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Chapter 5. Explanation

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Chapter 5. Explanation 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 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Chandra developed a close friendship with Sven Jones at the Bureau of Prisons after he arrived in February of 2001. They worked in public affairs together and Sven considered her a "computer whiz" who helped him with technical problems at work. They spent a lot of time together, riding the subway to work, talking after work at Starbucks, and discussing at length her career and over time her boyfriend problems. Jennifer and her other USC friends had stayed in California after taking finals. Only Chandra had returned to be with her man in Congress.

She had become much more serious about Condit through the winter. Linda Zamsky had noted it as they kept up on the phone. Neighbors at the Newport didn't see her at all in March and most of April. According to CNN:

A neighbor who lives three doors from the apartment
Chandra Levy rented in the Dupont Circle area told
CNN Thursday she thought Levy did not actually live
in the building, but just maintained a residence

The resident, who wished to be identified only as
"Karen," told CNN she shared her observation with
police during the six times she was interviewed.

"She never carried laundry, or got packages, or took
out any trash," said the woman. "And I live three
doors down" from the unit Chandra rented. [1]

Chandra had become totally engaged in the process of becoming engaged, to become Mrs. Condit. She still talked to her aunt Linda and now her friend Sven of a five year plan to marry and have children, but the urgency to get a commitment from Condit was increasing. She discussed this at length with Sven without revealing her boyfriend's name to him as she had to Linda. Sven didn't think it was necessarily important anyway to know exactly who it was for him to offer feedback. He told the New York Daily News: "She was very private about that. Always."

Lisa DePaulo captured the essence of that dialogue between Chandra and Sven in a Talk magazine article:

"I tried to tell her," says Jones, "that if you push
a man like that too hard, he's going to feel as if
he's lost some self-control. I said, 'If you really
want to hook this guy, you should lay low and let
him feel like he's making the decisions.' "

But Chandra was beyond lying low. She'd been down
this road before with older married men - her
weakness - who promised her the world and abandoned
her. Friends from pre-Washington days knew how
devastated she had been in the past and worried that
if it happened again she would, as one put it, "do
something drastic. You know, call the wife or

As Levy told Jones: "I've invested too much in
this." And this time the stakes were much higher, as
they often are the third or fourth time around,
particularly with a man she considered the ultimate
catch. Despite her appearance - she was a tiny
little thing, much more petite than her photos
suggest - "Chandra could be a pretty forward
person," says Jones. "She was not the type of woman
who was going to be the little mistress waiting home
on the couch."...

She was determined to "have this confrontation", he
says. Jones, who has two degrees in psychology, knew
to tread lightly. "Sometimes men do leave their
wives," he told her. But did she realise how many
other hurdles she'd face down the road by being with
a powerful man 30 years her senior? And if he
cheated on his wife . . .

Over those last months in the spring, as her romance
seemed to be reaching a crescendo, Levy "vacillated
between being angry with him and feeling placated by
him", says Jones. Her Man knew how to talk her off
the ledge, at least temporarily. Then the drama
would repeat itself. "It was cyclical and
predictable," says Jones. Compounding the emotional
drama was the sex. Levy was not a kiss-and-tell
woman, but she made it clear that "when they were
together it was pretty intense", Jones says. [2]

Sven asked her about the wife, and Chandra replied "it was not really a major issue". [3] But there was some problem. In early April she mentioned she had a problem, and when Sven asked her about it she said it was a "female problem", something she "needed to take care of" but "could handle". [4] She wasn't very comfortable talking about it, so Sven didn't pursue it. He got the impression she was going to go to a doctor about it.

DePaulo and Sven later discussed what the female problem could be. Lisa told Roger Cossack on Larry King Live:

Well, you know, women don't usually refer to
pregnancy as a female problem. Especially women who
want to be pregnant, which she did. She would have
been very happy if she was pregnant with Gary
Condit's child. So I don't think it was pregnancy.
That doesn't mean that she -- I've discounted
totally the possibility that she could have been.
But I think it was something else.

