Justice for Chandra Levy and missing women
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:10 am Post subject:
|Rock Creek Park
The wind was calm in Ft. Lauderdale. Condit's perfect storm had sucked in Chandra Levy, Anne Marie Smith, Jennifer Thomas, Joleen McKay, and a cast of thousands, but Condit's other brother Darrell didn't care. The storm hadn't reached him, and he had his own problems. The police were looking for him. They had been for the last six years.
Easy enough. He wasn't Darrell Condit. He was Stanley Johnnie Buchanan, the identity of one of his many cellmates in jails spread out over five states, for drugs and whatever it took to get the money to buy them - armed robbery, car theft, battery. He had violated parole for a 1996 run in with the law, this time for driving with his license suspended, possession of marijuana, and driving under the influence. A $50,000 warrant for his arrest had been issued in Key West.
The Levys wanted the D.C. police to question him about where he was May 1, but the D.C. police didn't even know where he was now. Brian Blomquist of the New York Post:
D.C. police spokesman Joe Gentile said he wouldn't
know where to send FBI agents to talk to Darrell.
"We don't know where in the hell he is," Gentile
told The Post.
Gentile said D.C. detectives remain more interested
in interviewing all of Levy's neighbors, as well as
people at her D.C. health club. 
Were the Levys grasping at blowing straws to sic the police on Condit's fugitive brother? While a fugitive from Florida, Darrell was also wanted for drug charges in Stanislaus County, home of Modesto, only a year and half earlier. Serious drug charges, four years prison worth. He was a fugitive from Modesto as well.
He had fled back to Florida and been arrested in Ft. Lauderdale in October for possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest without violence, and arrested again as recently as February for possession of marijuana. For some reason, no matter who arrested him, no matter how many times, he was released.
Did he owe his congressman brother more than anyone dared think, or would a distinguished congressman even be talking to a brother who was a fugitive from his own district?
All of a sudden Darrell, who thrived on being known as Stanley Buchanan, was in the news. American Media, publisher of National Enquirer, Star, and Globe, had their offices located in the area. Could their ace reporters find Darrell in their backyard before anyone else? The editor of the Star claimed to have on Geraldo, citing reports of local construction workers who said that Darrell worked most of April, then disappeared and returned in early May, walking with a cane.
This is standard American Media fare, someone surely did tell them this, and they published it, but confirming details of the company, dates, corroborating details that could have been provided, weren't.
No newspaper touched it. Wouldn't it have been interesting journalism to rebuke the claim by seeing the day labor pay records for early May for Darrell? But then again, maybe there are no records. Then, where was Darrell on May 1?
The ubiquitous publicity of Chandra Levy's disappearance caught up with Darrell. He was recognized by a Broward County Sheriff's Deputy checking into a motel in Dania Beach in the Ft. Lauderdale area at 3:30 am. Another arrest, this time the charges were resisting arrest without violence, false identification, driving with a suspended license, and a misdemeanor possession of marijuana, bond set at $50,000. He was driving a silver Toyota Previa minivan borrowed from his girlfriend.
None other than a former Watergate lawyer showed up. Johnny Diaz of the Miami Herald quotes him:
"They have not kept up with each other," said
attorney Jon Sale, who worked for Archibald Cox and
Leon Jaworski during the investigation of Richard
Nixon. "He says he loves his brother but said he has
not spoken to him in a long time."
Sale wouldn't say who hired him to represent Darrell
A long time turned out to be about a year. Would that be in October when Condit started dating Chandra in D.C. and Darrell was arrested for cocaine and released despite being wanted in both Florida and California? Did Darrell owe Condit for getting out of jail again?
He would get out yet again. Someone paid his $50,000 bail, and it surely wasn't a bail bondsman who risked $50,000 on a six year fugitive because whoever put it up was bound to lose it. And they did. He was arrested again in March, 2002 after failing to appear for his November hearing.
In addition to jumping bail, the charges this time were resisting arrest without violence, driving with a suspended license, and marijuana possession. Why would somebody hire a Watergate lawyer and practically throw away $50,000 to keep Darrell out of jail? Whoever it was wasn't talking.
