West Seattle UW student Amanda Knox spends another birthday in an Italian prison. This is the third one. She turns 23.
Amanda Knox spends a third birthday in prison
There are days when the lead story on every TV news program and in every newspaper around seems to be about West Seattle UW student, Amanda Knox, beginning with her arrest as a suspect, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007, five days following the murder of her college roommate in Perugia, Italy, Meredith Kercher.
The media, and public, was again consumed with her case more than two years later, with Knox held in Capanne Prison the whole time, when she first appeared in the courtroom Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. The "sensational" event was described by British tabloid journalist Nick Pisa like this, "She made her entrance like a Hollywood diva sashaying along the red carpet."
The crescendo of attention paid to Knox was perhaps on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, when she appeared before the judge and jury for her guilty verdict and sentencing was read. Interest sparked recently, on Thursday, June 17, when Knox appeared in court for a preliminary hearing regarding her appeal, and then there will of course be her appeal, which some say begins in November.
Then there is July 9, which this year falls on a Friday. For Amanda Knox, and her family back home in West Seattle, this might be the biggest date of them all, her birthday, and her third spent in prison. She turns 23. She will be visited by her sister, Deanna, and their mother, Edda Mellas, whose birthday happens to be the next day.
"We had high hopes that the Perugia court would have found Amanda innocent, as she is, during the culmination of her first trial," Curt Knox, Amanda's father, told the West Seattle Herald. "This obviously didn't happen and having Amanda endure another birthday in prison for a crime she had no part of is heartbreaking. We are all looking forward to her appeals trial and the day that she gets to come home and make up for all these lost birthdays."
"It seems so inadequate to say 'Happy Birthday' to Amanda in a brief phone call yet again from thousands of miles away," added Amanda's step-mother, Cassandra Knox. "I know it makes Amanda happy and I'm glad she has family there to see her in person. She is getting birthday cards from many wonderful people who support her. She knows she is not forgotten and that one day we will all celebrate with her."
"It's definitely another sad year, but I'm glad Edda has managed to get there so they can kind of commiserate together," said Amanda's grandmother, Elizabeth, or "Oma."
"I sent her a birthday present, a dress and a blouse, something summery. It's hot there," continued Oma. "Other than that, her cellmate is very inventive and will try to make another birthday cake. I don't want to believe that she wouldn't be home for her next birthday. The thought alone (of her not returning by then) just makes me ill. it's so depressing to think about that. We have to go day by day. Two weeks ago I got a letter from her. She wants to make sure I don't go off the deep end and that I keep my chin up. She sounds like she is looking forward to the future."
"Amanda's third birthday in prison, it's terrible," said Amanda's aunt Janet Huff. "She's having all her early grownup life spent in prison. It makes you want to cry. There's never a good time (in your life) to spend in prison, but she is just learning how to be a grownup, and to learn it there of all places is just heartbreaking. What's that going to do to her? She never asked for anything for her birthday in the past so it's always been a bookstore gift card since she loves to read. She wanted her birthdays to be fun for everyone, and not all about her, and would try to put the focus on the others."
Huff said that on July 9 nothing changes for her in prison and it's like any other day.
What is unusual is they are allowed to cook in rooms and receive certain foods," said Huff. Referring to Amanda's past two birthdays in prison, Huff said, "Her cellmate brought a cake she made for Amanda while Edda would be visiting. Then Amanda and her mother would hold hands, singing happy birthday. It's really sad to sit with your daughter and hold hands in jail and that's your big party."
"There's no buzz word or catch word to capture how I feel," added Huff. "I'm a nurse. It's my place at work, and in this family, to help people emotionally and physically. In Amanda's case I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do. I want to fix it but I can't."