Sunday, December 06, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell





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

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

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

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

It is by David Randall and Victoria Richards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And they were good years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was Meredith. That was how he found out.

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


Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/06/09 at 03:00 PM in Concerning MeredithHer memoryNews media & moviesMedia news


Comments

12/6/09
Meredith was a huge encouragement to the world. 21 beautiful, kind years. It’s time to magnify that. She has transcended time. Now many millions know about her because of her sacrifice.

There are heroes and villains. Meredith is the light in this story.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/06/09 at 05:32 PM | #

A nice interview with Meredith’s British ex-boyfriend here

The UK People

So many people hurt by this senseless crime.

Posted by chira385 on 12/06/09 at 09:52 PM | #

Hi to all - can anyone verify this from the Independent on Sunday?
*Phone records show Knox spoke to Rudy Guede “several times” before and after the murder. Guede was sentenced to 30 years in jail for his role in the killing in 2008.

Posted by pensky on 12/06/09 at 11:00 PM | #

Hello Pensky—I recall reading on this site or on Perugia Murder File that Rudy Guede did not have a cell phone, so I doubt that any such phone records exist.

Posted by 2catsintheyard on 12/07/09 at 05:39 AM | #


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