The real Amanda
real Amanda Knox bears no resemblance to the warped
image presented by the
Italian authorities and some elements in the media. Amanda is
human being with a friendly, upbeat personality. She can
be outspoken, but is seldom angry. If
something bothers her, she writes about it. This is a habit she
Jesuit high school, which encourages
students to follow in the tradition of St. Ignatius by keeping a
journal to help them achieve spiritual growth and greater awareness.
committed a violent act in her life, and she detests bullying or
Here are some family photos taken of Amanda while she was growing up.
Amanda wore a big smile for
her seventh birthday party. In this picture, she is flanked
by her mother and her aunt with a
little cousin. Amanda's mother says she was an easy kid to
raise, naturally happy and easy to please.
Amanda has always loved babies and children smaller than
herself... and they love her back.
Here is Amanda
with her sister Deanna and her cousins in 2001, shortly after she
graduated from Explorer West Middle School, where her
academic talent and good character were recognized in an award
Manvel Schauffleur Award is given to the graduating Explorer West
Middle School student who best exemplifies academic excellence,
community service, enthusiasm, kindness, and total integrity in all
matters, large and small.
Amanda did not nag her parents for fancy clothes or a car.
What she wanted was a first-class education.
does not come from a Catholic background, Amanda had her heart set on
Seattle Prep because she had heard it
was the most academically challenging high school in Seattle.
took a test, and she was admitted, with a scholarship. Once
there, she excelled.
summer after her freshman year at Seattle Prep, Amanda participated in
a student exchange program and spent a few
weeks living with a family in Japan, where this picture was taken.
teenager, with her dog, Ralphy.
Amanda on the cusp of adulthood. While attending the
University of Washington, she worked a number of
part-time jobs so she could afford to study abroad, including one job
at an art gallery. The gallery owner, Rick Kirsten, remembers
an incident that revealed Amanda's character:
had a preview party for several artists on a Sunday
afternoon. It was
extremely busy and the gallery was literally full of people.
Standing alone, off in one corner, was a young girl, maybe 8-10 years
old. She looked quite unhappy being in a sea of adults and
ignored, she looked like she would rather be anywhere else in the world
other than an art gallery. Amanda had noticed this little
girl all alone. Amanda broke off her conversation with the
customer and went over to this little girl, kneeled down and talked to
her. I saw the little girl's demeanor totally change as she
smiled and laughed and talked with Amanda. It was a
wonderful, caring and kind gesture on Amanda's part. I was
proud of Amanda.
Amanda and Deanna
with new cousins — a pair of twins — to help raise.
beloved Ralphy, Christmas 2006. In less than a year, she
would find herself caught up in events no one could have
Media coverage of
Amanda seldom mentions that she enjoys the steadfast love and
support of a great many people who know her and feel
absolutely sure of her innocence. In November 2008, she
an open letter to Seattle Prep, thanking
everyone for the deluge of support she has received during her months
if I can really express what it means to me to have the people
known me (and even those that haven't) by my side throughout all of
this... After a year I at least have learned to respond to the
negativity of my current environment as peacefully and calmly as
possible, but my family is still out there in the world that just can't
seem to make up its mind about what to do with my life. So
thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm incredibly moved by how
much care the Seattle Prep community has put forth that I never
expected and yet never have doubted.
She closed the letter with a phrase in Italian:
lo so che
non sono sola anche quando sono sola — Even when I am
alone I'm not alone.