Headsup: Those in the US and elsewhere who can access the Lifetime cable channel and website and who are following the Epstein/Maxwell saga may wish to catch Surviving Jeffrey Epstein on 9 and 10 August.

Category: Victims family

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

ABC News Reports On The Low-Key But Bewildered Reaction Of Meredith’s Family

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click image above for Colleen Curry’s report. An excerpt:

The Kercher family, who earlier in the day professed its belief that Knox was involved in Meredith’s death, remained behind in the courtroom long after the Knox family and its supporters poured into the streets in celebration. Arline Kercher was held upright by her daughter and attorney as she made her way through a crowd of reporters to a waiting vehicle.

The article mentions that Meredith’s family has issued this brief statement.

We respect the decision of the judges. But we do not understand how the decision of the first trial could be so radically overturned. We still trust the Italian judicial system, and hope that the truth will eventually emerge.

 


Monday, October 03, 2011

Awaiting Appeal Court Verdict, Arline And Lyle And Stephanie In First Press Conference:

Posted by Peter Quennell







The family was fair but firm that their priorities are justice for Meredith and her remembrance.

This first report on the press conference (probably the first of two) is from the Daily Telegraph.

Stephanie Kercher said her sister had been “hugely forgotten” in the furore around the appeal launched by American student Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito over the November 2007 killing in Perugia, Italy.

Sitting alongside her mother Arline and brother Lyle, she told a press conference: “It is very difficult to keep her memory alive in all of this.”

Miss Kercher said forgiveness “does not come into it” at the moment.  She went on: “It would be very difficult to forgive anything at this stage.

“What everyone needs to remember is ... the brutality of what happened that night, everything that Meredith must have felt that night, everything she went through, the fear and the terror, and not knowing why.

“She doesn’t deserve that, no-one deserves that.”

Meredith’s mother Arline refused to say whether she believed Knox killed her daughter but said she trusted the Italian justice system.

She added: “You have to go by the evidence because there is nothing else. What I want, what they want doesn’t come into it.

“It is what the police have found, what the science has found, what the evidence is and that’s all you can go on.

“It is to find out what happened to Meredith and to get some justice really.”


Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Terrible Weight On The Victim’s Family Because The Italian System Is So Pro Defendant

Posted by Peter Quennell





The Italian prison population is proportionally perhaps the smallest in the western world.

Italy has an overall population about one-fifth that of the United States, but a prison population only about one-thirtieth the size of that in the US, below 100,000 as compared to 2.7 million.

It is true that Italy has a very low murder rate, and that most towns see no murders at all year after year. Even now outside the main cities many people still tend to leave their houses unlocked. There seems to be not that many crooks.

But even in light of this, two factors have resulted in sentences often amazingly light by international standards, with prison sentences under three years almost never served, and crooks often happily walk free.

  • The first factor is all the safeguards built into the post-WWII constitution to make sure that the kangaroo courts of the fascist era would never ever again reappear.

  • The second factor, now in the news,  is the manipulation of the justice system by the occasional politician over the years to soften the situations of their locked-up buddies. 

So prosecutors now have to jump through a large number of hoops and judge after judge has to check on their reasonableness. Mr Mignini noted this in court the other day when he said that 42 judges had come to see the case against Knox and Sollecito in essentially the same way he presented it. .

Defendants get to speak in court while not under oath whenever they want to. They get two automatic appeals, and verdict and sentence are not considered final until the Supreme Court of Cassation rules that way. The overturn rate on either level of appeal is not particularly high, but there seems a tendency for appeal courts to be more lenient than trial courts, though Cassation often does favor the rulings of the original trial courts.

Now Italian crime rates are creeping up, with the influx of drugs and immigrants, and majority opinion in Italy is that the system should definitely be a bit tougher. Various pro-victim TV shows and various books have shown that because of all the pro-defendant breaks, the toll on victims’ families can be really shocking.

We have posted on the pro-victim campaign of Barbara Benedettelli who is a prominent TV show hoster. She has just come out with a book telling of the sufferings of victims families in saddening detail.

One of the families she describes saw their baby snatched by defense witness Mario Alessi, who soon after killed the baby with a spade because it would not stop crying. Alessi and his wife are locked up now, but you would rarely see in the UK and the US the kind of suffering along the way that the family of baby Tommy went through.

Victims’ families may get some legal and social help but they often end up financially decimated and quite often in poor health. This seems to be the tragic predicament of Meredith’s family which their lawyer Francesco Maresca highlighted the other day.

“You will look Meredith’s family in the eyes only once,” Maresca said. “They could not always be here in court due to the mother’s health problems and siblings’ economic problems.”

In fact, he said, the family had trouble finding airline tickets for the verdict, which the lawyer contrasted with reports that the Knox family had a private jet ready to whisk the American student out of the country in the case of a not guilty finding. Knox’s family has denied the existence of such a plan.

John and Arline Kercher’s bills are said to to be pushing now toward $200,000 at a time in life when their earning powers are no longer at their peak and neither of them are in good health. They have to pay all of their own travel costs to and from Perugia and all of their own hotel bills, and also the fees of Mr Maresca and his team.

Kind attention has just been paid to their terrible plight and to the memory of Meredith by the Italian media, and also in the US and UK by Reuters and the Associated Press and Fox News and The Examiner.

But they deserve a great deal more.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meredith’s Sister And A Perugia Friend Share How Very Much This Funny Very Talented Girl Is Missed

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Above: TJMK main poster ViaDellaPergola’s video tribute to Meredith, first posted soon after the trial concluded[


From Ryan Parry’s interview with Stephanie Kercher in The Daily Mail:

“As I told a friend recently, my sister would have been 26 this year and I was in tears because I can’t even begin to imagine what she would have been like at that age. I can only remember her as 21 and before that.

“She would have finished university, maybe be working and with a boyfriend and I think of all the things we would have done together.

“We used to dance around our rooms together, watching films, going shopping. All the girly things that you do.

“We grew up together and there was only two-and-a-half years between us, so we were very close. When we were at uni we would send each other emails asking how each other was getting on. We’d also share responsibility of looking after and supporting Mum, who has been ill for a long time.

“As a sister I have missed out hugely on all of that. It’s something I am never going to know.”

For Stephanie, of Coulsdon, South London, it’s the little things which get her most upset.

The two sisters used to write secret notes to one another and pass them under their bedroom doors.

She adds: “I found a lot of the notes and they would make me smile or cry depending on what kind of mood I am in. We had photos developed the other day of when we were both little. They made me grin but I also felt sad.”

Stephanie has a silver bracelet she gave Meredith on her 21st birthday as a keepsake. Another gift to her sister, a pendant, was placed in with Meredith’s body at the funeral.

