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Chapter 11. Frantic

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Chapter 11. Frantic Reply with quote

available from Amazon.com:

Murder On A Horse Trail: The Disappearance of Chandra Levy
by Ralph Daugherty
ISBN: 0-595-31847-9

Murder on a Horse Trail: The Disappearance of Chandra Levy also available free to read online here on www.justiceforchandra.com
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


The phone calls started. Sven Jones returned from a long weekend out of town trip late Tuesday and got Chandra's message inviting him for lunch in Georgetown. He called back but never heard from her. He told the Washington Times: "I just thought that was odd because she was the type of person who would always call back".

Her parents, having received the cryptic e-mail from Chandra that morning that was a forwarded Southwest supersaver fares message with no comment, called hoping she had some news for them on how and when she would be arriving home. They weren't worried at first. They had last talked to her on Friday, and she seldom called home more than once a week.

Condit told Connie Chung in her ABC News interview with him that he called and left a message that day as well. Chung's questioning to discern this would put a police interrogator to shame:

CONDIT: Well, she gave me the impression that she
was going to take a train to California. So I
assumed in the next few days she was going to take a
train to California. So I might talk to her after
she got to California, I might talk to her when she
got back from California. It wasn't clear to me
whether or not she was actually going to move to
California, come back and try to find another job.
Um, but Chandra was interested in working at the
FBI. She was interested in working at the CIA, or
NI-, NSA. Something like that. She was very
interested in those areas. And so ... the reason
the, the Federal Prison Bureau uh, job was important
to her, because she thought that was the stepping
stone in getting into the FBI.

CHUNG: Uh, did you speak with her again after April

CONDIT: Uh, no. April 29th was the last

CHUNG: So you're saying that you didn't expect to
hear from her for about a week?

CONDIT: Well, actually, I tried to call her, because
I ...

CHUNG: When did you try and call her?

CONDIT: I tried to call her probably the 30th or the
31st, or some time in that week.

CHUNG: Uh, there, there is no 31st. Uh ... it's
either the 30th or May first.

CONDIT: (Overlap) I mean, the 30th or May first. I
did try to ... well, maybe it was later in the week,
because I had not heard from her.

CHUNG: Uh-huh. And ... you were expecting to hear?
You, did you, you just said that you weren't
expecting to hear from her for a week?

CONDIT: (Overlap) Well, I thought I might ... I, I
thought I might hear her about her travel plans. She
might leave a message and say she was taking a train
or she wasn't taking a train. I never heard that.

CHUNG: So did you call her, you're saying, on the

CONDIT: (Overlap) Yes, I placed a call ...

CHUNG: Or the 30th.

CONDIT: I, I placed a call on uh ... sometime during
the next few days, to try to find out what her
travel plans were going to be.

CHUNG: And you called her apartment?

CONDIT: Yes, I left a ... yes, left a message.

CHUNG: And uh ... did she ever call you back?


CHUNG: Were you concerned?

CONDIT: I was concerned that she had not called me
back. But uh ... but also just assumed that she had
taken a train. And she told me the train was going
to take four days.

CHUNG: You can't remember exactly when you called?

CONDIT: On the ... ?

CHUNG: Yes, when you called again. When you called,
was it the 30th? May first? Second, 3rd, 4th?

CONDIT: (Overlap) Well, it ... it could've been ...
it could've been the first. It could've been the
second. Somewhere in that time frame. [1]

The next morning, Wednesday May 2, Chandra would have been missed at work at the Bureau of Prisons had she not found her internship abruptly terminated the week before. The following illustrates what happens when one is still working for the government when they disappear, and what happens when it is known that someone has been intimately involved with the woman who disappears.

On Friday, June 13, 2003 LaToya Taylor went out to lunch from her job at the IRS in Washington. She didn't come back. When she didn't show up for work Monday as well, police went into action. They focused on her ex-boyfriend who was contesting paternity over LaToya's nine month old baby. By evening he was being questioned.

Had Chandra still been working at the BOP, an investigation into the disappearance of someone like herself in federal law enforcement would have been launched immediately with much local publicity, similar to the search that would take place for LaToya Taylor as a missing IRS employee two years later. It can be seen how critical it is that a woman not still be a federal employee if she is to be made to disappear quietly.

And as in any missing woman case, anyone in a relationship with the woman would be investigated immediately until they could be cleared as was done with LaToya Taylor's ex-boyfriend. It can also be seen how critical it is to not be known to be in a relationship with a woman if she were to, say, disappear.

