Thursday, October 06, 2011

Meredith's Murder. Who cares?

She must have liked this picture
of hers. This was on her
facebook profile when she died.
The murder of the 21-year old British girl Meredith Kercher, was one of most shocking true-life stories I read, first in the newspapers in November 2007, and then again a few months ago in LIFE’s The Most Notorious Crimes in American History, a book I possess.

This week I read again the revival of Meredith’s murder in the media. I saw the proceedings of the trial on TV which were telecast intermittently from Perugia in Italy. The courtroom drama finally ended with the acquittal and release of two people - the 24-year old American, Amanda Knox, who was 20 at the time of the crime, and her Italian boy friend, the 27-year old Raffaele Sollecito, then 23, both of whom had been sentenced, for the murder, for 26 and 25 years respectively.

They had, till this week, served 4 years in jail. After having appealed their verdict, they have now been acquitted.

The acquittal of Knox and Sollecito means that the only person now left in jail for this murder is Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast-born drugs peddler. He had admitted he was in the house which Meredith shared with Amanda, on the night Meredith died, but denied he killed her. Guede is still serving a 16-year sentence and has opted for a fast-track trial. But we don’t know where it will eventually lead to.

If these two just-acquitted people cannot tell the whole story, Rudy should be the one knowing what happened that night.

Whatever the adult games these people were allegedly involved in - or had not been involved in - what remains certain is this: a beautiful young girl, brimming with life, barely 21, was found dead, with a brutally slashed throat and with heavy stab-wounds.

The alibi that Amanda and Raffaele were actually at Raffaele’s flat watching a movie was never proved conclusively. And the DNA evidence of blood on clothes being contaminated during the investigation at the crime scene and while retrieving the samples, makes the entire case, an epitome of ‘unprofessionalism.’ The case as on date remains an ‘unsolved mystery’.

Now, American media (CBS News, MSNBC, 4 Oct) says freedom to Amanda came at a huge cost, because her family has run into deep debts of almost $1mn hiring and paying the lawyers. However, the British media (The Guardian, 4 Oct) says Amanda Knox can still make as much as £10m from her story, with a potential for a string of lucrative TV and newspaper interviews followed by a movie and book deals. So, Amanda’s parents are relieved. But, who cares about Meredith’s?

Like for me, for several others around the world, many questions still remain unanswered.

  1. How can the forensic experts bungle up, by mishandling culpable evidence such as DNA samples and computer log-records? 
  2. Where is the knife that actually killed Meredith, which was never found? 
  3. Why is there not more information coming from Rudy Geude? 
  4. Did US pressure groups intimidate the Italian courts to free Amanda and Raffaele by staging protests outside the court? And most importantly 
  5. Where is justice to the parents of Meredith who are still waiting to know who caused the horrible death of their beautiful daughter?

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