Headsup: The first 8 episodes of the RAI/HBO production "My Brilliant Friend" about a supreme alpha-girl and her "moon" of a best friend airing in 60-plus countries are proving amazingly endearing. So many colorful elements of evolving post WWII Italy on display. Yes, some violence too, but peanuts compared to say New York in that era. A real must-see.

Series Concerning Meredith

Sunday, July 19, 2009

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 07/19/09 at 11:56 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Saturday, June 06, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/06/09 at 10:45 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Sky News Italy’s Video Report On Saturday’s News In Italian

Posted by Peter Quennell

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

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

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

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

Posted on 06/06/09 at 10:29 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: Meredith’s Family Recounts The Terrible Pain Of Her Loss

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox in court in Perugia

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 06/06/09 at 08:55 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Friday, June 05, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell



[courtesy Getty; click for for larger image]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A small service is held in the school gardens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 06/05/09 at 04:59 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Today The Media Picks Up On That Tragically Evocative Music Video

Posted by Peter Quennell


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 06/05/09 at 11:40 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer England
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Meredith’s Family Is Welcomed By Lawyer Maresca To The Court

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image; courtesy Getty Images]

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

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

Posted on 06/05/09 at 08:38 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Kercher Family Prepares To Testify Friday PM And Saturday

Posted by Peter Quennell


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

Posted on 06/04/09 at 09:21 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Haunting New Images Of Meredith In A Music Video

Posted by Peter Quennell

An Italian TV report that was just posted on YouTube.

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

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

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

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

Posted on 06/03/09 at 09:59 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer England
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Sunday, May 31, 2009

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 05/31/09 at 07:00 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Would Meredith ever have set eyes on these lakes?

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

Posted on 05/16/09 at 06:28 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Posted on 04/12/09 at 08:04 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Sunday, April 05, 2009

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 04/05/09 at 06:54 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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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.

Posted on 03/07/09 at 09:06 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Monday, February 16, 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.

Posted on 02/16/09 at 08:30 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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