Category: Concerning Meredith

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meredith Would Have Been 24 Today: See Why She So Loved Her Home City

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Meredith was born in Southwark south of the Thames in London (above video and first below) on 28 December 1985.

Now and then, someone who was friends with Meredith drops us a note. They generally want to offer a little appreciation, say what we do here is helpful to them, and underline how very much Meredith is missed.

Though we never ask, sometimes they add an insight about Meredith. An insight offered more than most is how much of an archetypal Londoner Meredith always remained.

The outgoing confidence, the sharp intelligence, the fierce wit and and fast pace are qualities no good Londoners would be without. We believe Meredith’s family is wishing that this is perhaps how she might best be remembered.

Fill a city with people not too unlike Meredith, and videos like these result. London, a place where her spirit lives on.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meredith’s House Sees Some Seasonal Snow

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Rather nice. You can see Meredith’s bedroom window with the amazing views at top-right above there.

Perugia is located in the Appenine mountains which see at least some light snow every winter. Some more images of the Appenines posted here.

Because of intended developments in this area the house may not remain standing forever. Kermit presented us with an intriguing analysis of why the house is the way it is.

It’s quite moving, that out-of-season red rose, down below in the last shot.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Meredith, One Of A Bright, Cosmopolitan Generation:  A Year’s End Remembrance

Posted by Earthling

This is the third Christmas that Meredith’s family in southern London will have spent without their beloved daughter and sister.

Many of us here have experienced great grief, too, and know that this time of the year can be especially difficult.

Meredith’s father John wrote in a newspaper tribute that, after her death, “hundreds of messages [flooded] the internet. Many are from as far as Australia and Brazil, people who never knew her but are touched by her tragic passing and who loved her smile. Even in death she seems to reach out to people.”

Meredith, her father tells us, loved poetry and music, dancing and movement arts. The music of this season helps many to to come together, touch, remember and inspire. It lifts our spirits from the darkness of the shortened days, and reminds us that spring is really just around the corner.

Familiar Christmas carols recall our childhood innocence, joy and wonder. Music also helps us feel awe for the great stories of “this time of the rolling year,” as Dickens put it: the coming of the Savior child, the lighting of lamps with miraculous oil, and the ancient traditions and beliefs of Africa.

Five music videos are presented here in the hope that they would have pleased Meredith, and will please her family and friends, as well as what my fellow poster Wayra below referred to as all her new friends who have learned to “love what she stands for.”

First, two videos that showcase young people’s interpretations of traditional Christmas carols. At top here is this heartfelt rendition of O Come O Come Emmanuel by guitarist Trace Bundy and singer/guitarist Josh Garrels:

And immediately below is a lovely, surprisingly energetic version of O Holy Night, again by guitarist Trace Bundy, this time joined by violinist Aubrea Alford:

Christmas would not be complete for me without some rendition of Ave Maria, and here is a beautiful one: The singer is the American soprano Barbara Bonney.

To honor what her father John called Meredith’s “sense of the ridiculous,” and the child-like joy of Christmas, here is the Chipmunks’ Christmas Don’t Be Late:

And finally, one of my favorite Old English songs, Nonesuch/Ladies’ Bramzel, which speaks to the turning of the seasons. I first heard this song on Craig Chaquico’s Holiday CD on which a chorus of young children sing the words, which go something like this:

And she shall bring the birds in spring
And dance among the flowers.
In summer’s heat her kisses sweet
They fall from leafy bowers.
She cuts the grain and harvests the corn.
The kiss of fall surrounds her.
The days grow old and winter cold.
She draws her cloak around her.

Since I cannot find Chaquico’s version on YouTube, the next best thing seemed a simple rendition by talented fiddler Hillar Bergman, who records in a pedestrian tunnel (for the great acoustics!):

At this time of celebration and joy, I would like to acknowledge this Internet community of people that are concerned, caring, and praying for justice for Meredith and her family. This group has become an extended community for many of us. In conclusion, then, let us say, like Tiny Tim: “God bless us, every one!”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Honoring Meredith: Her Radiant Beauty as Inspiration

Posted by wayra

Our poster Wayra worked on this post for weeks to try to tread a very fine line. Wayra was drawn to TJMK in part because for Meredith we do what we can to make a special place here. Wayra wanted this post to go up just before the verdict came down, so it was only at the top for a couple of hours. With the years-end season of family closeness upon us, we think it deserve to be back at the top. We wish Meredith’s family and friends what comfort they may find in the December outcomes, and the growing acceptance that something right really did happen here. Our musician poster Earthling will be posting tomorrow.


People from all over the world have come together on the True Justice for Meredith Kercher website, creating a community to document the process of trying the accused murderers, and serving as vigilant witnesses for truth and justice. 

Posters who have interpreted, with impeccable attention to detail, the facts surrounding the case, and those of us who have joined the discussion, express a deep, abiding desire that justice be done to honor the memory of a young woman whose life was taken in a mercilessly cruel and entirely senseless way, and to support her grieving family. 

Though achieving justice through a court of law is an essential response to what has been done, many people who contribute their views to TJMK express another, deeper search for meaning in her tragic death.

An exceptional young woman, who was intelligent, friendly, and loving, beginning the adventure of a lifetime, Meredith emerged into the independence of young adulthood with a remarkable ability to make good on all the advantages that life had given her: a loving family, physical beauty and vitality, intelligence, grace and wit, and a desire to excel. She became the center of a universe of family and friends, lighting up the world around her with her laughter, as well as her devotion to the things about which she cared deeply.

Along with others, I have felt drawn to learn more about this extraordinary young woman who did everything she could, it seemed, to be happy, to achieve, and to create goodwill among everyone she encountered. By all accounts, she was conscientious and generous, possessing a grace and sense of responsibility unusual for her age, while retaining 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 she placed on all relationships, 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. I am almost the age of Meredith’s mother and certainly old enough to be her mother ““ and yet I felt how deeply I admired her, how much I had to learn from her.

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. In mourning Meredith, we also mourn the loss of her beauty and radiance in the world. But what Meredith knew, who Meredith was, can become a universal lesson. What Meredith, the woman and her life, can teach us ““ has certainly taught me ““ is the value of moving in the world from a place of light, love 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 that it is possible to live in the world from a place of light, love and joy. 

Her death is a profound tragedy of personal loss to her family and friends. A strong and passionate woman, willing to stand out and speak out, Mez was no placid saint-like figure. She was a living, breathing young woman, with an exquisitely engaging sensuality all her own. My next statements are not intended to minimize or disregard that loss in any way. Her family and friends have suffered and continue to suffer her absence in their lives everyday, and the loss of their visions and dreams for the future. The fabric, the wholeness and integrity of their lives have been shattered by the brutality of her murder, as her mother so poignantly described at the trial, and our gift to them can be to hold them in light, in our thoughts and prayers.

But as tragic as it is, the loss of her life has not been in vain. Millions of people around the world now know Meredith. For those of us who open ourselves to receiving the gift of her radiant beauty, she can serve as a source of inspiration, a light toward which we can strive to be better and to make the world a better place. For Meredith, as for other people of greatness, her leaving has also been a gift to people around the world who will see and learn from her example.

Lovely features look out at us through the many photos we have of Meredith. But it is the luminous qualities of her intelligence, her joy as the highest expression of gratitude for life, that make her image radiate the beauty to which we are drawn again and again.