“I have also kept all the cards Mez has ever given me, teddies and things that she’s brought me back from places,” she says.

From Nick Squires’s interview with Natalie Hayward in The Daily Telegraph:

“When I got to Perugia, I was depressed. I’d broken up with the man I thought I would marry. Meredith was the only one who was totally non-judgmental. That was wonderful because I was feeling lonely.”

Miss Hayward remembers one of her tutors in Perugia warning her and Miss Kercher to be careful in the Umbrian hill town, saying hidden dangers lurked amid its rowdy student bars, cobbled piazzas and medieval passageways.

“We laughed about it. We were thinking ‘What’s to worry about? This is a tiny little town and we’re from London.’ It’s horribly ironic now.

“But Perugia can secretly be a dark place. It’s quite druggie.”

As for her friend, she said: “She was clearly intelligent and worked very hard. She was always talking about her family.

“She was very friendly ““ I still have text messages from her in which she persuaded me to go out in the evenings. She was generous and open and had a very big heart.

“She was a very fulfilled human being. She was happy and talked about her family all the time. She had lived life to the full. That gives me a great deal of comfort.”


Monday, September 05, 2011

In Good Italian Meredith’s Family Remind Italy Of Who Is The Real Victim Here

Posted by Peter Quennell

Stephanie Kercher writes an open letter (two of Meredith’s family are conversant in Italian, and Meredith had been fluent on arrival in Perugia) to Judge Hellman.

She questions the very strange slant of the DNA report in which Greg Hampikian seems to have had a suspect role.

The letter is very widely quoted from in the Italian media which has been highly sympathetic to Meredith and generally left cold by the antics of Knox, Sollecito, and their entourages.

CNN carries one of the few English-language reports. Generally a good one though it omits that Rudy Guede accused Knox and Sollecito to their faces in appeal court.

No English version was issued to our knowledge, and this is our main poster Tiziano’s translation, from TGCom.

In the last week we have been anxiously awaiting and in great agitation at the opinions being spread around about the original DNA tests.  It is extremely difficult to understand how the evidence which had been acquired with care and presented at the first grade trial as valid can now risk becoming irrelevant.

How can a quantity of DNA evidence be considered of little importance when the same experts do not give precise answers on the quantity which ought to be taken into consideration?

Furthermore, it should be remembered that both the parties, the prosecution and the defence, engaged their own respective teams of scientific experts in the first level trial, in addition to the consultants of the Scientific [Police] in Rome.

The [representatives of the] defence seem to be focussed on and to base themselves heavily on these two pieces of DNA evidence, but we want to remember for a moment who this case is about: my sister, a daughter brutally taken away from us almost four years ago and still not a day goes by when we can find a little peace or to put an end to all this.

All those who read this document or who are following this case, please remember our beautiful Meredith.  Her blood mixed with other samples spread around the bathroom, along the corridor and in Filomena’s room, and also so many other bloody prints.  Remember too all the other evidence which has been presented up till today in this trial, 10,000 pages of evidence.

We still have confidence in the Perugia police and all our trust in all those people from the court and the investigations.

We ask that Appeal Court weigh up every single piece of evidence, scientific and circumstantial, together with every witness heard and that [the court] do this independently of every other source of information and [independently] of the media.

In the midst of all the frenzy created by the media, Meredith has been forgotten, she is no longer with us, yet everything that should be for her and [done] in order to understand what really happened that tragic night. 

We have not forgotten her, and we will continue our struggle in order that justice be done with the continuing support of our lawyer Francesco Maresca and of his colleagues, the Police, the Public Prosecutor, the prosecution and all those taking part in this in Italy and also all those who in all the world still think of us and of Mez.

We would like to have the possibilty of working with Universty of Perugia on a project which would offer an annual place to a student in memory of Meredith.  Meredith loved Italy and its people and wanted to immerse herself in Italian culture.  We are well aware of the impact that all this has had on the city and we think that this is an appropriate way to commemorate Meredith in the beautiful place for which she left us to come and study.

Please do not let it be that Meredith died in vain, her courage and her strength continue to struggle and we shall look for justice so that she may rest in peace.  She did not stop struggling that November 1st, and we shall not stop now.

Stephy Kercher

 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Token Balance In The Italian System: The Voice In The Court For The Victim

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above: Francesco Maresca with the Lead Appeal Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliol and Ms Comodi]


We have often posted before on the pronounced tilt toward defendants’ rights in the Italian court system.

The Italian criminal justice system is just about the only one in Europe that has not yet adapted to the 2001 directive of the European Court that was asking for equality in criminal trials.

As we can see in this case, the system is extremely pro-defendant.

Police and prosecutors have to jump through a large number of hoops. Judge after judge combs through the evidence. Defendants can get up and talk in court at the nod of a judge without being cross-examined.

Defendants never have to take an oath to tell the truth. Judges in effect have to be part of the jury and to stake their reputation on the outcome of every case, the reasoning of which they must describe in writing.

No-one is conclusively declared guilty until two appeals have been concluded. The second appeal is to the Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome, which seems to be sitting on more appeals now than the rest of the western world put together. Just about all prison sentences of under three years are waived. 

And that is just for starters.  One outcome is a prison population proportionally less than 1/4 that of the United States.

Many Italians feel that this fairness or leniency - call it what you will - has gone way too far, and Prime Minister Berlusconi’s attempts to press the fairness or leniency even further are wildly unpopular.

We posted recently on the tireless Italian campaigner for a stronger assertion of victim’s rights Barbara Benedettelli and she has a new book out on various cases. She has also sent us some background material on the generic issue which we intend to build into a post.

Against this tsunami of systemic pro-defendant bias in Meredith’s case, we really only have the fortitude of the police and the prosecutors involved, and the systemic presence of the lawyer representing the interests of the victim and her family: Mr Francesco Maresca, who practices law in Florence.

Although his English is said to be hesitant - which means the English media don’t usually track him down for any soundbites - he seems to us to be tirelessly aggressive in the court in standing up to the many impromptu interventions of the three perps and the fireworks of their six-plus lawyers.

Here is an interview with Mr Maresca in yesterday’s Umbria Left which was kindly translated by our poster Tiziano.

The lawyer for the Kercher family: Alessi and Avielli contradicted.

“Guede confirms the presence of the accused in the house of the crime. We have heard witnesses who contradicted Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello.” Thus said lawyer Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the family of Meredith Kercher, at the end of the hearing of the appeal trial of Raffaele Sollecitoand Amanda Knox.

