Monday, April 30, 2007

Reade Seligmann Letter

Reade Seligmann asked if I would post the letter below, directed to all those in the blogosphere who contributed to exposing Mike Nifong's misconduct.


Dear Everyone,

I have been meaning to write to all of you for quite some time. I want to thank you for your relentless dedication to uncovering the truth and your unwavering commitment to defending the innocent. I also want you all to know how appreciative I am for your concern for our well being and for your diligent dissection of this case.

I have closely followed all of your commentary over the past year and I think that you are extraordinary individuals, not to mention incredibly clever. Tuning into the case-related blogs became a daily ritual for my family and me, especially my mother. Your posts, poems, and videos (thanks Tony S.) were so important to her that she had to learn how to operate the computer all by herself.

The encouragement and compassion we received from the blogs helped us get through some of our darkest times. We were able to seek comfort in the fact that there were people out there interested in hearing the truth—people who were not going to prejudge us because of where we lived, the schools we attended, and the sports that we played. Thankfully, there were people like you who knew better than to view this case through a racial and political lens and chose to focus on the facts, rather than engage in unfounded speculation, to arrive at a decision. You have all done a great thing not only for Collin, David and me, but for the integrity of our legal system.

While you have all worked so hard to help the three of us clear our names, I ask that you continue your pursuit of justice in other cases. Our case, while certainly an outrageous instance of an injustice, is just one small link on an entire chain of injustices that take place in our country everyday. You have all done a wonderful thing by drawing attention to the situation we have faced, but please don’t stop here. I know that with the support of my family and a great deal of hard work I will be able to restore my reputation and achieve the goals I have set for myself. However, I now know that it is my responsibility to use this experience to help those who will not have the chance to see the other side of their prison walls.

You have all waged a war against prosecutorial misconduct and exposed Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum, the Durham Police Department as well as all of the other peripheral characters involved. We must continue to fight for those who do not have a voice and will never have the opportunity to sit in front of a national audience to declare their innocence.

You have all done so much for our families and we can never truly express to you how thankful we are. Now is the time for you to put to use all of the same passion, thoughtfulness, and resolve you have demonstrated on our behalf and help others who are in much more helpless situations.

[Update, 9.22am: Liestoppers also has a forum thread on the letter.]


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the beautiful letter and for being the kind of man you are. I wish you, Collin and Dave and your families a wonderful future.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful letter. I've always said, though defending their innocence 100 percent, that these boys probably DID have too easy a time in life before this unwarrented crisis (certainly compared to my own growing up and that of many others I've known). But I'll give them credit, Seligmann especially, for dealing with this aftermath in the most persevering and admirable way.

Anonymous said...

JLS says,

As far as I am concerned the best way to stop other DAs from behaving as Nifong did in this case is to make sure that Nifong, Gottlieb and Wilson pay as high a price as possible.

That is really the choice. We can uncover one injustice at a time which is time consuming an means many others will not be uncovered. Or we can deter other DAs from acting this way by making sure the hammer is brought down on Nifong. And bringing the hammer down on Gottlieb and Wilson will show other police officers and DA investigators that just because the DA wants you to break the law does not mean you will get away with it.

This means some maybe a good part of the ball is still in the court of Seligmann, Evans and Finnerty. They are the harmed individuals. They need to keep the pressure up on NC and the US DOJ to do something here. We can add to that pressure, but if the victim does not make it clear they want their abuser punished, our pressure won't amount to much. Also we were not damaged and for that matter neither were the parents, only Seligmann, Evans and Finnerty can file the law suits that MUST be filed to deter future injustices like this.

Gary Packwood said...


Got out of writing all those Thank You cards and those little tiny envelopes, I see. Smart!

Yes, I will keep after the justice system as per your suggestion.

A long time ago up in your part of the country, US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that people are entitled to their own opinions but they are not entitled to their own ...facts.

I will use that concept as I follow your suggestion and work on the justice system.

Do well!


Anonymous said...

Your thoughtful letter demonstrates the strength of character we all saw in you, Dave, Collin, your families, your teammates, and your friends. As frustrated as we often were with the way things progressed, your fortitude and character under much more trying circumstances provided the impetus for those of us to perservere in whatever small way we could. Duke University is the poorer for no longer having you and Collin in its midst. Please know that many of us consider that to be a tragedy. Best of luck in your future endeavors. Keep focused on the right and everything else will be taken care of.


Michael said...

Reade demonstrates wonderful writing and people skills in his letter.

I think that M Simon has done a good job in pointing out other cases where the innocent are harassed, prosecuted and even convicted and how stacked the system is against anyone that's accused.

I think that the vast majority didn't realize what it is like to get caught up in the CJ system and the effect that it has on the families and the accused to go through the process.

This case has opened my eyes to the problems out there and it has done so for many other Americans and maybe even for many prosecutors and police officers out there.

I hope that Reade can proceed with his life in as normal a fashion as is possible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Reade. For me, it was when I saw David's name that I thought "what a load of crap." I had my doubts, but that made it seriously personal.

Go to law school, by the way. We need some folks with the guts you have displayed in the profession. I would be proud to work with/against you one day. It will be up to you to fight the forces that were at work in this case, so blinded by ideology they choose to place an innocent man in prison than admit the obvious and stand up for the rights of the individual.

Hope to see you with David in August again if you make it down our way.

Good luck, God bless.


Anonymous said...

Cool letter, reade.

I would add to jls' list of evildoes who need to be held to account, the fraudulent work of Brian Meehan and his DNA Security, Inc which should be put out of business

(it is astonishing that they have still maintained their ASCLD/LAB accreditation as of this moment)

One suggestion (out of many) for your activism, Reade.

They are many (most) jurisdictions where post-conviction DNA testing is not readily available. There is a great need for laws to force that issue as well as foundation funding to pay for the testing when the government will not.

It is also worth remembering that faked, dishonest and fradulent lab work has been repeatedly identified as a very common cause of false conviction.

Many police-run forensic labs are horrible and should be shut down.

Federal legislation criminalizing forensics laboratory misconduct is also needed.

We have all noted that "Duke Lacrosse" is now shorthand for injustice (of course politicians are the first to use it to justify their misdeeds)

That is a powerful mental shortcut for the entire nation that, as you well know, can be a powerful force for your activism if not overused.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thank Gd that this has been resolvedl You and Collin are wonderful young men and may Gd Bless you for all the years to come.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Reade. I'm sorry your family had to go through such tragedy.

I, too, love Tony Soprano's Videos and appreciate all those have done from K.C. to Liestoppers.

Hang in there.

heartmind said...

Hey Reade,
Thanks for the letter. At your cost,there are many people who are sensitized to injustice and hopefully whether we lean more right or left, we can work together for justice.
I implore those on this blog to turn anger towards addressing social justice in positive ways- taking Reade's example.
God Bless you, Reade,and may we take heart from your words to work for peace and justice.
From one mom to another with children your age, I share this song with your mother and yourself:

May you find strength in this song as I have.

Anonymous said...

JLS is correct. It will take civil lawsuits to stop other similar cases from occurring. If other proscutors and police see Nifong, Gottlieb, Wilson. Meehan, et al paying for their actions, it will serve as a deterrent. D-i-W readers also should keep pressure on the Justice Department and the state of North Carolina to pursue criminal prosecutions.

