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The forgotten victim

December 3rd, 2009
01:47 PM ET

A little over two years ago, British exchange student Meredith Kercher was murdered in a flat in Perugia, Italy. [cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/03/kercher.art.jpg caption="Exchange student Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007. "]

On Friday, a jury will start their deliberations as to whether her flatmate, 22-year-old Amanda Knox and Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, are guilty of the Briton’s murder.

One man, Ivory Coast immigrant Rudy Guede, is already behind bars for his part in the murder.  

But the very public trial of Knox and Sollecito, which has lasted almost a year, raises a number of issues.

It has, at times, felt as if the victim and her grieving relatives have been totally forgotten such has been the media obsession with the “facts” of the case and the alleged behaviour and public demeanour of Amanda Knox.

Another problem has been the curious antiquities of the Italian judicial system which appears to condone prosecutors leaking juicy tidbits to reporters before a trial has even started. The chief prosecutor in this case, Giuliano Mignini, wasn't backward in coming forward before the trial began.

And far from marking the close of a gruesome chapter in the lives of all those affected by this tragic case, the end of the trial will, no doubt, start a mad rush to secure exclusive interviews with all those involved – especially Knox, if she is acquitted.

Do you think that the victim has been forgotten? What has been your opinion of the coverage of the trial? Has all the information that has been available to the public hampered objectivity and more importantly the objectivity of the jury? Post your comments below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Theresa

    Unfortunately, yes. she has been forgotten.

    Instead of people sympathyzing with her family, all attention is on Know who murdered her.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  2. Ifine

    Of course, the real victim here has is already forgotten and the media coverage has successfully painted amanda knox as the victim. The information is also not given why one of the culprits is already sentenced to life in prison. How come amanda and her ex-bf has no alibi of where they were at the time of the murder? Why were their mobiles switched off shortly before the murder? How did the kitchen knife in meredith's home turn up at knox bf's house? ...... No answers, just some parade of a pretty face. I just hope for real justice for the dead, not this charade of the rich and mighty.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  3. Susan Goldman

    Yes. Absolutely. Where is the coverage of Meredeth Kercher's family? The press is showing Knox as a squeaky clean teen, who smiles humbly and innocently, in front of the cameras. Thy Italian young man is also being represented as being a poor victim held in prison unjustly. I want to see Meredeth's family's side shown, Meredeth's character shown. Teens can truly be vicious. This should not be let off lightly.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  4. muneerah crawford

    I was living in london when this murder happened. It was very shocking and sad. I cannot immagine what the parents feel. Just immagine, you raise a beautiful child like this and she leaves you for a program in another country that is supposed to be safe, and you get this call. How can life ever be the same? Every day they must think that this must be a nightmare and that their lovely daughter will suddenly show up at their door.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  5. Francesco Tosi

    I found CNN coverage so far to be heavily biased toward Knox side.

    Above all, publishing material (such as photos presented as evidence) taken from Amanda's friends did not strike me in the least as objective journalism.

    Many actual facts have been omitted, a lot of evidence has been simply neglected or glossed over. On top of that, so many needless doubts raised, and so many photos of poor dove-eyed Ms. Knox.

    Overall, the effect is offensive, even ludicrous.
    This time CNN has lost a chance to be objective, which IMHO is a pity.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  6. Kevin

    I do think that, especially given the way media has been covering it, it has been very easy to forget about Kercher and just how terrible a thing happened to her. I doubt her family has been too pleased with this media circus.

    With the way everything about this case seemed to be in the papers before the courtroom, it is amazing that anyone in Italy's legal system could think this is an unbiased jury. But in reading about the case, I think the investigation was conducted so poorly, that if it were in the U.S., there is no way Amanda would be convicted.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  7. rebecca

    in all of the media coverage i always felt as if the other side of the story was not covered. i have wondered what the family of the other side thinks seems like one sided reporting,

    December 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  8. LaVerite

    Yes Meredith has been forgotten I agree. As for the media coverage, Imho I won't really say that it has hampered the objectivity of the jury. Everybody reacts differently agreed but behaviour is still a key and I assume that's y Amanda's is under scrutiny. Is she guilty? I don't know but one thing that stands out for me and makes me believe she is is the fact that her story changed 3 times (plus she accused an innocent man). If her parents want to claim that she was pressured into confessing falsely at the start, no problem...the rest of her story should stand so she should have 2 stories..the truth and what she was pressured into saying. That she changed it 3 times puts paid to her parent's claim.