“Witnesses which,” he added “we could have however done without, heard only because it was necessary from a procedural point of view.” Lawyer Maresca claimed, “Regarding Rudy Guede, this person confirmed what he wrote in the letter to his defence lawyers. And to the specific question whether it was an opinion of his, he replied ‘no, it’s what I experienced that night’.

“In my opinion Guede once again confirmed the presence of all three accused at the site of the murder that night. It seems to me the truth of a co-accused already found guilty. To me it appeared absolutely clear,” Maresca concluded.

Another one landed for Meredith by her lone ranger in the court.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

New John Kercher Article: “As A Little Girl Meredith Was Funny, Clever And Extremely Self-Assured”

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





By Meredith’s father John in today’s Sunday Times:

To my knowledge nine books have been published about the Amanda Knox murder case, with one more on the way. There have been five television documentaries. A made-for-TV film was shown in America last month, and there are plans for a British film, possibly starring Colin Firth. The news media seem transfixed. Knox’s supporters post their views online and plan a “bowling fundraiser” next Sunday in Seattle, her home town.

There is someone missing from this obsession with “Foxy Knoxy”, as the 23-year-old student was quickly nicknamed in the press. Meredith Kercher, my daughter, was killed that night in Perugia, Italy, 3½ years ago. It’s time to tell her story - and the story of her family, for whom there are no appeals against Meredith’s death, but only a long, painful and extremely expensive emotional limbo as the Knox saga grinds its way through the Italian courts.

In December 2009 Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years respectively for killing Meredith. An Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede, had already been convicted at a fast-track trial and sentenced to 30 years, reduced on appeal to 16. We attended the sentencing of Knox and Sollecito in Perugia. As Meredith’s brother, Lyle, said afterwards, it was not a moment for celebration; more one of satisfaction that some verdict had been reached. But our agony did not finish there.

We would like to be able to remember Meredith for the loving, humorous and caring person she was, rather than a murder victim. But under Italian law Knox and Sollecito have a right to two appeals: one to the court in Perugia, which is in progress, and, if that should fail, a further one to the Supreme Court in Rome.

The result of the current appeal is not expected until September. Should it go against them, then at least a year or even years could pass as the second appeal is heard. This is the stuff of nightmares, compounded by the way that Knox has been turned into a celebrity and the murder into entertainment.

I saw the trailer for the American TV film about her and was horrified by the scene that purported to depict the killing of my daughter. It was removed before broadcast but Meredith was still shown with a bloody wound in her neck. Mez, as we called her, should not be remembered by the way she died but by how she was for the 21 years of her short life.

As a little girl she was funny, clever and extremely self-assured, with a wonderful singing voice. At about five she told me she wanted to be a pop star. When a girl with whom she was meant to do a duet at junior school fell sick, Meredith performed the song alone. Other parents came up afterwards to compliment her nerve and ability.

She wasn’t a show-off. Her talents often surfaced spontaneously - such as when she picked up a toy guitar at home, stuffed a cigarette in her mouth, pulled her hair down over her face, stuck a hat on her head and did an impression of Slash from Guns N’ Roses. It was hilarious.

As she became older, she showed high academic ability, winning a place at Leeds University to study European politics and Italian. She was meant to be on a four-year course that included a year’s study at an Italian university, but she discovered that, because of a mix-up, she had been put on one with no year abroad. She was horrified and fought for months to be reinstated - successfully.

Meredith loved Italy, having been there several times with her school and a couple of times on family holidays. At the end of one exchange trip near Naples, most of the English students were in tears at having to say goodbye to the Italian families they had stayed with. Meredith, however, was smiling “because I know that I’m going to return and that, some day, I’m going to live here”.

She had a choice of three cities for her year overseas: Rome, Milan and Perugia. She chose Perugia because of its medieval quarter and the hope that it would be easier to make friends there than in a big city.

She flew out in late August 2007, checked into a family hotel for three nights and went to the University for Foreigners to look for accommodation in the town, eventually finding a room in a cottage. She rang to tell me about it, saying two Italian girls already had rooms there and an American girl would be joining them later.

Meredith had lived with Arline, her mother, since our divorce in 1997, but we had spoken every evening on the telephone and she came to dinner with me after school every week. We continued our conversations every evening when she was in Italy. She told me about her studies, the wonderful restaurants she had been to and the places she was hoping to visit.

She came back from Italy for a weekend to clean the house for her mother, who was suffering renal failure. That was the sort of person Mez was - very caring, not simply to family and friends but to strangers too. Once, working part-time in a restaurant, she saw that a female customer with a young child had had too much to drink. Meredith paid for a cab to get them home safely.

This was the person who was savagely murdered on November 1, 2007. I had spoken to Meredith that afternoon. It was Ognissanti, All Saints’ Day, a public holiday in Italy. She told me she would be out that evening but would talk to me the next day. My last words to her were: “I love you.”

The following evening her mother called, telling me that a British student had been killed in Perugia. I never dreamt that it was Meredith, and so I telephoned her number to see if she knew anything. At first I got an answering machine. After dialling a dozen times or more, I heard a ringing tone at the other end. That was a relief. I assumed that she wasn’t answering because she was in a different room.

An hour later, still getting no reply, I became worried and rang one of the national newspapers that I write for. Its foreign desk told me, after checking with Italy, that the police had found the dead girl’s mobile phones and had been in touch with people in London.

I was relieved. Whoever the poor girl was, she couldn’t be Meredith, because her family had presumably been informed. Half an hour later, however, I was told that the name going round Italy was Meredith. I was in shock. A friend drove me to Arline’s house. After a couple of hours Meredith’s picture came up on the television; by then the Foreign Office had confirmed that it was our daughter.

We flew to Italy to identify her. The press outside the morgue was crying, as were the police, and I couldn’t go in to see her. I wanted to remember her as she had always been. I had seen her only a few weeks earlier, when she had been on a shopping trip to London for winter clothes to take back to Italy. She had been so proud of her new boots. That was how I wanted to remember her.

Then the long legal process began: investigation, arrests, trials and now the appeal. The defence lawyers are contesting the DNA evidence from the alleged murder weapon, a knife found in a drawer at Sollecito’s apartment. They say the DNA samples - Meredith’s on the tip of the blade, Knox’s on the handle - are too small to be admissible as evidence. They also argue that DNA on a clasp from Meredith’s bra, found in her room six weeks after her body was discovered, could have been contaminated.

This is disputed by the top forensics team from Rome, led by Patrizia Stefanoni, an internationally respected forensic scientist. The fact that recently, in Britain, someone was convicted on 17-year-old DNA evidence is ignored by the defence.

Knox’s supporters in America, while concentrating on the DNA, do not seem to be aware of the huge body of other evidence that was given. Under Italian law a judge has to write an official report on how a verdict was reached. Judge Giancarlo Massei, who presided at the trial of Knox and Sollecito, produced a 400-page report.

