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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — Unraveling the Criminal Conspiracy

Updated - today's items:

Dana Cimilluca, Wall Street Journal/Deal Journal:
Accused Former Duke Lax Player Lands Morgan Stanley Job -- A few months ago, former Duke University lacrosse captain David Evans was facing rape charges. He was shunned and taunted for his alleged role in a crime that North Carolina’s attorney general has declared never happened.

Now Evans has gained the trust of Morgan Stanley Chief Executive John Mack, a Duke alum and trustee (class of ‘68) who went to bat for Evans after serious questions were raised about the case against him and his two former teammates.

Evans now has landed one of the most prestigious jobs on Wall Street, Deal Journal has learned. Morgan Stanley has hired Evans, who graduated in May 2006, as part of its investment banking analyst program. Landing a plum job — which is paying well into the six-figure range these days — has to be a satisfying end to a bitter sequence of events for Evans since the rape allegations surfaced in March 2006.

The 24-year-old Maryland native had a job lined up at J.P. Morgan Chase’s investment bank that was rescinded in the wake of his May 2006 indictment, with the bank telling him it probably wasn’t the best time to be starting a new job. After he was cleared recently, J.P. Morgan came back to Evans and made a new offer, which he declined...

LS forum: Dave Evans goes to Morgan Stanley
FreeRepublic: Evans lands Morgan Stanley Job
TalkLeft: Evans at Morgan Stanley
Forum topics of note:
LS: Attorney Jim Cooney - answers some more questions regarding the case -- There have been a number of questions posted on Liestoppers and over at TL that I thought I would try to address as this winds down (or perhaps rests in anticipation of the AG's report)...

we were able to trace Precious' footsteps the weekend before the party. Recall that she told Durham PD that after dancing at the Platinum Club on Friday night, she did her nails, went to a movie, and did her nails some more. Hardly. We found that after dancing at the Platinum Club she had at least 4 private hotel room engagements with various escort customers. She made approximately 20 to 25 calls to at least 8 escort services that weekend for jobs. We were able to track down at least one of those customers. We were comfortable with what his testimony would have been.

In addition, during the course of the SP's investigation, they uncovered additional information that validated our timeline and showed that Precious did not even arrive at the party until about 1135p (which was corroborated by her cell phone records). This was a receipt for her "driver" at a gas station close to the party site where he went after dropping her off - - it is time stamped at 1143pm. Mikey and the DPD never bothered to follow up on this information, the SPs did.

Finally, also unexamined by Mikey and Linwood was a digital camera seized by the police on March 16th. There was one picture of Precious and Nikki in that camera - - the digital data recorded a time that was approximately 13 hours off. We were able to verify that by enlarging one of the photos in which a player's watch was clearly visible. Using the correct time on this camera, this picture was taken of Nikki and Precious dancing at 1202am - - and it was nearly identical to the picture that has been released to the media bearing a time stamp of 1203am. In short, two different pictures, by two different people, of almost the exact same scene - - one of which was in the possession of the DPD since 3/16 - - that proved beyond any dispute that Nikki and Precious were dancing at 1202a. Yet, they still tried to change the timeline on 12/21.

You can't make this stuff up (as Joe, Brad and I said to each other more than once).
LieStoppers blog: OCV: More from Jim Cooney
TalkLeft - Jim Cooney... answers quite a few questions
LS: Blog and Media Roundup, Wednesday 04/18/07
Brian Clarey, YesWeekly:
The last Duke lacrosse column ever (hopefully) -- We're not supposed to say we're sorry, guys like me who spout off for a living. It's right there in the rule book, along with "make sure to have a receding hairline" and "use first-person present whenever you can."

But screw it... it's a new day and all of that crap, and anyway I do feel regret in the way I went after the lacrosse players from Duke after they were accused of raping a NC Central student at a team party last year.

I knew from the beginning that the Duke lacrosse rape case was fraught with racial and socioeconomic stereotypes, that it touched on violations of civil rights and bore the potential for injustice to be inflicted on a certain class of person.

