updated: June 14, 2006
Is this Duke mess really about getting ripped off? Did Kim Roberts (stripper #1) and Ms. Mangum (stripper #2) have a money problem that is at the heart of the Duke Lacrosse rape case?
The big question, of course, remains -- was Crystal Gail Mangum raped by three players from the Duke Lacrosse team?
But, a small and easily overlooked question is -- who robbed Crystal Gail Mangum that evening? Answering the small question first might help unravel the bigger mystery. Initial stories from last month like this one from The News & Observer said:
Police think at least three of the men could be responsible for the sexual assault, beating, robbery and near-strangulation of one of two women who had an appointment to dance at the party March 13...Another News & Observer story, dated March 22nd, Assault victim says she was robbed, too:
According to the report, the victim, who told police she was raped March 13 at a party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., was also robbed of a $300 cell phone and a large amount of cash.When the police returned with a search warrant for 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. they were looking for the following property belonging to Ms. Mangum:
Property belonging to Crystal Gale Mangum to include but not limited to a purse, wallet, make-up and make-up bag, cellular camera telephone, and a shoe.Neither the DA, Mike Nifong, or the defense lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players have said much of anything about what happened to the money ($400) that was reportedly robbed from Ms. Mangum that evening. Robbery is not included in any of the current charges in the case.
United States Currency totaling $400.00 or portions of said currency (all twenty dollar bills).
So what happened to Ms. Mangum's money and property?
Did anyone have motive and opportunity to rob or victimize Ms. Mangum?
Crystal Gail Mangum, age 27, and her "exotic dancing" partner for the evening, Kim Roberts, age 31, were hired to work for $400 apiece. The two women worked for two different local escort services. Ms. Roberts worked for Allure Escort Services and Ms. Mangum worked for Bunny Hole Entertainment. Ms. Mangum and Ms. Roberts had never met prior to this evening.
Kim M. Roberts, age 31, born June 18, 1974 is a convicted felon.
Kim Roberts is a convicted thief, who is on parole. Ms. Roberts was convicted on December 11, 2001, for embezzling $25,000 from a photofinishing company in Durham where she was a payroll specialist. Kim Roberts, 31, was arrested on March 22 — eight days after the party for a probation violation stemming from her 2001 conviction.
Kim M. Roberts - North Carolina Department of Correction conviction record - 12/11/2001
Again, remember Ms. Roberts had never met Ms. Mangum prior to the evening of the Duke Lacrosse party.
The Duke lacrosse party dance appointment was at 11:00 p.m. Ms. Roberts showed up ontime, at about 11:00 p.m. She drove to the party in her own car. Ms. Roberts had to wait while about 40 rowdy Duke Lacrosse players drank alcohol, urinated off the porch, and wondered when the show would start.
Ms. Mangum is dropped off some time around 11:30 p.m, about a half hour after Ms. Roberts arrived. Ms. Mangum arrived without a chaperone or security and was dressed only in her performance outfit (a negligee and shiny white strappy high heels) - both actions are considered unprofessional. Ms. Roberts changed into her dance outfit after she arrived at the party and out of it before she left.
This was certainly, not a good professional way to start a job with a new dance partner - late and dressed inappropriately. Reports are that both women were paid some money before they started dancing around midnight. Ms. Mangum stated that one of the players paid her $400. It is unclear exactly how much money Ms. Roberts was paid.
See the complete timeline for the party - here.
According to Roberts, who was interviewed last week by NEWSWEEK, the boys gave each of them mixed drinks. Roberts says she did not drink hers, but the other dancer did, knocking her cup over after finishing half her drink, then imbibing Roberts's.At a minimum, Ms. Roberts must be wondering who is this women the escort agency sent out to work with her? She is acting very unprofessional.
Roberts said that she thought the other woman arrived sober. But when the two began their strip show around midnight, the other woman began having trouble. "She started stumbling," recalled Roberts. "When I think back on it, she had a glassy look in her eyes." Roberts says she "gave her a look that said, 'C'mon, girl, what's going on?' "—but got no response.The women only danced for a short time until "the males watching them started to get excited and aggressive. The two women the decided to leave because they were concerned with their safety. As the two women got into a vehicle when they were approached by one of the suspects. He apologized and requested that they go back inside and continue to dance." At this point there are two different stories of what happened.
Ms. Mangum says she was lured back into the house and raped by three men in a bathroom for 30 minutes. The defense says the women spent time doing their nails and/or drugs in the bathroom.
Kim Roberts made these statements regarding the party:
Roberts also told The Associated Press that by the end of the party the woman was so incapacitated, she couldn't tell Roberts what had happened.Crocodile Tears? Again, where and what exactly was Ms. Roberts doing for the "30 minutes" that Ms. Mangum says she was being raped in a bathroom?
"I didn't do enough," Roberts said, tears welling in her eyes. "I didn't do enough. I didn't do enough."