It is quite revealing, showing that - although Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s genetic material were found mixed together in several locations in the bathroom - much more than the DNA evidence was responsible for the decision to convict. For example:

  • Sollecito claimed to have been working at his computer on the evening of the murder, but computer records show that it was inactive. Both Sollecito’s and Knox’s mobile phones were switched off that night.

  • A witness saw the couple several times in the vicinity of the cottage on the night of the killing, although they said they were at Sollecito’s home. Their alibis changed nine times, with Sollecito saying that he could not remember whether Knox was with him all evening. They even hinted at putting the blame on each other. Apart from Meredith, only Knox and two other flatmates, who were away at the time, had keys to the cottage.

  • Sollecito’s naked footprint was found on a bathmat in the cottage; and Knox’s footprints were found outside Meredith’s room, in the passageway and in another room, where police believe a break-in was staged. (These footprints were revealed with luminol, a chemical used by forensic investigators to detect traces of blood at crime scenes, as it glows blue in reaction with the iron in haemoglobin. It can show bloody footprints even after attempts to clean them away.) nAs for the “break-in”, the police immediately noticed that glass from a broken window was on top of clothes supposedly scattered by an intruder. The glass would have been under the clothes if the window had been broken before the room was ransacked. No valuables were taken, and a real burglar would have found far easier access to the house without breaking a window.

  • Sollecito told the police that nothing had been taken from the room supposedly broken into. But how would he know? It was used by an Italian girl, not present on the night of the killing, who had not yet checked it out for herself.

  • Knox described the position of Meredith’s body and how she had died, although she had not been able to see into Meredith’s room when the door was broken down by the police.

There are many more factors, almost 20 in all, among them the suspicion that there may have been something ritualistic about Meredith’s death. The prosecutor was criticised for mentioning this, but she was killed on the eve of the Day of the Dead, November 2. Sollecito was said to have Japanese manga comics that described the rape and killing of female vampires. Meredith had been dressed as a vampire to celebrate Hallowe’en.

In addition, the Supreme Court in Rome has recently issued its report on Guede’s appeal. Pointing out that there were more than 40 wounds on Meredith’s body, it found that he did not act alone and that two others were involved. There is also a suggestion that her body and the room were rearranged after the killing.

Guede, who admitted having been in the cottage on the night of the murder, fled the premises and went to a disco before escaping to Germany, where he was arrested. So who cleaned up the house in an attempt to remove all traces of their presence that night?

While not wanting to complain, I find it odd that the British government will not help us pay for travelling expenses to the courts in Italy, which we have had to attend on five occasions so far for the trial and appeal.

The British consul in Florence was marvellous, providing emotional support and translation facilities, and two MPs have tried to get us financial backup; but the Foreign Office says it does not pay for costs of attending court hearings abroad.

Each European Union country is supposed to provide some sort of compensation for the family of anyone from another EU nation killed on its territory; but Italy did not sign up to this, so nothing has been forthcoming from Rome. We have had to fund everything ourselves. It adds up - about £40,000 so far.

In court our lawyer demanded E21m (£18m) in compensation from the defendants, but this was a purely symbolic amount, seen in Italy as a way of demonstrating the severity of the case. Anyone assuming we received such a sum is under a misapprehension.

It is now into the fourth year since Meredith’s death, and the pressure of grief is still upon us. It has been constant torment, but the memory of Meredith will continue to stay with everyone. Leeds University planted an oak tree in her memory; and, with our family, students released balloons bearing messages for her. Her school, Old Palace in Croydon, planted a cherry tree for her. Every year, on the anniversary of her death, at Christmas Eve and on her birthday (December 28), our family and Meredith’s friends go to the cemetery to leave flowers and cards for her.

Recently I unearthed a book I wrote for Meredith. She was 14 and I was visiting her at her mother’s house. When the time came for me to leave, she suddenly asked me to tell her a bedtime story. I laughed and said I had told her one from when she two until she was 12, and I had run out of ideas. But she was insistent. So I told her I would go home, write something and read it down the telephone to her.

That’s what I did, with her as the lead character, and she loved it and wanted more. So I continued and it turned into a novel, The Strange Case of Miss Carla. I like to think that this is my tribute to a wonderful daughter.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Andrea Vogt: Supreme Court Report Highlights Amanda Knox Mention To Mom She Was There

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Amanda Knox and her mother in courtroom when Edda Mellas testified 19 July 2009]

Andrea Vogt in the Seattle PI translates from the Cassation Report described in our two previous posts.

A sentencing report just released by the highest Italian appeals court sheds new light on why so many Italian judges have maintained Amanda Knox was involved in her roommate’s murder.

The document, among others, cites a conversation Knox had with her parents while under surveillance during a prison visit in which she said “I was there,” apparently referring to the night of the murder.

Amanda Kox’s remark was recorded at Capanne Prison and was long public knowledge, but that the Supreme Court listed it among other evidence of involvement in this report is significant.  The report summarises what is the evidence against all three, especially that against Rudy Guede.

The court…said that based on the 43 wounds to Kercher’s body (and the time it would take to inflict them) that it was… probable that Guede and two others forcibly held Kercher down, threatened, taunted and eventually fatally stabbed her.

The Court’s quoted language is extremely hard and gives a sense that the judges were appalled. The Court’s report has been out in Italy for over four days now - but the Seattle PI’s is the first extensive US or UK media summary.

The US and UK media have a pretty consistent habit of ignoring these inconvenient reports.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Perhaps Heeding Meredith Family Pleas And Our Open Letter Lifetime Claim Movie Now Less Shrill

Posted by Peter Quennell


If we are reading this somewhat cagey explanation by Lifetime executive producer Craig Piligian correctly, the scenes with Meredith have almost disappeared.

Lifetime is set to premiere the movie on February 21, but the channel has slightly altered their marketing in response to criticism from both Knox’s lawyers and the family of victim Meredith Kercher.

The channel recently removed the original teaser-trailer for the movie, which stars Hayden Panettiere as Knox, from its website and YouTube, and today replaced it with a new, slightly edited version.

The new promo no longer includes scenes depicting Kercher being assaulted, which caused a stir in the U.K., where she is from, and which her father called “absolutely horrific.”

If this is true then we have to thank you, Lifetime, for a kind gesture that matters a great deal to Meredith’s family and her many supporters worldwide.

Mr Piligian says the movie will air in the US starting 21 February and the UK and some other markets, but no longer in Italy.