Anonymous said...

No worries, mate. If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to get a picture of Nifong signing over his first pension check to you, Colin and Dan from the visitation room of a NC state prison with the three of you giving thumbs-up to the camera. Seriously, you guys should make that happen.

At any rate, enjoy the rest of college. Sorry you had to leave Duke. Gotta say that I'd probably have made the same decision. Good luck to you.

Chicago said...

God Bless you Reade, and may God bless your wonderful family. You have been an inspiration to me during this terrible injustice. I have been blown away by the way your family approached this situation and was able to overcome it with love. For a young man like yourself to face this incredibly horrible situation and overcome it with class as you did is a testiment to you and your family. I wish you the very best always!

Anonymous said...


As you go forward in life,remember the positives that have come of this case, especially where judicial reform is concerned for both prosecutorial misconduct and accusations of rape.

So much has been learned by those in a position to make important changes and it is everyone's job to make sure those changes are made.

Justice is the foundation for freedom and perhaps that was a driving force for many posting on this site, I know it was for myself.

Additionally, to know the Lacrosse community is to know that this sport binds people together by the understanding of it's need for dedication, integrity, and character. It is not a sport where those with anything less can exist.

No one should ever lose their desire to see that justice prevails nor lose the fire to fight when fighting is needed.

"To see what is right and not do it, is want of courage or of principle." ~confucius

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade:

We take comfort in knowing your lovely parents could see by reading the blogs that we would not stand by and let corrupt, deranged and immoral people casually destroy you, Colin and David. (By the way, we are not done standing by you, and we are not done defending the bedrock principles that are at stake here.)

While we completely believe you will equip yourself to make a difference in the not too distant future... and you will transform this nightmare and dark chapter in American justice into an opportunity to shed light and to do right...please take time out to be young, allow yourself to savor your next two years. Don't let all the agendas, no matter how worthy, hijack your college chapter in life. You deserve and need the time to step back and integrate, and reflect and breathe after what you faced so nobly this last year.
Your Duke classmates greatly miss you and Colin, and in many ways knowing you will also always remain with them. You were brave and discerning through it all. We all wish you and your families joy and fulfillment in every realm of life ahead.

Anonymous said...

Duke used to be a wonderful institution where loyalty and honor went hand and hand with the character of BOTH students and FACULTY.

Duke was once a place where defending those it BEST KNEW, was always put ahead of emotional rable rousing by those who use the plight of others to expand their power and influence.

the harsh and poorly rationalized actions by the Duke faculty and administration against you and others are examples of the pages of the future for America--clearly we are morphing into a place where racial agendas trump common sense, where political correctness replaces reason, and where evil and thugery are granted equivalency with good

i am grateful to you for your humility, for the courage to face down not only the power of the government but the power of Duke to judgementally permit false changes without FACT.

the feckless duke administration, bragging about its money raising as an alumni justification of its actions, show how far the president broadrot has fallen into the "faculty hell" he and the Board of Trustees tolerated...

your real character was developed by the fine training and examples of your parents and the great NJ prep school DELBARTON, who couldnt be conned by the MSM, the racial opportunists, or the anti american anti religious elements at DUKE

the best of success on wall street or wherever your career goes, and remember to select a career where you learn EVERYDAY whether you failed or succeeded...

Anonymous said...

BTW the fine reporter at N&O who truly discovered "who was linwood wilson" joe neff is as much as part of this success as all the others

Anonymous said...

This has been a horrible year for the guys, but in the end, I think they have done more for criminal justice since the Bill of Rights.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Mr Seligmann--

No point in repeating what has already been said here. Suffice it to say, well done and good luck. Please don't be TOO noble and decide not to sue Nifong, Duke, Durham police, et al. That would leave the job half done, and send the wrong message.

becket03 said...

Classy letter from a classy guy.

Now all three families must examine the difficult question of how they intend to proceed against the City of Durham and Duke. The temptation must be very great to just put the whole sorry episode behind them, avoid courtrooms like the plague, and turn their minds to things in life more positive than a drugged-out, prevaricating stripper and her enabling, vote-lusting Sugar Daddy District Attorney, not to mention a certain spineless university president and some dimwitted and malign, but smug, profs.

But if Reade is sincere, and I have no doubt that he is, that he wants to effect change concerning prosecutorial misconduct, then he and his fellow PC casualties really have little choice. They must litigate. They must make an example of Michael Nifong. They must depose and cross examine Crystal Mangum so that the utter incredility of her story is definitively exposed. They must seek damages against Gottlieb, Levicy, Wilson and Meehan. And they must seek financial restitution from Duke University for the harm done to their reputations as a direct result of the actions and statements of university officials and employees.

I shiver to think how long it's going to take to get all that accomplished. A decade is certainly not an exaggerated estimate. And there's no guarantee that things would turn out as they should, given the perverse turns the search for justice often takes in our all too human court system. Thank God I'm not the one who's got to do it.

But if the cockroaches in this case are allowed to scatter unscathed back into their boltholes, then the call for the vaunted goal of more accountable and incorruptible prosecutors nationwide is just a bunch of pretty words.


Anonymous said...

I believe that the best way to prevent what happened to Reade from happening to others is to bring criminal charges against all of the culprits. Not just Mike Nifong.

For purposes of comparison, look at the way the Feds go after a typical drug conspiracy. Their goal
is to convict everyone involved. This includes the people who import the drugs, the middlemen, the street
dealers, the people who launder the money, girlfriends who did none of the above but knew their boyfriends
were up to and took phone messages, anybody who knowingly allowed
the conspirators to use their dwelling, friends of the conspirators who drove them, with their drugs,
wherever they needed to go, and so on. They will cut deals with some conspirators and give
them reduced sentences in return for the evidence they give against others.

I believe that the conduct of the people involved in the attempt to frame the Duke 3 should be
investigated with the same level of energy used to go after a typical drug conspiracy. I also believe
that, unless considerable pressure is applied, the more likely result is that only Nifong will take the
fall. This will send a message to police and prosecutors everywhere that it is OK to be complicit
in a conspiracy to frame someone, as long as you don't take a really high profile as Nifong did.
This would be a terrible message to give to the system as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Glad you and your family are doing well. Have a wonderful future, we'll always be here for you.

Anonymous said...

Reade: An inspiring letter from an obviously classy guy. Despite all the garbage thrown at you by Nifong, his enablers on the Duke faculty, and the talking heads of the mainstream media you, Collin, and David stood tall and showed by example they aren't fit to touch your bootstraps. The next mission for the blog hooligans is to get the USDOJ off its duff (Wilson?) and begin a civil rights investigation of the North Carolina justice system. Best of luck and Godspeed.
Tom in Manns Harbor, NC

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from you, Reade. I smiled at your Mum being inspired to learn how to use the computer through the efforts of bloggers.

You inspire people to use anger purposefully and productively. As it should be.

Your suffering is and has contributed to the man you are. One day you may even embrace it, in an odd way. I hope your immediate future involves peace, light-heartedness and joy, a fine university on its knees to sign you up and the love of God shining on and through you.

Anonymous said...

