Love blossomed a week ahead of Valentine’s Day for Amanda Knox and her musician boyfriend Colin Sutherland. The two are engaged to be married, according to multiple reports. Sutherland, who also goes by the name “Thunderstrike,” is 27 years old and is a member of the Brooklyn-based band, “The Johnny Pumps.” He is also a self-described ghost hunter, who recently crowdfunded a film project about the hobby.
Knox is the 27-year-old American and former exchange student in Italy whose name became known internationally during a murder trial in which she and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty in 2007 for the killing of a British roommate, Meredith Kercher. An Italian justice official’s review of the case in 2011 resulted in an acquittal for Knox and Sollecito. They were released from prison, but a retrial was launched in 2013 while Knox remained in the U.S. The new trial is unresolved.
Sutherland has known Knox since middle school and wrote letters to her while she was in the Italian prison for nearly four years, according to a report by the Daily Beast. Sutherland graduated from New York’s Sarah Lawrence College in 2009, where he studied French and was part of the school’s theater program, according to playbills that contain his bio. He also studied movement and voice at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Knox and Sutherland were spotted together visiting New York’s Coney Island last September, according to a report by the New York Daily News. Sometime since then, Sutherland moved to Seattle where his future wife, Knox, works at a bookstore and is a freelance journalist for the West Seattle Herald, a weekly newspaper. Friends of Sutherland have described the musician in some unusual ways. A band member described him as “a spiritual being,” while the Indiegogo page for the ghost hunting film project pegs him as a “magical unicorn of a human being.”