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 mafias. Below is the seventh of maybe 10 posts providing the ACCURATE information Gladwell should have done. Series starts here.

Category: Concerning Meredith

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #6: Scenes Around Her Fine Old University

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click the small rectangle at lower right here for a full-screen version - recommended.

The School for Foreigners shows up early in this video, and the old Roman viaduct directly behind and below.

Founded as an institution separate from the University of Perugia (it was one man’s post-war vision) the School was assimilated into it for administrative reasons back in the 1990s

Meredith was enrolled in the School for Foreigners for her advanced Italian classes, and in the Department of Politics for her study of European politics. Both in the old city.

Knox was enrolled only at the School for Foreigners - she seemed to be intending an easy few months. Sollecito lived in the old city, at its extreme north-west tip, but his Department of Computer Sciences is down in the newer part of Perugia, perhaps two kilometers further west.

We believe Meredith had good French and some German as well. She would have traveled easily around Europe and probably become a true international citizen.

Previous Perugia series in tribute to Meredith. Previous Leeds University scenes. and below, a first video.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meredith’s Neighborhood: Her House From The East

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for more images.

This is possibly not a direction that Meredith ever walked. There are no footpaths, the cars race by, and the street mainly heads to routes down to the east and the north.

You can clearly see Meredith’s bedroom window in the shot above. The green shutters are closed now. Sollecito and Knox both said they considered how to get into Meredith’s locked room via that window, which in fact is very high up.

You can see in the foreground the old fruit-trees which have a lot of fruit on them in the summer, and the half-completed structure which appears to be intended for more bedrooms or another apartment.

Behind the house, from this angle, are its car-park and gate, the dumpsters, the intersection and steps up, the basketball court and small park, and finally the School for Foreigners, about 200 meters away. Shots to follow.

And see Kermit’s excellent powerpoints on the probable history of the house.

Meredith’s Neighborhood: Her House From The South

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for more images.

Shots taken from the street above, and from the parking building above that again. The house is still a crime scene and looks neglected and abandoned.

The house is built at a slightly odd angle, facing too far right, so only Meredith’s window and the balcony look onto the great sweeping hillsides to the north.

You can see the window of Filomena’s room above, through which a burglar may or may not have entered. A mop and pail - though not that mop and pail - can be seen at the entrance. 

The boys’ apartment downstairs is reached by way of steps down to the east of the house (last shots). It is down there that mobile-squad cops broke in the door because of blood traces.

The window in those shots is of Laura’s bedroom. The separate structure down there is not complete, and it looks like an old attempt to add a couple of rooms or an apartment.

And see Kermit’s excellent powerpoints on the probable history of the house.

Meredith’s Neighborhood: Her House From The West

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for more images.

Mid-summer and the house area is very lush from this angle. The house is surrounded at the front and sides by productive fruit-trees.

Meredith would have seen the beautiful fall colors, but probably not yet these rather bright summer greens.

These shots were taken from the fast circular road outside the city wall that cars use to get to and from the modern town and the railway station to the west.

Directly behind here about 500 meters away is where the two mobile phones were tossed into a garden. Guede and Sollecito both lived behind here and higher up, also about 500 meters away.

The parking building above the house, which Meredith probably crossed to get home that night, is visible here. That is where running footsteps were heard and the four CCTV cameras are located.

And see Kermit’s excellent powerpoints on the probable history of the house.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not Far From Here, Meredith Said Her Final Goodbye To A Friend

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for a larger image]

Meredith said goodbye to Sophie Purton not so far from here. Sophie lived on the way to Meredith’s house. Sophie testified about this today.

Up the steps and through an arch is where Meredith had had her final happy meal with her caring English friends. Sophie’s house is about 5 minutes away, behind where this shot is taken from. .

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #5: A Very Nice Old City In The Mist

Posted by Peter Quennell


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Trial: Prosecution Resumes Friday - Meredith’s Following Is Now Worldwide

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

We are seeing about 1200 unique visitors a day. And more visitors on the hearing dates and the trial dates.

The “visits” column in our daily statistics for the past week shows the most significant figures. Readers in nearly 100 countries. These are the top 20. This is an English-language site, of course, and Italian readership of Italian sites would be proportionally higher.

