The testimony to Meredith is wonderful. She is no doubt a woman who illuminated the lives of others with her character. The first 80 pages of the book describe vividly just what an accomplished woman she was. The chapter titled "The Funeral" was particularly beautiful and it was difficult not to get emotional while reading it. Hopefully it's writing would have crystallized the memory of Meredith and been cathartic enough to bring some sort of emotional healing for the author. No individual can come close understanding his level of grief considering the circumstances of his loss. However, the author forfeits any moral high ground and dignity that would have been preserved if he had devoted the book strictly to Meredith's memory. Instead, the memory of Meredith is dragged into a quagmire of misunderstanding, misinformation, and bitterness that the author seems unable to extricate himself from. The author subsequently launches an onslaught of questionable and discredited evidence along with considerable emotional leverage in an effort to keep the more uninformed reader gullible and yielding.
MARESCA: THE WRONG MAN?
The Kerchers selected Francesco Maresca as the "most suitable" from a list of lawyers issued by the British Consulate. Meresca apparently could not (or would not) speak English at the start of the case and used an interpreter to keep in touch. He was alternatively able to talk to Stephanie who also spoke Italian. The author writes in page 24 "He was young, experienced and would be able to up date us on what was happening when we returned to England", however, the facts seems to be somewhat different....Page 100 tells us that, "In England, we were still trying to unravel what was going on in Italy". Page 101 goes on to say "So far away from the investigation, we were lost". Again, on page 129 the Kerchers seem to be further confused on the subject of the pretrial. The author wrote, "So we limped out in some sort of limbo, unable to find answers to any of our questions". Page 139 again finds the Kerchers again bereft and uninformed, "In the evening, slightly bewildered and confused as to what had actually been said because it was couched in legal technicalities". Page 171 finds the Kerchers still confused "Arline and I spoke frequently on the telephone to discuss these events but we were still confused. Yet in other parts of the book he consults with the Kercher family on a more regular basis. One can only conclude that the information given to the Kerchers was VERY selective.
"IT'S BLOOD", SAYS THE LUMINOL, "NOT SO" SAYS THE TMB!
On page 81 with the homage to Meredith more or less complete the author goes on to target Amanda as well as Raffele. He opens his time capsule of discredited evidence revealing more unwitting testimony than understanding of the key points of the case. ...The whispering (who could hear them?) ... the bucket and the mop (not submitted as evidence)... the staged break-in...the superhuman accent to Filomena's window (actually not so difficult,) ...the cartwheels (stress release)...the detached behaviour (totally predictable)...the changing of the alibis, the arrest of Lumumba (contrived by the police).... Meredith and Amanda not getting on... the "insane jealousy" of Amanda (despite Meredith's boyfriend Giacomo Silenzi's testimony in the Massai report to the contrary)...the "Foxy Knoxy".nickname (big deal!)... the character assassination by the (unknown)"contemporary" talking to the Daily Mail... the diagnosis from Van Zant, (that confirms natural behaviour of a sexually active young woman away from home rather than exposing anything sinister)...the comics (comical)... the mixed blood (mixed DNA actually).....Amanda's footprints (not in blood says the TMB)... I could go on and on and...Even the `smoking gun' telephone calls were all demolished by commonsense and logic or completely dismissed as irrelevant by the Appeal Court, that crystallized as the 144 page Hellman-Zanetti report. It vexes me that this discredited information that was swept away months before this book went into print is still being clung onto by the author as though it were his salvation.
DARK THOUGHTS AT THE GRAVESIDE?
After the guilty verdict, on page 205, the author had Amanda exactly where he wanted her, (incarcerated for 26 years). He expresses his emotions at that time. "For me, there was only a deep and unsettling numbness, as if I was far away". On page 214, at the graveside his mood is profound. It seems that the verdict had not brought justice for the author, his thoughts are also deep and unsettling for the reader. He writes. "I looked down at the stones and flowers on her grave and I thought, you never deserved this. More than ever I wanted justice for her". He had just been delivered all the justice the law could give him. The sentiment is placed at the end of the chapter to leave the reader with maximum impact. What dark justice was he considering? What exactly is TRUE justice for Meredith Kercher?