Insiders also confirm that Amanda Knox will not air in Italy due to legal reasons, because Knox’s case is ongoing. Knox’s lawyers had sent a letter to Lifetime, asking the network to pull the clips down, arguing that the movie’s depictions might jeopardize her chance of a fair trial. A Lifetime spokesman confirmed that the network received the letter, but beyond that, they have not commented on the controversy.

We also presume that Lifetime had no wish to pin a calunnia target on their own backs,  as the Italian police and investigators and prosecutors may have quietly warned them. 

The producers and cast continue to make some rather loopy claims about how controversial the evidence actually is.

“This is a factual drama and we feel we did a very fair and balanced telling of the story, crafting a script from court records and other public documents,” executive producer Craig Piligian tells TV Guide Magazine.

“At the end of the movie people will be wondering whether she really did or didn’t do the things she’s accused of,” he says. “We weren’t leaning one way or another, but took a very even, fact-based approach, which ultimately allows the viewers to make their own decision.”

Amanda Knox is simply accused? Actually she already was unanimously convicted. The Supreme Court of Cassation has already accepted that all three were party to the attack.

Certainly the conviction is not final until Cassation confirms it (probably by late summer 2012) but that existing Cassation position really means it is all but game over. And Capanne Prison continues of course to be Amanda Knox’s home.

But the auspices behind the movie say they’ve made sure not to take sides in the debate over Knox’s guilt or innocence… Piligian said he screened the movie internally to his staff, and even in-house there’s no consensus on whether or not Knox was involved in the crimes. “Everyone’s divided, and the viewing public will likely be divided as well… That’s what makes this such a great story.”

No consensus? Try again. Read the voluminous evidence rather than simply watching a hedging semi-fictional film

We are finding that maybe 98 out of every 100 bright people who read the Massei report and the Micheli summaries do not have the slightest difficulty seeing that the case has been made and the first verdict a fair one.

We will watch the Lifetime movie for sure on 21 February.

We will be curious to see if Lifetime somehow depicts what a sad drug-driven slide into dependency and desperation the seemingly not-quite-right Amanda Knox appeared to be embarked on.

What a deservedly friendless, obsessive and bizarre person the heavy drug user Raffaele Sollecito seemed to be, despite all his deeply concerned father’s best efforts, in real life.

And what an exceptional fast-track student with an amazing future already mapped out the real victim, Meredith, really was.  We believe Lifetime may have picked up some strong vibes of that.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

“The Strange Case of Miss Carla” John Kercher’s Brilliant Idea Of A Tribute To Meredith

Posted by Peter Quennell


These images above and below are scenes five minutes south of where Meredith grew up, where the southern edge of London becomes beautiful rural Surrey.

Meredith’s father John has now made public that he has put on paper bedtime stories including some he told Meredith at bedtime in her house just to the north of these places when she was a little girl.

The London media reports are here and here.

Meredith herself in a real sense set this book of stories in motion. John was once at her house when she was 14 years old, and as he left in the evening, she asked him to tell her a bedtime story.

He said he’d told her bedtime stories from when she was two years old until she was about 12 but for now he’d run out of ideas. But she was quite insistent. So John told her he would go home and write something and read it down the ‘phone to her; which he then did.

She loved it and wanted more, and so he continued with it for a long while until it became a 60,000 word novel. John Kercher has linked these very special stories together with a narrative that has Meredith traveling through time.

If John does try to get the book published, it would simply be submitted with no background and the publisher would not be told the connection. It would stand on its own.

Still, few stories have a way of resonating through life and on down the ages like those bedtime stories we hear in childhood.

And this seems an impressionistic, elegant, deeply moving way of keeping the thought of Meredith alive for those in the know without being remotely invasive. Quite brilliant.





Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kercher Family Lawyer Walks Out As Amanda Knox Engages In What Looks Like Yet Another Stunt

Posted by Peter Quennell


The other day Meredith’s father John made a strong plea for the cruel and callous PR games to stop.

John Kercher made it pretty clear that he disbelieves EVERYTHING now that Amanda Knox and her parents say in their endless media quotes and appearance.  The English version of John Kercher’s letter is here and the Italian version is here.

Amanda Knox’s mother Edda Mellas was almost immediately reported as reacting to John Kercher thus:

Mellas also addressed the issue today on KIRO Radio in Seattle saying the Kerchers do not “know the whole story.” She said they were not in court except for a few days during Amanda’s trial and feels that they fell “hook, line and sinker” for what their lawyer and prosecutors told them. “They may not have the whole picture,” she said.

That callous and inaccurate reaction did Edda Mellas no good at all. Many who were still cutting her a little slack were appalled by this dishonest and smearing attack.

In fact the Kercher family have been extremely well informed and they have remained singularly cool-headed, dignified and truthful throughout. .

Unlike Edda Mellas they have actually read the Massei Sentencing Report. Unlike Edda Mellas they show no signs of having swallowed anything hook line and sinker. Unlike Edda Mellas they do not again and again lie about basic facts of the case. Unlike Edda Mellas, they did not hide the fact that an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, was in jail because Amanda Knox lied to put him there. 

And unlike Edda Mellas their view of Amanda Knox’s guilt is no different from maybe 95 per cent of the Italian population. They do get the whole picture.

Time for damage control?  Today in court, Amanda Knox seemed to set out to try something completely different. A limited qualified evasive emotional non-explanation of an explanation. An “I didnt do it but I am so sorry for Meredith and her family anyway” kind of hangout.

To underline his contempt for this ploy, Mr Maresca conspicuously walked out of the court when Amanda Knox started her rambling nervous statement. If the statement actually won any new sympathy for her among the case-watchers in Italy, we are not seeing this reflected in the Italian media reports.

Here is Nick Pisa reporting objectively from Perugia in the Daily Telegraph - in his final para below, it seems he has the same interpretation of the real purpose of Amanda Knox’s statement as we do. 

Knox, 23, broke down several times as she delivered an emotional 20-minute address to the court hearing her formal appeal against conviction, her voice sometimes quavering as she claimed that she had nothing to do with Miss Kercher’s brutal death.

The American dismissed the prosecution’s view of her, saying she was not the “dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring and violent” person depicted during her original trial, telling the court: “That girl is not me.”

Knox also expressed her sympathy towards’s Miss Kercher’s family and friends and said through tears: “I am very sorry that Meredith is no longer here. I have little sisters as well and the thought of being without them terrorises me.

“What you are going through and what Meredith went through is unacceptable and incomprehensible. I remember Meredith and my heart breaks for you. I am honoured to have known her. I don’t know how you must feel, your suffering over a lost life.”

Knox’s words appeared to be in response to John Kercher, Meredith’s father, who recently complained that Knox had been accorded the “status of a minor celebrity” while his daughter was a forgotten victim.

