Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meredith Kercher: Friends Left Her to Die

Arline Kercher, Meredith's mother, being comforted at a trial in Perugia, Italy. (Source: AP photo by Antonio Calanni)

At this very moment there are millions of people suffering immensely -- children orphaned in Iraq, kidnapped children prostituted in the United States, refugees under attack as they seek refuge, and millions of people starving worldwide.

But somehow, a sensational trial grips international attention and everybody forgets about the bigger, sadder things happening in the world because it's easier to grasp just one person's fate and follow that story to its end.

The murder trial of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher -- she would have been 22 this year, but her age will forever be 21 now -- is front page news in many places around the world and it's hard to fathom why. Though it's equally hard to fathom why not: a young girl was brutalized and tortured by her comrades in her own home -- and left to die.

Over the past year, Kercher's roommate -- 21-year-old Amanda Knox of the United States -- and Knox's 2-week old boyfriend 24-year-old Raffaelle Sollecito, and their drug dealer 21-year-old Rudy Guede have all 3 done everything they can to avoid any responsibility for the loss of this young lady. And not one of them at any time took any action to help her in any way.

Today, it has been announced that Guede is guilty of Kercher's murder and of sexual assault -- the judge has sentenced him to 30 years in prison. In addition the judge formally charged Knox and Sollecito of murder and sexual assault and the added charge of theft -- Guede was relieved of any charges of theft -- and announced their trial would commence December 4th.

But the one detail that nobody has yet mentioned in the news coverage of this entire trial is the one question that is on everybody's mind, not how could these people have done this, not why they are trying their best to diminish any responsibility for it, but how anyone could knowingly leave someone to die like this.

In legal terms would they be in less trouble if they had tried to at least save her by calling an ambulance? It seems likely: she may well have survived and then this wouldn't have been a murder trial as it is now. Is this about legal terms or about moral terms? It would be about moral terms if these 3 individuals were actually normal people but as the trial has proceeded it has become more and more apparent that Knox is some sort of raging sociopath, Sollecito has strange emotional and mental issues and Guede is the only one of the 3 that has any idea that what he did was wrong.

So today we will blame Guede because he is normal and he could have done something. Perhaps tomorrow we will find out more about why Knox did this and why she doesn't seem to have any remorse and why Sollecito was obviously a disturbed young man but his family and the few friends he had did not bother to notice until it was too late.

The only thing we do know for sure is that these 3 young people were all secretly living miserable lives and Meredith Kercher was the one who sacrificed her life to let the world know.

For the latest Saccharinist coverage of
Selection '08 click here.