Police probe American artist's death in Italy

FLORENCE, Italy -- Police questioned the friends of an American found dead in her Florence apartment as Italy's expat community expressed hope Sunday that the case won't turn into another Amanda Knox-style, headline-grabbing legal saga.

See Full Article

Police opened a murder investigation Saturday after 35-year-old Ashley Olsen of Summer Haven, Florida, was found dead, her neck bruised and scratched.

Police said they questioned Olsen's boyfriend, a local artist, Saturday but that they have no suspect so far.

Meanwhile, friends and fellow expats expressed horror at the slaying of a woman known around Florence for her beagle, Scout, and said they hoped her killer would be found quickly.

"I can't imagine a person who would hurt her, she is a gentle, a kind, a beautiful, friendly, lovely girl and it's an awful shock," Amy, a friend who only gave her first name, told The Associated Press in Florence. "We've got a great community here of people and everyone loved her."

Friends and other expats expressed hope that the case wouldn't end up repeating the flawed, flip-flopping investigation into the last high-profile murder case of a foreigner living in Italy, that of Meredith Kercher.

The British student was studying in the Umbrian city of Perugia when she was found dead in 2007. Knox, Kercher's American roommate, and her then-boyfriend were at first convicted of the murder, then acquitted, convicted again on appeal and finally acquitted for good when Italy's Supreme Court last year definitively exonerated them. Another man was convicted and is serving a 16-year sentence.

"I would hope for her sake that this investigation is more clear," said Georgette Jupe, who writes the "Girl in Florence" blog and knew Olsen casually, primarily because they both had beagles and lived near one another in Florence's Santo Spirito neighbourhood.

Social media groups for expats in Florence expressed the same sentiment, with several people posting comments about the parallel to the Kercher investigation, which was harshly criticized in both the American and British media.

Jupe said Olsen was involved in fashion and had moved a few years ago to Florence, where her father was also a professor.

Olsen's Facebook page is full of photos of her and Scout, including on the steps of the Santo Spirito church on the lovely piazza of the same name that is the heart of the "Oltrarno" neighbourhood of the Tuscan city.

"She always with her dog, always sitting on steps of Santo Spirito with friends," Jupe said in a phone interview.

Nicole Winfield reported from Rome.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Priebus takes his turn on the Trump administration hot seat

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus may have little left of his job but his title. In the swirl of Shakespearean intrigue that surrounds Donald Trump's White House, Priebus' fortunes have long been a source of speculation, given his limited role, colorful band of rivals and the president's public slights. Source
  • Ottawa man arrested in two homicide cases

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting deaths of two men on Monday. Alam Gabriel Buoc have been the subject of a nationwide warrant until his arrest on Thursday night. Source
  • Texas executes TaiChin Preyor for killing woman in 2004 after break-in: “That’s it...'

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas prisoner was executed Thursday evening for killing a San Antonio woman after breaking into her apartment more than 13 years ago. TaiChin Preyor, 46, was put to death after his attorneys failed to convince courts that he had deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals and that he deserved a reprieve so his case could be reviewed more fairly. Source
  • Spanish train crash leaves at least 50 injured in Barcelona [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — Some 50 people received medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early Friday, Catalan government officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • Dozens injured in train station accident in Barcelona

    World News CTV News
    BARCELONA, Spain -- Some 50 people needed medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early Friday, Catalan government officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • Russia retaliates against sanctions, ordering U.S. to cut diplomatic staff to 455 from 1,100

    World News CBC News
    Russia told the United States on Friday that some of its diplomats had to leave the country in just over a month and said it was seizing some U.S. diplomatic property as retaliation for what it said were proposed illegal U.S. Source
  • Russia orders cut in U.S. diplomats in reaction to sanctions

    World News CTV News
    In this Monday, July 17, 2017 file photo, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak arrives at the State Department in Washington to meet with Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon. T(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) Source
  • GOP dealt stiff blow in Senate's bid to repeal 'Obamacare'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Dealing a serious blow to U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda, the Senate early Friday rejected a measure to repeal parts of former President Barack Obama's health care law after a night of high suspense in the U.S. Source
  • Jeff Sessions plans to stay, despite criticism from Trump over recusal

    World News CBC News
    His loyalty to the boss severely tested but seemingly intact, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will stay in the job for as long as President Donald Trump wants him to serve. Sessions told The Associated Press during a visit to El Salvador that he and Trump have a "harmony of values and beliefs" and he intends to stay and fight for the president's agenda "as long as he sees that as appropriate. Source
  • Scaramucci exposes simmering tensions in vulgar tirade on chief of staff

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smouldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of staff to deny he's a "leaker" and exposing West Wing backstabbing in language more suitable to a mobster movie than a seat of presidential stability. Source