Today, Wednesday, was the day that Chandra had told her landlord, Denis Edeline, she could tell him when she would be moving out. Something happened on Sunday that caused her to change her message to her landlord that she would be moving out this weekend to that she could tell him Wednesday of when she would be moving out. Something perhaps she was expecting to find out on Tuesday, perhaps something in a message she was waiting for. We will never know.

But Wednesday had arrived, and Edeline called from San Francisco. There was no answer. Her parents called again as well.

On Thursday Edeline called and e-mailed. He was thinking something was wrong by now because Chandra always returned messages. Chandra's father was starting to get worried now too. The landlord and Chandra's parents are both calling every day. Bob Levy tearfully recalled to the Washington Post: "I kept calling and leaving messages. Her message machine was full". He called Chandra's Newport apartment building manager and asked him to check if Chandra was there, but the manager refused, saying he couldn't because of D.C. laws. Chandra's father recalled to Larry King:

R. LEVY: She was supposed to fly home, come home,
meet us in Sacramento. She was supposed to be in
touch with friends in L.A. that she was going to
stay with and see. And we, you know, we didn't hear
from her.

We called and left a message and we didn't hear from
her the 1st or the 2nd,and 3rd and 4th -- well,
actually, the 4th we started getting more anxious.
And the 5th, I think that was Friday, I started
calling the police in Washington trying to get them
to check in to things. And finally, by Monday -- or
Sunday, I knew she was missing. [2]

He asked the D.C. police to check her apartment, and they told him they would. "But they never called back," Bob told DePaulo. As Ross Douthat expressed in his take of it in the National Review:

For instance, everyone already knows about the
incompetence of the D.C. police - but it turns out
that the cops were even more Keystone-ish than we
imagined. On May 5, four days after Chandra
vanished, her father called the D.C. police, told
them that he hadn't heard from his daughter for
days, and asked them to check out her apartment.
They promised to do so and then never called back.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feeling the D.C. police were not taking them seriously, the Levys called their congressman at home in the nearby town of Ceres. They still had no idea which congressman was Chandra's secret boyfriend, Condit wasn't high on their list of suspicion because the congressman boyfriend was supposed to be a divorced Southern Democrat. This critical first contact with Condit is related by the Levys to Larry King:

KING: Let's go over your contacts with Condit. Talk
Magazine reports that you called his home on the
night of May 5 after getting no help from the D.C.
police. Is that true?

S. LEVY: Yes, that's right.

KING: His wife answered the phone, right?

B. LEVY: I did.

KING: You called? OK.

B. LEVY: Yes.

KING: What happened?

B. LEVY: I said I'd like to get in touch with him,
and then I believe he later called back, and I
talked to him and told him Chandra was missing.

KING: Was that the first he knew he about it?

B. LEVY: Well, I don't know if that's the first he

KING: What did he say?

B. LEVY: He said, "Oh." He didn't act too surprised
or shocked. He said, "Well, she's a good friend of
mine." And then he mentioned that he would get in
touch with his office and try to get help for us and
put up the initial reward.

KING: So he was cooperative.

B. LEVY: Yes.

KING: So when you hung up the phone, you had no
reason to feel any ill will towards him?

B. LEVY: Not really. There was some suspicion. We
were looking around to find out who she might be
dating, since she didn't tell us. We were thinking
about him and some other congressmen.

KING: Let me back up, were you surprised that he
offered a reward immediately?

S. LEVY: I was in shock, not surprised by his
offering a reward. It was just the whole initial
shock, the reality of my daughter not here for
graduation... [4]

Congressman Condit is able to tell the Levys that Chandra is a good friend but not able to tell them that he thought she took a train home? He instead says "Oh" and offers to set up a reward to find her. He wasn't surprised that she was missing. Why is that?

Condit might have been shocked at the news, stunned beyond reasoning, but if so he never recovered sufficiently to attempt to contact Chandra again or tell the Levys that he thought she took a train home. A reward would have to do. Chandra was gone.

The next morning, Sunday morning, the landlord Denis Edeline checked Chandra's emergency contact number on her condo application and called the Levys at 10 a.m. Bob Levy answered, saying "Oh no, God. We've being trying to contact her all week." [5] The Washington Post quotes the landlord: "Dr. Levy sounded so distraught. He said he didn't know where she was either and said he'd called the police."

