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Saturday, September 2, 2006

Beating a dead "No Names Please" Duke case to death again and again


Spinning lies and weaving them into rape charges is what the Duke case is all about. The alleged victim, Crystal Gail Mangum, told the police some "fantastic lies" regarding a gang rape that are now unraveling. However, like any good story teller Ms. Mangum tried to weave in some truth in order to make the rape story sound more plausible.

One truth Ms. Mangum wove into her story were the names Adam, Matt, and Bret, which are the real names of Duke lacrosse players that she heard at the party. She claims they were the three individuals who raped her.

There were three players named Matt on the Duke lacrosse team: Matt Zash, the senior captain, and Matt Danowski a junior, and son of the current Duke lacrosse coach, John Danowski. There was also Matt Wilson, a junior. The Adam on the team was sophomore, Adam Langley. The Bret on the team was Bret Thompson, another senior captain. Mr. Thompson was the only lacrosse captain not living at the 610 N. Buchanan Ave. party house.

Ms. Mangum also wove the name Dan into her story by telling police "one male identified himself as Adam, but everyone at the party was calling him Dan." There were three Dan's on the team: senior captain Dan Flannery, Dan Theodoridis (fr), and Dan Loftus (jr.). Dan Flannery was a resident of the Duke house with Dave Evans and Matt Zash.

Forget the mind boggling fact that working with this "Adam is Dan" story then requires you to believe that one of the indicted players, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, or Dave Evans, might be using a double secret alias, such as Adam is Dan is Dave.

The News & Observer reported another interesting "name" wrinkle. They added that Ms. Mangum told police, "one of the men, Matt, said he was getting married the next day."

The eight specifically named Duke players (Adam L., Matt Z., Matt D., Matt W., Bret T., and the three Dan's) were never identified by Ms. Mangum despite two lineups (on March 16th and March 21st) that were carefully created by the police to help Ms. Mangum find them. Ms. Roberts in her interview and written statement on March 22nd also failed to help identify Adam, Matt, or Bret as perpetrators. That is when the police (probably Det. Benjamin Himan) had to start using the "fake names theory" in order to cast a net of suspicion over the whole team. This misconduct was recently analyzed by LieStoppers.

(Aside: Is Det. Himan also riding with the Horsemen of the Hoax?)

The "fake names theory" has all the Duke players who were at the party participating in a conspiracy to hide their team identity and individual identities as they committed a premeditated gang rape. One offshoot of the "fake names theory" is trying to figure out who the Durham police wanted to arrest as the ring leader of this evil plot. That could be the man who enticed Ms. Mangum back into the house.

What happened to the suspect (Bret?), the man who went to the car?

Another aspect of the "fake names theory" that exposes the deception of Ms. Mangum and the Durham police is a facet called "The Mystery of Bret." At Duke Hospital, on March 14th, Ms. Mangum tells the SANE nurse Tara Levicy the following:

"she [the AV] said to the nurse, Brett came out to the car and spoke to Nikki and she said get her out of her [sic]. Brett was carrying me on one side, Nikki on the other side. I kept telling them no."
The part of Ms. Mangum's story about one of the suspects coming out to the car is repeated in three sworn police affidavits made by Detective Benjamin Himan in March.

March 16th Application for Search Warrant:
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. Shortly after going back into the dwelling the two women were seperated (sic). Two males, Adam and Matt pulled her into the bathroom. Someone closed the door to the bathroom where she was, and said "sweet heart you can't leave." The victim stated she tried to leave and the three males (Adam, Bret, and Matt) forcefully held her legs and arms and sexually assaulted her annally, vaginally, and orally.
The March 23rd affidavit filed to support the order for the players to submit to photographs and DNA testing and the March 27th Application for Search Warrant both said:
After the two women exited the residence and got into a vehicle, they were approached by one of the suspects. He apologized and requested they go back inside and continue to dance. Shortly after going back into the dwelling two women were separated. Two males, Adam and Matt pulled the victim into the bathroom. Someone close the door to the bathroom where she was, and said "sweet heart you can't leave." The victim stated she tried to leave, but the three males (Adam, Bret, and Matt) forcefully held her legs and arms and raped and sexually assaullted her annally, vaginally, and orally.
The neighbor, Jason Bissey, in his written statement confirms that he saw one of the Duke players come out to the car and talk to Ms. Mangum and Ms. Roberts while they were in the car. Bissey said:
At this point, anywhere from 12:20 a.m. to 12:30 a.m....It is not clear to me exactly when I noticed one of the men was leaning into the driver's side window of the car that was parked directly in front of 610, but it appeared that he was having a conversation with whomever was in the vehicle at the time...

