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ROME—It has been 15 years since the lifeless body of British Erasmus student Meredith Kercher was found in the apartment she shared with Seattle native Amanda Knox in the hilltop town of Perugia, Italy. But on the anniversary of her death, the main protagonists in her murder case are once again breathing new life into the bombshell murder case that made headlines the world over.
Knox, 35, is now back living in Seattle after being acquitted definitively of Kercher’s murder in 2015 by Italy’s supreme court. She is now a married mother of a daughter named Eureka Muse. She spent the days leading up to the anniversary of the murder—for which she was twice convicted and twice acquitted—giving interviews blasting Italian justice and teasing out various stories about stealth trips to Perugia and its environs.
The Daily Beast has also learned that she has been corresponding with the prosecutor who convicted her with the help of the prison priest she befriended during her four years behind bars.
Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who was vilified by all those who supported Knox during the case, has become a pen pal of Knox’s after he confirmed to The Daily Beast that she reached out to him before her first return trip to Italy in June 2019 to speak at an Innocence Project event. The two reportedly regularly exchange WhatsApp messages discussing his case against her, her convictions, and her acquittals. Mignini told The Telegraph that he liked her after meeting her in person, during which Knox cried and the two former enemies hugged. “We have different ideas about the trial that involved us,” he said. “But now I have a good opinion of her.”
Mignini told The Daily Beast that in his own upcoming book on the case that he still believes she was involved in Kercher’s murder, but that she reached out to him as part of the process of her own “healing.”
He would not elaborate on the meeting with Knox when reached by The Daily Beast on Tuesday, but the meeting and messages could potentially end up as fodder for an upcoming Knox podcast. She has successfully podcasted two series already: “The Truth About True Crime” and “Labyrinths: Getting Lost with Amanda Knox” which tend to focus on wrongful convictions.
Knox herself has publicly admitted to reaching out to Mignini on her podcast and blog on multiple occasions. She did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
A source familiar with the meeting said Knox’s mother Edda Mellas was with her when they met, but refused to greet or meet Mignini, for which Knox is said to have apologized to the man who convicted her of murdering her roommate.
She was also allegedly spotted over the summer by a journalist in Perugia who told The Daily Beast she, her husband and mother were pushing their baby stroller near the crime scene where the two young students lived until Kercher’s body was found Nov. 2, 2007.
Her co-defendant in the case, Raffaele Sollecito, 38, is now an engineer in Milan. He also released a news story on the eve of the anniversary, sharing how he reunited with Knox in Italy over the summer, traveling to Gubbio to “complete the date” they had planned for November 2, 2007, but which was scuppered after Kercher’s body was found in the bedroom next to Knox’s.
Sollecito sold the reunion story and exclusive rights to the photos to The Mirror, whose reporter followed the pair around and spoke to Knox’s mother and husband, who accompanied her on the reunion holiday. The conditions were that the story not release until the 15-year-anniversary of Kercher’s murder. “We had been planning to go there on the day Meredith’s body was found,” Sollecito said of the nearby hilltop town of Gubbio. “We had been planning that trip because obviously we didn’t know what had happened to her and we had free time that day.”
He called the reunion “bitter-sweet” adding, “it was just nice for us to be able to talk about something that wasn’t the case.”
Rudy Guede, who served 13 years for Kercher’s murder, is out now, working mornings in the Criminological Studies Center in Viterbo Italy and evenings as a waiter at a local pizzeria, where he is often asked to pose for selfies with patrons.
His conviction is the only one that has been upheld in the complicated case, and he stands guilty in his sentencing record as “one of three people” responsible for the death of the young Briton. He spent the days leading up to the heinous anniversary giving interviews of his own to publicize his new book on the case, called Benefit of the Doubt, repeating his story that yes, he was there, but no, he didn’t kill her—that, he says, was at the hands of Knox and Sollecito. “I didn’t kill Meredith Kercher, but I will forever regret leaving her there,” he told Corriere Della Sera leading up to the anniversary. “Fear took over and I ran away like a coward, leaving Mez perhaps still alive. I will never cease to regret this. But I was 20 and I had a dying girl in front of me, I helped her but then her mind went haywire. Maybe she would have died anyway but not having asked for help remains my great fault.”
Knox also publicly spoke out against Guede this week, telling the Italian magazine Oggi he is the only culprit. “Someone who continues to accuse innocent people of the crime that he committed himself, and who refuses to concede the truth to a family devastated by grief, remains a criminal,” she told the magazine in an article published over the weekend. “I still suffer from the stigma of a false accusation: I will always be ‘the girl who was accused of murder’.”
Knox had originally pointed a finger at her boss at a local club in Perugia, Patrick Lumumba, for Kercher’s murder. Lumumba was arrested on Knox’s accusation alone, but was released from jail when Guede was arrested after fleeing to Germany in the days after the murder.
Knox remains convicted of slandering him and her four years in prison were considered “time served” for that crime. Lumumba told a documentary film maker that Knox has still not paid the more than $20,000 she owes him for wrongfully accusing him, despite being an outspoken advocate for wrongfully accused people.
The real truth of Kercher’s murder remains veiled in contradictions. Kercher’s throat was slashed in two places, her sweater was pulled up above her breasts, and her blood-stained bra had been cut off her body after she was stabbed. Her long hair left swirls of blood on the cold marble floor from where she had been pulled across the room. Her door was locked and there was nary a trace of the crime outside the murder room, pointing to a clean up job. Guede’s feces was found in a bathroom down the hall, implying that he would have surely flushed if he was the one to have cleaned up what would have been considerable blood taking into account the literal bloodbath in Kercher’s room.
All three suspects have written books. Knox’s Waiting to be Heard; Sollecito’s Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox and Guede’s The Benefit of the Doubt join countless others, including one by this author called Angel Face. All tell different versions of one of the biggest media circus murder cases in recent times. Only Kercher knew what really happened that night 15 years ago, and now, even her memory has been obscured by the limelight squarely cast on everyone around her.
Kercher’s father died in a bizarre hit and run accident in 2020 shortly before her mother, who was on kidney dialysis, died during the worst of British COVID lockdowns. On Tuesday, Kercher’s siblings released a statement to mark the sad day. “Fifteen years has passed in the blink of an eye but yet we have lived a lifetime in between something Meredith sadly, was never afforded,” they said. “Losing both our parents within just four months of each other in early 2020 brought its own tragedy but we can take some solace in knowing that they are now united with Mez and no longer have to live with the grief which consumed them. Meredith will always be in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.”