Headsup: In “Talking To Strangers” Malcom Gladwell lied to his readers with an inaccurate and venomous attack on Italian justice that gives aid to the mafia. Below is the tenth of about a dozen posts providing the ACCURATE information Gladwell should have done. Series starts here.

Category: Concerning Meredith

Thursday, November 01, 2018

RIP Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher 28 December 1985 - 1 November 2007

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 11/01 at 07:01 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryComments here (2)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Marking The End Of Another Year During Which Justice Did Make Some Gains

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

An Italian piece (Scarlatti) by American Elaine Comparone which we used before


Meredith’s birthday comes around again on the 28th so for her family in London which now includes some grandchildren the years’ end emotions are mixed.

Her family clearly likes any ongoing notions of what she might have achieved, what others are achieving that are of her generation, moreso than an annual reminder of the days since she passed.

This post was responding to that.

We didn’t think we needed to explain the post and sure enough almost everybody did see the point. The scorching Moonlight Sonata was many peoples’ first choice.

Hence the harpsichord piece! 

Music and ballet did mean a lot for Meredith, and both could use wider audiences these days.  If there’s a video on that same theme we can add it here. Words also will do fine.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 12/25 at 10:19 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyComments here (6)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Meredith’s Perugia #38: Popular Beaches In Italy’s Deep South She Will Never See

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

 

 


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Meredith’s Perugia #37: Aerial Perugia With High Definition Drone Photography

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 05/28 at 04:17 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaComments here (20)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Nine Years Tuesday Since The Pack Attack: The Compelling Aura Of Meredith Lives On

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 10/31 at 02:45 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryComments here (7)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Only In Italy? A Complete Orchestra - Of Women Playing Harps

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Complexity squared….

The venues are not given, but one looks like the La Scala Opera House in Milan, completely sold out. Actually, there are a few such orchestras elsewhere in Europe and in the US; in Italy they are thick on the ground.


Friday, January 01, 2016

“Happy Day” By Universita per Stranieri Students Meredith Would Surely Have Got Along With

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 01/01 at 06:01 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaComments here (5)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Buon Anno 2016! Bay Of Naples Has A Fireworks Show Like… Not Your Normal Town

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Last year the fireworks of Meredith’s home town received a lot of praise - she was born not far from that giant wheel.


Monday, December 28, 2015

In Commemoration Of Meredith On Her 30th: The Great Bach Tocata & Fugue In D Minor

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Fittingly, played by a woman. We think Meredith would have liked that.

The woman is Emà­lia Dzemjanová, and she is playing in St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice in eastern Slovakia where she has recorded often.

A church organ is not an instrument that many women play, perhaps because it is physically the most taxing. And the thunderous D Minor is especially taxing and both feet need to be pretty busy. The lowest notes here would all be played by Emilia’s feet.

In fact this is the only rendition on a church organ that we can find on YouTube by a woman. No harm in going where no woman has gone before, right?


Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 12/28 at 03:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryComments here (10)

Sunday, November 01, 2015

1 November 2015: Marking Eight Years That Her Presence And Promise Have Moved People

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Meredith at lower left with sister and parents; she showed quite exceptional potential

Meredith as commemorate by Stephany:

For us, this has only ever been about Meredith. She had been in Perugia for eight weeks and I had moved away from home only three weeks previously. We had stayed in touch updating each other with the exciting new things we were doing.

I had just got home from a training course when Mum called me, her voice trembling, relaying news that a 21-year-old English girl had been found under a mattress in Italy.

Trying to calm Mum down I began calling Mez on her mobile. I ended up leaving a voice message explaining what had happened, telling her to be safe and to call me as soon as she could.

I finished, as always, saying “I love you”. I even emailed her the news page so she knew what I was talking about… Little did I know I was already too late.

Dad’s was the next voice I heard. Through tears he told me the name he had been given by a newspaper was Meredith. I cannot remember what I thought ““ it was a mixture of disbelief and sheer pain. I did not know what to think or do and then my body just sunk.

When I arrived at Mum’s the pain in my chest was unbearable as I was told the few details of what had happened ““ the broken window, her door locked on the inside.

Thoughts and scenarios were racing through my head faster than I could comprehend and I collapsed into my parents’ arms, filled with the fear Meredith must have endured that night.

We stayed up all night watching the news, waiting for any concrete information. The Halloween photo of Meredith was the first to appear and I spun round to Mum and said “˜That’s not Mez! That’s not Mez, Mum!’

I was adamant it was not my little sister, but Mum stroked my hair and painfully submitted that it was.

I cried all night until I could barely see or breathe, everything just felt so empty. From the moment we received the call I knew we had to go and look after Mez.

We were told she was in a room with flowers either side of her and Mum said we had to go as soon as possible because she did not want to leave Meredith on her own. I cannot begin to imagine how my parents must have felt, I just know how numb I was and how Mum’s strength pulled us together.

We began our journey to identify her and bring her home. Arriving in Italy was surreal, everything happened so quickly. I still remember looking at Meredith lying there so still, no breath to be taken, a crisp white sheet pulled up to and over her neck.