Eventually, the situation seemed to have subsided, with some of the men calling to each other "guys, let's go" repeatedly in an effort to disperse the party, and the conversation between the women who were apparently in the car and the young man at the driver's window seeming to be calm.
So here again is an example where the rape story includes an element of truth. It seems a Duke player really did come out to the car and talk to the two dancers.

The player who went to the car window was seen by Ms. Mangum, Mr. Bissey and probably Ms. Roberts (depending on what day you ask her). He was identified by Ms. Mangum as "Bret" in the version of her story she told the SANE nurse. However, Det. Himan did not picked up that subpoenaed record from Nurse Levicy at Duke Hospital until April 5, 2006, according to his own notes.

The police initially believed this "man who went to the car" was a possible assailant based on one of Ms. Mangum's initial stories made sometime between March 14th and March 16th and labeled him a suspect. The Durham investigators belief in this particular element of the crime was very strong. Strong enough for them to repeat that description of the crime in all three of their March applications for search warrants and DNA/photos.

So why didn't the police ever ask Ms. Roberts or Mr. Bissey to look at a lineup and and see if they could identify the man who went to the car and talked to the women? (As far as we know they haven't done that.) It would be basic police work, identification of a suspect.

Is it because the police already knew who it was? After the March 16th search warrant was served all three Duke captains, Dave Evans, Dan Flannery, and Matt Zash, who were living in the house were interviewed by the police without any attorneys present in what are referred to as the non-custodial interviews. They also made written statement, submitted DNA samples and offered to take polygraphs. During their voluntary interviews with the police one of the Duke captains probably told them who it was who went to the car. The captains spent hours talking to the investigators and explaining what had happened at the party and this certainly would have been a key point of inquiry. No harm in the Duke captains telling the truth, right?

The police then immediately started working on making the man who went to the car one of their lead suspects.

But they were not immediately able to pin a criminal identification on whoever that man was despite two improperly administered police lineups (Mar. 16th and Mar 21st). Photo lineups that by the way that did not follow standard Durham police procedures by having the required number of non-suspect fillers. Lineups that only consisted of Duke players. KC Johnson has previously analyzed the use of improper lineup procedures in this case.

Why did Ms. Mangum, who was sitting in the passenger seat of Kim Roberts' car, have such a difficult time remembering the face of a man who leaned in the driver side window and talked her into going back into the party house and then may have sexually assaulted her?

Who was this mystery man who came out to the car?

Based on what we know it is easy to believe that he is one of the Duke captains. Flannery, Evans, and Zash all lived at the party house. Bret Thompson reportedly lived nearby on Urban St. Dan Flannery was a key organizer of the party and has admitted placing the telephone call using the alias "Dan Flanigan" to request the strippers. Ms. Roberts in her written statement said that Dan Flannery had also paid her:
I spoke to Dan F. and was told that this was not a bachelor party but a get together amongst friends. They told me that they were on a sports team and were all Grad students at Duke.

I walked to the back of the house with Dan and Dave and entered the house thru a back door. There I received my $400.00 payment ($200/hr for 2 hours) from Dan and waited for the second girl to arrive.

Who better, than Dan Flannery, to make apologies for disorderly team conduct and then negotiate with the hired talent to bring them back into the house. Why would a junior or sophomore, or other non-resident of the house, or non-captain who had not already dealt with the women have been so bold as to assume that responsibility?

