Why Was Meredith Kercher Murdered? The World May Never Know

With all of the fascination surrounding the trial of Amanda Knox — the media fixation, the outlandish theories, the arguments about her guilt or innocence — one fact that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is that a real person actually lost her life. Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British woman studying in Italy, was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered. And since no one has ever admitted to killing Kercher — not Knox, not Knox's boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and not Rudy Guede, who is currently incarcerated for the crime — it's impossible to know why Meredith Kercher was murdered.

Sure, there are theories. The prosecution first touted a possible explanation that involved a fiendish sex game gone wrong, where Knox allegedly forced her roommate Kercher into an orgy with Sollecito and Guede, then ended up cutting Kercher's throat. This theory was later traded in for one that instead alleged that Knox had killed Kercher when the two got into an argument over the former constantly bringing men back to the apartment they shared — in this case, Sollecito and Guede. But since there was no physical evidence that put Knox and Sollecito at the murder scene, and since the two were officially exonerated of the crime by Italy's highest court in 2015, these theories have been dismissed.

Guede, who remains in jail for Kercher's murder, was convicted for Kercher's murder in 2009. His DNA was found all over the scene, and there were signs of a break-in, with Kercher's purse having been stole — leading police to suspect Guede, who had allegedly broken into a number of homes and buildings in the weeks leading up to Kercher's murder. He was alleged to have often entered people's homes through broken windows and and to have used their bathrooms before stealing something and leaving. There are signs that all of this potentially took place at Kercher's apartment, and it's possible that that Kercher came home to discover Guede — or perhaps she was already home when he allegedly broke in — and so he could have panicked and killed her. But again, this is only speculation. Guede maintains that he is innocent, and that an unknown man killed Kercher while he was in the home. Guede claims to have been invited over by Kercher, and since there were no witnesses to the crime, no one can say for sure that he killed her, or why he did it, if he did.

So since the motive behind Kercher's killing will probably never be known, perhaps the most important thing to do is simply remember Kercher as the person she was. Described by her family and friends as warm and witty, that is the image that should come into people's minds when they hear the name "Meredith Kercher," rather than the image of her corpse. Born in London, she became infatuated with the country of Italy following a visit to the nation as a teen. She studied Italian and European politics at the University of Leeds before transferring to the University for Foreigners of Perugia, where she learned about modern history and cinema, among other subjects, and where a scholarship has since been set up in her memory for British students looking to attend classes there. She even had a brief moment of small fame in her short life, starring in the music video "Some Say," by British singer Kristian Leontiou.

With all the attention surrounding Knox and the others accused of the murder, no one should forget the ultimate victim in the case, Kercher.