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:11 am Post subject:
|While a search had been on for Darrell, the D.C. police put a search on for Chandra in Rock Creek Park. It was mid-July, and areas near the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers had been searched and dragged earlier, but the information about computer web sites she had visited had just been belatedly given to them by the FBI. It showed that she looked up Rock Creek Park the day she disappeared.
The police were just now finding this out, two and a half months after she disappeared? How could that happen? Shouldn't they have known more like two and a half days after she disappeared?
With the Newport manager refusing to arrange for the D.C. police to check on Chandra's apartment despite frantic calls from Chandra's parents and worried calls from the landlord, it was a week before the police would check her apartment. It was another week before they removed her computer to give to the FBI. The FBI handles forensic analysis for D.C., and the police were expecting the information back in another three weeks, making the information more than a month old before they could respond to any revelations of what Chandra was doing on her computer before she disappeared.
The FBI sent the computer to a private laboratory, and it didn't come back in the expected three weeks. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chief Gainer said the hard drive had crashed. They would get the information two months later instead.
Isn't the point of private laboratories to get timely processing? Why would it take three weeks to back up her hard drive and take a look at it? And if the hard drive crashed, and that's a big if, was it a hard crash with an embedded head, or just an excuse, but if the hard drive crashed, it doesn't take two months to retrieve the data. But it did for the FBI and their private laboratory.
But the D.C. police finally received the list of web sites, and the police were focused on Klingle Mansion. The Washington Post reports:
Chandra Levy looked up a map site on the Internet
for the Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park before
logging off her laptop computer for the last time, a
senior police official said yesterday. 
Klingle Mansion is an 1823 three-story, gray stone Pennsylvania Dutch-style building that is now the Rock Creek Park administration office. It is wired with modern security access keypads and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, including Tuesday May 1.
It sits at the end of a cul-de-sac with parking running up to it for park visitors. Visitors can walk from their parked cars onto backwoods, unmarked trails leading down to Rock Creek. It is conceivable that someone would drive here to meet, inconceivable to walk there to meet.
Klingle Mansion is not a well marked landmark with a paved walkway or trail leading up to it from Rock Creek jogging and walking trails. The administration building is set well back on a hill, out of sight and primarily accessed by driving up the driveway and parking before reaching the cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sac is basically for vehicles driving up to the front door to loop around to leave.
There is a small overgrown footpath leading up to it but someone coming down the Rock Creek jogging trail would probably not even see it, much less have any idea where it goes. There is also a jeep grade road that meanders up through the woods where one could get out to the Klingle Mansion drive, but in general you couldn't find Klingle Mansion from the Rock Creek Park trail running along the creek far below, map or no map.
Police seemed to understand this a year later, after Chandra was found, that any reference to Klingle Mansion was probably park related rather than a meeting spot. Steve Twomey and Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post write:
Police officials said yesterday that Levy may not
have been searching for directions to the mansion
specifically, but seeking more general guidance. The
Rock Creek Park Web site's home page included a
photograph of Klingle Mansion at that time, so
officials do not know "the precise connection,"
Gainer said. 
Much more troubling than focusing a search on Klingle Mansion were the reports that Chandra was a jogger in Rock Creek Park.
Thomas Fields-Meyer wrote in People that "police have... even brought cadaver-sniffing dogs to several locations, including the jogging path in Rock Creek Park, where Chandra regularly walked".
Newsday reports that this was "a park where Chandra Levy often jogged".
Tucker Carlson said on CNN's Crossfire that the police knew that "she frequently jogged in Rock Creek Park".
CNN again, despite all the information to the contrary, reported that a man reported finding a skull in "an area where Levy was known to go jogging".
WUSA-TV 9 in Washington reported from Associated Press and CBS that:
The park is crisscrossed with running trails and was
one of Levy's favorite jogging runs.
Friends said Levy frequented the 1,754-acre park,
located in Northwest Washington. 
