Monday, December 07, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ciao, It is a extremely nice piece to read - such a vibrant account of Merediths personality, and the strength of the Kercher family in honoring Merediths life and memory.

Im sure that the two jurors who spoke out, have cried many tears for Meredith during the case, how could they not have, when experiencng the atrocities? But they have not been allowed to express this in public, and they were by the journalists, asked about the conviction of Amanda.

Crying during the conviction of Amanda, reveals the huge personal responsibility that members of the jury have felt towards achieving a fair conviction, and it is to me evidence of the profound seriosity of the Italian juridical system and the fairness of the verdict.


Posted by Fiori on 12/07/09 at 08:38 PM | #

It really brings it home when Arline talks about Meredith’s bedroom and Stephanie about the jokes they used to share.

I can’t begin to understand how it must feel.

I wish the Italian justice system didn’t have the automatic right to appeal because, as it says in this article, it just draws out what must be a horrific time for Meredith’s family.

Could it work in a negative way for Knox and Sollecito? Could they get more years added on rather than taken off or is that unheard of?

I’m hoping Peter’s going to post a link to an article I’ve just found about Italy’s disgust at America’s reaction to the verdict. They really don’t help themselves. Mind you, hopefully that won’t be a bad thing. Let them carry on!

Posted by mikeyverve on 12/07/09 at 08:48 PM | #

Hi Mikeyverve. Thank you, yes, several of our Seattle posters have a major post soon on the flairing “international situation”.

We never ever see any evidence of the anti-Americanism that is being talked of. It would be pretty hard to document. What Nicki said here in fact captures the mood. And of course the other defendant was an Italian.

We have of course witnessed a whole freight-train of anti-Italy sentiment. We doubt that made any difference at all, but it is a pity a US Senator wants to leap on it.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/07/09 at 09:35 PM | #

I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Kerchers on their loss. I too come from a close family with four children, and don’t know how we would have coped if one of us had been cruelly taken away in this manner. Bless the Kerchers.

Posted by Earthling on 12/08/09 at 12:13 AM | #

Thank you for posting that. The part where Mrs. Kercher says that they can’t move because Meredith wouldn’t be able to find them is heartbreaking. Not silly at all.

Posted by mortytoad on 12/08/09 at 01:26 AM | #

yes, thanks for this post. what a truly brave family the Kerchers are, my heart aches for them, RIP Meredith.

Posted by swigz on 12/08/09 at 02:41 AM | #

... and adds poignantly: “We’re the ones who have been given a life sentence.”

This statement really broke my heart. How true it is. I feel so sorry for them.

What a contrast between Meredith’s family and the Knox/Mellas. Reading some comments on Frank’s blog, I am reminded that the Kercher’s not only have to endure the loss of their daughter, but also the vicious remarks from the FOA and the Knox family. It is so sad.

Posted by Nell on 12/08/09 at 04:45 AM | #

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