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 8:50 am Post subject:
Chandra Ann Levy was a bright, inquisitive 23 year old when she came to Washington, D.C. in September of 2000. She had come to take her final semester to complete her master's degree in public administration at USC in California, where she had grown up in Modesto. Friends and neighbors of Chandra described her as strikingly diminutive, perhaps smaller than her official 5 foot 3, 110 pound size, but with curly brown big hair that made her look taller.
She had a small rose tattoo placed above her right ankle in college that her mother was not too pleased about but, being an artist, she did at least try to see the beauty in it. Susan Levy, Chandra's mother, and her husband Dr. Robert Levy, are Jewish but Susan combined Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist teachings in her own beliefs, inspiring Chandra to name her pet parakeets Christmas and Hanukah. Some sense of Chandra's thoughts on her heritage were captured through her interest in journalism in this piece for the Modesto Bee when she was in high school:
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL: A student's view of Wiesenthal
By CHANDRA LEVY
SOPHOMORE, DAVIS HIGH SCHOOL
(Originally published August 27, 1993)
As I began walking through the Simon Wiesenthal
Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, I had a feeling
that I would have a lump in my throat and a big
headache when the tour would be over.
I was right.
People just coming from the last tour had disturbed
looks on their faces. Some, I think, even were
The museum itself was big and beautiful; the outside
had a big monument showing where some of the
concentration camps were. It was very peaceful. But
on the inside, it was quite a different story. it
was dark, dreary and cold.
In the beginning of the tour there were different
exhibits to see. One particular exhibit was a dark
hall that you would walk down and hear different
racial slurs whispered at you. It seemed quite
normal because you can hear many of these words used
toward people every day in many situations.
There were many films to see, such as one called
"Genocide" which showed graphic pictures and told
chilling facts about different genocides throughout
history. What I found weird was that there was a
phrase from the Declaration of Independence, "All
men are created equal," in the beginning and end of
the film. It reminded me of the first rule in the
book "Animal Farm" and how their rule was suddenly
changed. It seems like our first Declaration was
never really true and, in some ways, it still is not
As we moved on in our tour, we were guided into a
replica of what Germany looked like in the 1930s and
'40s. There was a replica of a German concentration
camp, along with films of how the camp was run, and
life in those camps.
We were each given a little card with a picture of a
concentration camp survivor and told to stick them
in a machine. When we did, a photocopy came out with
a story of the survivor's personal history. We were
then told to keep the copy as a reminder of that
In the last part of the tour, there were exhibits of
items crafted by people in the camps. One item was a
little handmade guitar made from some sheets of a
There were many pictures all over the place. Some
were cheerful, but most were sad and horrifying.
Certain pictures stood out in my mind, such as a
picture of a father holding his little girl as they
were shot to death. Other pictures showed many
different human torture techniques and how fragile
many people looked after being treated like old
rags. Some pictures were just plain disgusting such
as a man's cut-off head, shrunken for medical
purposes, and many young children withering away
from human medical experiments.
While I am writing this, just thinking about these
things makes me want to smash the keyboard with my
fists. The Holocaust is a very hard subject to think
about, much less to write or talk about.
My mother came from the tour just shaking her head
in disbelief. My father couldn't even go on the tour
because it brought back too many bad memories. My
brother asked why we had to go to see the center
anyway (I wouldn't recommend letting younger
children see the center) and I told him that we went
there to see what happened to these people, to
realize how thankful we should be, and to prevent
anything like the Holocaust from every happening
Anne Frank thought that in spite of all the bad in
the world, people are basically good. I agree with
her. Hey, even Hitler was a good person some time in
his life. But people also make big mistakes about
judging others at one time or another. This is a
fact of life and it is all in the course of human
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:51 am Post subject:
|What talent and passion Chandra had. She took that passion for writing to San Francisco State to major in journalism and work on the school paper as reporter and sports editor. She had also displayed an interest in law enforcement by volunteering in high school for the Modesto Police Department, but between the disenchantment from her experience with reporting in college and the strong love she had for a Modesto police officer she dated when she came home on weekends, somewhere along the way her interest shifted to law enforcement and a minor in criminal justice. When she graduated in only three years, she returned to Modesto for a year and worked for the police department during the day and on the sports desk for the Bee at night.