Reade --

I echo other posters that suggest that an upcoming stage is to start the litigation process against everyone who played a part. Cast a broad net, do not spare anyone the humiliation and financial penalties that should result from their actions. The time for mercy, if any, against the small fish is after they have been put under the spotlight that exposes their evil deeds.

If you ever feel like maybe it's not in you to persevere in this cause, just remember that Nifong was willing to trade, at a minimum, 30 years of your life behind bars for a lousy $15,000 a year in extra pension money. Mangum was willing to trade, at a minimum, 30 years of your life behind bars for a get out of detox center free card, painkiller drugs, and some kind of monetary settlement based on the belief "the white boys would setle quietly."

Others also sold their integrity for meager scraps. We know who they are; you do, too. Part of justice in this case demands that these people suffer for their actions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Reade. I'm sure I speak for the blog hooligans when I say that it was a pleasure to get to know a little about all of you and your families along the way and to help uncover and stop the attempted railroading of the three of you.

Good luck to all of you.

Bill aka LTC8K6

Anonymous said...

The letter is greatly appreciated. I always wondered if you read the blogs. I predict a great future for you and that this episode will only be a footnote compared to your achievements.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for writing such a heartfelt's obvious that you are a young man with great integrity and strength. Your poise and courage throughout this ordeal must have been a very bright spot in an otherwise scary time for your parents. Your mom was generous enough to write to me on a couple of occasions throughout your have certainly been her rock during this difficult time, which says a lot about *you*! Your parents have obviously done an excellent job of raising a wonderful young man, one who any mother would be proud to call her own!


Ellen/ Emmy

Anonymous said...


Thank you very much for your letter. I always took this personally because I knew that what happened to the three of you could have easily happened to my Dukie daughter. I wish you all the best as you continue your studies, and although I sincerely regret that it will not be at Duke, I obviously understand and respect your choice.

Anonymous said...

I often wonder whether I could have handled this nightmare as well as you did. (I don't think so.) You have distinguished yourself throughout, and I feel honored that you and your family might have been comforted at times by things we wrote on these blogs.

I hate to say it, but I think that civil suits will be a big part of preventing future injustices such as this. A message must be sent. As a Durham taxpayer and Duke faculty, I figure I will pay my share, but I think its necessary. Good luck!

David said...

What parent wouldn't be proud of Reade, Collin, and Dave. And what son wouldn't be equally proud of their parents.

These are the images we'll remember, good sons under fire, good parents bearing the flames, justice taking inspiration.


And KC Johnson, for providing this place of truth where a mother sought hope and comfort.

Anonymous said...

I knew none of the players. But within 3 days of the charges I "knew" it was baloney.

I was a nerd at college - the athletes of the time probably would not talk to me. There is a big difference between dislike and lynching.

I got involved because I had seen Stalinism first hand in East Germany and recognized it.

I have three children. In a Stalinist university system this could happen to them (less likely as 2 are girls) or anyone. You were the unlucky ones this time.

Western Blot

Anonymous said...


You, Collin, and Dave have proved yourself to be exceptional young men. I am so impressed with how you have handled yourself and can't wait to see what you do with your future. I hope you and your family have a wonderful summer together before you head back to school.


Anonymous said...


I'm very happy to hear someone of your age, after surviving what you have been through, is concerned for the sake of others. This generation is not producing alot of people of your caliber.

I'm especially grateful for that concern, since I live in Durham and see firsthand the attitudes that landed you in the situation you found yourself in.

Like alot of other posters, I feel the best way to prevent further such abuses, is through a strong deterent. Be it criminial or civil, these people must be punished.

Good luck Reade, by the way, I think it showed alot of character for you to devote your time to Dalbarton while you were facing all 0f this mess.

Durham Dweller

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the letter. I am a Duke grad and a lawyer and have always believed in your innocence and have said so, here and elsewhere. You know, a small point, but a telling one, is that the various haters not only stereotyped you, but also supporters. In my case, I have known for years of injustices and always believed that people were wrongfully convicted. All of the...where were you before kind of stuff is just nonsense.

I am sorry you are not going back to Duke...or put differently, i am sorry that Duke acted in a way that caused you not to return. Even now, I think the University Administration misses the point. It was not there job to be your defense attorney and file motions, it was there job to stand up for basic principles applicable to all defendants and Duke students.

Even if you had done something wrong, you had a right to due process, to be free of threats, and to be treated consistent with North Carolina law. The administration is now confusing your innocence with the treatment. Some Duke students are going to commit crimes, small and large. That does not make it okay to frame them, abuse them, or jail them unfairly.

So, good luck to you.


Anonymous said...

1)Congratulations and Good Luck!
2)You learned the true meaning of what Mother's Day andFather's Day represents.
3)I am sure you want to move forward with your life. Please continue to move forward to make those who made you suffer pay big time! Remember.. there are actions and consequences. Let the consequences begin! Most law enforcement agencies do not operate the way the DPD works.
4)As part of your settlement, please insist that Nifong publicly/nationaly tell his son face to face why he did this.

You'll always be a winner!

Anonymous said...


The ordeal that you and your family have been through is something I can hardly imagine. Through it all, you've shown tremendous strength and character. Years from now, that's what people will remeber. And while you may not graduate with a degree from Duke, the loyalty of Duke's alumni will always be yours. I'm confident that you will find every success in the future.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

I want to strongly disagree with the commenters who argue that Reade Seligmann, his family, and the other families have a principled obligation to pursue civil litigation against Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum, and/or others involved in the case. There are many ways to work toward the goal of a fairer criminal justice system, and civil litigation (though it might set an example) may be one of the least efficient. It's time consuming, expensive, and subject to derailment by myriad technical and procedural issues. And a victory in civil litigation doesn't directly control the actions of anyone but the immediate parties.

If the families, with the advice of their attorneys, choose to sue, I wish them success. But if they choose not to, because they prefer to put this behind them or for any other reason, that is absolutely their call, and we should not be so presumptuous as to second guess that decision. They've paid more than enough; they don't owe society or justice anything more.

Anonymous said...

Hi Reade,

One very important thing we've learned from your case is that many people lack even the most basic critical thinking skills. Every high school in America should be offering a class in How To Think. Something like this would go a long way towards eliminating--or at least fighting--the racism, sexism, and stereotyping that you and your teammates have endured.

Thanks so much for your wonderful letter. You are a class act.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr. Seligmann, you are a class act. I agree with Beckett, however: the job is only half done. Unfortunately, unless Nifong and his enablers are forced to pay substantial damges, this kind of railroad job will be repeated. As you observe, it will be much easier to do this to people less fortunate than yourself. So I think the next step is to look at how to bring the heat to the corrupt people in the legal system, and their enablers on the Duke administration and faculty. Good luck, you and your team mates are in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Tell your mom that when she said "We are going to be okay" at the 60 Minutes news show she help me see that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Give her a hug for me.

Diet Dr Pepper: mom of two teenage sons

PS We are all so glad that the SPs proved that you, Collin and Dave are INNOCENT! May all three of you have a wonderful future.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the wonderful letter. Like the rest of the blog hooligans, I am so sorry that you, Dave, and Collin, along with your families, had to endure such a judicial outrage. I'm a Duke grad ('73) and varsity lacrosse player. It was particularly troublesome to me to see the sport stereotyped and denigrated to the extent it was. I have no doubt that you will succeed in whatever career you choose. You have certainly faced great pressure with dignity and poise. Best of luck to you, Collin, Dave, and all of your families!