And the UK has its own excellent online reporting. There are proportionally far more media sources reporting the case than here in the United States. .

Seems a wonderful tribute to the compelling persona of Meredith herself. Meredith has attracted a real worldwide following.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Meredith Would Have Been 23 Today

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger image]

Happy, trusting, caring, extremely smart, very hard-working, nice to absolutely everyone in her attitude and her behavior”¦ and smiling.

Always smiling.

She didn’t have an enemy in the world and, perhaps because of her rather Mediterranean looks, is very widely loved and missed in Italy.

A number of wreaths and flowers were dropped off at the gate of her house on the first anniversary of her death.

She planned to be a teacher. In a forty-year career, her grace and intelligence and kindness would have brushed the lives of many thousands.

Every day now we are getting emails - mainly from women, but not always - missing her terribly and mourning the tragedy of her death.

You mattered, Meredith. And you matter. You are brushing the lives of many thousands.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

She Really Was Special… Our Thoughts Are With The Kerchers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meredith Dateline Documentary: New Standard For All Others?

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

We think so. We think other TV networks would be foolhardy to now step back from NBC’s very high standard.

This is the Dateline documentary reviewed here by Skeptical Bystander on Monday. Now we have been through it almost frame by frame, and we continue to be impressed.

NBC clearly gave this one a big budget. It filled the entire hour. Meredith was very much respected in the script and the images of her. NBC flew camera teams to Seattle and Perugia, along with the precise, well-informed reporter, Dennis Murphy. The photography and the production values were excellent. There were a number of new images, and new tape-recordings of Amanda Knox. And the three consultants - Richard Owen, Clint van Zandt, and Theodore Simon - were all really on top of the case.

Now for our take on what it all means.

Richard Owen is the Rome correspondent for the London Times, with many Perugia stories to his name. Clint van Zandt is a much-in-demand crime analyst, formerly with the FBI. And Theodore Simon is a Philadelphia defense lawyer, who has defended Americans in foreign trouble and commented before on the case.

These are what they regard as the strengths of the prosecution’s case.  Meredith was known to have not liked Knox bringing strange men to the house, and to have had other differences. The several defendant alibis do not coincide. The Knox murder accusation against Lumumba not only did not help, it hurt. The break-in theory is very dubious. Knox and Sollecito kissing outside, the underwear purchase, and other post-crime behavior, all look very fishy.

The DNA on the hidden knife is very compelling. As Clint Van Zandt put it, the knife, the DNA, and its hiding make a nice prosecution package. The bleaching of the house and the footprints showing up under luminol, if linked to anyone, could almost be conclusive by themselves. As could the blood drops on the bathroom drain. The witchcraft angle as a motive, van Zandt remarked, was almost a bridge too far, but the prosecutor does have to attempt to offer a theory of how these otherwise normal kids could commit the murder.  Theodore Simon thinks the prosecutors evidence made public so far is daunting. The defense could argue a faked robbery, and a moved body, and contamination, but eventually it could become like whack-a-mole, and all of their arguments could lose force.

Only old and very familiar arguments were advanced for the defense case. Dennis Murphy noted that for a year now, Europeans have been sold a sexy heartless icon. Knox’s father said her first alibi/confession was “all but water-boarded out of a terrified young woman” and the prosecutors had been heartless, feeding one juicy morsel after another to a voracious tabloid press. He claimed the knife was found in the knives draw in Sollecito’s kitchen (not our understanding) and the DNA on the blade could be that of half the people in Italy (nor is that). And all the evidence at the crime scene had been contaminated by careless police work. The hostility of the Knox-Mellas couple for the prosecutor shone through. And an old clip showed Anne Bremner remarking (of the wrong apartment) “thou shalt not destroy evidence at a crime scene, and this appears to be the case here”.

Recordings are heard, some in Amanda Knox’s voice, and some in others, of her claims about her arrest and interrogation. Also of her dreams and denials as recorded in her diary in her first weeks in jail, when she was clearly feeling betrayed by Sollecito - this is the diary she later handed to prosecutors.