So one of the captains certainly looks good at this point as the man who went out to the car to bring the women back into the house.

Now jump forward to April. Ms. Mangum's finally identified her assailants in another improperly conducted lineup on April 4th. This is three weeks after the alleged crime. During that lineup conducted by Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, Miss Mangum said the fourth photo out of forth-two lacrosse players looked like Bret. But, she then identifies the fifth photo, of David Evans, as her assailant without the mustache, with 90% certainty.

Sgt: Did you recognize that person?

Victim: He looked like Bret but I'm not sure.

Sgt: Who is Bret?

Victim: One of the guys that assaulted me.

Sgt: One of the guys that assaulted you? Ok.

Victim: Um hum.

IMAGE 5 (David Evans)

Victim: He looks like one of the guys who assaulted me sort.

Sgt: Ok. How um, how sure of it are you on this image?

Victim: He looks just like him without the mustache.

Sgt: Ok, so the person had a mustache?

Victim: Yes.

Sgt: Percentage wise, what is the likelihood this is one of the gentleman who assaulted you?

Victim: About 90%
Surprisingly during the entire April 4th lineup/interview Ms. Mangum did not identify one player as being the man who came out to the car. Sgt. Mark Gottlieb never asks her about the man who came to the car either. The man who went to the car has disappeared from the case....poof.

Also notice during the April 4th lineup/interview that neither Ms. Mangum or Gottlieb use the names Matt, Adam, or Dan. Those names have also disappeared from the case. When did the police and Ms. Mangum agree to stop worrying about assigning names to the faces of her attackers? Were those police notes discussing the non-use of names included in the files turned over to the defense? Final question, when does witness coaching become witness tampering?

During the April 4th line up the person who most looked like Bret was skipped over as a suspect for some reason. Reade Seligmann was identified in photo number seven and Collin Finnerty in photo number forty. Is it possible that either Seligmann or Finnerty, both sophomores, will later be identified as "the man who went to the car?" Both men were probably well away from the party house when this episode happened sometime after 12:20 am and they both have 100% solid alibis to prove it - Seligmann alibi, Finnerty alibi.

If Dave Evans was the man who walked out to the car was he wearing his mustache? Did Ms. Roberts or Mr. Bissey see a mustachioed male standing by the car?

Finally, after all these identification problems did the police just allow Ms. Mangum to change her story yet again so that the man who went to car was no longer considered a suspect? A big throw in the towel, hasta la vista, "never mind the car guy" bit of Durham police work. However, that bit of police prestidigitation would still leave a criminal walking around.

An unindicted co-conspirator got away?

It now looks like a key criminal perpetrator, also known as Bret, the man who went to the car and who talked Ms. Mangum into going back into the house has apparently been allowed to get away. Even if he wasn't a participant in the sexual assault wouldn't he be a conspirator in the crime? The man who went to the car certainly aided and set up the crimes of rape and kidnapping by luring Ms. Mangum right into the arms of her assailants.

But, Mike Nifong boldly announced on May 15th that there were no more criminals on the Duke lacrosse team.
I believe it is important to state publicly today that none of the evidence that we have developed implicates any member of that team other than those three against whom indictments have been returned.
Are you completely confused yet? Just wait.

Beating the victim about her person

Another jumbled weaving of fact and fiction can be found by next examining the physical assault portion of Ms. Mangum's many stories.

First, it should be noted that being beaten as part of a brutal gang rape is a theme that Ms. Mangum has used before. She said she was beat up when she made rape allegations in 1996 about being raped by three men in 1993. The rape report she filed claimed:
The subjects did for a continual time rape and beat the victim about her person.

Three subjects raped and beat her when she was fourteen years old.
The 1996 theme of three rapists that "beat the victim about her person," is one that Ms. Mangum decided to use again in 2006. Whenever Ms. Mangum is raped it seems she is always eventually beaten all over her body. It would be very terrible if it were really true.

