An excerpt from the chapter:
The Road to Hell is Paved with Good PR
Saturday. November 3
At 01:04 Amanda texts PJ: “Im sure you’ve already heard but Meredith was murdered last night. I was the first to come home and call the police.”
At 01:30 Amanda and the British girls are fingerprinted. The British girls are released, but not Amanda.
At 02:00 Rudy is still footloose and fancy free and revelling in it. He heads to Domus Disco, possibly with some extra money to spend, possibly with demons to drown, possibly both. About an hour later the disco has a moment of silence to pay respects to Meredith. Guede is so out of it he continues dancing on his own. In an odd parallel to what’s been going on at the police station, the people around him find his behaviour inappropriate.
At 04:00 some of Guede’s friends arrive at Domus Disco and find Rudy hanging out with kids they don’t know.
According to one timeline, at 05:30 the remaining seven – Laura, Filomena [and her fiancé Marco], Amanda and Raffaele and Luca [and his fiancé Paola] – are finally released by the authorities. They’ve been at the station for approximately fifteen hours in total, answering questions, waiting, answering more questions, giving fingerprints etc. The three housemates are not allowed to return to the crime scene, so Laura and Filomena stay with family, while Amanda heads back to the apartment with Raffaele.
Now, just to put recent events into perspective, note that Amanda and her group arrived at the police station at around 15:00. They leave early the next morning at 05:30. One of the reasons they arrive as late as they do at the police is because it took Amanda and Raffaele until past noon to actually call them.
Now here’s another strange parallel. If the murder took place close to 22:00, and the Postal Police took Luna’s statement at 11:30, and Meredith’s door was only kicked open after 13:00, then we know her body lay in her room, unreported, for fifteen hours as well.
Let’s also recall, when Raffaele calls the police, he’s phoning in a burglary. It’s no wonder it took a while for the police to not only secure the scene, but secure the witnesses. It’s ironic that if Amanda and Raffaele purposefully hid, concealed or delayed the body, the time it took to do so was matched, almost to the hour and the minute, by the police interrogation.
Again, we have Amanda initially telling her family she wants to help the police, not that she is being treated unfairly. Surely, if she had been, the group of 20 would have been as well? Or was Amanda special?
While the ‘matching fifteens’ fits together nicely, based on the cell tower serving the police station [Via Cortonese, Sett.7], Amanda is still at the police when her Aunt Dorothy calls her at 09:18:16. The two second call is cut off. According to Raffaele’s memoir the two them are released together at 05:30 and Amanda [only Amanda] is told to report back at 11:00.
At 10:01:43 Amanda texts her Greek buddy Spyros: “My roommate was murdered night before last. I was the first to come home and call the police.”
It’s very similar to her SMS to PJ almost exactly nine hours early, where she texted:
“Im sure you’ve already heard but Meredith was murdered last night. I was the first to come home and call the police.”
Absolutely nothing wrong with that statement is there?
At 11:00 Amanda’s at the police station for more grilling. Raffaele, although not summoned, is with her [presumably for moral support, but possibly also to keep tabs on Amanda, and how her story unravels.] Meanwhile a British newspaper published that morning is already reporting on a possible scenario: since nothing was stolen, the theory that Meredith disturbed a burglar has been ruled out. The suggestion, the paper goes on to speculate, is that whoever murdered Meredith ‘staged’ a break-in to throw the investigation off track.
While some believe all this intrigue is hokum, conspiracy theory hogwash, let’s consider the idea on its own merits. It was a burglary, it was reported as a burglary, and the burglars…didn’t steal anything. Did the burglar/s lose track of what they were there to do? Presumably if they remembered to steal phones, lock a bedroom door, cover the deceased in a blanket, rummage through her handbag, visit the toilet and the bathroom, wipe away half a footprint, and possibly throw in a load of washing, then perhaps they’d also have time – since the only occupant of the house was dead – to finish what they started: the burglary.
There were four expensive portable computers in the villa, and Meredith arguably had the most expensive one of all. But the burglars decided stealing not one phone, but both, was more important. And then locking her door but apparently leaving the front door open…
Read it for yourself and then decide. Nick and I welcome respectful discussion on the topic.