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UPDATED CHRONOLOGY OF DUKE LACROSSE CASE: SEPTEMBER 2006; Judge Smith Orders DNA Details to Defense, Denies Bill of Particulars
Topic Started: Oct 1 2010, 10:16 PM (2,082 Views)


By sceptical

(Thanks to Quasi, Q.A and Baldo for reviewing the manuscript).

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1: Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III officially takes over sole management of the alleged rape case against former Duke lacrosse players Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. He was assigned on August 18 after defense attorneys for the 3 indicted players and Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong reach agreement to have the case declared “exceptional,” allowing a single judge to preside.

It is revealed that a toxicology test of accuser Crystal Mangum’s hair turned up no signs of controlled substances. DA Nifong told defense lawyers of the negative results in a meeting Aug. 25. In April, Newsweek reported that Nifong had "hinted" that a date rape drug may have been used in the alleged rape. A urine toxicology test was not performed when Mangum was examined in the emergency room March 14, hours after the party. Bradley Bannon, one of Dave Evans' attorneys, says Nifong did not say what drugs the laboratory tested for.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 3: In his blog “Durham in Wonderland,” Prof. KC Johnson of Brooklyn College discusses why DA Nifong has resisted calls to recuse himself from the lacrosse case in favor of a special prosecutor. Johnson suggests Nifong himself could be called as a witness to explain his comments early in the case, thereby forcing him to step-aside. Johnson also foreshadows future events when he writes:
“Returning to reality, it’s easy to understand why Nifong has so desperately resisted a special prosecutor. “Justice” for the accuser isn’t high on his agenda; it seems unlikely, in fact, that it’s on his agenda at all. Rather, allowing a special prosecutor–or any other representative of law enforcement, such as the Justice Department–access to his case records almost certainly would conclude with the new prosecutor referring Nifong’s actions to the state bar’s ethics committee. The subsequent termination of his law license couldn’t be far behind. And that’s merely a best-case scenario for Nifong. The worst-case outcome would find him crossing the aisle to serve as a defendant himself.”

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4: The Duke men's lacrosse program holds its first practice in more than five months. The Blue Devils open fall training at 7:15 a.m. with a two-hour practice under new coach John Danowski. "It felt great," senior Tony McDevitt says. "There's not too many times that you can appreciate a great sweat, and, today, I think everybody appreciated that." The team last practiced together on March 27, a day before Duke President Richard Brodhead suspended play. Brodhead then canceled the season and coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign on April 5. Danowski was hired in late July. Duke has five weeks of fall practices scheduled.

The New Yorker publishes a long treatise about the lacrosse crisis by Peter Boyer entitled “Big Men on Campus.” The article reveals that Duke Board of Trustees Chair Robert Steel personally lured President Brodhead to Duke from Yale. It also quotes Steel about why the lacrosse practices and games were abruptly stopped at the onset of the crisis:
On that fitful weekend in late March when the TV satellite trucks hit campus, the lacrosse team could be seen practicing for the Georgetown game, a scene that became an endless video loop suggesting institutional indifference. “We had to stop those pictures,” Bob Steel says. “It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.”

The New Yorker article also features interviews with Duke President Brodhead and lacrosse team critics Orrin Starn and Peter Wood:
Brodhead reflected on all that had happened as we chatted in his office in July, and said that it brought to mind Shakespeare’s “Othello”—not for its obvious associations with interracial passions and violence but for its lesson on prejudgment. The scene at the beginning of the play, he said, was particularly instructive. Desdemona’s father hears about his daughter’s relationship with the Moor, and he sighs, “Belief of it oppresses me already.”
“He doesn’t say, ‘Oh, now I see what you’re getting at,’ ” Brodhead said. “He’s saying, ‘Now I realize that I always believed it’—‘Belief of it oppresses me already.’ It’s probably, to my mind, the greatest literary image of the action of prejudice—how a story is told to engage something in the mind that brings with it absolute certainty that derives from the nature of the stereotypes.”
He had located a clarifying point of reference in the lacrosse ordeal, and he became animated. It had been a headlong narrative, driven partly by a willingness to affirm favored certitudes about justice.
“ ‘Belief of it oppresses me already,’ you know?” he continued. “And the thing is, we actually can’t blame people for being subject to this, because it is so deeply human. And if, from day to day, we’ve seen people in the throes of this, we recognize that as a dimension of our humanity. At the same time, it really is our obligation to resist it, because, you know—truth and justice, they are cant phrases unless we try to take the trouble to make them have a reality to them. And what do truth and justice mean? Truth and justice mean something opposite from our preconceptions.”

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5: Robert Steel, chair of the Board of Trustees, is nominated by President George W. Bush for the position of undersecretary of the treasury for domestic finance, the White House announces. "Bob will bring wisdom and an extraordinary range of knowledge to this important position, and the country should be grateful for his willingness to render this significant public service," President Brodhead says in a statement. If confirmed, Steel, a l973 Duke graduate, will be responsible for leading the Department of the Treasury's policy on issues such as fiscal policy, domestic finance and government assets. Steel says he will accept the position under the condition that he is allowed to continue leading the Board of Trustees.