She seemed peaceful, yet she bore a look of determination, of courage marred by defeat. It was a look that let us know how hard she had fought to be with us ““ and for that I am eternally grateful.

From that moment we knew we had to fight for her, too, not only for justice for her, but every day for ourselves, for her.

Others have given us the strength to continue since November 1, 2007 and we’d like to thank everyone around the world who has supported us and given us hope.

This is testament to a truly special sister, daughter and friend. She really did touch so many lives with her selfless compassion and loyalty, and continues to do so now.

Nothing was ever too much trouble for her. Mez never knew how effortlessly beautiful she was or how much of an impact she had on people. This was a quality of hers, which enabled her to make others laugh, help others when they needed someone, and become someone to aspire to.

She held such an incredible presence that the void she has left us with is noticeable every day. Marking the fourth anniversary of our loss, we now live without reason. No motive was found.

It is difficult to find any reason to want to hurt her and it terrifies me to think she may have left us that night not knowing either.

We still hope justice will prevail and, in the darkest times, the support given to Meredith and us as a family reminds us of why we are still here.

We are working with friends and colleagues to start a Trust Fund in Meredith’s name to help with the case and eventually support anyone else who may tragically find themselves in our position, so that her fight may continue and help others.

On November 1 at 9pm I will light a candle for my sister, may she rest in peace.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 11/01 at 04:34 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryComments here (17)

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Real Victim: Will The Cassation Report Promised Thursday Belatedly Suitably Acknowledge Her?

Posted by Slow Jane





It was a gloriously sunny early summer’s day.

I stepped out of the tube onto Tooting Broadway, with throngs of shoppers overflowing the pavements and schoolchildren milling around the bus stops in groups.

Now here at last, in Croydon Cemetery, fifteen bus stops later, I found Meredith’s grave, startling in its unexpectedness, after walking for quite a while, hopeless at following directions, having originally gone to the wrong graveyard altogether, the day before.

My heart pounded as her name suddenly leapt out at me.

The burial site is beautifully maintained, with miniature pink and red rose bushes and set in the peaceful landscaped grounds, with evergreens and lawns.

I stood for a while overcome with emotion, quite alone, with nobody in sight all around.  I said a few prayers, including one pleading that Meredith’s murderers be brought to justice.  I quietly sang Psalm 23 and pondered how this beautiful, funny, bright young student had lived a life that was all too short.

A feeling of pain - for her mother Arline and father John, and Stephanie, Lyle and John and for all her family and friends - contracted like a taut elastic band across my chest.

I recalled how at her funeral service at St John the Baptist Church many of the mourners, including sister Stephanie and friends from Leeds Uni had carried a single white rose each.

Stephanie read out a poem she wrote, ” Don’t Say Goodbye”.  Her old school friends sang as a choir the requiem,  In Paradisum.  Two hymns sung at the service, on 14th December 2007, were “˜Abide with me” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”.

Meredith’s favourite record “With or without you” by U2 (below) was played.

As I sat on a creaky bench nearby under the shade of a gnarled old tree, I scribbled down the following lines:

    I came to pay my respects

    To Meredith Kercher so dear

    To all who knew her.

    Go gently into that night

    Enforced on you by the evil,

    Those who walk in the darkness,

    And you were in their path.

    Your light shines

    And the dark has not overcome it.

 

I write this article to reflect that this is about Meredith Kercher and her family and friends, and to reclaim the memory of her purity from the soiled agenda of the ex-defendants and the cruel IIP and FOA stalkers.

Stephanie Kercher had said, in response to Knox’s demand, on the launch of her “memoir”, that she be taken to visit Meredith’s grave, that Stephanie and her family just want a safe place for Meredith to rest in peace.

I cast my mind back to the news reports that broke in November 2013 that Raffaele Sollecito had nevertheless paid a “secret visit” to the spot.  He had been in London in March 2013.  He had the grace not to include pictures of the grave on his “London” Facebook page that he may have taken.

Newspaper reports reveal he was taken there by an “English friend” and left no flowers.  The “friend” who was quick to betray Sollecito’s “secret” is speculated to be one Nigel Scott, ex-Lib Dem Councillor in Haringey, and a purported member of the Injustice in Perugia advisory board, the rather grand name of a lobby of aggressive pro-Knox advocates.

Scott put up a picture of the grave in a tweet ““ hastily taken down ““ as the news broke.  He disparagingly refers to the grave as being in “poor condition”, with a temporary headstone marker. 

His co-campaigner, Karen Pruett, maintains a Find A Grave webpage for Meredith and was forced by demand from enraged supporters of Meredith Kercher’s family to take down the picture of Meredith’s grave, most probably taken from the Daily Mail.

Notorious FOA poster Lyn Duncan - who tweets under the name of @Annella - and others, left “tributes” after the acquittal, despite one of their party, Doug Bremner Jr, having referred to the Kerchers as “Nazis” and another mocking Meredith’s grave lacking a headstone as late as 2011, when Knox was first acquitted by Hellmann, as shown in the Daily Mail.

