British student, Meredith Kercher, was stabbed to death in Perugia, Italy on November 1, 2007. The exact cause or reasons which led to the homicide is still not completely known. Evidence from the crime scene points to three individuals involved with her murder: Raffaele Sollecito, Rudy Guede and Amanda Knox. Meredith’s mother Arline Kercher has stated, “I think it happened to Meredith because she was all that they weren’t.” Before and after the murder, Amanda Knox showed tendencies of being competitive and possibly even obsessed with Meredith Kercher. Knox seems to compete with Meredith in life and death. Amanda Knox has attempted to ‘outfox’ Meredith over men, music videos, and career. On top of all of this Knox has taunted Meredith’s family by mainstream media outlets and has seemingly approved of her supporters harassing the Kerchers via social media.
Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher or ‘Mez’ as friends/family called her, was born in Coulsdon, England on December 28, 1985. She was described as, ” . . . chatty, friendly, always smiling and making witty jokes. You only had to meet Meredith once to be struck by her beauty, quick wit and infectious smile.”(Meredith, by John Kercher p.72)
Growing up it became apparent to her teachers that Meredith had a gift for languages. John Kercher writes about this in his book when her Italian teacher noted Meredith’s “natural flair for languages”. Meredith loved Italian culture and had already spent a considerable amount of time in Italy before moving to Perugia in 2007.
When she was fourteen years-old she embarked upon a two week exchange program, living with an Italian family, attending classes at an Italian school and visiting the landmarks. On her trip, her teacher was impressed by Meredith’s ability to adapt so well and get along with everyone she met in Italy. Meredith had such an enjoyable time during her first stay in Italy, she and a friend returned the following summer to again stay with her Italian family for her summer vacation. At the age of fifteen, Meredith was mature, intelligent, confident and experienced enough to travel independently and stay in Italy with her parents approval.
Her teacher, Mrs. Mazzo, had watched Meredith grow up had this to say about Meredith, “In all of the time that I knew Meredith, I never heard her say on bad thing about anyone or anything. She never judged others and always tried to see the good side of people, even when we all nagged her about her timekeeping, and being late with assignments.
Meredith was always a popular, happy, and good-natured girl, and I feel privileged to have watched her grow from a bright, enthusiastic eleven-year-old into a confident and intelligent young woman . . .” (Meredith, by John Kercher p.54)
Meredith worked hard to earn money for her studies at Leeds University. She took a job at a local bar where she worked into the early morning hours, returning home around breakfast time then attend her classes later that same day. She also worked as a tour guide in London. She earned a place in the prestigious Erasmus program where she would continue her studies in Italy. This would be a boost in helping her excel in her future career as a journalist or working in the European Parliament in Brussels. At the time of her murder, she was studying European Politics and Italian at the University of Foreigners or Università Italiana per Stranieri.
Meredith was two years older and much more experienced and knowledgeable about Italian language and culture than her new American flatmate, Amanda Knox. Knox was floundering around Italy for the first time on her own in August 2007 while taking a single non-credit course at the local language school. While Meredith had a structured setting with a built-in group of friends, Knox was not a part of an organized school program and as a result was having difficulties meeting new people.
Meredith took the lost girl under her wing for a while, inviting her out with her friends and even convincing a club owner to let Knox back into the establishment after Amanda had been kicked out for unruly behavior. Knox no doubt envied Mez’s superior grasp of the Italian language and her ability to make friends with everyone she met.
Meredith also had the enviable accomplishment of starring in a new music video by Kristian Leontiou with his song “Some Say.” The video was released only weeks before Meredith was killed. The video has a haunting, shadowy backdrop with changes in the seasons inside of a dome-shaped arena, illustrated with rain and finally snow falling on people dancing in front of the band. Meredith is highlighted throughout the video with close-ups of her walking down stairs and in the audience.
Not long after Meredith had moved into the cottage she shared with two Italian roommates and Knox, she started dating a young man who lived in the apartment below, Giacomo Silenzi. He was the same age at Meredith and played guitar in a band. Troubles between Meredith and Knox were said to have flared up at this point. Since Amanda could not compete with Meredith intellectually, she decided to assert her sexuality. She told Meredith that she liked Giacomo too. Knox then told Meredith “You can have him.” (Angel Face, Barbie Nadeau pg 24). This sense of superiority that Amanda seemed to think she had in Giacomo’s love interest was said to have bothered Meredith. Giacomo would later confirm that he never had any attraction or interest in Knox at all. This was one example of Knox attempting to compete with Meredith when in fact, there was no competition. Giacomo only had eyes for Meredith. Later on, after Meredith was found murdered, Giacomo was one of the first people to suspect Knox as being one of the murderers.
