There was a time when Amanda Knox was the most famous American college student in the entire world. You likely remember the story, in which Knox, while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy in 2007, was found guilty of the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, before eventually being exonerated in 2015. Kercher's murder captured attention from all over the world, and the public's fascination only increased during Knox's dramatic trials. Now, after years of legal battles and appeals, Knox is a free woman and getting ready to relive her story in the new Netflix documentary, Amanda Knox . Before you jump into your new obsession, though, it might be nice to have a small refresher course on the facts — like how long Amanda Knox was in jail in the first place.
Arrested in 2007 for Kercher's murder, Knox resided in an Italian prison throughout the highly-publicized trial, which ended with her conviction for the crime in 2009. Knox remained in prison until her conviction was overturned in 2011. After her release, Knox immediately left Italy to go home to Seattle, Washington, where she has remained ever since. In total, Knox was in jail for four years — about one fourth of her original 26-year sentence.
Knox wrote about her experience in prison in her bestselling memoir, Waiting to be Heard, published in 2013. But since then, she has been very cautious in what she chooses to share about her traumatic experience. Knox occasionally mentions her time in prison in her column for the West Seattle Herald, but it's often using vague and emotional terms — not specific details about life behind bars. Most frequently, Knox alludes to her time in prison when writing about the effects it had on her. "Prison is a whole other world from the one the majority of us live in," Knox wrote in her April 25, 2016, column titled "Inappropriate pain." "There's standing in line at the grocery store, and there's standing in line for a pat down. There's a closed door you can open, and there's a closed door that you can't."
Knox's four years in prison have clearly affected her, both emotionally and more directly. Now out of prison, Knox not only writes about her personal experience in her column, but she has also turned it into a career as an activist for the falsely incarcerated. Looking back at her life, Knox wrote in her July 4, 2016, column that she wasn't sure she would change those four years she spent behind bars even if she could: "I don't know who I'd be without all the trauma that happened to me in Perugia, but I do know that the person I am now is worth protecting, too."