Criticism, anguish, and remembrance still, and will always, linger upon the night that Meredith Kercher was brutally murdered, like a nightmare that one cannot escape. Her family is simply in search of the truth, so that their loved one could finally rest in complete peace. Yet, the case continues and brings forth the same raw emotions as if it occurred yesterday.
During November of 2007, Kercher was found dead in her bedroom, with multiple stab wounds and her throat slashed, at her home where she resided with other exchange students in Perugia, Italy. Amanda Knox, Kercher's roommate, and Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time, were both arrested, questioned, tried, and eventually convicted of the murder in 2009. Knox faced twenty-six years in prison, Sollecito faced twenty-five years, and Rudy Guede, who was also a key figure in the investigation, was sentenced to sixteen years in a separate trial.
Through all of this, media sensationalism elevated rather quickly, and two distinct images of Amanda Knox were formulated to be seen by the public. There was the image of a "party-girl" who used alcohol, drugs, and sex for excitement and the image of a "good-girl" who succeeded in both academic and athletic fields. No median existed for Knox, as she was alleged either to be an angelic woman, who was capable of no harm, or an evil one, who hid the truth well. The sub-human context of Knox during the trial allowed for her past transgressions to be put on display and under a microscope. Her family stood firm by her side, financially, emotionally, and mentally, and continue to do so.
In 2011, after being in prison for approximately four years, Knox and Sollecito were acquitted based on flawed DNA evidence, after a lengthy appeals process. In March of 2013, their acquittals were overturned by Italy's highest courts and both are facing a "re-run of their appeal". The first court hearing occurred on Monday, September 30, 2013, in Florence, Italy, which discussed procedural issues and the dates of upcoming hearings. According to reports, Sollecito plans on attending some of the hearings, and Knox refuses to appear at all. It has been two years since their release from prison, and the case continues yet again. Prosecutors have criticized the appeals court for dismissing, what they believed was, sufficient DNA evidence, which forced them to begin the process again. If the conviction is confirmed, Italy will request for her extradition.
Amanda Knox currently lives in Seattle, Washington and studies creative writing. She insists on her innocence and believes that the truth has already been revealed, during the appeals process. Knox has suggested how she would like to visit Kercher's grave, but Kercher's family requested her to stay away. She is also writing a book, "Waiting to be Heard", which is due to be released on April 30, 2014.
Amid all of this controversy, Meredith Kercher cannot be forgotten. Amanda Knox will always be associated with the brutal murder, no matter what the outcome is. There will always be individuals in support of her, who believe that she has suffered immense pain, and those against her, who believe that justice should be served. It is whole-heartedly desired that 'the truth' shall find its way, through the barricades of flawed DNA evidence, numerous contradictions, and media sensationalism.
Image via Wikimedia Commons