I think the best we can do to honor Meredith is to live the way she lived: with an open, loving heart; sharing joy and laughter; devoting our time on earth to the people we care about and to the projects that give our lives meaning. To be our best selves and encourage others be their best selves.

The Kerchers recently stated that they look forward to the conclusion of the trial so that they can focus on remembering Meredith as the woman she was. I look forward to just punishment being leveled so that I can relinquish the anger I harbor against the accused killers and focus on becoming the good I see shining through Meredith.

In the spiritual traditions I have followed for the past decade, a cross-cultural blend of indigenous north and south American traditions, we practice a form of collective meditation at regular, weekly intervals. It creates a very strong container of love and light. Something that has been suggested before on TJMK and that I’d like to bring up again, is to hold Meredith and her family in our thoughts and prayers when the jury is in deliberation, taking 15 to 30 minutes during that 24 hour period to light a candle or simply sit in ceremony. The energy will be felt by and for all of us at that time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Poem For Meredith

Posted by Hopeful

For Meredith. Accompanied above by a re-post of this hauntingly beautiful video of Perugia in the mist. It seems to have stirred as many emotions as anything on the site.

Meredith’s Poem My life was bright and right, But not for long. I whisper in God’s ear, Justice, take care of me. He said, “The greatest man Who lived, died at 33.” I had more smiles than tears, Something few can say After they’ve lived many years. It’s good to be far away From petty envy and pain, Fear and deceit and greed. Here I am always at peace. My energies find release. I’m active and loved and warm. I sing and dance with many. I am glad beyond belief, Smiling and they are smiling. We burn like the sun with joy. We dance, create, and sing. We do a thousand times more Than our earth life used to bring. We create worlds of our own. God is not jealous of us. We praise the One we love Who planned for everything. I whisper in His ear, “What of my murderers’ plight?” He says, “Will not the judge Of all the earth do right?”

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Meredith Growing Up

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Above two: Meredith as a happy tot, possibly still in Southwark where she was born

Above: Meredith as a happy teenager (then 19) in Coulsdon or Leeds

Above: Meredith (right) celebrating with Stephanie (left) and a cake

Above: A happy Meredith at her 21st birthday party in February 2007

The Amazing Person That Was Meredith Kercher #4: Sue Carroll Captures The Growing Mood

Posted by Peter Quennell

Sue Carroll reflects on Meredith and Amanda Knox in today’s Daily Mirror

I wonder, if Amanda Knox had the saturnine looks of a psycho-killer, would US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be interested in fighting her conviction for murdering fellow student Meredith Kercher?

It is a shocking but entirely predictable reflection of our image-conscious society that we don’t expect a bright, multi-lingual student with a penchant for writing fiction (albeit warped) to be a brutal killer.

We like our she-devils Rose West-shaped with the harsh staring eyes of a Myra Hindley and a bit of Lady Macbeth thrown in.

That a dewy skinned, nubile young woman could plunge a knife into the neck of her flatmate in a drug and drink-fuelled rage doesn’t compute.

Even her nickname, Foxy Knoxy, has connotations of sauciness and frivolity, not the blatant wickedness of which she was found guilty along with ex-boyfriend and accomplice Raffaele Sollecito in an Italian court last week.

From the moment Meredith was found semi-naked in a pool of blood at the cottage she shared with Knox, attention has been focused on one woman only ““ the accused.

Articulate and flirtatious with moist Bambi eyes, her status, carefully manipulated by her garrulous publicity-driven parents, morphed from suspected murderer to victim long before the trial. A flight home had been arranged and grandiose plans were afoot for the prodigal daughter’s return with lucrative book deals in the pipeline, movie rights under discussion and TV interviews planned.

The brutal murder of a beautiful young girl in a vile sex game was turned into a side issue. The fact Knox had wantonly and without a single vestige of shame named an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, as Meredith’s killer was also conveniently forgotten by fans and family.

By contrast the dignity shown by the Kerchers, who have expressed only relief at the guilty verdict, could not be further removed from the crass insensitivity of the Knox clan who don’t merely protest their daughter’s innocence but threaten to turn it into a political row, pointing the finger at Italian justice and citing anti-American prejudice.

What clap-trap.

An interesting challenge since the jury also condemned Italian-born Sollecito to the same fate as Knox. And spare us, please, the tales of how the condemned cries herself to sleep at night.

I’ll reserve my sympathy for Arline Kercher, who says she can never bring herself to sell the family’s Surrey home because if she did Meredith would never know where to find her.

“It’s silly really,” says Arline. No, it’s not. When the physical bond has been ripped away all that’s left for the bereaved are emotional ties and associations.

For exactly the same reason Kate McCann has vowed to stay in the only home her missing daughter Madeleine ever knew. To leave it would feel like abandoning her child and for both these mothers constant reminders and memories, not bitterness or anger, are what keeps them going.

Meanwhile, I’d suggest the Knox family take their distasteful publicity machine home and consider themselves fortunate their daughter’s trial was conducted on European not American soil.

They have a special kind of punishment for killers in the good old US of A. It’s called the death penalty. Is that the justice they would have preferred?

US Overreaction: Meredith’s Mother Regards Cantwell’s Grandstanding As Ill-Informed

Posted by Peter Quennell

This was just reported by Tom Wells in tomorrow’s The Sun

The mum of murdered Meredith Kercher yesterday blasted killer Amanda Knox’s supporters for enlisting Hillary Clinton in her appeal battle….

Ms Cantwell suggested the 22-year-old did not get a fair trial and expressed worries over possible “anti-American” bias in the Italian court. Mrs Clinton, wife of former US President Bill, has now vowed to meet with “anyone who has a concern”.

But Meredith’s mum Arline yesterday insisted Knox’s hearing WAS fair - and said she did not sense any anti-American feeling in the Perugia court.

Mrs Kercher, 64, said at her family’s home in Coulsdon, Surrey: “We are still getting over the sentencing. The whole thing has gone in a blur.

“Having them say they are looking to lodge an appeal was tough enough - and now this. I just do not know where they are going by getting people in high places involved.

“I was in no way aware of anti-American feeling. It was just a normal court. Everything seemed to be done fairly. It seems a bit desperate, but the Italian justice system should be the ones to answer whether it was fair or not.

“We were not exactly given special treatment. I can’t see there was this anti-American thing.”...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Meredith’s Mother Says In An Interview That The Real Life Sentence Here Is Theirs

Posted by Peter Quennell

The question seems to be spreading now of whether Knox’s and Sollecito’s sentences were simply too light.

Two of the jurors have spoken out about their teary sympathy for Amanda Knox. No similar judge or jury sentiments were offered about the real victim here, the one with the first name of Meredith.

Now a UK Press Association report has gone viral on a Daily Mirror interview with the family. This below is the actual Daily Mirror interview kindly emailed to us from London (it is not online) and not the abbreviated Press Association report.

It tells of the crushing sadness of Meredith’s mother Arline - and the life sentence the perpetrators handed to her.


ON most days Arline Kercher stops at the door to her daughter’s bedroom, waits for a second then slowly looks in.

Everything is neat and tidy with nothing out of place - just how Meredith left it.