I think it might have been some kind of sexually
transmitted thing which, by the way, would have been
extremely upsetting to this woman if it were true,
because she really believed he wasn't having sex
with anyone else. And if it weren't for Anne Marie
Smith being brave enough to come forward, we might
not know that. But she believed that she was the
only sexual partner Gary Condit had. [5]

Chandra's father, Dr. Robert Levy, usually handled any medical needs she had. He prescribed her birth control pills. No appointments for a doctor in the Washington area were ever found to be made by Chandra for her problem. What was the female problem that she needed to take care of, and how was she going to handle it?

Her parents would be arriving in a few days for a visit at her aunt's over the Passover weekend and then staying a week for her birthday. She did not discuss a female or medical problem with them during the visit, or with her aunt, whom she had been confiding her secrets. Her father is a doctor, and she didn't discuss a medical problem with him.

The Levys didn't think she was pregnant, in fact, are certain that she wasn't from their visit. It is believed based on their statement that Chandra may have mentioned she was having her period to one of her relatives. A cynical view of that is that she may have deliberately misled her family about a pregnancy by mentioning she was having her period. That implies she would be getting an abortion she didn't want her family to know about. But DePaulo points out above that Chandra would have been happy to be pregnant with Condit's child, and her parents told Larry King that they didn't think Chandra would even consider an abortion:

Larry King: Did you ever think she was pregnant?

Bob Levy: Oh...
Larry King: It has been reported she's got some
great news to tell her aunt.

Bob Levy: No. I didn't really think so but, you

Susan Levy: Who knows?

Bob Levy: We don't know. You know, we don't know
what's -- you know, she -- I guess she could have
been, but we just don't know. She's not a -- you
know, she wasn't favorable of abortion at all. So,
you know, she wouldn't do that.

Susan Levy: And if she was pregnant, we would love
her and her grandchild just --our grandchild just
the same no matter who... [6]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chandra went through the whole visit, with her parents and everybody else, dreamy eyed in love and making phone calls to her secret boyfriend. She hardly acted as if she had a medical problem or a problem pregnancy, especially a problem caused by Condit. The fact that she didn't want to talk about it is strange in that she brought it up to start with. "I have a problem." "what kind of problem?" "a female problem, but I can handle it".

Sven may take that as a medical problem, and with two degrees in psychology and being her best friend he's a better judge of that than anyone, but it is strange she brought it up but didn't want to talk about it, strange that one would refer going to a doctor as something she "could handle", and strange that if she had a medical problem she neither talked to her doctor father nor made an appointment with a doctor.

One other possibilty of a female problem is another woman. She had told Sven that her boyfriend's wife was "not a major issue", but she had just received the call from her mother and OC about OC's story of a past affair between Condit and OC's teenaged daughter. Her mother and her had argued about her secret boyfriend, whom Susan was beginning to suspect might be Condit, and Chandra had told her mother she was a grown woman and to mind her own business. It is possible the female problem was her mother, or Condit's wife, but it remains a mystery as to how she was going to handle it.

Chandra was calling Condit every day in early April, but Condit says they "never had a cross word". [7] According to Condit, Chandra was prone to call him to discuss politics; such things as to tell him she saw a new federal prison was going to be built back home or "What’s going on with that crazy mayor in Modesto? He sounds nuts. Let’s talk about it". [8] She wanted to talk about federal prisons topics like the upcoming executions of Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and drug trafficer Juan Raul Garza, a lot more than he wanted to talk about them, he says. [9]

He also says he had family in town in early April, who that might be and whether they were staying with him he doesn't say. Congress adjourned for Easter-Passover recess on April 7 and Condit says he returned home to California. [10] Yet Chandra was still making dreamy eyed calls to her boyfriend while visiting with her parents the next week, "a lot of phone calls", according to her parents. [11]

Linda was trying to arrange when to pick up Chandra at the train station, but they played phone tag for a few days because Linda wasn't able to find Chandra home. Linda continues with Chandra's visit to her home for Passover:

So I picked her up ... she called, I called, we
played phone tag for a couple of days prior to
Passover, because she wasn't in her apartment. I
called her a couple of evenings, she wasn't there.
And finally she called me from work one day and we
made arrangements to pick her up the Friday before
Passover, which was April 5th, I believe it was. And
I picked her in Perryville at the train station, and
we went and her grandmother was with us ... And her
parents weren't arriving till Saturday morning, on a
red-eye, and then they were going to, they were
staying at a hotel, and they were going to sleep and
then they'd come out to the house Saturday, early
evening. So Chandra and I had all Friday night to
talk, and part of Saturday to talk before the
parents got in.

