Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Astonishing Mr. Chalmers

At the point we did go into the grand jury [on April 17], Mangum’s accounts were consistent up to that point.

--Steven Chalmers, Herald-Sun, yesterday

Until his impromptu press conference Thursday night, it was possible to buy into one of the case’s urban myths: that perpetually absent police chief Steve Chalmers actually absented himself because he recognized early on that the investigation was—to borrow Kim Roberts’ phrase—a “crock.” Instead, Chalmers appears to be among the truest of true believers in the case.

In yesterday’s Herald-Sun, Chalmers made one of the most astonishing statements offered by any Durham figure of authority in the past 14 months. Only two explanations exist for his claim that “at the point we did go into the grand jury, Mangum’s accounts were consistent.” First, he is incompetent. Second, he is delusional.

In reality, Mangum’s accounts were inconsistent in virtually every respect possible.


On March 16, Mangum said she was 70 percent certain she saw Reade Seligmann someplace at the party. On April 6, she said she was 100 percent certain he looked like one of her attackers.

On March 21, Mangum said she didn’t recognize Dave Evans. On April 6, she said that she was 90 percent sure Evans looked like one of her attackers, except that Evans had no mustache. She hadn’t mentioned that any of her attackers had mustaches at any point previously.

On March 16, Mangum described her three attackers as a “white male, short, red cheeks fluffy hair chubby face, brn”; “Heavy set short haircut 260-270”; and “chubby.” On April 6, she said she was 100 percent Collin Finnerty, who doesn’t even remotely resemble any of those descriptions, attacked her.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

Number of Attackers

On the morning on March 14, Mangum spent several hours with Officer Gwen Sutton (who Mangum later would not recognize); she told Sutton that there were five attackers. Then, in her interview with SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy on March 14, it was three attackers. The number was still three on March 16, when Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Officer Ben Himan interviewed her. But by April 6, the number of attackers had risen to six—three who committed the crime, and three who dragged a crying Kim Roberts away from her at the bathroom door.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

Names of Attackers

In the Levicy interview, Mangum said her attackers names were Matt, Adam, and Brett. She said the same in her March 16 Gottlieb/Himan interview, and the officers then constructed photo lineups using lacrosse players with those first names as the suspects. But by April 6, Mangum said her attackers’ real names were not Matt, Adam, and Brett, and that these three names were “aliases.”

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

What Her Attackers Did

In the Levicy interview, Mangum said that Matt assaulted her orally and vaginally; Adam assaulted her anally; and Brett did neither. By March 16, the claim was that Matt assaulted her anally; Adam assaulted her orally; and Brett assaulted her vaginally and anally. And on April 6, Matt and Brett assaulted her vaginally and anally; while Adam assaulted her orally.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

The Marital Plans of Her Attackers

On March 14, Mangum claimed that, during the attack, Matt mentioned he was getting married the next day. No record survives of Mangum making any such claim in her March 16 interview with Gottlieb and Himan. By April 6, one of the attackers was back on the eve of betrothal, only this time it was Adam who was getting married the next day.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

The Role of Kim Roberts

In her interviews with the Durham Access Center nurse and then with Levicy, Mangum accused Roberts of stealing her money; the Levicy interview also featured Roberts as a de facto accomplice to the criminals, someone who carried her back into the house and then helped clean her up and dress her after the “attack.” By April 6, however, Roberts was a fellow victim, torn away—in tears—from Mangum at the bathroom door.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

The Nature of the Attack

In her discussions with Duke Hospital medical personnel, Mangum denied that she had been struck during the attack. The next day, she told UNC doctors that she had been “knocked to the floor multiple times and had hit her head on the sink.”

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.

Mangum’s Alcohol Intake

In her March 14 interview with Levicy, Mangum said she might have had one or two beers before the dance. The next day, she informed UNC doctors that during the attack, she was “drunk and did not feel pain.” The following day, according to the Gottlieb memo, Mangum was a virtual teetotaler, having consumed no alcohol other than a mixed drink the sergeant implied had been spiked.

But according to Chalmers, Mangum’s “accounts were consistent” between March 14 and April 17.


Brad Bannon correctly termed Chalmers’ statement “the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life, and I can't believe anyone who has read the case file would say those things. Crystal Mangum never told the same story twice. Her accounts were all over the place between March 14 and when these cases were submitted to the grand jury. That statement by the police chief lets me know he knows nothing about the investigation he's commenting about.”

But in the Wonderland that is Durham, wholly inconsistent stories are the paragon of consistency—just as defense attorneys are to blame when the police and prosecutor seek indictments against demonstrably innocent people without probable cause.