Liestoppers publishes a major blogpost entitled “Occam’s Razor” which investigates problems with DA Nifong’s case-- the contradictions between Crystal Mangum’s written statement and statements by other witnesses, the lack of DNA evidence, the absence of physical trauma to Mangum, the early failures of identification, the shortcomings of the police investigation, and doubts about the credibility of the accuser. The post, documented in great detail, suggests that the simplest explanation is that there was no sexual assault and that the charges are a hoax.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6: KC Johnson analyzes the Joint Omnibus Motion to Compel Discovery filed by defense attorneys on August 31 in a Durham in Wonderland post “The Defense Strikes Back.” Johnson discusses new information from the motion, including the April 4 request by City Manager Patrick Baker for a timeline of the case from Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the lack of notes from the first two photo lineups on March 16 and 21, and the disagreement between Gottlieb and DA Nifong about what transpired in their April 11 meeting with Crystal Mangum.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7: The Duke Chronicle features an interview with athletic director Joe Alleva which reveals that Duke will update its student-athlete handbook instead of coming up with a new code of conduct for athletes. When President Richard Brodhead reinstated the men's lacrosse team in June, the program returned under its own code of conduct, which includes specific penalties for infractions. At the time, Alleva said his department--in concert with the coaches and student athletes--would draft an over-arching code for all teams to be distributed early in the fall. "We're not doing a code of conduct," Alleva now says. "We've always had a student-athlete handbook that has rules and regulations in it, and we've updated the handbook to put more meat into it and more detail to it." All student athletes are now required to self report all off-campus infractions by team members to their respective head coach within 48 hours.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8: The Johnsville News blog publishes an exploration of the record of black journalist Cash Michaels’ reporting of the lacrosse controversy. Early on, Michaels, who writes for the Wilmington Journal, falsely alleged that “hush money” had been offered to Mangum or her family to drop the charges. More recently he has insisted that “something must have happened” at the lacrosse party, but has also criticized DA Nifong’s failure to follow proper procedures. Michaels has also confirmed that CBC News correspondent Ed Bradley has been doing interviews for a “60 Minutes” segment on the case in October, as first reported by blogger Michael Gaynor in August.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9: A News & Observer investigation charges that Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, lead investigator in the lacrosse case, unfairly targets Duke students. Members of the lacrosse legal defense team are now closely examining the arrests Gottlieb made before the alleged rape. Records show that the sergeant arrested a disproportionate number of Duke students, all on misdemeanor violations such as carrying an open beer in public or violating the city's noise ordinance. Such charges usually earn an offender a ticket such as those issued for speeding. But court records show Gottlieb often arrested Duke students on such charges, taking them to jail in handcuffs. Gottlieb got the lacrosse case weeks after serving 10 months as a patrol shift supervisor in police District 2, which includes about a quarter of the city. From May 2005 to February 2006, when Gottlieb was a patrol supervisor in the district, court records show that Gottlieb arrested 28 people. Twenty were Duke students, including a quarterback of the football team and the sister of a men's lacrosse player. At least 15 of the Duke students were taken to jail. In comparison, the three other squad supervisors working in District 2 during the same 10 months -- Sgts. Dale Gunter, John Shelton and Paul Daye -- tallied a combined 64 arrests. Two were Duke students. Both were taken to jail. Gottlieb often treated Duke students and nonstudents differently. For example, Gottlieb in 2004 wrote a young man a citation for illegally carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana, but records indicate he wasn't taken to jail. He was not a Duke student.

Another News & Observer article looks at Sgt. Mark Gottlieb’s off-duty activities. Gottlieb was placed on administrative duties in July after he and four other officers were questioned about an assault outside Blinco’s, a Raleigh sports bar. After an investigation by Raleigh detectives, two Durham officers, but not Gottlieb, were charged with misdemeanor assault. Gottlieb also ran a red light and struck another vehicle in 2005 but did not receive a ticket. Gottlieb struck Joseph George Stevens on March 30, 2005, on Creedmoor Road in northwest Raleigh. He caused $7,000 in damage, according to an accident report that faulted Gottlieb. No injuries were reported. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue states the handling of the Gottlieb accident was not unusual. For many years, he said, the unwritten rule among Raleigh police officers was to not issue citations in wrecks unless there was a serious injury or alcohol was involved. Sughrue doesn't see any evidence that Gottlieb was treated differently than most people involved in wrecks.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 13: Chronicle columnist Jon Detzel, in an article titled “Enough Already,” expresses the wishes of some Duke students that the whole controversy over the lacrosse incident would go away:
“Unfortunately after nearly six months of hyper-exaggerated and partisan media and community outrage-and a summer of continuous investigation, fact-checking and, above all, debunking-we are still consumed by the legacy of one of our darkest hours.
As a result, our reputation is in jeopardy like never before. Our name has become synonymous with words like rape, privilege, alcohol abuse and prejudice. The innocent days of "work hard, play hard" are over, since to the outside world that mantra only seems to justify the alleged crimes of the lacrosse team and the Duke mentality they purportedly personify. Sadly, the days of "work hard, play not so much" are at hand.
The issue dominates our collective consciousness. And I am sick and tired of hearing about it.”

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14: The two Durham police officers charged in July with assaulting a cook outside a Raleigh sports bar are fired, Chief Steve Chalmers announces. Gary P. Lee, 38, and Scott C. Tanner, 33, the two officers who face misdemeanor assault charges after a fight outside Blinco's, have seven days to appeal their dismissals through a city grievance process. "These two were involved in what I would describe as nothing less than a public brawl with a perfect stranger," Chalmers said. "It really failed to rise to the level of what we expect from our officers." Chalmers also says at a news conference that no disciplinary action would be taken against three other officers questioned about their alleged involvement in the Wake County incident. Two of those officers are involved in the Duke lacrosse case; an internal investigation cleared Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and officer Richard D. Clayton.

