Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2007
Over the last five years, the name Knox has attracted worldwide attention. Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were thrown into the media spotlight when Knox’s flatmate, Meredith Kercher, was found dead on the bedroom floor. The case has caused numerous debates and an unprecedented amount of controversy when the couple were found guilty, then had their convictions overturned.
Yesterday, following a retrial, their guilty verdicts were upheld and Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 28 and a half years and 25 years in prison respectively for Kercher's brutal murder. There's been many twists and turns along the way so we’ve broken down each step since that tragic night in Italy…
November 1, 2007
Meredith Kercher, a British university exchange student from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found dead on her bedroom floor in Perugia, Italy. Her flatmate Amanda Knox called the police to report a burglary.
November 5, 2007
Following police investigations, the police suspect that the ‘break-in’ was staged, making Knox their prime suspect. Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are detaining for questioning. Knox allegedly admits to being at home during the murder and implicates Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar where she worked. The police detain Lumumba.
Amanda Knox outside her home in Perugia, 05 November 2007 [Getty]
November 20, 2007
Lumumba is released after two weeks in prison when a customer at the pub was able to provide an alibi. Knox retracts her statement and Lumumba later sues her for libel, winning 40,000 euros (£32,904) in damages.
December 6, 2007
Rudy Guede is extradited from Germany and is arrested upon arrival in Italy in connection with Meredith’s murder. A vaginal swab taken from Kercher matches DNA to Guede. He admits he had sexual relations with her but claims another man killed her while he was in the bathroom.
July 11, 2008
Italian prosecutors formally charge Knox, Guede and Sollecito with Kercher’s murder.
Amanda Knox arriving at court in Perugia on September 16, 2008 [Getty]
September 6, 2008
Guede asks for a separate fast-track trial, in fear that Knox and Sollecito were conspiring against him.
October 28, 2008
Knox and Sollecito are indicted. The pair is charged with murder and sexual assault. Guede is found guilty in his fast-track trial and is sentenced to 30 years (later reduced to 16 years).
January 16, 2009
Knox and Sollecito’s murder trial begins.
Amanda Knox arriving at court in Perugia on January 16, 2009 [Getty]
June 12, 2009
Knox says she last saw Kercher during the day on November 1. She claims that after speaking to Kercher, she and Sollecito went to Sollecito’s apartment. She also accuses the Italian police of confusing her during her interrogation and hitting her over the head and said that the shock of the murder caused her strange behaviour.
December 4, 2009
The jury finds Knox and Sollecito guilty. Knox is sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito gets 25 years.
November 24, 2010
Knox and Sollecito’s appeal begins. After 15 minutes, the judge adjourns the trial until December 11 because one lawyer is not present.
December 11, 2010
Knox speaks for 15 minutes and breaks down in tears. She states that she and Sollecito are innocent and the court has made “a huge mistake”.
January 22, 2011
Two forensic experts will retest crucial forensic evidence used to convict Knox. Results are expected in May.
Hayden Panettiere films 'The Amanda Knox Story' in November 2010 [Getty]
June 29, 2011
DNA evidence used to prosecute Knox and Sollecito is deemed unreliable. Forensic specialists claim that Knox’s DNA is present on the knife handle, but tests for Kercher’s DNA were unreliable. A tiny metal clasp from Kercher’s bra may have been contaminated as it was collected from the scene nearly six weeks after the killing; however, Sollecito’s DNA was found on the clasp.
July 25, 2011
Experts say that due to errors made by police during the original investigation, the evidence against Knox and Sollecito should be considered “inadmissible”.
September 6, 2011
A police forensic expert states that the machine used for DNA testing was clean and the bra clasp was not contaminated.
September 7, 2011
The judge rejects prosecutions requests to look at new records on the DNA tests and to hear a new witness. Knox’s dad says it’s “very good news for Amanda”.
Amanda Knox arrives in court on January 22, 2011 [Getty]
October 3, 2011
Knox and Sollecito’s convictions are overturned and they are released from jail. Knox is judged guilty of defamation against Lumumba. She leaves Italy and goes back home to Seattle.
October 4, 2011
Knox arrives in the USA. During a news conference, she tearfully thanks those that have supported her.
March 26, 2013
Judges in the Italian Supreme Court rule that Knox and Sollecito should stand trial for the death of Kercher again.
September 20, 2013
Retrial begins without Knox or Sollecito present in court. They maintain that they are innocent.
Amanda Knox on NBC News in September 2013 [Getty]
January 30, 2014
Judge Alessandro Nencinin upholds the guilty verdict for both Knox and Sollecito. Knox is sentenced to 28 years and six months in jail, while Sollecito is sentenced to 25 years. Their lawyers vow to take the case to the highest Italian court. Kercher’s brother says that while it was never going to be “a case for celebrating”, it was “the best we could have hoped for”. While the sentence still has to be upheld, the judge rules that Sollecito cannot travel out of the country. After the verdict, Sollecito was reportedly caught by police in North-east Italy, close to the borders of Austria and Slovenia. Knox says that she is “frightened and saddened” by the “unjust verdict” and will definitely not be going back to Italy willingly.
Stephanie Kercher, sister of Meredith Kercher, and her brother Lyle at a press conference on January 31, 2014 [Getty]
by Hanna Ibraheem