And we were at the … pizzeria for dinner, we had
pizza, we chitchatted. It was idle chitchat,
nothing, we weren't discussing the boyfriend then
because the grandmother was there, and she kind of
she didn't care if she spoke in front of the
grandmother, she just preferred not to. She did
mention her boyfriend, you know, that she had a nice
Valentine's Day and that was it, like in front of
her, because the grandmother would ask hey, what was
going on, you know, 'Are you still seeing him, I
don't think you should be seeing a married man, you
better be care' -- you know, grandmother wisdom
And then we spoke, I don't know if it was Friday
night or Saturday morning, but we started to talk
about ... just went blank.

She showed me the bracelet. We were in my living
room. And this was Saturday morning. Grandma was
still sleeping, the husband was still sleeping. And
she showed me the bracelet on her right wrist, a
gold bracelet. A chain bracelet, a very nice piece
of jewelry, double clasp, and she said that he
bought her this. [12]

When they went out for pizza and ice cream, she told the Washington Post:

We bought Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough.
We didn't buy the low fat. She said that's what they
eat. She didn't use his name. She said her
'boyfriend, my guy.' Most of the time she referred
to him as 'my guy.' [13]

Chandra's parents, worried about her secrecy and OC's warning, not knowing if her boyfriend was Condit, tried to coax it out of her when they arrived. Chandra's 19 year old brother Adam recalls to the LA Times: "At one point, my sister said she had a 'friend in government.' I joked with her and asked it he was a 'boyfriend,' but she said, 'No, just a friend.'" Her dad is heard asking her about her friend while shooting a home video, and she brushes him off with "Dad, it's none of your business". [14] She can be seen wearing the gold bracelet in the video. [15]

After Passover, the Levys moved on to visit their good friends, Fran and Charles Iseman, Chandra's godparents, who also lived in the Washington, D.C. area. Chandra was with them to celebrate her 24th birthday that weekend and called her boyfriend on Friday. Her mother describes her calls to Stone Phillips of NBC News:

Mrs. Levy: “She was in love. Happy.”

Stone Phillips: “Dreamy eyed?”

Mrs. Levy: “Dreamy eyed, definitely. Calling. A lot
of phone calls back there.”

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." [16]

According to Jeff Jardine of the Modesto Bee, Chandra's mother says that during the visit Chandra told her she had talked to Condit about the affair Susan and OC Thomas had called her about, and told her mother he had "explained it all" to her. Her uncle, Paul Katz, told Larry King that Chandra had told her mother "don't worry, mom, I talked to him about it and there's nothing to worry about".

Chandra made a call to Condit on Friday, April 13th, the day before her birthday. After that, they "tail off", according to Michael Isikoff of Newsweek. What would cause a cessation of dreamy eyed phone calls to her boyfriend the day before her birthday?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She celebrated her birthday with her family and, as Donna St. George, Allan Lengel and Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post report:

...she celebrated at the home of her godparents,
surrounded by her family and presiding over a
chocolate cake with flowers that read, "Happy
Birthday, Chandra. We love you."

Her godparents gave her a silver ankle bracelet and
a check for $54 -- "triple chai," her godmother
called it, referring to the Hebrew letters that
represent 18 and translate to "life."

The birthday honoree mentioned the congressman that
day -- happily -- but discreetly avoided using his
name. "She was very much in love and had stars in
her eyes," said the godmother... [17]

Susan and Chandra celebrated by sharing a visit to the Hershey, Pa. spa. As Frank Murray of the Washington Times reports:

...The family drove to Hershey, Pa., to celebrate
her 24th birthday -- Saturday, April 14 -- at the
end of Passover week. "Chandra and I did the Hershey
spa treatment for her birthday," Mrs. Levy said.
Other such mother-daughter outings included world
travels, concerts by Paul Simon and Bob Dylan and a
trip by train and car to Canyonlands National Park.
"We travel together. We laugh together. We argue
together. We share opinions, not always agreeing.
Mother and daughter," Mrs. Levy said, never losing
her composure as she reviewed memories. "We try to
be always nice to each other," she added... [18]

It would be the last time the Levys saw Chandra.

