Sunday, October 13, 2013

More About Meredith With Thanks To John Kercher and Stephanie

Posted by Hopeful

First, the letter in Italian from Stephanie to Judge Nencini at start of appeal.

Dear Dr Nencini,

We have talked a lot in our family in order to come to make the difficult decision not to come to Italy for the beginning of the trial. My mother is in dialysis three times a week and this has an enormous impact on her health. My father has had two strokes in the past. This period is particularly stressful for us all and we desperately want to discover the truth and find justice for Meredith, who was taken away from us so brutally and unnecessarily. We have thus decided to support each other in the family here in the UK and to follow the trial from here, keeping close contact with lawyer Francesco Maresca and his colleagues.

We are confident that the evidence will be re-examined and that all the other requests for tests will be allowed, so that all the unanswered questions may be clarified and that the Court may decide on the next actions in this tragic case. These have been the six most difficult years of our lives and we want to be able to find a conclusion and remember Meredith as the really marvellous girl who she was, rather than remembering the horror associated with her.

It is a continuous battle every single day, struggling with our emotions, happy memories and desperately sad ones, and the only way in which our pain and suffering can at least begin to to be alleviated is to come to a clearer understanding of the tragic events of November 1st, 2007. Nothing can bring back our beautiful Meredith, and we keep her in our hearts always and in our memory, but we need to know what happened and she deserves at least the dignity of the truth.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

Stephanie Kercher and Family

Second, more on Meredith from John Kercher’s fine book.

Italy had always been important to Meredith. Her Italian teacher from senior school, Lucia Mazzeo, remembers how much Meredith enjoyed learning Italian, right from the start of her lessons in Year Nine. She was already good at French—in fact Mrs. Mazzeo had noticed that both Stephanie and Meredith seemed to have a natural flair for languages—but Meredith had quickly shown a delight in Italian culture and language.

A year after beginning Italian, at the age of fourteen, the school organized a two-week exchange visit with Taddeo da Sessa school in the town of Sessa Aurunca, in the southern Italian region of Campania.  Built on the southwest slope of an extinct volcano, fifty miles from Naples, it is a beautiful, quintessentially Italian town, and has the ruins of a bridge with twenty-one arches and a Romanesque cathedral. The girls were to stay with Italian families whose daughters attended the Taddeo da Sessa school.”

Isn’t it wonderful how many rich experiences Meredith had in her young life? She seemed to cram a lifetime of treasures into a few years. Mr. Kercher goes on to say on Pages 50 and 51,

Mrs. Mazzeo noticed how quickly Meredith fitted in, getting on well with Italian staff and students alike. ‘They clearly feall in love with her smile, good nature and sparkling personlity,’ she told me. ‘Her sense of humour was a factor too…..

As part of this trip, and a subsequent one three years later, Meredith and her school travelled along the beautiful and picturesque Amalfi Coast. (oh, I am a bit jealous, having never seen Amalfi Coast.)  They also travelled to Monte Cassino and to Rome, where Meredith’s time management skills were put seriously to the test, fitting in visits to the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Forum and the famous Fontana di Trevi.” Yes, Meredith threw a coin in the fountain to assure a return trip to Rome!

The party of English and Italian students, with extra friends, staff and even some parents, also visited Pompeii on their final full day in Italy. Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79….It is a powerful place for anyone to visit, and it had a special meaning for Meredith because she knew Arline had done restoration work there in her youth.” (So I’m assuming Arline worked on archaeological sites?)

The spectacular Caserta Palace, with its wonderful symmetrical gardens and 1,200 rooms, built for the Bourbon kinds in the eighteenth century, also impressed her (Meredith). Italy was everything that Meredith had expected it to be.

These exchanges were more than just sightseeing holidays: they gave the girls a real experience of Italian life. For two days on each visit, they became pupils at the Taddeo da Sessa School, where they were expected to attend lessons with their Italian partners, and even participate in sporting activities and drama presentations. Many of the girls bonded with their host families and for Meredith it was a transformative experience.

Mr. Kercher next relates Meredith’s almost precognition that Italy will have immense meaning in her life. Page 52:

Mrs. Mazzeo tells a story that I find very poignant. ‘What I shall never forget,’ she goes on, ‘was the departure day from Italy, on Meredith’s first trip to Sessa when she was fourteen years old. Almost all of the girls on the coach were crying. This was a difficult moment every year on these trips, as after being a part of someone’s family for so long, saying goodbye was not easy.

Yet we all noticed that Meredith was smiling. She didn’t seem to be sad at all. I told her that she had the right attitude. Her reply was remarkable: “After this experience,” she said, “I know that Italy is going to be a part of my life for ever. I’m not sad because I’m coming back this summer and, some day, when I’m older, I know that I am going to live here.

During the following summer Meredith went back to Italy at age 15 with a school friend. She went back to stay with the same host family, She was truly in love with Italy, and at the most impressionable age. Page 53:

When she was in Year Thirteen, the modern languages and music departments at the school collaborated in a cross-curricular activity called “Light and Dark”. This was intended to celebrate the music and poetry of the respective languages studied at the school. The Italian Department contributed with three readings from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

Meredith was due to read one extract only, in Italian, from “Paradiso”. But a younger girl, who was to deliver the “Purgatorio” reading, had a panic attack a few minutes before she was due to read, and so was unable to participate. In a very calm way, Meredith took over this reading and read it perfectly, without any practice at all

Later Mrs. Mazzeo lost the script of these readings, but five years later only a few weeks after Meredith’s death, she found the script and said that reading Dante’s “Paradiso” brought her comfort during the most difficult moments following Meredith’s tragedy.