The "beating about her person story" she used in 1996 is used in some, but not all versions, of her brutal 2006 Duke gang rape. It apparently takes an intoxicated Ms. Mangum awhile to remember to reuse and embellish her Duke lacrosse rape with the physical assault lie.

During her interactions with the two doctors and four nurses (before she saw Nurse Tara Levicy and Dr. Manly) at Duke Hospital Ms. Mangum told one doctor that three men sexually assaulted her, and that the sexual assault consisted of digital penetration and penile penetration.

She denied to two doctors (Dr. Broder & Dr. ?) that any other physical assault occurred, and she specifically denied being hit. She claimed no tenderness or pain in her neck, back, chest, abdomen, or extremities.

Those doctors and nurses, in turn, made the following observations about Crystal Mangum, among others:
  • She had "normal extremities" except a "skin abrasion" on her "right foot."

  • There was "no evidence of other physical assault."
However, Ms. Mangum warms up the physical beating part of he story during her next examinations by Nurse Levicy and Dr. Manly.

Ms. Mangum was the subject of a standard "Sexual Assault Exam Report" which consisted of a checklist interview and narrative interview conducted by in-training S.A.N.E. nurse Tara Levicy, as well as physical observations made by Nurse Levicy and a thorough sexual assault physical examination conducted by Dr. Manly.

Ms. Mangum told Nurse Levicy during the checklist interview claimed that she was "pinched," "pushed," and "kicked in my butt."
However, when asked by Nurse Levicy during the narrative interview to describe any physical assault, she said only that "they kept grabbing me." Ms. Mangum also claimed that the other women she was with at 610 N. Buchanan that night--the women she left with--had pushed her out of her car into the street.

Among other things, Nurse Levicy and Dr. Manly made the following medical findings and visual observations about Ms. Mangum:
  • Asked to "Describe all signs of physical trauma," Dr. Manly's complete response was: "Pt. has right extremity marks to right lateral knee scratch, non bleeding. Mark is approx. 7 cm in length. Laceration to anterior patella approx. 3 cm in length, non bleeding. Laceration to medial right heel, approx. 2 cm in length, non bleeding." Thus, after a thorough sexual assault physical examination, the only physical trauma noted by Dr. Manly was three small scratches on Crystal Mangum's right knee and right ankle.

  • In a "Systems Examination" portion of the report, Nurse Levicy noted that Ms. Mangum's head, back, neck, chest, breast, nose, throat, mouth, abdomen, and upper and lower extremities were all "normal."

Now move forward one day. The beating gets worse. The News & Observer reported:
The next day, March 15, the woman saw two doctors at UNC Hospitals, where she had gone for health care before. Her primary complaint was neck pain. She told doctors she was dancing at a bachelor party and wanted to leave, but the other girls wanted her to stay. She said she was pushed into a bathroom and raped by three men."

She was knocked to the floor multiple times and hit her head on the sink during one of these episodes," the UNC records said. "She states she was drunk and had a lot of alcohol that night. She denied any pain in the emergency room because she was 'drunk and did not feel pain.' "
The UNC Hospitals report about being "knocked to the floor multiple times and had hit her head on the sink” during a rape was made to Dr. Yvonne E. Lai according to the NY Times. The Times also reported:
U.N.C. doctors observed a limping gait, and they confirmed that she had muscle tenderness and that her head did not have the full range of motion. They diagnosed acute pain in her knees, neck pain and contusions, and recommended crutches and ice packs.
Go forward one more day. Ms. Mangum has now really had her backside beat. The NY Times reported:
The next day, March 16, Sergeant Gottlieb and the lead investigator under his supervision, Officer Benjamin W. Himan, went to the woman’s house.

"The victim was at home alone with her two young children," the sergeant wrote, noting she walked slowly and in obvious pain. "Her facial expressions conveyed her pain as she ambulated." She sat so neither hip touched the sofa. "Anytime her bottom touched the sofa cushion while repositioning during our interview, she groaned and had a facial expression consistent with pain."

