The Real Reason Amanda Knox Returned To Italy After Leaving Jail

In November 2007, an American college student studying abroad named Amanda Knox made international headlines when news broke that her British roommate had been brutally stabbed to death in the apartment they shared in Perugia, Italy. A little after noon on November 2, Knox reported London native Meredith Kercher had been found stabbed and wrapped in a blood-soaked duvet on her bedroom floor, according to Biography. It didn't take long for authorities to begin to suspect that Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were involved.

Police took Knox and Sollecito into custody, where they were questioned over several days. Although Knox initially told police she had spent the night at her boyfriend's apartment, Sollecito soon admitted that it was possible she had left after he fell asleep. Knox then changed her story, telling authorities that she had returned to her apartment late that night. She also speculated that her boss, Patrick Lumbumba, had been involved in Kercher's stabbing. It was soon proved that Lumbumba had been seen serving drinks at a pub all night, but Knox and Sollecito were arrested on November 6, 2007.

Knox's arrest and trial was a media sensation

The media was soon whipped into a frenzy over the salacious news that a pretty, young American college student had been arrested for murder in a foreign country. The story was further complicated when DNA evidence indicted a third person named Rudy Guede had been present at the crime scene. Although he denied any involvement, Guede was arrested and tried for Kercher's murder. In October 2008, he was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Per Biography, Guede had stated that neither Knox nor Sollecito had anything to do with the murder. Regardless, in January 2009, Knox and Sollecito went on trial together, where the prosecution tried to paint a picture of Knox as a drug abuser capable of manipulating her boyfriend into murder. Predictably outrageous headlines followed, with some in the media even nicknaming her "Foxy Knoxy" and speculating that Kercher's murder may have even been part of the couple's strange sex rituals, according to Today.

Knox's conviction was overturned twice

After almost a full year of the trial, both Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of murder in December 2009, according to CNN. Knox received a 26-year sentence, but that was only the beginning of a series of appeals and acquittals. Knox publicly alleged that Italian police had intimidated and physically assaulted her, and appealed her sentence in November 2010. In October 2011, Knox's conviction was overturned, and she finally flew home to America.

However, her ordeal was still far from over. In March 2013, Knox's acquittal was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court. Although she was ordered to stand trial, Knox refused to return to Italy for any part of the new trial, which began in September 2013 and ended in early February 2014 with another guilty verdict. Knox was sentenced to 28.5 years behind bars, a sentence that was overturned yet again in March 2015 by the Supreme Court of Italy. Knox never set foot in Italy over the entire second trial, only saying she was "tremendously relieved and grateful" when the Supreme Court finally decided to overturn the 2014 conviction and close the case for good, via Biography.

Knox wanted to return to Italy

However, after receiving an acquittal, Knox felt a little differently about returning to the country that had imprisoned her for so long. In 2018, she told Today journalist Megyn Kelly that she wanted to return to Italy for one important reason: to see the prison chaplain she credits with saving her life while she was behind bars.

"I actually want to go back to Italy. My mom thinks I'm crazy, but there's one person I still need to see, especially before he passes. I'm not a religious person, but my best friend throughout this process was the prison chaplain. He was my best friend in there," she explained, adding that she had struggled with thoughts of suicide while in the Italian prison. However, Rev. Saulo Scarabattoli, the prison chaplain at Capanne Prison where Knox was held, helped her get through the ordeal. "He was there for me when my family couldn't be because they couldn't go into the prison with me. He was there on that last day, holding my hand and saying, 'You've aged 40 years in four (years).' I need to see him again," Knox said (via Today).