Time has shown how Scott’s, Pruett’s and other Knox chums’ characters speak for themselves.

Meredith’s final resting place is beautiful, in a quietly understated way.  The grave adjacent is of a Liverpool supporter aged 22,  who died around about the same time as Mez, who was 21.  It is very poignant to see.

Meredith’s headstone is fashioned out of marble and reads, ” We will always love you MEREDITH SUSANNA CARA KERCHER 28th Dec. 1985 ““ 1st Nov. 2007 Forever in our thoughts, always in our hearts.”

The temporary marker, so much derided by Knox’ supporters, remains at the foot.  I left some Sweet Williams in a flower container and slowly walked away, moved and changed by the visit.




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Meredith May Not See Justice (Yet) But She Will Leave At Least Three Legacies

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Meredith’s goal in life was to help people, and she had thought of making a career in the European institutions in Brussels.

So much of human organization is messy and very hard to make better. She would have found that.  But somehow, often in a terrifying lurch, systems do sometimes tend to get better.

These better systems between them benefiting millions may all be attributed to Meredith. More than 99% of humanity can achieve in a lifetime.

1) Perugia is a safer more thriving place now

This is a repeat of our post of 9 April 2010 - there has been a mayor-change, but the broad safety and economic trends continue.

Meet Wladimiro Boccali. The mayor of Perugia.

A year ago when Mr Boccali ran for office (video above) it was in the context of a city-wide desire for prosperity, public safety, support for the police and the court system, the enhancement of Perugia’s reputation, and the clamping down on drug dealing and student excesses.

A mood that very much flowed from the shock of Meredith’s passing. A sense that certain things had gone too far.

Since then, Mr Boccali has been in the Italian national news almost daily, and he is coming to be seen as the kind of political leader Italy could really use in a turbulent future.

He is in the news again right now, because there was a riot in the main piazza of the old city by some drunks late last saturday night.

In part inspired and encouraged by good town leadership, Perugia’s economy is now one of the more thriving city economies in Italy. Perugia’s median IQ is extremely high (Perugia is probably one of the smartest cities in Europe) and a lot of very advanced research goes on there.

Perugia’s town administration does many caring things, such as the special city council meeting for Sonia Marra.

And seemingly attracted by all of this, people are moving to Perugia in droves - its population is increasing at double the national growth rate.

So. Meet the new Perugia. Meredith’s own qualities, writ large.

Since that post Perugia and the university have recognised Meredith by way of a scholarship and a one-day seminar.

2) American universities acted to stop future Knoxes

Knox behaved grossly irresponsibly in heading to Perugia under-funded, intent on drug-doing, and with zero intention of seriously studying.

The University of Washington and many others realised they could have huge liabilities if they did not distance themselves a lot from such loose cannons in future.

In October 2009 we reposted this report by Andrea Vogt which described the initiation of measures many American universities have now come to implement.

Mirroring a nationwide trend, the University of Washington is overhauling how its students and professors interface with foreign countries….

The UW study abroad experience today involves much more oversight than it did two years ago when Amanda Knox left on an unsupervised European adventure that quickly degenerated into a nightmare.

When Knox, who is on trial for murder in Italy, left her familiar U-district environs in late summer 2007, she embarked on her own independent study in Umbria with very few guidelines or institutional oversight.

She arrived in the tolerant student melange of Perugia, a vibrant college town with temptation at every turn and many paradoxes (drug deals and party plans are often made on the steps of the cathedral).

A month later, the honor student’s pub-crawling, pot-smoking college shenanigans had taken a very serious turn and she was being hauled off to the Capanne penitentiary, where she remains today, pleading her innocence as the trial and controversial accusations against her plod forward.

Once her troubles began, the university tried to offer support, but had very few official guidelines to follow for responding to the kind of complicated legal-judicial matter Knox faced.

It’s different now….

In the wake of several negative overseas episodes, officials are busy raising awareness about the positive impact the UW is having worldwide and taking steps to improve communications, regulation and emergency preparedness for its students abroad.

Compared with two years ago, international education officials are more closely tracking who, where and what study-abroad programs involve. The university has new rules:. The department chair has to sign off on the program. Insurance is required. So is a cell phone. No program money can be used to buy alcohol, just for starters.

“There’s a much more formal process now,” said Taso Lagos, a UW professor who teaches international communication and manages a study-abroad program in Greece. “With administrators that are very aware, with lines of communication open and policies in place if something happens.”...

The UW’s growing commitment to international education—- even in a budget crisis—is reflected in some developments. [UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs Stephen Hanson] was named a vice provost in January, and in the spring, the UW dedicated an entire wing of the Gerberding Hall administration building to growing an international mission and profile.

This year, a travel security and information officer is coming on board to oversee emergency response and preparedness, as is Peter Moran, a new director of international programs and exchanges who previously worked at the Fulbright Commission office in Katmandu, Nepal.

New guidelines are being put in place to streamline communications, ease financial transactions and institute mandatory training for faculty taking students abroad. The Global Support Project, a rapid-response team with one person from each branch of the central administration, takes on cross-disciplinary international challenges.