During that interview, the woman, who is dark skinned, said bruises were beginning to show from the attack. A female officer took photographs and confirmed that "she had the onset of new bruises present," Sergeant Gottlieb wrote. (The female officer’s report does not mention bruises.)
Note that information from the medical reports describing the assault on Ms. Mangum does not appear to use the words "strangled or choked." However, she told the police (in the March 16th interview?) the attackers "hit, kicked and strangled" her. Ms. Mangum's assault got worse and worse in every retelling of her story.

They investigators used her statements in the affidavits they filed in March.

The March 16th Affidavit said:
The victim stated she was hit, kicked and strangled during the assault and she attempted to defend herself, but was overpowered.
The March 23rd and March 27th Affidavits said:
The victim stated she was hit, kicked and strangled during the assault. As she attempted to defend herself, she was overpowered.
Here again Ms. Mangum has tried to weave an element of truth into her rape story. Ms. Mangum most certainly was hurt at the party. It happened when she fell down the brick steps at the back door of the party house at around 12:31 am. This is based on the digital photos taken of her leaving the house and then stumbling and laying on the back steps of the house. An intoxicated Ms. Mangum sprawled on the back steps for around seven minutes.

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. She is missing one white shoe.

accuser on the back porch

12:30:34 a.m., (photo time stamp) The accuser is still on the back steps of the house.

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"]

altered photo of Crystal Gail Mangum leaving 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
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.

back steps of Duke Lacrosse house

12:37:58 a.m., A series of photos beginning at this time shows the woman lying on her left side on the back porch, seemingly passed out or asleep. Pink splotches are on a wrought-iron railing beside her. She had visible cuts on her legs and buttocks that did not appear in the previous photos.
The cuts may be from falling. The cuts on her buttocks line up with the edge of a screen door she may have hit on the way down.

12:38:07 a.m., (photo time stamp) The accuser is lying on the back steps. A tan object can be seen in the background.

12:38:18 a.m., (photo time stamp) The accuser is still on the ground.
Many of the photos taken on the back porch show pink splotches, which the defense says is undried nail polish. They claim the accuser was polishing her nails in the bathroom between 12:10 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. - - not being raped
Warning: slipping and falling and then sleeping on brick steps can cause bruising and pain all about your person, especially your backside.

So there you have it some more "fantastic lies" spun from bits of truth.

Ms. Mangum may have a better case to file a civil suit in this matter and win a financial settlement. She could argue that the Duke lacrosse players provided an unsafe work environment when they hired her. They lost or prevented her from retrieving one of her high heeled white shoes and thus caused her to fall down and injure herself. The back steps were also an unsafe entrance and exit for the house. Why wasn't she allowed to use the front door?

The house was owned by Duke University at the time of the party. She has pictures now to support her claim. What personal injury attorney would turn down her lawsuit? Don't be surprised if it still happens. The fact Ms. Mangum came to work intoxicated and then made false rape accusations (costing?) might be totally ignored in the spirit of the Stella Awards.

We initially said there were two Matt's on the team. There are actually three, we missed Matt Wilson. We also miscounted the Dan's, there were three not one. We have the complete roster here. (Thanks LTC8K6/Newport/momtothree/imho - TalkLeft discussion of article)

'The Abrams Report' for June 20 [MSNBC]
Duke Lacrosse Case Search Warrant - March 16, 2006 [smokinggun.com]
Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case [NewsObserver.com, Aug. 6, 2006]
Application for Search Warrant - March 27, 2006 [smokinggun.com]
An Affiant's Belief [LieStoppers, Aug. 31, 2006]
North Carolina Norms [hnn.us, July 13, 2006]
Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers [NY Times, Aug. 25, 2006]

The Johnsville News sources:
Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum
Duke Case: The Mystery of Bret
The Horsemen of the Hoax
Kim Roberts/Pittman Police Statement
The Faulty Lineup
Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline
Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Nifong Lies & Deception
Duke Lacrosse Rape - Accuser Crystal Gail Mangum says she was raped by three men in 1993
Transcript of David Evans Statement
Duke Lacrosse Roster

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Calculated Risk

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