Amazingly, all three of the largest US networks had Ella Mellas on their breakfast shows, unchallenged and fawning, to claim that Amanda Knox’s performance was amazing. Edda Mellas of course speaks no Italian.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Italian reporting highlighted Mr Maresca walking out and reported his highly critical statement verbatim. NO media website today carried a majority of pro-Knox comments.

And in making herself so obviously the center of the universe in her statement, Amanda Knox may have already cooked her own goose with the new judges.

[Below: This now is a full audio recording of the full statement of Amanda Knox with court images ]

 


Thursday, December 02, 2010

John Kercher: “Its Despicable That The Girl Jailed For Killing My Daughter Has Become a Celebrity”

Posted by Peter Quennell





Meredith’s father John passionately speaks out against the making of convicted killer Amanda Knox into a celebrity.

He is stridently critical of the utterly contemptible antics of Amanda Knox’s parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, and of the callous self-promotion of narcissistic limelight-seekers like Hayden Panettiere and Rocco Girlanda.

Enough is enough, he now says. His article appears in the Daily Mail.

It’s utterly despicable that the girl jailed for killing my daughter has become a celebrity

From Meredith Kercher’s father, a passionate attack on the cult of ‘Foxy Knoxy’

By John Kercher

Last week, I switched on my television to see the parents of the young woman convicted of taking my daughter’s life proclaiming her innocence. And, once again, I felt the pain and the anger and the raw grief resurface.

Amanda Knox was found guilty of killing my daughter Meredith at the house they shared in Italy three years ago. Yet since that act of horrific violence, Knox, it seems, has been accorded the status of a minor celebrity.

Sometimes it seems that there is no escape from her or her jaunty nickname, “˜Foxy Knoxy’ (doubly hurtful, for the way it trivialises the awfulness of her offence).

Cherished memories: John Kercher misses daughter Meredith every day

Last week, Knox’s parents were given star billing on the ITV breakfast show Daybreak, where they had free rein to profess their conviction that their daughter is not guilty.

Kurt Knox and his ex-wife Edda Mellas have never expressed their condolences to our family for our grievous loss. There has been no letter of sympathy; no word of regret. Instead, I have watched them repeatedly reiterate the mantra of their daughter’s innocence.

Alas, I fear there is more yet to come. Their TV appearance last week, trailed for two days as if it were some exclusive media coup, coincided with the resumption of Knox’s appeal against her conviction.

This appeal, like the initial court case, will drag on for months, while the dark tunnel between my family and our ability to grieve for Meredith in peace becomes ever longer.

If Knox doesn’t get the result she wants, our agony will be even more protracted: she may then take her case to Italy’s Supreme Court in Rome. Put simply, our ordeal could go on for years.

‘To many, Knox seems an unlikely killer. Yet to my family she is,  unequivocally, culpable’

Knox is one of three people convicted of killing my beautiful and talented daughter. It was a brutal murder. Meredith’s throat was slit, and she was stabbed to death.

Knox and her former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, are serving jail sentences of 26 and 25 years respectively for their heinous crime. A third person, drifter Rudy Guede, convicted with them, is also in prison.

Yet it is Knox who still exerts such a hold over the media. As a journalist myself, I know the reason why. Knox is young, attractive and female. To many, she seems an unlikely killer.

Yet to my family she is, unequivocally, culpable. As far as we are concerned, she has been convicted of taking our precious Meredith’s life in the most hideous and bloody way.

And the sadness is, the nature of that death too often prevents us from celebrating her life. She has become “˜Meredith Kercher, murder victim’, not Meredith Kercher, our lovely, intellectually curious daughter.

So, today, I’d like to redress the balance and tell you about our irredeemable loss. About the Merdeith we knew and loved.

Our girl was 21 when she died; a bright, sweet-natured and engaging young woman. She had been studying for a degree in European Studies and Italian at Leeds University when she had opted to spend some time in the medieval Italian town of Perugia, at the university there, improving her knowledge of the Italian language and culture.

On November 1, the third anniversary of her death, I gathered with the rest of the family in the cold, grey cemetery where she is buried. One by one, we laid bright flowers on her grave and left messages. Mine said simply, “˜I miss you’.

Along with our own handwritten notes, there were dozens from Meredith’s friends.

They write as if she’s still with us, telling her about their new jobs, their boyfriends.
They remind her of all the wonderful times they had, of the shared laughter. And like us, they hope “” really, they do “” that Meredith might somehow know what they have written.

None of us, you see, wants to forget her for even one second. So she is here, among us, everywhere. She lives on in the public memorials, with trees planted in her honour at her old school and university, and in the private ones, too.

At her home in Surrey, where she lived with her mum during the university holidays, her room remains as it always was. It is not a shrine; but neither will it ever be disturbed.

‘All we want now is the peace to be able to celebrate her life. Is that so much to ask?’

Her clothes remain in the wardrobe, her posters on the wall. Study books are piled on the table, make-up arranged beside them. It is just as she left it “” and sometimes I even convince myself that one day she will return to it.

I wait to hear the cheerful cadence of her laughter. Even now, the memory of it has the power to make me smile.

People also always remember Meredith’s kindness and caring nature. She never gave the impression of being studious, but she was. She worked quietly and assiduously for her degree. But she was generous too. Several friends commented that she would lend out her lecture notes to anyone who asked: to her, it was second nature.

But Meredith, of course, was not perfect. Punctuality was never one of her qualities.

The last time I saw her, during a weekend trip back to London, she breezed into the Italian restaurant where I was waiting for her a full hour late. Yet when I saw her, wreathed in that famous smile, my annoyance instantly evaporated.

The vision of her delightedly showing me the new boots she’d bought that day is one I continue to hold dear.

The next thing we knew, we were travelling to Italy to identify her body.

And then there was the ordeal of the court case, the details of which have been picked over too often to bear repeating here.
Glamorised: Actress Hayden Panettiere is playing Knox in a new film about the events of Meredith’s death

Glamorised: Actress Hayden Panettiere is playing Knox in a new film about the events of Meredith’s death

But still, the hurt wasn’t over. I’ll share one small example.

Two years after her death, we were told that we could finally take Meredith’s possessions home with us. I expected a large suitcase full of her belongings, which we could all cherish.

Instead, I was given a small, battered case. Her beloved clothes had all been taken for forensic tests. Not even her treasured possessions were sacrosanct.

Who knew?

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede received a total of 67 years in prison for Meredith Kercher’s murder

So we concentrate on the happy memories instead. Meredith was a Christmas baby, and as the festive season approaches, we hold in our hearts the memory of her 21st birthday, celebrated in a local Italian restaurant. None of us could have dreamed it would be her last.

