So Amanda Knox's ordeal is over. Back home in Seattle, having been acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher (reportedly after lack of motive and fudged DNA gave rise to reasonable doubt), she must be reeling from it all. She said at a brief press conference, having landed on home soil, that she was "really overwhelmed".
But while Knox has her freedom (for now at least – Giuliano Mignini, the chief prosecutor, apparently intends to appeal to the high court) you have to wonder whether this young woman will ever truly be free.
As one of the most widely reported murder cases in history, the crime itself and the two trials that followed have been played out like a thrilling whodunnit. It has gripped the three nations involved, and the rest of the world, for four years.
Even as an innocent woman, which Italy's criminal justice system now says she is, it is going to be incredibly hard for 'Foxy Knoxy' (a moniker that has continued to be bandied about in the British press this week) to shake the notoriety she gained through the reporting of the case.
The allegations made against her were outrageous and sensational – and as such they made for bloody good reading. A TV film made about the trial, which aired in the US despite protestations from both women's families, made for good watching too. It has been amended since Monday's verdict, but only with explanatory additions at the beginning and end.
The trouble is, Knox's acquittal, and that of her ex boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, leave so many questions unanswered. Shortly before the jury's decision was announced, The Telegraph ran a piece entitled Guilty or Innocent, five reasons why. It made for compelling reading and perfectly summed up the divided opinion on Knox's involvement in the murder.
While there were jubilations in the US on the announcement of her sentence being overturned, outside the courtroom were hoards shaking their fists and baying for Knox's blood. Meredith Kercher's family have said they accept the decision but that they are "back to square one" and will fully support an appeal. Interestingly, the Kerchers' Italian lawyer has said he believes his clients' comparative lack of exposure by the media machine may have influenced the decision.
So what next for Amanda Knox? Apparently TV stations and book publishers are beating down her door for the rights to her story – but when the news comes she has signed, it'll make her few friends in the anti-Knox camp. The Daily Mail ran a somewhat unsympathetic headline on Tuesday morning: 'Weeping Foxy is freed to make a fortune' and, well, mud sticks. She will still be accused of fabricating and manipulating.
Undoubtedly Knox will tell her side of the story and I won't blame her for it. Multi-million dollar deals are unlikely to help her ever regain a sense of normality, though. Knox's father says the family wants to give her whatever she needs to help her get "re-associated with just being a regular person again." But until a day comes when the Kercher case is successfully and convincingly unravelled, until that family has peace, Knox will never be a regular person. And that too is a tragedy.
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