Contributions are welcomed to the Meredith legal and memorial fund here.
Most people know of the brutal murder of a student in Perugia, Italy in late 2007.
Her name is Meredith Kercher.
Now why do you recall her name and not that of other victims of murder around the world? Why does this particular student continue to dominate headlines [comparatively], or to be more precise, why does one of her convicted killers dominate headlines to the extent she does, overshadowing her partner in crime and why is news coverage almost entirely about whether this killer cried or was upset or felt victimized or whatever?
Hey, there was a victim here! What about her? What about her family?
Why have so many thousands around the world become involved in the case and why is there such polarized debate – all one way or the other?
For this is no ordinary case – it couldn’t be, it’s spawned books, chat show interviews and has set two countries against one another. In Heaven’s name why? What is so special about this case, with the greatest respect to Meredith, who is as special as any victim anywhere and shall be remembered by those of us on one side of the debate?
And it has become noticeable that those who support the victim are passionate about it and having read all the evidence, having viewed all there is to view, feel deeply angry that Meredith Kercher has not yet received justice and why do those on the other side zero in on the killer, saying she’s innocent, either vehemently or as with most readers, not really giving a damn and hoping it all dies away?
The short answer is that it can’t die away whilst two killers are still on the loose, due to a convoluted and exhaustive judicial system in Italy. It’s not my intention to knock that system, as the other side in this “debate” has, to the extent of setting up a hugely expensive PR campaign involving most of the American media and PR companies, with professors and all sorts getting in behind that.
Two sites have taken the trouble, even conceded by the other side, to translate all the documents from the Italian and to put up a cogent and consistent scenario for what happened, in line with the actual evidence, e.g. the cellphone records, the known movements of participants that night and so on, along with the judicial summaries. These are:
Here are some of the documents:
My first post on it was here but please be advised that what I wrote was at a very early stage before I’d read all there was to read. It’s the comments section which is eye-opening.
The depth of feeling has really floored me, the vehemence and has taken a lot of people aback. Along the way, it’s been apparent there are shills and trolls all over the place, actively seeking to tie up in spurious claims people who followed the evidence.
Not unlike what is actually happening in the world politically at this time, which is the raison d’etre for this blog.
… but not lesser in terms of the human tragedy involved.
At one point, I had to put up three posts to refute lies which were being told and there has been a wall to wall carpet of lies coming from one of the camps:
As people know, it went to the Supreme Court because in the Italian system, there is a trial, quite often sympathetic to the accused but 50/50 in convictions, then there is an appeals phase by either side and the Appeals courts tend to look down their noses at first trial courts and often reverse verdicts.
There is a third phase, the signing off by the Supreme Court, which can receive depositions from either prosecution or defence.
Summary of the case
If you’ve got this far, you either have a formed view or you are still looking for extra details or you are open about it. What follows gives the evidence based side, intended for those who can’t face going into all those links above and actually reading the case up for themselves. That’s fair enough though – people’s time is precious.
Any of the points below can be checked against the linked accounts above.
What really gets up the nose is that while one side is for justice for Meredith and closure for her family and consequently against her three killers [see linked reports], the other side has zeroed in on the pretty girl in the case in their eyes and the sympathy level for a pretty girl is astounding.
This sympathy has ignored the evidence and in the case of the family of this killer, has extended to attacking the family of the victim! Can you believe that people would stoop that low? And as that side has dragged it into the gutter, the side seeking justice for Meredith digs in even more.
Most now know that the Supreme Court has overturned the First Appeal for the scurrilous defence support hearing it was and the two convicted killers are once again subject to a trial which is not a double-jeopardy re-run of the first trial at all but an appeal to replace the discredited one. Therefore there is no double-jeopardy and therefore Knox can be extradited if conviction is upheld and the other one who has fled to Switzerland can also be brought back to Italy if necessary.
Given all of the above, the way the participants behaved and the evidence itself, you might be wondering how anyone could possibly be lionizing a young female who knows how to spin webs around hearts and in that is the answer. Quoting Agatha Christie as Poirot in After the Funeral :
“Women are never kind,” remarked Poirot, “Though they can sometimes be tender.”
“But really, Poirot – I won’t believe for one moment – “
“That is natural, mon ami. As for me, I am not so sentimental about beautiful young ladies,” said Poirot. “I know too well what they are capable of.”
I also am not “sentimental about beautiful young ladies”, having taught a couple of thousand of the age of these ones at university from 1998 to 2008. My overall feeling is that they are lucky to have such looks, such brains and such charm all in one package and I think they can be kind – so I disagree with Poirot on that – but as for ascribing truth and honesty to them in all circumstances – you have to be kidding. There are few young ladies who will not say what needs to be said to suit the circumstances.
In the case of Amanda Knox, she simply is not the lovely young lady one side is trying to portray – nay, has to portray to get her off.
For a start, there was her conviction, in Seattle, for disorderly, in which she was fined around $250 by the authorities when police had to be called to her farewell party. So she was already convicted before she got to Italy via train where she had sex with strangers but we’ll let that pass. In these last days just now:
Harvard “superlawyer” Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been on the winning side of 13 of 15 murder and attempted murder cases, has said that in a retrial, Knox will likely be found guilty, “because the evidence supporting a conviction is pretty strong.