Such reforms aren’t unique to UW.

Universities across the country are examining how better to organize study abroad to meet blossoming demand from students (and prospective employers) for foreign experience. Many are turning to independent service providers whose business it is to contract housing, health care or niche risk management services dealing with legal, financial or public relations crises when things go haywire abroad…..

Though the university bore no responsibility for any of the events Knox became entangled in, media across the world continued to mention the University of Washington—whether it was because of character witnesses who were her college buddies, reports of wild off-campus parties Knox attended in Seattle or her studies while in prison.

3) Italy’s justice reforms will be nudged hard

Italian justice has a systemic problem, it has been made to tilt hard toward defendants over the years. That problem was described here and here and touched on in many other posts.

Polls have show that though Italians admire and trust their justice system and especially the brave people within it (over 100 have died fighting mafia) a majority would like some rebalancing toward victims and families.

Justice reforms are now on the national agenda. What happened in Rome yesterday to deny Meredith justice is stirring Italy and seems certain to impact them.’

Court days to flow continuously? Some backing off from automatic appeals? No juries at the second level? Prosecutors and judges to be allowed to speak out more? Maybe in lieu of some of those onerous sentencing reports? Limits to defendants talking without cross-examination in the courtroom?

These are not extreme, they are mainstream in the common-law system, and they would speed Italy’s up, make it fairer, and cost less (a lot less!).

***

All incredibly worthwhile. For one so young, in death Meredith may come to help millions for the better.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Did The State Department Offer Assurances To Knox She Never Would Be Extradited?

Posted by Ergon



US Sec of State Kerry (discussing Snowden) really needs extraditions to work

1. Overview

This is the first of two posts on the real source of an increasing flow of anonymous but seemingly official State Department claims that Knox’s extradition is not in the cards

2. The Current Italy/US Extradition Treaty

As repeatedly explained here by posting lawyers the Italy/US treaty is deliberately written to exclude any politics.

If either nation has arrived at a guilty verdict of someone currently in the other nation by following its own laws, then the other nation deliberately has no legal option but to extradite them to serve their term.

So far neither nation has ever refused to do what the treaty says and so far politics has never intervened. That helps both nations in pursuing other extradition cases around the world.

3. Claims By An Anonymous Source

“Will Amanda Knox Be Dragged Back to Italy in Murder Case?” This was by Nina Burleigh in a cover story in Newsweek on March 19, 2015 quoting an anonymous source.

A State Department source tells Newsweek that diplomats in both Italy and the U.S. expect an extradition request to be denied: “I don’t think either Italy or the U.S. wants a major burr under our saddle in terms of relationships between our countries, and this would be that, if the Italians pushed it.” If they do, the source adds, there “is not any way” the U.S. will arrest Knox, nor will it have her declared a fugitive.

The elected Italian government in Rome is separate from the judiciary, and traditionally the two branches do not have warm relations. “I know the Italian government was rolling its eyes” over the prospect of the case reaching this phase, the State Department source says, adding that Rome faces “a real political problem” if the judiciary requests extradition. The American diplomat predicts the Italian court won’t ask to extradite.

It seems that ever since Amanda Knox was wrongfully acquitted by the Hellmann appeals court of Perugia in 2011 we have been inundated with unsourced reports that “the United States would never extradite Amanda Knox.

Going back several years to the Daily Mail, Guardian, The Express and various American media, they all seemed to be reading from the same script:

  • She hadn’t received a fair trial.

  • American public opinion would “˜never allow her to be sent back”.

  • The Secretary of State would quietly prevail upon his counterpart in Italy to not request extradition.

And, as the final appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito came up to the last stretch it seemed that these same hacks were repeating the same talking points, even though much has changed since 2011.

These were the basic points, reported over and over in the main stream media till it almost seemed like a guarantee. So I have been looking for the last three years to verify the truth of that. And, who made that promise, if any were made? These were the basic parameters of my search, and I had to tune out the background noise of “˜double jeopardy” and “˜dueling extradition experts”.

Then I had to look for the “˜unnamed source” quoted in all the news reports.

These possibilities came up: 

  • WA US Senator Maria Cantwell spoke to her colleague Sen. John Kerry of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who spoke to his brother in law David Thorne, the former US Ambassador to Rome, who passed on a quiet message to the Italian Foreign minister. But would they ever speak on or off the record to reporters or like it very much if it was going to be bruited about?

  • Mid-level Friends Of Amanda Knox like Anne Bremner and Judge Heavey had received vague assurances from Senator Cantwell; somehow extrapolated as iron clad guarantee that Knox would never be extradited, never mind there has not been any precedent I can find that would apply to a similar case like this.

  • Someone in the Department of Justice and/ or State is feeding them shite.

  • The FOA are making it all up. That last was my favourite, given that they are led around by people like Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, and J. Michael Scadron.


4. My Search For The Truth

This has been an interesting journey, and as always, things seem to just come together at the last moment. It has helped that I have been watching diplomatic activity up-close all my life.