Durham Police Chief Stephen Chalmers defends Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the controversial lead investigator in the lacrosse case who has been charged with targeting Duke students. Chalmers says Gottlieb was just doing his job last year when he aggressively cracked down on partying college students in the Trinity Park neighborhood. A Sept. 9 article in The News & Observer recounted that Gottlieb had arrested at least 20 Duke students during his time in District 2, a number disproportionate compared with three other patrol sergeants working in the same area at the time. Court records show Gottlieb arrested many of those students and took them to jail on minor misdemeanor charges. Meanwhile, some nonstudents intercepted by Gottlieb were not arrested, but instead were written citations on more serious charges such as possession of marijuana and a concealed firearm. The police chief now says officers patrolling Trinity Park were specifically instructed to arrest problem students rather than cite them. Gottlieb not only was carrying out those directions, Chalmers says, but was likely to have made more arrests than other officers because he volunteered to work extra shifts patrolling areas near Duke's campus. "Most sergeants don't make many arrests at all, but Mark is a hands-on supervisor," Chalmers said. "He was doing his job. He was just doing it more aggressively than some others. That doesn't mean he was wrong."

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15: Duke Professor Orrin Starn writes an op-ed article “A Grand Show of Arrogance by Duke Athletics” in the Herald-Sun critical of the Duke Athletic Department and its director Joe Alleva. Starn calls for Duke to abandon NCAA Division I athletics in favor of club sports.

The Johnsville News blog discusses why it took Durham police three weeks to obtain a written statement from Crystal Mangum after the alleged attack, and how “statement analysis” would help determine the truth and credibility of her April 6 statement to police.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16: Durham in Wonderland features a post entitled “Understanding SANE” in which KC Johnson states that 1) Crystal Mangum’s injuries were not consistent with the attack she described; 2) Sgt. Gottlieb’s after-the-fact notes about the SANE results lack credibility; and 3) Duke Hospital did not follow protocol with Mangum’s SANE exam there. Johnson credits the blog “Forensic Talk” by Kathleen Eckelt R.N. for expert opinion about how the case was handled.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18: In a new motion, defense lawyers request the handwritten notes from a security guard who observed Crystal Mangum when she first reported being sexually assaulted. Gerri L. Wilkes was working on March 14 at the Durham Access Center, a mental health and detoxification center, when police brought Mangum in because she met the criteria for involuntary commitment. The accuser interacted with three people at the center, according to defense lawyers, but it was not until recently that they realized one of the workers had kept notes from the 40-minute encounter. Earlier this summer, DA Nifong told a judge that no reports of the encounter were made at the center and that an admissions log was all that existed. Kirk Osborn, the defense lawyer, found out about the notes while interviewing Wilkes. Defense lawyers also are trying to get recordings from any radio exchanges among officers on secondary channels on March 14. Defense lawyers also want Nifong to give a precise account of what allegedly occurred that night—a “bill of particulars”. They demand a more precise timeline of the alleged offenses. They ask the prosecution to specify which of the two bathrooms at 610 N. Buchanan the gang-rape allegedly occurred. Lawyers also ask the prosecutor to specify which "sexual act" each defendant is accused of committing.

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19: The Chronicle reports that the newest edition of Duke’s Bulletin of Information and Regulations specifically forbids the hiring of strippers. In Chapter 5 of the bulletin, "Event Guidelines and Registration," the new rule states "strippers may not be invited or paid to perform at events sponsored by individual students, residential living groups or cohesive units." Stephen Bryan, associate dean of students and director of judicial affairs, says the change was not an addition but rather the inclusion of an accidentally removed policy. A clause regarding strippers originally existed in the bulletin until the 2003-2004 academic year but was inadvertently omitted in 2004 when fire safety guidelines for themed parties were expanded, he explains. This year, the provision was reinstated following the rape accusation against members of the men's lacrosse team. Since then, Duke Student Government leaders have criticized the wording of the clause as unclear, questioning whether the jurisdiction extends to off-campus functions.

The Chronicle publishes an editorial about police tactics used on Duke students:
“In August 2004, an incident at Cafe Parizade provoked charges of racial insensitivity as four seniors filed official complaints alleging misconduct on the part of Duke University Police officers. Students reported that they heard the singing of "We Shall Overcome" from one or more officers as they were clearing the mostly black crowd outside of the party. Upon an internal review, the department absolved the officers of violating any policies.
Last fall, in response to a student gathering at the Belmont apartment complex, Durham police officers tackled several students in an attempt to clear the area and reportedly left one senior with a bloodied face while he was escorted to the squad car in his bathing suit.
These incidents, when viewed in light of more recent reports of harsh treatment of Duke students by local police, paint a troubling portrait of over-the-line police actions. Yet, with the notable exception of the recent firing of the two Durham officers, few if any actions have been taken to redress the growing concern from the Duke community.”