Anonymous said...

From what I can tell, Crystal was not the only person in Durham telling lies. And Chalmers is keeping that happy tradition of transparent dishonesty alive. What a legacy!

Am I attacking his character? You bet I am.

Anonymous said...

do none of these idiots have sound legal advisors? Any of them? You couldn't write such an incompetent bunch in fiction - no one would believe it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC!

I'm stuck on why the about-to-retire Chalmers has now became involved in the case.

The answer to that question might help me with the many more I have about him, now that he showed up.

Anonymous said...

what happened with Chalmer's
daughter, who tried to run over
someone last year ?

Gary Packwood said...

With respect to Collin being ...“white male, short, red cheeks fluffy hair chubby face, brn”; “Heavy set short haircut 260-270”; and “chubby.” did occur to me that Mangum might be legally blind ...and no one has looked into that.

On the other hand, the Police Chief is just legally retired ...In Situ ...and his accounts have been consistent for the last 14 months.

Anonymous said...

Chalmers must really know where the bodies are buried in Durham, to have keep his job.

Anonymous said...

1. Incompetent
2. Delusional
3. Corrupt

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Face it these guys are not going to fess up. It is a good thing and a service for Professor Johnson to keep showing that Chalmers, Baker etal are not facing the facts. But one should not be shocked that they are not going to own up to what happened.

They are not going to fess up for a number of reasons:

1. potential personal criminal liability.

2. potential civil liability of Durham.

3. Chalmers particularly is going into retirement. He has no incentive to clean up anything. He has ever incentive to make his legacy look as good as he can.

Ironically he is blaming Mangum, claiming she was a good or consistent liar and fooled them. We of course know the truth, but dumping on Mangum is his one out. He hopes to fool the broader public.

Anonymous said...

KC, is there anyway to know if the original vile justice4her web site advertised on Google was paid for by N.B.P? If not, who? Victoria Peterson's involvement with both Nifong and NBP really begs the question as to who paid Google and who authored this disgusting web site. It also helps to explain why the NBP pot banger carrying the concealed weapon was not charged; did Peterson invite them to Durham, why did Nifong meet with them? Hopefully justice4her web page’s personal info about the players did not come thru Peterson especially via Nifong. It seems odd that an organization based outside the state would focus on players’ addresses and pictures even a violent one like NBP. Presumably no professor would invite or entice an armed violent organization to a campus.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood said:

"On the other hand, the Police Chief is just legally retired ...In Situ ...and his accounts have been consistent for the last 14 months."

That brings to mind a scene from Full Metal Jacket. The major tells Clint Eastwood that his predecessor had gone ROAD... Retired On Active Duty.

Anonymous said...

Please ban the 1:17 troll.

Tony Soprano said...

Truly Excellent piece!

I'm glad you included that Sgt. Satan
implied Crystal's drink may have been spiked.

The DPD set out to make her something she wasn't very early on in the case - and the DPD was casting aspersions but NEVER looked into the possibilities forensically or scientifically for months and months in a very serious, multiple felony case that had been escalated to the highest priority in the State at one point.

Since the DPD took no action for so long in regard to the Date Rape drugs they continued to allude to, it seems to me the statements didn't reflect their true belief, but their desire to affect public opinion of the Lacrosse players and the case itself.

Thank you KC!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with the Chief O' Police trying out a bald-faced lie? If it sticks and he does not get caught, that's his official story. If not, well, no harm-no foul, just move on to the next bald-faced lie. Honesty is not a hallmark of Law enforcement.

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

Wow - talk about sticking your head up out of the foxhole and having your head blown off....

It amazes me that this guy seems to be able to almost instinctively know the worst possible times to:

1) Be MIA when he needed to step up and do his job
2) Open up his mouth and expose himeself

Way to go KC for continuing to shine a light on the continuing incompetence and bumbling. And hiring a member of the existing "blue wall of incompetence" as his replacement should provide for many more months of scandalous reading. There is a side of me that hopes that Ron Hodge actually becomes Chalmer's replacement. Everything will remain the same and the fodder for this blog will stay rich with material.

And Duke appears to be embracing the same policy of keeping the status quo in place and maintaining a safe haven for the 88. I had at least hoped that they would have been smarter than some of the incompetents in Durham in not agressively fixing their glaring problems.

Anonymous said...

Chalmer's statements this week have proved that the mayor and most of the city council were right to be troubled by the Baker/Chalmers report. They can only be grateful that he is retiring, and they have to be concerned at Baker's role in finding the next DPD chief.

Anonymous said...

