In December, Rudy Guede, the only person still convicted for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, was quietly released from prison. His original sentence had been commuted from 30 years to 16, and now he was free after 13. It was a feeble end to a tragic tale. But it was the response to the decision that surprised me the most; very little of it focused on Guede at all. “Man who killed Amanda Knox’s roommate freed on community service”, read a headline in the New York Post. Knox, who has twice been acquitted of the murder, was clearly infuriated. “His name is Rudy Guede. Her name is Meredith Kercher. The one name that should not be in this headline is mine,” she wrote on Twitter.
I had been in touch with Knox for a month or two at this point, having looked her up while researching the Criminal Minds series in The Times of London, and had become increasingly confused by how the public perceived her. It wasn’t just that she remained the focus of any reporting on the case, but the extent to which she was still blamed for Kercher’s murder. Typical responses to her tweets were “gross” and “you should be ashamed of yourself”.