Arline’s eyes well up with tears as she scans the room full of her daughter’s clothes, shoes and CDs.

More than two years after the 21-year-old - affectionately known as Mez - was brutally murdered in Perugia, central Italy, it is painfully clear how closely her memory is cherished by her family.

Arline, 64, says: “It’s still Mez’s room and has barely been touched. It’s not a shrine to Meredith but it is a constant reminder of her.

“When I’m walking past with a pile of washing in my hand I get a feeling of sadness. It’s hard not to. It’s almost as though she’s just gone out and will be back in a while. But she won’t.”

Meredith remains such an integral part of their lives that they refuse to even consider ever leaving the family home in Coulsdon, Surrey.

“That’s my way of handling it,” Arline insists. “If we moved, she wouldn’t know where I am. It’s silly really.” She, husband John and their three children Lyle, John and Stephanie agreed to speak as a family for the first time since those dreadful events of November 2007.

Amanda Knox 22, was given a 26-year sentence last Friday and exlover Raffaele Sollecito, 25, received 25 years, even though prosecutors wanted full life terms.

A third man, Rudy Guede, is already serving 30 years for the murder.

Speaking in Perugia after the verdicts, the Kerchers’ overwhelming emotion remains the pain of losing Meredith - and a numb relief that her killers are finally behind bars. Arline says the family have been “living a nightmare” for two years and adds poignantly: “We’re the ones who have been given a life sentence.

“We have to live with what’s happened for the rest of our lives. People say time heals - but it doesn’t.” Lyle, 30, says: “The feeling isn’t of celebration. A verdict has been delivered that we’ve been working towards and that’s it. For me every significant stage of the process is a step towards relief, or closure as people call it.

“But until the appeal is over there’s still that black cloud hanging over everything.” Despite his sister’s horrific murder - in which she was sexually assaulted and her throat slashed - this dignified family sees no sense in venting anger at the killers.

Lyle explains: “It won’t bring her back. I was shocked when the verdict came in. You don’t know what to feel. Whether the anger will come later or in waves, I don’t know. What we have noticed is that others in the family have shouldered the anger for us.”

Stephanie, 26, adds: “People always ask us about Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, but it’s not our place to judge them. That’s what the judges and jury were there for.

“We can only go on the evidence we heard, what we’ve been told about their behaviour and what they did.”

Her brother John, 29, adds: “The thing to point out is there’s no winners in all this.”

Instead, the family prefers to remember the warmth and joy Meredith brought to their lives - and the lives of all those who knew her.

Stephanie says: “Everyone always remembers me and Mez giggling in the corner because we had so many private jokes.

“Mez liked dancing. She would come downstairs in the morning and start dancing in front of everyone and it made us all laugh.

“She was so much fun and had a wicked sense of humour.”

The Leeds University student was spending a year studying in Italy. And in her daily phone calls to Arline she would often chat for hours, telling her mumhow much she was enjoying her new life. Arline says: “She was really excited and looking forward to improving her Italian.

“We would talk every day. She would tell me about all these funny, amusing stories about university.

“She was such a vibrant girl, such a carefree person. She was really enjoying herself and had made quite a few friends, especially among the English girls.”

And it is Meredith’s popularity that makes her loss especially hard for 66-year-old dad John to bear.

He says plaintively: “You keep asking yourself, ‘Why?’ So many people loved Meredith. Why would anyone do that? It was so extreme. Everyone loved Meredith and even strangers say such nice things about her: ‘What such a lovely smile she had… she must have been a beautiful person’.

“That’s what affects me. That’s what makes me cry, not reading the details of her death.” The trial judge awarded the family £4million compensation. But they say it is merely symbolic and believe they are unlikely to see a penny.

If they do receive any money they plan to set up a charitable foundation in Meredith’s name.

Meanwhile, they will cherish her for ever in their hearts - and plan a quiet celebration of her life every year on her birthday, December 28, Lyle says: “We will definitely raise a glass to Mez every year.”

Arline adds with a sad sigh: “We will carry Meredith around with us all the time. She’s still so much a part of our lives. We will never forget her. Never.”

The Rulings: Meredith’s Family Talks Of Meredith And The Rightness Of The Verdict

Posted by Peter Quennell

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Amazing Person That Was Meredith Kercher #3: The UK People Interviews Ex-Boyfriend In Australia

Posted by Peter Quennell

We knew of David Cronin because he took the photo of Meredith for her former Facebook space.

David Collins and Grant Hodgson have en exclusive interview with him. He is now a player with a soccer team at Musgrave on the Queensland Gold Coast south of Brisbane.

The shattered ex-boyfriend of murdered Meredith Kercher said last night he would be “forever haunted” by the horrendous violence of her death.

Footballer Patrick Cronin, 24, spoke out for the first time about the Perugia trial and the loving relationship he had with the girl he called “Mez”.

Patrick insisted Meredith was “no prude” but that she would never have willingly taken part in the kinky sex games Knox and Sollecito tried to lure her into.

Speaking from Australia, where he now lives, he said: “She was a kind, loving person who was friendly to everyone she met. She did not deserve to die like that and Knox is damned for what she did.

“I can never stop thinking of the terror she must have felt in that final hour. It is something that will forever haunt me.”

In an exclusive interview with The People, Patrick said he and Meredith had enjoyed a “loving, special” relationship. He said: “Questions have been raised about her sex life since she was killed and it’s wrong. She wasn’t into playing any sexual games, threesomes or anything kinky.

“Once, I texted her messages that started to become very suggestive and steamy and she pulled me up saying, ‘Whoa, let’s calm this down’. I ask myself how these killers could have done this.”

Patrick was working as a croupier and living in Hendon, North London, when he first met Meredith, then a Leeds University student, in 2005.

He fell for her at first sight in a nightclub in Kingston, south-west London and “sparks flew” as they chatted. They went on to share a string of dates and she excitedly told him she wanted to go and study in Italy.

Eventually their romance ended but they kept in touch on Facebook, even after Patrick moved Down Under with his parents.

Now playing with the Musgrave Mustangs soccer club on Queensland’s Gold Coast, he heard of Meredith’s death while doing a course on sports science.

He said: “I came out of an exam and my brother called to say it was all over the news. I went into shock.

“I had never before experienced anyone close to me dying, let alone being horrifically killed.”

Patrick said he had re-read messages he received from Meredith since the end of the trial. He added: “I will never delete them.

“I just hope the outcome of the court case brings some comfort to her family.”

The Amazing Person That Was Meredith Kercher #2: The Observer Also Wants Attention To Be On Her

Posted by Peter Quennell

Barbar Ellen calls for an overdue refocus.

Now that American Amanda “Foxy Knoxy” Knox has been found guilty of murder and sentenced to 26 years, will we finally drag our attention over to Meredith Kercher?

Meredith, the British Leeds university student, studying in Perugia [was] the victim, and therefore surely the central figure in this distressing story, though you would never have known it, gazing these past months at the gory theatrics of The Foxy Knoxy Show.

Foxy, back then, still innocent until proven guilty ““ depicted disturbingly posing with a gun, but also adopting “sex kitten” poses, like thousands of other young girls showing off on internet sites. Whose former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also found guilty, receiving 25 years, yet, who, just like Rudy Guede (jailed for 30 years for Kercher’s murder in January), seems to have faded in public perception to the point of becoming a footnote.