By the time the party was over, Roberts told The Associated Press that the accuser was too incoherent to tell her where she lived, let alone that she had been raped.From the alleged rape timeline:
12:30:12 a.m., (photo time stamp) The accuser is on the back porch, carrying what appears to be her purse and a makeup bag. Her clothes are intact.
12:30:47 a.m., (photo time stamp) Photo of accuser on back porch apparently smiling. [also described as "demurely smiling" or as "having her mouth open with her teeth showing"] She appears to have a purse in her hand.
12:31:26 a.m., (photo time stamp) But 30 seconds after the last photo, next photo shows the alleged victim stumbling down the back steps of the house.
12:41:32 a.m., (photo time stamp) The accuser is seen getting into a black Honda Accord helped by a partygoer. The accuser is in the passenger seat.
about 12:50 a.m, Cab driver, Moez Mostafa, returns to 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. pick up four more players (at rear of 610 N. Buchanan), whose identities are unknown, around the same time he claims to have seen Kim Roberts get into a white car.
Mostafa said the woman (Ms. Roberts) appeared to exchange words with some people in the crowd before getting into the driver's side of a car.12:53 a.m., (Police) Kim Roberts calls 911 to report racial epithets being shouted from residence at 610 N. Buchanan Road. Roberts acknowledged that she made the call. "I was angry and I had to tell somebody," says Roberts. "I didn't want everyone to know I'm a dancer."
"She looked, like, mad," he said. "In her face, the way she walked, the way she talked, she looked like mad."
Four men got into the taxi, Mostafa said, and they appeared to be drunk. One of them said, "She's just a stripper, She's going to call the police." Mostafa quoted.
police got a call from a women (Roberts) who says she was passing by the house.Audio:
"Hi, I don't know if this is emergency or not necessarily, but I'm in Durham driving down near Duke's campus," the caller said.
Seconds into the call, the woman said she wasn't driving.
"It's right in front of 610 Buchanan St. and I saw them all come out like a big frat house and me and my black girlfriend were walking by and they called us n--------," the caller said.
Ms. Roberts told NEWSWEEK that she yelled out at the boys, "I called the cops, you dumbasses."
Kim Roberts 911 call, mp3, 12:53 a.m., March 14, 2006 [newsobserver.com]
Kroger supermarket guard 911 call, mp3, 1:20 a.m., March 14, 2006 [newsobserver.com]
Durham Police Radio Transmissions On Night Of Alleged Rape, mp3 [nbc17.com]
Is it possible Ms. Roberts drove away from the Duke party house and didn't notice that Ms. Mangum was missing all her property? Everything Ms. Mangum had brought with her that evening was gone? Her purse, her wallet, her makeup kit, her cell phone, and even her one white shoe were gone. Ms. Mangum was driven from the Duke house with only her negligee and one shiny white strappy high heel shoe.
Since Ms. Roberts called 911 why didn't she report a robbery? Her dance partner had nothing left, right. The Duke lacrosse players had all of Ms. Mangum's property and money.
A very angry Kim Roberts then has an incapacitated Crystal Gail Mangum in her car for about 30 minutes. She then tries to dump her off at the Kroger supermarket at 3457 Hillsborough Road.
The Kroger supermarket at 3457 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, is 2.3 miles or about a maximum of a 4 minute drive from the Duke Lacrosse House at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
Driving from the Duke lacrosse party to the Kroger supermarket is going in the opposite direction from where Ms. Mangum reportedly lived.
Summary - Kim Roberts left the Duke lacrosse house about 12:50 a.m., places the 911 call at 12:53 a.m., and then waits until 1:20 to dump Ms. Mangum 2.3 miles away.
NEWSWEEK reported - Ms. Roberts was mad at the other stripper, who was almost passed out in the car and not talking. Roberts said she had not collected all the money owed them for the dance, and she wondered if the other dancer was somehow hustling her.What were Ms. Mangum's arrangements to get home from the Duke Lacrosse Party? How did Kim Roberts get the job of being chauffeur for an apparently intoxicated, unprofessional loser who may have hustled her? Kim Roberts never heard the word rape until the police interviewed her eight days after the party on March 22nd, when she was also arrest for a probation violation.
What happened in the 30 minutes that an incapacitated Ms. Mangum was in Ms. Roberts car? It only takes 4 minutes if that (at 1 a.m.) to drive to the Kroger supermarket.
Did any of Ms. Mangum's money get lost during the time she was in the car?
About 1:20 a.m., Ms. Roberts drives to a local Kroger supermarket and tells the security guard that she had a woman in her car who could barely move. The security guard calls the police:
"The problem is there's a lady in someone else's car and she won't get out," the caller said.How much of an effort did Ms. Roberts make to help an apparently intoxicated Ms. Mangum get home? Did she try to call the escort agency to find out where Ms. Mangum lived? Did she try and call anyone? What do her cell phone records indicate? Were there any calls made from Ms. Mangum's cell phone during the incident?
About 1:30 a.m. the police arrived to aid Ms. Mangum.
