Four days after the murder, Amanda and her boyfriend were brought back to the police station for questioning. After an all-night, 14-hour session in which Amanda was denied sleep, food, or an attorney, she agreed to sign a statement saying she HAD been at the house that night and that she thought she remembered her boss, Patrick Lumumba, killing Meredith Kercher. You should read her statement. It's written in bizarre English, clearly not dictated by Amanda.
Amanda, Patrick Lumumba, and Raffaele Sollecito were all arrested. Police developed a theory of the crime. They claimed that Amanda, Patrick, and Raffaele wanted Meredith to participate in kinky four-way sex. When Meredith refused, she was assaulted and murdered. The theory was fed to the news media in Italy and Great Britain. For weeks, tabloid newspapers gave the case sensational front page coverage. Italian television also did extensive coverage. Much of the country saw Amanda as "The Dark Angel of Seattle." That coverage made its way to the U.S. as well.
Through her parents, Amanda has proclaimed her innocence. 48 Hours Mystery hired a renowned private detective, Paul Ciolino of Chicago. The investigator went to Italy to examine the case against Amanda. Ciolino has spoken with witnesses, key investigators, and people who knew all the suspects involved. He has come up with a startling conclusion.
"This is a railroad job from hell," says Ciolino, a cigar chomping, pug-faced detective, who specializes in wrongful arrest cases. "There's not a shred of evidence putting this girl at that murder scene. But they've gotta convict her now, or they look like fools."
48 Hours Mystery has learned disturbing new details of what happened during Amanda's 14-hour interrogation that led to her "confession," which was not recorded or witnessed by a third party. Paul Ciolino also questioned one of the most important witnesses in the case, a woman whose story helped form the police theory. What the woman tells Ciolino, while a 48 Hours Mystery camera is rolling, turns the case upside down.
In Italy, a person can be held without charges for up to one year. Amanda has still not been charged with any crime. She sits today in a maximum-security prison, allowed to see her parents twice a week for a brief time. Her parents say she is frightened. This is as disturbing a case as I've ever covered.