both feet and suggesting that the then president, Barack Obama, should ‘boycott Italy’.


Or perhaps more importantly, lack of. Most people will agree that murder is senseless. Often, however, there is at least a clear motive behind the act, albeit unjustified; love, revenge and money being arguably the most prolific.

Rudy Guede has consistently protested his innocence in this murder despite his conviction, so there is very little chance indeed of him ever confessing and admitting to the motive behind this murder. One can only speculate about motives of a sexual or monetary nature but really, it remains as senseless now as it was in 2007.

While it’s not the prosecution’s duty to prove a motive, if able to present a clear and obvious one, it could of course be beneficial to their case. In this instance they seemingly succeeded during the first trial to convince the judge that Meredith had been murdered at the instigation of Amanda Knox during some sort of sex game gone wrong. However, this assertion seemed tenuous at best and ultimately the lack of proven motive did swing the outcome in Amanda and Raffaele’s favour. To this day nobody can say for sure why Meredith Kercher was murdered.

Murder Weapon

Again, more importantly, lack of. A key piece of evidence in the case was the alleged murder weapon; a kitchen knife found in Raffaele’s apartment and put forward by the prosecution as the knife with which Meredith was killed. DNA evidence seemed to initially prove this, with Amanda and Meredith’s DNA alleged to have been found on the handle and blade respectively.

Ultimately, however, the minute samples which many suggest could have arrived there as the result of contamination alongside the fact that its size and shape did not fit in with evidence found at the crime scene again played a huge part in Amanda and Raffaele’s ultimate release. This, however, doesn’t stop this contentious piece of evidence from being argued about to this day…

Message Forums

which brings us on to message forums, where the abovementioned arguments tend to take place, as well as on video broadcasts, podcasts, documentaries and websites. To this day, feelings run high with an apparently very rigid divide between those that think that Amanda Knox is the devil incarnate, or an innocent angel with very little middle ground. Arguments can and will go into the minutest of details and often end in mud-slinging arguments, but one thing is constant; it is Amanda who remains the most talked about character involved in this case.


So why is the focus on Amanda? It can be hard to argue that she was treated appallingly in the media, particularly (and unsurprisingly) by the British tabloid press. Delving into her sex life via her private diary, reveling in her nickname of Foxy Knoxy (which actually referred to her career as a soccer player), and using such derogatory and terms as ‘wild’, ‘raunchy’ and a ‘man-eater’ to describe her all contributed hugely to the image we have of Amanda Knox today. Put simply, Amanda was a young, attractive woman and Raffaele and Rudy were not. Therefore, they were simply not as interesting to the mob.

Ultimately this treatment succeeded in relegating everyone else involved in the case including, most depressingly of all, Meredith herself to bit players in the eyes of the media and the world.

Order your copy of Amanda Knox here.