It has been fun reading about Meredith’s work to promote Lynx products (she got part-time jobs to pay for schooling at Leeds and joined a couple of promotions agencies, one of which later liked her photo and got her the part in the Leontiou music video). They also got her a job at Gatwick Airport helping passengers find their gates for departure.

One day she politely asked some big rugby players to move so passengers could have access. When they ignored her she “laid into them verbally and onlookers were amused to see the musclebound sportsmen suddenly remember their manners.” (page 45)

Meredith was kind, but she was no coward.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/13/13 at 04:17 AM in Concerning Meredith

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Thank you Hopeful.Very moving passages from John Kercher’s is good to see a focus on Meredith. The incessant PR of Knox and Sollecito will hopefully come to a halt from NOv 6th. By the way is it the case that the court will take the usual 90 days to write out their reasoning? So by Feb 14 the judgement of the second appeal is final.
Leaving only the third and final appeal to go.

I do have a copy of JOhn Kercher’s fine book on his wonderful daughter. It makes difficult reading at times but we all have to thank him for allowing us a glimpse of how marvellous a daughter Meredith is.

Posted by Olliebear on 10/13/13 at 01:31 PM | #

TYVM Hopeful.  It makes me hopeful too that November 6th will be the beginning of the end of this tragic story which has been highjacked by so many avid for 15 minutes of fame and a regular income of blood money.

Posted by Tiziano on 10/13/13 at 02:22 PM | #

Yes thank you Hopeful for this beautiful editorial and all the other posts from you which are uplifting.

Perhaps it is a tiny comfort to Mr and Mrs Kercher and Meredith’s siblings that people who knew Meredith when she was so very young were delighted to know her and remember her with much warmth and affection.

The Italian families who hosted Meredith as a young teenager would have taken the news of her murder with terrible shock and sadness. Just like losing a family member.

Meredith had an affinity with Italy it was ‘amore a prima vista’ for her.  The Italians love her and especially the people of Perugia honour her.

Posted by Mason2. on 10/13/13 at 04:28 PM | #

Of course this will not end. There will be all kinds of programs from the intelligent PPS Psychoanalysis overviews to the stupid NBC “She’s innocent etc:” Whatever happens there will be some sort of an outcome. My best guess is that nobody will be really satisfied with the outcome of the trial but it will continue.

Thank God for the Jody Arias trial to deflect media attention and give the Kercher’s some sort of relief.

Of course my best wish is that these two will rot in jail for the majority of their lives, at least they will have that whereas Meredith will not. We can only hope.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 10/13/13 at 07:03 PM | #

Dearest Hopeful,

I have be reading here, on Pete’s magnificent site, as well as PMF, almost from the beginning. 

Being the native New Yorker that I am, I’ve also been subjected to the cognitive dissonance that has been the U.S. press.  In all these years, I have never been moved to tears, sobbing tears, as I have been from this heartfelt post of yours.

I did not know that Meredith’s dear mother Arline had worked at Pompeii, and of Meredith’s comments upon leaving Italy after her first visit.  I am of 3/4 Italian, 1/4 French and 1/4 British heritage.  In the past year, once on Park Avenue, and once in Torino, people have asked me: “Are you related to Meredith Kercher?”

Rest in Peace, dear Meredith.

Posted by Rosemarie on 10/13/13 at 09:32 PM | #

Hello Rosemarie,

I was also overwhelmed with sobbing tears when I read John Kercher’s book Meredith…something unusual, that has only rarely happened to me.  Thank you for your comment, and thank you too, Hopeful.

I’ll be lighting a candle soon, on the sad anniversary…and I’m sure there are so many of us who will be sending our condolences to the Kercher family, sending our thoughts, wishing for resolution and peace.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 10/14/13 at 01:23 AM | #

Beautiful Meredith.

Posted by Bettina on 10/14/13 at 05:04 AM | #

Meredith threw a coin in the Trevi fountain.  So she will return to Rome…

She did return to Rome, maybe, in the deliberation room where the Supreme Court ruled.

Maybe she will be back again now in the RIS laboratory, who knows.

Posted by Yummi on 10/14/13 at 05:43 PM | #


Good thought

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 10/14/13 at 07:31 PM | #

The letter from Stephanie is heartbreaking! What a strong woman, and what a strong family. Meredith would be so proud of them!

Posted by Terry on 10/14/13 at 11:34 PM | #

Deepest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this fight for justice. A truly wonderful website that i have been following for years. Keep strong everyone, we’re nearly there now. I can feel it.

Posted by mollythecat on 10/15/13 at 06:56 PM | #

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Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry John Kercher’s Excellent Book “Meredith” On Meredith’s Employer And Her Circle Of Friends

Or to previous entry Excerpts From John Kercher’s Fine Book “Meredith” #1 Including Her First Happy Ventures To Italy