Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mangum’s Last Dance swindle ignores Brodhead

I’ve just finished reading Duke lacrosse false accuser Crystal Mangum’s latest swindle, The Last Dance for Grace.

Former Chronicle editor David Graham praised its “raw and honest style[.]”

But I agree with Marco at Liestoppers who said:

We cannot recommend reading this book to anyone but the most ardent of the "Something Happened Crowd" because only they would be able to discount the overwhelming amount of exculpatory DNA, medical evidence, and the conclusion of the NC Special Prosecutors, NC State Bar, and even the admission of the former disgraced, disbarred DA Nifong that no sexual assault happened.
I wish I believed The Last Dance for Grace will be the last of the swindles Mangum will foist on the lacrosse players, their families and our community.

But it won’t be.

As The Last Dance for Grace makes so obvious, Mangum’s a swindler who just keeps on swindling.

If you’re determined to expose yourself to The Last Dance, remember that as with any swindle, you need to know what the swindler’s keeping from you in order to understand the swindle.

So, for example, when you come upon Mangum’s repeated presentations of herself as a poor black woman who never received meaningful community support, just say to yourself two words: “Dick Brodhead.”

Mangum doesn’t mention Duke’s President in her swindle, but in Spring 2006 Brodhead was one of her first and arguably her most powerful, persistent and effective enabler with the exception of the Raleigh News & Observer.

It would have been only decent of Mangum to at least have included in The Last Dance some mention of Brodhead, such as the following which I offer in the style of Mangum and with parody intended:

President Brodhead never treated me mean and I was glad that he kept telling those white boys to fess up even after he knew they were cooperating with the police.

And when he issued that apology to me and Kim Roberts after he listened to her phony 911 call, I knew I wanted to meet that man.

But I was due at the Platinum Club and so could only think about him while I danced. That was another big disappointment in my life. But it wasn’t Mr. Brodhead's fault and I know I will heal.

He was so nice when all them Wanted and Vigilante posters were put up at Duke, not like I expected a Duke President to act.

And when he said “whatever they did was bad enough” it really made me feel good because usually only my drivers talk that way.

When I hear people say bad things about Mr. Brodhead throwing the rich white boys under the bus, those things penetrate me and really hurt.

It’s almost as bad as that terrible hurt you feel when 3, 5, maybe 20 lawyers all tell you: “I don’t see how we can collect anything for you.”

Getting back to serious mode.

Folks, you know if Mangum mentioned even some of what Brodhead did to promote the hoax and frame-up attempt, that would've made her latest swindle even more obvious than it is to all of us except editor Graham.

So Mangum made no mention of Brodhead, despite his leading roles in the hoax and frame-up attempt.

More soon about The Last Dance for Grace.

Editor Graham’s Chronicle article’s here; the Liestoppers’ review is here. KC Johnson has also devoted a number of posts to The Last Dance. You can access his summary post here and work back from there.


Anonymous said...

I am wondering if David Graham is still pursuing journalism as a career? He is from Akron, Ohio. I hear Joe the plumber has moved up in the world, and his job may be open in the near future.

In my opinion, Crystal Mangum is what the term “Low Life” must mean. She committed a crime without punishment, Jesse Jackson offers to pay for her college expenses, and now she may rake in proceeds for total dishonesty. Who said, “Crime doesn’t pay?”

Anonymous said...

The parody was fun. Steve in New Mexico

Anonymous said...


Mangum and Brodhead.

You nailed them both.

I was LOL.

Great post.

Duke Mom '09

Anonymous said...


I loved your parody. You matched the writing style of "Grace" perfectly.

Thanks a lot for the chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for yet another truth in this saga -- your parody was 'spot on"

PLEASE keep reminding us all of the half-truths and lies that have been offered.

These (false) enablers are scary creatures, indeed.

MSM is past due for a wake-up call!


Anonymous said...


How much longer are you going to maintain the facade of being a "fair and balanced" blogger when your views are so distinctly biased in each of your posts? Skepticism, last I checked, involved attention to all of the details and not merely the ones preferable to you.

Oh, and for the record? I read that article by David Graham: describing a writing style hardly constitutes praise (read other literary reviews). Further, "raw and honest", as one of the comments points out, does not entail that a work is "truthful".

People want to actively bash Mangum for "ruining the lives" of 3 lacrosse players; they seem to be doing all right in the world, if you ask me. Is this memoir a stupid idea? Yeah, it probably is. Is Mangum a "bad person"? I don't know. Most theories of "bad or good" people say we should consider a person's mental state when making this call. Didn't the State declare her to be "mentally ill"?

That actually always bugged me: if the woman is actually mentally ill, why didn't the court mandate she obtain treatment? Ah, I'm sure that was Duke's fault, too.

Just one dude's opinion.

~A Duke Student

JWM said...

To the first five commenters here, my appreciation and thanks.

I'll reply individually to your comments this weekend.

To A Duke Student,

Thank you first for a civil comment offered with, IMO, genuine feeling.

I want to say more in response but the hour is late.

Tomorrow I'll move your comment to the main page and offer a more detailed response and invite you and others to respond in turn.

Thank you all for your comments.


Anonymous said...

Terrific post.

But you won't call KC out for getting in bed with the N&O?

You know Joe Neff was one of those covering up from the beginning.

Yet you won't criticize KC's "hero of the hoax."

Get some spine, John.

NC Journo

Anonymous said...

Joe Neff did outstanding reporting. Does that make up for other N&O editors and reporters who set the table for Nifong's frame with their late-March 2006 coverage? Please don't lump Neff in with his colleagues.

Anonymous said...

John -

Great post. I hope that Ms. Mangum gets slapped with at least a defamation suit. And of course something happened somewhere that night, but who knows where and who knows to whom?

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mangum's "handlers" have considered the magnitude of the task they have undertaken. They've cleaned up both her person and her story ...and, for a precious few moments, presented the newly prim former Pole Dancer to the world: clean, sober, the brilliant, high achieving Sister Survivor of Durham Laegend.

They have vouched for this reality.

But past is prologue, so how do they keep Mangum from being Mangum again for the rest of her sick, sorry life?

Do they believe that she will be suddenly stable, sober and emotionally "dependable" as the head mistress of her own group home for troubled women?

Like she was in the Navy?

Do her "handlers" want to take responsibility for encouraging others to put their troubled children in her care? Are they giving the most public job reference ever, that I might hire Crystal and not fear new accusations should she enter the stock room one day with other innocent young men?

They have publicly stated she is a woman of highest character now. They are on record for all time.

What responsibility to they have to me, if I believe them and hire her, or rent an apartment to her, or trust her with my child?

Her memoirs are a litany of various accusations. Has this suddenly ended or is this Crystal's operational manual for life? But the esteemed Professor and the Agent have now most publicly vouched for her in the most positive terms, stood behind her "history.": Shall they be responsible for anyone who is damaged by Crystal in the future because they were taken in by these assurances of her stability by supposedly serious, credible professionals WHO CLAIM THEY KNOW HER SO WELL?

Shall we ask them straight out if they are vouching for her stability, her sobriety, even her sanity?

Their names are attached to hers now: they have become her most public character references. They vouched for her in every possible way, didn't they?

Now the long future lies ahead.