They flew back to California on Sunday. Chandra returned to focusing on her career, according to Sven Jones, submitting multiple federal government applications for a permanent job, although she could see potential in returning to California. [19] She was hoping her internship would lead to a permanent job at the Bureau of Prisons.

For that or some other reason, Chandra made a last visit to the Congressional office of Condit, her friend, her mentor, her secret lover, and someone she sought help and advice for her career. The last visit, Condit aide Michael Dayton told Fox News, occurred five weeks before the May 18, 2001 article. This would seem to be during the Easter recess with Condit reportedly back home in California. Was Condit actually in California the previous week with Chandra talking to him every day? Was he there when Chandra made her last visit to his office? What was Chandra checking on?

More importantly, just what had he explained?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next chapter - BOP

Murder on a Horse Trail - Table of Contents

1. Wright, Brad and Paul Courson. “Levy’s former neighbors don’t recall much.”
CNN 27 July 2001.

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

3. Cowan, Lee. Interview with Tom Bergeron. The Early Show. CBS. 8 July
2001. Transcript.

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

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

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

7. Isikoff, Michael and Evan Thomas. “From Bad to Worse.” Newsweek 3 Sept.

8. Isikoff, Michael. “Interview with Gary Condit and Abbe Lowe.” Newsweek 3
Sept. 2001.

9. Isikoff, Michael and Evan Thomas. “From Bad to Worse.” Newsweek 3 Sept.

10. Isikoff, Michael. “Interview with Gary Condit and Abbe Lowe.” Newsweek 3
Sept. 2001.

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

12. “Chandra’s Aunt’s Statement.” Fox News 9 July 2001.

13. Lengel, Allan and Petula Dvorak. “Aunt Linda Details Chandra’s Affair with
Gary.” Washington Post 6 July 2001.

14. Arax, Mark and Stephen Braun. “Days of Torment for Interns Parents.” Los Angeles
Times 7 July 2001.

15. “Levy Relative Details Condit Affair.” ABC News 6 July 2001.

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

17. St. George, Donna, Allan Lengel and Petula Dvorak. “DC Intern Lived On
Edge of Secrecy.” Washington Post 8 July 2001.

18. Murray, Frank J. “Mom won’t judge Chandra.” Washington Times 29 July

19. Doyle, Michael and J. N. Sbranti. “D.C. police reject local assistance in
search for missing Modesto woman.” Modesto Bee 15 May 2001.

Burger, Timothy J. and Helen Kennedy. “Police hunt for Chandra’s body; Condit
balking at taking lie test.” New York Daily News 13 July 2001.

“Chandra’s Brother Talks.” Los Angeles Times 21 June 2001.

DePaulo, Lisa. Interview with Matt Lauer. Today. NBC News. 3 Aug. 2001.

Doyle, Michael. “Levy’s remains to be returned to Modesto, godparents say.”
Modesto Bee 22 May 2003.

Fields-Meyer, Thomas, Champ Clark, Michael Fleeman, Macon Morehouse and
J. Todd Foster. “Searching For Chandra.” People 25 June 2001: 87.

Jardine, Jeff. “Minister: Daughter had affair with Condit.” Modesto Bee 12 July

Jones, Sven. Interview with Bill O’Reilly. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox News. 24
May 2002. Transcript.

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

Lathem, Niles and Cathy Burke. “Condit Wife’s Mystery Phone Call.” New
York Post 27 July 2001.

Leiby, Richard and Petula Dvorak. “The Wait of Their Lives.” Washington Post
26 Aug. 2001.

“Missing Intern Left Clue.” Fox News 18 May 2001.

“Nonexistent Phone Calls (and Other False Tales).” Newsweek 29 July 2001.

Olson, Barbara, Mike Geragos, Cynthia Alksne, Julian Epstein, and Lisa DePaulo.
“Will Chandra Levy ever be found?” Interview with Larry King. Larry King
Live. CNN. 30 July 2001. Transcript.

“Police Dismiss Private Test.” 9 Eyewitness News 14 July 2001.

Squitieri, Tom and Kevin Johnson. “Flight attendant questioned for second
day.” USA Today 13 July 2001.
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