Where Is Patrick Lumumba Now? The Bar Owner Was Implicated By Amanda Knox
The newest Netflix venture into true crime territory carries the name of the most famous suspect in a murder that rocked two countries. Amanda Knox drops on Netflix Sept. 30, but the central figure of the film wasn't the only person to be investigated in this notorious case. In November of 2007, Amanda Knox claimed that she and her boyfriend of one week, Raffaele Sollecito, arrived at the apartment she shared with three other women to find her 21-year-old roommate Meredith Kercher murdered, her body wrapped in a duvet. Knox and Sollecito were subjects of the ensuing murder investigation, but they weren't alone; Knox's boss at her part-time job, Patrick Lumumba, also became implicated by comments Knox made to investigators during interrogations. But where is Patrick Lumumba now, years after Kercher's murder?
First, let's travel metaphysically back to Perugia, Italy during the weeks and months after Kercher's murder. Knox claims in the Netflix documentary that she spent the night before she found her roommate's body at Sollecito's home. Diya "Patrick" Lumumba owned the pub where Knox worked, and according to her, he texted her that evening to tell her that the bar was covered and that she didn't need to come in. When investigators looked at all the communication on Knox's phone, they found a text that she says was a response to Lumumba, telling him that she would see him later and that she hoped he had a nice evening. Kox accused investigators of confusing and coercing her during the interrogation, with them allegedly insisting to her that the text was instead confirmation of a plan to meet with Lumumba later. Knox now maintains that she was forced to recall a false memory that she and Lumumba were both at the apartment the night that Kercher died, when, she says, that was not the case.
Lumumba was arrested and held for two weeks, based on the comments Knox made while in custody. Eventually, a man who had been drinking at the bar came forward, saying that Lumumba was there all night and that they had talked, giving Lumumba an alibi. Lumumba, who is Congolese, was released once the alibi put him at his bar at the time the crime took place.
When Knox was initially found guilty of murdering Kercher, her 26-year sentence included a three-year sentence for slander of Lumumba, i.e. the false accusation. (Lumumba also sued Knox for defamation in 2009, per The Guardian, with the result unknown.) Knox and Sollecito both spent four years in prison before an appeals court overturned their convictions, but in 2013, Italy's highest court tried them again. The overturn of that verdict ended in a final acquittal in 2015.
According to an interview with The Observer (via The Guardian) following that acquittal, Lumumba believes Knox was found not guilty because of status and appearances. “Amanda is free because she is American, but Americans are human like everybody," Lumumba said. As of last year, the 43-year-old Lumumba was living in Krakow, Poland with his wife. He has alleged that Knox's accusation and his involvement in this case lost him his business and made it impossible to find another job in Perugia. “What Amanda did I don’t know, but I think she knows why Meredith died," Lumumba told The Guardian.
Knox may be legally exonerated of a murder charge, but Lumumba still believes her guilty of derailing his life.