Thursday, September 04, 2008

August Events in the Case

I know that a good number of people drop in only from time to time to check up on events in the case: here is a summary of what occurred in August.

Attorneys for the unindicted players filed responses to Duke; Duke Hospital; and various Durham figures.

Group of 88 stalwart Houston Baker, now at Vanderbilt, is running a faculty seminar . . . on "Evidence-Based Teaching." This is the same Houston Baker who demanded in March 2006 that Duke immediately expel all the lacrosse players, based on the "evidence" of two days' press coverage; and who speculated, without citing any evidence, in June 2006 that other lacrosse players had committed other, unpunished rapes.

The true believers reappeared: Victoria Peterson circulated a "Justice for Nifong" survey; and Crystal Mangum announced publication of a memoir--in a press release riddled with spelling, grammar, and factual errors.

Duke lacrosse player Zack Greer transferred to Bryant, where he will play for Coach Mike Pressler.

Duke continues to refuse to confer about discovery matters.

More questions emerged about the role in the case played by former City Manager and current City Attorney Patrick Baker.

And Kristin Butler is back with a weekly column for the Chronicle. President Brodhead refused an interview request from her, on the grounds that such an interview was not "in the University's interest."


Anonymous said...

The comments on that Chronicle article by Butler and Rickards are MOST illuminating. A LOT of them are from supporters of Brodhead, 'can't we just move on' folks, and Moral Equivalence types. Clearly, the issue has NOT changed the atmosphere at Duke.

An example:

Rocky The Flying Squirrel:
So being critical of Brodhead is okay but being critical of the LAX team is not okay?

'Rocky The Flying Squirrel' was previously used by John Burness, Duke's former PR honcho.

Anonymous said...

I am certain that Brodhead's deposition will not be "in the University's interest" either, but he won't be able to duck that one.

Anonymous said...

Schoefeld has a very weak spine:

Gary Packwood said...

Has Brodhead been living in a parallel universe or alternative reality for the last twenty years or so that is self-contained and separate from his day-to-day chores at work?

Perhaps an interview with Ms. Butler would not be in the best interest of his crumpled hyperspace that he has spun for himself over the last several decades.

His Valhalla, as it were.

Does anyone talk with the guy? Is he OK?

skwilli said...

The big question is "What is in the best interests of Duke University". When truth and honesty don't correlate with "best interests" a crime has occurred somehow. I still maintain that the best outcome would be the players owning 51% of Duke University and the city of Durham. That would be about right in my book.

Anonymous said...

It is not or shoud not be a "cat fight" discussion ". . . being critical of Brodhead is okay but being critical of the LAX team is not . . . ." All of that is beside the point. Brodhead's administration attempted to "throw the lacrosse team under the bus" for a reason. It is just that reason is not allowed under our system of justice. Brodhead aministration and its auxillaries, the Group88, participated in gossip and outright lies and manipulation of law to achieve their purposes of standing and being aloof or separate from law. The young men on the LAX tean were just that . . . being young men . . . the evidence of their behavior is only sad in the horrible behavior of Duke, Brodhead, the Duke administration, Durham, Mike Nifong, the Durham Police Department and the insanity these young men were subjected to . . . their party and the behavior they exhibited at their party is positively sane given the machinations of all others.

Anonymous said...

Houston Baker is preeminently unqualified to teach students "to distinguish between substantiated and unsubstantiated claims."

After his dismal participation in the lacrosse fiasco, I think Baker sorely needs some remedial courses.

Anonymous said...

When Brodhead went on 60 Minutes, he did it for the best interest of the University, but what's wrong with answering questions from Butler? Is he soo afraid of her? lol!

Debrah said...

Kristen Butler needs to get ahold of Mary Semans and her cousin Anthony Drexel and interview them for a column on this issue.

She should keep calling them until they relent.

And if they don't relent, then she should do a series of columns on the people who make up the spine of Duke University who have abdicated their responsibilities and how this has tainted Duke's image across the country.

You have to keep pounding.....and pounding some more.