All of which leads to the question: if there were three known assailants, and Kercher was the only victim, how come “Foxy Knoxy” is still getting all the attention?

The last few days of the trial were extremely strange, with both Knox and her lawyer suddenly becoming tearful, not to mention Knox’s 11th-hour flowery oratory about not wanting to be given the “mask of the assassin”, making her sound like some ham mangling Shakespeare at the Old Vic.

However, for some of us, the entire trial was bizarre, overshadowed as it was by the brazen “marketing” of Knox, the selling of her to the masses as “sexy-evil”. But it is too easy just to blame the media. There seems to be a market out there, a hunger, for this kind of thing. A predilection, as someone said to me, for favouring Bonnie over Clyde.

Even now, debates rage over Knox’s psyche (“all-American girl or she-devil?”), suggesting that, for some, there has to be duality, sexuality, a sense of mysticism attached to female homicide. That essentially society finds it impossible to conceive of a bog-standard no-frills female killer, in the same way we accept the equally guilty Sollecito and Guede.

Some may argue that there is nothing sinister going on here ““ that there is always more focus on the murderers than the victims. Well, not always. There wasn’t “more focus” on those who murdered Scarlett Keeling in Goa in 2008 ““ then all the emphasis (the scorn, the opprobrium) was directed at the lifestyle of this British girl, and that of her hippy-living mother.

Getting back to Knox, some may shrug and say, so the trial was sensationalised, somewhat over-focused on the female protagonist ““ does this really matter, seeing as she was guilty anyway? I would say, yes. Knox’s parents have already said their daughter will appeal ““ who’s to say that Knox won’t place emphasis on her “trial by media”?

Away from the legal arena, there are pressing ethical issues. The fact, for example, that even though Knox has now been found guilty, the victim, Meredith, is still barely meriting a mention. Indeed, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves ““ is this what happens when we unthinkingly turn the likes of Foxy Knoxy into cartoons of “sexy evil” ““ if are we robbing their victims of their humanity, too? Are we ensuring that innocents such as Meredith somehow get lost in the big noisy over-sensationalised shuffle?

Certainly it seems to say something that this trial has been all about Knox, just one of three found guilty of the murder. It is as if, just as Kercher desperately struggled for life, but was overpowered by her assailants, her memory is now being overwhelmed by the relentless “Foxy Knoxy” spin.

Perhaps it is time to banish the salacious lip-smacking over Foxy Knoxy to the satellite “true crime” channels where it belongs. It was Meredith who died ““ and Meredith who should now have the dignity of our thoughts.

The great soap battleaxe won’t die with Blanche

The Amazing Person That Was Meredith Kercher #1: The Independent Focusses Nicely On Her

Posted by Peter Quennell

Not the American media, of course. At least, not yet.

For far too many of them this is still “the Amanda Knox Show”.  But two things are happing very fast now in the United States that look to be about to change all that

  • First, some very, very good lawyers are becoming emboldened to say that Amanda Knox was CORRECTLY convicted as a murderess.
  • Second, every media organization we know (they have been introducing themselves!) would give their eye-teeth for an hour just on Meredith.

In Italy they have already begun to bring Meredith into sharp and loving focus. And in London a really nice piece on Meredith appears today in The Independent

It is by David Randall and Victoria Richards.

Amid the madness of what will always be known as the Knox trial in Perugia, with its slow-motion melodramas, its posturings and the evidence that grew ever more contested and grotesque, there was always one thing that remained unchanged.

That face. Meredith’s ““ the joyful student captured in a split second on Facebook, her happiness one moment in October 2007, made all the more horribly innocent because we know what was to happen to her just a few days later.
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For us, those features will eventually fade from memory. But, for her family, that face ““ and the spirit and life of the girl who inhabited it ““ will never grow old as it should have done.

And yesterday, as her family gave a press conference in the basement of a city hotel, that pain was brought sickeningly home.

Father John, mother Arline, brothers John Jr and Lyle, and sister Stephanie sat in a line at a table and spoke, as they have always done ““ with restraint and a gracious dignity ““ of the loss they will ever bear.

There was no triumph in their reaction to the conviction late Friday night of Amanda Knox, 22, and Raffaele Sollecito, 25, for the murder of their daughter and sister. As Lyle said, it was not a time for a celebration.

Instead they showed a magnanimous sense of sadness that two young people would now be spending a quarter of a century or more behind bars.

Mrs Kercher quietly reminded her family that a third young person had also met the same fate ““ 22-year-old Rudy Guede, who was convicted of the murder and sexual violence last October and jailed for 30 years.

Lyle even referred to his sister’s killer [by] using the word “gentleman”.

Meredith’s brother John said: “Mez still leaves a big hole in our lives. Her presence is missed every time we meet up as a family. She is very much still a part our lives. People often associated Mez with a tragic event, but we would prefer not to remember her that way. We would like to concentrate on the 21 good years we had with her.”

And they were good years.

Brought up in Coulsdon, Surrey, on the edge of the North Downs, she was a bright, conscientious child who later attended the prestigious Old Palace School for Girls in Croydon.

Shahleena Raza, 25, a homeopathy student who went to school with Meredith and Stephanie, remembers the special bond the sisters had. “I used to ring Steph and they sounded identical,” she said.

“Mez would answer and she was always really sweet and chatty. I remember going to their house and her older brothers cooked us all lunch. They made a big deal out of it and it was really special. Mez and Steph shared everything ““ there was such warmth between them, no bickering like you usually get between sisters.”

She read, wrote poetry and stories, took ballet, gymnastics and karate classes, worked at Gatwick airport to save for her studies, ran the Race for Life to raise money for cancer research.

She was “always laughing”, and, according to her brother’s eulogy at her funeral, always 20 minutes late. “You could set your watch by her,” he said.

And friends could rely on her. One, identified only as “Yondie” from south London, thanked Meredith in an online tribute to her for letting her stay at her house when times were “difficult”.

She went to Leeds University, and, from there, in her third year, to Perugia for a year’s study, arriving in the autumn of 2007.

That late October, she went to a Halloween party, and one of her closest friends, Helen Power, 22, was with her. She said: “You only had to meet her once to be struck by her beauty, quick wit and her infectious smile.”

It was a time of year Meredith had always loved. Her father said: “As a youngster she would make a costume from bin liners, put candles in the pumpkins with faces, tie them to sticks and then we would visit neighbours.”

Close to both parents, Meredith called the day after the Halloween party to tell him she loved him. “I was in the bank and we spoke for two minutes,” he said. It was the last time they would.

Not long afterwards, he heard a British student had been murdered in Perugia. He rang Meredith a dozen or more times. There was no reply. After an hour, he called a newspaper. Two hours later, they called him back with the name of the victim.

It was Meredith. That was how he found out.

In June, her mother told the court: “Her death was unbelievable, unreal. In many ways it still is. I still look for her. It’s not just her death but it’s the nature of it, the brutality of it, the violence of it and the great sorrow it’s brought everyone. We will never, never get over it.”

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Our Emails Are Suggesting Such A Wave Of Love And Sympathy For This Very Dignified Family

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Many like this which arrived this morning from Dublin in Ireland.