Anonymous said...

Reade, it was a great surprise to hear from you on KC's blog. You are a young man mature beyond your years with a beautiful smile and warmth that will open many doors for you. I cannot believe that at the same time you are writing to us, the NC Legislature has before it two bills, either one of which could have made the outcome of your case quite different. It seems that the NC Assoc. of DAs is supporting a bill to essentially roll back discovery laws, those same laws which Nifong smirked at and for which he now must answer to the NC Bar. The other bill would strengthen Rape Shield Laws. The one thing the NC Legislature cannot do, however, is stop a blog hooligan, right? God Bless you in all that you do and may his hand continually guide you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade,

Thank you so much for writing such a positive, well-written letter. It is encouraging to all of us that our efforts were noted.

In every cloud there is a silver lining. You have shown great poise and maturity throughout this ordeal. This courage will be what is remembered-- not some trumped-up charges. You have a wonderful future ahead of you.

Moreover, you have hundreds of friends across the country you don't even know. Although many of us have their own sons and daughters (I have 2 children), you can count on us to help you, Collin, and Dave as part of an extended "family." We do have your back!

Please let us know your college plans when they are firmed up.


Anonymous said...

Some might think I'm out of line, but I think the three accused as well as everyone who wound up on the Vigilante poster are obliged to sue everyone from Nifong and Gotlieb down to those responsible for the Vigilante poster. The ridiculous Ubuntu led a "day of truthtelling" march (supposedly against violence against women) with many of the former potbangers through Durham on Saturday and actually visited the lacrosse house. One might say they are just stupid (stopping in front of the one place in Durham we know a rape didn't happen) but they are obviously just rotten, hate-filled, and prefer to "believe" a rape took place there. Who might these people hurt in the future if they are not taught to behave? Anybody's little brother or son could fall victim to these characters lying in wait to strike. So, that's why I think the lawsuits are called for.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young man like you, I was also falsely accused of a felony. I was shocked to see how arbitrary and capricious the criminal justice system could be. I followed the case closely for that reason.

Of course in your case, it went beyond arbitrary and capricious, to downright corrupt and tyrannical. Your case was also far, far worse because of the maelstorm of national publicity, disgusting racial and class demagoguery, and the rest of "Bonfire of the Vanities" that you found yourself caught up in.

But I still understood exactly what you meant when you mentioned that your experience exposed you to a dark side of the criminal justice system you "never knew existed."

It was shocking to see how willing Nifong was to frame you, and how easily he could get away with it for so long. But in the end, it its a blessing in disguise that his behiviour - and that of the other demagogues, criminals, and miscreants - was exposed to the nation. Now everyone can see the dangers that are out there.

Thank you and the other two for handling yourselves so well. The old saying; "anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger" doesn't always apply, but it will most certainly apply to you, Collin, and David.

One last thing, read "Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe.

Anonymous said...

Great letter which speaks volumes to your character, and the wonderful job your parents have done raising you. Duke's loss.

GrĂ¡inne O'Donovan said...

rod allison of detroit says
One last thing, read "Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe.

I concur!

David said...

RE: "If the families, with the advice of their attorneys, choose to sue, I wish them success. But if they choose not to, because they prefer to put this behind them or for any other reason, that is absolutely their call, and we should not be so presumptuous as to second guess that decision. They've paid more than enough; they don't owe society or justice anything more." - 8:57am

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

I ditto the remarks of beckett03,williamjockush and purps.
There are so many people who have been praying and hoping this would come to a fair conclusion and have been outraged and dismayed at the forces trying to get you.
We are now putting our efforts into a just resolution of punishment for those in the police department, the judicial system, the hospital system and the media who did not do their jobs at all and rather bowed to bias and emotion. Duke doesn't derserve to have you, Collin or Dave be in their ranks. I hope you go to an East coast college and get back some of the excitement and challenge that an college experience should be.
Best to your family, glad to see your brothers are going elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Reade -

Always carry a digital recorder with you. There are cops and prosecutors out there - not just in NC - that would love nothing better than to get you on something trumped up.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your letter. Except for the main researchers and reporters like KC, I think most of us thought we were just boosting each other's morale during this long nightmare. I had no idea that the supportive blogs were helping you and your family. We all saw ourselves or our children as vulnerable to the same persecution; we didn't know you but we knew lots of young men very much like you.

Within a week of your selection as a target, I heard a character reference on you from a woman in Duke's class of '06. She was a high school classmateanf friend of my daughter, so I've known her for years, and she spent an afternoon with my son talking about Duke on one of our tours. She was quoted by national media as saying once she heard you were onw of the ones accused she knew the case was a fraud. She knew you and knew you were not capable of what was alleged.

Some say character is revealed rather than built by adversity. If you had not already built your character of strength and virtue, you would not have weathered this year as well as you have. But no doubt you have been strenghtened by it as well.

Best of luck to you always.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Reade, I think the best way for you to help people in the similar unfortunate situation you were in is to continue on with your education, and become a lawyer as you plan.
Best of luck to you with your plans. Any school will be lucky to have you as a student.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the students at Duke and the citizens of Durham who care about justice will rise up and demand that the those among them who were complicit with Mr. Nifong be punished. There are 88 narrow minded professors and administrators who had their day, it's time for the rest to speak up on behalf of you and the guys. I have two sons who play lacrosse, your ordeal hit home. It was great to hear that your mom learned how to blog, actuallly so did I with this event! I especially loved seeing the article about your award from Delbarton. God bless them for standing by you and acknowledging your character in such a public forum. You should always hold your head up high. You've all been in the hearts and minds of many,many people. I trust the future is filled with love and success for you, Colin and Dave and your families.

Anonymous said...

When the media first reported these charges I said to myself "Oh my God, how could this happen. Within days, even before I learned of any evidence, I knew it didn't. Why?

Probably, the same reason many others became suspicious as well.

I knew the entire lacrosse team would not sit back and say nothing if it happened. The idea that all 45 boys were morally corrupt was beyond reason. Not to mention the advise of their parents and attorneys. To me, it was clear at that moment, that a fraud was taking place.

As time went on I was in shock. It was so clear nothing happened. I always felt you, Collin and David would be vindicated but would go go through terrible trials and tribulations.

Nifong is morally corrupt, as are others in this case. While I want to say a few words on Nifong, I also want to mention that I am as outraged at Duke for how they reacted, especially initially, and will never think the same of the university. Even more than the Gang of 88, their actions were somewhat predictable, is the conduct of the administration. There is no question its lack of faith and support to you, Collin and David fueled Nifong's confidence. They should be held accountable.

To your point of fighting injustice; I will, and thank you for thinking beyond yourself. It is a demonstration of your fine character and a credit to you and your parents.

Frankly, I am very pleased you keep raising this issue, it is something that disturbed me during this ordeal.

This is not the first time Nifong acted this way. His arrogance and confidence comes from having worked this system over time. There was no doubt, in his sick mind, that he would get a conviction. Why? He bullied others and manipulated the criminal justice system for years. He just didn't wake up one day with the confidence to indite three innocent boys (and he had to know you were innocent once the DNA cams back, if not before) if he wasn't confident the system would support his actions.