First officer to arrive at the Kroger tells the dispatcher: "She's 10-56 and unconscious." The radio code 10-56 means an intoxicated person. The dispatcher asks: "You need a medic truck or are you 10-4?" The officer replies: "She's breathing, appears to be fine, she's not in distress. She's just passed out drunk."Did the police ever check Ms. Roberts' car to see if Ms. Mangum lost any of her property there?
During the entire evening who had motive and opportunity to victimize Crystal Gail Mangum?
Police found Ms. Mangum's makeup kit, cell phone and ID at the party house three days after the party. Her purse and wallet have not been recovered. The police also found $160, in twenty's, at the party house, but it's unclear whose money that is. If that $160 did belong to Ms. Mangum, there is still $240 that is unaccounted for. It's also unclear what happened to her white shoe.
Who said money is the root of all evil? Is it true here?
Perhaps this whole mess is due to the fact that Crystal Gail Mangum felt she had been ripped off by the Duke Lacrosse players. She wakes up at the Kroger supermarket her purse and her wallet, her $300 cellular camera telephone, her makeup bag and makeup, her shoe, and her money ($400) are all missing. Ms. Mangum was $800 to $900 poorer when she finally woke up.
Was Ms. Roberts saying in her ear: "you poor baby they took everything you had and called you a n----- too. Why don't you get out of my car and tell the cops what they did to you?" Kim Roberts certainly had an axe to grind with the Duke players. Kim Roberts said:
"Don't forget that they called me a damn nigger," she said. "She (the accuser) was passed out in the car. She doesn't know what she was called. I was called that. I can never forget that."Ms. Mangum then turns from victim to victimizer in order to fight back.
Ms. Mangum was reportedly "crying uncontrollably" and appeared "visibly shaken" when police interviewed her at Duke University Medical Center after 2:31 a.m. that morning. Could the theft of everything she had with her that morning possibly cause that reaction?
Her parents said Crystal Gail Mangum had a "nervous breakdown" last year. It was possibly brought on by money problems.
[Kim] Roberts said she knows what it's like to sit in jail, and that she would never wrongly accuse an innocent person.sources:
What Happened at Duke? [Newsweek, May 1, 2006 issue]
2nd woman speaks out on Duke party [charlotte.com, April 24, 2006]
Second Duke Stripper Offers Account [cbsnews.com, April 21, 2006]
2nd Duke Stripper Didn't See Alledged Rape [ABC News, April 21, 2006]
"A Girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do"
Kim Roberts' character and her actions the night of the alleged Duke Lacrosse rape are an important part of untangling this mystery. Ms. Roberts actions since the alleged rape confirm that she is an opportunist looking to take advantage of any situation that presents itself.
Roberts, 31, recently sent an e-mail to 5W Public Relations to request their services.How many times did Kim Roberts try and take advantage of Crystal Gail Mangum?
The company has represented a variety of high profile rappers and celebrities, including its most recent client, rapper Lil' Kim.
"Although I am no celebrity and just an average citizen, I've found myself in the center of one of the biggest stories in the country," Roberts said in an email to 5W Public Relations. "I'm worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage. I am determined not to let any negative publicity about my life overtake me. I'm so confused as to who to talk to for relevant advice and I hope that you can return my e-mail. If you cannot help, do you know of any names and numbers I can call?"
While 5W Public Relations hasn't officially honored Roberts' request, the company's CEO Ronn Torossian told AllHipHop.com that his firm is discussing the situation with Roberts.
"We understand now that we were contacted because of our experience in crisis communications with high profile individuals, particularly our representation of Lil' Kim of whom this woman is a huge fan, Torossian told AllHipHop.com. "We have been in discussions with her and are currently evaluating our position on this matter."
New York PR Firm Won't Represent Second Dancer At Lacrosse Party --
DURHAM, N.C. -- The chief executive officer of a New York public relations firm said his company will not be representing the second exotic dancer at a Duke men's lacrosse team party on the night another dancer said she was gang-raped and beaten by three members of the team.update June 14, 2006:
Ronn Torossian said 5W Public Relations would not be representing Kim Roberts on any sides in the lacrosse scandal, which has received nationwide attention in the media...
Crystal Gail Mangum, told the S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse in training at Duke Univesity Medical Center that Kim Roberts/Pittman a.k.a. Nikki assisted the players in her alleged sexual assault and that Nikki stole all her "money and everything."
Page 5 of the AFFIDAVIT OF COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENDANT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO SUPPRESS NON-TESTIMONIAL PHOTOGRAPHS:
Finally she told the S.A.N.E. nurse in training that Kim Pittman assisted the players in her alleged sexual assault and that Kim Pittman stole all her "money and everything."updated sources:
Defense Lawyers cite omitted items [herald-sun.com, June 8, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Kim Roberts/Pittman Police Statement [TJN, June 12, 2006]
Motion To Suppress Non-Testimonial Photographs (pdf.) [wral.com, June 8, 2006]
AMENDMENT TO MOTION TO SUPPRESS NON-TESTIMONIAL PHOTOGRAPHS (pdf.) [KirkOlsen.com, Jun 8, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Hoax - Johnsville Archives