Chalmers of a "Buffoon" and should never be in a position of authority!

wayne fontes said...

To Anon 1:33
Accuracy must be maintained when siting the works of Clint Eastwood. The movie was Heartbreak Ridge.

KC, you forgot that CGM identified four lacrosse players as her attackers. Over the course of the past fourteen months I'm not aware of any attempt by the DPD to explain why only three players were charged. I'm also not aware of one instance of the national media asking any one in Durham for an explanation. Hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

It must be a stange world in which one can believe that a lie will carry the day.

The authorities in the Durham Police Department and City Managers Office must be so accustomed to a lack of accountability that they believe they can get away with anything.

I hope that the NC State Bar hearing for Nifong will provide them with some evidence of the degree to which serious people will not accept absurb fabrications.

Chalmers could have distanced himself from this debacle, but instead, he has exposed himself to be fully within the Durham PD camp of Nifong enablers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Chief Chalmers is just a functional illiterate. After all, Brad Bannon said Chalmers could not have read the file -- maybe that's literally true. Maybe Chalmers simply lacks basic reading and/or reading comprehension skills.

Makes as much sense as any other explanation for Chalmers' ludicrous comments.

Michael said...

Hey Tony, nice to see you over here.

KC did a nice job on the point-refrain style. I remember seeing this in speech club many years ago and it's particularly effective here.

Of course, the players in Durham do provide you with a lot of ammunition. I did learn something new about the names today.

Seems like Crystal did a lot of bachelors parties given that she expected everyone to get married the next day.

Anonymous said...

Brad Bannon correctly termed Chalmers’ statement “the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life, and I can't believe anyone who has read the case file would say those things. Crystal Mangum never told the same story twice. Her accounts were all over the place between March 14 and when these cases were submitted to the grand jury. That statement by the police chief lets me know he knows nothing about the investigation he's commenting about.

Hey let's not forget, Duff Wilson of the New York Times also read the case file and also said those things...on the front page no less.

Anonymous said...

Anybody that doesn't think this country isn't already paying huge reparations just isn't paying attention.

It may be, already, too late but this policy is/has wrecked some of our finest institutions and corporations. Sadly, one inequity was replaced with another, and this is doing a great job of reinforcing long held stereotypes.

Do you realize the question "is this the best person for the job?" has become a politically incorrect question?

Take a moment and go over the group of 88, the Durham government, and the Duke administration. How many could you list that are even qualified, for and have shown enough accomplishments to be in/stay in the jobs they have.

This reality was brought home to me several years ago when a fellow said to me "the best managers are those that can promote/hire the most "points" (minority hires) and keep their departments afloat. Sadly, education and civil service has taken this to the Nth degree.

Interestingly the most frequent response I receive for this lament is to be called a racist. Never any real discussion of the facts.

Why has this become an acceptable tactic?

lightenup said...

Chalmers has come under fire for his absenteeism and lack of leadership in this case. He surfaces like Haley's comet and makes an asinine statement as a failed attempt to establish his legacy. Chief, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, the DPD was undergoing a re-accredidation process recently. Does anyone know what happened on that?

R.R. Hamilton

becket03 said...

After watching Chalmers perform in the interview, honor and integrity are not words that immediately spring to mind. Brazen and incompetent do pop up easily, however.

Durham seems to be beset with public officials of Chalmers' caliber. What an unhappy circumstance for the citizens of the city, and for the three innocent kids almost railroaded into prison by such dishonorable men.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Mr. Chalmers remains oblivious to the most basic facts of the case and to the reality that KC Johnson and others are all over this case and completely on to him. The massive discrepancies in Ms. Mangum's story have been highlighted repeatedly by many people from the very night of the incident with police officers stating at the time her story kept changing and she had no credibility.


Anonymous said...

Incompetence and delusion don't quite cover all the possible reasons for Chalmers' statement.

Neither of those introduces the likelihood that Chalmers is first and foremost a lying sack of crap, dishonest to the core.

There is no doubt that Chalmers is incompetent to boot. The legacy of the DPD is testament to that.

Delusional, I'm not buying. Delusion suggests that Chalmers would be hearing little voices telling him things that make him confused. The only voice Chalmers is hearing is the little devil on his shoulder whispering into his ear "keep the lie going, buddy, you're a short-timer and your only goal now is to get away clean."

Anonymous said...

It sounds as though Chalmers has also been combining acohol, flexeril, paxil, and amitriptyline. Birds of a feather... For all we know, that may even explain why he's always on leave.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:33 said...

....ROAD... Retired On Active Duty.
Thanks for that. I forgot about ROAD.