In his Duham in Wonderland blog, KC Johnson lists “Twenty Questions” about the shoddy and incomplete police investigation of Mangum’s charges of sexual assault.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMEBR 20: DA Nifong files a motion to compel defense lawyers to reveal whether they hired a pollster to test the mood of potential jurors. The motion contains an affidavit filed by Nifong's wife, Cy Gurney, that describes a call she received Sept. 11. The surveyor wanted to gauge attitudes in the community, according to the affidavit, and then went on to ask a number of questions about the Duke lacrosse case. In her affidavit, Gurney says the person who questioned her about the case asked how likely she would be to believe a stripper who said she was raped and whether she believed Durham investigators conducted an unfair lineup of suspects in the case. "Many of the questions asked, however, actually constituted a thinly-disguised attempt to influence the opinions of respondents," Nifong writes in the motion. In a joint response, defense attorneys say they had informed Nifong on Aug. 25 that they defense was likely to conduct such polling and that it was necessary because of what they call prejudicial comments by the DA early in the case. The polling, defense attorneys said, was limited to 300 interviews. According to the motion, the New York research firm Central Research Services, Inc., conducted the poll. Nifong also files a second motion asking the state to pay $595 for a drug test administered to the accuser for the drug Ecstasy. The court document says a defense attorney for a player who was not charged had told Nifong that the woman was on the drug. The motion does not reveal what the test results showed

The Johnsville News blog analyzes an essay “Coda: Bodies of Evidence” by Duke Professor Karla FC Holloway giving her take on the lacrosse controversy. She is a supporter of Crystal Mangum and one of the Group of 88 who signed an ad in The Chronicle.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22: At a major hearing today, the first before Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III, DA Nifong says the three indicted lacrosse players took only five to 10 minutes to sexually assault Crystal Mangum, hired to perform as a stripper at a team party, and not the 30 minutes she originally described to investigators. "When something happens to you that is really awful, it can seem like it takes place longer than it actually takes," Nifong states. Observers note that this represents yet another change in the timeline of the alleged assault according to Mangum and Nifong. At the hearing Judge Smith denies a defense request that prosecutors provide a detailed accounting before trial of the alleged assault, including the exact time, place and type of sexual act the accuser said each defendant committed. Kirk Osborn, who represents Reade Seligmann, says the defense needs the "bill of particulars" because the accuser has told several different versions of the alleged assault, and his client has a right to know which version prosecutors will present at trial. Nifong says he is not required to state the exact time of the alleged attack, but offers that authorities believe it took place between 11:30 p.m. on March 13, when the accuser arrived at the party, and 12:55 a.m. on March 14, when police arrived and found no one at the house. "Out of his client's whole life, we have given him an hour and a half that he has to account for," Nifong states. The timing is crucial, according to Osborn, who says Seligmann made eight calls on his cell phone between 12:05 a.m. and 12:14 a.m., when he called a cab company for a ride. The cab took Seligmann to an ATM, a fast-food restaurant, and finally back to his dorm at 12:46 a.m.

At the hearing defense attorney Bradley Bannon asks for the details of the DNA testing, including lab bench notes from DNA Security Inc., but Nifong mocks the request. "I have to note the irony," Nifong says. Nifong tells the judge that the lawyers held news conferences after both rounds of DNA testing were complete to announce that the tests showed no rape occurred. Yet now, the prosecutor states, the lawyers wanted the type of information defense lawyers often use to attack the reliability of DNA tests. "It's interesting now that they are trying to get information that would help dispute those tests," Nifong says, noting that the information the defense wanted copied from the private lab would cost $4,000. Bannon raises his voice at the hearing saying that the district attorney obtained indictments despite the first DNA tests, which were negative. "The state chose to pursue this evidence. We are entitled to this information that we're asking for no matter how much it costs." After the verbal sparring, Judge Smith orders Nifong to provide the DNA information within 30 days and the state court system to pay the costs of the lab employees' time and resources. It later turns out that the DNA testing records reveal that Nifong and lab director Brian Meehan withheld exculpatory evidence that DNA from other men was present on and in Crystal Mangum, leading to Nifong’s eventual downfall.

The prosecution announces at the hearing that the recordings of all Durham Police Department radio calls for March 13th and 14th have been destroyed. Durham Police Department tape use policy calls for tapes to be reused after 60 days. Even though the police tapes were requested in an April 28 motion by the defense, and ordered by Judge Stephens on May 18, the prosecution reveals that the tapes were overwritten on or after May 13, five days or less before Judge Stephens’ order but 15 days after the request to preserve the recordings by the defense.

At the hearing DA Nifong also asserts that he did not discuss the specifics of the case when he met Crystal Mangum on April 11, a claim met with skepticism by defense attorneys but not otherwise commented on by Judge Smith.

Defense attorneys at the hearing ask Judge Smith to compel Nifong to respond more quickly to their requests for evidence. Nifong doesn't return phone calls or respond to written motions, the attorneys claim. "I think we could've made this process much more simple if Mr. Nifong was just willing to sit down and talk with us," defense attorney Joseph Cheshire says. "I apologize if I'm not doing things the way they want things to be done," Nifong replies. "This isn't the only (criminal) case in Durham."

Nifong turns more material over to defense attorneys at the hearing including e-mails sent by Durham police officers investigating the case, reports summarizing information retrieved from lacrosse players' computers, investigator notes and a CD with e-mail activity among seven people at Duke. Judge Smith also loosens a previous “gag order” by Judge Kenneth Titus restricting public statements by the defendants, their families and other potential witness; their lawyers; and prosecutors.