You mentioned in the news conference, others who don't have the knowledge, support or resources and their position. Their position is they are in jail.

Nor, while I applaud Cooper for the investigation do I believe the issue is as simple a rogue DA. While most DAs are honest and fair minded, there are too many who have a power mentality and don't think of justice first.

Nifong is not the only prosecutor, Durham the only city or North Carolina the only state where this happens. To believe so would be totally naive. In fact, a good friend of mine who happens to a Duke Law graduate tells me there is mounting concern the new elected DA in Nassau Couny, NY is of this elk. Frighting!!!!!

I am sorry for all the hardships you, Collin, David and your families have endured and I am so happy you can put the criminal charges behind and move on with your life.

Still, this case put me in contact with something I never examined before. A morally corrupt criminal justice system, prosecuting innocent people and without influence, knowledge or resources many who will spent years and years in jail. Some worse.

Thank you for promoting this injustice. You are in a position to do so much good and it is apparent that you will.

Anonymous said...

My father was a scholarship athlete at Duke in the 60's and I was one at Notre Dame in the 80's. My father instilled a love for Duke in all of us. He died before this mess started, and as I followed the "case" through this blog I would constantly envision the anger and disappointment he would have had with Duke. He would have dried up all funds toward his alma mater, and I think he would have rallied his network of friends to put pressure on Brodhead, et. al.

I detest class envy and class warfare. You guys received athletic scholarships to one of the finest academic institutions in America, thus paying your own way through college. This means that you never took the easy way out in high school or as a child. I don't have a clue as to your families' wealth, but I applaud you for your hard work in achieving your own successes, as well as I applaud your families' for achieving their share of the American Dream. Success is to be celebrated! The most outstanding thing that you fellows have inherited is your remarkable character. Have no worries. A wonderfully rewarding life awaits all of you.
May God richly bless you and your families forever.

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful letter from Reade. He has always exuded a voluminous strength.

In the law profession, he will be served well by his ability to express himself with such clarity and sensitivity.

We will expect great things from you dear Reade!


Joel Rosenberg said...

I hope you don't mind me chiming in with the obvious: Reade Seligmann is a classy guy, shown by -- among many other things -- him looking beyond his trip to hell and back to others in similar situations.

KC -- obviously, you're a classy guy, too, and Mr. Seligmann and the others were very lucky to have you -- and, yes, many others -- on the case.

Anonymous said...


Good work, and congratulations on your victory.

I have friends on Wall Street (actually mid-town) at very prestigious firms that have indicated to me that they would hire you as an intern; if that's something that you'd want.

I'm sure you have a lot of offers, but in case you're looking for more, I've set up an email so that you can get in touch with me if need be.

Best of luck in the future.


Anonymous said...

Dear Reade,

I hope you do become active
in righting wrongs; I hope
you begin by dealing with the
component parts of the Hoax,
and dismantling their choke-hold
on Durham and Duke University.

Remember that prisons are full
of "innocent people," and
they are also full of innocent
people. I hope that you strive
to make sure that the innocent
are not persecuted, and that
the guilty are prosecuted.

One of the pushbacks in this
case is the not-guilty verdict
of a man who allegedly held two
teenage girls in his "dungeon."
Their stories didn't agree, so
the man was acquitted. Perhaps
he was guilty; perhaps not:
however, this is a direct result
of Crystal Gayle Mangum's false
report. Rape victims - (real
rape victims) - will find it
harder to obtain justice, just as
OJ's case made the standards for
conviction impossibly high in
the days and months soon after
his acquittal.

Remember that there ARE guilty
people out there, and one can't
avoid the conclusion that some
of these who have participated in
the attempted-rape-of-justice
should be charged, prosecuted,
tried: it will be a good thing
if the charges are fairly laid-out,
respect paid to their Constitutional rights -
the same rights they attempted to
deny you! There still must be an

Not vengeance: Justice!

I don't know how you got through
this with your mind intact, with
all that you've been through.

Great men are always tested.


Anonymous said...

George Washington University law professor John F. Banzhaf III...along with some noted area lawyers predict disbarrment for Nifong after reading Roy Cooper's summary.

Some very damning words from those who had previously had no comments.

Banzhaf didn't mince words about the way Nifong treats Duke University students.



Anonymous said...

I, like others, wish to offer my hope and prayers to the Seligmanns, as well as the Finnertys and Evans'. Reading Reade's letter, made me realize that he's probably NEVER taken a class from the G88. It was too well written.

I'm glad Kathy could take comfort reading the blogs, at what can only be termed a horrendous, tumultuous time in their lives. Know that many people believed in the boys innocence. Many more than disbelieve.

Anonymous said...

Check out the front page of this mornings' Duke Chronicle and attempt to restrain yourself from yelling at the computer screen.

"Profs stand by 'social disaster' ad"

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade,

After the year you have been through it is I who should be thanking you for being such a great role model for other young men facing adversity. You have basically been in the fires of Hell and you, Collin and Dave never let us see anything but strength and resolve in all these months!!

I have always believed in the presumption of innocence, and this case was no exception. As soon as I saw that arrogant DA mouthing off, I was suspicious. And hearing Mr. Cheshire say that there would be no DNA long before the results came back only served to confirm what I felt in my heart.

It's funny you should tell us about your mom and the computer. My kids always laugh at my poor computer skills!! I had never read a blog in my life until I discovered Liestoppers and KC in trying to find out more on your case. They were so wonderful for those of us who were so frustrated with the lack of due process and the misrepresentations and lies being spewed by reporters and commentators. It is wonderful to know that all of our discussions and questions were of help to you and your family. I could only think of my son at Duke and know that I would be frantic if this had happened to him--I had such empathy for all of you and your families!!

Good luck with all of your plans. I know we will hear great things about all of you. You have proven your strength of will and character--you can do anything you set your heart on in the future!

God Bless!


Anonymous said...


Your conduct in this judicial tragedy made me proud to defend you at every opportunity. When people would learn that I had a child at Duke, the first thing they wanted to talk about was lacrosse! In the beginning people seemed to be titilated and enjoyed my discomfort but as the events unfolded and the facts came out they became much more sympathatic and were eventually outraged. I cannot begin to imagine what you and your family really went through, but you certainly handled it stoically and with so much grace; your Mom is VERY special!

Please,please,please proceed with the civil suits even if you personally don't want the money or the aggravation; the entire truth needs to be laid open for the world to see. And when you've finished, go on to become President of the United States!

Best wishes to you and your family,

Commish903 (banned by CourtTV for suggesting almost a year ago that Nifong should go to jail)


Anonymous said...

I still think the entire lax team is obliged to pursue the lawsuits. There are guys their age coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with missing limbs and mangled faces, who have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Comparatively, it shouldn't be too much to ask for these lax guys to go through the nuisance of lawsuits to eventually make life better and safer for the future possible-victims of nifong and the potbangers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade:

What you, Collin, David and your families had to suffer is beyond imagination.

You three have lived up to the very high opinion that I have of Duke students. Although I never had any of you in one of my classes, it has been a privilege sharing a Duke association with young men like you. I am very sorry to lose you and Collin to other schools. I wish all of you the best for the future.

For the little that it might be worth to the three of you and your families, I offer my most heartfelt apology for the inexcusable assault to which you have been subjected by members of the University.