In an online interview with Where in the World is Chandra Levy Denis Edeline explains what he was thinking:

I originally talked to the police on May 6th. I
called the Levy's Sunday morning of May 6th once I
realized that something must be wrong. I thought
that maybe Chandra had returned home and just
decided to keep the condo longer and just had not
gotten any of my phone messages to the DC condo. I
called the parents about 10 am Sunday morning. The
father was already worried and was thankful that I
called. He wanted me to get the manager to go into
the condo thinking maybe she was in the condo and
something was wrong. I called front desk person
numerous times ... trying to get them to get the
manager to open the apartment and see if Chandra was
in it. Manager could not because of DC laws.

When I was concerned about Chandra on May 5 & May
6th...I asked the front desk people in my many calls
to the building on those two days.... The main desk
person said she never saw her with a male....the
evening desk people could hardly remember who she
was...I guess she was not friendly or talkative with
the desk people. But no male visitor stories.

Dr. Levy called the police again on Sunday and "begged and begged". [7] He finally convinced them to go check on her apartment by telling them she suffered from bad allergies and there could be a medical emergency. And he was a doctor. Pity the poor parent of a Washington intern who hasn't heard from them and hasn't watched enough ER to convince the police to check on their loved one. Even landlords calling doesn't help. Research was unable to determine how many neighbors must complain of a stench before the D.C. police will check on an apartment.

According to the Washington Post, the FBI says 875,000 persons nationally had been reported missing the year before, and the vast majority turned up unharmed. While the many false alarms of missing person reports can be used to justify such lack of urgency in dealing with a reported missing woman in D.C., that wasn't the case in prominent missing person cases of women elsewhere around the country.

Was the call being on the weekend and called in by a father the problem? Laci Peterson, a 27 year old housewife in Chandra's hometown of Modesto, was reported missing on Christmas Eve by her step-father. The Modesto police responded immediately.

So what, small town instead of the big city? Svetlana Aranov, a 44 year old mother of two who dealt rare books from her home, was reported missing by her husband, who is an oncologist like Dr. Levy, on March 3, 2003. Police in the relatively large city of New York didn't have any problem responding to the report of a missing woman either.

A problem with being asked to check on someone in their apartment instead of being summoned by a husband? Perhaps. The irony is that remote relatives have already waited days to call the police, not knowing if the missing woman is on a trip unknown to them or staying with a friend or any number of legitimate reasons to not return a message for a few days.

By the time they feel they must call, it is even more necessary for police to act urgently, and yet they are treated as a nuisance call. Filing a missing persons report as was done by Chandra's father should move it beyond a nuisance. It probably does almost anywhere else besides Washington, D.C.

And when the Washington police do go check on her apartment Sunday night? Lisa DePaulo tells Larry King what happened in this every parent's nightmare:

DEPAULO: Dr. Levy was so upset by Sunday night, that
he called and begged and begged. Please go. And
finally the cops go, and guess what they do?
According to Dr. Levy, they call him back and say
OK, we got in the apartment, she's not there. What
they didn't mention was what was there. Her purse,
her wallet, her half-packed suitcases, her jewelry.
I mean, just were not there.

And so the Levys did not actually understand or find
out the circumstances of their daughter's not being
in the apartment for several more days. [8]

Bob Levy sums it up. "I guess they thought it was enough that they didn't see a body on the floor". [9] What would it take to get the D.C. police interested in where Chandra was? Unfortunately, that question would persist for quite some time.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday May 7 Condit returned to Washington. Interestingly, for some reason he tells Connie Chung that he had just been told the night before by Dr. Levy that Chandra was missing instead of on Saturday as the Levys tell it. He then futher tells Chung:

So right after that ... right after that, I was in
Washington DC on Monday. I contacted law
enforcement. I asked the FBI to be involved. I
helped set up the re-, rewan-, reward fund. And so
we were consistently quickly involved. [10]

Even saying "I contacted law enforcement. I asked the FBI to be involved.", which should be straightforward, raises questions. The Washington Times reports:

The source said the next step apparently was taken
by Michael Dayton, Mr. Condit's top aide in

"It was the congressman's staff that finally got the
police interested, when a member of his staff called
police on Monday, May 7, and said a constituent was
missing. He called both the D.C. police and the
FBI," the source said. [11]

Condit saying "I" may be a royal "I" that includes his staff acting on his behalf, which would very well be expected, but a royal "I" that is two days later and a staff aide less than the way he tells it.

