NEWS & FEATURES
THE PEOPLE - NOVEMBER 6, 2011

Verdict on Knox, by women who shared her life in jail

ICY, LIAR
& BORN
ACTRESS

WORLD
EXCLUSIVE

by Sharon Feinstein
Look into the clear blue eyes of Amanda Knox and you can see either innocence - or a chilling glacial act covering up depravity and lies.
Now, a month after the verdict that stunned the world, we can exclusively reveal fresh claims about her life as a jailed killer.
Amanda, 24, and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were sensationally cleared of the brutal sex murder of Briton Meredith Kercher, 21, after nearly four years behind bars.

THE WARDEN

WRITE AND
WRONGED
Amanda Knox
and jail letter
she wrote to
Raffaele Sollecito
Raffaele
Last week she was pictured in fancy dress for Hallowe'en, angering Meredith's family. Raffaele, in his fifth interview since release, said: "What did Meredith's friends do at Hallowe'en? Amanda is free. I want her to be happy. She has suffered like me. I pray for the Kercher family. I, like them, want justice."
I travelled to Perugia, in Italy, where Leeds University student Meredith, from South London, died after she was sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly in November 2007.
There I talked to Angela Antonelli, 66, Amanda's guard in Capanne prison for 2½ years, and to Vittoria, her cellmate for three years. Both say the American was called ICE queen because she rarely cried, slept like a baby and never seemed to mourn her friend Meredith.
MURDERED: British student Meredith
I kept my distance from Amanda because I felt she was like a vampire, a very powerful personality who was trying to suck me in.
She tried to get affection from me but I felt it was manipulative. I was always friendly to the prisoners and occasionally  gave them a hug or offered a cigarette. Once Amanda said I was too good to be a warden.
She tried to be my friend but not to talk about Meredith or the night she died. She never talked about that night with anyone, absolutely not.
And she never mentioned Rudy Guede, who is still in jail over the murder.
Amanda is impenetrable. You will never understand what really happened the night of the murder.
She was different to most other prisoners culturally, and she set herself apart.
I've never seen a girl as controlled as her, especially for one so young. Other people ask for tranquilisers, cry, shout that they didn’t do it, that they're in pain, they can't go on.
They bang their heads against the walls, scream, vomit, try to swallow batteries.
But Amanda was always fine and walked straight past them when they were in distress. She never stopped to help or showed a reaction.
She always slept like a baby without taking sleeping pills, almost the only prisoner who did. Whenever I asked if she needed anything to help her sleep or relax, she refused.
We all said she was strange, even the doctor said he didn't understand her behaviour.
Once when her mother came to see her and it was time to go her mother was crying and I helped with her coat, squeezed her arm, and told her to have courage. Amanda turned
and went back to her cell and never thanked me for supporting her mother.
She didn’t  show kindness or compassion to anyone.
She knew I had a bad back. Prisoners often asked how my back was, but never Amanda.
After two years of watching her every day, sometimes overnight, I would describe her as magnetic and manipulative. It was  like she was constantly doing a job interview and trying to show the best side of herself.
She never smoked a single cigarette or broke prison rules. When I opened the iron doors  she was always standing there waiting.
But she paid no attention to her personal hygiene. She was dirty and the others in her cell complained that she smelled.
Sweating
Every Monday was laundry day but she hardly ever had laundry and always let her hair get greasy. When she had to go to the tribunal I used to suggest she wash her hair, so she did.
But often she didn't wash it for a month and wore the same jumper and jeans for a week, though I’m not not sure about her underwear. She was always stretching and then running like a crazy person round the courtyard for the hours they were allowed out. She came in sweating but didn’t shower or change. She didn't look after herself.
She sang continuously,  English songs, the Beatles, musicals, all kinds, and she ate everything , especially salad and vegetables.
She loved dry biscuits, rusks. Her favourite were Colussi biscottatte.
The prisoners can open a bank account and Amanda always had money and bought rusks. Her parents rarely brought her food on their visits, only books.
If you have a cellmate you have to share your things but she never shared anything or made friends, she was only comfortable with the priest,  Don Saulo, and her lawyer.

“She was like a
vampire, trying
to suck me in”

Other prisoners made cakes, biscuits, pizza and always shared with their cellmates. Amanda ate what they made but never made anything herself.
People borrow each others clothes but not Amanda. She behaved as though she was superior.
She read and wrote day and night, she had so many books she could have filled a library.
She was so immersed in her world that probably even if she had lost the appeal and had to serve her 26 years she would have remained buried in her studies. The most emotion I ever saw in her was while she was waiting for her mother to bring her the second Harry Potter book.
She got  anxious, kept asking when her mother was coming, and whether I thought the book would pass, as not all books are allowed through. She was scared  the cover would be too hard, and when it passed she was so pleased.
She felt emotions for books not for people. She lived through her books, and transported herself away like her hero Harry Potter. She was a dreamer like Harry, and told me she sometimes dreamed what she read in books.
She was in contact with teachers in Seattle and Germany. Her life in prison was like being in the university. For the last two years she had a computer, before that she wrote everything by hand. You could see she wasn’t bored, she kept busy, always lying on her bed reading and writing. She also liked crocheting, and made me and her mother a crocheted necklace.
She was brilliant performing in musicals but they had to stop including her in the cast because they didn’t know whether she was leaving.
She never once cried. I often looked through the peep hole into her cell at night and she was always sleeping.
Raffaele wrote to her every few weeks,  but she never seemed that excited when a letter came. I had to open the letters in front of her to check for drugs or blades. While I did that she just carried on reading her book - a Kafka or a Dostoevsky - or writing her diary.
Amanda did a guitar course in prison, and there was cinema once a week where she sat with other prisoners but hardly spoke to anyone.
She knew prisoners were jealous of her privileges. No one knew why she deserved these privileges. The word was it was pressure from America, a political thing, from high above. She never shared her computer or her books.
Even if Amanda didn't kill Meredith she didn’t do anything to help people understand what happened that night. She only defended herself.
In four years she never got a bad report, she obeyed all the rules, like not turning up the TV, or hanging washing out the window. If all the prisoners behaved like Amanda , prison would function much better.
But she was very lazy about her personal hygiene and in all the practical activities, didn't do the dishes or clean out her cell. She seemed sure she'd get out and sure of herself.