I just came down on the wrong side...

So I read the results of the search warrant (Fingernails!) and listened to the DA (Hooligans! Blue wall of silence!) and read the police reports (Cotton shirt!) and the scandalous e-mail ("Killing the bitches!"). And I fused it together with something I thought I knew to be true, a prejudice held over from my formative years in an affluent suburb where, believe it or not, I enjoyed a fairly happy adolescence. And then I came out in a satisfying burst of righteous indignation. Which turned out to have been misplaced.

But I believed it. I believed the nameless (to that point) accuser who had gone to high school with my son's kindergarten teacher. I believed the DA who had more than 300 felony cases under his belt and who, after all, had never ran in an election before and was, by most accounts, a good and apolitical lawyer...
Cooney Calls for Criminal Investigation of DPD/Nifong -- In an appearance on Good Morning America, defense attorney Jim Cooney called for an independant criminal investigation into the actions of the Durham Police Department and rogue prosecutor Mike Nifong...
John in Carolina:
Attorneys: Investigate Nifong, DPD -- So much that is questionable and perhaps criminal was done involving both state and federal laws that agencies on both levels very likely have cause to be involved.

At least federal involvement seems a sure thing. Every attorney I’ve spoken to recently about the case has said something between “reasonable grounds to at least consider whether their civil rights were violated” and “there’s no question their civil rights were violated. At some point the federal government is going to have to step in. It’s a matter of when and how.”
What's in a name -- Incredibly, some media outlets, including The Associated Press, are sticking with a wrong-headed decision not to disclose the name of the woman who falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of a sexual assault - doing so even after it has been shown the woman was not a victim of rape.

We are not among them, which is why you will read Crystal Gail Mangum's name in stories in The Robesonian that appear concerning the case, and why stories that are essentially from The Associated Press will be tagged as a “Staff and wire report.”

We are not on a campaign to ruin this woman's life - although that seems to be precisely what she and Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong had in mind for the accused as they pursued charges that Mangum knew were false - and that Nifong, had he bothered to look, would have figured out as well. We consider Mangum to be a victim also - of whatever voices might be in her head, as well as of Nifong, who should have known better...

Thomas Sowell, National Review:
Nifong’s Ticket to Ride -- A trail of slime -- District Attorney Michael Nifong has apologized to the Duke University students he indicted for rape for “judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect.”

Contrary to the fashionable phrase, “mistakes were made,” there is no reason to believe that any mistake was made by District Attorney Nifong in this case, or that he misjudged anything other than miscalculating what he could get away with.

Nothing that Michael Nifong did is consistent with his ever believing that the Duke University students were guilty...

Everything in this case, from start to finish, makes perfect sense when seen as being about Nifong’s career, not justice.
Anthony B. Bradley, Acton Institute:
The Duke Case in Review: Justice Prevails, Virtue Interprets -- While many of the details of the Duke University rape case may never be resolved, one fact is sadly clear: Crystal Gail Mangum, the accuser, and the three players were all in the same moral boat. Ms. Mangum, as we have learned since, is a deeply troubled woman in need of much help and restoration as a woman of inherent dignity...

What if the Duke Lacrosse team had lived such admirable lives on Duke’s campus that, when they were accused of doing wrong, it would have been immediately assumed to be ridiculous? Good character, however, was not the norm, as reported by Duke University’s ad hoc review committee

