It seems an unlikely career choice for a young woman who was so brutally and reluctantly thrust into the international media spotlight, yet Amanda Knox is now working as a journalist.
The American former exchange student, who spent almost four years in an Italian prison for the murder of her British room mate, Meredith Kercher, has been covering the local arts scene and writing human interest stories for the West Seattle Herald.
Editor Patrick Robinson told The Daily Beast he had hired Ms Knox, who is 27 and a Seattle native, “to give her the opportunity of a normal life”. The Herald asked its rookie reporter, he said, “as we would ask anyone of that age and stage, if they would be interested in writing for us as a qualified writer of that scale and this level of journalism”.
Ms Knox originally travelled to Italy in 2007 in order to study creative writing, and re-enrolled at the University of Washington to complete her degree this year. She was permitted to write for the paper under a pseudonym until she “got her feet wet”, Mr Robinson said. But after she had submitted several pieces, they began to appear under her own byline.
The unlikely hack has published some 10 articles, including an interview with the artistic director of a local theatre company, and a review of a school production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. A freelancer, Ms Knox reportedly works from home and communicates with Mr Robinson via email. “Amanda’s a very bright, very capable, highly qualified writer,” he said. “She’s certainly been through a lot and been very easy to work with and very interested and eager.”
In 2007, Ms Knox was arrested in Perugia with her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, after Ms Kercher was found dead in their shared home with her throat cut. The pair were convicted of her murder in 2009 but cleared on appeal and released two years later.
In January 2014, however, an Italian court convicted Ms Knox again, in absentia, sentencing her to 28 years in prison. She is expected to appeal, and the US has shown no enthusiasm for her extradition.
Another man, 27-year-old Rudy Guede, was convicted of Ms Kercher’s murder separately, and is serving a 16-year jail sentence, which was shortened after he agreed to give testimony that implicated Ms Knox. A fictionalised dramatisation of the case, The Face of an Angel, directed by Michael Winterbottom, was shown at the London Film Festival last month.
During her incarceration, the Herald reported extensively on the campaign to see Ms Knox released, but Mr Robinson insisted her new conviction had no bearing on her professional relationship with the paper. Her most recent article for the Herald, published last week, was about a crowd-funding campaign to raise $15,000 for a Seattle couple’s organic cashew milk venture.
The job will not be quite so lucrative as Ms Knox’s last writing assignment: for her 2013 memoir, Waiting to be Heard, she reportedly signed a book deal worth $4m (£2.5m).