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Condit says he broke off close friendship with Levy 2 days before she disappeared; says she became distraught and obsessive.
June 28, 2001 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Condit says he broke off close friendship with Levy 2 days before she disappeared; says she became distraught and obsessive. Sorry to revisit the Chandra issue, but it seems that Congressman Condit is becoming guiltier by the day. (Of stupidity, at the very least -- if not something more sinister.)
posted by jennak (38 comments total)

 
If his story is true, I'm outraged that he didn't tell police or the Levys immediately that he feared Chandra might have harmed herself.

His reluctance to talk makes him seem suspicious. (The latest revelation only came about because the parents recently discovered that Chandra called Condit several times in the 2 days before she disappeared.) We already know that he had an affair with Levy, he should just get it over with and tell the whole story.
posted by jennak at 7:32 AM on June 28, 2001


Even if he's guilty of nothing else, Condit had information that was highly relevant to a police investigation and he waited almost two full months to tell them. That's damning enough in my book to warrant his resignation from Congress.
posted by rcade at 7:38 AM on June 28, 2001


What a scumbag. The chick he's been sleeping with disappears off the face of the earth, and the only thing he can think of to do when the cops show up is cover his ass. How self-involved is that?
posted by UncleFes at 8:01 AM on June 28, 2001


Speaking of self-involved ... In Newsweek they mentioned, "Pics behind his desk not grip-'n'-grins, but beauty shots of him alone." Yikes!
posted by quirked at 8:27 AM on June 28, 2001


There's no doubt in my mind there was an affair here. Now, it is likely that the two events are completely seperate. It is very possible in DC that a young woman can have an affair with a congressman and also get attacked or what have you while going out jogging. But the more he is quiet, the more he feeds the suspicion that the two ARE connected.
posted by brucec at 8:33 AM on June 28, 2001


It is very possible in DC that a young woman can have an affair with a congressman and also get attacked or what have you while going out jogging.

Yes! It happens all the time! If we're not dating congressman, we're getting kidnapped and murdered.
posted by jennak at 8:38 AM on June 28, 2001


The beauty shots could also indicate that the staffperson responsible for appointing the congressman's office is nuts about him (perhaps even obsessively protective...)
posted by xiffix at 8:43 AM on June 28, 2001


beauty shots of him alone

Goodly lord :)

But the more he is quiet, the more he feeds the suspicion that the two ARE connected.

I doubt this putz had the wherewithal (or the gumption, for that matter) to have her whacked - seems reasonable that the two items are simple, if ugly, coincidence. And I don't think they broke up at all. But is he so vain and stupid that he thought he could simply lie to police about it and have them drop it?

I asked a cop once how he knew a guy was lying about something. First, he told me that they take classes (!) on how to tell when people are lying to you. Then, he says: "Fes, every day, I swim in a sea of lies. You think after so many years, so many liars, I don't know? It's my job."

Never lie to the cops. If you simply have to, always assume they absolutely know you are lying. Because they do.
posted by UncleFes at 8:43 AM on June 28, 2001


I read a study about detecting lying (no link at the moment). Secret Service agents were the best at it. Something about having to scan crowds for people with ill intent.
posted by NortonDC at 9:01 AM on June 28, 2001


i don't think cops are taught to know when someone's lying. i think they're taught to assume that everyone's lying all the time. in every encounter i've had with police officers, they've talk to and treated me like i was lying to them though i wasn't.
posted by tolkhan at 9:16 AM on June 28, 2001


i don't think cops are taught to know when someone's lying.

I saw the textbook :)
posted by UncleFes at 9:20 AM on June 28, 2001


Police don't *know* if someone is lying to you. No one can. If they did, their "knowing" could be used as evidence in a court of law. They only have a idea, at best, a hunch. A better hunch than most people, presumably, from working around liars and being well trained, and well-trained in certain, but not all forms, of human motivation. Their "swimming in a sea of lies" can also lead to a bias, possibly a very dangerous bias. This is nothing against police officers. It's a bad population sample they have on hand most of the time.
posted by raysmj at 9:28 AM on June 28, 2001


Yeah, but the first chapter is called "Everyone is Lying, an Introduction" - so...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:29 AM on June 28, 2001


Police detectives are trained in non-violent interrogation techniques including identification of subtle verbal and physical behaviors that most people exhibit when lying.