Meredith meant so much to us all. Our lives have, of course, moved on, but not a minute passes when she is not in our thoughts. And the question that nags insistently at us is: “˜Why?’ Why was she taken from us prematurely and with such horrific brutality?

Like all grieving parents, we sometimes wonder what she would be doing now if she were still with us. She would have graduated with her degree from Leeds University in 2009. But, of course, we were never able to share her pride in reaching that milestone.

She was, however, awarded a posthumous degree, and her sister, Stephanie, collected it for her. Every student in the vast hall rose to their feet to applaud her that day. The standing ovation lasted a full minute, and my eyes brimmed with tears.

Sometimes, even now, I find it hard to believe she is not still with us. Her passing is easier to bear if I pretend she has just gone away for a while; that some day soon she will ring me “” her voice bubbling with laughter and enthusiasm “” to tell me about her latest adventure.

Meredith was the baby of the family, the beloved youngest child. Her mum, her siblings and I cherish every memory of her short life. It is her untimely and horrific death we would all prefer to obliterate from our minds.

All we want now is the peace to be able to celebrate her life. Is that so much to ask?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1st Appeal Session: Kercher Lawyer Maresca Says Verdict Perfect, Seems Optimistic This Soon Over

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Kercher family lawyer Maresca with Knox defense lawyer Ghirga]

Dario Thuburn of the AFP reports remarks by Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca and Meredith’s father John.

A lawyer for Kercher’s family, Francesco Maresca, said the original sentence against Knox was “perfect” and said he would “call for justice again.”

He said the Kercher family is eager “to close this chapter.”...

Kercher’s father, John, meanwhile sent a letter to the mayor of Perugia through his lawyers to thank local authorities for setting up a scholarship in her name at the university where she was on an exchange programme.

“Meredith loved Perugia and had made a lot of friends there,” John Kercher wrote, adding that the family was “moved” by the scholarship decision.

Also included in Dario Thuburn’s report on today’s short session:

A nervous-looking Amanda Knox began her appeal on Wednesday against her conviction for the gruesome sex-murder of a British student in the medieval Italian city of Perugia in 2007….

“We feel as though we have a very good case,” her step-father, Chris Mellas, told AFP ahead of the hearing. “She’s going to go home,” said Mellas, who has been living in Perugia since September to help Knox prepare for her appeal….

Wednesday’s hearing lasted only a few minutes and the appeal court judge scheduled the next hearings for December 11, December 18 and January 15…

[Knox defense lawyer] Ghirga said the defence would focus on DNA evidence linking Knox to the crime scene that he said had been questioned by three scientific opinions. The lawyer said Knox’s mother and father would be at the hearing on December 11 and said he expected the trial to conclude in February or March.

Asked about her health, he said: “She looks terrible. She’s very thin.”.. Prosecutors have said they will seek a life sentence for Knox—their original request in her first trial—if the conviction is upheld.

Note what Mr Ghirga said about the appeal maybe being over in February or March. The judge decided on sessions only once a week (Saturdays to suit the pregnant lawyer Giulia Bongiorno) which suggests it’s all over in 10 sessions or less.

We believe the only way it can conclude as soon as that is if all or most of the requested DNA re-testing and new witnesses are refused. DNA re-testing alone could take months.

That makes the 11 December appeal session into quite a cliffhanger.

We can see no overwhelming reason yet for the verdicts to be overturned, and if there is going to be one it can only come from that retesting and any new witnesses if allowed.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Anger Toward Hayden Panettiere For Arch-Callousness Toward Meredith’s Family

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Another with the symptoms of a charming psychopath, explaining how Meredith was killed?

Panettiere is reported as refusing to mention Meredith by name. In line with the standing orders of PR campaign, she seemingly wants to disappear Meredith. Make her a non-person.

The anger toward Panttiere among those who knew Meredith or closely identify with her, as we do, is growing stronger by the day. Now there is a scathing commentary by Jenny McCartney on The Daily Telegraph’s website

With depressing inevitability, the cameras began rolling last week on a TV movie about Amanda Knox, the young, blonde American convicted in Italy for her role in the killing of a 21-year-old fellow student, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

Hayden Panettiere, a rising star, is playing Knox. The actress described herself as “flattered” to be awarded the role, blithely adding: “It’s a really great story and a very controversial one.”

Both the comment, and the film, strike me as being in disgustingly bad taste. For it is not, of course, “a really great story”, but an intensely sad and very recent criminal case, in which an intelligent and beautiful British student was murdered.

The Kercher family, who demonstrated considerable dignity through a long and heavily sensationalised trial, must now be subjected to the additional pain of knowing that the circumstances of Meredith’s death are already being converted into entertainment.

Even Knox’s Italian lawyer, who is presently appealing against her conviction, has strongly denounced any such “exploitation of the situation”.

The truth is that the film’s backers glimpsed a case in which both the murderers and the victim were young and attractive, and ““ in their eagerness for a salaciously brutal storyline ““ abandoned all other considerations.

I don’t suppose the film industry ever had much of a conscience: the difference now is the confident assumption that the public doesn’t, either.

Click the Daily Telegraph link to read also the well-informed and very critical comments by commenters Jo Jones and Mutley.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Kercher Family Lawyer Francesco Maresca Confident Appeals Will Fail And Justice Will Prevail

Posted by Peter Quennell





This excellent interview of Mr Maresca by Leonardo Molinelli just appeared in Canada Corriere.

The interview is similar to several others Mr Maresca has just given in Italy. Mr Maresca shows in all of them that he is very confident about the defense appeals not succeeding in any dramatic way.

Justice will be served in Kercher case

“The investigation was carried out very well”: lawyer

By Leonardo N. Molinelli

There’s less than a month to go to the start of the appeal process for the murder of 20-year-old American student Meredith Kercher. The next phase will begin on Nov. 24, which should establish the guilty parties in the death of Kercher, who was killed in Perugia, Italy between Nov. 1 and 2 of 2007.

Charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault, and theft is 26-year-old Amanda Knox and 23-year-old Raffaele Sollecito with whom Knox was having a relationship.

The other person facing charges ““ Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast ““ will not be part of the process since he has already been condemned to 30 years [reduced to 16 at first appeal] at a summary procedure. He will face the Court of Cassation (appeals) for final sentencing [in December].

All three of the accused have always declared their innocence and the upcoming process promises to be controversial and sensational. The defence for Sollecito and Knox, in fact, has requested access to all forensic investigation from the Court of Cassation.

They’re requesting the analyses of all the principal exhibits, maintaining that the two were not present at the murder scene and thereby placing the blame squarely on Guede.

“The Kercher family has taught the world the dignity of silence.” 