    Also, it is very very easy to make someone appear squeaky clean especially someone with as innocent a face as Amanda. Hey, nowadays we have so many undiscovered acting talents and we may be looking at one here. If you want to say that media coverage hampers oobjectivity I think her lawyer breaking down doesn't help issues...he's playing on the emotions of the jury.

    Point is her stories, all 3 don't add up. If she wants to claim she heard Meredith screaming, y cover your ears? why not call the cops or grab a knife or some weapon and go to her aid? Of course as i said b4 every1 has different reactions, her replies to questions which seemed indifferent may have been seeped in shock but at least if nothing else...her STORY should stay the same. No matter what happens if it is the truth you should be able to repeat it countless times word for word. Right now I am starting to think Amanda is an exceptionally good actor...and/ or she did this under the influence of drugs so mayb her memory's gone......u knw I think she may just be guilty.....let's see. But most definitely the truth will out.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  9. LaVerite

    I totally agree with Francesco Tosi, CNN's coverage HAS been HEAVILY based toward's the Knox's side.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  10. Esther

    I completely agree with Francesco. The CNN and other American Channels are neglecting the facts. Almost accusing diplomatically Italians of not doing their job. I am really sad that all this happened, but if these two guys, Amanda and her boyfriend can not answer questions, then something is hidden. Sometimes when I saw the beautiful face of Amanda at TV I tended to forgave her, but instantly it comes to my mind that she could be a murderer. It is a shame to be 22 years old and facing all this, but the victim can not even face this anymore. In my opinion they reserve punishment, but it would be debatable if a live sentence would be the best or rather some years on jail.

    I hope the CNN keeps its objectiveness, even when a beautiful American girl is involved in such events.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  11. jummai yahya

    isn't it always like that? our sennse of justice is funny, we argue in favour of even mass murderers and in the end they are let off tlightly only to kill again! lesson is that, the dead have no right: they are simply dead!

    December 3, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  12. jimmy0

    I have been following this case since the beginning and I still do not know for sure if Amanda and her boyfriend are guilty. It seems very doubtful this couple, together only a week or two, would be able to carry out this horrible crime aginst Merdith. Why is there no DNA of Amanda or Raffaele in the room where poor Merdith was murdered? What about the fact that Rudi committed a very similar crime, sans the murder, not too long before Merdith's horrible murder? As I said, I have followed the case very closely, and to be completely honest, I still do not know.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  13. Jeff

    I have also followed this story from the beginning. Yes, Miss Kercher has been forgotten. My prayers and thoughts are with her family. I think the media needs to leave the family alone.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  14. Mark Parlette

    Unfortunately the majority of the media in the United States focus on the criminals and their rights instead of the victims and the effect on the families of the victims. This is trend started by American defense lawyers who represent the criminals, many times demonizing the victims; the lawyers don’t want the juries to remember that a human was robbed of their life, living the last moments of their life in terror and agony. One famous defense lawyer used to brag that someone could use a machine gun to randomly kill a crowd of people and he would still get them off. The same mindset has already began to emerge with the Ft Hood mass killer, humanize him in the media, develop sympathy for him because he is paralyzed and forget the 13 unarmed humans the coward killed. He is an officer in the U S Army and should be executed for treason and mass murder; instead he will spend the rest of his life in a hospital at taxpayers’ expense. Without a moral or ethical compass our country is lost.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  15. elisabeth hughes

    Meredith Kercher and her family have never been portrayed as the victims in any coverage in the US. US media has constantly claimed that Amanda Knox is the victim.

