Friday, February 07, 2020

Sad Passing Of Meredith’s Dad: His Passionate Thoughts On Mez And The Case

Posted by Our Main Posters

John Kercher And Mez

Do read John’s essay on Meredith and the case. It was in the 13 March 2011 Sunday Times.

Actually he wrote it before all Italy realized the Hellman appeal was bent, though there had already been some strong signs (see this post).

In 2012 it was totally annulled by the Supreme Court - a very rare occurrence - except for Knox’s criminal-slander verdict. Many hoaxes such as Netflix’s and Gladwell’s still pretend that it wasn’t.

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.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 02/07/20 at 11:09 AM in

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We’re having some moving emails come in, some not sure what to say at the sheer appallingness.

Several say how much they admired and respected John K for pursuing justice the best way he knew how for as long as he could. (After Marasca-Bruno he oould have petitioned the Italian President but would need good health and funding.) He had been admired and quite studied.

He was openly repulsed at the two moneygrubbing PR efforts (the law stepped in to stop the Sollecito one) and so careful never to do anything that could be considered equivalent. UK government funding might have happened; but would have required lobbying.

We are reminded again that justice systems generally still have this weakness: just not enough done to shore up the families of most victims. When the crime is in another country the difficulties double, though hard-pressed but kind-hearted Italy did help with a little funding toward travel. Two posts here of relevance.

No court restraints were put on the Knox PR which could have been if this had been an American case - and INFORMED public opinion would have been impervious to such extremes of vilification anyway.

And the US Rome Embassy spent an estimated half a million dollars on travel, hotels, and man-hours for the monitoring of Knox’s court processes and conditions at Capanne. That was despite zero evidence before or during (we saw the cables to Washington) that Knox was in any way at risk or ever treated unfairly.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/08/20 at 08:43 AM | #

The Search function on the hapless Ground Report with its many posts by Bruce Fischer, David Anderson, Karen Pruett, Nigel Scott (of north London) and others raging at John K, always emboldened by Knox’s own stalking, seems to have disappeared, or been disappeared.

Long expecting this, we had captured copies. Several raging posts are still showing on Fischer’s own websites, or at least still showing up on Google. Seriously foolish, but that’s Bruce Fischer for you. Probably a hater till his own end of days, demonizing was all he had, always at sea on the real facts.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/08/20 at 09:16 AM | #

I read John’s book “Meredith” a few years ago. It was very good (he was a great writer) but heart-breaking.

I’m completely shocked by this. Praying for his family and friends and wishing them peace.

The only comfort I find is that now he’s with his darling, Meredith. RIP.

Posted by Earthling on 02/08/20 at 12:22 PM | #

This is heartbreaking news. John was a brave, decent and dignified man who deserved to see justice served. He was cruelly and unforgivably betrayed by the Italian justice system. I don’t know how Hellmann and Zanetti and Bruno and Marasca can sleep at night.

Posted by The Machine on 02/09/20 at 04:33 AM | #

A father poleaxed
Wind taken out
Bent double
Unable to see
A refusal to see
His daughter
Lying in the morgue
Broken, spliced
He cries out
for justice
Cold objective
Level she stands
With her scales
She affirms, ‘Guilty’
But justice is
Averted by rocks
Under the sails
Stopping its course
As the blood
Of Meredith
Was stopped
in its flow
Pirates climbed
Aboard against
the current
taking over
Forcing justice
Tied and bound
Snatched away
Drowned in
The bitter salt
Like his daughter
Life smashed
By the brutes
With Weapons
Blunt and sharp
Gone with the wind
The bounty
by the corrupt
the subversive
and the evil
in their orgy
of blood fest
blood lust and
blood money.
There is a place
In heaven
Where murderers
And the heinous
Will never walk.
This prophesy
Of the Gospel
Was left
at the funeral
but read out
Up to that
Justice arises
in the end
And has
The last word.
John Kercher said,
‘To live now
In the heart
Is never to
Die at all’
A huge vase
Of flowers
Toppled over
And crashed
To the floor
As soon as
Stephanie had
Read her poem
John saw it
As a sign
Mez was there
Is here
And Justice
Will always
‘Love is the
Last word
And always
Will be for
The meaning
[of courage
To stand up
against evil]
Is love’.
John and Meredith Kercher
Have this
Great Love
On their side.

Posted by KrissyG on 02/09/20 at 06:24 AM | #

The Guardian says that Scotland Yard is appealing for witnesses to the suspected hit-and-run that injured John Kercher on January 13th. His death occurred roughly 3 weeks later, although I can’t tell if he passed away on Feb. 7 or 8.

He lingered in hospital for more than three weeks. The Kercher family is probably still arranging his funeral. I assume he’s to be buried beside Meredith?

