Saturday, March 24, 2007

Re: KC Johnson’s “More CrimeStoppers” (Part 1)

If you’re not familiar with issues surrounding the production and distribution of the Durham CrimeStoppers’ Duke lacrosse “Wanted” poster, please refer to this post which contains a facsimile of the poster and links to posts published by KC Johnson, and others I published.

Also, please search my archives. Using entry term “wanted poster” returned 52 hits; “CrimeStoppers’ 52 “hits:” and “Russ” 28 “hits”

Now some thoughts on KC Johnson’s “More CrimeStoppers” post, with more thoughts to follow tomorrow and perhaps soon thereafter.

First, a “Thank you” to KC for getting more information out there and advancing the story. He’s pulled a lot of ways covering almost every aspect of the Hoax, but I hope he stays on the CrimeStoppers “Wanted” poster part of it.

We’ll learn so much about how the Hoax was developed and “sold” to the public if we, to paraphrase Deep Throat, “follow the posters.”

Regarding Durham Police Major Lee Russ’ recent presentation to the Durham CS board, KC reports board members Sue Wasiolek, Duke’s dean of students and Dan Hill, a Duke alum and Durham business and community leader, reported:

Russ said that to his best recollection, no blogger asked either him or DPD spokesperson Kammie Michael about who served on the CrimeStoppers’ board. (John in Carolina has said he [in] June 2006 did contact Russ about this issue.)
I provide an account of my interview with Russ in this post which KC referenced. I hope you take a look at it.

I sent Russ a link to the post and a few days after that phoned him to make sure he felt I’d fairly represented what he said. He said I had, and he had no problem with anything in the post.

Is it possible Russ forgot I’d asked him about how to contact CS board members? Sure.

In any case I stand by everything I wrote in that post.

KC reports Wasiolek and Hill “reiterated that neither they nor any other member of the CS board ever made any attempt to hide their connection with the organization.”

That being the case, I’m doubly glad I never reported CS board members were attempting to “hide their connection.”

I did report that multiple VMs I left at the CS phone number (the same one for contact with Durham CS Coordinator DPD Corporal David Addison) were never returned and that my net searches failed to turn up a contact address for Durham CS’s board or the posting of any minutes or a CS meeting schedule.

I only learned of CS board members Wasiolek and DUPD director Robert Dean’s CS board membership through information provided by a JinC commenter, Cederford. I followed up immediately with Dean, who was CS board chair at the time the "Wanted" poster was produced. Dean promptly responded to questions I asked him. I reported his response to you here.

I’ve more questions for the CS board as I’m sure you do.

I’ll be putting a call in to the CS phone number again and leaving a contact email address. I’ll also ask DUPD’s director Dean a few other questions.

I’ll keep you posted on all of that.

A couple of other thoughts:

Will the CS board talk to Addison about what he did? I sure wish he’d been at the CS board meeting along with Russ.

When will the minutes of the latest CS board meeting be available to the public as I’m told they are supposed to be? Will CS post them on the net?

On the matter of Addison being described as “overzealous.”

A police officer can be overzealous but still be acting properly within the law. Say, for instance, an officer who reads a brief witness statement 100 times to see if there was any information in it that’s been overlooked.

The problem with what Addison, and now, according to Russ, DPD did with the production and distribution of the CS “Wanted” poster has little or nothing to do with overzealousness.

It has to do with the false claim an “horrific crime” had been committed at the Duke lacrosse March 13 party when the evidence DPD had a the time overwhelmingly indicated it hadn't. It has to do with claims innocent citizens were libeled.

Addison, Durham CS, DPD and Durham City should explain fully, publicly, and in written statements just what happened, why it happened and at whose behst it happened.

It's very disturbing to realize that a year after the CS "Wanted" poster's production and distribution, they've failed to do that.

I’ll post again on KC’s post tomorrow.

The CS “Wanted” poster story is really only in its first stages.


gak said...

I read Professor Johnson's post and remembered your statement about Russ running you around the barn, and stated that the meeting didn't ring true. I truly can't imagine Russ forgetting about a high profile blogger asking (repeatedly as I remember) about the poster.

Anonymous said...

The lies and the attempted coverup continue. The false charges against the lacrosse players continue to be dragged out by attorney general Cooper and his underlings, Coman and Winstead. Perhaps it will take the civil suits and depositions and discovery to learn who pulled Addison's strings and what Russ, Sue and the police knew — and when they knew it.

