As could be expected from the work of a serial fabricator, Crystal Mangum’s memoir is little more than a tissue of lies.
1.) The book restated one of Mangum’s most transparent lies—that she was consistent in describing the “attack.”
Mangum writes, “My account of what happened next is the same as I have described all along. It has been said that I gave varying accounts but that just isn't true.”
This statement is nothing short of breathtaking. In fact, Mangum never told the same story twice.
- The number of attackers varied (from 20 to 6 to 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 0).
- Kim Roberts’ role varied (from accomplice in the “attack” to impartial observer to fellow “victim”).
- The time of the “attack” varied (from no time, to just after 11.00pm, to—in the memoir—just after 11.15pm).
- The laws of physics varied (Mangum’s spring 2007 version had the “attack” occurring as she was levitating in mid-air).
Even in her pre-indictment versions of the events, Mangum’s basic description of who allegedly did what wildly varied:
- A green X corresponds to the story that Mangum told Tara Levicy on March 14, 2006.
- A blue Y corresponds to the story that Mangum told Gottlieb and Officer Ben Himan on March 16, 2006.
- A red Z corresponds to the story that Mangum provided in her April 6, 2006 official statement.
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Whether Mangum—as a serial fabricator—simply can’t tell the truth, or whether—as Attorney General Cooper speculated in April 2007—her mental problems lead her to believe her own lies is immaterial. For her to claim that she described “what happened” the same way throughout the case is absurd.
2.) Mangum is a great believer in conspiracy theories.
Everyone, it seems, was out to get Mangum (except for Mike Nifong and former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy).
- Bad stories about her character? The fault of former associates from the world of exotic dancing, who didn’t like her.
- News about her medical history? The fault of her doctor, who must have leaked the information. (In fact, the first word of her mental problems came from an Esquire interview with her mother.)
- The time-stamped photos that directly contradicted her stories? The photos were doctored, perhaps by Duke.
- The DNA evidence that directly contradicted her stories? There’s secret DNA evidence, that some sort of conspiracy has prevented ever being made public.
- The lack of any corroborating witnesses for her myriad tall tales? According to Mangum, “They are going to get away with it because Duke has paid everyone to be silent.”
- Her hero, Mike Nifong, being disbarred for ethical misconduct? “The [unnamed] forces aligned against the case needed Nifong’s license.”
The media (especially 60 Minutes and CNN), defense attorneys, Kim Roberts, and bloggers also enter into various conspiracy theories against Mangum.
3.) The book continued Mangum’s tendency to consistently adjust her story to fit newly publicized facts that undermined her previous version of events.
Perhaps the best example of this pattern came in the Dec. 20, 2006 frame, in which she changed the time of the “attack,” abandoned her claim that Dave Evans had a mustache the night of the party, and said she no longer could be sure she was raped—all to address unimpeachable physical evidence that disproved her March/April 2006 stories.
The most apparent “convenient recollection” from her memoir came in her contention that her alleged 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.
Despite Mangum’s insinuations, this information (coupled with the name of Matt Zash, someone Mangum twice failed to recognize when shown his photo) has been public since at least May 2006. Moreover, in (most of) Mangum’s stories, the “second attacker” was Collin Finnerty. Zash is just under 6 feet, with black hair and a stocky build. Finnerty is tall, with light brown hair, a distinctive face, and a lean, athletic build. In short, Mangum’s new “second attacker” looks nothing like her 2006 claimed “second attacker.”
At the very least, does Mangum apologize for making what even she now concedes was a false allegation against Finnerty?
Of course not.
4.) Inconvenient facts can simply be ignored.
The DNA from multiple, unidentified males found in her rape kit and concealed for months by Nifong and former lab director Brian Meehan?
- Not according to Mangum: “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.”
The photos showing Mangum outside the lacrosse captains’ locked door (which was locked to prevent her from gaining re-entrance into the house)?
- Not according to Mangum: She actually was inside the house when the door was locked.
Her loss of a driver’s license, from her previous conviction of stealing a taxi and then trying to run down a cop in a drunken rage?
- Not according to Mangum: “Having a driver is part of the business for a vast majority of the girls. Not only does the driver make sure you get where you need to go but also serves as protection.”
- Not according to Mangum: “It seemed as though the entire crowd was going to converge on us. They were so much more vocal than the people I danced for at the Platinum Club, and they looked as though they wanted to provoke a confrontation . . . we were confronted by a group of angry guys. It seemed as though they were yelling and screaming at the tops of their lungs . . . The crowd was extremely agitated . . . I could hear yelling in the other room. It sounded like the way people scream and cheer at a football game.”
5.) Mangum has reached the bottom of the barrel with her current enablers.
Anyone who followed the lacrosse case knows of the despicable performance of Al McSurely, the NAACP lawyer who published the August 2006 error-laden, guilt-presuming “memorandum of law” about the case.
The other key figures in producing the Mangum book? Academic “advisor” Myra Shird preposterously suggested that those who had determined that Mangum had lied—and was a figure of, to put it mildly, dubious character—were guilty of the kind of prejudgment that led to slavery and the Holocaust.
And co-author “Ed” Clark produced a preface that more resembled the work of a love-struck schoolboy (“My heart pounded. I had been waiting for the opportunity to meet the accuser”) than a serious writer.
Both Clark and Shird provide heavy helpings of race-baiting rhetoric—as could be expected from the ranks of the true believers.
The best evaluation of Mangum’s opus came from Joe Cheshire: “Her continued assertion that an assault happened is really pathetic . . . She’s clearly doing this to make money. By continuing to lie, she makes everything in the book, everything she says, a lie.”