Amanda Knox: Student Killer's Strange Behavior
In the days after Meredith Kercher’s death, Amanda Knox was strangely unaffected and unemotional. Join Barbie Latza Nadeau for a live chat about Angel Face today April 7 at 1 p.m. on The Daily Beast. Can’t make it? Send questions for the author to [email protected]
The following excerpt describes Amanda Knox’s behavior and actions in the days after Meredith Kercher’s body was discovered and before she and Raffaele were arrested.
Amanda woke up in Raffaele’s bed on the corso Garibaldi, about a 10-minute walk from via della Pergola, around 11 a.m. They had breakfast, had sex, and then, around midday, went out to the newsstand by the basketball courts and scanned the headlines. At 5 p.m., Meredith’s friends began gathering in Piazza IV Novembre on the steps of the duomo for a memorial. A giant color poster of her smiling face had been erected, and red votive candles glowed on the church steps, lighting the late afternoon sky. Amanda and Raffaele did not go to the vigil. Instead, they waited until it was over before visiting a boutique near the duomo to buy underwear for Amanda. Her apartment had been secured as crime scene, and except for the few things she was able to grab on the way out, she had only the clothes on her back. But instead of somberly going in to buy the items she needed, she is shown on closed-circuit TV footage kissing Raffaele and laughing with him as they hold up various G-strings. In one still shot taken from the footage, Raffaele is standing behind Amanda with his hands on her hips and his groin pressed into her. A few days after their arrest, the store owner, Carlo Maria Scotto di Rinaldi, remembered their odd behavior and turned over the tape. “They came into the shop at about 7 p.m. and were there for about 20 minutes,” he later testified in court. “She bought a camisole and G-string. I heard her tell him that ‘Afterwards I’m going to take you home and put this on so we can have wild sex together.’”
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• Angel Face excerpt: How the Media Got Knox WrongOver the next few days, Amanda was preoccupied with finding a new place to live. Her mother’s cousin, Dorothy Craft Najir, urged Amanda to come to her house in Hamburg until things settled down. Amanda refused. Later, the court would hear that she wanted to stay and help the investigators. In fact, she could not have left Perugia without raising an alarm. Detectives were watching her every move. Instead, Amanda repeatedly called Filomena and Laura to ask if they could live together again and to inquire after a refund for the rent and deposit she had paid. The two Italian roommates were perplexed by her behavior, as was Meredith’s new boyfriend, Giacomo Silenzi, who had been out of town when Meredith was murdered. The police were questioning all of Meredith’s friends, calling them to the station in groups to iron out certain elements of the crime. On November 2, Amanda was already at the police station when Giacomo arrived by train from his parents’ house in the Marche. “I could not help thinking how calm and cool Amanda was,” he told investigators. “Meredith’s other friends were devastated, and I was upset, but Amanda was completely emotionless. Her eyes didn’t seem to show any sadness, and I remember wondering if she had been involved.”
Giacomo then talked with Meredith’s British friends, who all agreed that Amanda was oddly detached from this violent murder. One by one, they told the police that Amanda’s behavior was suspicious. In fact, Meredith’s friend Amy Frost was deeply offended by Amanda’s conduct when they were together at the police station on the day of the murder, waiting be questioned. “Amanda put her feet up on Raffaele’s legs and made faces at him,” she later told the court. “Everyone cried except Amanda and Raffaele. They were kissing each other.” Another of Meredith’s friends, Natalie Hayward, remarked to the small group of grieving friends at the station that she hoped Meredith hadn’t suffered much, to which Amanda replied, “What do you fucking think? She fucking bled to death.”
Amanda also told both Amy and Meredith’s friend Robyn Butterworth that she had seen Meredith’s body inside the closet and covered with her duvet. Amanda “kept talking about how she had found Meredith,” Robyn recalled. “She sounded proud that she had been the first to find her.” Robyn soon quit speaking to Amanda. Meredith’s friends validated what the police were already thinking. They had also been observing the young American’s curious behavior. She was, to them, so detached from the situation around her that they wondered, at times, if she was perhaps psychologically disturbed or in shock from the murder. They decided to tap her and Raffaele’s phones and heard Amanda say on November 4, just three days after the murder, “I can’t take it anymore.”
On November 4, Amanda was called back to the police station.
Barbie Latza Nadeau, author of the Beast Book Angel Face, about Amanda Knox, has reported from Italy for Newsweek since 1997. She also writes for CNN Traveller, Budget Travel Magazine and Frommer's.