    This follows a pattern. Americans never believe that one of their citizens accused of a heinous crime in another country is ever guilty no matter how damning the evidence. What the US media does is always to go after the justice system in the country where the crime has been committed.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  16. Anthony

    doesn't really care.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  17. Stella

    Isn't it always that Americans are seen above the law and more so when things happen outside the U S. More media attention should be paid to the victim, can't imagine how her parents must feel after the loss of their Daughter.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  18. Diana

    Italy has made Amanda the bad girl, USA the innocent girl, and the UK keep talking about the US not paying attention to Meredith cos they're defending an american.

    I live in italy and the press here is a complete chaos, totally controlled, cops, judges, everything! that's why for me its easier to believe that she's not guilty.

    I don't believe Meredith is forgotten, the thing is that there are so many holes and bull* in this case that people just cant believe this is happening.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  19. marat

    There is a TOTAL contrast between the Kercher and the Knox family. The Kercher family has been virtually totally silent, evidently preferring to let justice system take its course.. The KNOX family, on the other hand, has essentially pulled a MEDIA blitz to defend their daughter and to take every and any opportunity to try to TRASH the Italian justice system. They have selected to appear on high profile interview shows (such as Larry King) and in interviews keep referring to their daughter as "obviously" innocent, neatly avoiding any of the counter evidence by the prosecution team. Personally, I find her innocence as anything but obvious. BTW, there is a defamation lawsuit against Kurt Knox that was quickly launched by a number of the Italian forensic police who collected the early evidence. Knox went nuts in going to the media and trying to trash every aspect of their work, painting them as if they were a bunch of careless buffoons or clowns. He faces a pretty stiff penalty should this lawsuit succeed.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  20. SteveofCharlotte

    I would like to know more about Rudy's side of the story. What does he say happened that night?

    December 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  21. Tabby

    I totally agree with Elisabeth, that seems to be the trend in the US, fighting for their own no matter the crime. The victim's family has been forgotten in this case, and al we here is how Amanda is a victim. I hope Meredith gets justice, and finally her soul can rest.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  22. Thei Panagiotakou

    CNN coverage is biased toward the Knox's side. As it is towards the Anthony family ('Tot mom'). Meredith is forgotten, as is Caylee.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  23. Kimberly

    Yes Meredith is the forgotten victim but Amanda and Raffaele could become the next forgotten victims if convicted. It is right that there is not much coverage on Meredith's family's grieving because they should be allowed to grieve without being in the public spotlight.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  24. luke

    i have followed this story with a keen interest but never read anything about meredith before this article

    December 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  25. George

    Why is Meredith's family so silent. Its their responsibility to seek justice for their daughter. They should come ut and speak out if they want Justice. And the poort African guy has been languishing in jail with no VOICE .

    December 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  26. rebels

    I am, by nature, but in this case when a ragzza which claims innocent man sent to jail a stranger knowing the facts and more for a friend, I find this abberrante, really leaves me helpless in the face of any attempt Defense

    December 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  27. Luca - Italy

    The real queston is: how long has been this trial going on (and how long could go on) ?

    Particularly comparing it with other similar cases in other judiciary systems (the Western ones, for example).

    And would they be tried through the same kind of evidence by other judiciary systems ?

    Probably the Italian judiciary system is not a problem only for the Italian Prime Minister !

    I'm praying for these two youngs' acquittal.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  28. Kurt Scheuermann

    Yes the victims are always taking second place it seems. I just hope and pray that the guilty ones will have to live with the choice they made, by being punished accordingly.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  29. Josh Tavner

    The victim is clearly forgotten, whomever wrote this article didn't even have the respect to give an age to said victim. Suspects being 22 and 25, yeah, that's cute and all – but if you're going to provide facts, provide all of them, instead of catering to one side like many of these readers have already claimed.
    CNN is turning into Fox News, with it's useless headlines, mainly biased, which is ironic, as it claims to be opposite of that.
    Less personality, more professionalism. Thank you.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  30. Ashex

