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Amanda Knox: 'They wanted to see evil in me'

Amanda Knox is emphatic that the investigators created an outlandish theory for how Meredith Kercher was killed and chose to interpret Knox's behavior through that tainted lens.

Originally published October 24, 2013

Amanda Knox published a 460-page book earlier this year, sat for multiple media interviews and spoke for herself during two criminal trials in Italy. Still, Knox says she feels she has not been able to tell her full story.

In part, she blames the fact that she's once again on trial in Italy for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

"It's very frustrating, I did not believe that I would be going through this again. ... At the same time, I shouldn't have gone through any of it," Knox said.

Kercher was found with her throat slit in the cottage she shared with Knox and two other women in the city of Perugia. From the day after the murder, prosecutors focused on Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

To the Italian investigators, Knox's behavior was odd and incriminating in the hours after Kercher's body was found. Knox and Sollecito were seen kissing and hugging just outside the house where investigators were studying Kercher's body for clues. Knox reportedly giggled and did the splits while waiting at the police station to be interviewed.

Nothing was bizarre about her behavior, Knox said.

"Me stretching or me being upset about the idea that she had her throat slit or me being kissed by Raffaele. These are little things, these are not signs of a psychotic personality. They're not signs of guilt," said Knox.

Knox is emphatic that the investigators created an outlandish theory for how Kercher was killed and chose to interpret Knox's behavior through that tainted lens.

"I was doing the best I could, and they wanted to see evil in me and that is simply it," she said.

To make her point, Knox points to investigators' reaction after DNA belonging to another man -- Rudy Guede -- was found on Kercher's body and in the house. Police refused to believe Guede acted alone, so they alleged that Guede was lured to the house by Knox along with Sollecito for a drug-fueled sex game.

"It doesn't make sense," Knox said. "It's impossible for me to have participated in a[n] orgy where I would be the one who stabbed my own friend to death. It's impossible. There's no trace of me in the room [where Kercher's body was found], so how would I have done that?"

But what about Knox's changing version of events? After telling investigators she had spent the night at Sollecito's apartment, she later confessed to being present during Kercher's murder.

As Knox has said many times before, her so-called confession came after days of questioning, at times hostile in form.

"I was hit twice in the back of the head," said Knox. "I'd never even been spanked before by my mom, and so to be smacked by someone, especially when people are yelling at me and calling me a liar. I was scared out of my life."

The confessions helped convict Knox and Sollecito in 2009, but the appeals court that acquitted the two in 2011 dismissed those confessions as unreliable.

"The first court took it and they ran with it," Knox said, "and to them a confession was a confession was a confession. And that is not the case. When you berate someone and push them and confuse them and lie to them and convince them they're wrong, you're not finding the truth."

On trial now for a third time, Knox finds herself having to explain why she did not return to Italy to speak in her own defense.

"I wonder if people put themselves in my shoes if they wouldn't do the exact same thing and stay away from the place that had imprisoned them for four years and taken away four years of their life wrongfully," Knox said.

The Florence appeals court is taking another look at the knife that prosecutors allege to be the murder weapon. The Perugia court that acquitted Knox in 2011 found the DNA testing of the knife to be flawed and inconclusive.

Investigators found the knife in Sollecito's kitchen. When they tested it, they found Knox's DNA on it. Knox said that was no surprise since she used it to cook there.

In the current trial, the Florence court ordered tests on a trace bit of knife evidence that had never been tested before. According to Knox's lawyers, the tests recently came back in her favor because the DNA does not belong to Kercher -- further proof that the knife is not the murder weapon. The forensic findings will be officially presented on November 6.

"I think that I will be acquitted," Knox said of the third trial. "I think the [Italian] supreme court will uphold that acquittal and it will be done."

If she's wrong and the Italian judicial system ultimately upholds the original conviction, Knox said she hopes the U.S. government would fight any extradition attempt.

All Knox can do now is wait and watch as the case continues to play out. She's taking a full load of classes at the University of Washington with plans to graduate in 2014.

By then, she hopes she can add a final chapter to her memoir.

"Right now, I'm still working through my experience, and I'm still writing about it," Knox said.

"There's more to my life than this murder trial, and I'm so grateful to have that back. I am not about to waste my life, when I've spent so much time trying to reclaim it."

Meantime, Rudy Guede remains in prison. In 2008, he was convicted of the murder and sexual assault of Meredith Kercher and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He appealed and in December 2009 his sentence was reduced to 16 years. Prosecutors and Guede continue to insist that the evidence shows Guede did not act alone.

Watch parts 1 and 2 of the Knox interview:

'This is where I feel safe' (Oct. 22, 2013)

Just another UW student? (Oct. 23, 2013)

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