Not only do I avoid cable news, I think I was born without that gene where you obsess over white women who have gone missing or are in legal distress. I didn't know Casey Anthony was a female until the end of her trial. My mom, on the other hand, followed the trial regularly. So did many others, to judge from ratings. So it is with the case of Amanda Knox, a lovely young American who was convicted of murdering her roommate in a flawed trial in Italy. Most of what I know is from this Rolling Stone piece on the matter, where I learned that the prosecutor suspected Knox of being involved in a Satanic orgy. But while the prosecutor apparently suspects such things of many people and without evidence, there was very little discussion of Knox's religion, if she had any.
Yesterday Knox was acquitted of murder and sexual assault and released from prison. The BBC report included a quote that intrigued me:
People close to Knox say that she has the character to handle the enormous scrutiny but will emerge from prison a different person.
"She is fundamentally the same wonderful and excellent person she has always been, but it's dampened her optimism and forced her to deal with a reality we would do anything to protect her from," says Jessica Nichols in Perugia, who has travelled from her Seattle home several times to support Knox.
"It has impacted her ability to inherently trust people, which was something she always did before this ordeal."
In prison, she has kept herself busy, says Ms Nichols, 24, who describes her schoolfriend as "loving, sweet and patient".
"She reads, writes, does yoga, assists other prisoners who can't write in communicating with their families. She plays guitar and sings with the church choir, and values the time she gets to walk outside each day."
And in this Guardian report, we learn:
Prison may even have made her more enigmatic. "Like all the women in here, she puts a mask on in the morning that she only takes off in the evening, in her own bed, when she is alone," said Father Saulo Scarabattoli, the chaplain at Capanne prison, where she has spent the last four years.
I Googled Scarabattoli's name and found a story from the Times (U.K.) November 2007 headlined:
Amanda Knox 'is turning to religion' says chaplain at Perugia prison
That article goes into some depth about how she was raised Catholic but wasn't religious. The priest says it's his sense she is turning to religion in prison.
Now, maybe this was well-covered by American media who, to judge from the headlines I've skipped past for years, have been all over it like the Ravens defense was on Mark Sanchez this week. But it is an interesting angle, if one that doesn't fit the dominant media narrative about the woman who has spent the last four years in an Italian jail.
The Guardian's story on Knox's exoneration included this bit:
Knox took minutes to pack up her belongings before thanking the prison chaplain, Father Saulo Scarabattoli, with whom she had spent most of Monday between her final speech and her return to court to hear the sentence.
"She spent the day in the chapel singing then pacing up and down to pass the time as the expected time for the verdict slipped," said Girlanda. "She was nervously asking 'Why do they need so much time?'" he added.
"After the verdict I asked her 'So what really did happen that night?' and she said exactly the same thing she has always said – 'I was at home with Raffaele'. Now the first thing she wants to do is stretch out on green grass," he said.
There was this Radar report:
Amanda Knox attended Mass Saturday afternoon at her prison outside Perugia, Italy. She also played guitar at the service.
"You can imagine how she is but Amanda envinces great strength and hope," the prison chaplain, Rev. Saulo Scarabattoli told reporters.
For those of you that watch cable news and followed this sensational trial, was this aspect covered well?