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First Meredith Kercher Scholarship To Be Awarded By Perugia's University for Foreigners

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher, a British university exchange student, was murdered by Rudy Guede in Perugia Italy on November 1, 2007. A scholarship fund was set up in Kercher’s memory by the city of Perugia and Perugia’s University for Foreigners where she was studying at the time of her murder. The first scholarship from the fund will be announced in a ceremony at the university on Tuesday June 4. The recipient will have the opportunity to study Italian and Italian culture for two months at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia.

A media announcement distributed by ANSA (the leading news agency in Italy) has been picked up by various media outlets (you can view examples here, here, and here) announcing the ceremony. Oddly the media announcement mentions Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito but fails to mention Meredith’s killer Rudy Guede.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were wrongfully convicted for Kercher’s murder in December of 2009, and were both acquitted on appeal in October of 2011. In March of this year, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the acquittals of Knox and Sollecito, sending the case back to  the appellate level to review currently unknown aspects of the case. The court has 90 days from the date of the ruling to release a motivation document detailing what specifics of the case they want reviewed. Knox and Sollecito will remain free throughout this process.

Why does the media act as if Meredith’s killer Rudy Guede does not even exist? Why would a media announcent mention Knox and Sollecito and ignore Guede? It would have been best to focus solely on Kercher, but if you are going to mention Knox and Sollecito you most certainly need to mention Guede. Guede has been convicted for Kercher’s murder and his conviction has been confirmed (finalized) by the Italian Supreme Court. Why is he being ignored?

Rudy Guede

Unlike Amanda and Raffaele, Guede was arrested after the evidence collected at the crime scene was analyzed and that evidence points right to him—no one else, just him. There was no rush to judgment when it came to arresting Rudy Guede. Investigators found Guede’s hand print on a pillow case found under the victim’s body. The fingerprints led them to their suspect. When police came looking for Guede, he had already fled to Germany. He was stopped in Germany trying to board a train without a ticket and was immediately extradited back to Italy.

The evidence of Guede’s guilt is irrefutable and should have been more than sufficient to secure a life sentence. Guede even admitted he was in Kercher’s room at the time of the attack. His DNA, along with Kercher’s blood, was found on Kercher’s purse. His shoeprints, set in Kercher’s blood, were found in the bedroom and in the hallway leading out the front door. As mentioned above, his handprint, in Kercher’s blood, was found on a pillowcase underneath her body. Most importantly, Guede’s DNA was found inside Kercher’s body.

Guede also had a history of break-ins similar to that seen at the cottage where Kercher was murdered. One week prior to the murder,  Guede was caught breaking into a nursery school by the school’s owner, Maria Del Prato, when she arrived unexpectedly during off hours with two repairmen. Del Prato along with the repairmen kept Guede at the nursery and called the police.

When police searched Guede’s backpack they found a laptop and cell phone that had recently been stolen from a Perugian law office. The break-in at the law office was very similar to the break-in at the cottage as Guede entered through an elevated window broken with a rock in both occasions. In the nursery school break-in, Guede was found in the possession of a large knife said to be stolen from the school’s kitchen. He was also  in possession of a woman’s gold watch which tied him to another break-in occurring 4 days earlier. Guede’s break-in at the nursery no doubt made him a suspect in a previous burglary of the nursery in which cash had been stolen.

In the month prior to Kercher’s murder, Guede had gone on a crime spree. This activity was no secret to the police yet they never managed to properly investigate Guede and never took him into custody. Why? The sad reality is, if the police had done their job properly Kercher would still be alive today and Knox and Sollecito would have never been wrongfully convicted. They failed once again to take Guede into custody in a timely fashion after the murder leading to the pursuit of two innocent people.

It is extremely disrespectful to Meredith Kercher to not properly punish the man that took her life. Sadly Guede will be eligible for work release as early as 2014, after serving only 7 years for this heinous crime. Where is the outrage for this lenient punishment? Why is this not the main focus? The media owes it to Kercher to report the truth about the monster that took her life. It is absolutely ridiculous that Guede continues to receive a free pass.

Regardless of the controversy that continues to plague this case, hopefully The University for Foreigners scholarship will be a long-lasting  way for people to remember Meredith for the person that she was, not for the horrible crime that took her life.