Regrettably, I know I do not speak for all Duke faculty in offering it. I also fear that some of the comments on this board are correct: It will take litigation to force Duke to do the right thing.

Whatever you and your families decide to do, know that the 7:57am poster above and myself are just two of many decent people here who are ashamed of what was done to you and are more than willing to make reparations.

A Duke Prof.

Anonymous said...

KC - A picture of Nurse Tara has now been posted, I think this is on a par with the Lax teams picture at the rally. There are crazies out there - will she have to live in her car for fear of physical danger? The harassment of this nurse has gone on for far to long.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I came to your defense because I knew you would come to mine, if needed. Your letter was proof of what I "knew" all along. I wish you the best, see ya on the field.

Mr X

Gary Packwood said...

Duke Professors 7:57 and 11:36

Professor @ 11:36 said...
...Whatever you and your families decide to do, know that the 7:57 am poster above and myself are just two of many decent people here who are ashamed of what was done to you and are more than willing to make reparations.
Concerning the use of the term reparations.
...Webster's Definition: The payment of damages. Specifically, compensation in money or materials payable by a defeated nation for damages to or expenditures sustained by another nation as a result of hostilities with the defeated nation..." Reference:

I doubt that any civil litigation precedent for REPARATIONS is going to be realized if the three families seek FINANCIAL COMPENSATION for being harmed.

Many of us are aware of the desire on the part of many of the G88 to support REPARATIONS from the Federal and State Governments for harm committed during times of slavery.

Any civil lawsuits from the three families is not going to give traction to that debate - hopefully.

Anonymous said...

To: GP @ 12:21
From: Duke Prof @ 11:36

Compensation it is, then, if you so wish, thanks for the correction.

Allow me this, however. I really do mean to apologize to the three young men for the shameful assault on their and their families' characters. Although I was not directly part of it, I am part of Duke and I am ashamed that it happened. I cannot offer compensation as I don't run the place, but I can offer a personal apology. I hope many more will join me in doing it. Who knows, in time someone more representative than myself will acknowledge that we failed these three families and make amends. Feel free to define "make amends" as you deem appropriate. Whatever you come up with, I wish I had the power to make it happen now regardless of litigation...

Mad Hatter said...


There are many concerned parents in the blogosphere who followed this saga closely, disgusted by the abuses you suffered at the hands of an unscrupulous DA, a drug-addled accuser, the DPD, and many other characters.

You, Collin, Dave and your families have been through hell. That cannot be changed. But you will be stronger for having overcome this adversity.

Just know that there are many people who really cared about what was happening to you three and your families. God bless you and good luck in life.

Anonymous said...

My GOD if you were single I would give up my Maryland pride to date a (former) Devil in a heartbeat :).

Definitely a boy I would like to bring home to Mom.

Take care, hope to see you playing somewhere soon.

Anonymous said...


134's a man, baby, a man!

Austin Powers

Anonymous said...


I was falsely accused of a hate crime while I was a senior at the University of Iowa in 2004. The whole community attacked my friends and I before the investigation of the case even began. The president denounced us in a campus wide e-mail. University groups hosted marches & protests with the intent of getting my friends and I expelled and thrown in jail. There were horrible articles & letters printed about me. I too received a death threat. The attention my case got was nothing compared to yours, but I have a very good idea of the extremes of every negative emotion you have experienced this past year.

After the detectives, FBI, and the university determined that I was innocent, and that the other party involved in the case was completely lying… the media stopped paying any attention to the case at all (because it wouldn’t sell papers). The false accuser was never punished for the lies she made up, and not even for calling me a racist several times in public. The president (David Skorton-now at Cornell) or the university never even apologized for considering us guilty until proven innocent.

I’m very impressed by the way you have stood up to all the pressure that has crushed down on you this past year. You took the higher ground, and didn’t lower yourself to the accusers or Nifong’s level. You and your teammates are true role models, not jokes like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the rest of the talking heads in the media. I followed this case, and especially KC’s blog very carefully in the past year, because it really hit home with me.

That incident ruined my life for a good year, and my senior year at college. I’m doing great now, but I think about that haunting experience often and it will be with me forever. The best way to payback everybody who has shown you support, is to show others support who have been falsely accused in future incidents (which it looks like you plan to do). I have made that my life-time goal, and I plan to stick to it. A lot of improvements need to be made in the court systems, Universities, and the media… and you are in the perfect position to make a major difference. Everybody needs to take what we have learned, and do something about it. I think an organization should be formed.

I will never forget what the FBI agent told me after I asked him how something this insane can actually occur. He responded, “Iowa City is a very liberal town and this is how liberal people tend to react.”

Politically correct does not always = morally correct. Keep up the good work, Reade.

Charley H.

Cedarford said...

Hi Reade! I'm thinking you or one of your family might stop by and read responses to your letter, so this is for you and your family.

I understand that you were coaching at your old school when Duke won the ACC championship in lacrosse. While it may have been bittersweet, keep in mind that you were a championship player on that championship team who just couldn't be there for circumstances you were totally innocent in. So congratulations! Gone, I have no doubt you were a positive influence and an inspiration for many of the players on your former team.

I echo your call to fight injustice. Recognize that individuals or informal networks can only address the tip of the iceberg - only those cases they are personally aware of or which are raised to notice by "celebrity" or other's attention. Besides leaving 98% of other such cases of injustice to languish in obscurity, "marquee" cases often misallocate society's resources and attention. Not in your case, or Finnerty and Evans...but in a manner similar to how emotions and heartstrings drive society to lavish attention and money on one victim while ignoring less well-known, less symathetic, but equally or more deserving victims.
My favorite example is outside the legal system. A woman jogger out at Cuyamaca Park in California that was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion. She left two young children. Her husband, who had modest means, asked for community help. State authorities destroyed the Mountain Lion but found she had 2 cubs. Various cause groups mobilized to help the poor cubs, and marketed a charity campaign. Media discussed their plight, how poor Mom only killed to help feed them..The end result was 8-11 times more money was raised for the mountain lion cubs than the motherless young children.

The point being charity and legal justice based on personal whim is scattershooting. Hit some, miss most. The best charity, the best justice - is systematic, rules based, and ethically conducted. In your Duke Lacrosse case, various institutions that were supposedly set up to protect you and your rights broke down, or had been broken for a long time and inconveniently (for you) failed again.

1. Medical evidence supposed to be trusted by the legal system to be collected dispassionately and analyzed objectively in the pursuit of justice, was not. At DNA Security OR DUMC.

2. The Federal Civil Rights forces, supposedly set up to protect all American's rights, have failed miserably to do so for "non-favored" groups. In Democrat AND Republican Administrations, the facts seem to show they have no interest in civil rights violations of whites, or for that matter, hispanics. (If the jailed Border Patrol agents are any measure).

3. The system of lawyer ethics administered by the Bar was broken by Nifong and likely several ADAs who knew exactly what he was doing. The Bar appears to move very slowly, far too slowly, to fix the consequences of rogue attorneys. And always with an eye not on justice, but the well-being of lawyers "in the Club" utmost in their minds.

4. The myth that democracy always self-corrects malfeasance in elected officials was shown again not to be the case in the last Durham elections.

