In Europe, on the other hand, there has long been far more sympathy for, and anger on behalf of, the victim Meredith Kercher. Many there were convinced that Knox and Sollecito were correctly found guilty of murder, and that they escaped justice based on Amanda's newfound celebrity status.
But there is another possible explanation and one that few on either side, particularly here in the United States, seem willing to consider -- that maybe, just maybe Amanda and Raffaele weren't involved in the murder but were in the house the night Meredith was killed. That could explain both their conflicting and seemingly irreconcilable statements as well as why their DNA wasn't found in Meredith Kercher's room.
One thing that seems clear is that the man serving 16 years for the murder, Rudy Guede, was present and involved in the murder. His DNA was found strewn throughout Meredith's room, on the walls, in the bathroom, and on the victim herself. His blood was also found mixed with her blood inside her bag and his bloody hand print was on her pillow. His defense would be laughable if the case wasn't so serious -- that he and Meredith had been having consensual sex that night, he developed a sudden and uncontrollable case of the runs, raced to the bathroom and put on a headset to listen to a few songs, which prevented him from hearing the horror suddenly transpiring in the room next to him.
Only after enjoying some deafening tunes while finding desperately needed bowel relief does Guede claim he returned to the room to find a dying Meredith lying in her bed -- her throat slit. In his most recent account, Guede claims he overheard Knox and Meredith Kercher arguing, heard a scream, emerged from the bathroom and was attacked by a male figure he could not identify. His conviction was hardly controversial.
But prosecutors initially argued that Guede, Knox and Sollecito likely engaged in some sort of drug-fueled sex game together in which Sollecito held Kercher by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They said Guede, an Ivory Coast national, tried to sexually assault Meredith. When she resisted, they theorized, Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat and she was killed. The problem with that theory, apart from its seeming absurdity, has always been that while Guede's DNA was ubiquitous, neither Knox's nor Sollecito's DNA was anywhere to be found in that room. . A newer prosecution theory suggests the murder came after the roommates fought with Guede involved.
Under either theory prosecutors relied on a number of controverted pieces of physical evidence: They said there was a tiny piece of Sollecito's DNA found six weeks later on Meredith's bra clasp, Meredith's DNA found on a knife at Sollecito's home, what may or may not have been a bloody footprint that may or may not have matched Sollecito and what appeared to have been Knox's DNA mixed with Kercher's blood.
While the mixed DNA sample in particular seemed particularly incriminating, Knox and Sollecito's defense teams at least placed into serious doubt the findings on each of those crucial pieces of evidence.
Without that sort of hard evidence it's difficult to see how any murder conviction can be upheld. The evidence that either of them were involved in the murder itself still seems flimsy at best. But that doesn't answer many questions that remain about the often conflicting accounts offered by both Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito about their whereabouts and actions that night. The pair now claim they were at Raffaele's house the entire night Meredith was killed on Nov. 1, 2007.