That love affair with her policeman boyfriend ended in heartbreak, however. In 1999 after over two years of dating Mark Steele ended the relationship, but at ten years older encouraged Chandra to seek a life outside Modesto. She was devastated, pursuing Mark with a bombardment of phone calls before finally accepting it, and he married someone else a year later. A train trip through the Rockies with her mother gave her time to deal with the disappointment, and according to her mother, they had a great time and bonded. However, when Chandra went to Los Angeles in August to pursue a master's degree in public administration at USC, a friend in LA said Chandra was "shattered" by the breakup. 
Chandra recovered though, living in a small graduate student apartment in LA with a fold down bed, no TV, and a gym in the apartment building to work out in. She interned during the fall semester, from September to December, for LA Mayor Richard Riordan working in the lobbying office. For the winter 2000 semester she moved to Sacramento and took classes at the USC Sacramento branch, interning for Gov. Gray Davis' legal staff from February to June.
Even as she was getting over Mark Steele, Chandra's friends knew that she preferred older men to those closer to her own age. The London Daily Mail quoted one friend, Michael Vanden Bosch, as recalling that she called them "hunks with power". The Washington Post quotes him: "She wanted a guy who was concerned, dignified, stable, respected, and a guy who was headed somewhere in his field." So friends were not surprised when they believed that she was involved with a married doctor while in Sacramento.
A friend from San Francisco State in 1997, Jakub Mosur, told The New York Post: "She certainly wasn't into college guys, that's for sure. She was very mature for her age, and didn't date college guys. She was ambitious in a quiet, but very serious, way."
Her intern work for Governor Gray Davis' legal staff included helping to process death row pardon applications. Out of that came a tour of Folsom Prison and attending a parole hearing, and Susan Levy recalls that was the impetus for Chandra to apply for an internship at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) public affairs office. 
Chandra called a BOP manager, Daniel Dunne, from California and told him she didn't want just any job, she wanted one that would "teach her something, advance her career". Dunne hired her on the spot for a $27,000 a year paid internship taking phone calls and doing computer research.  Chandra was on her way to Washington.
Her mother was protective as parents are wont to be. "Don't you become a Monica Lewinsky," she jokingly warned, as she related later to Newsweek along with an apology to Monica's mother, Marcia Lewis. Chandra left California that summer and got an apartment in Arlington, Va. Her classes started in September but her internship at the BOP was not to start until late October. She moved into an apartment building in downtown Washington just off Dupont Circle sometime before her internship started and took the Metro train to work.
The Dallas Morning News quotes the recollection of a friend from the USC graduate school, Matt Szabo: "She loved it in D.C. It was the excitement of being in the capital and around the centers of power that we read about in books."
One of her USC graduate program classmates she met in Sacramento was Jennifer Baker, who grew up near Modesto. Jennifer also went to Washington with Chandra for the fall 2000 semester. The USC graduate program was an intensive mix of internships and ten hour days on weekends, so time consuming that a dissertation was not required for the master's degree in public administration that they were pursuing.
They palled around, doing "touristry things", according to Jennifer.  They also took "political field trips" and it was on one those visits to government offices that they dropped by Rep. Gary Condit's office, Chandra's own local congressman.
Jennifer describes the visit as impromptu, with neither knowing Congressman Condit, but Condit spotted them, posed for a picture with them, took them to the House gallery to watch him vote, and offered Jennifer an unpaid internship in his office for the semester, but when she left Chandra stayed behind in Condit's office. 
The LA Times further quotes Jennifer Baker: "As far as I knew, that was the first and last time Chandra ever met him. She came over to meet me at his office once or twice a week so we could go out for lunch, but I never saw them together again. If there was a relationship, she never told me about it."
Condit's staff stated that he knew Chandra through his intern Jennifer Baker.  Numerous news reports described Jennifer as introducing Chandra to Condit. Yet they walked in together, Jennifer was offered an internship on the spot, and Chandra stayed behind with Condit. Who introduced whom to who?
