Wednesday 5 October 2011


I’ve been a tad obsessed by this whole Amanda Knox trial - yes, at the moment, I am a sad cliche. I did not follow the case from the beginning, but upon her appeal I started to read up on the case and the tragic and violent murder of this young British student, Meredith Kercher. I feel like her name should be mentioned a lot, and not only mentioned, but shouted from the rooftops as in these cases it is usually the victim that is so quickly forgotten when sensationalism rules the roost.

At the heart of this entire trial and appeal process, there is a family out there grieving for the loss of their daughter. More complicated than just the loss is the profound uncertainty surrounding her death, ensuring that true closure will have to be a choice on their part. The not knowing can make loss a much more palpable beast. As a parent, I simply cannot conceive of going what they have gone through, not to mention having to relive it over and over again as the media has a field day with Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito winning their appeal. I suppose in some way, at least this keeps their daughter’s image and name from being forgotten.

My interest and curiosity in this case was piqued in part to the behavior of these two individuals that were accused of her murder. Let’s put aside what my thoughts are in terms of guilt or innocence – as I think it is evident to all that this case is far from being clean cut. What intrigues me more is the notion of how people act – or should act –when deeming themselves innocent. I suppose for most, there is a paradigm of behavior that one must adopt – or should naturally adopt – if one is innocent of a crime. The problem comes in when individual’s actions and words start betraying that paradigm (cartwheels in the hallway of a police station not to mention making out with your boyfriend when your flatmate has turned up dead? Really??) Does this mean they are guilty? No, definitely not. Does this reek of suspicion, um, I suppose it is a bit unsettling, yes. But thanks to our justice system – or most justice systems – it is up to the state to go far beyond the suspicious and circumstantial and build a case based on facts.

I suppose my confusion with this case is that it has left so many questions. The obvious question of course: if there were more people in the house that night that committed this murder, where the hell are they? Secondly, if a person is accused of a crime, why confess to putting yourself at the crime scene and then blame someone you know is 100% innocent? (as Amanda Knox did with Mr. Lumumba). I mean, that's just rude....why were there bloody footprints (that had been cleaned up) belonging to a woman (or a man with a very small, feminine foot) detected by luminal in the hallway? Why after returning home that morning and finding the door open, did Ms. Knox enter the house and shower in a bathroom that had blood everywhere? I don’t know about you, but if there was blood in my bathroom, I’d be asking my partner a lot of questions. Numero uno – who the hell is bleeding all over the bathroom! Why was there no record of a film being downloaded that evening on Sollecito’s computer when he said they were home downloading a film; why did he originally say she was not with him, or, my favorite response: “I can’t remember if she was with me, it's fuzzy.” Some impact she makes as his girlfriend. And lastly (for my list anyway, as we are dealing with a word count constraint), why after telling the police they slept in till 10am, were their cell phones switched off the night before at 8pm and turned back on at 6a.m? And you guessed it, neither of them remembers turning back on their phones.

In the honor of the judicial process I respect the fact that for these jurors, the facts as presented by the prosecutor demanded that these two individuals appeal be overturned. For them, the facts and DNA evidence were simply not there. But sadly for the family of Meredith Kercher, all these unanswered questions surrounding this case mean that for them, they are still back at the beginning wondering who took the life of their young daughter. And that is a very giant and excruciating pill to swallow. For their sake, I hope one soon they find solace.

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