Dayton supports him in a revision of history the Washington Times missed. He tells Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News, "People are making it sound suspicious, but he's the one who called the cops", apparently unaware that it was two days after the Levys asked Condit for his help and spent the weekend begging the D.C. police to check on Chandra's apartment.

In addition, ABC News reports that Condit's office says the congressman asked the FBI to help with the investigation, but the FBI says it got involved at the request of the Washington police. A disturbing pattern was emerging of Condit's statements differing in both substance and intent from nearly every other statement made by anyone and any organization. Surely it would be more disturbing still if his statements were to start differing in substance and intent from even his own prior statements. Yet such a pattern was developing.

Condit's response of offering an award to find Chandra when told she was missing had aroused the Levy's suspicion. They examined their cell phone bills, both Bob Levy's and Chandra's bills. They had been receiving Chandra's monthly cell phone bill and paying it all along. And Chandra had used her father's cell phone when they were visiting back East over Passover because her phone's battery wasn't charged, apparently from making so many calls to her boyfriend.

Now that Chandra was missing they were looking over these cell phone bills for a phone number, a clue, as to who her boyfriend was and who she had been calling. They noticed one number that had been called several times on both bills. When Bob Levy called Condit's office on Monday to see what information they might have on looking for Chandra, he asked about the number. He tells Larry King about it:

KING: When did you start getting suspicious, Bob?

B. LEVY: Well, I knew someone who she was calling
when we were back there in April was the person she
was seeing. And then I saw the number on cell phone
bill and our cell phone bill several times. And
finally, I didn't know who it was. And of course,
it's unlisted, so I finally called up Condit's
office on Monday -- you know, when he said to call
their office to get more information about what they
could do -- and someone told me that was his number.

I mentioned that my daughter -- I think my daughter
was having an affair with the congressman, and this
was the phone number, and they told me that was
Condit's number.

KING: And you became immediately suspicious then
that he was involved in her disappearance.

B. LEVY: Yes. [12]

This is a remarkable conversation. I think my daughter is having an affair with a congressman, do you know whose number this is? And the staffer says oh, that's Gary Condit's number? Well, all in a day's work for a congressional staff.

Bob Levy describes his reaction to Dateline:

Stone Phillips: “You were aware that she was using
your cell phone to make calls back to Washington to
a boyfriend.”

Dr. Levy: “That’s right.”

Stone Phillips: “When you later looked at the phone
bill, after Chandra disappeared, did you recognize
the number she called?”

Dr. Levy: “No. We didn’t know what number it was. We
just saw it on the phone bill several times.”

Stone Phillips: “Six days after she disappeared, you
called Congressman Condit’s office and that
telephone number came up.”

Dr. Levy: “Yes.”

Stone Phillips: “Tell me about that call.”

Dr. Levy: “I talked to one of the assistants and I
mentioned that I believed my daughter was having an
affair with a congressman.”

Stone Phillips: “With a congressman.”

Dr. Levy: “With a congressman.”

Stone Phillips: “You weren’t sure which one.”

Dr. Levy: “No. I gave him that number and they said
that it was Gary Condit’s number.”

Stone Phillips: “Were you surprised to hear that?”

Dr. Levy: “I was surprised.”

Stone Phillips: “Did it click in your mind at that

Dr. Levy: “Yes. Absolutely. That’s when I knew that
he was the congressman that she was seeing. [13]

and Susan Levy picks up the story in this revealing Dateline interview with Stone Phillips:

Susan Levy wanted some answers. So that night, she
says she called the number on the phone bill

Mrs. Levy: “I got this real airy music. It was kind
of romantic music, that kind of elevator music. And
I thought, gee, this is really strange.”

Stone Phillips: “But no voice on it or anything?”

Mrs. Levy: “No voice on the other end. And I said
‘This is Mrs. Levy and would you call me back. And I
am concerned my daughter is missing.’ And I did get
a phone call back.”

Stone Phillips: “From?”

Mrs. Levy: “From Mr. Gary Condit. ‘Mrs. Levy, what
can I do for you?’ And I said, ‘My daughter’s
missing. I’m very worried about her.’”

Stone Phillips: “Did you ask him what your daughter
was doing calling his pager?”