I just want to send all the Kercher Family my very best wishes and support at the end of what must have been a horrendous two years ending with a long and gruelling trial. I have nothing but admiration for you as a family who are dealing with such heartbreak and have been so dignified all through and after the court case.

Justice has been done and that is of primary importance in this situation and the Italian Courts have ensured that. I hope you will be able now to start living your lives again as I am sure this was totally impossible over the last 2 years after such a vicious crime against your beautiful sister and daughter. It is bad enough having a crime like this done on home turf but to happen when the person is in another country is even more horrendous.

I want to extend you my very best wishes to you and hopefully it will assist you in living again as I am sure beautiful Meredith will never be forgotten by you but now you can start the grieving process which you as a family were robbed of because of this evil horrific crime. I just want to send you by very best wishes and support at this time as you have no choice but to continue on without you beloved sister and daughter.

Apparently some of the the reporters at this family press conference this morning were also fighting back a few tears.

As The Nightmare Starts To Wind Down For Meredith’s Family, Huge Relief -  And Still, Some Tears

Posted by Peter Quennell

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Rulings: Meredith’s Family At Their Hotel Waiting For Possible Call To The Court Tonght

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

The Rulings: Meredith’s Beloved Mom, Dad, Sister And Two Brothers At Perugia Airtport.

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Meredith’s House Seen In One Of Perugia’s December Mists This Mornining

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Der Spiegel Reporting Meredith’s Father Is Writing A Book To Cover Their Considerable Costs

Posted by Peter Quennell

We knew that a book by Meredith’s father John is in the works. We did not know the real reason why.

This news is frankly pretty heartbreaking.

Alexander Smoltczyk in Perugia reports on the health and financial hurt descended upon Meredith’s family..

The announcement of the verdict is expected at the end of this week, after a long trial that has taken its toll on everyone involved, not just the defendants….

Kercher’s mother only manages to cope by taking psychiatric medication, while her husband, a journalist, has been forced to write a book about the case to cover their legal fees.

The publishers’ grapevine has been hinting in fact that the book will be all about Meredith.

Meredith’s family have said through their lawyer that they expect never to see any financial return from the financial awards made by the Italian court against those who are found guilty.

Multi-million-dollar awards are common now in the US and Europe if there is a danger of profiteering from inside a prison cell. And in Italy, those sitting in prison cells often get easy access to the media.

Many of us here - many readers too - have long wanted to organize something financial for Meredith’s memory and for her family by way of this website for Meredith. Maybe now is a good time to begin.

Mind you, if the book IS all about Meredith this could be truly huge. Pent-up demand to find out more about Meredith, which we encounter every day, is now really enormous.

After being overshadowed for so long by obnoxious others, Meredith deserves her day in the sun.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meredith’s Europe #1: Meredith’s Bright, Cosmopolitan Generation That Will Surely Remake Europe

Posted by Earthling

To the left of this page, we see the many faces of Meredith - Mez, as she was known to her friends and family - seemingly always smiling, a happy girl, blossoming into womanhood.

The product of an East-West marriage, she embodied many cultures, many interests. Meredith had worked hard to win the prestigious ERASMUS scholarship which funded her year in Italy.  Her sister Stephanie said Mez was “excited at the prospect of “¦ studying to improve her language skills, meet new friends, and immerse herself in the culture” of Italy.

Perhaps because of her dark beauty, she felt at home among Italians whom she so physically resembled. Once in the country, already with an excellent knowledge of the language, she loved to hang out with her English girl friends, other Erasmus students, and Italians ““ the new cosmopolitans of Europe who have so much in common and so many things to look forward to, in their year together in the sun-drenched ancient hills of Italy, and in the many years ahead of them across Europe.

Together, they are part of what one social scientist has called the ERASMUS Generation - a generation that will surely re-make Europe in the years to come.

Although we still anticipate the final meting of justice in the sad case we all follow here, we need at times to rest, contemplate, and consider Meredith the person, the friend, the student, and the appreciator of culture, music, and dance. With utmost respect, therefore, we present some music videos in memory of Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher.

At top here, in remembrance of Meredith’s being a beloved sister of Lyle, John and Stephanie, you can see New Zealander Hayley Westenra singing, with her younger sister Sophie, a touching rendition of Across the Universe of Time: “You turn around, looking at me, laughter in your eyes, and now I can see.” 

Above here, in honor of Meredith’s love of Italy and its culture, here is one of its greatest operatic arias, Signore, Ascolta! from Puccini’s Turandot, as sung by Renata Tebaldi, the great Italian lyric soprano:

Stephanie remembered her sister as “one of the most beautiful, intelligent, witty and caring people you could wish to meet”¦. a 21-year-old student who was into her studies, worked hard, and enjoyed spending time socializing with her friends and family”¦. We feel it is no exaggeration to say that Meredith touched the lives of everyone she met with her infectious upbeat personality, smile and sense of humour.”

On the recent sad second anniversary of Meredith’s passing, her family said: “We can only hope now that a conclusion is reached in the next five weeks, so that we can finally dedicate ourselves to remember Meredith for the person that all of us knew and not as a victim or as a news item.”

And above here, a song that combines purity and passion, like Mez did, as well a reference to the Father of the Italian language: Dante’s Prayer, by Loreena McKennitt: “Cast your eyes on the ocean, cast your soul to the sea… When the dark night seems endless, please remember me…. please remember me….” 

In memoria di Meredith, con la speranza di giustizia e di pace.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

WHY Did She Have To Go Like That? Our Saddest Day In Two Years

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

We praise the fire and anger that Giuliano Mignini showed in court on Meredith’s behalf.

This much maligned but really very caring and compassionate man really went to town today, for someone he clearly sees as a quite extraordinary girl.

Like all of us, her never met her. But like all of us, he loves what she stood for.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #20: The Old City In A Wistful, Perhaps Might-Have-Been Mood

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LA7 TV’s Documentary On Meredith’s Case #3 The English Segments

Posted by Nicki

Below: Very moving scene from Meredith’s funeral, as her coffin is brought to Croydon Parish Church

Below: Croydon Parish Church (St John the Baptist) where 400 attended Meredith’s funeral mid-Dec 2007

Below: Reverend Colin Boswell conducted Meredith’s funeral service, and tells of pain at its long delay

“It was a very sad day, sad because of her horrible death, for the pain her family were experiencing at that time - pain they are still feeling right now. The family had to wait for six weeks before they could bury her, she was only 21 years old. Her family showed great strength and courage. We gathered together here in the church. There were many friends from school, teachers, university companions, friends, neighbours. We tried to play down our sadness as much as we could, to reflect upon the goodness of her life, her beauty; trying thus to concentrate on the positive characteristics of Meredith and of her existence which we had shared.”

Below: One of several shots of the Kercher family in Perugia, their only direct presences here

Stephanie: “Mez was so important for so many people for her spontaneous, smiling and altruistic personality. We are trying to understand with great difficulty why she was taken away in such a cruel way.”

Below: Several images of Meredith appear late - documentary could have used fresh images in first part

Below: Image from a segment on Meredith’s starring in a music video, linked at top-right here

Below: One of many intensely moving segments on Meredith’s Perugia friend Samantha Rodenhurst

“I’d only known her for five weeks, but when you are in a foreign land, you become friends very quickly. You depend on each other for so many things, emotional support, language support, advice, information. We became close rather quickly, even though we didn’t ever have the opportunity to know more about each other’s pasts. I think at first she reminded me of the friends I used to have at home… In fact we became good friends at once.”

