Everything you need to know about Netflix’s Amanda Knox
Making A Murderer was the word-of-mouth hit of last Winter – and if you didn’t see it, what you talk about with your colleagues? Your families?
Anyway, it’s time to get ready for a new true-crime watercooler sensation – and this time, Netflix is bringing you a miscarriage of justice that’s so jaw-dropping that there are still plenty of keyboard barristers convinced the subject did it. You already know her name – but do you know full story?
After she was implicated in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy, a blew up around Knox. Kercher’s family remained studiously private, so the world’s press descended on Knox, and picked her apart in a free-for-all that was all but unprecedented – and her subsequent exoneration still, in the eyes of many, leaves a lot of doubt over whether or not she did it.
This is the rich territory Netflix has staked out for its new documentary tentpole – here’s the trailer to get you fully teed up:
And here’s everything else you need to know.
The media gets a lot of flack
The Kercher case came along in 2007, when the relentless demands of online news were just beginning to make their impact felt – namely, a bottomless thirst for ‘content,’ regardless of accuracy. Journalists covering murder cases can be notoriously ghoulish, but Nick Pisa – who covered the case for The Daily Mail – gleefully hangs himself with the rope the filmmakers hand him. Knox’s personal life became tabloid fodder (more on that later), but a slightly odd girl mutated in the press’s eyes in a crazed murderer. Pisa cheerily admits he seldom checked anything, and says of his work “gruesome murder”: “What more do you want in a story?” Yeah, he really says that.
There’s a lot of sexism
Did you know that Italy isn’t the more progressive of societies when it comes to gender? Well, if you didn’t already, Amanda Knox will drive it home with piledriver force. Some of the stuff that prosecutor Giuliano Mignini comes out with sounds like it’s been beamed from a particularly retrograde corner of the 1950s – for example, suggesting that Kercher’s body being covered with a blanket was evidence against Knox, as only a woman would have thought of that.
More than just some aging Italian civil servant, though, the Knox case revealed a double-standard endemic around the world. The papers published ever more salacious details about Knox’s life – some true, a lot made up, and all exaggerated and distorted. The ‘Foxy Knoxy’ nickname was found on her MySpace profile – 2007, everybody! – and came about because she was good at football. In the media’s eyes, however, it became the keystone to all kinds of edgy behaviour.
[Adapted from ShortList UK]