Amanda Knox Turns on Killer She Thought Was Innocent

Her deep dive in the 'Atlantic' details how her belief in Jens Soering's innocence slowly crumbled
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2024 7:33 AM CDT
Amanda Knox Thought Killer Was Innocent. Now, Major Doubts
Amanda Knox speaks at the University of Modena in Italy on June 15, 2019.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

Jens Soering is a double murderer now out on parole, convicted in 1990 of killing the parents of his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, with Haysom's help. But during his more than three-decade stretch in prison before being released in 2019, the German national gained an infamous correspondent: Amanda Knox, who herself had spent four years in prison in Italy due to a since-overturned conviction for killing her roommate. As part of her work as an advocate for the wrongly convicted once back in the US, Knox began speaking in 2019 with Soering by phone from where he was incarcerated at Virginia's Buckingham Correctional Center—and she soon became convinced that, like herself, Soering was innocent, she details in a new deep dive in the Atlantic. What most convinced her was his demeanor during their calls, conducted as part of a podcast she put together on his case.

"Jens was educated and witty, like a professor you'd meet at a dinner party," Knox writes. "He was also desperate, grasping for any hope of escape. I acutely understood how I, with my particular and very public history, offered him hope by way of example." She also notes that "our bond was more than a friendship; it was a kind of kinship." Knox's belief in his innocence, however, started to crumble once she received "new information" about the case from a reporter in Germany, where Soering had been deported to after his 2019 release. Soering's last email with Knox, in which she laid out all her doubts about what he'd told her, ended with his reply: "Let me say this quite bluntly: There is way more DNA evidence incriminating you than there is me ... I mean, Amanda, WTF." More from Knox here on what led her to change her tune, including this 454-page report. (More Longform stories.)

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