Criticisms? We have some. An image of the duvet with Meredith’s foot showing is used repeatedly. The NBC take on the case was not up-to-the-minute, and some of the clips and claims seemed old. No psychological angles were explored. The documentary did not mention the independent expert verification of the forensic evidence, or the caution of the Italian legal system, or the dozen judges who have verified the impact of the evidence. And it did not mention that most of the 10,000 pages of evidence have still only been seen by a very few.

But it finished well. Dennis Murphy remarked that we should remember the prosecutor has already convicted Guede with his sex-game argument. And that the Guede judge said the other two are implicated, which does not bode well for them at trial. And that courthouse observers, including Theodore Simon, are predicting an uphill fight for the defense.

If you click on them, all of these screen-captures open up larger in Acrobat.

Below: Dateline’s reporter Dennis Murphy in Perugia

Below: The two nice images of Meredith used repeatedly

Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy in the early-on Seattle segment

Below: Two shots of World Cup, now out of business, where Knox last worked

Below: One of the entrance gates of the University of Washington

Below: Seemingly resigned friends of Knox, giving personal testimonials

Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy at the gate of Meredith’s house

Below: Two fresh images of Perugia, representative of the many used

Below: Richard Owen, the London Times Rome correspondent

Below: Clint van Zandt, the former FBI profiler and evidence analyst

Below: Theodore Simon, the defence lawyer for Americans in foreign trouble

Below: Patrick Lumumba, looking happy and relaxed, with Dennis Murphy

Below: Zack Nowack, an American, who felt Amanda Knox was too impulsive

Below: Three new shots of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox

Below: The biological parents of Knox trudging along, seemingly resignedly

Below: A computer image of the bedroom - even here, Meredith’s foot shows

Below: Filomena’s broken window; not considered a feasible break-in route

Below: Murphy and Van Zandt discussing the possible murder weapon

Below: The Perugia police chief demonstrates the fatal stab with a knife

Below: Meredith’s and Knox’s unexplained blood on the bidet drain

Below: Murphy and van Zandt discuss the seemingly damning footprints

Below: The Knox rape short story, perhaps indicative of an attraction to violence

Below: Knox and Sollecito happily buying lingerie together in Bubbles

Below: One claimed inflammatory European headline (it seems true)

Below: Transcript of a Knox recording complaining about interrogation

Below: Murphy describing the Knox-Mellas hostility toward the prosecutor

Below: Murphy and van Zandt look at disputed police break-in downstairs

Below: The Japanese manga comic that might have influenced Sollecito

Below: A woman’s voice reading from Knox’s early 2008 prison diary

Below: Fresh image of Capanne jail, with the Perugia heights in background

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Meredith’s Perugia #4: The Cute, Handy Monorail Meredith Might Soon Have Ridden

Posted by Peter Quennell

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meredith’s London #2: More On Where She Came From, And Probably Had Some Fun

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

These shots show the rest of the Thames-side area fronting the neighborhood where Meredith was born.

Behind all of this? Some brick row houses and some older concrete blocks. The area was badly bombed in World War II, and although it’s moving up now, it has a way to go to match this out front.

We think that if Meredith did walk this fun area, or visit these important attractions (a common destination for London school parties), it is this riverfront she would have known best.

The National Theater is in the top shots. Then the Tate Modern Gallery, both outside and inside. And then the new Globe Theater. And finally the Greater London Authority, in the round building at bottom.

Important and interesting. Very crowded on summer evenings. This entire waterfront would take 20 minutes walking fast there. But who walks fast there?!

We’re not including Coulsdon in Croydon, south London, where Meredith grew up, as Meredith’s family still lives there.

You can see what a nice modern town she lived in via Google’s images here. This was her very-much admired school: the Old Palace.

Nice neighborhoods all. Meredith’s Leeds is here, and Meredith’s Perugia is here. More to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meredith’s London #1: Her Connection With This, The Coolest Part Of Town?

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Appropriate to a significant life (and Meredith’s life is becoming VERY significant) she lived in three quite spectacular cities.

In London (18-plus years), in Leeds (two years), and of course in Perugia (two months).

