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The Blotter

The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

October 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Amanda arrives

Posted by Erik Lacitis

(This is a live blog with the newest posts at the top)

Curt Knox, interviewed outside his West Seattle home:

When asked where his daughter would be tonight:

"I can pretty much guarantee you won't find her."

What will the future hold?

"It'll be nice when things calm down and we can figure out what normal life is."

What was it like to finally get to embrace his daughter after the verdict?

He said he didn't get that chance. She was whisked away from court. It wasn't until they were in Rome and she sneaked into their hotel room and they had five minutes before she had to leave again.

"It really was a nice moment."

How would he describe how she is feeling?

"She's been in prison for almost four years and to be able to get out and just try to get back home and get back here ... is very overwhelming to her"

Amanda speaks:

Cheering started again when she stood up and walked to the microphone.

"They're reminding me to speak in English, because I'm having problems with that."

"I'm really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real."

"Thank you to everyone who believed in me, who defended me, who supported my family."

"My family is the most important thing to me right now and I just want to go and be with them."

Curt Knox:

"We couldn't have made it through it without all of you people out here who have supported us."

Edda Mellas:

"There's no way we could thank everybody individually so this is our only way to say thank you"

Theodore Simon, Philadelphia lawyer and adviser to the family:

Stopped to walk over and pat Knox on the back as she sobbed.

He said Knox's parents and family relied on their patience, courage, dignity and fortitude.

"But most of all they have relied on their faith that this unjust conviction would not stand"

Knox is seated at the news conference, in tears at times, waving at times. She will speak but will not take questions. Walked in wearing a sweater, hair in a ponytail, at 5:30 p.m. People started yelling and cheering.

Members of the media are in a semi-circle at the site of the news conference, more than 150 of them pressing forward, waiting for Knox to appear. At least one camera man had to make a trip to Home Depot to buy a stepladder.

The plane has arrived, Amanda will be going through customs shortly.
Two black vans are waiting outside the 747. More than 100 members of the media are huddled, waiting for her to appear. A special podium has been set up, in case she wants to talk.

Residents and a handful of media outlets are awaiting the return of Amanda Knox in West Seattle this evening.

Businesses, including Easy Street Records and the Admiral Theater, say they're sporting "Welcome home Amanda" messages on their marquees to show their support.

"We've all been invested in her story and her journey," said Dinah Brein, manager at the Admiral Theater.

Both of Knox's parents have "Welcome Home," banners outside their homes.

Well, the media might be counting the minutes until Amanda Knox lands, but the general public isn't exactly jumping with excitement.

Just inside the airport terminal, in a waiting area from where you could see the TV vans and all the reporters and photographers, Victoria Foe, of Friday Harbor, said she wasn't curious about the goings on.

"I think the media should leave her alone and let her pick up the pieces of her life," Foe said about Knox. "She doesn't need to come home to this."

Sitting nearby was Rob Dominguez, of Fountain Valley, Calif., a systems engineer who had flown to Seattle for a meeting. He had seen a CNN report on Knox's return on his flight.

He went out and took photos of all the TV trucks and was posting them on his Facebook page. He said he didn't see anybody from the general public hanging out at the parking area where Knox is to appear at a news conference.

He hadn't yet decided if he was going to stick around.

"It'd be cool to get a picture of her," he said.

Ron Moon, of Calgary, Alberta, was waiting for a flight after coming in from Korea.

Amanda Knox? Hadn't heard of her, Moon said. Then he returned to reading his book, "Golf Problems and Solutions."

In the waiting area, people watched with curiosity as about a dozen police officers from local municipalities huddled in a meeting nearby and then scattered.

The police said they were here for security for the Knox arrival, although at this point, it wasn't clear just what they were needed for.

Will Amanda Knox speak at the news conference set for late this afternoon in Seattle?

That will be a "last minute" decision, a family spokesman said.

"It depends on how she's feeling. If she makes a statement, she won't take any questions," said Dave Marriott, who's been the family's spokesman for the past four years.

At the news conference, the first person scheduled to address the throng of journalists will be Theodore Simon, the Philadelphia attorney who is the Knox family adviser, and then Knox's mother and father, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox will speak.

As you might expect, Marriott said he has been inundated with media requests for interviews with Amanda Knox, from the news divisions of all the major networks and such shows as David Letterman.

"I frankly haven't read any of them," Marriott said of the requests.

One way to measure the international interest in Knox is that the airport has instituted the same media preparations "as if this was actually an emergency, knock on wood, an aircraft incident," said Perry Cooper, spokesman for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the news conference will be held.

That means basically cordoning off the south-end bus parking area. It's now occupied by more than a dozen TV trucks, with satellite antenna sticking high up in the air.

"I've fielded 50 to 60 calls since yesterday, all the national networks, everybody," Cooper said. He's held the job for four years, "and this is the largest media influx I've seen here."

Knox and her family will be taken off the flight separately and taken through customs on their own, Cooper said.


Among the national and international media scrambling to get to Seattle for the Amanda Knox arrival is Manuela Moreno, correspondent for Tg2 RAI in Italy.

She arrived from New York in the late morning and was on her cellphone, her carry-on bags by her side.

"It's a big surprise for us," she said about the acquittal. "Everything is changing in the last year. All the time, we're looking for guilty, but during the process, everything is changing."

Of course, she also was vying for that exclusive interview with Knox.

"I need and want for her to explain, now that she's far away from Italy, about what happened," Moreno said. "She's now in her own country and feels more protected, maybe, no?"



ERIK LACITIS / SEATTLE TIMES

Christina McLarty, a New York correspondent for Entertainment Tonight/ The Insider, prepares for a report as she waits for the arrival of Amanda Knox at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.


By noon, more than a dozen TV trucks had pulled into the bus parking lot at the south end of the airport, waiting for the news conference with the Knox family scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon.

Mostly, they were hanging around, waiting for the Knox family's big appearance.

But among those already there was Christina McLarty, a New York correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight/ The Insider."

She was there with a crew of four others and was already filing a report, one of which was an inside "scoop" that sources had told her that all three major U.S. networks "have had reps in Italy angling to get that first interview."

McLarty had started her day at 4 this morning. "It's the pound of make-up," she said

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What she needs to do is get together with Charlie Sheen . . . .  Posted on October 5, 2011 at 9:23 PM by gohuskiesfromthewood. Jump to comment
In this case it appears "being a bit weird" is like being a little bit pregnant.  Posted on October 5, 2011 at 5:51 PM by fallstaff. Jump to comment
"your a bit weird ya know?" Thanks, I actually like being a bit weird, however I'm still glad Amanda is FREE from a bad justice...  Posted on October 5, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Tri Winning. Jump to comment

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