October in the case was highlighted by release of serial fabricator Crystal Mangum’s “memoir.” Among other things, Mangum:
- Invented a whole new version of the “crime,” this one in which she implicitly admitted that she had falsely accused Collin Finnerty (without of course, issuing any apology to Finnerty);
- Lashed out at the special prosecutors, whose job she seemed to believe was to accept anything she had to say at face value, not seek the truth;
- Suggested that “hidden” DNA evidence existed—even though the DNA evidence was publicly discussed, at great length, in the Dec. 2006 hearing and Mike Nifong’s Aug. 2007 criminal contempt trial;
- Challenged the journalistic integrity of Ed Bradley and 60 Minutes; and
- Described the party in such a way that contradicted not only the photos of the event but also her own cell-phone records and the credit-card receipts of her “driver.”
Mangum did have positive things to say about two people: Mike Nifong and Tara Levicy. Nifong and Levicy have another thing in common: both left the jobs they had in disgrace.
Mangum reached the bottom of the barrel in scraping up “collaborators” for her memoir:
- Co-author “Ed” Clark came across as someone with a schoolboy crush for Mangum, a figure who uncritically accepted whatever sweet nothings his Dulcinea chose to offer;
- Academic advisor Myra Shird (North Carolina A&T) penned a preface to the memoir in which she seemed to be auditioning for a position in any of the myriad Duke departments dominated by the Group of 88; and
- The NAACP’s Al McSurely made his reappearance, as the “agent” for the press that published the memoir.
In other events:
- Vanderbilt’s “Take Back the Night” event featured Houston Baker, the Group of 88 member who most aggressively defended Mangum’s hoax. Why? Gushed one of the event’s sponsors, “When I think of
these days and all that he has done and all that he continues to do for women, the only word that comes to my mind is gratitude. Thank you Houston , for teaching us both within the classroom and outside it, for walking with us in this struggle to end violence against women.” Houston
- As part of his bankruptcy proceedings, Nifong was forced to auction his guitars.
- Important civil case filings from Bob Ekstrand responded to many of the Duke straw men arguments.
In political news related to the case:
- The Wilmington Journal, home of Cash Michaels, carried through on its January 2007 threat and endorsed Attorney General Roy Cooper’s challenger. The reason? Cooper’s refusal to try three people his own investigation had determined were innocent.
- Academics entered the presidential campaign, but in a way that suggested extremists were the exception rather than the norm in many humanities and (some) social science departments—a portrayal of the academy at odds with a fundamental lesson of the lacrosse case.
Finally, Zack Greer is now at Bryant, where he’ll play this spring for Coach Mike Pressler. His new number? 88.