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Surprises still to come in Knox trial

By Paula Newton, CNN
  • British student Kercher died two years ago with slashed throat
  • Knox's parents say she is a victim
  • Key evidence is to portray killing fueled by sexual violence, prosecution sources say
  • Verdict expected next month

Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- For all the intrigue that's passed through this medieval city, from Roman battles to papal wars, Perugia is now in the throes of a modern mystery.

This stunning city, perched atop a steep hill has become an all-too-real CSI. Most you talk to here can pick over the evidence, possible motives, and even the forensics of the murder of Meredith Kercher.

It has been two years since the British student was slashed in the throat and left to bleed to death. Police speculate she could have suffered for up to two hours before dying in a pool of blood on her bed.

Rudy Guede, an African student who was studying in Perugia, has already convicted of the crime and sentenced to 30 years. But prosecutors have also charged Amanda Knox, one of Kercher's former housemates, and her former boyfriend Italian Raffaele Sollecito, with murder.

It's Knox's indictment that has both magnified the mystery and ignited media mayhem. According to her parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, their daughter has become a choice villain for the press. In an interview with from Seattle, they said their daughter is a victim.

"How journalists took apart her my space pages and literally created a person that they needed in order to sell whatever it is they were trying to sell versus the person that she really is and she is a good kid" said Curt Knox.

Knox's parents point out that very early on, some newspapers and television networks dubbed their daughter "Foxy Knoxy," an innocent nickname they say she was given as an eight-year-old child.

Video: Knox's parents speak out
Video: Knox trial continues
Timeline: The Amanda Knox case

"The Foxy Knoxy was totally associated to soccer and how she prepared herself as a defender" says Curt Knox.

"It was just kind of this obscure thing from when she was really young that she put out there that just turned into this huge negative thing," Mellas said.

While most international journalists have only covered the trial sporadically, tenacious Italian journalists like Francesca Bene have been covering every twist and turn of the trial. Bene and other journalists at Il Giornale dell' Umbria, a local newspaper, have investigated every shred of evidence in this trial and logged dozens of hours of testimony and interrogations.

Bene said the police were very persuasive in the first days of the investigation claiming that Knox had confessed. This certainly fueled the caricature of Knox.

"It's very simple in the beginning to take a photo and say she is a dark lady," Bene said.

And Bene says even after two years of investigation, what happened remains a mystery -- a mystery many people can relate to.

"Like our child, our brother or sister so it is simple for the people to see in them something of their life," notes Bene.

If most can't relate to the horror of the crime, many can relate to the young lives that have been shattered by it. Knox's parents acknowledge moments of despair, but they say they take strength from the strong case the defense has presented so far. They point out that prosecutors have never found any physical evidence linking their daughter to the killing in the bedroom where Kercher was found.

"There was a tremendous amount of tears. And it's one where we have to try to do our best to put on a face that it is going to work out. And we keep telling her that, that it's taking way longer than we ever expected, but she is going to get out of there. And she's innocent and they are not going to put an innocent 20 year old in jail for 30 years, it's just not going to happen, especially with no evidence."

But sources close to the prosecution told CNN that there will be a few surprises during closing arguments; key evidence is to portray a frenzied killing fueled by sexual violence.

A verdict is expected next month and with it, Knox's parents expect their daughter will be home for Christmas. They say they have bought a ticket home for Amanda, but they can barely get through the sentence before dissolving in tears.

CNN's Mallory Simon contributed to this report.