My father was in the Pakistani Foreign Service stationed in London, so, shortly after I was born, lived in the UK from age 0-3, then with the Pakistan Embassy in Tokyo from age 3-8. We were a cosmopolitan group of embassy brats going to St. Mary’s International School.

My friends were American, Iranian, Turk, Indian, East German, Canadian, New Zealand, points all over. Their parents were all diplomats and I made lifelong friends. My father could have received a posting as assistant to the ambassador to Washington D.C. after that but fate prevailed as he’d been stationed out 8 years and had to be rotated back to Pakistan.

Since that time I kept in touch with my friends and also developed this passion for International Relations and Geopolitics. Traveling to the US and other countries but also meeting over the internet, made many more friends at various levels of the State Department. Saw the changes there as respected career diplomats got replaced by interest groups and major donors to political parties. Such only went to choice postings, of course, but not second or third world countries, so I had many interesting discussions with them over the years.

The Wikileaks cables were a revelation as Embassy intercepts showed the thousand different ways diplomacy led to but also tried to prevent, war. I’d been reading them ever since they first came out so started searching for links to secret discussions with Amb. Thorne. Couldn’t find anything except what already was reported, so reporter Andrea Vogt’s FOI request find was a goldmine:

NEWLY RELEASED EMBASSY CABLES SHED LIGHT ON STATE DEPT HANDLING OF AMANDA KNOX CASE

By Andrea Vogt

FEBRUARY 13 “Newly released state department documents show the U.S. Embassy in Rome declared the Amanda Knox matter “Case Closed” in a cable to Washington just days after the American’s clamorous 2011 acquittal.  The memo reveals wishful thinking on the part of some U.S. diplomats, who were only too eager to see the thorny case come to a clean close.”

In Update March 23, 2015 posted today, Andrea Vogt says this:

In a 2011 Italian embassy cable released as part of several Freedom of Information Act requests I’ve filed on this case (first published Oct 11, 2011) [US] diplomats in Italy mistakenly thought Knox’s acquittal in 2011 would bring to a close this complex and divisive international case. Italy’s Court of Cassation would prove them wrong, overturning her Perugia acquittal and ordering a second appeal in a different venue (Florence) which ended last year with a guilty verdict.

So is a political fix being attempted or already in? See my Part Two Conclusion to be posted next.


Sunday, January 04, 2015

That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Curt Knox spins the day in court; prosecutors are forbidden to correct him or explain “their side”

1. How The Supposed Leaks Began

On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.

That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.

Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.

False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.

But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.

And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.

On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).

Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up. Judge Ricciarelli confirmed that that was all correct.

In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.

Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.

All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.

2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?

The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.

How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?

In fact NONE. Not one.

Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.

In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.

And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.

3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?

Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.

The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims. 

And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.

The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop. 

Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.

But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here.  In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).

4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame

In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.

Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.

Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.

But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.

Despite this Tramontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.

This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:

The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.

Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.

But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.

The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]

Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.

Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Meredith’s 29th: She Might Confidently Have Expected To Have Come Far By Now

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





A kind stranger sees it. From John Kercher’s fine book Meredith:

I had never heard of the “˜white feather’ phenomenon until some years ago. The story goes ““ or so I was told ““ that when somebody close to you dies, they occasionally send you a white feather to let you know that they are fine and thinking of you. Whether this was true or not, I could have no idea.

In the days after we were allowed to bring Meredith home and bury her, I went to the cemetery alone and, when I returned to my car, a small white feather was fluttering by the driver’s door. Soon after, I visited Meredith again ““ and again I saw a single white feather. After this, it happened on several occasions ““ but I always thought that it was simply a coincidence.

That was until, sometime later, Stephanie and I were sitting in the garden at a table, and as we talked, a pure white feather floated down and settled between us. I looked up into a clear blue sky. There were no birds. For the first time, I wondered if Meredith really was communicating with us. It was so easy to think that this was a stupid superstition, but I would not stop myself wondering if it was something more.

Then, quite recently, I had a coffee in London with one of Meredith’s friends from Perugia, Natalie Hayward. We had been talking generally and about Meredith. When we left and stood outside South Kensington Underground Station, to my amazement a white feather suddenly floated down between Natalie and myself and settled on her hand. I looked up. Once again, the sky was pure blue and there was not a bird in sight.

After Natalie left, I stood at that point for a full ten minutes, looking skywards, and not one bird appeared. Since then, I have heard and read of other people’s similar experiences. From this moment on, I like to think that, in some comforting way, Meredith truly is communicating with me. You may think me stupid or superstitious, but it is an experience I have never had before, and for every white feather I see, the feeling grows stronger.

Sometimes other people can say things better than you can yourself, because you are too close to events. This was certainly the case when a complete stranger, a middle-aged American woman whose name we do not know, wrote to us and managed to capture the entire essence of the person Meredith was. Her message, unsolicited but so appreciated, was so poignant that it made us cry. Here is what this American woman wrote about our daughter, which I am proud to publish.

