Waiting To Be Heard
Harper Torch Trade Paperback
Most people in the United States and Great Britain have probably heard of Amanda Knox, and strong opinions fall on every point of the spectrum.
In November 2007, a college student from Great Britain, Meredith Kercher, was murdered in Perugia, Italy. The crime was committed in a home she shared with others, including an American, Amanda Knox. Ms. Kercher’s future was taken away from her, and we should always show respect for her memory when discussing this topic.
One way to show respect for a murder victim is to seek the truth. Where this particular tragedy is concerned, we’ve seen how complicated that is. Whether it’s an ambitious or inept police investigation, personal bias or the general public’s morbid interest, anyone may be shut off from reality.
Ms. Knox — nicknamed Foxy Knoxy by people who sensationalized the horror — has written an excellent memoir which shows respect for everyone who deserves it, including Meredith Kercher. She also engages in introspection by admitting her own frailty and exploring how trauma and pressure from investigators influenced her actions. It’s a balanced account from an honest person. She offers details of how her own boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also implicated and went through nearly identical hell.
One person’s conviction in this unspeakable crime is more plausible. A drug dealer, Rudy Guede, is now believed to have acted alone in killing Meredith Kercher.
Issued in hardcover in 2013, Ms. Knox’s story wasn’t a blockbuster bestseller. It got attention, though, and many people who read it gained a better understanding of a complicated misfortune.
I hoped to see a paperback edition of this book in stores within one year after the hardcover, but that didn’t happen. Although Amanda Knox was released from prison after being tried twice (convicted the first time, acquitted the second), her legal issues in that country continued. She returned to her home in the Pacific Northwest, and wrote about the ordeal while prosecutors in Italy worked to put her and Mr. Sollecito on trial again.
Amanda Knox did not return to Italy to resume the media circus, but it continued without her because the laws in that country allow defendants to be tried in absentia.
It appears the criminal case was resolved permanently earlier this year. Even the Italian Government admits everything was handled wrong, and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are now officially exonerated.
Shortly after Ms. Knox was exonerated, the paperback edition of Waiting To Be Heard was released. I haven’t had a chance to read the author’s new afterword, but can attest to the fact that it comes from someone who makes the right observations. A person who is also very strong, and worthy of our admiration.