The Duke lacrosse debacle exposes the fallacy of a popular American myth: namely, that material advantage, academic excellence and athletic success produce men of virtue, character, and integrity. On the contrary, it produced a team of men who enjoy misogyny. This case also reminds us that broken, weak-willed women can easily be taken advantage of and can easily deceive. America was “called out” as a culture more concerned about its kids’ achievements than their moral formation. Success is not a substitute for character. The case exposed the weaknesses of us all and four lives were devastated in the aftermath.
comment: Character assassination and sliming of the Duke lacrosse team and the three innocent men continues to pop up like a herpes outbreak. The details of this case are being resolved, but Mr. Bradley plays ignorant and gets in some final defamation against the white kids, who he hates. Pathetic.
Duke Basketball Report:
Latest On Lax -- As reactions continue to pore in about the lacrosse case, some distinctly negative comments have begun to arrive. Former Duke professor Houston Baker...Cash Michaels... Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP... NCCU law Professor Irving Joyner ....Victoria Jackson, noted Durham gadfly...
Chrisopher G. Adamo, American Thinker:
Nifong, Fitzgerald, and Justice Defiled -- So the State of North Carolina is finally officially recognizing what has been blatantly obvious to every honest and objective observer of the Duke lacrosse Team debacle since it first made national news. The supposed rape never occurred. Crystal Gail Mangum, the accuser, fabricated her supposed victimization. And Durham County Prosecutor Michael Nifong knowingly collaborated in the scam by deliberately suppressing decisive evidence that would have instantly vindicated the accused players.

When declaring their innocence, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper not only acknowledged the defendants to be the undeniable victims of false accusations, he castigated Nifong for conducting his "investigation" in a plainly unethical and unprofessional manner.

Unfortunately Cooper let Mangum off the hook on the spurious basis that she "really believed" the numerous and often conflicting stories she concocted against the Lacrosse players.

This view constitutes dubious grounds on which to uphold or sidestep the law. Mangum's outlandish claims, for whatever reason she invented them, cost innocent people tremendous amounts of money. It further subjected them to enormous attack and condemnation from a local community that, as a result of the dominating influence of Duke University, has become too perverted by the venom of "political correctness" to retain any sense of real justice or decency...
Poll: two-thirds say they always believed the Duke lacrosse case was weak -- Two-thirds of those responding to The Business Journal's most recent online survey said they thought all along that the Durham district attorney's case against three Duke lacrosse players was weak, and that the players were not guilty. State Attorney General Roy Cooper decided last week to drop all the remaining charges against those players.

Of the 395 people responding to the question "what are your thoughts on the Duke lacrosse case?," 67 percent agreed with the answer, "I always thought it was a weak case and that the players were not guilty."

Another 16 percent picked, "even if they were guilty of something, the case was too botched to proceed."

Only 6 percent said they thought the student-athletes were guilty, and the case was another example of how wealth and privilege can keep you out of trouble. And, 2 percent said they had not been following the case. The survey is not scientifically based. The survey question also attracted a large number of comments, which were made anonymously....
Erik Boland, Newsday:
Media deserves hit in Duke case -- There was a remarkable shortage of lacrosse experts last week. Couldn't find one of them in print or on the airwaves, though a little more than a year ago, there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply.

Last week was an interesting study in the media and its workings. Two major stories came down - one which permeated newspaper and electronic coverage, the other mostly receiving an "oh-by-the-way" shrug.

What a disgrace....

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly is boorish at times, but he was one of the few questioning what was happening in Durham from the start. So, too, was MSNBC's Dan Abrams, a Duke graduate. Both had their "I-told-you-so" moments last week and both earned them. Enough of a light can't be shown on the yearlong Durham debacle, promulgated by Nifong and given continued credibility by the mainstream media....
Dan Abramscomment: Dan Abrams gets our vote for most valuable journalist, who worked to debunk the hoax. Dan Abrams, May 24th, 2006: "I say it's time [for Nifong] to throw in the towel."
Joe Neff, News & Observer:
To the end, the account continues to change [5th in 5 part series]-- In December, Mike Nifong's investigator talks with Crystal Gail Mangum. New and conflicting information creates more problems for the prosecution -- On Dec. 21, Mike Nifong's chief investigator, Linwood Wilson, went to an undisclosed location and met with Crystal Gail Mangum. According to Nifong's files, this was the first time the District Attorney's Office talked with Mangum about the case.

This was the most important interview of Wilson's career. With a national spotlight focused on his boss, he sat down with the accuser in perhaps the most publicized criminal case in North Carolina history.