London is evolving fast these days, and some of the developments there have a real beauty. No part of London is changing more spectacularly than the south bank of the Thames (left above).

Meredith’s main connection with this precise area? She was born here. In Southwark. Her family later moved south, but this is where she is from.

Meredith would later pass through this area a lot if she took the train to central London, just north, to get to the theaters and museums and Oxford Street stores.

She might very well have hung out here with friends. Everybody does. It is one of the number one places for walking and talking and looking in the evenings.

And we’d be surprised if Meredith never ever rode The Eye. The National Theater and the Tate Modern museum (next posts) are just a few steps from here to the east.

At night, with the parliament over there, and all the soft floodlighting, this is a place of quite haunting beauty. 

She chose well…  Meredith’s Leeds is here, and Meredith’s Perugia is here. More to come.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meredith’s Perugia #2: The Lively Side Of The Place That She Never Really Saw

Posted by Peter Quennell

Monday, November 03, 2008

“Meredith Never Stopped Smiling”

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger images]

The radiance of Meredith’s lovely smile and the infectiousness of her laugh have been remarked upon, again and again, by family and friends…

Cold rainy weather now in Perugia, it appears, and the reporters there for the Rudy Guede trial are long gone. Like last year, most of the students are out of town.

But kindly and commendably, a number of Italian news outlets have noted the mass held yesterday for Meredith, and the leaving of flowers at the house.

That smile. It sure got to people.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meredith’s Leeds #2: The Large, Popular, Very Respected University,

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Meredith studied at this hard-to-get-into university with the excellent reputation for two years. She would have returned for a third for sure.

These aerial shots show just the central campus area. Factoring in the many halls of residence, and the outlying schools, the total campus area must occupy several square miles.

Meredith would probably have spent most of her time in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (the white building at left-center above facing left, and at center below), the main library (the round building behind it) and the Students Union (the large cluster of buildings at far-left center above, and at just below left-center below).

Please look for a much fuller description soon, in a new post coming up.

Below: Two outdoor and two indoor shots of the Michael Sadler building housing the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Below: Two shots of the Parkinson building, through which Meredith might haver walked if she came by bus

Below: A shot and a diagram of the Brotherton Library; the Italian Section is two floors below the main reading room here

Below: Outdoor and indoor shots of the Students Union which houses cafeterias, book stores, health facilities, and recreation

Below: Some of the buildings in the modern style - some new, some from the 1960s, many connected by overhead passage-ways

Below: Night falls on the university; with 30,000 students studying there, you would never normally see it an un-peopled as this!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Meredith’s Perugia #1: Faces Of The City She Loved Getting to Know

Posted by Peter Quennell

Friday, October 31, 2008

Meredith’s Leeds #1: The SPECTACULAR Downtown

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Meredith lived two years in Leeds. She walked these places?

SURE she did. Everybody does. The Leeds downtown has to be one of the most successful in Europe. Built originally with the enormous wealth that resided in the town, and lovingly rebuilt again in parts after World War II.

You are looking here at four scenes. First, the myriad of covered passages that criss-cross the older shopping streets. Second, the huge covered market just nearby. Third, the more modern shopping, again very close. And finally, the public area in front of the town hall, where even more shopping - art-and-craft stalls - is periodically established. 

One incredible walkable area. Even if she didn’t shop it - and that would surprise us! - Meredith surely loved to walk it.

She would of course have been back. At least for one more year. And maybe for grad school.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meredith’s Family: Post-Trial, And At The Press Conference

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Forum On The Meredith Kercher Case

Posted by Peter Quennell

A new Meredith-case forum opens for discussion today: PMF dot Org . 

This one continues the heavy lifting on the case of a very informed, watchful, and caring group which populated the Steve-Huff-hosted forums for nearly a year.

Moderators are Skeptical Bystander and Michael, two of the most dedicated moderators you will find on any forum.  Real survivors, too!

Added in 2016

PMF dot Org went private and then quiet after the Marasca-Bruno verdict late in 2015. Some posters moved to PMF dot Net and some called it quits.

Much of the translation that TJMK and the Wiki still carry was done by members of that PMF dot Org group. We immensely appreciate their past help.

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