Vince Flammini had been Condit's staff driver in California for almost ten years. In an Geraldo Rivera interview, Flammini relates Condit describing a girl to him who matched Chandra perfectly, but describing her to him earlier during the summer:
He said that she had "melons" for breasts and had
the greatest body he'd ever seen. And that she had
curly hair but she was dark complected. I thought
maybe she might have been a black girl. And he did
talk about her but he didn't give me a name. But he
talked about her even before that time. That's why I
was wondering if he knew her before. You know,
before September 2000. 
Flammini elaborates further on Hannity & Colmes:
He explained to me -- it was way before December. I
left in September. And June, July, and August, he
was telling me about this girl that he met. And he
described Chandra to the tee. And then it comes out
that he said didn't meet her until December. And
here she worked in the governor's office with his
son and daughter and sister. And he said -- and they
all said they didn't know her. Well, I don't believe
And he adds another corroboration for Greta Van Susteren:
... like he was seeing a girl that her ex-boyfriend
was a police officer. That's the first time. And
Chandra's ex-boyfriend was a police officer. 
The son and daughter working in the governor's office that Flammini refers to are Chad Condit, a $110,000 liason for Governor Davis to California's Central Valley, and Cadee Condit, a $52,000 special assistant to Davis. Dennis Cardoza, a former Condit aide and later elected to Congress himself, described the bond between Gray Davis and Gary Condit "as close a bond as any politicians have". 
So Condit was extremely close to Governor Davis and his staff by virtue of his relationship with Gray Davis and the positions his grown children had on his staff. However, Governor Davis' office pointed out that Chandra did her internship in an office building three blocks from the state Capitol building. 
Did Condit know Chandra in Sacramento and help arrange for her BOP internship? Did he arrange for Jennifer Baker's internship in his office as cover for Chandra to visit? Condit did seem to have known who Chandra was. The Modesto Bee reports that he helped her obtain her BOP internship. Oddly, this is in conflict with what the BOP says. Daniel Dunne, the manager who hired her, said no congressional office "intervened on her behalf". 
The Bureau of Prisons internship in the public affairs office certainly seemed to be worth some intervention. It was a prestigious and valuable internship for someone seeking a career in federal law enforcement, a paid internship at $27,000 per year handling press inquiries. Chandra described it to her parents as "the best internship I could possibly get". 
It may have been a total coincidence that she was in Sacramento working on the legal staff of Condit's ally, Gray Davis, whose staff included Chad and Cadee, before serendipitously wangling a coveted paid public relations internship position in D.C. with a phone call from California. But Condit described her to his driver Flammini in the months before she went to D.C. while she was working for the governor. Was she secretly seeing her congressman before she even started work for the BOP?
If so, Chandra didn't make an announcement to friends and family of a new boyfriend until shortly after her visit with Jennifer to Condit's office to meet him. Chandra told Jennifer in November about having a new boyfriend. AP quotes Jennifer: "She never told me what his name was or what he looked like." Chandra's mother recalls: "I do know that she had mentioned to me that she had a boyfriend in November. Actually, I don't know of any particular boyfriend." 
To friends back home, she told of dating someone in politics and to one friend even said that he was a member of Congress. To Jennifer, who was interning for Condit, she said her boyfriend was in the FBI. However, Chandra wrote to another friend that she had lied about that. According to AP, her e-mail read: "Don't tell her who I am seeing, since" she "thinks that I am dating an FBI agent (which is obviously not the case but I lied to her so she wouldn't ask any questions)."
USC classmate Michelle Yanez said Chandra was so secretive about her boyfriend that "it worried us".  The Los Angeles Times: "She couldn't say who it was. "'Couldn't,' that's how she put it," Yanez said. "She was also extremely excited about whoever it was that she was seeing. She said it was 'someone in politics.'"
