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"Dateline" travels to Perugia to report on Seattle college student Amanda Knox’s alleged involvement in the murder of her English roommate

When Amanda Knox, the 20-year-old American language student from Seattle, went abroad to Perugia this fall no one from home ever imagined that the seemingly sweet and innocent girl would end up being a main suspect in the unimaginable murder of her English roommate, Meredith Kercher. As theories and intrigue continue to swirl around this horrific tale of drugs, violence and group sex, three people remain at the center of this investigation: roommate Amanda Knox, her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a Perugian street hustler, Rudy Herman Guede.

In an hour-long report airing this Friday, Dec. 21 (9:00 p.m., et) on "Dateline," correspondent Dennis Murphy and former FBI profiler and NBC News analyst Clint Van Zandt travel to the Italian hillside north of Rome to help untangle the conflicting stories and interpret the crime-scene evidence not yet reported on. Additionally, Knox's college friends speak out for the first time and Murphy sits down with one of the first suspects in the case who has been released from jail, bar owner Patrick Lumumba, for his first North American television interview.

When Murphy asks Lumumba why he thinks Knox lied about his being there the night of Kercher's murder, he says, "I think Amanda wanted to derail the investigation. That's what I think. She must have realized that the investigation was leading to her and must have thought that if she mentioned me – because I'm black – then the investigator's attention would shift to me. Its classic." Lumumba also tells "Dateline" he thinks Knox wants to be the center of attention and that, "she's a person capable of doing anything to be in the spotlight."

David Corvo is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC."