Amanda Knox

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True Crime Week, Theme Week

There are few ordinary Americans who have managed to incite international captivation quite like Amanda Knox.

Once just a regular college student bound for studies abroad in Italy, the then-20-year-old would soon amass global notoriety as a central suspect of her roommate's murder.

Meredith Kercher, a British college student, was discovered with her throat slashed in the four-bedroom apartment she shared with three women, including Knox, in Perugia. 

At the time of Kercher's death, Knox was involved in a whirlwind romance with Raffaele Sollecito, a computer engineering student and native Italian whom she met at a classical music concert she attended with Kercher.

Meredith Kercher

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Together, Knox and her new beau immediately became the suspected murderers, though they initially testified that they had been at Sollecito's apartment on the night in question. As legal events unfolded, the beautiful American garnered a seemingly endless supply of international attention as the media depicted controversial variations of her character, many claiming she had been a seductress or "sex-crazed."

The pair was subsequently convicted and sentenced to prison—26 years for Knox, 25 years for Sollecito. Rudy Guede, an acquaintance the women had met through the men living in the apartment below them, was also sentenced to prison for murder and sexual assault after his DNA was found around the crime scene. His sentence was ultimately reduced to 16 years. 

Amanda Knox, Rafaelle Sollecito

The case became even more convoluted when an appellate court found Knox and her beau not guilty. In 2013, Italy's highest court sent the case for retrial and found them guilty again a year later. On final appeal, the two were ultimately exonerated of the charges in 2015. We'll give you a minute to digest that.

While there are seemingly endless details involved in the complex and highly scrutinized case spanning nearly a decade, an upcoming documentary by Netflix called Amanda Knox out now has piqued renewed interest in the series of events once again. 

"If I'm guilty, it means that I am the ultimate figure to fear because I'm not the obvious one," Knox says before a camera in the project's chilling trailer. "Either I'm a psychopath in sheep's clothing or I am you."

"I think im trying to explain what it feels like to be wrongfully convicted—to either be this terrible monster to be just a regular person who is vulnerable," she told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts. "What I'm trying to convey is that a regular person like me, just a kid who was studying abroad who loved languages, could be caught up in this nightmare where they're portrayed as something that they're not."

As many prepare to cozy up on the couch and watch the highly anticipated project, allow us to refresh your memory with a few potentially forgotten facts.

Rudy Guede

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"Foxy Knoxy" was originally an adolescent nickname.

The taunting moniker that would come to follow her in tabloid headlines was born as a childhood nickname referencing how she played soccer—like a fox. 

Nov. 1 was an Italian holiday.

The day of Kercher's murder was Festa di Tutti i Santi, an Italian public holiday in honor of the saints. Knox's two Italian roommates and the male residents of the apartment below them had not been home due to the special occasion.

Amanda Knox

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Amanda claimed she and Raffaele spent the night of the murder at his place.

On the night in question, Knox told police and later wrote in her memoir that the couple had been at Raffaele's apartment the night Kercher was killed, where they smoked weed, watched Amélie, had sex and turned off their cell phones after Knox's boss told her he didn't need her to work that night. 

While one witness, a homeless man, would later claim to have seen them in a square arguing, that witness was later discredited for self-admittedly being high on heroin that night. Sollecito had also told police that he had not been with Knox the entire night, but rather had gone into town for a few hours together, separated and then reunited at his apartment when she got there around 1 a.m. However, both later blamed inconsistencies in their accounts on having smoked weed earlier in the night and having hazy memories. 

According to Knox, after days of high-pressure interviews with authorities, she told the police she had been at the apartment and seen her boss, Patrick Lumumba, kill Kercher. Lumumba owned a Perugian bar where she worked part-time. However, many patrons placed him at the bar that night and Guede's DNA was discovered at the scene of the crime, leading to Lumumba's ultimate release. 

Amanda Knox

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An unflushed toilet turned out to be a strange clue. 

After returning to her apartment to shower the next morning, Knox was drying her hair in the apartment's second bathroom when she noticed the toilet was filled with feces. Since her roommates had all left for the holiday weekend, she suspected someone had broken in.

Guede, who said he had visited Kercher that night, claimed he had eaten a kebab that didn't agree with him and was using the bathroom when he heard Kercher scream while listening to music on his headphones. 

One of the men living in the apartment below also testified that on a different night, Guede had not flushed the toilet after using their bathroom. 

Prison guards told her she had HIV.

Once serving time in jail, prison authorities told Knox that her blood sample had tested positive for HIV. In her cell, she wrote a list of the men she had sex with and the list was subsequently leaked to the Italian press. Knox was later told she did not actually have HIV. 

Knox had been dating Sollecito for just a week before the murder.

 While they may be forever tied to each other in the annals of history, the two former lovers had only been officially dating seven days when their lives were dramatically changed. 

"I no longer want to be known as 'Amanda Knox's former Italian boyfriend.' I want to be known for something else than being connected by the prosecutors to a gruesome murder in which I had no part," Sollecito told People after his acquittal in 2015. "I prefer to be known as Raffaele Sollecito, the guy who faced all of this and came through at the other end."

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