It is being reported on March 17, 2016 that a conference was held in Viterbo, Italy, to discuss the perception of Rudy Guede by the justice system and in the media. This March 16, 2016 conference was organized by the Center for Criminal Studies of Viterbo and the Caffeine polis. Speakers included: “Rita Giorgi (scientific director of the CSC), Sarina Biraghi (journalist, co-director of Time), Claudio Mariani (the coordinator of the department of Criminology CSC) and Daniele Camilli (Academy Director of CSC investigative journalism and press office of Rudy Guede).”
Rudy Guede is the only person sentenced for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Guede was a19-year-old resident of Perugia at the time of the murder and had no criminal record. However, particularly in the U.S. media, heavily influenced by Amanda Knox‘s public relations firm Gogerty Marriott, Guede was described as a “drifter.” According to Claudio Mariani this negative portrayal played out in the courtroom. He said, “In the sentence it speaks repeatedly of an inveterate thief, skilled in entering the homes. In fact, at the time he had no criminal record and had never even received a complaint of such incidents.”
Mariani went on to explain that Guede was found with stolen possession of a computer which he had bought at a flea market. Mariani felt he should have been charged only with a careless purchase charge rather than the much harsher crime of possession of stolen goods. “I can not be at all certain – he concludes – the innocence of Guede, but the analysis of the facts makes me fairly certain that there are reasonable doubts about his guilt.”
The negative perceptions built around Guede by journalists was also discussed at the seminar. Daniele Camilli dealt with the Section on investigative reporting at the conference. She said, “We have analyzed all articles published about [Rudy Guede] since 2007 and found that in most cases the name of Rudy was always associated the Ivorian adjective. What need was there and there to continually emphasize its origin?” Guede explained in a recent interview that he has lived in Italy since the age of four and he considers Italy his home.
Today, Rudy Guede is 29 years old, and is about to graduate from the University of Roma with a bachelors degree in History. Camilli stated that it was necessary to rehabilitate Guede’s image before he is released at the age of 35. To help reconstruct Guede’s media image, they have opened a Facebook account for him which will include articles and a book will soon be released.