Below: Start of a long segment on University of Leeds where Meredith’s activities were described

Below: One of various scenes at the University tending to show women students Meredith’s age

Below: First of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

Yes especially in the beginning it was talked about a lot. But now it’s almost disappeared. I don’t think it was excessive; I think the media concentrated just on some aspects, just the ones they thought would make interesting news, like the war in Afghanistan, the news which create a sensation they keep showing. But probably they don’t report the whole story. I think that in the case of Meredith they concentrated on just a few things exaggerating them, leaving out others. And now, for the family, it’s been going on for too long. They’re going back over the same things.

Below: Second of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

She is remembered here. Services have been held and there is a memorial to her. There is much sadness.

Below: Third of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

It’s think that for the family it’s been going on for far too long. The media can’t just talk about it the same way they did in the beginning.

Below: Fourth of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

Our media pass very quickly from one thing to another. Sometimes they are very mistaken: perhaps they don’t give some things the attention and depth that they really deserve.

Below: Another intensely moving segment on Meredith’s Perugia friend Samantha Rodenhurst

“Horrible -  it was a horrible, terrifying moment.  I was in a complete state of shock I couldn’t feel anything - I think that when you are in such a state it’s almost impossible to feel anything. I didn’t cry much that evening; I was in too much shock.  I couldn’t do anything.”

“After the funeral service, we planted a tree at the school: a symbolic place where people can come to remember her and pray for her.”

Below: Storefront sign in Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith lived till she was 18

Below: Wider shot of Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith lived till she was 18

Below: A cafe in Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith often ate out

Below: The owner of the cafe describes often serving Meredith cheeseburgers and chips

She was always a very striking girl - a very beautiful girl.  Now it’s a been quite a while, because she went off to college.  She used to come here once a week, sometimes with her family.  She would order a cheeseburger with chips and a milkshake.

Below: The newsroom of the Croydon Guardian which has provided the best coverage in the UK

Below: Croydon Guardian reporter Kirsty Whalley who we have praised here for her outstanding articles

“Meredith’s background is solid, very proper middle-upper class. She was a girl from a very good family. Meredith’s family is reserved and their friends are acting according to the family’s wishes: no publicity. The family was surprised by the number of people attending the funeral, friends, neighbors, and former classmates. They like to remember her happy smile, because she was a happy person. She went to Croydon Old Palace School, very exclusive, prestigious and very expensive, where she made many friends.  She loved to write and loved the media; and certainly she wanted to travel and to have experiences of new places. Her brother gave an address in her honour in which he said he wanted to always remember her so jovial, happy, always ready to make people laugh; that he wanted to remember her smile.”

Below: The entrance to the church, Croydon Parish (St John the Baptist) where Meredith’s funeral was held

Below: The floral arrangement at the funeral of Meredith (Mez) put together by her friends

Below: One of the several intensely moving images of the cemetery where Meredith hopefully lies in peace

Below: Another of several intensely moving images of the cemetery where Meredith hopefully lies in peace

Below: The final of many images of Meredith in the documentary which rises to linger in full-screen

Below: Three images of the conclusion of the dcumentary, for which a translation is provided above

Merdith Kercher was killed in Peruga on 1 November 2007. Amanda Knox e Raffaele Sollecito were arrested on November 6th 2007. They have been charged with voluntary murder and sexual violence.

The verdict of the Court of Cassazione is expected by December 2009. The Ivorian citizen Rudy Guede has already been sentenced to 30 years by the GUP of Perugia in a fast track trial.

Patrick Lumumba, accused by Amanda Knox, was cleared of all charges after two weeks of detention in the Perugia jail.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Two Years Since Meredith Was Taken From her Family And A World In Need Of Her

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click above for her video]

Italy’s AGI reports that the Kerchers will attend a mass only for themselves in south London, and then place some flowers on her grave. This statement was released by the family.

The two years since the death of Meredith have gone fast. We miss her more than ever, and we still find it difficult to understand what happened and why.

We can only hope now that there is a final outcome in the next five weeks so that we can finally dedicate ourselves to remember Meredith for the person we all knew, and not as a victim or a news item.

The anguish in that speaks volumes. This thing has taken a terrible toll. Our condolences to the Kercher family, and to Meredith’s many grieving friends.

None of us here ever knew Meredith. And yet we so very much miss her.

Those Who Reach Out For Meredith Are Now From 130-Plus Countries

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Click above for our readership statistics by country of reader for the past one month


Meredith’s Perugia #19: A Song As A Tribute To Meredith By Perugian Rodolfo Susta

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

This is a touching story, which seems appropriate to the day.

Redolfo Susta is a talented and popular songwriter and singer in Perugia with a big heart who was deeply saddened by the loss of the bright promise that was Meredith and the media chicanery that clouded her memory..

As we have done by way of this website, to try to even the balance in Meredith’s favor, Redolfo has done by way of a song which he has repeatedly sung in Perugia. His audiences all know of Meredith, and they in turn have been moved and inspired.

The link to his song “Meredith” is presently at top-center of Rodolfo’s MySpace page and the story of how the song was created is at bottom here (click for “more”)..

He has offered the song either virtually through the web or perhaps in person one day to Meredith’s grieving family.

Click here for the rest

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #18-B: That Weekend Destination Meredith Might Have Loved, Here At Night

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

A mere four or five hours from Perugia, and another of those wonderful destinations in Italy that foreigners are so quick to make their own. Posted previously in daylight. 

Italy surely leads the world now, with France a close second, in the quality and the extent of its amazing urban floodlighting.  As usual, click for the larger images.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #18: Yet Another Wonderful Weekend Destination That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger images]

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Italian Tourism Bouncing Back: Perugia Becoming More Visited

Posted by Peter Quennell

That above is one of Perugia’s four-star hotels right off the great Corso Vanucci. It is two or three minutes walk from the courtroom.

Towns in Italy in mid-summer are always pretty quiet, because so many are away at the beach. But there is a report out now that despite the recession, hotels in Perugia and Italy generally are moving back to very high occupancy.

Italy is the second most-visited country in Europe after France. And rightly so.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #17: Another Spectacular Coast That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger images]

Meredith could easily have reached here by car down the autostrada in three or four hours.

This is the Amalfi coast. Again a very beautiful place that many foreigners in Italy hit in a hurry.

It is the south shore of the peninsula across the bay from Naples - in effect, it has its back to Naples. At the end of the peninsula is Sorrento, and just out to sea beyond is the Isle of Capri.

Improbably, there are towns all the way along. More improbably, there is a two-lane highway all the way along too, very high up on the side of the hill - you can see one shot of it below.

And even more improbably, full-sized buses and coaches head along that road. Mostly they are easy to squeeze past, but periodically in tight places, negotiations have to take place.

Quite often with considerable humor. Italy is never ever short of friendly smiles and laughs. Perhaps one reason Meredith was so attracted. .

These are the previous posts in this series. Many peoples’ favorite.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #16: More Of The Bay Of Naples That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #15: Another Weekend Destination That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger images]

Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, and the truly spectacular Amalfi coast

Would Meredith have headed here? Well, almost every new resident of Italy does tend to, as soon as they can make it! A startlingly blue and busy bay, towns atop high cliffs, a volcano active in the last century, several beautiful islands, and almost endless fun, food, history and culture.