Who was telling reporters that Chandra jogged in Rock Creek Park, and why? Why did only unnamed friends say that she jogged and walked in Rock Creek Park? Who had an agenda to set these reporters up to place Chandra jogging in Rock Creek Park when she disappeared, and why were these reporters so oblivious to what her real friends with names were actually saying, over and over again?
Jennifer Baker told Jim Herron Zamora of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"She never went out alone," Baker said. "One reason
she joined a health club is so she wouldn't have to
jog in the streets there." 
Lisa DePaulo interviewed several named friends of Chandra for her Talk Magazine article, and she wrote: "Levy didn't smoke, had no pets, didn't jog (she was a fitness fanatic, but always at a gym)."
Sven Jones told Russ Mitchell of the CBS Early Show:
MITCHELL: Rock Creek Park is much like Central Park
in New York, an--an--an oasis for city dwellers. Did
she enjoy the park and how often did she go out
Mr. JONES: We didn't really talk about her visiting
parks, and we didn't really talk so much about
jogging, either. It was a little bit of a surprise
for me, because we have not--neither one of us em--
embraced jogging fully, so the park--I'm just not
He told Bill O'Reilly of The O'Reilly Factor:
O'Reilly: It looks like Mr. Jones that Ms. Levy was
jogging, but you have said before that she wasn't an
avid jogger. Any reaction to that?
Sven Jones: That's correct. As we spoke earlier, I
didn't see her as somebody that would jog
religiously. It was something that would be sort of
out of character for her.
O'Reilly: Really, so she wasn't somebody who went
out on a daily basis and ran around the park where
she was discovered.
Jones: She may have done it on occasion, but
certainly didn't embrace jogging as something that
was personally enriching. 
Billy Martin, the Levy's lawyer, told the Washington Post:
Martin discounted the theory that Levy was abducted
while jogging in the park.
"Her friends said she thought it was dangerous and
she was very careful what she did," he said. "Rock
Creek Park was a place that she knew was dangerous,
and she discussed it with friends and family. All
her friends knew she would not jog in the park."
Internet site www.justiceforchandra.com admin Jayne posted:
On this week's America Most Wanted... were the two
people closest to her, Jennifer stating that getting
Chandra to jog was like pulling teeth--she said
something to the effect that she couldn't imagine
who would start such a preposterous story, while
Sven Jones adamantly stated that jogging was "number
one on their list of things NOT to do." 
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:14 am Post subject:
|And despite reporters quoting alleged unnamed friends to the contrary, the police understood this. Chief Terrance Gainer responded to Tucker Carlson on Crossfire:
But it is wrong to assume that she was a regular
jogger in Rock Creek Park. That is not necessarily
true. In fact, the information we have is that she
did not often jog outdoors, that she used a
treadmill more than Rock Creek. 
He told Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: All right. Now, do -- are you, in your
opinion, is it a jogging incident? Could you
possibly have jogged where she was found?
GAINER: You could have. She's not known to be an
outdoor jogger, but she could have walked, she could
have jogged. It was a beautiful day that day. And
frankly, we have to look and see again with the cab
drivers, if someone dropped her off, or whether she
went up there to meet someone. 
And also told Dave Jones of the Modesto Bee:
Police know Levy "wasn't a real outdoor jogger,"
Gainer said. "We have more information that she used
a treadmill more than she did a lot of outdoor
But he noted that Levy had canceled her gym
membership the night before her disappearance.
"Maybe this was a way to get exercise that day,"
Gainer said. 
But the point of not being able to cancel her gym membership without a 30 day notice, as Washington Sports Club gym manager Errol Thompson told her, is that she had to pay another month and could still use the gym. Sure, he gave her a list of gyms in California that she could use if she returned to California during the month as planned, but she was not successful in canceling her gym membership. Any thought that she was forced out into Rock Creek Park against type to go jogging just has no basis.
No basis was needed though by Mark Geragos, Condit's third lawyer. He told CNN:
Condit's attorney suggested on CNN last night,
however, that the police had not done a thorough
enough job searching for Levy. He noted that the
remains were found near a jogging path that is on a
direct line between Levy's Dupont Circle area
apartment and Klingle mansion. 