All of these people live lives where they just say nothing and expect problems to go away.

This time should be different.

And stop giving them a break just because a few are old.

The fact that they are old means they should know better than go along with what went down in the Brodhead administration.

I wish I could see KC and Stuart on the Charlie Rose Show giving the other side to the Hoax.

Anonymous said...

To the 3:01:
You could have stopped the sentence before your first quotation marks.

Boardhead has lived in an alternative world--88 million miles from reality. He is surrounded by the tunnel visioned 88ers without any sense of what is right--just what they perceive to be reality. Schizo at best.

Anonymous said...

It always is depressing to see someone as evil as Houston Baker doing well and being treated as though he were a god from Mt. Olympus. I guess the wannabees at Vanderbilt are stupid enough to suck up to this lying loser.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the recap

am one who only drops by occasionally

though the case has gone down the MSM's memory hole it still fascinates

what a spectacle of justice in American

Debrah said...

It's all together possible that the place called Durham does possess a kind of spell affecting many of its people......a la the Amityville horror.

So many bizarre things go on.....with seemingly educated people participating in the most nonsensical ways.

If some believe the ideas below about the Peterson case, then it's not so difficult to understand how the Lacrosse Hoax has been believed and accepted by so many.

There must be something in the water.

Evidence points to owl in Peterson case

Guest columnists
The Herald-Sun
Sep 4, 2008

The following article was a collaboration by those listed at the end.

Larry Pollard recently held a press conference to report that previously overlooked evidence supports his owl attack theory as the cause of the wounds that led to Kathleen Peterson's death in December, 2001.

That overlooked evidence is: 1) the presence of a tiny feather grasped in Kathleen Peterson's hand along with her bloody hair, and 2) the presence of cedar needles, like those found in the Petersons' front lawn, on her clothing and hand.

Kathleen bled to death over a period of one and a half to two hours from gash-like wounds to the head. She was not beaten to death. What caused the lacerations to her head and the small puncture wounds on her face and arm?

The evidence points to Kathleen having gone outside on the front walkway that night, leaving the front door open for fear of being locked out. While outside, she was attacked by an owl, which struck the back of her head and then her face, leaving bloody wounds on her scalp and puncture marks on her face and arm.

Kathleen gripped her head for protection, and ran back inside the house. By this time, her head was bleeding heavily and her hair was becoming saturated with blood. After attempting to walk up the stairs, she likely fainted from shock. This resulted in her fall down the stairs, where she hit her head on the molding, sustaining more head injury, and eventually bled to death. For more information on owl attacks, visit

The following facts in the case explain how an owl attack is a much more probable cause of Kathleen Peterson's death than a homicidal attack by Michael Peterson.

- The wounds to Kathleen's scalp were only skin deep with no injury to the brain or skull. A homicidal attack with a blunt instrument made with the intent to kill would likely produce skull fractures or brain injury.

- The tri-pronged wounds on the head are the size and shape of owl talons.

- The position of the wounds on the back of the head is consistent with an owl attack.

- Some head wounds had dark ends, indicating they were deeper there, which is consistent with the griping motion of owl talons.

- Puncture marks on her face, arms and hand are similar to marks made by owl talons on other humans.

- The puncture marks on her face were near her eyes, and ophthalmology journal articles indicate that owls attack the eyes of humans.

- Some of Kathleen's hair was pulled out by the roots, which is not explained by a homicidal blow but is explained by a talon grasp pulling out the hair.

- Cedar needles were found on her hands and body, which can be explained by the owl knocking her to the ground outside, where the cedar trees were located. There was no cedar tree inside the house.

- A microscopic feather was found grasped in Kathleen's hand, together with bloody hair pulled out of her head. Owl legs and feet have microscopic feathers.

- The two drops of blood on the front walkway near the door are explained as dripping from her blood-soaked hair.

- The bloody finger smear on the inside of the exterior door could have occurred when Kathleen rushed inside after the owl attack and pushed the open door shut with her bloody hand. This explains the lack of blood on the door knobs.