THE WRONG MAN (The Sequel)
On page 249 the author while waiting for the appeal verdict states "Between ourselves, we felt that the appeal was simply a process we would have to endure, and that the final result would be the same". What on Earth was he being told? The tide had been turning in Amanda's and Raffaele's favour for months but it seems that the Kercher's were their usual blinkered, uninformed selves. The Conti-Vechiotti report that destroyed the prosecution's case is virtually non-existent in this book. The author blames American politicians for interfering in the case and suggesting that they influenced the Appeal Court, however if he had taken off the blinkers he would have known that it was the fact that the evidence against Amanda and Raffaele was being proven to be totally flawed that undermined the prosecutions case. It seems that he was oblivious of the events unfolding right in front of his face.
THE VERY BITTER END.
The vitriol is still relentless even towards the end of the book. On pages 275 and 276 Amanda's hard working parents and family who made huge personal sacrifices for Amanda are targeted. Raffaele's respected family are also besieged and criminalized. However, it has to be remembered that two innocent young people were imprisoned for four years for a murder they did not commit. The Kerchers lawyer Francesco Meresca was played a very important role in perpetrating that injustice under the instructions of the Kercher family. Perhaps the Kerchers don't quite realise that ultimately, they may have a moral debt of responsibility towards those innocents. ... Is that a scenario they can honourably confront if the Appeal Court's decision is upheld by the Supreme Court?
WHAT CHANCE FOR ENLIGHTENED CHANGE?
In the end John Kercher is not saying anything that we don't already know, and considering what he has written, there is a considerable amount of information waiting to be uncovered for his, and everyone else's benefit. For those who know enough about the case this book is far from the damning indictment of the defence that he intended it to be. With the bereavement process long since burned out, his testament is in fact, more of a fascinating insight into the mindset of an embittered and grievously misinformed man rather than any effective condemnation of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Any contradictions, of course would run the gauntlet of self-righteous indignation by the author. With emotionally charged stock responses like "disrespectful", "shocked", "outraged", and "distressed" already consolidating the author's moral high ground, (thus confirming his absolute right to be absolutely wrong), what chance is there for enlightened change?
DELIVERANCE IS THERE...(GRASP THE NETTLE)!
I don't think that John Kercher is a man who can't see the facts for what they are. But for him not to see the facts there must be a consistent denial of them by the people he trusts, and this goes right up to Mignini. They are the ones who have kept John Kercher angry, deprived of a wider understanding and drowning in grief. In page 226 the author praises Mignini "To me he comes across as an avuncular man with a pleasant smile, but he also is acutely intelligent, and he appears to be both well liked in the Perugian community and respected by his legal adversaries. Praise indeed! However...the author neglects to inform us (or someone neglected to tell him) that Magnini had been convicted of abuse of office after bungling the so-called "Monster of Florence" case and that his 16 months sentence was under appeal at that time. He also makes no reference to the actions of the police in Milan who had caught Rudy only a few days before Meredith's death burgling a nursery with a stolen hammer for breaking toughened glass and a large knife on his possession... He was subsequently allowed to go free. Why, and by whom?
Let's not forget that during 2011 local deputy and politician Rocco Girlanda petitioned the then Italian President Giorgio Napolitano along with 11 government lawmakers who saw the iniquity of this case and demanded an investigation of the Perugia Prosecutor's Office. These people were not poor misguided souls. These were senior politicians that had their fingers on the pulse of the matter more than most and demanded that something be done about it. For ultimate closure on this case the Kercher family need look no further than those who deigned to succour them during their desperate hours.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR MR K?
John Kercher is still struggling for the truth. He was delivered justice on page 205 however by page 214 that wasn't good enough. Living a lie takes continual effort, while living with the truth is effortless, although accepting it may be the worst part for him. Kercher is an elderly man and has suffered a stroke and is clearly not in good health. He is in great danger of living the rest of his life with teeth and hands clenched in anger, and dying an embittered man. I would buy this book 100 times if it would help John Kercher gain closure on this case. The author seems to put a lot of significance on white feathers. He is obviously a spiritual man and who could deny him that comfort. Taking into account the authors sentiments about Amanda and Raffaele as early as the "The Investigation" chapter it is obvious he was clarifying his thoughts about who killed his daughter. Perhaps, with the toppling of the vase of flowers at the funeral, Meredith begged to differ.