The Johnsville News blog investigates charges that racial slurs were used during and after the lacrosse team party in March. With the exception of the comment reported by neighbor Jason Bissey, the post concludes that claims of racial slurs by the lacrosse players have been exaggerated.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23: In a prescient analysis of the September 22 hearing, KC Johnson writes in a blogpost “The D.A.’s Tough Day” about the defense attorneys’ request for more details about DNA testing:
“It’s easy to see the Nifong distraction for yesterday’s hearing: his bizarre obsession with defense attorneys’ routine decision to poll 300 Durham County residents about the case. What, then, is the bombshell evidence he expects? I suppose we’ll learn in a few days, but for now, my money is on the DNA. Defense lawyers want complete information about the second round of DNA testing, with a suggestion that there might be additional matches to people other than lacrosse players (no matches with the accuser) and the accuser’s three admitted sexual partners in the week before the party (one match, of three). If additional DNA exists, and that DNA belongs to someone not yet tested, then the accuser concealed information about her number of sexual partners in the days before the party.
Nifong’s objection to the evidence? Its $4035 pricetag. This sudden burst of frugality seems particularly rich given the nearly $23,000 that Nifong already spent to conduct a highly unusual second round of DNA tests—a fact that Brad Bannon pointed out yesterday. The judge, of course, ordered the D.A. to supply the material by October 20, so we'll soon see specifically what Nifong didn't want to turn over.”

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 25: Kim (Roberts) Pittman, the second dancer at the lacrosse team party, is placed on house arrest for parole violations in an unrelated incident. She appears in court on a probation violation in connection with a 2001 conviction for embezzlement. She stole $25,000 from a photo-finishing company in Durham, where she was a payroll specialist, according to court documents. Pittman failed to pay restitution to her former employer, missed appointments with her probation officer and left North Carolina without permission. She is placed on house arrest for between 60 and 120 days and has her probation extended for three years.

Kevin Finnerty, the father of indicted Duke lacrosse player Collin Finnerty, say he was outraged when DA Nifong asserted that defense lawyers should be punished for violating the prohibition on out-of-court comments. "I was outraged he would say that, given his prior statements," Kevin Finnerty states. "When he first got involved in this case, he inflamed the story locally and nationally with his opinions, before doing the investigation." At a court hearing last week, Superior Court Judge Smith modified an order that had prevented players and their families from speaking in public. Smith reminded lawyers that they must abide by North Carolina's Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibit lawyers from making out-of-court statements that could prejudice the outcome of a case.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27: Duke University has been tracking media coverage since rape allegations involving members of the lacrosse team surfaced in March. John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs, says 75,000 stories were printed or aired about the university and the case during the four months following the allegations. Worries about how people perceive the university led to a nationwide survey. A New York firm conducted a survey in late April, after the first two players were indicted and President Brodhead canceled the lacrosse season. A second survey was done in mid-June, after Brodhead reinstated the lacrosse program and set up several committees to look into campus culture. About 1,600 people, including alumni, Durham residents and the general public were surveyed. "What we found was that it is not having a significant impact on the perception or quality of the university," says Burness. He states that the June survey found 86 percent of the people polled in Durham had a favorable view of the university. "Ultimately, Duke will be judged in this situation, not by the incident itself, but how the university responded to it," states Burness. He reports the majority of the 450 alumni surveyed have a "very favorable" view of the university and how it handled the situation. However, a representative for the group Friends of Duke says, "The closer you are to the situation, the worse Duke's response looks."

KC Johnson explores contradictions in the statements made by DA Nifong over time in a Durham in Wonderland post “M. Nifong, Revisionist.”

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: Duke Athletic Department officials prevent Duke students from registering other students to vote at the Duke football game today. Members of Duke Students for an Ethical Durham (DSED) and lacrosse team members are barred from bringing voter registration forms into the football stadium. DSED states it had prior approval for the voter registration drive, which is primarily aimed at Duke students. DSED supports the ouster of DA Nifong.
Edited by sceptical, Oct 1 2010, 10:20 PM.
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9/1/06 Toxicology Test Negative

9/4/10 Lacrosse Team Holds First Practice


9/4/06 New Yorker on Lacrosse Crisis, Brodhead

9/5/06 Robert Steel Nominated for Treasury Post

9/5/06 Liestopper’s “Occam’s Razor”

9/6/06 KC Johnson on Joint Omnibus Motion to Compel Discovery


9/7/06 Chronicle Article on Student Athlete Rules

9/8/06 The Johnsville News on Cash Michaels

9/9/06 N&O Article on Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb Targeting Duke Students


9/9/06 Gottlieb Off-Duty Activities

9/13/06 Jon Detzel Column in Chronicle

9/14/06 Durham Police Officers Fired Over Blinco’s Incident


9/14/06 Police Chief Chalmers Defends Sgt. Gottlieb

9/15/09 The Johnsville News on “Statement Analysis”

9/16/06 KC Johnson on “Understanding SANE”

9/18/06 Defense Motion for Bill of Particulars

9/19/06 Duke Forbids Strippers

9/19/06 Chronicle Questions Police Tactics

9/19/06 KC Johnson’s “Twenty Questions” About Police Investigation

9/20/06 Nifong Motion on Defense Polling

9/20/10 The Johnsville News on Karla Holloway Essay


9/22/06 First Hearing Before Judge Smith






9/22/06 The Johnsville News on Racial Slurs

9/23/06 KC Johnson on Hearing & DNA Test Information Request

9/25/06 Pittman Placed Under House Arrest

9/25/06 Kevin Finnerty Criticizes Nifong Statement

9/27/06 Duke survey

9/27/06 KC Johnson on Changes in Statements by Nifong
9/30/06 Voter Registration Drive at Stadium Blocked by Duke Officials


(The Duke lacrosse case article indices in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Duke Chronicle have been taken down following website revisions. Articles can still be found using the search feature of the new websites.)