5. The myth of the Duke Community standing by its members, be they students, employees, or faculty was debunked. Actions by some very powerful Duke officials and employees, faculty, even fellow students - were hostile, prejudicial, damaging to you 3, 43 other students, Coach Pressler. They have not been apologized for even at this late date, no effort has been made to reprimand the worst employees actions.

6. The system created to work law enforcement. Premised on a basis that police are supposed to be objective fact finders and exercise good judgement in pursuing law enforcement cases and cognizant of the rights of the accused when commenting on them in public - was long broken down and failed in Durham.

7. All the elected officials, students, faculty, law school experts, media that committed sins of omission and chose to remain silent and take no action. Important people that could have stepped up or chose to disregard when they were directly asked for help. Even for direct consituents..

I'm sure the list of systemic failures of entities set up to protect Reade Seligmann's rights or should have been expected to give him the benefit of presumption of innocence and failed to do so is lengthier than the 7 that came to me as I wrote. Surely in your mind or your families.

Reluctantly, I believe that if you are interested in fighting injustice elsewhere, the best way for you and others "screwed" in the Duke case is to accomplish that goal is to litigate it here, and seek accoutability in the form of serious monetary penalties from the systems that are surely "out there" busily screwing other individuals because the people running those systems or perverting them believe no accountabilty will ever come to them.
Becket03 said: But if Reade is sincere, and I have no doubt that he is, that he wants to effect change concerning prosecutorial misconduct, then he and his fellow PC casualties really have little choice. They must litigate.

(Keep in mind that the courts will frequently cite parties that should have intervened and failed to, when punishing others. And thus achieve the objective of holding agencies accountable, tangentially.
An example might be that a Federal Court holds that a City must pay for guards beating and badly injuring a prisoner. But in the decision noting that before the lawsuit, the prisoner sought recourse from a list of state agencies that failed to act and resolve it before it was judicially adjudicated. That the US Attorney assigned failed to act on lawyers charges of civil rights violations AND follow-on letters to Alberto Gonzales' DOJ similarly failed to trigger any action to correct the (to the court) obvious violations and injustice.
While some parties may never pay a cent, a court verdict that concludes various tangential individuals or agencies failed to do their required duties can sting badly.)

I also hope you and others can occasionally see fit you use your prominence in speaking at media and academic venues about injustice with groups that have formed for that very purpose. And don't forget that you have made tens of thousands of new admirers who back you and support you in whatever decisions you and the others involved make.

Finally I would close this open message for Reade with thoughts of another player, Colin Finnerty. My grandfather told me after I had done something that led him to conclude I had become a real man, that he had gone from punk to man in the fighting in the WWII invasion of the Philippines - "I thought I was one after Marine Boot, I knew I was one 24 hours into Leyte...But I'd have much preferred to be a boy or a punk or whatever a little longer".
I think Colin Finnerty became a man when he had to stand in DC court and accept a kangaroo sentence while remaining silent about a solid alibi he had in the Duke case that led to the DC charges being reinstated - for tactical reasons. He had to suck it up and take the unjust scorn heaped on him about being a "gay-bashing thug" and so on. That took a lot.

Best wishes to all of you, and I will stay interested in the Lacrosse Case and still plan to follow it and the people involved long into the future. I look forward to KC's book. I also took your earlier words on 60 Minutes to heart and already helped out one person that was being screwed in a civil case with a little check and words of encouragement. And written to my elected officials about the Duke Case, the jailed Border Patrol agents, and my expectation that they would work to ensure Federal agencies set up to protect civil rights protect civil rights for all...even if they are hispanic or white or asian, even if they are male, even if they are Christian...

Anonymous said...

Oops, I think I may have accidently discarded the Friends of Duke Chapel solicitation sent from Sam Wells, Dean of Duke University Chapel, asking my wife to donate money.

As Dr. Brodhead suggests, this error is ALL Mike Nifongs fault. Thanks for your leadership sir.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Reade, you are an honorable man.

In defending your honor, we attained it for ourselves. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

We are first of all so glad that you guys are out of harms way. I still shudder to think what it must have felt like, late at night, when worst case scenarios are hardest to disregard, to keep ones emotional equilibrium. After all, in a sane, predictable world none of this would have gotten started in the first place. It must have been like a nightmare in that it made no sense but different also because it was happening in broad daylight.
This always seemed like a sort of rescue mission to me. My instincts told me from the start that Nifong was a dangerous freak and you (and the others) were innocent in the rarified sense of 1.You were not even there 2. There was no crime committed.
There is always a sad dimension to even the most successful rescue, however. Before long, someone will ask, "What about the others?" Indeed, not everyones story ends OK. There must be a tragic number of innocent folks in American prisons.
It is hard sometimes to make a higher kind of sense out of things that happen. But the corruption in Durham and other places undoubtedly existed before you guys had to go thru this. For ultimate Answers I guess we will all need to wait to hear from Higher Authority. On the other hand, there is lots of righteous work to do in the here and now by continuuing the fight against the sort of scum that did this to you guys.
Best of Luck

Anonymous said...

My wife and have marveled at the dignity, poise and integrity that the 3 of you have conducted yourselves throughout. There are quite a few people and institutions involved in this that will need a “great deal of work to restore reputations,” some of which are irreparable, but none of those are named Dave Evans, Reade Seligman, or Collin Finnerty. Best of luck to all of you.

JJ Hooton
School of the Environment ‘74

Anonymous said...

"And a victory in civil litigation doesn't directly control the actions of anyone but the immediate parties...."

Now that is funny. What planet are you from? Who reimburses them for the cost of their defense? Civil litigation is a deterent to uncontrolled behavior. Do you really think companies don't measure civil outcomes as they mitigate internal risk?

heartmind said...

I suspect that rather than give Reade advice on what HE should do as an activist we all should be asking ourselves, "What can *I* do to further the cause of justice?" After all, advice offered on this page is only projecting on him what we ourselves would see as the appropriate measure.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Your a class act. Best wishes to you in all your future endeavors.


Anonymous said...


You epitomize the first verse of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem:

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

You should be very proud of the way you conducted yourself throughout this outrage. It is something that no one can ever take away from you.

The future is very, very bright. I'm probably a few years older than your parents, and I can tell these things.

All best to you

Anonymous said...


What a wonderful letter. Your ordeal and that of your team mates really upset me because I have a son about your age away at college. I could only imagine what your poor parents were going through. I wish you all the best in the future.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade, thank you for your letter. I, too, stood in your shoes, once falsely accused, and I know the terror you lived. Since then, nearly my only passion in life is fighting for others who stand accused, fighting for our constitutional rights, our presumption of innocence, our benefit of the doubt. You know what it's about. Let the fire guide you there, too. Go get your law degree because I bet you are going to be the next Kirk Osborn!

All my best for YOU and Collin and Dave!

Anonymous said...

I think you need to use your families influence to lobby the governor to bring charges against CGM for what she did. You were lucky that you had the support and resources to uncover her actions. Where you are needed is to make sure people who do what she did are punished. Only then will people stop doing what she did.

If a person or a group of people can avoid responsibility for their actions because of their skin color or others fear of the NAACP, you are just the latest but one of few known victims of such behavior that will not end.

