true crime

In 2007, Meredith Kercher was murdered. On Saturday, her dad died in mysterious circumstances.

Meredith Kercher wanted to work for the European Union or as a journalist – she hadn’t quite decided yet.

The British student moved to Puglia, Italy in October 2007 to get some experience abroad, signing up for modern history, politics and cinema at the local university.

She was caring and witty, she called her mum daily, and she was known affectionally by friends as “Mez.”

She was also brutally murdered in her bedroom aged 21, a month after moving to Italy, in a case that would catapult her housemate Amanda Knox onto every front page in the world.

WATCH: Amanda Knox’s wrongful conviction was made into a Netflix documentary. Post continues after video.

Video by Netflix

Thirteen years later – over the weekend – her father John Kercher died in mysterious circumstances after being found outside his south London home in a suspected hit and run.

November 1, 2007.

It was an Italian public holiday, and Meredith had been out with friends. She returned home around 9pm to an empty house.

Her two Italian housemates were out of town, and Amanda Knox had been at her boyfriend’s flat, returning home the next morning to find the front door open and drops of blood in the bathroom.

Meredith’s bedroom door was locked, which Amanda assumed to mean she was still sleeping.

Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007. Image: Franco Origlia/Getty Images.
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After showering, Amanda also noticed faeces in the toilet of the bathroom and a broken window. She called one of their housemates, telling them, '"It's very odd. I've just come back to the house and the door is open. I had a shower but there's blood everywhere," reported The Telegraph at the time.

Amanda's boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, attempted to enter Kercher’s bedroom with no success.

Eventually, at 12:51pm they alerted police.

The door was knocked down, and Meredith's body was found wrapped in a duvet on the floor of her bedroom.

She'd been sexually assaulted, stabbed, and her throat had been cut.

The wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox.

In the days that followed American citizen Amanda Knox was repeatedly interrogated. She and her Italian boyfriend were eventually charged with the murder of Meredith.

At her trial she told the court she was "pressurised and manipulated" in those interviews, and was denied access to food, water and the bathroom during questioning.

As the case gained momentum, Amanda earned the nickname "Foxy Knoxy" in the tabloids and was portrayed by the media as a manipulative femme fatale who did not mourn appropriately for her friend as she appeared "cold" and "unemotional" after her death.

Amanda Knox trial
Amanda Knox on trial. Image: Getty.

The pair had apparently fallen out not long after living together. Meredith didn't like that Amanda didn't follow the cleaning roster and had complained about her housemate leaving her vibrator on display in a clear wash bag.

The simmering tensions would become part of the prosecution's case against Amanda, who, they argued, murdered Meredith because she wouldn't take part in a drug-fuelled group sex game with her and her boyfriend.

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Bloodstained fingerprints of a known burglar named Rudy Guede were found throughout Meredith’s room after their arrests, which contributed to police’s theory that a number of people had worked together.

raffaele sollecito
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda's then boyfriend, during his appeal hearing in Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 6, 2011. Image: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images.

In 2008 Rudy Guede was jailed for 16 years, and the following year Amanda, then 22, was given a 26-year prison sentence, while her boyfriend received 25 years.

They would spend almost four years in an Italian prison, first having their case acquitted in 2011, reinstated in 2014, and acquitted for good in 2015.

There was no actual evidence that Amanda or Raffaele were involved in Meredith's murder and the crime is now understood to have been perpetrated by Guede alone. Italy highest court said in their ruling that the investigation had "stunning flaws."

Rudy Guede was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the murder of Meredith Kercher. He now works as a researcher and librarian in the Italian city of Viterbo. Image: Franco Origlia/Getty Images.
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Once a free woman, Amanda became a public speaker and author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Waiting to Be Heard, a book she earnt $6 million for, reported The Guardian.

Last year, Amanda returned to Italy for the first time to take part in a debate called "trial by media" at the opening of a conference on wrongful convictions.

Amanda Knox Addresses The Italy Innocence Project"n
Amanda Knox delivers a speech during a panel session entitled 'Trial by Media' on June 15, 2019 in Modena, Italy. Image: Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images.

"I know, despite my absolution from the court of cassation, I remain a controversial figure in the public opinion, above all especially here in Italy," Knox told the audience during the panel session.

"On the world scene I wasn't a defendant, innocent until proven guilty. I was a clever psychopath, dirty and drug-addicted whore, guilty until proven innocent," she added. "It was a false and unfounded history that lit up people's imagination because it fed fears and fantasies.

"I am not a monster, I simply am Amanda."

Amanda lives in Washington now, and is engaged to boyfriend of five years Christopher Robinson.

 

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Mr. Fats, the cuddle bug.

A post shared by Amanda Knox (@amamaknox) on

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Meredith's family now.

Amanda's return to Italy last year upset Meredith's family.

A lawyer for the family described the trip as "inappropriate" and "very painful."

Amanda's continued appearances in the public eye were always painful for the grieving family, with their lawyer Francesco Maresca saying: "All these insistences and appearances are only ever done to keep the attention on herself. The murder is a tragic memory for the Kercher family, they lost their daughter and sister in such a terrible way. It’s also an injustice for them as they still don’t know the full truth," reports The Guardian.

Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie Kercher, brother Lyle Kercher and lawyer Francesco Maresca speak to the press the day after the final verdict of the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito retrial at the Courthouse of Florence on January 31, 2014 in Florence, Italy. Image: by Franco Origlia/Getty Images.

The same lawyer told The Independent, the Kerchers were left feeling a "great sense of bitterness" when the Italian court absolved Amanda and Raffaele of the murder.

They had previously spoken of their confidence in the Italian justice system, and made it clear they believed Amanda and her boyfriend were involved in Meredith's death.

In 2017, Meredith's sister Stephanie gave a statement to the Daily Mail on the 10th anniversary of her death.

"I have of course, been asked how we will be remembering her and how we feel, as this year marks the 10th anniversary. As anyone that has lost someone so close to them, and most certainly those who have had to experience the tragedy and despair of having someone taken from them in such a brutal way, will tell you that the pain and helplessness never ceases," she wrote for the publication.

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Meredith's dad John attended his daughter's trial, despite suffering a stroke the same year.

An author for 40 years, he penned 24 children's books as well as a book for his daughter titled Meredith: Our Daughter's Murder and our Heartbreaking Quest for the Truth, in 2012.

“Hundreds of miles away from the centre of the events, I sat stunned and open-mouthed,” he wrote of watching the acquittal in 2015. “To hear that they had been acquitted and exonerated of any blame in Meredith’s death was staggering.”

John Kercher book
Meredith Kercher's father John Kercher, with his book Meredith: Our Daughter's Murder and the Heartbreaking Quest for the Truth. Image: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images.

January 13, 2020.

At 7:30pm in Croydon in South London, John Kercher was found just a few metres from his home with devastating injuries including a broken arm and leg.

On Saturday, the 77-year-old died from his injuries after slipping into a coma, reported The Daily Beast.

The Kercher family released a statement confirming the death: “We loved him dearly and he is going to be very sorely missed.”

Police are still trying to work out what happened.

They were initially working on a hit and run theory, but The Daily Beast suggests they haven't ruled out that he was intentionally hit, or even beaten up.

"We are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances of his death, including whether he may have been involved in a collision," Sky reports Met Police Detective Sergeant Steve Andrews as saying.

Feature image: Getty.


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