Also, even if they think you're telling the truth, accusing you of lying is an excellent way to provoke you into supplying more information; every detail you give to support your story either supports a case against someone else or gives them another opportunity to catch you lying.

Not that it always pays off: years ago, while I was being interrogated about a larceny, I mentioned that I had some physical evidence against another suspect (who I was, basically, ratting out); the detective playing the "bad cop" told me I could stick it up my ass. I stuck it in a trash can on my way out of their office, and got to laugh last when the DA reamed him out right in court later; that evidence turned out to be crucial in the other kid's prosecution.
posted by nicwolff at 9:44 AM on June 28, 2001


Police don't *know* if someone is lying to you.

Well, no, that's true. But the way it was explained to me was that there are a variety of recurrent body language patterns and verbal cues that indicate when someone is lying. Now, these are different for each person, but they fall into some definable categories, which cops are taught to look for and interrogate towards. Couple that with a job that puts you in contact with people who are lying far more often than most other jobs (because of the consequences of truth in this environment) and what you get is a person who is hypersensitive to and educated about the physical cues of lying.

And yeah, they assume everyone is lying. Because it's usually true. I assume that I'll be driving my car to work tomorrow - it's usually true. A lot of things can happen to me today that can make that not true, but by large, it is. You, as a (presumably) innocent person who is being questioned by the police, should probably take into account this bias and adjust your behavior accordingly. I've found that, once cops realize you are telling the truth and are not being obstructive, they quickly tone down the confrontational stance.

Hey, for the most part they're just mokes like you and I, doing a fairly dirty, unrewarding job with people you and I would prefer never to come into contact with. Cut 'em some slack. I do, and I've never had a problem with the cops - even when I have been arrested, I'm polite, they're polite. In fact, on a couple of occasions they've gone out of their way to make sure that I was treated decently while in custody. It's the otherwise normal people who scream "quit hassling us, pigs!" that get them ruffled.

I hope I'm not sharing too much here :)
posted by UncleFes at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2001


A girl is missing. A congressman knows more than he's telling.

Isn't America outraged, and aren't we going to do something about it??? I saw we hold up a big picture of Chandra right outside of the Rayburn House Office Building.
posted by jennak at 10:03 AM on June 28, 2001


UncleFes: Now, why did that get a "I love cops more than thou" repsonse? Hmm. Did I say anything about "pigs?" You're assuming just a wee bit too much, typing as if you're typing to an abstraction. Police just have hunches. They are well-trained, in most cases (but not all - the amount varies from city to city and state to state). But they only have hunches, and they can screw up and have biases (it's commonplace, being biased by who you work around, a common bias to watch for in any study of human behavior) like everyone else, which is all I said. Doesn't make them evil.
posted by raysmj at 10:13 AM on June 28, 2001


I wonder why people are surprised about this (lying about the alleged relationship). If the Congressman had an affair with the woman in question (and it seems to me he probably did), of course he is going to lie about it. Men and women both lie almost reflexively about sex, especially extra-marital sex.

The next question is this: why do people immediately jump from the perfectly natural behavior of lying about sex to the completely unnatural behavior of kidnapping and murder? The violent crime rate in this country is dropping, and has been dropping for years. Murder has never been a common occurrence outside of the evening news and the movies. Most people are decent enough, and there's a big difference between an affair and murder.
posted by Irontom at 10:22 AM on June 28, 2001


I've doubted the suicide angle for some time, and I'm also skeptical of the Condit-murdered-her angle, just because FOX and FR are slathering all over the story. The news that he had another girlfriend does seem to up the ante, though. Up till now, at least as far as the media know, there's nothing but circumstance linking him to Ms. Levy.

To me, that's really quite astonishing -- the lack of physical evidence, the way she vanished from her packed-to-go apartment with naught but her keys. That fact does imply she left expecting to return quickly and was comfortable with the circumstances. But I've thought from the beginning that a Congressman would have a difficult time picking up someone in broad daylight in the upscale, politically savvy DuPont Circle neighborhood, plus there are doormen and security cameras to worry about. Then there's the whole aspect of getting rid of the body.