- No murder weapon was ever found. The owl flew away.

- No skin of an attacker was found under Kathleen's fingernails. Instead, she had a feather clutched in her hand;

- No scratches, bruises or marks of struggle were on Michael.

- There was no indication of an argument or struggle in the house.

Over the past few years, several owl attacks have been reported by joggers on a trail in nearby Chapel Hill. An owl attack on two persons also occurred this past January in Apex, where it was caught on a security camera and can be viewed on the internet (search "owl attack on man Apex, NC"). One Apex victim reported that the owl hit him on the head with such force, he thought he had been hit by a baseball bat. The other victim had head wounds inflicted by the owl's razor sharp talons that bled profusely.

With the newly uncovered evidence supporting the owl theory, justice requires that the investigation be reopened. Michael Peterson is in prison for the rest of his life for a crime the evidence shows he did not commit.

The judicial system should not be about winning, or saving face, or not wanting the public to doubt the jury process. The system should be about finding the truth and getting justice, not only for the victim but also for the accused. There have been hundreds of cases in which it was later shown that juries convicted an innocent person. The public needs to have confidence that when there is newly uncovered evidence pointing to innocence, those in power are willing to examine that evidence and follow it to the truth.

Contributors to this article were: Fran Alexander, Norvel and Andrea Brown, Sophie Brunet, Don Clement, C.C. Hall, Karen Hassett, Lee and Millie Hershner, Aaron Lesher, Joan Miner, Keith Morgan, Clayton and Rebecca Peterson, Tom and Millie Steele and Phyllis Swank.

Debrah said...

Listen to this on NPR from Houston Baker this past Spring.

Such a great example of how his Gang of 88 mentality perpetuates the myth that it's the "poor" who concern them.

Such fear that this country no longer needs their phony "compassion". Such fear of losing their "narratives"......because they no longer exist!

Gary Packwood said...

So, Group of 88 stalwart Houston Baker, now at Vanderbilt, is part of a faculty seminar on 'Evidence-Based Teaching.

I'll wager that Baker is going to make the case that 'evidence' is just one part of a culturally based construct invented by privileged white males to torture African and African American Black people and women.

Will anyone here have access to the proceeding of the seminar?

Suppose anyone cares enough to publish the proceedings?

Anonymous said...

Re: Peterson and the owl theory.

I am not an expert on all the evidence in the Peterson case, but I do know someone who was being threatened by a bird (not an owl) and in her effort to get away, she sustained serious injuries. We don't know what damage the bird would have done if she had not gotten to safety. We need to explore all theories and evidence in all cases, but especially when someone is in prison for murder.
The lacrosse case, the Jon Bonet Ramsey case among others REMIND us of that. If the evidence in the lacrosse case was examined, and the authorities acted responsibly,
the lacrosse case would not exist today as we know it. So the owl theory can be dismissed as "something in the water" or we can look at the theory and evidence just as everyone asked for in the lacrosse case, if we do not, then what have we learned?

Anonymous said...

Durham is the same, just matured a little. Like an old crazy person, it's still crazy, just not as often.

Go, K.C.!

Anonymous said...

Houston Baker teaching a class on evidence is like Jeffrey Dahmer opening up a cooking school. They both have "knowledge" of the subject matter, but who wants to sample the results?

Anonymous said...

Is Baker a Communist?

Debrah said...

The DPD continues to have a high turnover as well as discipline issues.

Durham police officer charged

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun

Sep 6, 2008

DURHAM -- A Durham police officer is facing charges of second-degree kidnapping and assault on a female in connection with an alleged domestic incident.

Durham Police Department officials restricted Officer Tony Alexander Paylor, 42, to administrative duties with pay after the charges surfaced last weekend.

A warrant on file with the county court clerk's office allege that Paylor struck a woman in the face on Sunday, causing her nose to bleed and splitting her lip.

He is also accused of unlawfully confining the woman for the purpose of terrorizing her. Police Officer Judy Rodriguez reported making the arrest.

