|Tuesday, 20 January 2009 11:43|
Born: February 1986 in Southwark, London, England
Died: 1 November 2007, Perugia, Italy
Cause of death: Strangulation and carotid artery stab wound leading to slow and painful death.
Notable because: Highly unusual manner of death leading to much speculation fueled by the Foxy Knoxy element.
The murder of Meredith Kercher was discovered on 2 November 2007 in Perugia, Italy. The twenty-one year-old English student was found with her windpipe crushed and her throat partially slashed in her bedroom at the cottage that she shared with other students. After the murder the police arrested four suspects, including Kercher's American flatmate, Amanda Knox. One suspect was finally released without charges. The remaining three were held in custody in Perugia for one year prior to facing trial, charged with murder, sexual assault and theft. On October 28, 2008, one of them, Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted of the murder in a "fast-track" trial. The trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito started on January 16, 2009. The case has received heavy publicity in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher was born in February 1986 in Southwark, London, England, and lived in Coulsdon, South London. She attended the University of Leeds. She had been part of the ERASMUS student exchange programme, and had gone to Italy to complete her degree course.
Kercher was murdered on the evening of 1 November 2007, with pathologists putting her time of death between 20:30 and 23:00. A judge assigned to the case read the pathology report at a bail hearing for the suspects and ruled that Kercher's carotid artery had not been ruptured in the attack, and that she likely died a "relatively slow and agonizing death."
The following morning, the Postal and Communication Police came to investigate the discovery of two mobile phones in a nearby garden, one which was registered to Ms Kercher. When they breached the door to Kercher's room, which had been locked from the inside, they reportedly found Kercher lying beneath a duvet in her room "soaked in blood." Police have said Kercher's throat was slit with a shard of glass or a pen-knife, but have not yet located the murder weapon. Police initially believed that the killer or killers escaped through a broken window in Kercher's room, since the door was locked when they arrived, but now suspect the break-in was staged. The following morning, Amanda Knox was spotted by two men at a laundromat on Via Fabretti washing clothes and a pair of shoes with a "North African" man.
Italian prosecutors allege that the lethal wound was inflicted by Amanda Knox while Kercher was held down by Guede and Sollecito. The prosecution points to violent literature, such as comic books, that they found in Sollecito’s apartment. Prosecutors allege that manga comics found in Sollecito's apartment recounted tales of killing female vampires on Halloween night and that many of the details in the comics were similar to the scene police discovered. Kercher had attended a number of Halloween parties dressed as a vampire the night of 31 October. She is believed to have died the night of 1 November. Defence lawyers for Amanda Knox have dismissed the allegations of the prosecution, claiming that they are a "huge fantasy".
Patrick Diya Lumumba, 37, originally from the Congo, but a long-term resident of Perugia, was the owner of a small bar, Le Chic, in the city, and employed Amanda Knox occasionally as a barmaid. Lumumba was arrested on 6 November, having been implicated by Knox's version of events, which alleged that he had been involved in the murder. He denied any involvement in Kercher's murder and was released immediately after the arrest of Guede. His lawyers pressed for his name to be cleared, and in June 2008, among the other charges against Knox, prosecutors accused her of falsely implicating Lumumba in the crime.The funeral service for Meredith Kercher was held on 14 December 2007 at the Croydon Parish Church in Coulsdon with over 300 people in attendance
Three of the suspects in the case are currently being held in separate Italian jails. Amanda Knox is being held in Capanne prison near Perugia; Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian student and Knox's former boyfriend, is being held in Terni; and Rudy Hermann Guede, found guilty in the murder in October 2008, is being held in Viterbo.
Amanda KnoxBorn: July 8, 1987 (1987-07-08) Seattle, Washington, United States
Amanda Knox, aged 21, a student from Seattle, Washington, USA, was arrested on the morning of 6 November for her alleged involvement in Kercher's murder. Knox is a student at the University of Washington and had been living with Kercher in Perugia while she was enrolled in the ERASMUS programme in Italy. According to statements published by The Times, Knox told the police that she had been in the house when the murder took place and had "heard the screams"; however, she has subsequently given several different versions of the events of the night of the murder, saying her memory was clouded by having smoked hashish, and now asserts that she spent the whole evening and night with her boyfriend at his flat.
In one of her earlier statements to the police, Knox implicated Patrick Diya Lumumba in the murder saying:
Knox appeared before a magistrate on the morning of 9 November and was ordered to be held, along with Sollecito and Lumumba, for up to one year while the police continue their investigation. In a leaked report published by The Times, Judge Claudia Matteini suggested that Knox and Sollecito had been seeking to "experience extreme sensations, intense sexual relations which break up the monotony of everyday life," and had attempted to persuade Kercher to participate in a sexual encounter. The report continued:
According to a report of January 2008, at least one of Knox's parents had visited her twice a week for the previous three months. In an interview with The Sunday Times, seven months after her arrest, they affirmed their belief in her innocence. Amanda Knox has retained prominent Seattle attorney Anne Bremner as lead counsel in her defense.
Knox proclaimed her innocence at the closed-door hearing on 17 October 2008.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 08:56|