The missing body is the most worrisome. Suicides don't go missing: they generally want to be found, sometimes to spite an intimate. The ones I've known in my own circle: a kid hanged himself in a hall closet; a newlywed man napped in his running car in his garage; another young married man burned himself and his garage down. A college cohort of my dad parked his car in the middle of a bridge (the Bay Bridge?) and was never found, but that's an exception. A murder, on the other hand, works best with the least evidence. The body not being found strongly argues to me that this was murder with a careful disposal. The body itself can tell so much about what happened (who, what, where, when, how) that without it any investigation is going to be a huge uphill battle. Even without a body, though, you have disposal, and that means vehicles, tools, possibly purchases, possibly an accomplice, and at the very least being someplace you shouldn't. Then there's the aspect of incriminating evidence left in the apartment. Risk returning there or not?

This could be some Ann Rule book when it's all over.
posted by dhartung at 10:31 AM on June 28, 2001


The next question is this: why do people immediately jump from the perfectly natural behavior of lying about sex to the completely unnatural behavior of kidnapping and murder?

Hey -- I'm not saying he's a murderer. Just a creep.

He was worried more about his own hide instead of helping police in trying to find his ex-lover.

My deal is that he doesn't need to keep quiet anymore. We all know he banged her. So now he should come out with all of the details, because maybe something will help the police to find Chandra.
posted by jennak at 10:32 AM on June 28, 2001


Did anyone here know that Rep. Condit appears (uncredited) in Return of the Killer Tomatoes? He's in a scene with Rick Rockwell, the guy who "married" Darva Conger on the Fox Network. Just makes you feel all warm inside, doesn't it?
posted by raysmj at 10:33 AM on June 28, 2001


Isn't America outraged, and aren't we going to do something about it???

I think most of America is saying "Why the hell is Chandra Levy more important than all the thousands of other people that go missing every day? Especially given that there is ZERO evidence that the accused has actually done anything to her, or even that anyone has done anything at all?" (It's still entirely possible that she's intentionally hiding.)

But is he so vain and stupid that he thought he could simply lie to police about it and have them drop it?

Maybe. Remember, DC is pretty much run by Congress. If the Washington PD ended up railroading a Congressman and it turned out the Congressman was completely innocent - or at least that they were never able to prove he did what they claim he did - the chances are high that the PD will end up paying for it in one way or another.
posted by aaron at 10:33 AM on June 28, 2001



just because FOX and FR are slathering all over the story.

ROFL! You keep on thinking that. And I highly suggest you stay away from MSNBC entirely for the next few weeks, unless you want to see reality.
posted by aaron at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2001



"Why the hell is Chandra Levy more important than all the thousands of other people that go missing every day?"

Very true. The news is what falls out of politicians’ mouths.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2001


Remind me not to join Dan's circle, despite the vacancies.
posted by NortonDC at 11:13 AM on June 28, 2001


Kind of weird, that story isn't online yet here in Modesto, modbee,which is ground zero for this thing...condit is from this area, Chandra is from here...one of his offices is 2 blocks away.

the local press seemed to get less vocal as condit became more of a target--he is extremely popular here, even die-hard republicans like my parents vote for him. I have a feeling local politics are going to get rather heated next election...which should be a very good thing.

local online discussion board.

I was at a fundraising lunch for her parents a few weeks ago...they are definately getting a lot of support, it would be nice to see every missing girl have that same chance...and the same amount of media frenzy. Her connection to Condit wasn't the reason this hit the media at first, her parents refused to give up, and also modesto is one of the centers of Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation as this was the FBI homebase during that investigation.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:15 AM on June 28, 2001


the way she vanished from her packed-to-go apartment with naught but her keys. That fact does imply she left expecting to return quickly and was comfortable with the circumstances.

That's a bit presumptuous. It could just as easily be said that the way she vanished from her packed-to-go-apartment with naught but her keys missing implies that she may have gone with someone less than willingly and just stuffed the keys that were in her hands into her pockets. Or that the person who lured/carried/dragged Chandra Levy away took her keys. Or she took her keys to lock her apartment behind her as she went on her way to jump into the Potomac.

But I have a hard time thinking that she just "went" anywhere -- I don't know too many places to go with just keys, no wallet, no purse, no ID, no credit cards, presumably little or no cash, no nothing. Where was she going? Even if she had a destination in mind that could be reached with nothing on her but her keys, she clearly never got there. If she was just out walking around, why didn't she come back?
posted by Dreama at 11:23 AM on June 28, 2001


and a thought i've had the whole time....people knew she was seeing someone. that is not disputed.

if my girlfriend was missing i would call the police, they wouldn't have to try and figure out who I am. If someone i was seeing causually even was all over the news i would call to give info...unless i was hiding something.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:40 AM on June 28, 2001


Or unless you had a distinguished career that could be destroyed by the fact that you were having an illicit affair.