Duke University & Brodhead Statements

Duke University Archive of Media Coverage

Johnsville Blog Posts

WRAL Stories

KC Johnson’s Case Narrative

Chronology by Vance Holmes “Poetic Justice”

CBS News Chronology

AP Chronology

Wikipedia Timeline

Friends of Duke University Media Index

New York Times Article Index

Edited by sceptical, Oct 2 2010, 07:51 PM.
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Thanks again for this excellent (and necessary) work. :toast:

Sources are already vanishing from the NET and if these things are not cataloged now, it soon may be impossible.

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Oct 1 2010, 10:33 PM
Thanks again for this excellent (and necessary) work. :toast:

Sources are already vanishing from the NET and if these things are not cataloged now, it soon may be impossible.

I would like to ask if someone from the group (with a larger hard drive and better computer skills than mine) can archive the texts of the articles listed as references. As Quasi mentions, I fear that these web references will not be around forever because news and other organizations change and update their websites. The fifth anniversary of some of these events will occur next year.
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Great work again! This work is invaluable.

The more backup the better
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I hope everyone will try and save something. Even if you only save one article. If everyone saves just one piece of the puzzle, that might be enough.

Because a lot of this is going to disappear, and with it the original source material which demonstrates the extent and nature of the fraud;

and a LOT of people connected with this story are going to want it to disappear--and some of them may even
want to alter or obscure the record later.

(When I searched for the full text of the closing address made to the jury by Samuel Liebowitz at Scottsboro--actually Decatur--even the university which has his papers couldn't find it. I suppose it may exist in a transcript in Alabama...)

The preservation of the record isn't going to be done by the media, which will merrily skip on to the next scandal;

nor by Duke (which ought to house an entire collection of papers relevant to the story--any guess at how soon the librarians at Perkins will begin that collection of contemporary documents, which are so important for later historians?

(Any guess at how soon they would have done so had there been convictions and had Duke roiled itself in self-flagellation over its own inherent racism and sexism? Maybe they would be placed in the Brodhead room?);

nor by the HS or the N&O;

nor by the Durham library system.

It's likely going to be left to us.

(And, try to preserve original source material relating to the suits. If settlements are announced, expect a LOT of that material to be removed from the net, possibly as a result of confidentiality agreements in the settlements. IE, the lawsuit site might be removed. I don't know how long Justicia will retain documents from a case that has been settled (maybe a long time, maybe not; I don't know their policy).

Duke might not retain its statements about the case. (It likely wants to remove every trace of the case, as it removed the Buchanan St. house.)

In a word, a lot of original source material might disappear, and without prior notice.)

But we can have a permanent site dedicated to the case, with all relevant documents, similar to the sites
devoted to the Scottsboro case; which will make these original documents, plus a case summary, etc.,
available to future students and researchers.

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Just to add to what Quasi and others have said: already the N&O links
to the case articles have changed. At one point in time, they had collated
all their articles about the case, in chronological fashion, and I had numerous
links to those articles. NOW, all those links are broken.
Edited by MikeZPU, Oct 2 2010, 01:19 PM.
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Kerri P.
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The WRAL still have stories on the Frame on there site. You just have to type "Duke Lacrosse" in the search box and they all come up.
Edited by Kerri P., Oct 2 2010, 01:16 PM.
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Just for every-one's knowledge I have an extensive archive for LieStoppers. Fortunately I started saving complete articles from March/April/May 2006 in text very early. Quasi is right as many of those links no longer work.

Sometimes you can extracted those links in the wayback machine which records the internet.


sceptical's work is amazing. What was once so fresh in memory, connections etc.. Has Faded, but with his work those relationship come back to life. Just like Meadow's Quotes, sceptical's chronology will serve as a basis for future reference.

Let's not forget KC & Stuart's detailed & award winning book, Pressler's book, and our own author Quasi. Those are invaluable. I must give a shout-out to kbp who obtained the state bar summary used at Nifong's hearing

I know those files from the State Bar and the AG investigation still exist. I look forward to those being made public at some time. Then I am certain the many attorneys have kept detailed reports far above ours.

Much to the chagrin of the City of Durham, Duke University, DNASI, and all of the miscreants named in the lawsuits these records are safe.

I encourage all of you to save. What I love is the collective memory which serves as a skilled librarian retrieving them. That is where we, the Blog Hooligans, really shine.

We never let them forgot what they did.

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There's a lot of stuff in the FRee Republic threads, too.
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Kerri P.
Oct 2 2010, 01:15 PM
The WRAL still have stories on the Frame on there site. You just have to type "Duke Lacrosse" in the search box and they all come up.
Kerri is correct. The WRAL archive is still up and very helpful, not only with stories but some important documents: http://www.wral.com/news/local/asset_gallery/2306295/

Another useful archive is the list of media publications on the Friends of Duke University site. Unfortunately some of the links are no longer valid:

The Johnsville News blog had detailed daily summaries of events of the case, including links, and its index is an important resource:

The N&O took down its archive of the lacrosse frame but all the individual articles are available. I did my search using "duke lacrosse" and the names of the reporters such as "joe neff," "anne blythe," "benjamin niolet" etc.

