Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox

Shallow murder between members of Facebook is the name that would have given Danny Boyle if it was a film.

Erasmus brought them together in the same city, Facebook let them to meet, Meredith Kercher the victim and the three suspects of her murder.

On December 4, 2009, Samantha Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Rafaelle Sollecito to 25 years. The third accused, Guede, was sentenced to 30 years earlier.

On September 3, 2011, Amanda Knox and Sollecito were acquitted by the Court of Appeal.

The peculiarity of this case is that the players had profiles on the Facebook site that revealed their personality and even videos where they are depicted. It is thanks to his connections on Facebook that one of the suspects was found and arrested.

The victim

She was born in February 1985 in London, England and lived in that city. Her studies at Leeds University in German and Italian make it unfortunately join the Erasmus project which sends her to Italy through exchange of students between universities. Is presented as shy and wise, living away from student life nightlife of Perugia.

She shared an apartment with Amanda Knox, one of the suspects.


Meredith Kercher was found murdered, lying in his blood, 2 November 2007 at dawn in his small house in Perugia, Italy. Only eight months after his death, three suspects already detained, were charged with murder, torture, rape and theft.

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher

Meredith spent the early evening with a friend, then returned home where there were the others, apparently under the influence of cannabis. On what happened then, we can only make conjectures.

She would have died between 20 and 23 hours on November 1 according to the examiner. She probably had a long agony as her wound to the carotid artery was not fatal. Her body was covered with bruises.
It was discovered after the Italian police, who found her cell phone in a garden, has come to her home. Raffaele opens the door and claims that Meredith was sleeping in her room. But they insist on entering.

The murder weapons seem to be a piece of glass and a small knife. The bedroom door was closed. One might think that the murderer had entered and exited through a window. However, the day after, her roommate, Amanda Knox, was arrested by two police officers in a laundry where she was accompanied by a North African, while she was washing clothes and shoes stained with blood.

A knife was found at Sollecito'house which may be the murder weapon, with Amanda's DNA on the handle and that of Meredith on the blade. (Ref.)

According to Judge Claudia Matteini, Amanda Knox and Sollecito were looking for Rafaelle extreme sexual sensations, and wanted that the victim participate in their antics. The thesis of the investigators is that the victim refused to participate in an orgy and was tortured and killed by the three suspects for that reason. She had consumed alcohol or drugs.

Her funeral was held December 14, 2007 at Coulsdon on the outskirts of London.


It is a European program launched in 1987 that allows students to study from 3 months to a year abroad.
The name is inspired by that of the 15th century philosopher Erasmus, who was traveling to enrich and develop his humanity.

The suspects

They were arrested a few days after the crime.

Amanda Knox

Student at Seattle (Washington, United States), she was 21 years old at the time.

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox

Very free girl, as opposed to the victim, she would have boasted of having sex with a stranger on the train that leads him to Perugia.

She had posted on MySpace a story called "Baby Brother", which is the story of a girl drugged and raped by another girl ...

She found on a panel at the University's announcement proposing a housing and sharing and go here. She described the victim and that dwelling on MySpace in glowing terms. (Ref)

Arrested Nov. 6, 2007, she gave conflicting versions of events the night of November 1.

In the first story, she accused Patrick Diya Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner in Pelugia, who employed her occasionally as a bartender. He would be according to the Nouvel Observateur french magazine a drug supplier in the foreign community of Perugia. However there was no charges against him in the murder although he remains suspect to the police.
She does not remember if his friend Raffaele was there or not.
Thereafter she changed her statements and claims not to be on the premises.

Amanda Knox

Raffaele Sollecito

Student at the University of Perugia, the son of a renowned urologist, he knew Amanda Knox only for two weeks.
He says he surfed the Internet in his room the night of the murder, which is not confirmed by analysis of the network connections. He acknowledges he smoked marijuana the night of the murder.
His DNA was found on the scene and in the blood of the victim was found a footprint corresponding to one of his shoes.

Rudy Hermann Guede

An Ivorian of 20 years at the time, was arrested Nov. 20, 2007 in Germany by Interpol, which made use of his activity on Facebook, to find him.
He was raised in a family of Perugia after his father had abandoned the place. His guardian, Paolo Caporali, was disappointed in him, and described him as a "big liar" who was not going to school and did not work. He played in the local team in basketball.