At best, she was a terrible person who tried to blame it on some innocent person and she was clearly a liar, and at worst she participated in a horrible murder, and the American media focused much more on Amanda Knox than on the victim of the case because Amanda Knox was prettier and an American and an American sweetheart.”
And there it is in a nutshell though I dispute that she is “prettier”. I know that look and those eyes from long experience but my personal feelings are irrelevant.
Even some of my colleagues and fellow bloggers have been sucked in by this girl who shows classic signs of sociopathy. There’s been much in the media of late about the type and one should run the Knox psyche against those checklists.
Now, even if we concede that she’s not a nice person – doing cartwheels at the police station straight after the murder when certain officers put her up to it, accusing an innocent man which has two days ago resulted in her now being a convicted felon for calunny, telling the victims friend: “What do you think, she fucking bled to death” – even given those, that still does not make her guilty of this crime on that night.
That requires way, way more than not being a particularly ethical or nice person. It requires evidence and as this lawyer just quoted said, the evidence is strong.
The evidence and the media
What has effectively happened is that the defence, to give them their due, had to come up with an answer, for example, for the DNA of the boy on bra clasp and in the handle of the main knife and they did it via a charge of shoddy practice and contamination of the DNA, as well as requesting the inadmissability of some of the testing.
Now that’s a fair tactic and if I were the defence, I’d try the same. What is palpably unfair though is that this has been taken as an actuality, as a fact, that this is what was found to be the case. No, it was NOT found to be the case – it’s not on record as being proved.
At the Appeal, there was an order to retest the knife handle. It didn’t happen because the biased judge – and I use that adjective in the light of the Supreme Court ruling on Hellman, not in terms of my own view – reasoned [see Hellman report] that as the forensic was badly handled – not at all proved at any stage – then he needn’t double the error and retest the knife.
That knife was a key prosecution point and that DNA under the handle would have strengthened that case. It was disallowed on a spurious whim. That that is so has been upheld in the Supreme Court report.
Now, that allegation of contamination went into the media and PR machine as lore and thus those who are getting their view on the case from those reports in the MSM have had an allegation made into a “fact” in their eyes.
This is precisely what is hampering justice being finally done. Even the courts conceded the massive American campaign might have affected views both for and against. Without that factor, a more reasoned approach might have prevailed.
The case in brief
We need to start with a timeline all are agreed on. On November 1st, 2007, Meredith, one of three girls renting a house – the other two being Knox and an Italian girl – went for pizza to her English friends house some distance away. She walked home part of the way with her friend and then alone.
Indications are that she got home around 9 p.m. We’re pretty sure that Amanda Knox was at Raffaele Sollecito’s house until around 8.30 p.m., to maybe 8.45 p.m.
Now comes the divergence. A visitor to the Sollecito home confirms that AK was there around that 8.30 time. AK claims she was there all night. RS claims she wasn’t, that he was alone at the house after that and that AK did not come home until around 1 a.m.
So already someone’s lying. AK says that despite what RS says, she was at his home. As I say, someone is lying. On the strength of her testimony, defence claims that the killing occurred around that time, namely when she was at RS’s. They further claim that there was only one killer and he is now in prison. A witness reports a girl’s scream much later, around 10:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and despite defence attempts, it has been accepted on record that this emanated from the house.
The Supreme Court begs to differ on the lone killer, accepting Judge Micheli’s case [above] that there had to have been more than one, given the nature of the wounds and other anomalies, such as someone coming back to tidy up later and move the body. AK claimed the body was in the “closet” with a blanket over it. However, the body was found away from the cupboard.
RS’s footprints were found in blood. His DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp. AK’s own lamp was found next day in the dead girl’s room, under the bed. On the next day, AK and RS were at the front gate when the postal police arrived over a mobile phone matter. She said she’d phoned the criminal police. She hadn’t. The two went inside to her room and four calls were made, including to her mother and him to the police twice.
After that, friends started arriving plus the Italian girl and the door was broken down and the body discovered. AK claimed later she was first to discover the body. That’s when the litany of lies began, including the accusation of an innocent man, her employer, which she later retracted. The media circus claims – and this flabbergasts me – that it was OK to accuse this man who spent days in prison on her say-so, on the grounds that poor Amanda was under strain ad the police were being nasty to her.
Sheesh – do you see why we are angry? And that it’s all OK, AK has come back to an honest position because, by retracting her accusation, this is a zero-sum game in which all is as it was before the accusation. It never happened.
It did happen and she’s been sued by that man. She also has calunny recorded against her in court records and she is a felon for life.
Now you tell me how someone’s mind can accept her behaviour as a rational, decent excuse. You tell me that when they were “browbeating” her, why she didn’t clam up? Why did she come out with this accusation? The kindest thing that can be said is that she was a child. If she was, then what was she doing alone in Italy? At her age, she was regarded as a responsible adult and that’s how the police treated her.
One of the key points is her accusations against the police, just as they were against her employer. These have now been shown to be entirely unfounded and the chief-prosecutor has had all charges brought against him by outside parties dismissed and he has been promoted for his work. This has happened even in this past week.
It is not looking good for either of the two convicted killers but there is still a long way to go, with massive obfuscation still to come but eventually, perhaps sometime in 2014, the whole thing might finally be closed and all three killers will be serving their time.