ROAD I guess, is a form of cheating but for the Police Chief and the DA in Durham, how do they cheat if the game has no rules?

An external auditor's final report for Durham in Wonderland would be titled Ha Ha Ha Ha ...Whew!

Anonymous said...

I still think some of these Durham kops had an "understanding" with Crystal Mangum. She got by with felonies with just a wrist slap. Did she give the kops steady favors?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Chalmers arrested once for assaulting a woman?

Anonymous said...

RE: the minority "points" comment--

I recall something a history professor at a liberal arts college said to me last summer.

His department had just received funding for one new position.

They filled it with an AAS prof. from New Orleans.

He said, I feel bad about thinking of it this way, but I'm excited we got "the black girl."

Racism is sickening, yet ubiquitous:

Thank you, affirmative action.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that a great many in Durham do not know the old saying:

It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and be confirmed a fool.

Anonymous said...

A great recap:



Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how full professors' salaries are computed at Duke?

Does Duke have to pay Holloway the same as a talented, non welfare-sucking physicist?

To the poster who complained about "affirmative action":

The first thing you must do is describe what affirmative action really is--academic welfare. Why do blacks need academic welfare? They can't compete intellectually with whites and Asians, on average.

Stop giving these people welfare.

Anonymous said...

I'm at a loss as to whether they *can't* compete academically, or they are simply not expected to, most of the time.

Anonymous said...

To anon. 12:10

Salaries aren't calculated by race but rather by academic discipline. The salaries for the professional schools (law, business, medicine, engineering) are high because they could get jobs outside of academia. Same goes for the sciences, which is why Caltech has (or had at one point) the highest average salaries in the country. Nevertheless, some of the so-called superstars in the humanities are paid very well, thank you, coming in at $150,000 plus.

I would not expect that any of the 88 core group would be paid anywhere near that, although I am sure that Houston Baker is paid even higher at Vanderbilt. But at least that's not our problem any more.

Anonymous said...

12:52 re blacks "can't compete" at elite institutions

The proof is in the pudding, my friend. Do you think Houston Baker, Grant Farred, and Wahneema Lubiano are anomalies? No, they are the rule, and the rule is that you have--uh huh--"relax" standards to hire blacks.

I happen to know a bit about 1 of Duke's "black superstars." Arlie Petters, who teaches in the mathematics and physics departments, was on tenure track at Princeton, but his colleagues at Princeton were not about to grant him tenure--so Petters (no fool) decided to make his way to diversity-pimp-loving Duke where he now holds an endowed chair. Look at Petters's research interests--yesterday's news, and, not surprisingly, the term "finance" pops up a lot among his publications. If he were white or Asian, he'd be teaching at a community college.

Miramar, thanks for the feedback, but I think you're being a bit naive here. Doesn't Karla Holloway also teach in the law school? These marginal AAAS types have managed to squeeze into just about every department on campus. "Critical race theory"--read Lubiano meets Thomas Jefferson--is a staple among most of our elite law schools. The diversity pimps have invaded MIT (Google it), and Harvard Medical School no longer emphasizes in-depth research because of blacks' cognitive deficits.

Sir, I think you would be shocked--yes, shocked--by Karla Holloway's compensation package.

Anonymous said...

You're right about Petters, anonumous.

If anyone cares to know how enormous the preferences given blacks are, compare 2 professors at Duke who are in the physics and math departments. Compare Professor Pettis's CV with Professor Albert M. Chang's (physics) and Professor Leslie D. Saper's (mathematics). It's as if Saper and Chang don't teach at the same university as Petters--and you know what? They don't (not in reality). What high-IQ student on Earth would want to do his post-doc with Petters if he could secure Saper?

I's totally laughable and pathetic.

Anonymous said...

2:23, 3:11

Guess what? Arlie Petters is a member of an elite club, th Group of 88!

How funny is that? Good work uncovering this lightweight.

wayne fontes said...

To the last three Anon's:

Arlie Petters has apologized for signing the original listening statement. No other signer has. Yet you still insist on ripping him a new one (anonymously). I think he deserves credit because I doubt he's experienced much "collegiality" from the G88.

We all have biases and make mistakes. Petter's deserves credit for admitting a mistake. Personally I will offer my thanks and hope other professor's at Duke will examine what they have done and follow his lead.

Jack said...

To anonymous(sic) @ 2:23:

if you are in the know about Karla Holloway's compensation package, then shock us, please.

Anonymous said...

Fine, Wayne, Pettis is to be congratulated on that count.

But the question remains: Why is this incredibly soft mediocrity teaching physics and mathematics at Duke?