Meredith could easily have arrived here from Perugia in three or four hours along the autostrada,

This first of several posts tracks the shoreline of Naples from east to west. From sunrise over Vesuvius to the Naples seaport, the two waterfront castles (Maschio Angioino and Castel Dell’ovo), and the corniche and marina of the Mergellina waterfront area.

Some of the best floodlighting in the world is absolutely transforming Italy at night, by the way. In Perugia but not yet Naples, Meredith may well have noticed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #14: A Beautiful Weekend Destination That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

The Cinques Terres portion of the Italian Riviera.

Northwest of Perugia and Florence and south-east of Genoa and Turin, it can easily be reached from Perugia in a morning’s or an afternoon’s drive.

That is the famous Portofino above. Crowded now with Ferraris and million-dollar speedboats. Cinques Terres might have been beyond Meredith’s budget for her student year in Italy.

But we’re suspecting that the lifetime roots she was putting down in Italy might one day have drawn her here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Lively Side Of Perugia That Meredith Never Really Saw

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click double rectangle near bottom right for full scene]

[click double rectangle near bottom right for full scene]

Two typical summer scenes in Perugia. First posted last November, and still moving for the street theater that Meredith so looked forward to and saw so little of after she arrived in Perugia in the fall.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

An Exceptionally Lovely Area of A Particularly Beautiful Town

Posted by Fiori

Click above for some new images.

Shots of Meredith’s house and her spectacular views north, around sunset, plus the jazz festival that finished a few days ago, and other views Meredith must also have looked at often, from the south end of town.

Like so many others when visiting Perugia and the neighborhood of the house, I am struck almost speechless by the incongruities.

THIS crime should NEVER EVER have taken place HERE.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #13: Cool Places To Head For When Perugia Is Too Hot

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Click above for some cool destinations.

Umbria’s great parks. All of them are within one hour of Perugia, and several are within half an hour.

We presume that Meredith saw Lake Trasimeno, the closest, because the lake (Perugia’s water supply) is on the direct route to Florence and all of Tuscany.

But busy with her studies in the fall, the only time of year she experienced Perugia, it is probable that Meredith never saw the others.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #12: A Colorful Event Right Now That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

The flowering of the sunflowers. Il girasoli.

They are flowering right now all around Perugia, and especially to the west in Tuscany.

If you are not pre-warned and happen suddenly on one of these fields, you can drive right off the road, the visual impact is so great!

Meredith missed ever seeing this beautiful sight, sad to say. But many of the foreign students from the university towns do go out to see.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #11: Would Some Of These Have Been Her Best Friends For Life?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Meredith was on Europe’s elite Erasmus Program for her year in Perugia. It must have been one of the happiest moments of her life when she won that award.

Not only is it well structured and well funded - Erasmus students find themselves transformed in their career expectations, and invariably they bond with their classmates for life.

These in the video above are Erasmus students from Perugia who would have been there for the same year (2007-2008) as Meredith. They are photographed here at Perugia and at Foggia University during a semester there - Foggia is south-east of Perugia, on Italy’s east coast, 

Students like Meredith from Leeds and other British universities study the British Council Erasmus website for everything relevant to their great adventure.  And there are dozens of post-Erasmus networking sites for fellow students to remain in touch.

The video below captures the spirit of the program - why Meredith would have been so attracted, and so proud.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Kristian Leontiou’s “Some Say” Video - And Yes, That Really IS Meredith You See There

Posted by Peter Quennell

Trial: Sky News Italy’s Video Report On Saturday’s News In Italian

Posted by Peter Quennell

Mr Maresca remarks here that Meredith’s father had commented to him on how strong she was.

She had of course trained quite extensively in judo. Yet another blow to the notion that less than three committed this brutal crime.

It appears that the crowds in the piazza have lessened and that the photographers are trying to give the Kerchers plenty of space.

And that the defendants are arriving at court by way of the front entrance, and not by way of the tunnel underneath the complex.

Trial: Meredith’s Family Recounts The Terrible Pain Of Her Loss

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Italy has an intense sympathy for Meredith and her family, and already today many DOZENS of reports have appeared in Italian.

The combined detail vastly exceeds what is appearing in English. We will try to capture the sense of some of these and report on this later.

Nick Pisa on Sky News has the most detailed report so far in English:

The mother of British student Meredith Kercher fought back tears in court as she described how her family would never get over the “brutality” of her daughter’s death.

Close to tears, Mrs Kercher, 63, told the court: “It was unbelievable, unreal and in many ways it still is - I am still looking for her.

“It’s not just her death, it’s the nature of it, the brutality, the violence and the great sorrow it brought for everyone - it was such a shock.

“You send your daughter away to study and she doesn’t come back. We will never, ever get over it”...

Her sister Stephanie, 25, told the court how they had last spoken two weeks before her death but exchanged texts two days before she died.

When asked if her sister would have fought for her life Stephanie added: “110% yes. She would have defended herself.

“Physically she was very strong and she would have fought to the end.”

Last to give evidence was Miss Kercher’s father John, 68, who told the court how he heard she had died.

“It was 5pm on November 2 - Meredith’s mother phoned me to say she had heard a British student had been murdered in Perugia.

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox in court in Perugia

Sollecito and Knox were in court to hear the Kercher family’s testimony

“I tried ringing Meredith on her mobile and I must have tried 12 times but I kept getting her answer phone.

“Then at 5.30 it started ringing but there was no answer.

“I work for a number of national newspapers so I rang the foreign desk of a paper and they said they didn’t have any details.

“Two hours later when I spoke with them they said they had the name of a British student and the name was Meredith, that’s how I found out.”


Friday, June 05, 2009

Meredith’s Father John Describes How The Family First Found Out

Posted by Peter Quennell

[courtesy Getty; click for for larger image]

Above, John and Arline Kercher and Stephanie in Perugia on 6 November 2007 lighting candles for Meredith.

And below, John describes in the Daily Mirror how the terrible news of her death first reached him in south London.

I am at the counter in a bank in Croydon when my mobile phone rings.

It is 2.15pm on November 1 and Meredith is calling from Perugia to see how I am. It’s an unusual time for her to ring. We usually speak most evenings, but rarely during the day.

But today she doesn’t have any classes at university, where she’s studying European Politics and Italian. It’s a public holiday. We chat for two minutes, I tell her I love her and that I’ll call her later. She says she is going out, so it will be the next day.

That will be the last time I ever speak to Meredith. The next day at 5pm I am at home when Meredith’s mother Arline calls to say she’s heard reports that a British girl student has been murdered in Perugia. Obviously, there is concern. But there are thousands of British students in Perugia and you try to use that as a calming influence.

I ring Meredith but get an automated message telling me her mobile is switched off.

For the next half hour I try at least a dozen times before it suddenly starts ringing.

Relief sets in as I believe she’s switched it back on. But still there is no answer. I keep trying for a further half hour.

By now my instincts have kicked in. I have to get information fast.

I call the foreign desk of the Daily Mirror, a paper I have worked with for many years as a freelance journalist.

They tell me they only have sketchy details of the incident but if I call back in an hour they might have more.

