‘Why should I do something so hideous?’ Raffaele Sollecito says he had ‘no reason’ to kill ‘gentle’ Meredith Kercher – and a lack of experience with girls meant he was shy around ‘beautiful’ Amanda Knox
- Raffaele Sollecito has agreed to give a rare interview for documentary
- Appealed to Meredith Kercher’s family for forgiveness in the programme
- Rudy Guede was released last November – 14 years after the killing
- He was only person convicted of killing Kercher, 21, in Perugia in November 2007
- Flat mate Amanda Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele were cleared
- Who Murdered Meredith Kercher? is available on Paramount+ from August 25
Raffaele Sollecito has spoken of how he felt ‘insecure’ while dating ‘beautiful’ Amanda Knox before the two were swept into Meredith Kercher’s death in a new documentary.
21-year-old Meredith’s half-naked body was discovered in a pool of blood in a back room of the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, central Italy.
Amanda and her boyfriend Raffaele were initially found guilty of murder and sentenced to 26 years in jail in 2009. However, they were acquitted in 2011 after evidence used against the pair was found to be flawed.
In the new documentary, Who Murdered Meredith Kercher?, Sollecito speaks out about dating Amanda, whom he knew for just a week before Meredith’s death.
He told the camera crew: ‘Amanda is a beautiful girl, we were having a good time together.’
Sollecito added he didn’t have much experience with girls at the time which led him to feel intimidated by the bubbly American student. He said: ‘I was so shy. I didn’t have much experience with this kind of thing.’
Elsewhere he spoke about his shock at being convicted of the killing, saying: ‘I was so happy. Why should I do something so hideous to a 20-year-old girl who I barely know for no reason, for no real… no real motive? I didn’t have any motive to do that.’
Raffaele Sollecito (pictured on the day of the closing arguments in the murder trial of Meredith Kercher) was just 23 years old when he was accused of killing the English student
Speaking to the film crew Raffaele said he and Amanda ‘were having a good time together’ before Meredith was murdered
Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon in south London, was 21 years old when she was found dead in her home in Perugia, Italy while she was on an exchange programme
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were immediately suspected by police as they were spotted kissing and embracing at the murder scene
In an interview given for the new television series, which will be launched on Paramount+ this week, Sollecito spoke about being introduced to Meredith for the first time.
He said: ‘She was nice and gentle. Every time she was saying, “Okay I had to go, and then it’s a pleasure to meet you.”‘
He went on to speak about the night Meredith was killed, explaining: ‘The evening was very much like the others.
‘I hope one day they will accept I had nothing to do with her death’: Sollecito asks Meredith Kercher’s family for forgiveness
Elsewhere in the documentary, Sollecito appealed to Meredith Kercher’s family for forgiveness.
Sollecito reflected on the events of the last 15 years and said his one hope is for forgiveness from Meredith’s surviving family.
He said: ‘It’s very hard when somebody you care about is lost forever. But the truth is that I don’t have anything to do with this murder. So I hope one day will they will accept it.’
Meredith’s family have previously said they would struggle to forgive those involved in the case, and her father John died after being involved in a suspected hit-and-run in 2020.
In the film, it’s not the plight of Meredith and her family which is foremost on his mind, but his own misery.
‘Four years in prison. Six months of solitary confinement,’ he says, barely concealing his anger. ‘And still today, I feel that bitterness even though I moved on with my life.
‘I do regret that I was immature. But we were young. We were just, I mean, kind of foolish, things we didn’t get what was what was going on.
‘Your girlfriend’s roommate is murdered everyone could react in a different way.’
‘It’s hard to remember all the details. It was a rare occasion that we were both free, it could be a nice thing to cook some fish and stay at home, to watch a film, have some nice dinner, to smoke a joint.’
He continued: ‘The next morning Amanda woke up before me and said she was going back home to grab stuff and have a shower.
‘I just continued to sleep.’
After 10am, Amanda headed home to find the front door, which didn’t lock without a key, wide open.
Sollecito said: ‘When she came back, she was very nervous. She wanted me to rush and kind of pushing me, “Can you please come with me back and see”?’
He recalled: ‘Everything was upside down, so it was spread on the floor, the desk, everywhere.
‘When I found out Meredith’s door was locked, I started to become more suspicious that someone was there still. I thought better to call the police.’
In a taped call to the police obtained by the film makers, Raffaele is heard saying in Italian: ‘Hello someone entered the house and broke the window. They messed everything up. And there’s a locked door[..]’
A police officer is heard to ask: ‘So, break in and theft?’ to which Raffaele responds: ‘No, nothing’s been stolen.’
Raffaele recalled the horrifying moment he and Amanda found Meredith’s body after friends of another housemate, Philomena, broke down the locked door.
He said: ‘We started to scream. My instinctive reaction was to bring Amanda outside, to take care of Amanda because she had her family so far away. She was lost, she was completely lost.’
When investigators arrived at the scene they found Meredith’s body on the floor, partially covered with a duvet.
Bloody hand marks were smeared on the wall and a trail of bloody footprints led from her bedroom to the front door.
Investigator Giuliano Mignini said in an interview: ‘I remember this girl because she had a really sweet expression, as if she was in peace.’
Recalling the crime scene he added: ‘There was this blanket with a foot sticking out. It was a scene, a very dramatic scene. I don’t remember much besides the blood.’
He recalled the ‘many wounds’ on Meredith’s body, including bruising ‘as if she had been held by several people’.