Never mind that Chief Ramsey said that she was found "far from any jogging trail".  Or that Niles Lathem of the New York Post reports that there are "no real jogging paths there". A careful parsing of Geragos' statement is required to keep us from being led to believe that Chandra was murdered jogging to Klingle Mansion.
Yes, she was found on a line that runs from her apartment to Klingle Mansion, but a mile and a half farther beyond Klingle Mansion. It is just as accurate, and just as relevant or irrelevant, to say that Chandra was found on a direct line between Chandra's apartment and Condit's apartment, as Condit's apartment is a little more than halfway to Klingle Mansion from Chandra's apartment.
There obviously is no bearing on being found a mile and a half north of Klingle Mansion versus east or west of Klingle Mansion. Suffice to say that Chandra found on a jogging path between Chandra's apartment and Klingle Mansion is what Condit wants people to believe.
But Chandra had looked Rock Creek Park up on her computer for some reason, and with crack FBI efficiency, the police knew that within months. With luck, the police would be able to find her before her body had mummified completely. So the police sent 50 police recruits out to search Rock Creek Park. It was painful to watch.
They were looking for a body or for freshly dug ground that would indicate a burial spot. Andrew DeMillo of the Washington Post describes it:
Twenty-seven police officers in training are
scouring an area of Rock Creek Park near the Klingle
Mansion, said Sgt. Bob Panizari of the D.C. police
department's Special Investigations Division.
For now, the recruits in Rock Creek Park are
breaking into groups of two or three, searching
mainly beaten paths and areas around the area of the
mansion, rather than deep woods. Still, the federal
park is huge, and the searchers face a daunting
task. The park, which encompasses about 1,750 acres,
is one of the country's largest urban sanctuaries
and the mansion is used for office space for park
"You know that saying about a needle in a
haystack?" Panizari asked. "Well, this is a pretty
big haystack." 
In fact, it was a national forest haystack. It was an impenetrable haystack. Steep and impenetrable. If the recruits had searched the hillside where Chandra was found - no disrespect to the victims of the Titanic tragedy, but remember the passengers sliding down the deck at the end of the movie? That would be the recruits searching the side of that hill. This was looking for a needle in a haystack you couldn't get to.
And who was going to leave Chandra within sight of a beaten path anyway? The recruits and possibly everyone else knew this. The Levys told Larry King:
KING: What was it like for you looking at the
S. LEVY: Oh, it's horrible. Just painful.
KING: You want them to fail.
S. LEVY: Well, want them to fail, and also, I
sometimes think that they nonchalantly walk the grid
and really, not really looking -- I mean, that's
kind of how I feel.
B. LEVY: I know, I mean, I know a lot of people are
out there, a lot of cadets, and you know, that was
that was very late ...
KING: ... tried.
B. LEVY: Well, in a way. 
Police did bring cadaver dogs to search portions of the park as well, but Chief Gainer said "there are not enough cadaver dogs in the United States to search Rock Creek Park".  Not a grid search of every square yard, anyway.
But if the FBI had returned the information on the computer over to the police within a few days or weeks at most, and the police were able to determine it was Rock Creek Park that Chandra looked up and not Klingle Mansion, then a thorough walk through with cadaver dogs over all the jogging and hiking trails and 11 miles of horse trails would have at least put the dogs within shot of having a chance to detect Chandra when there was something to detect. Especially if they had help.
In a www.washingtonpost.com online interview, that question was asked:
Chantilly, Va.: ...My question is, did you refuse
the assistance of outside cadaver dogs when you were
doing the search last year?
