Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Murder in Italy

This trial had all the ingredients for a really good fiction novel; sex, drugs, beautiful people, a foreign country, a suspect with some very odd behavior and the brutal murder and rape of a young woman.

Except it wasn’t fiction.

The case I’m writing about is the murder of Meredith Kercher. If you don’t know the details of the case, then you can search for them at your leisure by typing her name into google but otherwise, here is a very superficial account of what happened.

Meredith (a British citizen) was the roommate to Amanda Knox (an American) while they were studying in in Perugia, Italy. On November 1st, 2007 Meredith was murdered in her apartment. Her neck had been slashed, she had been choked and stabbed and there was evidence of sexual assault. She apparently died a very slow agonizing death. There were three people who became primary suspects; Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox who was the girlfriend of Raffaele at the time of the murder.

Due to overwhelming evidence at the crime scene, Rudy Guede was convicted of the murder and initially sentenced to 30 years in prison. As far as Raffaele’s and Amanda’s involvement, the facts aren’t quite so clear.

I was up until 2am reading about the case and even though I was wide awake, I still had a difficult time putting everything together. Let’s take a look at Amanda who became the most notorious of the suspects:

• she was really quite attractive, at least before the trial took its toll. If you look at her pictures, she could have been an Abercrombie and Fitch model with those all-American looks. In the pre-trial videos of her, she seemed to have a very care-free attitude towards life and she came across as very likeable. Yes, I know that attractive people can kill but in our superficial society, we still have a difficult time believing it.

• Her behavior in the days after the murder was definitely ODD. She changed her stories about where she was (was she in the apartment when the murder happened or was she in Raffaele’s apartment?) She apparently did cartwheels and splits at the police station. She didn’t appear to be sad or upset and didn’t offer any condolences to the family of Meredith. She even pointed the finger at a restaurant owner and he eventually won a case against her for slander.

• Her behavior became even stranger once she was standing trial; she smiled and laughed in the courtroom and even wore an infamous “all you need is love” t-shirt that made her look like she was heading to a slumber party.

• And she chose not to flee the country after the questioning and instead, planned on finishing up her studies in Italy, presumably after being found innocent. I certainly don’t advocate running away if you become a prime suspect in a foreign murder case, but if that shit happened to me, I would have been on the next flight to JFK.

Her boyfriend, Raffaele, wasn’t much help in Amanda’s case. He said he was doing computer work that night even though his computer was never turned on. He couldn’t even remember if Amanda was with him the entire night.

The trial was a sensation in Italy and after all was said and done, all three suspects were convicted. Amanda Knox is in an Italian prison but apparently she can do yoga and play volleyball and well, probably write the rough draft for a best seller.

What do I think?

Amanda did some incredibly dumb things. She said that the Italian authorities assaulted her and forced her to say things that weren’t true. I find this very difficult to believe; even if the police did slap her (which I don’t think happened), why would she spout out so many incriminating statements? Let me tell you that if the police beat me, there is no way I would say I was anywhere NEAR a crime scene if I were innocent. Now if they started to cut off my fingers, that’s another story but a couple of slaps? Hmmmm ….

And you shouldn’t be convicted if you don’t appear to be sad about someone’s murder but Amanda didn’t show respect for either the family of the deceased or the Italian court system. Why was she smiling for the photographers and acting like she was walking down a red carpet? Amanda apparently considered Meredith a friend and she was on trial for her MURDER. This brings up another question I have; why wasn’t anyone coaching her? Where was her family? Why weren’t they telling her to act like a mature adult? Why didn’t her lawyer to tell her to leave her PJs at home? And why didn’t she get the hell out of Italy?

I have not poured through all the evidence of the trial but I’m tempted to pick up one of the books on the subject and learn more. From everything I’ve read, there is no doubt that Rudy was guilty. As far as Amanda and Raffaele? My guess is that they were using a lot of hard drugs and they weren’t even sure where they were or what they were doing that evening. I do suspect that they know a lot more than what they are telling and yes, they very well could have been in the room when Meredith was murdered. However, there just isn’t a lot of evidence to support this which means that either they were very efficient at cleaning up the scene or they really were in Raffaele’s apartment when the bad stuff was happening.

I don’t think the world will ever know what truly happened that night. The only living person who I’m sure knows everything is Rudy Guede but he is a proven liar.

It’s a sad, sad case. Meredith Kercher was a beautiful young woman and her life was cut short by either one or three assailants.

And if I were on the jury for Amanda Knox, how would I vote?

Guilty of murder: Likely innocent
Guilty of being a silly stupid girl: 100% guilty

1 comment:

TonydelBalzo said...

Good thumbnail analysis. Innocent is correct verdict.

Murder in Italy by Dempsey is your best resource book.