    When an American is murdered or gets into any kind of trouble overseas the US media always gives the story a biased slant.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  31. Darren Smith

    I am disgusted by the US media bias towards Knox. What if she was fat and ugly? Would you care as much then? Of all the groups relating to this on facebook all are about how hot foxy Knoxy is, with endless brainless fools thinking with their nether regions, and talking with them too saying if she goes to jail they will break her out and similar nonsense. I truly believe she is guilty, her turning cartwheels in the Police station and smiling and joking until she realised this was serious points at her guilt. I have been good this year, Santa, and for Christmas I was Knox and her slimy boyfriend incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  32. Suricata

    I don't believe Meredeth has been forgotton as such, its just that for some reason, peopel crave 'justice' to be done by punishing someone. Sadly, this craving sometimes blinds people into grasping at straws to hold someone accountable. It is my belief, you are innocent until proven guilty, if there is not enough evidence to suggest Knox commited the murder or played a part in it (i mean conclusive evedence) then she should be equited.

    Sadly, due to media hype, people believe what they read in tabloids and even when people are found innocent, the general public just labels them as someone that 'got away with it', which is a really sad stae of affairs to be honest, that once you are accused, in some people eyes you are guilty (because why else would you be accused) and always will be 🙁

    Eitherway, there is 'alot' of evidence that is not publically available for everyone to see, and to be honest, the general public are not legal and forensic experts, not matter how much CSI they watch, so throwing around 'facts' gleamed from the media in no way pants an accurate picture of what is really going on. I just hope that this media hype doesn't effect the outcome of the trial, whatever the verdict.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  33. PG817

    CNN is just another Tabloid/Gossip source easily available to the public. It's like the National Esquire with better graphics and writers. What company in the right mind employs Nancy Grace?

    December 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  34. Nick

    I agree with the statement about forgotten victim and her family. Do we know how and where she lived? What she was like? – No. Instead, all the attention was given to crying parents of the "innocent" killer and "unfairly" treated Knox. I believe that the Italian judicial system works, and the killer will be found, proved of the guilt and sentenced. If Knox will spend the rest of her life doing some creative jail work – that is fair. At least nobody would slit her throat... Anyway, I would like to know more about the slain girl and her life story. Young people are frequently engaged into quite risky and dangerous behavior just for curiosity or desire to “self proof” that they are grown-ups already. However, there must be the limit to what they explore and do. Once that boundary is crossed – a huge problem is imminent. The role of the US to “bleach” the crime and its culprit is actually rather typical for a society living by double standards.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:00 am | Reply
  35. zoomface

    Even if Knox is in the highlight of the media we have to keep in mind – she is an accused on murder. It does not mater what kind of murder and how it is been executed. Even if we follow the case and find Italian system wierd we have to keep in mind – she's a posible murderer.

    I don't find anything romantic in here. Just because she is a white, middle class, brown lass she deserve the same kind of judgment.

    I could not read any articles on this case without having sicknes.

    It could happend in any UK or US university room and we all would be sick to know a young life ends in such a brutal way.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:02 am | Reply
  36. deneeno

    Listening to all of you, you already have Amanda Guilty.. Its sad.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:57 am | Reply
  37. John Maher

    There are several factors to be considered:

    1) The cultural aspect presents itself in Italy and the US: Each believes it has a better system both judiciary and forensic.

    2) The role that the media plays/played and its impact whether in sexualizing Amanda or victimizing her; in essence the media lost its objectivity and managed to get us confused–I believe the general direction of the media became what it sells but not presenting facts in an objective, respectful and ethical way.

    3) Amanda's story changed several times.

    4) Can we separate both Amanda and Rafaello's innocent beauty and focus on the facts?

    5) The version of Rudy Guede.

    Personally I do no like to judge anybody; Meredith is a victim but Amanda and Raffaello could also become victims. My prayers goes for Meredith, Amanda, Rafaello, Rudy and all their families.

    December 4, 2009 at 4:08 am | Reply

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