Surely your families dont think Cooper is some godsend with his actions. He took the cowardly way out to satisfy you and to protect the black vote. You need to speak out against this. That is how you help poor stupid people who will continue to be the victims of these actions. It wont end until people are held accountable.

I hope you sue Duke, Nifong, and anyone else you can get your hands on. While to some it wont matter, to others you might begin to get them to understand what they did.

Get all the money you can, but that is coming from a Plaintiffs lawyer in nc who wouldnt set foot in Durham for any amount of money.

Get your law degree and Ill put you in charge of your own section of my firm doing criminal defense.

Id suggest going out west for law school to a place like Pepperdine, UCLA, or Stanford. You will get accepted at any school you wish.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...


If your family ever gets tired of you there are a couple of thousand blog hooligans who would be glad to adopt you [G].

Seriously, the grace you, Collin and Dave displayed during the past year has been inspiring. Your behavior reminded me of often misquoted speech that Winston Churchill gave to his Alma Mater, The Harrow School, on October 29 1941. The expectation earlier that year was that England would fall to the Nazi as quickly as had the rest of Europe. The war was far from over and many horrors were yet to faced. Still, Churchill's words seem appropriate.

"You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period - I am addressing myself to the School - surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."

Anonymous said...

How many ways can a gay man express how hot he thinks Reade is, even though Reade's Dad is hotter, without being disrespectful or facetious? ;)

Anonymous said...

To the Duke professors at 7:47 AM, 11:36 AM, and all others who read this blog:

It is heartening to hear your words of support for the boys, and even more meaningful that you support litigation against Duke University even if it means that your own pocketbooks will take part of the hit.

I'm a lawyer, and I will say that the ability of litigation to right wrongs is highly overrated. For example, Duke has an operating budget, if I recall correctly, of close to $2 BILLION a year. Thus, if Duke has to kick in $10 million to settle litigation in this matter, what will that really change at Duke?

I will say to you professors that you have more power than you know to make amends -- both without harm to your wallets AND far more effectively. For instance, every year on the anniversary of the AG's "innocent" pronouncement, give your students a holiday. (If you prefer to make a stronger point, give your students the day off on the anniversary of the publication of the "Listening" ad.)

Further, you can refuse to appear on any forum with any of the unrepentant 88 (I understand that one did repent). Do the same for any contact with representatives of NCCU who refuse to publicly repudiate the acts of the two NCCU student government leaders -- one of which (Chan?) urged conviction of the Duke boys "even if they're innocent" and the other (Burnett) who urged blacks to kill more whites.

In short, do everything you can to keep the flame of this case burning INSIDE of Duke. The rest of us will do what we can to keep it burning outside.

Anonymous said...

Reade - Bravo to you for your willingness and interest in continuing the battle against false accusation. You have my admiration and respect for your concern for the welfare of others who may fall into the same scenario. Many would run from the darkness and disbelief that hovers over one falsely accused. You are standing your ground. Excellent! This is the mature masculine.

heartmind said...

To 9:52:

Amen and amen. Even more so, instead of a holiday give your students a project (having a son at Duke I know they can do better than I at coming up with ideas) that will support justice in ways that are meaningful for them inside the Duke community. I know several groups that are doing that as we speak.

heartmind said...

"The rest of us will do what we can to keep it burning outside."

Again this is our call. Thanks again 9:52.

August West said...

Dear Reade,

Thank you for simply being yourself throughout your long ordeal. Your exhibition of grace under pressure (and, of course, that of Collin and Dave) has been such an inspiration to so many.

My dad likes to say, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you what you are." My dad would like you.

It was such a pleasure chatting with you on Friday. Our meeting, as you said, "as ironic as KC being picked up by Elmo," further convinced me that you are destined for great things. The word "winner" defines you, and your wonderful family.

Follow your dream. Make that difference we spoke of. Remember my words: your life will be defined by what you do with it from this day forward. Remember, eighty years from now your obituary can read one of two ways:

"Reade Seligmann died today. He was best known as a defendant in what came to be known as the 'Duke Lacross Case'....


"Reade Seligmann died today. After being fully exonerated of fabricated charges in what came to be known as the 'Duke Lacrosse Case,' he went on to _______________, _______________, ______________, _______________, ______________, ______________. Ever a champion of all victims of governmental misconduct, he will be remembered for his giving spirit, his affable kindness and warm smile, his tireless pursuit of justice, and his remarkable advocacy skills..."

Follow your dream.

I'll see ya on the bus.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for your kind words, but I disagree that the anniversary of the Hoax should be made into a time of (more) "special projects" for Duke students. It should be a HOLIDAY, even if not one (yet) recognized by the system. If I were a Duke Prof, I might call the holiday "Duke Innocence Day" or "Duke Civil Rights Day."

If there should be "special student projects" attending the holiday, then let those be separate -- say have a week of such projects (the purpose of which is to confront the lying "meta-narrative" foisted by the 88ers) followed by a Friday holiday.

heartmind said...


Point well taken.

Anonymous said...

The only way to make sure this doesn’t happen again is to declare full-scale war against Nifong, Magnum. Utterly and completely destroy them, their families and give them little hope of ever getting their lives back. When those in power start to see the little guy not only fighting back but attacking ruthlessly they will have little choice but to relent. It is OUR legal system they are merely stewards and they have failed miserably. God Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reade-

I wrote the following letter to you the day after Roy Cooper dismissed all charges, but didn't have the right email address to send it to you...Your letter, like your statement, speaks volumes about your strength of character, and I applaud your determination. In the letter, I mention a documentary, "The Trials of Darryl Hunt." If you haven't yet seen it, it's worth a viewing. Best of luck in the future...-M

The original letter:

Dear Reade,

I imagine this will be but one of thousands of emails and letters you receive over the coming days and weeks, but I would feel remiss if I didn't send you a short note. (assuming this email account is still functional) [IT WASN'T]

I have watched you, your teammates and family struggle over the last year from the other side of the Triangle, and have admired your strength and courage throughout the ordeal. I was especially impressed with your statement yesterday-- strong and forthright, to be sure, but also erudite, compassionate and constructive.

Your words about justice (especially your acknowledgment of how a wrongly accused person without resources might have met a different fate) and the need for our society to return to a presumption of innocence were eloquent, heartfelt and deadly accurate. About the time that the wrongful indictments were handed down last year, I was attending the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham where I saw a wonderful but painful film about Darryl Hunt, a Winston-Salem man who spent decades in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. I remember thinking at the time that I hoped our justice system was not about to make a similar mistake in your case. Of course, it turns out that you too were being horribly railroaded, and I am only glad that the truth, though delayed a year and a month, has now been officially recognized.

Near the conclusion of your speech, you talked about how you planned to make those who have supported you proud. I am sure you have already accomplished that. I am also sure that any university should be proud to call you its own when you step onto campus this fall.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Seligman,

As horrific as your experience was, I'm sad to say that for many other people, it has been even worse. Sometimes, the nightmare of a false accusation goes as far as landing people in jail, or even costing them their life.

For my part, I'm supporting the Innocence Project, which to date has exonerated 200 innocent people through the application of DNA-matching technology.

I urge anyone who cares for justice to visit the Innocence Project's web site, and find out what they can do to help.

Anonymous said...

May God bless You, David Evans, and Collin Finnerty. May the families have the blessing of peace!