It’s an agonising wait, but when I call back I’m told Italian police found the girl’s phone and they have been in touch with people in London. Again, my hopes rise. This must mean that whoever this unfortunate girl is, the family and British police have been notified by now.

But then my worst fears are realised. Thirty minutes later the Mirror calls to tell me they have a name. There’s some initial reluctance from the woman on the phone to give me the information. But I shall never forget her words: “The name going around Italy is Meredith.”

I drop the phone. I don’t believe it and think there must be a mistake. But I know it’s probably true. I can’t cry. I’m numb with shock.

A friend drives me to Meredith’s mother and on the way, I phone the Foreign Office to see if they can confirm what I’d been told.

They say they don’t have full details and I shouldn’t necessarily jump to conclusions.

Within an hour our family - Meredith’s sister Stephanie and brothers John and Lyle - have gathered at the house.

We’re all distraught. By now, Arline has spoken to the Foreign Office who confirm the worst. At 9pm, Meredith’s photo comes on the news. The room falls silent. We all hug.

The next day we learn some of Meredith’s old school friends plan to lay flowers at her former school in Croydon.

We go to meet them, expecting half a dozen - but there are more than 70.

It’s unbelievably touching. Some have come from universities around the country.

A small service is held in the school gardens.

Nothing prepared us for having to fly to Italy to formally identify her body and we had no idea how much her death had touched the world.

At the morgue, journalists, Italian chief of police and many others are close to tears. Arline and Stephanie go in to see Meredith. But I can’t because it would have put a full stop to my memory of her.

I had last seen her a couple of weeks before, when she flew home to buy winter clothes. We met for a coffee and she showed me some boots she had bought.

I want that to be the one memory of my daughter I hold in my mind for ever.

It’s dreadful having to wait six weeks before we can lay Meredith to rest, while police investigate. The funeral stuns me.

I didn’t expect the more than 500 people who attend. Her friends have flown in from Canada, Europe and Japan.

Afterwards, hundreds of messages flood the internet. Many are from as far as Australia and Brazil, people who never knew her but are touched by her tragic passing and who loved her smile.

Even in death she seems to reach out to people. Arline has helped me with our fond memories of Meredith as a tot. How Meredith enjoyed many things from an early age.

She went to ballet and in her teens did karate, reaching her third belt.

At school she loved reading. She wrote poetry and stories.

She was always good company and her sense of humour always had us and others laughing. The sense of the ridiculous stayed with her. She had such life and vitality and made friends wherever she went. Meredith really enjoyed Halloween.

As a youngster she would make a costume from bin liners, put candles in the pumpkins with faces, tie them to sticks and then we would visit neighbours.

It is ironic and tragic that she would die so terribly only one day after Halloween.

As Arline puts it, Meredith leaves a void that can never be filled. But wonderful memories of her live on in our hearts. All of us who knew her know what we lost.

Meredith is not only a terrible loss to her family and friends, she is also a huge loss to the world.

Today The Media Picks Up On That Tragically Evocative Music Video

Posted by Peter Quennell

New traffic for the proliferating copies of this music video below is already up in the many thousands.

The great Italian newspaper Corriere and various others are today running it on their own websites. The Daily Mail has a report on it.

And Sky News today (click above for their story) had this to say:

Meredith appears as the enigmatic love interest in the song called Some Say by London-born musician Kristian Leontiou.

The 2007 video was shot just weeks before the 21-year-old was sexually assaulted, stabbed and left to bleed to death in her bedroom in the Italian town of Perugia.

The video starts mysteriously, with dim lighting and Meredith walking down the stairs of what appears to be a church.

She then pushes through double doors and looks directly at the camera while the band’s frontman sings the words “I’ll be on my way… show me where the answers lay”.

As the video progresses the lighting level rises and it turns to full colour before snow lands gently on Meredith’s dark hair.

Francesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s Italian lawyer, said: “The singer in the music video was a friend of Meredith’s.

“I don’t know exactly what the relationship was between the singer and Meredith, but I believe they were in the same group of friends.”

Although the video was posted just days after Meredith’s death 18 months ago, her involvement in the video was only recently revealed by her family.

And well-wishers are already using the video’s comment box to leave messages for the murdered Leeds University student.

Meredith’s Family Is Welcomed By Lawyer Maresca To The Court

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image; courtesy Getty Images]

Father John, mother Arline, and sister Stephanie arrive for the afternoon session.

Neither of Meredith’s brothers are shown here, although we believe that one or both are also now in Perugia. They may have entered the court by way of the route for the public.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Kercher Family Prepares To Testify Friday PM And Saturday

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images; shots from earlier hearings courtesy of AP]

The Italian news service AGI is reporting that the Kercher family will arrive in Perugia around mid-day on Friday.

They are expected to be on the witness stand for all of Friday afternoon and possibly for all of Saturday. This will be their second face-to-face encounter with the defendants, and possibly their first encounter with a member of Amanda Knox’s family - at Rudy Guede’s trial, Knox’s parents chose to wait at a certain distance away from the courtroom.

Prior to their testimony, on Friday morning, the prosecution team will examine one final witness - Luca Lalli - on the wounds on Meredith’s body. Then the legal team for the Kerchers, Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna, will examine their first witnesses, the medical-legal expert Gianaristide Norelli and the forensic geneticist Francesca Torricelli.

In the afternoon the team will lead each member of the Kercher family who takes the stand - most probably John, Arline, and Stephanie - through their testimony, and they can then be cross-examined by the lead judge and the defense teams for Knox and Sollecito.

Their testimony will focus on their memories of Meredith, on her decision to come and study in Perugia, on any cellphone calls received or not received by her mother, Arline Kercher, from Meredith on the night in question, and on what Meredith may have related on the relationship between Meredith and Amanda Knox.

Their testimony is awaited with great interest as they have given almost no interviews in the past year and a half, and they have never made any statements about their theory of the crime or their takes on the two defendants. In contrast to the friends of Amanda Knox, they have repeatedly expressed confidence through Mr Maresca in the Italian judges, prosecutors, police teams, and justice system as a whole.

Italy seems to be treating Meredith’s family with an outstanding display of kindness and support. This post might help to explain why.

Plus they are enormously admired for their own grace, dignity and discretion. And their obvious sense of huge loss. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Haunting New Images Of Meredith In A Music Video

Posted by Peter Quennell

An Italian TV report that was just posted on YouTube.

It is about a music video that Meredith had a very moving role in, before her departure from London. How truly beautiful she is looking in this one.

This YouTube link was sent in by a helpful TJMK reader. Meredith’s family had agreed that the music video could be re-released now with her role in it revealed.

We haven’t yet tracked down Meredith’s video itself and any tips on that would be really appreciated…. Okay we have it already.

We’ll post the embedded version right after the trial days. Some more heartfelt comments about Meredith in the video on the PMF forum.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #10: Umbria Jazz - One Of Many Festivals She Never Got To See

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #9: Some Pretty Water-Related Scenes Nearby

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Would Meredith ever have set eyes on these lakes?

Perhaps most likely is Lake Trasimeno, the first lake here, which by car on the autostrada west (and then to Florence or Rome) is less than 15 minutes from her house.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #8: Heart Of A Humane And Very Civilized Part Of The World

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #7: The Rap-Music Scene…

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


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