The American serving 26 years for murder has access to a hairstylist and says the guards are supportive

By Suzanne Zuckerman
Updated December 13, 2009 04:50 PM
Credit: Iberpress/Caters News/ZUMA

In her first interview since being convicted on charges of masterminding the murder of her British housemate during a sex game gone awry – for which she was sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison – University of Washington student Amanda Knox has provided the world with a window into her everyday life – and her emotional reaction to the guilty verdict.

“I am scared because I don’t know what is going on,” the 22-year-old told reporters during a 10-minute visit inside the Capanne prison on the outskirts of Perugia, the Associated Press reports.

There, where she has spent the past 2 years, Knox is allowed to wear her own clothes and has a bathroom with a shower that she shares with a cell-mate, a 53-year-old American woman from New Orleans who is serving out a 4-year drug sentence.

Knox also has the option of seeing a hairstylist once a week and is free to watch television or play ping-pong for recreation. She is not allowed access to e-mail but can correspond with her college professors by writing letters.

“We are trying to work out how I can talk to them,” she said. “I miss stimulating conversations.”

In her darkest hour, Knox said she found support from an unexpected source – the unusually comforting prison guards.

After the Dec. 5 verdict that found her guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, who was found in her bedroom with her throat slit, Knox said, “I was feeling horrendous. The guards helped me out. They held me all night.” Her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, and a 20-year-old man from the Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, were also convicted in connection with the crime.

Knox’s family, along with Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, are holding out hope that she may be acquitted upon appeal – not necessarily a long-shot in the Italian justice system. In the meantime, Knox is left to cope with her imprisonment, saying in Italian: “I don’t understand many things, but I have to accept them, things that for me don’t always seem very fair.”