Terrance W. Gainer: Actually we did not. I was
present in Rock Creek Park when we used canines from
Montgomery County. We had a lot of outside help and
we welcome it. The whole park was not searched by
cadaver dogs because they don't have enough stamina
and there are not enough of them to search the whole
Gainer talks about the assistance of some cadaver dogs from Montgomery County, but Susan Levine of the Washington Post reports there were several sources of search dogs:
Some critics of how the department has conducted the
Levy investigation say cadaver dogs should have been
deployed extensively during officers' initial sweep
of the park last summer. Given the animals' smarts
and skills, many find it ironic that an untrained
pooch, merely passing by, was the canine to find the
Washington intern's remains... The men and women who
own the search dogs are far too circumspect to voice
In fact, the nation's search-and-rescue network is
overwhelmingly an unpaid force. The searchers buy
their own dogs, cover their own expenses, do their
own training and take their own work leave when
their support is needed.... The greater Washington
region has at least four prominent search-and-rescue
organizations, including Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S.,....
In 2001, members helped on 18 cases as far afield as
the Midwest. 
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:15 am Post subject:
|And volunteer manpower for searching the park? In addition to the recruits walking their beat, William Ritchie, former D.C. Chief of Detectives, would have called upon those volunteers skilled at traversing the park terrain. He tells Bill O'Reilly:
Well, first of all, I think if, based upon what they
found on the computer, if you're going to commit to
searching Rock Creek Park, then you need to cover
all the areas and not just those areas adjacent to
the normal thoroughfare.
Now, I understand that resources are limited. I
probably would have considered using volunteers,
individuals who had experience in searching terrain
areas, hikers, mountain climbers, rock climbers. And
I would have paired possibly two or three of them
with a police officer. 
Here are some search instructions. The "ridge", picnic areas #17/18, is the hillside where Chandra was found:
There are several areas to explore. Best sites are
the trails behind the Nature/Visitor Center, the
Horse Center/Stables and Maintenance Yard areas, and
the "ridge," known as picnic areas #17/18. The
equestrian corral area by picnic area #25/26 could
also be productive. Military Field, at the junction
of Glover and Military Roads, is being restored as
meadow habitat and the vegetation is thick. There is
a mowed path running between the trees and the field
edge which is worth careful attention.
Start at dawn on the West Ridge, at picnic areas #
17/18, although the area directly around the Nature
Center parking lot could also prove exciting. The
blacktop path north of the Nature Center crosses a
small meadow with a little pool which attracts
The edge habitat around the stable, the indoor
riding ring, and the horse paddocks should also be
investigated. From the Horse Center follow the
bridle trail which runs from the stable east along
the fenced Maintenance Yard, cutting in by an
obvious path into the open area beyond the fence.
The stone blocks, columns and carved panels you see
stacked here are from the original west front of the
Capitol Building. The bridle trail continues down to
The woods edge near the equestrian corral by picnic
sites #25/26 should also be investigated. Other
areas: In Broad Branch check the bushes and areas
along the creek. Explore the thicket around the Art
Barn by Pierce Mill. Check the snags around Klingle
House and the area around the barn. Walk through the
woods and meadows around the House. You can explore
the park further via trails that lead north to
Pierce Mill up a shaded ravine or west to
Connecticut Avenue. 
These search instructions are better than the instructions given to the police recruits, far better. They were given to birdwatchers.
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:32 am Post subject:
|Next chapter - Grand Jury
Murder on a Horse Trail - Table of Contents
Rock Creek Park
1. Blomquist, Brian. “Levy Kin: Investigate Condit Bro.” New York Post 19 July
2. Diaz, Johnny. “Condit brothers not close.” Miami Herald 23 July 2001.
3. Lengel, Allan and Sari Horwitz. “Chandra Levy Spectacle Comandeers Media
Stage.” Washington Post 16 July 2001.
4. Twomey, Steve and Sari Horwitz. “Park Slope Went Unsearched: Area Where
Levy’s Remains Were Found Fell Between Sweeps.” Washington Post 24 May
5. “More Evidence Points to Murder in Levy Case.” WUSA-TV 9 2002.
6. Zamora, Jim Herron. “Modesto woman is missing in Washington, D.C.:
Police begin bicoastal search for grad student.” San Francisco Chronicle 13 May
7. Jones, Sven. Interview with Ross Mitchell. The Early Show. CBS. 23 May
8. O’Reilly, Bill. “Sven Jones after Chandra found.” 24 May 2002. Transcript.
9. Horwitz, Sari and Allan Lengel. “Levy Possibly Bound By Leggings: Knotted
Garment Sharpens Suspicion of Foul Play.” Washington Post 25 May 2002.