For those that don't live here in DC, it's very easy to underestimate the power of the various interests that constantly circle around one another.

The Republicans are especially vigorous in using any hint of impropriety to destroy opponents, and the equal opportunity press just feeds into it.

I am not saying that what the man did or didnt do is right, only that it is completely understandable from a non-foul play viewpoint.
posted by Irontom at 12:15 PM on June 28, 2001


But I have a hard time thinking that she just "went" anywhere -- I don't know too many places to go with just keys, no wallet, no purse, no ID, no credit cards, presumably little or no cash, no nothing. — Dreama

How about: for a motorcycle ride?
posted by nicwolff at 1:02 PM on June 28, 2001


How about: for a motorcycle ride?

It's certainly been a long one.
posted by UncleFes at 1:08 PM on June 28, 2001


Point is: if I were Condit, a public figure with an ex-mistress getting uppity and my wife in town, and I wanted to kill my girlfriend, the way I'd do it is to stop by and pick her up on my bike, then ride her out somewhere woodsy, start the lovin', and throttle her. This has lots of advantages: 1. I don't have to transport the corpse alone, 2. My face is covered while I'm travelling with the victim, 3. She won't leave hair or other evidence in the vehicle on the way there and I won't leave dirt in it on the way back, 4. I get some last-chance nookie (not really — that'd leave DNA).
posted by nicwolff at 2:06 PM on June 28, 2001


Yikes. Does he have a bike?

I dunno, I've seen this guy on TV, he comes off like a blowdried pantywaist. Obviously, appearances can be deceiving, but I think he'd be more likely to hire it done than soil his own manicured-with-clear-polish hands.

Plus, put yourself in his place. Assuming worst case scenarios, what's going to be the most damaging? The nation finding out I have a young and beautiful mistress, or the nation finding out I murdered her? Or even suspected I did? Mistresses, as we've learned in the last several years, are eminently politically survivable. Hell, the male half of the nation would take a look at the girl and immediately forgive him, or at least identify.

He didn't kill her, he just bitched up trying to back away from the entire situation.
posted by UncleFes at 2:17 PM on June 28, 2001


Suicides don't go missing

Sure they do. They jump into fast moving bodies of water (like the Potomac), drown, and are swept miles away. Joyce Chiang, another young woman who disappeared from Dupont Circle in 1999, was found several months later in southern Fairfax County along the Potomac River. No cause of death was ever determined in her case.
posted by Chairman_MaoXian at 2:40 PM on June 28, 2001


She could have been dumped there. Water doesn't necessarily equal suicide.
posted by UncleFes at 2:51 PM on June 28, 2001


Does he have a bike? — UncleFes

A Harley; he's been pictured in Easyriders!
posted by nicwolff at 3:37 PM on June 28, 2001


there's nothing but circumstance linking him to Ms. Levy.

Except the several calls made from her phone to his private pager number. There's probably SOMETHING there, but I doubt Condit was stupid enough to have her rubbed out.

The Republicans are especially vigorous in using any hint of impropriety to destroy opponents, and the equal opportunity press just feeds into it.

They've been "especially vigorous" about not touching this with a ten foot pole. Just for the record. Of course, if he's guilty of anything more serious than adultery, they won't need to say a word.
posted by mikewas at 3:16 PM on June 29, 2001


Sure they do. They jump into fast moving bodies of water (like the Potomac), drown, and are swept miles away. Joyce Chiang, another young woman who disappeared from Dupont Circle in 1999, was found several months later in southern Fairfax County along the Potomac River. No cause of death was ever determined in her case.

Joyce was a dynamic person, a successful INS lawyer who had a lot going for her. Her government ID card and her jacket & keys were found in two separate locations far from where her partially clothed body (months later) was found.

Furthermore, she was dropped off at a Starbucks near her apartment at 8:30pm and needed to phone a friend at 9:00pm. Suicide was thought to be very unlikely early on. You neglected to present these facts (that make a suicide seem unlikely) and insinuated that her death was a suicide.

C'mon guys...let's research the facts before making (painful) suicide and serial killer theories.
posted by jennak at 10:31 AM on July 7, 2001


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