A decade after Meredith Kercher’s famous murder, her controversial roommate Amanda Knox publicly paid tribute to her “closest friend” by penning a moving essay.
Titled “Mourning Meredith,” Knox’s essay opens with a blunt statement: “Ten years ago tonight, my friend was raped and murdered by a burglar when she was home alone in the apartment we shared while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy.”
The American then reflects on the few months she lived with British Kercher while they were foreign exchange students in Italy in 2007. She recounts both good and bad moments with Kercher, reminiscing on how they sunbathed together, went shopping and sipped espresso.
“And I remember the last time I saw her, ten years ago today, slinging her purse over her shoulder and waving goodbye to me on her way out to meet up with her British friends,” Knox recalled.
However, these happy memories, which require digging “through a decade of suffering just to reach,” are overshadowed by “horrific autopsy photos” following Kercher’s brutal murder and the subsequent “slanderous headlines that juxtaposed our names and faces, unfairly interlocking her death with my identity.”
“Meredith was my closest friend in a new and exciting time in our lives,” Knox wrote. “There are some people who believe I have no right to mourn Meredith. They believe that I had something to do with her murder—I didn’t—or that Meredith has been forgotten in the wake of my own struggle for justice—she hasn’t.”
Kercher was discovered dead in her bedroom in November of 2007. Knox and her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were initially charged in her death and were convicted of repeatedly stabbing her. She spent four years in prison during the detention and prosecution before the pair was freed on appeal. While the decision was again reversed, Italy’s highest court officially exonerated them in 2015. Meanwhile, a third person, 20-year-old Rudy Guede, was ultimately convicted of murdering Kercher and is serving a 16-year prison sentence for the crime.
“This day of mourning belongs to everyone whose lives Meredith touched…something Meredith’s friends, family, supporters, and I all have in common is that Meredith’s death changed our lives,” Knox continued. “It opened our eyes to the terrible fact that, sometimes, innocent people suffer, that their lives can be taken away from them in an instant.”
Now living a private life in Seattle, Knox concluded the essay, “She is painfully missed by everyone who loved her. I miss her, and I’m grateful for the memories of our time together.”