Amanda Knox, Four Years After Acquittal: Her Life Today
1. MURDER ABROAD
On Nov. 1, 2007, Meredith Kercher (far right), a student from England, is found dead in the Perugia, Italy, home she shares with American student Amanda Knox. Five days later, Knox and her boyfriend, Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, are arrested for Kercher's murder; prosecutors paint them as partiers who killed the woman in a sadistic sex game gone awry.
2. SERIOUS SENTENCE
Two years later, following a high-profile 11-month trial, Knox and Sollecito are convicted in Kercher's murder, despite mishandled DNA evidence and the sentencing of Rudy Guede, a drifter who was convicted of Kercher's murder in a separate 2008 trial. Knox is sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito, 25; however, after an appeal, both are freed and cleared of most charges in October 2011.
3. FREE AT LAST
Four years after her arrest, Knox returns home to American soil, where she attempts to lay low while rejoining society. She enjoys quiet dinners with friends and family and even reportedly has a romance with old friend James Terrano (right). In 2013, she releases a memoir about her legal ordeal, entitled Waiting to Be Heard, for which she reportedly received $4 million -- most of which she used to pay back her legal fees and loans, she explained to a PEOPLE reporter in 2017.
4. NOT SO FAST
On March 25, 2013, it's announced that the Italian Supreme Court is ruling on the possibility of a retrial for Knox and Sollecito, at the urging of prosecutors. The next day, Italy's Court of Cassation throws out the former couple's acquittals and announces a retrial, to be held in Florence, in 2014. Knox, however, wouldn't have to attend, as Italian courts don't require the defendant to be present.
5. STATEMENT OF SADNESS
"Pained" by the news, Knox releases a statement, saying, "The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele's sake, my sake, and most especially for the sake of Meredith's family." She adds that she and her family would "face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity."
6. GUILTY ONCE MORE
The second appeals trial concludes in January 2014, and Knox is once again found guilty of murdering Kercher, and sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, while Sollecito is sentenced to 25. The court explained that it re-convicted the pair partially because the nature of Kercher’s wounds indicated that Guede (who is still in prison serving a reduced 16-year sentence), could not have acted alone. In an interview after the verdict, Knox tells Good Morning America that she "would never return to Italy" and thus never serve out her second sentence.
However, in March 2015, Italy's highest appeals court surprisingly overturns the second conviction, once again exonerating Knox and Sollecito of the charges — this time for good. The court finds the police and prosecutors in the case showed "stunning weakness," ruling, "There was no shortage of glaring errors in the underlying fabric of the sentence in question." Knox released a statement following the decision thanking the Supreme Court for their decision: "The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me."
8. LIVING IN PUBLIC
After being exonerated for the second time, Knox becomes involved with the Innocence Project and other legal efforts on behalf of exonerated prisoners and the wrongfully accused. "The victims of wrongful conviction are deserving of justice and help. The dedicated persons involved in Innocence Projects throughout the United States, and now throughout the world, provide the necessary resources for those wrongfully convicted to be set free," she writes in a 2015 op-ed for CNN. In 2017, she makes her Instagram public, revealing to followers two years worth of her day-to-day life in Seattle with boyfriend Christopher Robinson, and plenty of cat videos.
9. HER LIFE TODAY
In November 2018, Knox and her longtime boyfriend Christopher Robinson get engaged. Knox continues to build a career as a writer, and in 2018 she launches a web series called The Scarlet Letter Reports, on which she interviews high-profile women who are victims of harassment, exploitation, and public shaming. She also launches a podcast called The Truth About True Crime.
In March 2019, Knox appears at the Death Becomes Us true crime festival in New York, where, during a panel discussion, she mentions her hope to return to Italy one day. This is a sentiment she previously shared in a 2017 interview with PEOPLE, in which she explained, “Perugia is probably the least welcome place for me in the entire world. And that’s scary … But the only way that I’m going to come full circle is by physically, literally, coming full circle.”