“Wow, that is quite the board!” Amanda Knox exclaimed on Friday morning, taking in the massive mixing console at the Platinum Sound recording studio in Hell’s Kitchen, as she deposited her luggage in a corner of the room. The former exchange student, who was prosecuted by Italian authorities for the murder of her roommate based on a ludicrous theory that nonetheless inspired feverishly lurid headlines around the world, was in town from Seattle to tape a holiday edition of the Wrongful Conviction podcast. Graceful and warm, with a bright easy smile, she wore a loose putty-colored sweater and bore little resemblance to the accused teen temptress and sadistic killer whose supposed misdeeds were so gleefully chronicled by the tabloid media. (The charges were finally thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court in 2015, and a documentary on the case is currently available on Netflix.)
Knox and the show’s other guests, Jarrett Adams and Jeff Deskovic, had each been convicted of a savage crime and subsequently proven innocent. For this installment of the series, which the production team was calling, half-jokingly, “A Very Special Wrongful Christmas,” the plan was to talk about what it’s like to celebrate the holidays behind bars, when your situation is more Franz Kafka than Frank Capra.
The recording facility, which has also hosted such well-known artists as Rihanna, Shakira, and Kendrick Lamar, features an impressive 85-channel vintage SSL console. That might seem like overkill for a podcast, but the series’ creator and host, Jason Flom, is hardly a typical podcaster. Described in a lengthy 2003 New Yorker profile as “one of the most successful record men of the last 20 years,” he is the founder and CEO of Lava Records and has held the top jobs at Atlantic, Virgin, and Capitol. Over the course of his nearly four-decade-long career, he discovered and nurtured an impressive roster of acts, including Twisted Sister, White Lion, Stone Temple Pilots, Matchbox 20, Skid Row, Tori Amos, Jewel, Hootie & the Blowfish, Kid Rock, Lorde, and Katy Perry.
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