An argument can be made that Chandra already knew Condit when she and Jennifer walked into his office, that Jennifer Baker was cover for her to know Condit, and that the married doctor earlier in Sacramento may have been Condit. Whether that is true or not, James Lau, the USC classmate who introduced Chandra and Jennifer, sums it up best in the Daily Telegraph: "She was very mysterious about who she was dating." Did that mysterious boyfriend help her get a paid internship? It is a critical question in that the ending of her internship is even more mysterious than the beginning
Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:55 am Post subject:
|Next chapter - Secrecy
Murder on a Horse Trail - Table of Contents
1. Levy, Chandra. “HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL: A student’s view of Wiesenthal
Center.” Modesto Bee 27 Aug. 1993.
2. Lehmann, John and Cynthia Bournellis. “Friends had been telling Chandra
Levy for years: Quit falling in love with older men.” New York Post 12 Aug.
3. Fagan, Kevin and Jim Herron Zamora. “Family and friends call Chandra Levy
the girl least likely to vanish without a trace.” San Francisco Chronicle 1 July
4. St. George, Donna, Allan Lengel and Petula Dvorak. “DC Intern Lived On
Edge of Secrecy.” Washington Post 8 July 2001.
5. Melley, Brian. “Acquaintances say Levy was a good student, fitness nut.”
Union Tribune 14 July 2001.
6. “Missing Intern Case Still a Mystery.” Los Angeles Times 20 May 2001.
7. Harnden, Toby. “Fears for missing intern linked to congressman.” Telegraph
U.K. 18 May 2001.
8. Flammini, Vince Interview with Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo. NBC. 17 July 2001.
9. Flammini, Vince. Interview with Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. Hannity
and Colmes. Fox News. 27 Feb. 2002. Transcript.
10. Williams, Ted, Michael Doyle, and Vincent Flammini. Interview with Greta
Van Susteren. On the Record. Fox News. 29 Apr. 2002. Transcript.
11. Miller, Jim. “Condit, Davis ties run deep.” Modesto Bee 24 Dec. 2000.
12. Murray, Frank J. “Who is Chandra Levy?” Washington Times 29 July 2001.
14. DePaulo, Lisa. Talk Magazine article on Chandra Levy. Excerpt. London
Times U.K. 12 Aug. 2001.
15. Lauerman, Kerry. “The congressman, the missing intern and the mother.”
Salon 22 June 2001. <www>.
16. Thermos, Wendy. “Student Vanishes Without a Word.” New York Times 12
Arax, Mark and Stephen Braun. “Days of Torment for Interns Parents.” Los Angeles
Times 7 July 2001.
“Condit children quit California governor’s staff.” CNN 28 Aug. 2001.
“D.C. Police, FBI, interview parents, Condit.” WJLA 16 May 2001.
Dart, Bob. “Mystery of the missing intern has Washington abuzz.” Atlanta Journal-
Constitution 20 May 2001.
“Disappearance casts new light upon missing intern Chandra Levy.” Associated
Press 13 July 2001.
Doyle, Michael. “Anxiety deep, answers few in Levy case.” Modesto Bee 12 May
Dvorak, Petula. “Washington Lifestyle Dazzled Intern: Missing Daughter’s
Hopes, Accomplishments Comfort Parents Keeping Vigil.” Washington Post 22
“FBI Joins Missing Intern Case.” Modesto Bee 19 May 2001.
“Friends fill in details of missing woman’s personality.” Dallas Morning News 25
“Intern Told Friend of Relationship With Congressman.” Fox News 18 May
Jackson, Robert L. “Police Dogs Search Woods for USC Student.” Los Angeles
Times 17 May 2001.
Jardine, Jeff. “Condit faces new allegations.” Modesto Bee 4 July 2001.
Jardine, Jeff and Michael Doyle. “Chandra Levy: A Closer Look.” Modesto Bee 1
Jeffreys, Daniel. “The Vanishing.” London Daily Mail 12 July 2001.
Levy, Susan. Interview. Newsweek. 13 Aug. 2001.
McCray, Kerry and Michael Doyle. “Levy stands out.” Modesto Bee 24 May
Santana, Arthur. “Lack of Information Leaves Family Frustrated.” Washington
Post 16 May 2001.
Yost, Pete. “Police to Search Missing Woman’s Apt.” Associated Press 18 May
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