The Mangum Opus is an oddly structured book. After introducing her invented reminisces of the party—drawn, seemingly willy-nilly, from her April 6, 2006 and December 20, 2006 stories—Mangum then provides a long section in which she criticizes her father, her mother (who was admitted to hospital for psychiatric problems), and her brother, while providing page after page of jealousy toward her sister. She also goes after one other family member, in the process rebuffing once and for all the Cash Michaels/Wendy Murphy claim that she was offered a $2 million bribe to drop all charges. The allegation—which was investigated and debunked during the case itself—was made by her “Cousin Jakki,” the sometimes car salesman, sometimes “performer” otherwise known as Clyde Yancey, who became something of a media sensation. Writes Mangum, “Even more disturbing was when some of my other relatives started to appear on television. People like my brother and my cousin Jackie. Even though most of the time they talked positively about me, they never once talked to me about the case.”
I emailed Murphy to ask if she would retract her (oft-made) claim based on Mangum’s denial. The adjunct law professor did not respond.
Mangum returns to the scene of the hoax by presenting a theory of the “attack” that most resembles her March 14/March 16 stories. During the “attack,” she contends, “the third attacker said, ‘I don’t want to. I love my fiancé and we are going to get married.’ The other two attackers coaxed him into taking his turn. When he finally did, each thrust hurt and it felt like my insiders were being ripped out.”
Of course, no lacrosse player was engaged to be married—as Mangum, who has admitted that she followed media reports on the case, is well aware. Perhaps that explains why she modified her story from her original version, in which she had claimed that the third “attacker” was getting married the following day. Now he is only “going to get married” at some indefinite point in the future.
Mangum then added a new twist, contending that her second attacker “decided to penetrate me again. This time anally and painfully. He removed himself just before he had an orgasm and ejaculated on the floor.”
This item wasn’t described in that fashion in any of her (myriad) stories—but its inclusion in the memoir allows her to suggest a grand conspiracy to conceal evidence that somehow corroborates her story. She writes,
I also believe the police found one other DNA sample that has rarely been mentioned in any news accounts. That sample was found near the sink in the bathroom. From what I was told, it was semen from one of the individuals who had been at the party. Again, we will never know unless the case file is made public.
Of course, this information (including the name of the unindicted player, someone Mangum twice failed to recognize when shown his photo) has been public since at least May 2006. The passage represents nothing more than an attempt by Mangum to make unsubstantiated allegations against lacrosse players she didn’t manage to target the first time around.
Having alternatively portrayed Kim Roberts as a co-conspirator in the rape (3-14-06), neutral bystander (3-16-06), and fellow victim of rape (4-6-06), Mangum has now returned to her March 14 storyline, to wit:
The guys wiped me off quickly and attempted to straighten my clothes. Nikki entered the bathroom and helped them finish fixing my clothes. I wanted to run out of there, and I tried.
Mangum can scarcely conceal her hatred for the defense attorneys whose work exposed her attempted hoax. “It did not help,” she fumes, “that the attorneys for the lacrosse players called press conferences and appeared on cable talk shows more than anyone else. In their zeal to serve their clients, it seems as though they were calling as much attention to the case as possible.”
Of course, the attorneys went public only because Mike Nifong had elected to try the case in public, thereby tainting any potential jury pool. Mangum doesn’t seem to see a problem in Nifong’s ethically improper statements, however. “People can criticize how the district attorney handled the case,” she concedes, “but I am not sure he knew what to do either. The truth is I had very little contact with him over the course of the media spectacle. I did not sit down with him for an extensive interview until December 2006.”
(A Mangum-Nifong “extensive interview” in December 2006 has never been even hinted at before publication of the Mangum book.)
Mangum also lashes out at Ed Bradley and the 60 Minutes team, which uncovered the tape of Mangum dancing—in a most limber fashion—at the Platinum Pleasures Club eleven days after the “attack,” at a time when she was claiming massive injuries. Her assertion? “The alleged videotape of me dancing at the club was from several months before the incident at 610 North Buchanan.”
Her evidence for her claim? None. We should, according to Mangum, simply accept her word for it.
Having challenged 60 Minutes, Mangum then offers wild theories about the DNA evidence. “I have seen reports implying that I had multiple sex partners in the days or maybe hours before the incident. This was not proven in the DNA samples that were taken at the hospital. If the DNA confirms that none of the people charged left DNA on me, then the test performed their function. I cannot and will not argue with that. Nevertheless, I believe there are DNA tests in the case file that may tell a different story. Unfortunately, with the case file not being public record, we can only go on what the defense attorneys want to release to the public.”
Mangum offers no indication of what “secret” DNA evidence she’s talking about. Since the story of the entire DNA evidence was highly public—indeed, it formed the basis of the Dec. 15 Meehan hearing—her assertion is nothing short of bizarre.
But Mangum saves most of her venom for the lacrosse players whose lives she tried to ruin. Channeling the peculiar legal theories of Group of 88 member Grant Farred, she muses, “Would people feel different about things if they realized that a hate crime was committed against me? If nothing else, there is ample enough evidence to prove that racial slurs were used during my time in that house.
There is, of course, absolutely no evidence “that racial slurs were used during [Mangum’s] time in that house.”
Mangum also darkly hints that unnamed players destroyed evidence or otherwise obstructed justice:
It is dismaying to know the police did not go into the house until two days after the party. People would have plenty of time to clean the house of evidence. There was also time to contaminate evidence as well . . . With the records from the case being sealed, the only people who have any real knowledge about what truly happened in those two days are the people at the party.
Of course, all the “evidence” was still in the house.
In her race to the bottom, Mangum does manage to throw the Group of 88 under the bus. She writes,
It was always strange to see that people such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, professors at Duke, and many others who either spoke on television or went to the house at 610 North Buchanan to make statements. I really started to worry when none of them actually came to my house to talk to me and offer assistance. If they were so concerned, why had I never met any of them?
Mangum does praise two people—former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy, and Mike Nifong.
Regarding Levicy, she writes, “I am convinced that the hospital staff that night did their jobs. I have not spoken to any of them since that night, but I assure you they were not manufacturing the injuries they reported finding on me.”
Of course, the point is that Levicy didn’t find injuries on Mangum—apart from non-bleeding scratches on her knee and ankle.
Regarding Nifong, she suggests, “I know now that the entire identification process was questionable, but I believed then and now that Mike Nifong was not directing anyone to harm anyone else. He was always kind and polite.”
The “kind and polite” Mike Nifong and the serial fabricator Crystal Mangum. A perfect match.