Scotland Yard DS Steve Andrews said, “We are currently treating the death of this man as unexplained.”  The Guardian went on to quote him, “Despite thorough inquiries made so far, including speaking to witnesses and examining potential CCTV…we’ve not yet been able to establish…” how Mr. Kercher received his injuries which included a broken leg and arm.

Police ask anyone who was on Windmill Road in Croydon at about 7:30am on the day of the incident to contact police.

A Kercher family spokesman said:  “We loved him dearly and he is going to be very sorely missed.”

from The Guardian online Feb. 7, 2020


Thank you, KrissyG, for your heartfelt sentiments in poetry about the good Mr. Kercher. Also to The Machine for his sincere compliments of John Kercher the finest kind of man.

I think he was overtaken by the sorrows of Meredith’s cruel loss, the complications of the legal battle from a far distance, and the battle with impending age. I thought he might have been bedridden after his stroke but it’s good to know he was on his feet and even outdoors walking when tragedy struck, at least not an invalid for years.

He was up and about, no doubt on a cold misty January Monday morning to buy a coffee and a newspaper, to see the papers for which he had often provided copy in years past—just a guess.

John Kercher had a beautiful writing style. It simply flowed. It was a pleasure to read his language, it actually was soothing to the mind. Quite remarkable writing skill.

I have his book with Meredith’s large photo on the cover, the book so smooth and elegant even its paper dust-jacket, literally smooth and comforting to the touch.

Posted by Hopeful on 02/09/20 at 01:56 PM | #

“John Kercher had a beautiful writing style. It simply flowed. It was a pleasure to read his language, it actually was soothing to the mind. Quite remarkable writing skill. “

Hopeful posted several carefully chosen excerpts from John’s book.

If you read them, via the links at bottom here, you might read these posts by Hammerite and Cardiol first. They both demonstrate how John maintained a scrupulous objectivity toward the facts of the case.

So John did not distort, he did not inflame, he wrote little else about the case, he mostly kept away from TV, he was barely in the court, he never lobbied politicians, and of course he ran zero PR.

And yet he was stalked and demonized anyway by Knox’s million-dollar PR and its dangerous vigilantes, for his supposed influence upon… what??? That is not even clear.

These are the John K book selections which Hopeful posted, seven years ago.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/09/20 at 10:47 PM | #

For a long time we were not sure if John K or any of his family could bear to read the PMFs and Wiki and TJMK.

When the book came out, that he did study all our sites, and was grateful to the whole huge highly-qualified crowd who have contributed, became pretty obvious - see important qualifier at the bottom.

Mention 1

It was later pointed out on the website, True Justice for Meredith Kercher, an unbiased and non-profit-making website, which originated in America and is contributed to by American and Italian lawyers, that after they had dropped Knox and Sollecito off at the police station, Luca and Paola were so concerned they ‘thoroughly checked the interior of their car for any incriminating evidence, as they were scared that something might have been planted there’.

Mention 2

Knowing this, police set out to try to lure Guede back to Italy. Having made contact by posing as a friend on Facebook, they fed questions to Guede, hoping to pinpoint his location and tempt him back on to Italian territory. The following is an alleged transcript of that ‘conversation’, which was later reproduced on the website True Justice for Meredith Kercher:

Friend: Hi, Rudy. How are you?
Rudy: Not too well.
Friend: Where are you?
Rudy: I’m in Dusseldorf. I have no money. I’m living on a barge and sleeping on trains without paying for a ticket. It’s tough. I can’t do this any more.

Mention 3

At the beginning of his sentence report on the conviction of Rudy Guede, as translated on the True Justice website, Judge Micheli stated that it was neither the place nor his intention to make the case against either Raffaele Sollecito or Amanda Knox. However, according to the nuances of the case, it was impossible not to involve them at all, for they were intimately involved with the events of the morning when Meredith’s body was discovered.

Mention 4

Questioned by the prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, about the events of that night, her testimony makes deeply troubling reading. What follows is the testimony Mrs Capezzali provided as translated into English by the independent lawyers running the True Justice for Meredith Kercher website:

Mrs Capezzali: ‘I heard a scream; an agonising scream that made my skin creep. It was the voice of a woman. There was no cry for help. It was just a scream, then nothing. The scream left me really disturbed; even now it troubles me.’

Mention 5

As translated by Italian lawyers and reproduced on the True Justice for Meredith Kercher website, Mr Mignini said:

‘Meredith and Amanda began to argue over money. Meredith was also upset that Amanda had brought another man [Guede] back to the house. They argued about this ugly habit of hers, and the three who had arrived were also under the influence of drugs and possibly alcohol.

Mention 6

There was also some anxiety in America itself, with a group of concerned Seattle voters feeling compelled to write to the senator to express their own feelings. The True Justice for Meredith Kercher website reported them as saying:

A number of your well-informed constituents are wondering about your motivations for suddenly injecting yourself into the Meredith Kercher trial debate, immediately following the unanimous guilty ruling for Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy.

