Murder in Umbria: The Murder of Meredith Kercher
A Murder Mystery
The next morning a neighbor found two cell phones in the garden near her home. Worried they were part of a terrorist plot perhaps rigged to detonate a bomb, she called the police. The police quickly traced the phones, learned they belonged to Meredith, and stopped by the girls' cottage on Via Pergola, where they found Amanda and Raffaele outside. Entering the house and forcing their way into Meredith's room, which had been locked from the inside, the police discovered Meredith's body.
Amanda and Raffaele have changed their stories about that morning and the previous night several times during the investigation.
In one account, they were ostensibly at Raffaele's from early evening through the next morning. He said he used his computer most of the evening, and they watched Audrey Tatou in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's whimsical portrait of Paris, AmÚlie. Investigators say his computer had not in fact been used most of that evening. Amanda said she read part of a Harry Potter book there; police saw it at the crime scene, though she hadn't mentioned bringing it home. In another account, Amanda said she was home and heard the murder; this would fit with grainy neighborhood closed-circuit television footage that police say shows her getting home around 8:45 p.m. Raffaele in the end claimed that that he was too high, too confused by the regular cannabis consumption that soothed his nerves, even to remember whether Amanda was with him the whole night. Former director of Perugia's crime squad, Domenico Giacinto Profazio, notes that both suspects' cell phones were turned off between 8:00 and 8:30 the night of the killing, and remained off until late in the morning of the next day, a marked departure from both suspects' usual usage patterns.