How much do you want to bet that Petters "mentors" all the "minority" PhD candidates?

It's social engineering, pure and simple. Petters has no business with 150 IQ students.

Anonymous said...

Jack, I'd cyberblow you to get that info. Google is no help.

She holds an "endowed" chair, which of course indicates that she's a "star," and stars get "paid"--oui?

Jack said...

anonymous @ 4:24, if you are the same individual who posted anonymously at 2:23.

From your comments, declaring such information would "shock" readers here, I mistakenly presumed you were speaking authoritatively.

Anonymous said...


Great to hear from you. Don't you want to tell us how fat Police Chief Steve Chalmers is. At least tell us again how terrible fat people are and how great it would be if they were all dead.

Anonymous said...

Jack, my mistake--your inference had basis
I hate to think that she could be getting Cornel West cash.

Grand larceny is what it really is.

Anonymous said...

To Stinky 4:37

You just wish you had my 65-year-old ass and abs (funny, that;)---,]]]

I'm thin and hot, and I'll always be thin and hot--really, that...

Steve Shalmers is a fatty from Cincinnati--too funny, that ;)

Jack said...

anonymous @ 5:11

Do you know, definitively and quantitatively, Cornel West’s compensation package?

Anonymous said...

Jack, I'll Google it. It's huge, I know that.

Anonymous said...


I was wrong. No one knows for sure what West made at Harvard, but Stanley Fish, formerly of Duke, estimated his salary while at Harvard as about 150,000/yr. That figure is misleading, as it reflects a part-time workload. If 1 were to prorate his salary if he had a full-time load, I'd guess it'd be @350K.

Since he rarely teaches, he's able to lecture often, netting @15K per.

Not bad for a fool.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that in 2001, West was making upwards of 300k at Harvard! If Karla Holloway is making half that, then Duke alumni MUST ask: "WTF?"

As a graduate of UNC, I spent four years denigrating the students of Duke for free.

wayne fontes said...

To Anon 4:22

The guy's name is Petters. I make no pretense to being able to evaluate his CV but at least he has taught at two prestigious universities in a field where accomplishments are quantifiable. I doubt every faculty member at Duke is a superstar in their field. Why are you busting his balls when you have one hundred or so profs who haven't apologized and have CV's full of work's based on ehtnopornography and the like. Is it just because he's black?

At least adopt a pseudonym so I know who I'm talking to.

Anonymous said...

Hey, KC--we've got a new title for you:



Anonymous said...


"racist comment"? Please. Racial slur is what it was. Okey-dokey?

Anonymous said...

Wayne Fontes,

I think you're referring to Polanski. He has an interest in affirmative action, and if you go to the 5:16pm post, you'll see an obvious Polanski goof on Debrah. Just my guess. Polanski has been getting deleted by KC, so I think he has ceased identifying himself. Just a guess.

Anonymous said...

He is incompetant. But he's the proper color (politically speaking) just like the other incompetant, Baker.

Anonymous said...

Yea, 5:16 is definitely 'ol Polanski.
Didn't know he was that old. :-))

mac said...

Don't think Chalmers is
delusional, not like some
of the others. Just stupid.
Incredibly stupid.
Worse than stupid.

If even a mediocre attorney
gets a hold of him...

There's no "innocent by reason
of stupidity" is there?
Innocent by having diminished
capacity, yes. But sheer

Are we about to see a new
legal precedent, should
the Feds intervene?

Anonymous said...

Mangum is a poor excuse of a human being. what does that mean, 70%? If you ask me 10 times , 7 times I'll be right and 3 times I'll be wrong?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:37
I'll answer your question even though you didn't ask me and I think you and Anonymous@5:16 are really Polanski.
I've seen Steve Chalmers and he's not fat but he's coyote ugly.
Also, I don't think Debrah ever said that fat people should all be dead. That is what you said. Do you think fat people look healthy?
I agree with debrah that obesity is a real problem in this country.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that we still have to give the Mangum prostitute any thought at all.
That's the crazy part. That someone like her would be given the time of day.

Anonymous said...

5:16 is Polanski, not the recent posts.


Anonymous said...

polanski, are you really a fatty and 65 years old?

Anonymous said...


yes, i've recently gotten a chubby

Anonymous said...

Gag me with a spoon!

Anonymous said...

Olivia Hussey has an incredible rack.

Anonymous said...

But that Hussy is older than the hills. The rack has to be a few limp noodles by now.

Anonymous said...

suck on those nips, my boy


Anonymous said...

Maybe Chalmers thinks the word,"consistent" means a sister who is a con artest.