Mention 7

Throughout all of this, the True Justice for Meredith Kercher website was a vital resource, and one without which it would have been difficult for us to appreciate fully the case that unfolded around Meredith’s murder. For several years the lawyers running the website – without any motivation other than a desire to see true justice done – published daily updates of what was happening in Italy and America. The teams of lawyers in both countries who gave their time for nothing to prepare translations of reports have helped us more than words can say.

After this John responded to any emails we sent to him, usually heads-ups on developments, never questions or suggestions.

He explained that he was assuming the PMFs and the Wiki and TJMK are essentially one loose team.

He did know that the PMFs had done the lion’s share of the translation, and the Wiki the lion’s share of the document acquisition.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/10/20 at 12:53 PM | #

Even at this saddest of times for the Kerchers, Amanda Knox reminds us who is really important. She retweeted that although it was rather sad for the Kerchers to have lost John, she is the real victim and should not be vilified for partying and getting married.

A little restraint would have gone a long way here. The Sun is a tabloid not known for its measured approach. How much more gracious would it have been if AK had let the event pass without any mention or just said how sorry she was.

Instead, true to form, she used the death to highlight her feelings of injustice as if it hasn’t been rammed down everyone’s necks ad nauseam. Lucky Amanda, now she has 2 tragic deaths to exploit for her own ends.

Posted by pensky on 02/11/20 at 07:39 AM | #


I saw her Twitter pic of herself swigging from a bottle next to Chris Robinson. Not the classiest pic. To me she looks nothing but trouble.

Posted by DavidB on 02/12/20 at 08:11 AM | #

Hi Pensky and DavidB

Good tips. Always welcome. That Knox keeps herself in the news (with the contemptible enabler Edda’s help) and trying to fool people and make money out of all of this is actually a net positive, from the perspective of our own effort.

Our own effort was never simply and only to give Knox and RS a hard time - we could get Knox sent back to Italy in a heartbeat for retrial and prison while barely lifting a finger, by simply sharing what we know about the bent courts with the current Administration, including this: that the previous Administration via the Rome Embassy and then-Prime-Minister Renzi played monkey-games with Hellmann and the Fifth Chambers (as did the late Rocco Sollecito).

The BIG deal is to close down this sort of charade permanently - the multiple bending of courts in Italy (we can do things Italians can’t safely do, because of their libel laws, and Bongiorno and Dalla Vedova, and RS’s unsavory family) and the massively corrupt US PR and the corrupt components of the US and UK media. The enormous document trove at the new-version Wiki, and the microscopic parsing of all factors here at TJMK, have set us up formidably to take total control of the high ground in the next 3 to 6 months.

The Knox Dossier will be a real page-turner. We’ll be in touch with you, Piers Morgan and Chris Cuomo, among many others.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/12/20 at 12:26 PM | #

Meredith’s father died a week ago ...  Meanwhile Amanda still enjoys the limelight

Amanda Knox Week: We dedicate this week at Crime Story to Amanda Knox, the legacy of her story, and the work that she has pursued as a voice for compassionate and restorative justice with her partner, Christopher…

These interviews were done in Dec? They are presently shared on CrimeStory (founded 2019) .. a bit difficult to read (disjointed grammar) .. maybe better to listen.

They give great insight into Amanda’s psyche .. truly showing an esoteric mindset and blatant narcissism. Both Amanda and husband claim to be atheists and moral nihilists (there is no right nor wrong).

They have a complete lack of logic and critical thinking.

Nihilism, most simply, means believing in nothing. The word is derived from Latin, nihil, which means ‘nothing.’

Day4 Part 1/2: Interview with AK and husband:

Day5 Part 2/2:


12+ years after Meredith’s murder Amanda still uses every opportunity to put herself on-stage, exclaiming how badly she was mistreated, misunderstood and vilified.. condescending the media, Italy’s justice system, anyone who doesn’t support her.

She says her ‘moral compass of kindness and empathy’ was instilled at an early age by her mother and that she practises the Golden Rule.  One has to wonder if they would have left Patrick in prison if Rudy had not been caught.

Condolences once again to the Kercher family…

Many thanks to TJMK, PMF and Wiki for all the hard work and updates.

Posted by Julan on 02/15/20 at 06:05 PM | #

@Julian Her mother had to instil ‘moral compass of kindness and empathy’ at an early age?  That’s revealing.  It suggests she lacked these attributes from birth so had to learn them, or, at least, how to mimic them.  Most people do not need to be taught what kindness and empathy are.

Doesn’t look like Edda did a very good job, judging by the outcome.

Posted by KrissyG on 02/16/20 at 07:11 AM | #

Great catch. Hold off on further comments. This’ll shortly become a main post.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/16/20 at 11:34 AM | #
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