The property where Meredith Kercher was found murdered in 2007, as featured in the new documentary
Handheld camera footage from the house at the time also features in the documentary
Mr Mignini then addressed his suspicions about Sollecito and Amanda as he looked for suspects, after concluding the break-in was ‘staged’.
He said: ‘Outside the house leaning on a wooden railing were Amanda Knox and Sollecito. I remember that Amanda was just lost, completely lost and looking for refuge with him.
‘Sollecito seemed a little cold to me, more in control of himself. Was it a bad feeling? I don’t know. it gave me that impression.’
Raffaele and Amanda were called into the police station for questioning immediately after police discovered Meredith’s body.
Nevertheless, a theory was formed that it was a sex game gone wrong. Something apparently seemed off about Amanda and Raffaele – the lovers who raised the alarm.
Neither behaved in a manner that police might have expected from grieving friends and were even seen kissing at the murder scene. They stayed away from a public vigil for Meredith on the steps of the cathedral.
Knox is escorted by police upon her arrival at a court hearing in Perugia on September 26, 2008
Guede pictured being escorted by Italian penitentiary police officers as he leaves Perugia’s court after a hearing on September 26, 2008
Meredith Kercher’s killer Rudy Guede (pictured waving from the window of a volunteer centre in 2016) was formally released from prison 14 years after the grisly murder
However according to Sollecito, their absence was simply down to the fact they ‘didn’t know’ the vigil was happening.
When Raffaele was called to the police station for questioning, officers searched him and found a flick-knife.
The police soon ruled that the knife could not have been the murder weapon but it didn’t help his protests of innocence.
‘It was the worst gaffe I have ever did in my life,’ Raffaele admits. ‘Even though my father told me: ‘Leave your knife at home. Don’t bring it with you.’ I was kind of: whatever. F*** it. I didn’t want to think about it.’
He recalled being ‘exhausted’ as officers branded him a ‘liar’.
Sollecito said: ‘They called [Amanda] a b**** and also a cow and a slut. They told me, she confessed. She told us, she was in the house of the murder and she did everything and that you know what she did.
‘And I was kind of shocked, maybe she knows and she did something that I don’t know. I was afraid.’
As police continued to investigate, they found enough evidence to charge Raffaele, Amanda and a drifter, Rudy Guede, with Meredith’s murder.
Prosecutors alleged the three had engaged in a drug-fuelled sex game with the student, which had gone horribly wrong.
Amanda Knox (pictured speaking in 2019) recently wrote an article – titled ‘Patrolling the Trolls: The Sorry State of Reporting Online Abuse’ – recalling when she received death threats in prison
In September, Knox had a baby girl Eureka Know Robinson with husband, Christopher Robinson, who she married in 2018. Pictured: A pregnant Knox
Raffaele dismissed the theory as ‘another made up scenario’.
Just as the trials were about to begin Rudy Guede requested a separate trial, from which the world’s media was excluded.
He accepted the prosecution’s version of events and was found guilty of conspiracy to sexual assault and murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Separately to Rudy’s conviction, Raffaele and Amanda’s trial began 14 months after the investigation first began.
Recalling the trial, Raffaele said: ‘It was unbearable. People wanted to see some clue in our behaviour.’
On 4 December 2009, Raffaele and Amanda were found guilty of conspiracy to sexually assault and murder Meredith Kercher.
Recalling the moment he was convicted, Raffaele said: ‘I was devastated. I thought it was a huge mistake.
‘How can you send a verdict only on circumstantial evidence which has no proof?’
Who Murdered Meredith Kercher? is available on Paramount+ from August 25th.
Meredith’s family and their quest for the truth about her murder
Following his daughter’s death, Mr Kercher penned a book in 2012, titled Meredith: Our Daughter’s Murder And The Heartbreaking Quest For The Truth.
In his moving account of the tragedy, he lifted the lid on Meredith’s childhood and how the family coped when he and his wife, Arline, divorced in 1997.
‘During that first week of living apart, I came home to find Meredith had left a message on my answering machine, singing Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You,’ he wrote.
‘Her voice was beautiful and haunting, and I think I cried on hearing it. I kept it there, playing it several times every day until the telephone service provider deleted it.
‘Meredith would come for dinner every Friday after school. I would cook and then we would watch videos of the hit comedy series Friends…
‘Some memories, however, brought me back to Meredith’s final night. I could not help thinking of the hours Meredith had spent practising karate, and how she must have fought back on the night she was murdered.
‘Against one person, we were all certain, Meredith could have held her own.’
He also revealed how he suffered a stroke in the summer of 2009, having first endured bouts of dizziness which doctors thought might be the result of an ear condition.
‘I was in hospital for several days and had double vision for weeks afterwards,’ he wrote
‘I will never know whether the stress of Meredith’s death and the subsequent trial affected my health, but it made me question how many more times I could make the trip to Perugia, and how much more of the chaos I was able to bear.’
In 2017, Frencesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s lawyer, slammed Ms Knox as she described her desire to return to Perugia.
‘I believe Amanda Knox’s choice to return it totally inopportune because the death of Meredith was very painful for Perugia and people there feel they have never had a satisfactory response from the Italian justice system,’ he told The Telegraph.
‘That is why Knox should think about her life without continuing to return to this sad affair from which she has been the only one to profit, both in terms of fame and money.’
Mystery surrounds the death of John after an inquest heard he was found in the street near his home with fractures across his body, with no evidence of what happened shortly before.
He was found with injuries to his arm, ankle, face and ribs in Croydon, south London on January 13, 2020.
Meredith’s mother Arlene also died in 2020.
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