The other lacrosse-specific archive that is down is from The Chronicle. I searched for individual articles using a monthly list of Chronicle publication dates which has a table of contents for each issue:

Duke University still has two information websites about the lacrosse frame but I do not expect them to be up much longer (even though they are described as permanent) . One archives the statements of President Brodhead and other officials: http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/mmedia/features/lacrosse_incident/announce_archive.html
The other has links to media but, again, some are no longer valid:

Besides all the articles in the media, anyone who has an interest in the history of the case should download the full texts of the three civil lawsuits (Evans et al v. Durham et al , McFadyen et al v. Duke et al , and Carrington et al v. Duke et al). These are available as pdf files on-line via Justia:


Edited by sceptical, Oct 2 2010, 07:46 PM.
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In retrospect, clearly the most important event in September, 2006 was the Friday, September 22 hearing before Judge W. Osmond Smith III.

While Smith had met the defense attorneys and DA Mike Nifong privately on August 25, Smith did not formally take over jurisdiction of the case until September 1. The September 22 hearing was his first public session on the matter.

True to form, Nifong attempted before the hearing to preempt the defense team with an offensive move-- in this instance a motion filed two days before, on September 20, chastising the defense for polling Durham residents concerning their attitudes about the case. Nifong was informed in advance about the telephone poll, but when a pollster called his wife Cy Gurney, he went ballistic.

There were at least six major news items coming from the hearing:

1) The most important one for the resolution of the case-- all charges dropped, the defendants declared "innocent," and the disbarment and disgrace of Nifong-- was the ruling by Judge Smith ordering that all the details of the second round of DNA testing be turned over to the defense.

Defense lawyer Brad Bannon argued forcefully that the defense needed the lab books, raw data, internal reports and all other details of the testing of the items from the rape kit as well as DNA samples from Crystal Mangum, her boyfriend, the lacrosse team, and two other students who were at the party.

Of course, it was from this material that Bannon brilliantly uncovered the fact that DNA from multiple other males was found on and in
Mangum and that the report by DNASI Inc, the testing company, was incomplete. This led to the revelation that Nifong and DNASI lab director Brian Meehan had agreed to limit the report, and thereby conceal exculpatory evidence-- prosecutorial misconduct which caused the State Bar to vote to investigate Nifong. This pressured Nifong into recusing himself from the case and its assignment to the state Attorney General's office, which dropped the charges against the lacrosse players after an exhaustive 3 month investigation of the case.

If Judge Smith had not ordered the DNA details to the defense, it is unlikely this whole scenario of events would have played out.

At the September 22 hearing, Nifong argued strenuously against turning over the DNA data. First, he claimed that since the DNA evidence exonerated the three indicted players, there was no reason for the defense to try to discredit it. Second, he said it would cost the state too much to pay for the lab to gather the material together.

At the time, it seemed strange to observers that Nifong would object so strongly to the defense request. In retrospect, it is clear that he did not want the defense to figure out that he and Meehan purposely had hid exculpatory information.

The DNA ruling at the time was not considered to be the lead news out of the hearing-- most news reports listed it towards the end of the articles about the hearing. The one observer who was right on target at the time was KC Johnson, who wrote about Nifong's odd protestations about the DNA in a Durham in Wonderland post on September 23 titled "The D.A.'s Tough Day." He noted that "there might be additional matches to people other than lacrosse players." It is unknown whether this information might have been leaked to Johnson through defense lawyers (with whom he had close ties) or whether he arrived at it by his outstanding analytical skills.

2) At the hearing Nifong again changed his theory of the "crime," claiming that the sexual assault might only have taken 5-10 minutes instead of 20-30 minutes as originally asserted by Mangum. This reflected the increasingly narrow time window Nifong had inherited, which was made even narrower by revelations of phone calls by the three indicted players and Mangum herself during the 90 minutes or less that Mangum could have been at the party (11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.).

Nifong was clearly boxed in and one way to extricate the prosecution was to claim that the attack was brief-- brief enough to fit into the 15-20 minutes or less between phone calls that was not accounted for by telephone or time-stamped photographic records.

This change was the lead in most of the news reports about the hearing.

3) Despite Nifong again changing the putative timeline, Judge Smith ruled against a motion for a "bill of particulars"-- information from the prosecution about time, place, and type of the sexual assault allegations. Because they kept facing a moving target, the defense argued they needed to know before trial about Nifong's theory of what happened so that they could properly defend their clients.

Judge Smith ruled against the defense, noting that the prosecution's theory would be produced by their arguments at trial.

4) Nifong revealed that Durham Police radio tapes from March 13 and 14 had been overwritten, destroying the recordings of police communications. On April 28 the defense team had filed a motion to preserve such recordings. Judge Stephens had issued an order to preserve them on May 18, but Nifong stated at the hearing that the police had overwritten them 5 days before the order, despite
the defense motion. He claimed this was part of routine police practice recycling tapes after 60 days,

(This loss of evidence is one of the reasons that the delay in discovery in the civil lawsuits is so damaging. Computers, tapes, recordings and other electronic evidence have a way of degrading, being damaged, or going missing over time).

