Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Award-winning journalist Candace Dempsey gives readers a front-row seat at the trial and reveals the real story behind the media frenzy. -- Berkley True Crime
When I was in high school and college, I couldn't get enough true crime books -- it was probably my favorite genre. I read all of Ann Rule's, Thomas Thompson's, and Joe McGinniss' books (as well as many others); and I'm guessing that I had some hidden desire to be a prosecutor! Through the years, my reading tastes have changed quite a bit, but I still read books from the true crime genre every so often. The latest one I picked up was MURDER IN ITALY: THE SHOCKING SLAYING OF A BRITISH STUDENT, THE ACCUSED AMERICAN GIRL, AND AN INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL by Candace Dempsey.
I'm pretty sure that most of you are familiar with the Amanda Knox story (although I admit that I wasn't quite as "up" on it as my husband.) Here's the very quick and dirty version: Amanda Knox was a young college student studying in Italy when her roommate was violently killed. Amanda and her boyfriend come under suspicion and are eventually arrested for her murder. They were both found guilty and are currently serving time.
So when the author asked me if I was interested in reading her book about Amanda Knox, I immediately said yes and quickly began researching this amazing story. It didn't take me long to realize that this case was very complex and I became very interested in reading a behind-the-scenes account. I'm not sure that this book answered all of my questions, and if I'm being honest, I actually had even a few new ones after reading it. One thing I can say for sure is that truth is definitely stranger than fiction, and this case really hits home that point!
I found that I enjoyed MURDER IN ITALY -- if enjoyed is the right word for a book like this one; and I found the entire Amanda Knox case to be incredibly interesting. I appreciated the background information that the author provided on both Amanda and the victim Meredith Kercher. And I was definitely affected by this horrific crime against a girl who seemingly had a wonderful life ahead of her. As I read this book, I definitely began to question whether Amanda Knox actually could have killed her roommate, and I even wondered how she was found guilty based on the evidence that was presented. There were quite a few questions posed in this book as to the quality of the forensic evidence as well as the initial police investigation.
Bottom line: I'm not sure what I think about the entire Amanda Knox case. If I were to believe everything in this book, then I would definitely think she was falsely accused and wrongly incarcerated. Or at the very least, that she was found guilty on questionable evidence. While I did find this book to be fascinating, I don't think it will be my final "look" at this crime. That's not to say that I didn't think it was a very worthwhile read. I did feel as if the author did a fantastic job of showing all of the reasons why Amanda Knox is innocent. I just think my curiosity about the case wasn't entirely satisfied with this one source.
The story of Amanda Knox is extremely intriguing and one that is certain to appear in the headlines many more times. (In fact, I just saw a story a few days ago about another appeal where they are questioning an eyewitness's testimony.) Mu curiosity has definitely been piqued and I am now going to be following this case more closely in an effort to learn even more! I have tivoed the Lifetime Original Movie "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy," staring Hayden Panettiere and Marcia Gay Harden as well as a news channel's documentary; and I hope to find time to watch them in the very near future.
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book.