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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Duke Case: Amazing Stagecraft Needed for Hoax Performance

The Duke Rape Hoax: It will make you laugh, it will make you cryMike Nifong will need to become a world class playwright and theater director in very short order if he wants to continue the prosecution of this Duke rape hoax. He will need to use some amazing stagecraft and write some equally incredible dialogue in order to create even a partially plausible gang-rape scene in his fictional tragedy.

Mike Nifong will need to collaborate closely with his star actress, Crystal Gail Mangum, in order to fit the role of a beat-up, strangled, gang-rape victim to the temperamental lying sex worker.

Mike and Crystal will need to spend a lot of time together as they work on orchestrating the movement of their very large cast consisting of two dancers, three perpetrators, dozens of Duke lacrosse players, and numerous extras (drivers, cops, doctors, nurses, security guard, etc.). They will need to work very smart in order to keep Ms. Mangum from bumping into the truth.

Perhaps that is why Ms. Mangum was recently observed leaving the Durham Police Department's headquarters with her two children. She is probably already working with Nifong's assistant producer/chief choreographer DPD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb as they begin going over their scripts and planning the tricky footwork for the big show.

Tricky is an understatement. The footwork and overall stagecraft Mike Nifong and his staff will need to create is overwhelming constrained by the actual reality that there was no rape. Time-stamp photographs, witnesses, cell phone records, ATM photos, medical reports, prior statements, and the stage itself are all hard facts that block out the critical gang-rape scene they're trying to create.

Never in the history of legal drama will so much fiction need to be invented out of so little time and so many tightly woven irrefutable facts. If you are a fan of the theater you will have to watch this trial show just to see what kind of spectacle Mike Nifong comes up with.

We already know the Mr. Nifong has a bent for theatrics from when he demonstrated for Dan Abrams of MSNBC back in April the choke hold used on Ms. Mangum by one of her assailants:

NIFONG: ...let me point out that the evidence that she would present with respect to that particular situation is that she was grabbed from behind. So that in essence, somebody had an arm around her like this, which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe, and it was in the course of that struggle that the fingernails—the artificial fingernails broke off.

Now as you can see from my arm, if I were wearing a shirt, a long-sleeved shirt or a Jacket of some sort, even if there were enough force used to press down, to break my skin through the clothing, there might not be any way that anything from my arm could get on to those fingernails. So again, whether or not there would be any evidence would depend on exactly the situation. Were the fingernails actually in contact with the skin or were they in contact with clothing?
If Nifong never figured out Ms. Mangum was lying to him back in March and April, he'll certainly have to play the fool again as they work together on creating a case from scratch. Pun intended. Ms. Mangum will need a lot of rehearsals. What does Mike Nifong say to her when she forgets her lines?

Back to the stage itself. A small bathroom in a small house is the focal point for this hoax performance.

Who will take the jury to the alleged crime scene at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. first? Will it be the defense or the prosecution? The Duke lacrosse house is very small by all accounts and based on the exterior photos. It will be fascinating to watch the jury, the judge, all the lawyers, etc. all get bused down to 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. and then try to squeeze into the house and then into the bathroom where the alleged crime occurred.

Sadly, the main stream media so far has failed to furnish us with any interior photos or even a floor plan for the alleged crime scene at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. It's something we've been hoping to see for months, but apparently it's not in the cards. Maybe a hard charging assistant producer at 60 Minutes can get us inside the so called crime scene (hint, hint).

How exactly will Nifong isolate his star actress and three larger than average, male Duke lacrosse players in a small bathroom and create a four person 30-minute rape scrum with no blood or semen? It will be something to behold. He then has to get Ms. Mangum quickly put back together, made whole, and out the backdoor as she makes an intoxicated exit, stage North, in Kim Roberts' car.

Speaking of Kim Roberts, there is another temperamental lying actress Mike Nifong will have to deal with. She's already publicly flubbed her lines. Now Nifong will have to re-write her part and decide if she's a bit player, a lead, another victim, or a perpetrator herself. Dicey work indeed. Who knows which Ms. Roberts/Pittman will show up for the performance.

The Duke Rape Hoax Performance presented by Mike Nifong and starring Crystal Gail Mangum will have a short run - one performance, with no full public dress rehearsals. Do you think anyone will have stage fright?

'The Abrams Report' (with video) [MSNBC, April 7, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Wednesday Linkfest:

RN-VC Picks Up Steam
[LieStoppers, Aug. 23, 2006]
Newcomers' support of Duke is true blue [heraldsun.com, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke Students Focusing On School Year, Not Lacrosse Scandal [nbc17.com, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke lacrosse: At Friends of Duke University [JohnInCarolina, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke students should protest gagging Duke case witnesses [renewamerica.us, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke case heroes and villains [renewamerica.us, Aug. 21, 2006]