Meredith’s friends also noticed Knox acting suspicious after the murder. They had never really gotten along with Knox. In fact, the night before she was murdered, Meredith blew off Knox’s persistent texts to meet up. The day before Meredith was sadistically attacked, text messages between the two young women showed Knox trying to get together with Mez for Halloween, but Mez had other plans.
“Amanda tried hard to meet up with Meredith that evening and sent her a series of text messages. She asked Meredith about her plans. Just after 7 p.m. Meredith replied, ‘I’m going to a friend’s house for dinner. What are your plans?’ Almost an hour later, just before 8 p.m, Amanda again texted Meredith: ‘What are you doing this evening? Want to meet up? Got a costume?’ Less then ten minutes later, Amanda texted Meredith yet again: ‘I’m going to Le Chic and after who knows? Maybe we’ll meet up? Call me.’ Meredith stuck to her dinner plans but told friends later that she felt guilty for not meeting up with Amanda.” (A Death in Italy, John Follain, pg51)
Many believe that Meredith avoiding Amanda that Halloween night is what provoked Knox to confront her the very next day. Events transpired which led to Meredith’s death on the evening of November 1, 2007. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher in December 2009. Rudy Guede was found guilty in October 2008.
In 2011, as she sat in prison waiting for her next appeal, Knox decided to write a screenplay for an rock music video by an Italian band. The video starred a Knox look-a-like portraying her life with the song “The Mistral Blows.” The Mistral is a cold wind that passes through southern France and into the Mediterranean in the winter time.
Scenes in Knox’s music video are eerily similar to the video Meredith starred in. Some of the screen shots were copied almost exactly (see slideshow):
A. feet walking down stairs,
B. & F. a young woman walking down stairs in a dark building,
C. large staircase as backdrop,
D. woman approaches the rock band as it performs (Meredith stands in front of band while Knox character runs through them from front.)
E. Woman stands silhouetted in doorway.
In both videos the singer is watching and singing to them. This desire of Knox to star in a music video is another illustration of Knox’s obsession and competitiveness with Meredith.
Most recently, in November 2014, Knox’s public relations made a new announcement. It was spread far and wide, over various international news websites and in social media. Over and over the titles repeated, “Knox is now a journalist.” Knox reported on a high school play and another story for a small Seattle news website and like millions of other people, she became a freelance writer. Why the huge announcements around the world by her public relations? (see slideshow) One reason could be because everyone who knew Meredith knew that she had one day planned to become a journalist like her father, John Kercher. The massive public relations announcement was no doubt meant to reach Meredith’s family. This could be seen as Knox’s latest competitive accomplishment. Knox became what their deceased daughter had planned to have a career in.
Knox also seems to exhibit her obsession with Meredith by using the media to try to speak directly to Meredith’s family, who have repeatedly said they want nothing to do with Knox. Knox spoke about her pain at not visiting Meredith’s grave in multiple interviews starting with her first interview with Diane Sawyer, Knox spoke of how she felt her book was a gift to Meredith’s family, sharing her memories of the one month that she had known Meredith. The Kerchers do not believe that Meredith had a close friendship with Knox so they have declined the offer.
In addition to this,Knox seems to be exacting her revenge on the Kercher family via social media. A twitter account that goes by the name ‘Annella’ has sent numerous tweets over the years directly to the Kercher family. Annella’s tweets (see slideshow) are disturbing and nothing short of harassment. In one example, she tweets Merdith’s brother Lyle with an article titled, “Ringside at the sleaze circus, Meredith Kercher’s legacy.” Annella also tweets Meredith’s father John Kercher with pro-Knox websites. Although Annella does not appear to be Amanda Knox, who is thought to be active on social media under various names, the official twitter account of Amanda Knox does follow Annella’s twitter account (see slideshow). Knox has never complained or discouraged these offensive tweets publicly and the fact that she follows the offender gives the impression that Knox supports this cyber abuse.
Knox seems to have checked off her list for competing with Meredith at this point. Perhaps Knox will next be attempting to form a relationship with Meredith’s family. That does not look like it will ever happen. Now that Knox and Sollecito face decades in prison after their convictions are finalized on March 25, 2015, Meredith’s family will hopefully be able to finally mourn their daughter in peace.