Meredith’s Friends

[Le amiche di Meredith, pp.20-25]

Meredith’s Friends

The inquiry into the persons that Meredith could have met last and the attempt [ricerca] to reconstruct her final movements and encounters leads us to single out and identify her friends, the persons with whom she had the most contact, who had also come to Perugia for the purpose of studying.

Robyn Carmel Butterworth, who had arrived in Perugia at the end of September-October to attend the University [for Foreigners], had found an apartment on Via Bontempi, and had quickly met Meredith, with whom she had begun to associate [frequentare] along with Amy Frost, who lived with her in Via Bontempi, and Sophie Purton. She had also met Amanda Knox a few times. Meredith spoke to her about her relationship with Amanda, telling her what went on in the house, and that at times Amanda did not leave the bathroom clean. Meredith had also told her about some particular objects that Amanda had in the house, inside a beauty-case that she had in the bathroom: a vibrator and condoms. She also recalled that Meredith, in speaking of what was going on at home, sometimes expressed discomfort (“my perception of their relationship was that at times Meredith felt uncomfortable, that she sometimes had doubts about Amanda”). She had been with Meredith on the night between October 31 and November 1: after eating diner together, they had gone to Merlin and then to another place, Domus, and then around 4:30 -5:00 am, they had returned to their respective houses. She recalled that on the evening of the 31st, Amanda had asked Meredith to go out together with her. The last time that she had seen Meredith had been on November 1 at her house on Via Bontempi, along with Amy Frost and Sophie Purton. Meredith had arrived around 4:00 pm; they had made pizza and eaten; they had then looked at the Halloween photos on the computer, and then watched a film; about halfway through the film that had made an “apple crumble”, a sort of apple tart, which they had consumed with ice cream; around 9:00, Meredith and Sophie Purton had left.

She recalled that Meredith, that afternoon, was wearing a rather wide pair of jeans, linen gym shoes, and a sweater with a bright-blue fastening-belt [una felpa con una cintura lampo blu chiaro]. She had a long-sleeved shirt underneath, over a sun-top. She had a cream-colored purse with a long shoulder-strap. She [Butterworth] did not particularly remember at what time they had eaten; perhaps it was around 6:00 pm. They had drunk only water. Meredith did not show any particular concern; they were all rather calm and relaxed. The morning of the 2nd, they were to meet around 10:00 am for a class at the University, not knowing that it was a holiday. Thus, at about that time, she [Butterworth] had called Meredith several times on her cell phone without getting a response. She learned of Meredith’s death in the afternoon and had to go the the police station [Questura] where she met both Amanda and Raffaele, whom she did not know. She recalled that Amanda’s behavior appeared strange to her, to the extent of making her “difficult to be around because she wasn’t showing emotions; everyone was very upset while she seemed not to show or even feel any emotion”. She recalled that Amanda was close to Raffaele and the two of them were “kissing, joking. They also laughed at times; I remember that Amanda stuck her tongue out at Raffaele”. She recalled having heard Amanda say that “Meredith was inside the wardrobe with a blanket on top” and Raffaele “said that Amanda had slept at his house [a casa sua] that evening”. She recalled furthermore that Amanda said she had gone to the house on Via Della Pergola around 11:00 am, had found the door open, taken a shower and changed and then gone to Raffaele’s house. She was not sure if [Amanda] had also said she had seen blood and feces in one of the bathrooms. She recalled having met Meredith through Amy Frost when she was in Perugia. Meredith often spoke of her family: of her mom, dad, her brothers and her sister, and she had said that her mother was not doing so well. She knew moreover that Amanda had met Raffaele one or two weeks before on the occasion of a concert.

Amy Frost reported having known Meredith for a little more than month and having taken a language course together. They often went to a pub. She lived on Via Bontempi with Robyn. She had met Amanda and together they had gone to pizzerias and once also to the Red Zone discotheque; this would likely have been the third weekend of the month of October. She had met Raffaele Sollecito only at the police station. The night between October 31 and November 1, after dinner at home on Via Bontempi with Robyn, Rachel, Meredith, Sophie, Nathalie, Line and Monic, she, along with Meredith, Sophie, and Robyn, had gone to the Domus discotheque. They had stayed until 4 am and together — her, Robyn, and Meredith — they had accompanied Meredith as far as the basketball court in Piazza Grimana.

