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

  • Alberta union says deal includes right to domestic violence leave

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- A union in Alberta has negotiated domestic violence leave for members who work at a long-term care facility. The United Steelworkers says the agreement means Rivercrest Care Centre workers who are victims of domestic violence can take paid leave for legal, medical and counselling appointments without fear of losing their jobs. Source
  • Unsettled Montreal Mob leadership means arson and reprisals to continue: experts

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A spate of recent Montreal-area arsons linked to organized crime suggests the battle for Mafia leadership in Quebec remains fractured, experts say. What is likely, they say, is the era that saw charismatic peacemaker Vito Rizzuto rule for three decades will be replaced by something altogether different. Source
  • Failed nuclear missile test off Florida? U.K. won't say

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's prime minister refused to say Sunday whether she knew about an unarmed missile that reportedly failed when it was test-fired off the coast of Florida last year. Theresa May told BBC she has total confidence in Britain's Trident nuclear deterrence system, but didn't confirm or deny a newspaper report about the alleged failure of a ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads. Source
  • 'Hero professor' saved lives despite son, daughter dying in fiery bus crash

    World News Toronto Sun
    BUDAPEST, Hungary — It could take days to officially identify the 16 people killed when a bus carrying Hungarian students returning from a ski trip crashed in Italy and burst into flames, Hungary’s foreign minister said Sunday. Source
  • Trump turns to routine matters after day of bashing media

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump, who spent his first full day in office berating the media over their coverage of his inauguration, will spend Sunday engaged in more routine matters, like overseeing the swearing in of high-level staffers. Source
  • Russia set to move closer to decriminalize domestic violence

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- In Russia, giving one's spouse a slap is nothing extraordinary for many people. This week, the Russian parliament is expected to take a step closer toward decriminalizing it altogether. Battery is a criminal offence in Russia, but nearly 20 per cent of Russians openly say they think it is sometimes OK to hit a spouse or a child. Source
  • Strong quake hits Solomons; some damage but no tsunami

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia -- A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck deep under Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing damage and blackouts but no tsunami hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for nearby islands. Source
  • Severe storm leaves 11 dead in Georgia

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- A powerful tornado ripped through a mobile home park in south Georgia early Sunday, destroying half of its structures and killing seven people. Another four people died across the region amid severe weather. Source
  • Italy rescue crews hold out hope of more hotel survivors

    World News CTV News
    FARINDOLA, Italy -- Rescue crews digging through an Italian hotel buried in an avalanche say there could be additional survivors more than three days after tons of snow came barrelling down a mountainside. Rescuers told reporters in the central Apennine mountains on Sunday morning there are air pockets in some of the Hotel Rigopiano's wreckage. Source
  • Italy rescuers say ice thwarts manual search of buried hotel

    World News CTV News
    FARINDOLA, Italy -- Rescuers digging through an Italian hotel buried by an avalanche reported hearing no signs of life Sunday from the 24 people still missing inside and appealed for equipment to help them penetrate the ruins where they say air pockets might be sustaining more survivors. Source