Wilson's interview came after a week during which Nifong slammed into serious problems with the case -- and with his law license...

[Duke attorney, Bill] Thomas accused Wilson of avoiding the truth: Why hadn't they pressed Mangum, Nifong's chief witness, on why she has told so many conflicting stories?

"He swelled up and pushed out his chest and said, 'Well, she hasn't been cross-examined by me yet!' " Thomas recalled.

Wilson got his chance Dec. 21. According to all available documents, Wilson did nothing to get at the truth.

The former private eye did not probe Mangum's prior statements. He did nothing to sort out the numerous contradictions, including which of the players she had earlier identified as using the names Adam, Brett and Matt. Why were there no injuries in such a violent attack? Were condoms used? Was Kim Roberts, the second dancer, a fellow victim or a co-conspirator?

Instead, Wilson emerged with a story rich with new or previously unknown details that were, at first glance, favorable to the prosecution..
TJN: Linwood Wilson's Investigative Report Dated 12/21/06

Five important moments --
DEC. 20, 2006: State Bar notifies Mike Nifong of a grievance accusing him of withholding DNA evidence.

DEC. 21, 2006: Inv. Linwood Wilson re-interviews Crystal Gail Mangum alone and without recording the conversation. She recants her previous stories.

DEC. 22: Nifong drops rape charges against the three players.

DEC. 28: State Bar charges Nifong with making inflammatory remarks and misleading the public.

DEC. 29: N.C. Conference of District Attorneys calls on Nifong to recuse himself.

JAN. 12, 2007: Nifong asks attorney general to take over the case.

comment: We added the Dec. 21st interview to make six. The Wilson interview of Mangum and the introduction of a new version of the crime, on Dec. 21st, the day after the Bar notifies Nifong of a grievance regarding DNA evidence, is a waving red flag of the conspiracy that was afoot.

Neff, N&O:
Source Notes -- According to all available documents: Wilson's report and notes of Dec. 21 interview, previous statements of Crystal Gail Mangum.

Cell phone records: phone records of Mangum and Reade Seligmann.

Wilson showed Mangum lineup photographs: Jan. 8 letter from Mike Nifong to Jim Cooney, Durham Police Department General Order 4077

LS: Neff Part 5, Tara Levicy - Rape Advocate/Hoax Enabler
LS: Tara Levicy, Dr. Manly and the non victim, Warning, long post
LS: The Role of Linwood Wilson - Nifong's enforcer

FreeRepublic: To the end, the account continues to change (SANE nurse birthed the DukeLax Hoax)
TalkLeft: N&O Series-Part5

Betsy Newmark, Betsy's Page:
Another indication that Nifong was never after the truth

The Joe Neff/N&O "Rush to Judgement" series:
Part 1 (4/14): Quest to convict hid a lack of evidence
Part 2 (4/15): A case starts to unravel
Part 3 (4/16): Nifong ignores clues from DNA tests
Part 4 (4/17): Undisclosed DNA results go public
Investigator Linwood WilsonJoe Neff, News & Observer:
Wilson's actions shape the case -- Linwood Wilson has been Mike Nifong's go-to guy.

In May, he orchestrated the arrest of Moezeldin Elmostafa, the taxi driver who attested to Reade Seligmann's alibi.

In July, he came up with a new statement from Kim Roberts, the second dancer at the March 13 party. When first contacted by police, Roberts said the rape allegations were a "crock."

According to Wilson, that account changed July 24, when Roberts and her attorney visited Nifong. Roberts was facing possible prison time on a probation violation...

Haynes' statement also says that Wilson pressured her to change her account of Mangum's bizarre behavior of March 11, two days before the lacrosse party.