    Meredith was an exceptional young woman, who was intelligent, friendly and loving, beginning the adventure of a lifetime. She emerged into the independence of young adulthood with a remarkable ability to make good on all of the advantages that life had given her: a loving family, physical beauty and vitality, intelligence, grace and wit and a desire to excel.

    Along with others, I have felt drawn to learn more about this extraordinary young woman, who did everything that she could, it seemed, to be happy, to achieve and to create goodwill among everyone that she encountered. By all accounts, she was conscientious and generous, possessing a grace and sense of responsibility unusual for her age, while retaining a youthful joy and spontaneity.

    Over time, I became aware of another, deepening aspect of her story working through me. I thought about how beautifully Meredith moved through the world: her dedication to her studies and focus on future goals; her commitment to family and the value that she placed on all relationships. These were qualities that became a touchstone for me, qualities that I aspired to strengthen in myself. I felt drawn to her radiance as a guiding force for good in my own life.

    Most of us will never enjoy, in such abundance, or with such seeming ease, the beauty, joy and success that Meredith possessed and achieved in her short life. But what Meredith knew, what Meredith was, can become a universal lesson. What Meredith, the woman and her life, can teach us, and has certainly taught me, is the value of moving in the world from a place of light and joy. Meredith has set an example, a standard that challenges and inspires us to live in the world differently. Every time that I think of her, I am reminded of this. For those of us who open ourselves to receiving the gift of her radiant beauty, she can serve as a source of inspiration, and a light toward which we can strive.

Upon reading this, I was overwhelmed. I wondered if this lady was clairvoyant, for she had somehow captured the essence of Meredith so perfectly. I could not have written anything better.

It is moments like this that make me believe that it is right that, as a family, we still vow to get justice for our Meredith ““ who, in death, has somehow changed the lives of so many people, without them having even known her. How these people are so perceptive about her, I do not know, but the fact that she has touched so many unknowns means that, in some way, she still goes on.




Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 12/28 at 05:36 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyComments here (14)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Marking Seven Years Since Meredith Was Taken From Her Family And Friends

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



They all mark this date every year, we know.

Final justice for Meredith now seems very close at hand, and with measures in Italian university cities to clamp down on student drug-use and measures in American colleges to monitor students in foreign exchange schemes a lot more closely, many others will be made a little safer resulting from this sad affair.

Poster Hopeful offers the poem below and for those who only came to know about Meredith lately this group of posts may move you a lot.

Funny, kind, charismatic, ambitious to make her mark for mankind, and unstinting in hard work. We will need so many more like Meredith in probable tough times going forward. Watching over them is something we all need to do.

Sound of Seasons

Meredith, all these pleasures
You will miss as surely
As the next spring
Arrives in unfailing sequence,
The limitless seasons
Over and over like tireless waves
Rekissing the shore.

All these you miss, destroyed by death,
Your eyes unseeing
What even the smallest bird on earth
Enjoys.

Oh dearest, hearts are breaking for you,
That all your dreaming is gone,
That you seem lifeless as the stone,
Your laughing body and ambient wit
Disappeared into thin air,
Your mellow eyes with big chivalric stare
Shut to this earth,

But where where
Can we find anything to replace you
In this tired earth?
What joy or power or jewel
Would compensate
For your deft lineage stricken from the rolls
Of life?

There is an answer, a drum roll. Hear it
Announcing sound.
Sound is the purest mark of your legacy,
Sounds sounds all sorts of sounds
Unseen yet constantly around us.
If you listen closely to your own breathing
you will hear it push a little sigh
Over your hovering ears.
Whish, the wind blows wherever it pleases. Life is in the breath.

Meredith you are dancing again
In the music that we hear.
You are sound’s daughter
Splashing again in the waves
Of the Sea of Truth.

Dawn rises to stir the wind with the sun.
Your voice rustles the air
With your varied presence.
It is so sweet.
Your speech is breathing
The breath of nations,
Like air air
Entering the body
As life entered the Garden.

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 11/01 at 07:28 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryComments here (14)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meredith And Her Understanding Of The Power Of Good Thoughts

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding





“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world. (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice)

One of the most disturbing and disheartening features of this serious case has been the influence, mob-like, of malevolent misinformation and mantras that the defence has spread among their followers.

In this season of generosity and goodwill, it would be good to remember the power, also, of good thoughts.

They, too, can gather strength - the more people think them, and share them with others. The more people hold out for reason and justice (as well as compassion where appropriate), the more a momentum will be generated, and will help reason prevail.






I have often heard fragments of this poem below quoted. It speaks of this power of good thoughts, and I found the whole poem, written by the American, Henry Van Dyke (from Pennsylvania, born 1854) :

“Thoughts Are Things” by Henry Van Dyke

I hold it true that thoughts are things;
They’re endowed with bodies and breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results, or ill.

That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth’s remotest spot,
Leaving its blessings or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.

We build our future, thought by thought,
For good or ill, yet know it not.
Yet, so the universe was wrought.
Thought is another name for fate;
Choose, then, thy destiny and wait.
For love brings love and hate brings hate.”