Mrs. Levy. “Yes. I asked point blank, are you having
an affair with my daughter?”

Stone Phillips: “And what did he say?”

Mrs. Levy: ”He says, ‘I’m only professionally
involved with your daughter. I regard her highly. I
respect her as a personal friend. And I only had a
professional relationship. And ‘Mr. Congressman,
there seems to be a lot of late calls coming in?’
‘Oh, well, we work late in the evenings here on
Capitol Hill.’”

Stone Phillips: “Did he seem surprised?”

Mrs. Levy: “No.”

Stone Phillips: “Or offended that you would ask
whether he was having an affair with your daughter?”

Mrs. Levy: “No. He was very matter of fact. Not
particularly emotional at all.”

The Levys say despite the congressman’s denial, they
told both the D.C. police and the FBI early on of
their belief that Condit was having an affair with
their daughter. But for weeks, the Levys didn’t tell
the public.

Stone Phillips: “Why?”

Dr. Levy: “The police and FBI, the federal
prosecutor said that we shouldn’t really talk about
the case publicly because they didn’t want to harm
the investigation.

Stone Phillips: “And specifically not to mention
that your daughter had been involved with
Congressman Condit?”

Dr. Levy: “Yes.” [14]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next chapter - The Newport

Murder on a Horse Trail - Table of Contents

1. Condit, Gary. Interview with Connie Chung. PrimeTime Live. ABC. 23 Aug.
2001. Transcript.

2. Levy, Robert and Susan and Billy Martin. Interview with Larry King. Larry
King Live. CNN. 30 Apr. 2002. Transcript.

3. Douthat, Ross. “Condit Watch.” National Review 9 Aug. 2001.

4. Levy, Robert and Susan. Interview with Larry King. Larry King Live. CNN.
15 Aug. 2001. Transcript.

5. “Congressman Meets With Police: Police Call Meeting ‘Productive’.” ABC
News 23 June 2001.

6. “Where In The World Is Chandra Levy” at
under “Q & A session with Denis Edeline.”, 3 Aug. 2001.

7. DePaulo, Lisa. Talk Magazine article on Chandra Levy. Excerpt. London
Times U.K. 12 Aug. 2001.

8. Olson, Barbara, Mark Geragos, Cynthia Alksne and Julian Epstein. Interview
with Roger Cossack. Larry King Live. CNN. 2 Aug. 2001. Transcript.

9. Douthat, Ross. “Condit Watch.” National Review 9 Aug. 2001.

10. Condit, Gary. Interview with Connie Chung. PrimeTime Live. ABC. 23
Aug. 2001. Transcript.

11. “Police Keep Quiet on Levy Investigation.” Washington Times 23 Aug.

12. Levy, Robert and Susan. Interview with Larry King. Larry King Live. CNN.
15 Aug. 2001. Transcript.

13. Levy, Robert and Susan. Interview with Stone Phillips. NBC News. 10 Aug.
2001. Transcript.

14. Ibid.

“Chandra Levy Timeline.” ABCNews. 2002.

Dvorak, Petula. “Washington Lifestyle Dazzled Intern: Missing Daughter’s
Hopes, Accomplishments Comfort Parents Keeping Vigil.” Washington Post 22
May 2001.

Jardine, Jeff and Michael Doyle. “Chandra Levy: A Closer Look.” Modesto Bee 1
July 2001.

Kennedy, Helen “D.C. Cops Mystified As Intern Vanishes.” New York Daily
News 16 May 2001.

Lengel, Allan and Jamie Stockwell. “Search for IRS Worker Broadens.” Washington
Post. 19 June 2003.

Lengel, Allan and Petula Dvorak. “Intern Mentioned A ‘Boyfriend’, Landlord
Says: Levy Briefly Considered Move, He Says.” Washington Post 21 June 2001.

Miller, Bill. “Miles Between Missing and Murdered.” Washington Post 30 July

Novak, Viveca. Interview with McEdwards. Just in Time. CNN. 18 June 2001.

Ortega, Ralph. “Without a trace.” New York Daily News. 6 March 2003.

Walsh, Mary, Ariane DeVogue, Pierre Thomas and Brian Hartman. “Losing
Hope.” ABC News 21 June 2001.

Woolfolk, John and Roxanne Stites. “MODESTO HOUSE SEALED OFF AS
FBI AIDS INVESTIGATION.” San Jose Mercury News 28 December 2002.
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