Haynes said Mangum made an unwanted pass at a female customer, went to a back room, took off all her clothes and passed out. As Haynes and others helped carry her to a car, Mangum vomited and the employees dropped her on the gravel parking lot. Haynes said this could have caused the bruises and scratches on Mangum's feet and legs noted at the Duke Hospital emergency room.
comment: What does it take in NC for Linwood Wilson to be investigated for witness tampering and obstruction of justice?
Rick Martinez, column, News & Observer:
The system worked -- The main heroes of this case weren't the defense attorneys or Attorney General Roy Cooper, who declared the three young men innocent. The State Bar really set the stage for exoneration.

The Bar's executive director, L. Thomas Lunsford II, told me that even though the initial complaint against Nifong was filed in response to a grievance filed by a private citizen, the Bar had already begun to monitor Nifong's actions as early as March 30 of last year. The organization, he added, probably would have filed a complaint on its own had the citizen not stepped forward.

The case the Bar has amassed against Nifong is so compelling, losing his job and law license could be the least of his troubles. He could end up fighting for his freedom.

If the State Bar's attorneys can successfully prove that Nifong knowingly withheld exculpatory DNA evidence from the defense and then lied about it to the court, that record might be hard for law enforcement officials to ignore. Sure, it's speculation, but I wonder whether Nifong could be the only one from the Duke lacrosse case to end up with a conviction...
LieStoppers blog:
N&O: The System Worked -- Following the lead of the Daily Tar Heel, the News & Observer, in an op/ed by correspondent Rick Martinez, argues that the eventual exoneration of the survivors of the Nifong/Mangum Hoax demonstrates that the system works. Employing the same false logic as the student newspaper, Martinez points to the State Bar's unprecedented intervention as proof the system works...
Benjamin Shapiro, WorldNetDaily.com:
The racist press -- It's time for a quick quiz. Who are the heroes, villains and victims in the following scenarios?

Scenario 1: A radio talk-show host, Don Imus, calls the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Eight of the 10 women are black.

Scenario 2: Three white lacrosse players from Duke are falsely charged with raping a black stripper. After they are wrongly prosecuted, the prosecutor is brought before the state bar association on ethics charges.

The villain in scenario one is clearly Imus; the Rutgers women were victims. The villains in scenario two are the prosecutor and the stripper; the Duke players were victims.


Wrong. The press has treated the Rutgers women as heroes and the Duke players as lepers. There is no such thing as a simple victim with regard to interracial conduct as far as the press is concerned. Blacks victimized by whites aren't just victims – they're heroes. Whites victimized by blacks aren't just victims – they're quasi-villains.
FreeRepublic.com: The Racist Press
Herald Sun Letters, April 18, 2007:
> Where's the justice?
> Blame Jackson, Sharpton
> Hold Nifong accountable
> Apology owed
> Stand up, Durham
KC Johnson:
Self-Serving, Pathetic Hatred -- As if responding to Cheshire's cue, a headline from yesterday’s Herald-Sun: “‘Innocent’ Declaration Angers Local Activists.” [emphasis added] The story: Nifong citizens’ committee co-chair Victoria (“burn the house down”) Peterson blasted Attorney General Roy Cooper for declaring “innocent” the three people falsely accused by Crystal Mangum...

In a post-press conference interview on MSNBC, Georgia Goslee personified those who “live to exploit racial tension, for no other purpose than their own self-aggrandizement.” ...

Then there’s Houston Baker, who’s now at Vanderbilt...

But perhaps the most appalling example of “self-serving but pathetic hatred” came from an April 12 interview with Julianne Malveaux. Malveaux has been a regular commentator for the past decade on national politics and cultural trends. She also was recently named president of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina...
John in Carolina:
Wise words about rape -- I don’t know about you, but in following all that’s happened since April 11 when NC Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke the truth - “Innocent” - I missed a great column by professor and blogger William (“Bill”) Anderson who’s been in the forefront of the fight for truth and justice in the Duke Hoax case...

after reading Bill’s column, I searched the net for Rev. Barber’s statement.

It’s not at the state NAACP site. I called the NC NAACP office. They’ll be posting it soon, I was told. I asked for a fax copy: it hasn’t arrived.

I’ve a lot of questions about what Barber’s been quoted as saying since Cooper made his statement...

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