Cedarford said...

John -

When you write Bob Dean again, I hope you can find space in your letter to finally get to questions about the poster that was the real damaging one, that apparantly originated and was originally distributed on Duke campus - the Vigilante Poster.

I would expect that Major Dean would vet his response with senior Duke amin officials & lawyers that are handling the case for Duke and not willingly pave the way for lawsuits by naming names, if they have them. But perhaps being as gracious and forthcoming as he was on certain Crimestopper and official "wanted poster" info.

1. The Vigilante Poster was aparantly created and originally distributed on Duke campus. Did any senior administration officials complain and request an investigation into the parties at Duke involved in That Vigilante Poster?

2. Was an investigation done?

3. Are parties now known to you and other Duke officials who participated in the creation and distribution of the Vigilante Poster? Did those parties belong to a specific Duke Department or registered group? Were any Duke employees or faculty involved, or determined to be knowledgable of the perpetrators involved?

4. Was Duke IT & security contacted to see whose ISP was logged in for an extensive time downloading website photos of the players for constructing the Vigilante Poster? Unrelated to the Vigilante poster, did Duke IT and security investigate the dissemination of a false email sent under a student's name in an ongoing criminal investigation that suggested guilt and conspiracy by the Lacrosse players?

5. If there was an investigation, were any reprimands or disciplinary actions taken? If not, why?

6. In the opinion of Duke police, did the so-called "Vigilante Poster" help add to the risk and potential for campus harassment, real or perceived, the accused 46 Lacrosse players and their families felt they were under.

7. In another matter, again unrelated to the Vigilante poster, Durham police took the lead on campus in interviewing suspects - even searching w/o warrants and attempting to bully students to talk and sign statements who were then represented by legal counsel. There is some reportage that Durham cops accessed and used the Duke email system to send a false email from a student. Duke police at that time were only evident as facilitators of Michael Gottlieb and other Durham police. Was this the role Duke police were instructed to take, and by whom?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the pressure, I agree with you, the origins of the wanted poster and the vigilante poster will have tremendous impact on the case. I suspect that under oath in the lawsuits to follow, we'll begin to see where these posters came from. The maker of the vigilante poster should be worried, hopefully justice is closing in on him/her....


AMac said...

No shortage of irony in this case.

We have Durham CrimeStoppers participating early and actively to solve a crime that wasn't. A crime that--had it happened--would have required none of the information that CS ostensibly might have transmitted from tipsters (who-what-when-where-why).

Now we see a series of alleged crimes of conspiracy where the details are being kept obscure, where "walls of silence" are preventing full knowledge and--who knows?--perhaps prosecution.

Perhaps CS-offered rewards could contribute to solving these current mysteries.

bill anderson said...


Great job again. Keep the heat on these dishonest people. Indeed, crimes were committed in Durham, but by the authorities who supposedly are there to "protect" us from crime. Who protects us from our "protectors"?

KC did a great job today in blowing up another lie, and that was that Crystal was beaten. The picture on his blog sure tells a different story.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent post, John. Do you have sources within the N&O who could shed light on why the newspaper published the defamatory poster?

Anonymous said...

I think this email posted to durhamresponds yahoo group could be related to the vigilante poster. It was posted to the group by Jack Bury, who can be seen in an early hoax news video here

Quoted material follows:

--- In,Mar 27, 2006
9:21 am

"rozenstraat22" (Jack Bury) wrote:

Duke University has remomed the offical roster of its Varsity Men's
Lacrosse team from the univeristy website.

if anyone is interested in viewing, and perhaps dissemenating the
facebook group "Yea, We Should Be Illegal...", it can be found here:

--- End forwarded message ---

Anonymous said...

Crimestoppers seem to be engaging in a "who shot John?" exercise. I might do the same with a pack of tort lawyers looming over the horizon. Too late, folks, you're toast.

Anonymous said...

There is "hiding" your association with an organization and just making sure that it's never talked about and that the public record is as scanty as you can make it.

Dean Sue et. al. could have come out after the "poster" and said: Hey, we're board members, we're looking at this, we'll get you a timeline in a week.

When my kids over-subscribe to the cookie jar, they are discreet but admit it when caught.


kbp said...

Thanks John!

Who from within the DPD, that has been involved in this case at any point, can we NOT attribute either a lie to or the act of protecting a liar in their department?