A historical figure who represents the muse/mastermind is Amanda Knox. Amanda Knox, the documentary immediately introduces Amanda as a woman with an Italian boyfriend--- Raffaele Sollecito, a fellow suspect in her crime/trial saga. This introduction falls in line with the way that Amanda and Raffaele were packaged by the media during the time of their trial. While the couple did display very public and sometimes jarring affection throughout the traumatizing process, the media used their relationship as a sensationalized aspect of the crime case to add intrigue and illicitness to an already gruesome crime.
While the concept of a beautiful, middle class American girl brutally murdering her roommate is fascinating to the public in a perverse sense, proving that Amanda was able to murder Meredith with the help of a man who was madly infatuated with her adds a sexual (and gendered) power struggle into the mix that is truly irresistible.
The depiction of Amanda as a mastermind capable of murder, but also a muse, capable of getting men to do her bidding, was responsible for the path that this trial took and the people it implicated. As shown in the documentary, the police were interested in finding male accomplices for Knox, even “pressuring” Amanda into naming her innocent boss, who happened to be black, as a suspect. This is potentially an effect of the media depiction of “Foxy Knoxy” the murderess/temptress. Also, because of this lens, Amanda Knox’s love and sex life were placed under scrutiny that seemed unnecessary to the case.
Since Meredith’s murder scene showed signs of sexual violence, the media was eager to portray Knox as a promiscuous woman. This fell perfectly into the muse trope. Knox, a sexually experienced and experimental woman is in a relationship with Sollecito, an inexperienced and innocent man. Desperate to maintain Knox’s attention and devotion, Sollecito was an accomplice in a wild sex escapade that spiraled into murder. This “evil women and love struck man” sold very well to the masses. This paired with the couple’s strange behavior created an image in the minds of the public and the prosecutors that led to what has later been exonerated as a hasty decision.
It is important to note that at some level, Knox was depicted as a respectable woman. Although the media did often paint her as an almost femme fatal, the only reasons she was able to even get a second, appellate trial is because, as noted earlier she was pretty, not poor and a white American. So while the media did a lot of work against Knox, presenting her as a sex-crazed murderer, the media also set Knox free through giving her leeway due to her socially acceptable traits.
While these contradicting angles and questionable facts make the trial very confusing, we do not believe in Knox’s total innocence. She might not have been the person to actually kill Meredith, since her DNA was not in the room, but it seems that she was aware of and possibly had a hand in the crime. Many of her actions/claims raise questions such as 1. Why did she not check on her roommate when she thought her house was broken into? 2. Why did she brush her teeth and shower when it looked like her home had been broken into? 3. Why did she not freak out at the sight of blood when she was STILL contemplating the fact that her home was seemingly broken into??? 4. What would cause her to seemingly black out and name an innocent man? And 5. Why did it take her 3 years in jail before officially empathizing with Meredith’s family for their loss?
We also think that Rudy was involved in the murder. The way he was presented by the media- a criminal who wanders the streets at night was certainly racially charged, but the fact that his stories don’t line up is definitely a red flag. We think that him and Amanda knew each other and they were both involved in the crime together. It is important to note the swiftness and lack of pomp and circumstance with which Rudy was convicted. As a black man, the media was far less concerned, as Nick Pisa so sagely pointed out, with covering his involvement, than it was with discussing a sensationalized woman-mastermind-muse.