Monday, June 17, 2013

“Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir” by Amanda Knox – Beccaria’s Nightmare

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox (Book cover)
Cesare Beccaria is perhaps one of the most famous thinkers of the 18th century, writing numerous books about the law which are still referenced today; most of the principles he proposed have actually come to be considered as common sense. For instance, he approved of the idea of victimless crimes, claiming that only actions which harm other people or their property ought to be treated as crimes (drug abuse, for instance, should instead be regarded as a medical condition). All in all, he was about bringing justice to people and letting them live their lives, and I believe he turned seven times in his grave when the trial of Amanda Knox happened in 2007.

For those who haven’t heard about it, in 2007 U.S. student Amanda Knox went to study abroad in Italy, only to be accused of her roommate’s murder. A laborious and very questionable trial was then held, at the end of which Amanda was found guilty. Four years later, the verdict was overturned and the murder charge vacated. Up until now, Amanda hasn’t spoken of her experience; on April 30th her autobiography of the event was published, titled Waiting to be Heard.

As you can expect, these four years had a tremendous impact on Amanda, and she spends a great deal of time explaining the metamorphosis she underwent, going from young and innocent to a witness of horror and tremendous injustice. Those of you who are more interested in the case itself rather than Amanda’s personal interpretation of events will be glad to know that she doesn’t neglect to talk about things from an unbiased perspective (as much as that is possible). She describes all the events to the best of her memory and does her best to piece together a puzzle in which falsely convicting her made sense, at least from the point of view of those responsible.

Speaking of trying to make sense, that is perhaps my favorite part of the book: Amanda’s attitude towards it all. Though many of us would be cursing inside and out in her shoes, she takes a calm, positive and philosophical approach to things, trying explain rather than blame anyone. In the end, as she sees it, her behavior during the trial, untypical of Europeans, raised the suspicious brows of the officials which eventually led to their mistrust of her.

All in all, whether you want to know about Amanda Knox’s story, how the ordeal she went through affected her, or simply want to know more about the case, this is a book you can’t afford to pass on.

Amanda Knox (July 9th, 1987)

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox is an American woman who made the headlines when she was convicted of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy, alongside her now ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito... then acquitted four years later, and then re-convicted in 2013 by the Supreme Court of Italy. At the moment, she is seeking to appeal to them.


  1. Why would anyone believe anything Amanda Knox says? She gave three different alibis which all turned out to be false and repeatedly accused an innocent man of murder. The Italian Supreme Court recently confirmed Knox's conviction for slander. She is a convicted criminal and a proven liar.

    If you want to understand why Amanda Knox was convicted of murder, I recommend reading the translation of the official sentencing report which can be downloaded from the Perugia Murder File website:

    1. Hello Harry, thanks for your input on the matter, I was not aware of her recent conviction for slander and that certainly does put an interesting twist on things. The report was also an extremely interesting read. However, there are certain things which put doubt in such a rash conclusion on your part.

      For one, much of the story surrounding her alibi is based on eyewitnesses, with one of the major ones being potentially unreliable, especially when taking into consideration that eye witnesses have proven themselves completely unreliable time and time again.

      Second of all, I don't think that accusing an innocent man of the murder proves that she was the one who did it, as you seem to suggest. She may have had her own suspicions, and following an intense trauma to voice them loudly would have seemed like the logical thing to do. After all, if you were accused of murder and thought you knew who the murderer was, wouldn't you try to do something about it?

      Nevertheless, there are many other pretty significant details which only serve to muddle the picture. On the subject of the book, since we are commentating on its page after all, I'd say that reading the events from her point of view shouldn't be simply dismissed as lies, but as an opportunity to see the events through the eyes of the one at the center of it, regardless of whether or not she is telling the truth.