With these words, the family’s lawyer Francesco Paolo Maresca outlines the trial that went beyond the usual standards in legal battles in Italy, moving from the courtrooms to TV and newspapers.

Corriere Canadese/Tandem recently spoke to Francesco Paolo Maresca about the trial.

Has there been any new developments since the preliminary sentencing and the appeal?

“No, let’s say that the defence requested the appeals court for a review of all forensic findings, following the defence line in the preliminary trial, in which they contested all the assessments.”

Accusations that were discredited with the preliminary sentencing.

“Yes, so much so that the preliminary sentence is based on all these laboratory results accepted as fully reliable in the presence of the parties, and no one ever contested anything on that basis.”

So what is the defence’s objective in this case?

“They’re requesting, in substance, the detailed analyses of all the main exhibits, therefore the bra hook containing Sollecito’s DNA and the bathroom rug with Sollecito’s footprint.”

Do they intend to demonstrate the non-involvement of the two youths in the murder?

“They’re aiming to demonstrate the total non-involvement, unloading everything onto Rudy Guede.”

So Guede would have killed Meredith by himself while Amanda and Raffaele were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“Actually, they say they were at Sollecito’s house after having smoked hash, made love, and woken up early the next morning.”

So they would have been connected to the crime scene as part of a conspiracy?

“They got there by coincidence based on test results. They say that the DNA on the bra isn’t Sollecito’s and if it were, it would have been found in other parts of the house, that the footprint on the rug isn’t Sollecito’s), that the DNA on the knife isn’t Knox’s, and so on.”

Instead, what are the facts as pieced together by the preliminary sentence?

“The facts pieced together would be a sexual attempt gone wrong, with a series of progressive and worsening knife wounds, with intimidation and threats and with three very serious wounds to the neck, of which one was fatal. We ““ and the sentencing acknowledges this ““ maintain that the facts cannot be viewed as a premeditated theft but as a crime of violence.

They probably attempted some sort of sexual game, Kercher refused, they threatened her, wounded her, blood spilled, and they panicked. Knox knew everyone so if they had called an ambulance or the police, they would have had to justify their presence, which is why they finished her off.”

So it wasn’t premeditated?

“There’s no premeditation. There is no premeditation. The event needs to be examined using the approach of a contingent situation, of the fear of being discovered, of the fear of making noise. Kercher screamed horribly from the pain, the simulation of a theft was to throw the research on the wrong track.”

America insists there were leaks in the Italian justice system, a conspiracy against Amanda, and so on. What impression did you get during this trial? Are there any deficiencies in this trial?

“The investigation was carried out very well, and forensic science and the police did a good job. There was just the one deficiency ““ and un-influential ““ of this blessed (bra) hook that was left behind and discovered 40 days later, but it was proven that it could not have been contaminated, using a series of technical valuations.

One must consider that 368 exhibits were gathered if I’m not mistaken, and above all we made an enormous commitment of deliberating for about a year (Editor’s note: January to December, 2009), which was very quick for Italian trials. Rudy Guede was examined with a summary procedure within a year of the act, and the other two to three years from the act, but with a deliberation that involved 170 witnesses and technical consultants.”

An exemplary trial considering that Italian justice system is often blamed for being slow.

“It gets blamed because they have completely different parameters and have juries and courts that dedicate themselves to a single trial ““ they begin and end that trial over three-to-four consecutive months, doing nothing else. In our system, the criminal court does this while the judges concurrently do another 20, 30 or 40.”

A difference in systems that could be the reason for these accusations.

“They were astounded because we didn’t have daily hearings. We pointed out that having weekly hearings on Friday, Saturday, and Monday ““ that is three days out of six ““ is a very unheard of commitment. We all risked our families because we couldn’t see them anymore”¦”

The defence for this case is reminiscent of the one used for the Cogne case, with the victim who disappears from the media, and the likely murderer who becomes a celebrity of sorts.

“From a theoretic interpretation, I’d say that’s justice, and I must say that Meredith Kercher’s family taught the elegance of silence to the entire world. Because as the families of Knox and Sollecito organized foundations, associations, sought funds, gave interviews, requested political help, Meredith Kercher’s family remained under the radar screen notwithstanding the offers, including financial (ones).”


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tina Brown Of The Daily Beast Extols Barbie Nadeau’s Book On Knox’s Descent Into Hell

Posted by Peter Quennell


Our previous post on Tina Brown of New York’s Daily Beast who is publishing and championing Barbie Nadeau’s new book.

Tina Brown is certainly sounding more up to speed on the case than a ludicrously misinformed Oprah Winfrey and likely to be a much-needed balancing voice. Excerpts from her new piece, starting with a kind gesture to Meredith’s family.

“It’s such a shock to send your child to school and for them to not come back.”

That was the brokenhearted testimony of the mother of Meredith Kercher, the 22-year-old British student killed in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007, at the trial of her daughter’s alleged killers two years later. “We will never, never get over it.”

As the mother of a 19-year-old myself, I shuddered at her words.

Hers is the nightmare that haunts every parent who sends a son or daughter off to one of the “gap year” or study-abroad programs that have become a rite of passage for educated Western youth. But the rapid growth of such programs can be credited, in part, to parents’ woeful””or is it willful?””ignorance about what can happen when students suddenly find themselves in a foreign land, free from parental or college oversight, and surrounded by a new set of peers, all of them eager to experiment….

Only with Meredith’s horrific death did it become clear that she and her roommate had been mixing with a crowd that was headed not just for trouble, but, in Amanda’s case, a descent into evil….

[Barbie Nadeau’s]  objective dispatches also earned her the enmity of ferocious pro-Knox bloggers, who hurled insults and threats, hoping to discredit her professionally. Instead, her reputation has been enhanced by her diligent pursuit of a story that most of the U.S. media, including The New York Times, badly misread….

Mining diaries, social-networking sites, exclusive interviews, and telling moments in the courtroom, Nadeau paints the first full portrait of a quirky young woman who is neither the “she-devil” presented to an Italian jury nor the blameless ingénue her parents believe her to be. What Nadeau shows is that Amanda Knox is, in fact, a 21st-century all-American girl””a serious student with plans and passions””but is also a thrill-seeking young woman who loves sex and enjoys drugs and who, in the wrong environment with the wrong people, develops a dark side that takes her over and tips her into the abyss.

In short, every parent’s worst fear…

We strongly endorse Tina’s uncomplimentary crack at the New York Times. The Times did nothing to advance the truth here. Instead it hosted the xenophobic blogging of Knox slobberer Timothy Egan.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

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.

EXCLUSIVE: MURDERED MEREDITH’S FAMILY SPEAK FOR THE FIRST TIME

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


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.











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