Mrs. Mazzeo, who was Meredith ‘s teacher, remembers Meredith in Year Thirteen :

“When she was in Year Thirteen, the modern languages and music departments at the school collaborated in a cross-curricular activity called ‘Light and Dark’.

This was intended to celebrate the music and poetry of the respective languages studied at the school. The Italian department contributed with three readings from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Meredith was due to read one extract only, in Italian, from Paradiso.

But a younger girl, who was due to deliver the Purgatorio reading, had a panic attack a few minutes before she was due to read, and so was unable to participate. In a very calm way, Meredith took over this reading and read it perfectly, without any practice at all.”

Rabindranath Tagore was a prolific Indian writer, poet and musician who was born in 1861. An inclusive school he founded is now one of the great universities in India. He was very aware of the power of thought and presence:

‘The unuttered words in the vast mind of Man
Wander through space like nebulae.
Striking against the boundary of my mind,
They condense, take form,
And revolve around my study.’
(5th December 1940, Morning).

Like many Indians he seemed to have an innate appreciation of the role suffering often plays in life.  Here he wonders about suffering and pain :

‘From what workshop of suffering,
From what threshold of inflamed consciousness,
Come the darts of pain
And the bleeding wound?
Tiny is man’s body,
But how infinite his power of suffering!
In the world of Creation and Destruction,
Why does blood-red madness
Drench the earthen vessel of the body
With tears?’
(4th November 1940).

‘Nobody knows at what corner of the Universe
Is gathering every moment relentless Unforgivingness.
A fault lying hidden snaps the string
That binds all things together.
One mistake in the flash that gives the signal,
And the way for retreat is barred for ever.’
(13th November 1940)







‘Life is suffering’ is often a starting point - and one wonders - is it not precisely because of this that some of those of Indian origin will emanate a gentle strength, and go that extra mile to give and spread happiness wherever they can?

As if saying : ‘no more suffering…just for a Moment…there is already enough.’

We have another extract from John Kercher’s book, which indicates that Meredith had this quality. This is from Jayne Moore, who had employed her in the summer of 2007 :

“She was charming, because she was so unaffected and natural, and seemed to be happy all the time. She reminds me of the last few lines of a poem by Philip Larkin,.....The poem is called “Born Yesterday”, and the last lines describe
:
.... what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled
Catching of happiness is called.

And I think that is what Meredith showed to the people who knew her and worked with her.”

It must be with very heavy and sorrowful hearts that Meredith’s family and close friends approach the 28th December which would have been Meredith’s 28th birthday. She would have been four or five years by now into what looked like a momentous career.

We all sincerely hope that that whatever transpires at the Florence court in the New Year, knowing that Meredith has attracted the support of millions will go some way to lighten their path ahead.



Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 12/26 at 03:50 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryCrime hypothesesThe psychologyComments here (51)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Favorite Videos To Honor Meredith’s Nice Embracing Town Perugia At Christmas

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 12/25 at 03:01 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyHer PerugiaComments here (6)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Meredith’s Perugia #35: A Main Draw For Her, The Exuberant Baroque And Renaissance

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

 

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 11/27 at 08:10 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaComments here (4)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

John Kercher’s Excellent Book “Meredith” On Meredith’s Friends Lloyd, Natalie, And Helen

Posted by Hopeful





Mr. Kercher’s biography of his daughter continues to charm and amaze.

It seems Meredith almost got married before she went to Italy. Her suitor was a dance teacher, named Lloyd Thomas. He was nineteen years old and they met at Leeds University on the dance floor. Mr. Thomas was teaching break-dance to the crowd and Meredith and her friends went out on the dance floor and began to dance. (p. 66)

Lloyd said, “I…thought that she looked like a movie star.” They had never spoken, but he had seen her once before, a month previously. Obviously the lovely lady had stayed in his mind. In the winter of 2006, at dance class, he struck up a conversation with her and called her later.

They decided to meet on the steps of Leeds University and began one of their many rich long talks, which later blossomed into going steady. “I was so taken with her amusing conversation,” he said. (p. 66) “After our third date, we saw each other about four evenings every week and we were always together, although she had a lot of university work to do.”

Mr. Kercher relates how Meredith was able to go with Lloyd and his parents to a hotel called Ponden House, “set in Charlotte Bronte country in West Yorkshire, for a weekend…She really loved it.” She rang Mr. Kercher to tell him how beautiful the scenery was.

Lloyd said (p. 67) that Meredith “never really spoke much about what she wanted to do when she graduated, but she had her heart set on going to Italy as part of her studies…”

About seven months into their relationship, Lloyd realized he wanted to marry Meredith. He booked a table at a Japanese restaurant in Leeds and proposed to her “with a ring that I had bought. I think that she was somewhat surprised and didn’t say yes or no. She kept the ring for a couple of days, but didn’t wear it, and then she politely returned it to me.”

(p. 67) Mr. Kercher explains that naturally things changed between Lloyd and Meredith after that decision, but that Meredith was just being practical. “Despite her obvious affection for Lloyd….She still had her current year at university to complete, a year in Italy studying, and then a further year of her degree, before she graduated. She was simply being sensible.

