The Amanda Knox documentary is still leaving viewers divided about the case, but if you believe in science, you can’t believe she is anything other than innocent.
The Netflix original features several key players in the investigation of the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, including Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who thinks he is a character in a John Grisham novel, British “journalist” (and I use that term very loosely) Nick Pisa, Knox and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito. All tell their version of events and their roles in shaping the narrative of the events surrounding Kercher’s murder.
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There’s a lot of information to be disturbed by in this film, beyond the bloody crime scene photos. Pisa smirks his way through his interviews, describing how his salacious articles slandering the characters of all involved hit the front page and it felt “better than sex.” There’s Mignini creating an entire sequence of events based on nothing but his unfounded ideas on how innocent — read: pure and virginal — females should behave. There is the outrageous behavior of the police, who lied to Sollecito and allegedly assaulted Knox to get false confessions out of them. There is the statement of Rudy Guede, who was convicted of murdering Kercher, affirming that Knox was not present at the murder scene.
But most importantly, there is the DNA — or, rather, the lack of it.
Much was made of the DNA evidence at the pair’s original trial. The prosecution stated that both Knox and Kercher’s DNA was found on what they deemed the murder weapon, a knife found in Sollecito’s home. Small traces of Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA were found in Kercher’s bedroom, where her body was located. It was enough to earn their initial convictions.
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But on appeal, DNA experts got involved. In the film, they explain how easy it is to transfer tiny amounts of DNA from skin cells and how, if a crime scene is not properly handled and labs are not following proper protocol, DNA evidence is very easily tainted. According to the experts, that is exactly what happened here. And finding no true DNA at the crime scene would have been nearly impossible given the extremely violent nature of the crime, especially considering how much DNA Guede left behind.
As the delegate Supreme Judge, Court adviser Gennaro Marasca, explained in Knox and Solecito’s final acquittal, the two could not have “materially participated in the homicide” as there were no “biological traces that could be attributed to them in the room of the murder or on the body of the victim, where in contrast numerous traces were found attributable to Guede.”
Knox and Sollecito were set free by science, which trumps circumstantial evidence and public opinion. It trumps false confessions and kisses at the crime scene and underwear shopping. It’s the only true evidence there is, and it all points to Guede acting alone.
Amanda Knox is now available on Netflix.
More: Amanda Knox: A timeline of murder
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
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