5) Nifong also claimed at the hearing he did not discuss the specifics of the charges when he first met Crystal Mangum on April 11. This assertion was met with skepticism at the time, but it was one of many revelations that Nifong did not interview Mangum at all about what happened March 13-14. It seemed strange that with the enormity of the case and with the inconsistencies in Mangum's stories, the District Attorney would want to question her about what happened. There has been much speculation why Nifong did not do so. It was suggested that Nifong himself did not want to be subpoenaed for information Mangum might have given him. There also was the theory that Nifong did not want to know what actually transpired since it was not congruent with his case.

6) Finally, Judge Smith at the hearing lifted the "gag order" Judge Titus has issued limiting public comments by the defendants, their lawyers and their families. Judge Smith did remind the attorneys and Nifong of their obligation to follow bar rules and regulations of professional conduct in their public statements.

The key point about Judge Smith's ruling is that it allowed the Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans families to speak out about the matter. This was to be important in October for the "60 Minutes" show which played a major role in changing public opinion about Mangum and her allegations.


There were also a couple of outrageous Nifong quotes at the hearing.

One exchange about the "bill of particulars" motion and Reade Seligmann's alibi evidence:

"Out of his client's whole life, we have given him an hour and a half that he has to account for," Nifong states.

Another exchange between defense attorney Joe Cheshire and Nifong about communication difficulties between the two sides:

"I think we could've made this process much more simple if Mr. Nifong was just willing to sit down and talk with us," defense attorney Joseph Cheshire says. "I apologize if I'm not doing things the way they want things to be done," Nifong replies. "This isn't the only (criminal) case in Durham."
Edited by sceptical, Oct 3 2010, 03:23 PM.
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sceptical your work is simply amazing.

Going backwards in time and moving up the time-line is a great exercise. You make great points in your post.

Obviously we all have problems with the legal & judicial community of the Durham District. How could have this whole affair happened?

The common answer is Nifong lied to the Court and tried to hide the exculpatory evidence. That is true. But how could the Judicial side be so stupid and complicit? That question has never been discussed fully.

As you point out the defense had to fight for the raw data of the DNASI tests. Those results legally were required to be distributed when the players agreed to the DNA tests. They were not.

I suspect some of the defense attorneys knew from very early on the "fix" was in. What they didn't know is Nifong. Meehan. Himan, and Gottlieb knew they had evidence proving nothing happened between the Lax Team and the accuser.

I have pondered this question for a long time. Why was the case moved to special designation? Did the higher legal authorities know this case was most likely bogus? Was that their legal method on addressing it?

I believe firmly other people knew the players were innocent. Looks like the plaintiffs will have to fight to get the answer to Councilman's Brown question.

"To me, the premise is very simple: There was no rape," Councilman Eugene Brown said , echoing their argument. "We need to answer the basic question of how did three innocent residents of Durham end up having to go to Raleigh and the attorney general's office to get justice, and what role did the Durham Police Department play in assuring that they could not get justice here."

Of course the City of Durham, Duke, and the other defendants in the lawsuits do not want that to come out.

BTW your post in up on the main blog

Edited by Baldo, Oct 4 2010, 08:57 AM.
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Oct 3 2010, 03:16 PM
prosecutorial misconduct which caused the State Bar to vote to investigate Nifong. This pressured Nifong into recusing himself from the case
Great post, sceptical!

Two comments:

1) - the vote to investigate Nifong was done well before the Dec 15 hearing, perhaps late October(??). While the revelations from the Dec 15 hearing were most likely the impetus for the State Bar to finally take the action of formally filing the complaint, it was the extra-judicial statements in that complaint that caused his recusal.

2) - The Sept 22 hearing was also the venue for Nifong's lie to Judge Smith that led to Nifong's contempt hearing.
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Throughout the course of the Duke frame-up there have been important articles which have been especially enlightening. There are at least three examples in September 2006.

1) 9/4/06 New Yorker on Lacrosse Crisis, Brodhead


The first was "Letter from Durham: Men on Campus" from the New Yorker. The author had interviewed Richard Brodhead in July and Brodhead's literary ramblings in the article reveal how out of touch the Duke President was with the situation. The article also contains the key quote from the BOT Chair Bob Steel about how Duke could not allow the pictures of lacrosse practices to continue-- a clear statement that Steel had decided to sacrifice the lacrosse team to protect the Duke brand. Finally, the article presents Peter Wood and Orin Starn's anti-athletic bias, representative of a faculty which by and large was not supportive of its students.

2) 9/5/06 Liestopper’s “Occam’s Razor”


This extensively researched article was an example of Liestoppers at its best. Using facts and documentation, the blogpost showed that the simplest explanation for the evidence about Crystal Mangum's charges was that there was no rape and that the charges were a hoax. The authors present 51 contradictions that would have to be explained otherwise. This article and its logic are impeccable-- an example of outstanding citizen journalism.

3) 9/16/06 KC Johnson on “Understanding SANE”


This was the first of several revealing posts by KC Johnson about Crystal Mangum's exam at Duke Hospital on March 14. In these posts, he educated us about what a SANE does, how proper procedures were not followed, and about the feminist background and lack of training of Tara Levicy, RN. He introduced us to Kathleen Eckelt, RN and her wonderful blog Forensic Talk-- expert commentary by an experienced SANE who was apalled at what happened at Duke.

KC was one of the first to point out the key role Levicy had in promoting the attempted frame-up, and his work spurred my own investigations.

I urge all of those interested in the Duke lacrosse case to read and save the texts of these three outstanding articles.

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