Paylor went free Sunday after posting a $30,000 secured bond with the help of a bondsman from the Seneca Insurance Co. His attorney, Pat Evans, didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Paylor was off-duty when the alleged incident happened and that the department's Professional Standards Division is reviewing the case.

Court records show that Paylor was arrested in August 2001 and charged with making threatening phone calls to a woman. That charge was dismissed the following April, court clerks said.

Paylor has worked for the DPD since February 1996, Michael said. He now works a crime-prevention job in District 3, the patrol district that covers southwest Durham.

Sunday's arrest came as the department continues to struggle with personnel turnover, some of it related to discipline issues.

Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge recently told the City Council that as of Aug. 28, 43 officers had left the department this year. The department's authorized strength is 512 sworn officers.

Thirteen of those who left were veteran officers who took jobs with other law enforcement agencies. Ten were rookies who never made it out of training. Retirements, career changes and other personal factors accounted for many of the others.

But Hodge said four of the officers who left were "facing disciplinary action" when they did. Two more got fired.

Hodge didn't name any names, but former Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, former Sgt. Keith Cheeks and former Officer Demond Gooch are all known to have left the department under pressure this year.

Cheeks and Gooch resigned in January after getting caught up in an internal-affairs investigation. Gottlieb -- the detective who supervised the since-discredited Duke lacrosse case -- retired after a female officer lodged a sexual-harassment allegation against him.

The department lost 54 officers last year. In January, Police Chief Jose Lopez predicted the turnover count might be higher in 2008, especially if "discipline continues the way it does."

Debrah said...

TO 3:53 PM--

You're right. The public should keep an open mind...even when an alternative suggestion seems remote.

However, unlike the Lacrosse Hoax the Peterson case didn't contain loads of exculpatory evidence and he was the only person at the house that night---(he was actually sitting by the pool)---at the time of his wife's death.

Listen, I would love to see him found innocent. Peterson is a very talented guy and many enjoyed his columns which ridiculed and illuminated the nuttiness of Durham.

One significant similarity between these two cases was that the DPD envied and hated Peterson more than they did the Duke lacrosse team.

It was easy to imagine them framing him, and don't forget how they went way beyond what was necessary and went through and tore apart every space of his sprawling mansion in order to find anything to make him look bad and embarrass him.

Guilty or not, Peterson was treated unfairly during that process by those in charge. They used the case to get revenge for the way he made fun of the ineptitude of the DPD.

You have to lament the unfairness of that.

As I've mentioned in the past, I don't know him personally. He used to email me or give me a call to praise something I had written that he had just read.

Consequently, I have some affection for the man.

I also know that he, like most people, is capable of doing most anything.

IMO, this owl theory is the monumental effort put forth by loyal friends. I wish them well.

Anonymous said...

There was an article about the Peterson case in the Metro Magazine I got in the mail yesterday(I guess more of a column in the back of the magazine.) It had some interesting points.
I don't know Peterson at all, I just think when someone is in prison for murder, ALL options/theories re: innocence should be seriously explored. It would not be the first time an innocent person has gone to prison.
Again, I am not an expert on the case, nor on the evidence, but would like to know that our officials/experts take all theories/evidence seriously, that the evidence tells the story, instead of a story being made up.
Having confidence in the Durham/NC/federal judicial system would be nice, but right now, that is not the case either.

Anonymous said...


Not to beat a dead horse, but since you are not only the blog author and response moderator, you can be our resident authority on book publishing as well (if you don't mind).

I'm having anxiety about the possibility that Precious' book release date might be postponed again (we were told initially that 'something' was coming out last June). Postulating that there is a legitimate book and a legitimate publisher, wouldn't there be follow-up press releases with say a picture of the cover and some excerpts. How about dates for interviews with the author on the usual round of radio and TV talk shows to drum up interest and, presumably, sales. Book signing dates at Barnes? I know nothing about the business of publishing and selling of books- but you do. Shouldn't some of the activities I mentioned be visibly in the works?