Yet the two of them remained friends and a couple of weeks later in January 2007, Lloyd joined our family and Meredith in an Italian restaurant in Croydon to celebrate her 21st birthday. Stephanie had arranged a special cake with a photograph of Meredith as a one-year-old superimposed on it…”.

“Who would have dared to think that this would be Meredith’s last birthday?” writes Mr. Kercher (p.67).  In retrospect, it seems appropriate that the young man who admired Meredith so much at Leeds University and wanted to marry her, should be at her final life celebration.

***

We know that Meredith a few months later in August flew to Rome, on wings of hope and dreams. She went from there to the University for Foreigners in Perugia. She settled in to her first home in Italy, the Via della Pergola cottage. Even before that while still at a Perugian hotel she was calling Mr. Kercher “enthusing to us how beautiful the city was.” As was her habit, Meredith called Mr. Kercher every evening and talked about how she was getting on. She also called her mom and sister with frequency.

(P. 69) In one call she elaborated to Mr. Kercher about the Eurochocolate Festival that stretched “from Rocca Paolina to the Carducci Gardens, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza IV Novembre.” Meredith was fascinated by the chocolate statues and sculptures and all the candies sold at the stalls.

At the end of the festival the chocolate statues were happily broken up into pieces and given to the public. Meredith had bought some of Mr. Kercher’s favorite chocolates to give to him when she returned to England a few weeks later for Arline’s November birthday. That trip never happened, as tragedy intervened.

***

Meredith met Natalie Hayward while in Perugia. Natalie had gone to study in Perugia “because I had heard that it was beautiful and romantically old, in addition to being quite international.” (p. 70) Natalie had been studying history and Italian at the University of Sussex. She had found an apartment in Perugia with a couple of Italian girls, and began studying at the University for Foreigners where she met Meredith and Amy Frost.

Natalie said, “Because the three of us were the only English students in the class, we became known as ‘Little Britain’.”

Natalie said, “I was so encouraged by the fact that Meredith accepted me, because I wasn’t a particularly confident person. But she was always texting me to come out with her and other people and trying to include me in things, which I appreciated.”

Despite a known tendency to be late for lectures, Natalie says that Meredith “was exceptionally good at taking lecture notes. You might not have thought it, but she worked so hard. I was jokingly jealous of her note-taking. The Italian lecturers would speak so quickly and be quite complicated, but Meredith could keep up with them.”

More accolades from Natalie, (p. 71): ‘Socially, Meredith was wonderful to be with. She was always smiling and making us laugh. She was never judgemental. And she and Amy would walk miles for a low-price meal!” Mr. Kercher earlier says that Meredith asked him to check on rental rates to make sure the deposits for the Pergola cottage were a normal rate. Meredith seems to have been quite thrifty and not one to squander her resources.

After Meredith’s murder, Natalie went back to England to finish her studies there. No doubt she was desolate at the loss of this kind and tender friend who had sincerely reached out to her.

***

Helen Power was another British student who met Meredith September 1, 2007 in Perugia. Helen had finished a language course and had one day to relax in Perugia before flying back to England for a couple of weeks. Amy Frost had invited Helen Power out to dinner and Meredith met them by the fountain in the center of town.

(P.72) Helen said,  “As it was too early for us to eat, we sat outside and enjoyed some aperitivi from the cake shop on the main street. I remember that Meredith said she had forgotten to pack socks and that she hoped her dad would bring some out when he came to visit. Despite being tired from travelling, she was chatty, friendly, always smiling and making witty jokes. You only had to meet Meredith once to be struck by her beauty, quick wit, and infectious smile.”

The three girls ate a huge dinner at Il Bacio restaurant. Later in September, Helen’s mother visited Perugia and was introduced to Meredith at Piazza Italia as they waited for a minibus. She said, “Meredith made a lasting impression on me as we chatted. Not only did she show a genuine interest talking to us but she was so bubbly and full of life…I was so pleased to think that Helen had met such a delightful girl to be friends with during her Erasmus year.” (p. 73)

Meredith even noticed that Helen had gotten her hair cut and mentioned it at the Erasmus welcome meeting. Helen said, “I was surprised that Meredith had noticed. I thought that it was extremely observant of her, as she had only met me once, three weeks earlier. But that was the kind of girl she was; always making time for other people and taking note of even the smallest things.” Later they went out to dinner and dancing. Helen says, “...no one could out-dance Meredith.”  (p. 74)

Halloween night immersed in parties and excitement was the last time Helen saw her. She said (p. 75), “At the age of twenty, it never crossed my mind that it might have been the last chance to see a friend again. Those first two months were such a wonderful and happy time and, although I didn’t know Meredith for very long, I shall never forget her, and I have learnt so much from {her being} such a strong woman…I make certain that I enjoy and appreciate life and those around me and, most importantly, smile.”

Posted by Hopeful on 11/24 at 01:50 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyNews media & moviesGreat reportingComments here (6)

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