10. “Thread Archives” at www.justiceforchandra.com/forums , 5 Sep. 2002.
11. Gainer, Terrance. “Do D.C.’s Police or Gary Condit Deserve More
Respect?” Interview. Cross Fire. CNN. 23 May 2002. Transcript.
12. Ritchie, William. Interview with Bill O’Reilly. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox
News. 28 May 2002. Transcript.
13. Jones, Dave. “Mood inside Levy home one of tears.” Modesto Bee 26 May 2002.
14. Twomey, Steve and Sari Horwitz. “Skeletal Remains Found.” Washington
Post 23 May 2002.
15. Kennedy, Helen. “Chandra Cops Stymied.” New York Daily News 24 May 2002.
16. DeMillo, Andrew. “Police Searching Parks for Levy” Washington Post 16
17. Levy, Robert and Susan. Interview with Larry King. Larry King Live. CNN.
15 Aug. 2001. Transcript.
18. Twomey, Steve and Sari Horwitz. “Park Slope Went Unsearched: Area
Where Levy’s Remains Were Found Fell Between Sweeps.” Washington Post 24
19. “MPD Chief Gainer online interview.” http://www.washingtonpost.com 23 May 2002.
20. Levine, Susan. “Cadaver Dogs Sniff Out the Clues.” Washington Post 13 June 2002.
21. Ritchie, William. Interview with Bill O’Reilly. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox
News. 28 May 2002. Transcript.
22. “Rock Creek Park” at http://www.mdbirds.org/dcbirds/ccorridor.html , 2000.
Bolen, Mandy. “Condit’s brother has Key West record.” Key West Citizen 18 July 2001.
Bolstad, Erika. “Condit’s brother nabbed in S. Florida.” Miami Herald 21 July 2001.
Bryan, Susannah and Rafael Omeda. “Congressman Condit’s brother arrested in
Dania Beach.” Sun-Sentinel 21 July 2001.
“Cops Search Park for Intern.” Newsday 17 July 2001.
“Darrell Condit.” Star 22 July 2001.
DePaulo, Lisa. Talk Magazine article on Chandra Levy. Excerpt. London Times
U.K. 12 Aug. 2001.
Doyle, Michael. “Condit denies Levy report.” Modesto Bee 8 June 2001.
Fields-Meyer, Thomas, Champ Clark, Michael Fleeman, Macon Morehouse and
J. Todd Foster. “Searching For Chandra.” People 25 June 2001: 87.
“Gary Condit’s brother jailed for missing court.” St Petersburg Times 12 March
Hartman, Brian. “Repeat Offender Condit Brother Wanted for Parole Violation.”
ABC News 19 July 2001.
“I don’t know intern, fugitive tells police.” Miami Herald 22 July 2001.
Johnson, Kevin and Tom Squitieri. “D.C. police retrace steps in their search for
Levy.” USA Today 17 July 2001.
Kennedy, Helen. “Cops on Intern Net Trail: Computer shows Levy may have
been lured to path.” New York Daily News 16 July 2001.
Lathem, Niles and Andy Geller. “Investigators believe Chandra Levy was lured to
her death by someone she knew or slain by a predator who methodically stalked
her, police sources said yesterday.” New York Post 26 May 2002.
Lengel, Allan and Sari Horwitz. “Levy Was on Internet on May 1, Police Say
Intern Looked Up Rock Creek Map, Other Sites.” Washington Post 16 July 2001.
“Levy case opens door on secret life: The search for missing former intern Chandra
Levy has focused the spotlight on U.S. Rep. Gary Condit.” CNN 1 June 2002.
Sale, Jon. Interview with Greta Van Susteren. The Point. Fox News. 23 July
Sweet, Lynn. “Police: Missing intern no ‘trollop’.” Chicago Sun-Times 19 July 2001.
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