Regardless of who might end up benefiting from the exercise, I for one remain extremely interested in CGM's 'coming out' on any basis.

Do you share my apprehension (or at least puzzled concern) that the typical arrangements associated with a major book release seem to be conspicuously absent?


RL alum '75

Anonymous said...

This is what a $200,000 Duke education looks like...

NewBlackMan - Mark Anthony Neal web site

Note Neal's 4/8 CUNY YouTube presentations at the "Theorizing Blackness" event.

As interesting is the promotion for the 4/16. John Hope Franklin Center hosted talk by Stephane Dunn, author of "Bad Bitches and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Fantasies"

"This lively study unpacks the intersecting racial, sexual, and gender politics underlying the representations of racialized bodies, masculinities, and femininities in early 1970s black action films, with particular focus on the representation of black femininity. Stephane Dunn explores the typical, sexualized, subordinate positioning of women in low-budget blaxploitation action narratives as well as more seriously radical films like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, in which black women are typically portrayed as trifling "bitches" compared to the supermacho black male heroes. The terms "baad bitches" and "sassy supermamas" signal the reversal of this positioning with the emergence of supermama heroines in the few black action films in the early 1970s that featured self-assured, empowered, and tough (or "baad") black women as protagonists: Cleopatra Jones, Coffy, and Foxy Brown."

One wonders if the Duke faculty would ever compare and contrast this type of "super woman" versus the treatment of Mrs. Palin. Even the "temperate" Oprah Winfrey has chosen not to have Mrs. Palin on her show prior to the election. So the chances of competing ideas being introduced in the racist Franklin Center are likely nil. The "Baad Bitches" conversation is sponsored by Duke's "Sponsored by the "Center for the Study of Black Popular Culture" and the Program in Study of Sexualities".

We do indeed reap what we sew.

Debrah said...

Here is an uplifting column brought to my attention by "Stu Daddy".

Worth reading.

It even has a few Duke Medical Center twists.

Anonymous said...

My question is:

When Tara Levicy lies, under oath, at the civil trial, can she be held criminally liable?

Debrah said...


An end to an era.

"Reharmonizer" has warned everyone that his long and futile quest to pick apart Wonderland is coming to a close.


If anyone needs more evidence that he's been clueless throughout, you have only to see that he references the blog of Scott Eric Kaufman as one which did a good job in tearing Wonderland apart.

Will these delusions really end soon?


One Spook said...

NJNP wrote @ 9:24 AM

Stephane Dunn explores the typical, sexualized, subordinate positioning of women in low-budget blaxploitation action narratives as well as more seriously radical films like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, ..." (My emphasis)

I want to make it perfectly clear that anytime I have ever "sat by a door", it was on "Official Government Business" ...

One Spook

Gary Packwood said...

No justice, no peace 9/07/08::9:48 PM..said...

...This is what a $200,000 Duke education looks like...
...Note Neal's 4/8 CUNY YouTube presentations at the "Theorizing Blackness" event.
...As interesting is the promotion for the 4/16. John Hope Franklin Center hosted talk by Stephane Dunn, author of "Bad Bitches and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Fantasies"
Great find NJ/NP!

If anyone wants to hear the Indoctrination suffered through by the Duke University Men's lacrosse team and other undergraduates on the Duke it is.

These words are all about the new theory of why black masculinity is so threatened by the slave/owner mentality in America...including modern America.

A Part III is available along with others expounding on the same theme.

Anonymous said...

KC, Thanks for keeping up with events, look forward to hearing about the big win when the case finally gets through the courts.I will always be very impressed that in this case one person made a huge difference in the lives of the three young men most harmed. thanks for making that difference. The other thing that still seems very strongly true is that Duke hasn't been changed, and will not change. I would discourage any young man I know from applying to a school that would so easily turn their backs, in a time of need, from a student group that is not the group deemed worthy of due process and fairness because of the color of their skin. There are lots of other schools where you can get a great education and be respected for who you are.I've never been more disappointed in feminists, a now bogus major in book.