The last time she had seen Meredith had been the 1st of November at her house on via Bontempi. She recalled that they had watched a film and eaten a pizza and dessert [un dolce]. She recalled that Meredith had left just before 9:00 pm, together with Sophie. They had look at photos taken at the Halloween party; she [Meredith] was completely calm. She recalled that Meredith said lots of things about Amanda, things that irritated her: Amanda played the guitar, always playing the same chord, and left the toilet dirty. She did not know Raffaele; she had seen him at the police station, where he introduced himself as Amanda’s boyfriend; he said that Amanda had been at his house the evening and night of November 1. When she returned home the next day, she noticed that the door was open; she had gone into the bathroom and seen blood. Then she had gone to Raffaele’s house on Corso Garibaldi and together they had returned to the house on Via Della Pergola. She recalled that at the police station Amanda behaved in a way that seemed inapproprate: she was displaying affection with Raffaele, sticking her tongue out and making faces. On questioning [contestazione] by the Public Minister regarding what was stated on February 8, 2008, page 15, she said: “I recall having heard Amanda talking on the phone — I think she was talking with a member of her family — and I heard her say ‘no, they’re not letting me go home, I can’t take that flight’; she said she couldn’t remember the circumstances”, adding however that if she had said it, it “must be true” since the things she said were true. Meredith had reported, with a certain amount of worry, that the young men on the lower floor had asked her to water the cannabis plants and had also given her the key to the apartment; she was aware that [Meredith] had perhaps “smoked once”. As for the 1st of November, she recalled that Meredith had arrived around 4:30 pm and they had started eating the pizza that they had prepared around 5:30-6:30 pm. She had never heard Meredith complain about lack of money.

Sophie Purton stated that she had met Meredith on September 2 and the two had taken to spending time together almost every day. Meredith was rather carefree and happy. Her relations with Amanda were good, even if some things annoyed Meredith — in particular, Amanda’s bathroom habits. She recalled that in the afternoon of October 31, Meredith had sent her an SMS saying that she was going into the apartment of the young men on the lower floor to water the cannabis plants. She had last seen Meredith on November 1. They had gone to the house of Amy and Robyn for dinner at 3:00 pm and then they had watched a film; Meredith had then left before 9:00 pm. She recalled that they had eaten a pizza and an apple tart. She did not know when they had finished eating; it was perhaps a hour before leaving, and she indicated 8:45 pm or thereabouts as the time when they had left the house on Via Bontempi. She said goodbye to Meredith about ten minutes later, at 8:55 pm. She remembered the timetable because she wanted to be home at 9:00 pm to see a program she was looking forward to. For that evening, Meredith “had no plans, she just said she was tired”.

She knew that Meredith had started seeing a young man, Giacomo Silenzi, who lived on the lower floor of the same house on Via Della Pergola. She was also aware of th fact that Meredith “smoked grass with the other roommates” but she told her “that she only did it to socialize”. She was not aware of Meredith ever having complained about lack of money.

Nathalie Hayword knew Meredith from September of 2007. She had also met Amanda. She knew that Meredith had a boyfriend: she had met him around the end of October. She had seen Meredith for the last time on October 31: they had eaten dinner at Amy and Robyn’s house and then had gone to Merlin Pub. But she had left rather early, around midnight. She had not seen Meredith again. On the day of November 2, in the police station, Amanda was also there, who said that the previous night she had been with her boyfriend Raffaele and that the morning after, at around 11:00 am, she had retuned home to change. She had found the door open, something which seemed strange to her; she had gone in the house, in her room, and she ahd taken a shower and seen drops of blood. She said that after showering she got dressed and noticed that Meredith’s door was loced. She went into the other bathroom, and said that there were feces in the toilet. The she went into another room and noticed that the window was broken and that there were glass fragments [vetri] inside. She told these things to her [Hayword] and to the other girls present. She reported that she then returned to Raffaele’s house and called Filomena. She [Hayword] recalled that on that occasion in the police station Raffaele was very calm and silent.

All of Meredith’s friends denied that Meredith had spoken to them of Rudy Guede and claimed not to know who he was.