THE CELLMATE

When Amanda Knox arrived she didn’t have sheets, towels, shampoo, or soap so we gave her some but she wasn’t appreciative.
There was an older woman in the cell with us whose mother brought salami and procuitto. Amanda loved it and then all of a sudden she decided to become vegetarian and announced it to all the journalists.
But in the cell she carried on eating meat. So eventually we started teasing her: "So you're vegetarian are you? " For her it was all a strategy.
Her mother occasionally brought her food at the beginning, she didn’t share with us, then later she only brought books.
My nine-year-old daughter, Maria, developed  lymphoma and I got permission to visit her in hospital. When I got back at 10pm our other cell mate, Sabina, was waiting up to ask how Maria was, comfort me and make coffee.
I was devastated and weeping. Amanda  pretended to be asleep and then sat up and started moaning at us: "Be quiet, I need to sleep." even though she knew my situation. From that moment on we turned up the TV whenever she came on the news,  as a protest for her lack of kindness.
But she never asked to move to another cell because it can get much worse. There can be abuse. She knew we were basically fair.
She didn’t want us to smoke,  hated passively smoking. We smoked on purpose just to upset her.
Amanda always sang, hummed, played guitar and it got on our nerves. But she was the Princess, we couldn’t say anything. Now she acts like a superstar.
She asked us not to put on the TV because she was reading or writing but then she woke up very early and immediately tuned in to MTV without caring about us not wanting it on.
We kept saying: "Change cell Amanda." but she wouldn’t, even though we did things just to annoy her. Once I made some pizza and Sabina and I were eating it in the cell and Amanda asked us for some. We said: "No, if you want pizza go and make it yourself." We became a bit nasty to her to demonstrate how unkind and unfair we found her.
Another prisoner, Patricia, did plaits for her when she went to the tribunal but Amanda just said: "It looks OK." not even: "Thank you." Patricia was amazed.
When Amanda came on the news and we blasted it out she shouted: "Enough. Please stop. Turn it off." And we said: "You'd better get used to it because you will be here for life."
But she always said: "I will get out, no way will I do 26 years, I'll be out soon." When someone is told they'll be in prison for 26 years they obviously go crazy, especially if you're innocent, you scream, protest, cry, but when she cried in front of the cameras  it was crocodile tears. It was as though she was on the stage.

“She didn't use soap,
she was unhygienic”

We were all convinced she would be in prison for life. When she did her gymnastics and complained there wasn’t enough time we just said: "Keep going, girl, you’ve got the rest of your life to do gymnastics."
I never saw her cry in prison, or heard her call for her mother or father or anyone, only her books. When her parents came she wasn’t excited, only when a new book arrived.
She wasn’t depressed. A person who is depressed doesn’t study, read, write, do gymnastics. When she was angry and wanted to show her dissatisfaction she sat on the floor with her arms round her knees, pouted and sulked, just to get attention.
When a warden asked her what was wrong she cried a little, but she only did it with the people she knew she could manipulate, she was like a child.
Amanda lived her own life - writing, reading, exercising, and showed no caring feelings for anyone else. We didn’t know who she wrote to. When we had a free hour she went to the courtyard and ran like a mad woman. She's strange.
To me she's a two faced liar and actress. She was dirty and unhygienic. All of us were shocked that she showered without shampoo or soap, without washing her hair or body, so her hair was always greasy. She never once used the bidet, everyone else did. I told her she should wash and that she smelled, but she said: "No, you smell."
She didn’t clean the cell or do the dishes, so we told her to take it in turns. When it was her turn we realised she didn’t even know how to clean or use a broom, and had to teach her. But she didn’t thank us, it didn’t interest her. She sang,
hummed, played guitar and smiled to herself. It gave us a headache.
I don’t even think she was friends with Meredith because she never mentioned her or mourned her death. She often mentioned Raffaele and was quite happy when letters arrived from him, she immediately replied. But she was never romantic about him.
Amanda arrived in prison and all of a sudden had her own computer, table, guitar, as many interviews as she wanted with family, friends, relations, lawyer. Everything she asked for she got. We used to say: "What is she,  The Queen of England?" Sometimes we called her the Ice Queen.
We organised a play where she had to act as an actress. Everyone said  that was the perfect role for her. The world’s best actress who has fooled everyone.
If I ever met Amanda again, I'd probably slap her face. When she was recently interviewed she said she wanted to help innocent prisoners but when she was in prison she showed no interest in the others.
She never made a kind gesture to me, or put her arm round me when I cried about my daughter. Everyone tried to give me courage and support, but never her. Help prisoners? What rubbish. She's so false and two faced.
She never complained she wasn’t feeling well. she was like a robot. I took anti-depressants when I found out about my daughter's illness. She found out she would be in prison for 26 years she needed nothing. Amanda didn’t seem bothered. When I was having nightmares, she slept like a baby.
Living with her was very unpleasant. When I left prison after 14 years I walked out. After she said Ciao she went off in a Mercedes.