His DNA was found at the scene and he would be guilty of rape. Forced to acknowledge his presence at the scene, he claims to have left before the crime.
His story is this: He heard Kercher scream and saw the murderer escape, an unknown Italian with black hair holding a knife. The man said, "You're going to have trouble, black bastard". He then got scared and fled to Germany.
This version of events, investigators find it improbable and fanciful.


The naked body was found wrapped in a blanket. The investigators interpret this as a gesture of modesty from a woman, which accuse Amanda. It's a little lighter.
The presumed guilt of Amanda seems a version that the press likes, which made sensational articles on the monster of the campus. However her mobile is zero.
Guede is the only one who escaped, making it guilty at least of rape.
If the three were on the scene it is likely that each would have been happy to accuse one of the other two. But only the presence of Guede is actually established. The other two say they are not present and the only thing that really accuse them is DNA, and we now know that the traces found are not conclusive.

The verdict

An Italian jury convicted Amanda Knox to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years.
They are between 22 and 25. Their victim was 21.
On hearing the verdict, Sollecito remained impassive. Amanda has her head buried in the trunk of his lawyer, in tears. While she was carried to prison, his sister Deanna could not control himself and wept loudly in the quiet room of the court.

Rudy Guede, who had chosen a fast track has already been held 28 October 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape and murder. He was sentenced on appeal to 16 years.

Knox advocates believe that there is no evidence against their client and that Guede was the only obvious culprit.

Amanda Knox's life in the prison of Capanne

Amanda Knox and Sollecito, who both say they are innocent, are separated. Amanda shares a 9 m2 cell with a U.S. 53, sentenced to four years for drug use. It is in Capanne, not far from Perugia.
She has a shower, toilet and bidet.

For recreation, there is provided a table tennis room, television and newspapers but she says she do not watch television or read newspapers.
She has the right to write but not to send e-mails or phone calls.

A group of two lawyers and two reporter visited her in December and were able to talk to her. Cameras and tape recorders were banned and they should not talk about the trial.

Only when she heard the English words she fell from her bed. Many Americans believe she is innocent. She was first asked how she was, and about how she felt.
After the verdict, she felt horribly wrong, she said. The guards provided her support, all night.

At the end of the visit, she indulges in her emotions. "I'm worried because I do not know what is happening." What she misses most, she says, is her family and also the university. She would like to continue her studies but can hardly communicate with the teachers.

The group passed again in front of her cell, and she was seen on her bed, reading letters. She looked and said "Ciao."

Appeal hearing

In June 2011 began an appeal process, which begins with a revelation.

According to fellow inmate Rudy Guede, he would have admitted that Knox and Sollecito were innocent. But in court, Guede has totally denied making these revelations. Mario Alessi who is detained for killing a child claims that Guede confessed he that he went with an accomplice in the house with intent to rape Meredith Kercher. That would have ended up by her killing by this unknown accomplice.

The defense has got to realize another expertise of the DNA found on the knife and awarded to Meredith Kercher but considered of dubious quality. A new independent appraisal shown the DNA is unconclusive and could have been contaminated by police.

Amanda Knox made a moving statement to the jury that she was not there tonight (on the scene of the crime), she wanted to go home and request that they does not deprive her of her life. She was 24.

On September 3, 2011, Amanda Knox was acquitted on appeal of murdering Meredith Kercher. Rafaelle Sollecito is also acquitted.

On 26 March 2013, the Court of Cassation ordered a new trial, at the request of relatives of Mr. Kercher, saying the decision was superficial. The new trial will be held in Florence this time and not in Perugia. It is unlikely Amanda Knox will go in Italia to the event.

On January 30, 2014 at the third trial, Amanda Knox was convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison (but is in the USA). Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted and arrested in northern Italy. It is unlucky that Knox go back to prison however.
On 3 February, Italy's justice minister announced on investigation about the judge who read the verdict, Alessandro Nencini, because some comment he made to the media after that. He said that it is a right to not be present to a trial, but that deprives the subject of a voice.
An appeal is still possible to the two convicted.

References and information

Video situating the drama, entitled "Sex, Lies and Murder"

Video of Amanda Knox