The Case Of Chandra Levy: Assumptions Can Make An A** Out Of U And Mption

The Washington Post's bajillion part series about the Chandra Levy case soldiers on, leaving me wondering how any crimes actually ever get solved — but not leaving me wondering why this one didn't. To recap, Chandra was 24 when she disappeared in the summer of 2001 after having come to Washington to take a government internship and after having become embroiled in an affair with her Congressman, Gary Condit. Because most crimes against women are committed by people the women know (and probably because explicable violence is far more comforting than random violence), the investigation soon focused on the Congressman. By all accounts thus far, that might not've been the best idea.

One thing the Post story didn't touch on yet is the timeline. Did you know Condit's wife was in town (and staying with him) at the time Chandra disappeared? Or that when Chandra went for what was likely her final run (sometime after 12:30 in the afternoon of May 1, 2001), Condit was already up on the Hill after which he went for a rather public dinner? Yeah, I didn't know that either, despite obsessively following the Washington Post's coverage at the time.

Also, all the rumors that Mrs. Condit was upset weren't true, the police totally leaked their first interview, which was why Condit wasn't keen to talk to the cops a second time and his lawyer kept him from copping to anything about his sex life. Oh, and he agreed to a secret, sit-down meeting with the Levys and their lawyer but Mr. Levy wouldn't go because he'd already decided Condit killed her and Mrs. Levy didn't listen to anything because Condit was shorter and uglier (and older) than she'd expected and thus she decided that he'd killed Chandra, too.

I mean, yes, Condit was a serial philanderer but it was aggressive lawyer who told him to keep his yap shut about his sex life because of course a married serial philander would be suspected of offing one of his mistresses (he was seeing a flight attendant at the same time). On the other hand, being a serial philander was what made the police more suspicious and having a lawyer advise him not to cop to where his peen had been made the situation worse.

Worse still is that by focusing on dudes she knew, the cops missed finding Chandra's body or connecting it to other missing persons cases. By focusing their anxiety and parental disapproval on Condit (let alone holding press conferences to be able to pressure to cops into investigating him more thoroughly), her parents did their end goal — finding their daughter and punishing who hurt her — no good. Five days into the series and the case is already fucked, which I guess explains how the Post has so much to write about.

Who Killed Chandra Levy? [Washington Post]