Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nifong Copier “Discovery” Story: A Fantastic Lie

Readers Note: If you are not familiar with the contents of

Why Nifong Knew On Mar. 14

Sceptical’s Response To "Why Nifong Knew On Mar. 14"


Sceptical Says Nifong Knew Before Mar. 23

I encourage you to read those posts before reading the one below because it presumes readers are very familiar with the contents of the three posts I just cited and linked to.


On June 15 Sceptical posted "WITNESS TAMPERING, KIM (ROBERTS) PITTMAN & MIKE NIFONG" at Liestoppers Meeting.

The essential element of that post was sceptical’s carefully reasoned conclusion Nifong knew about the Duke lacrosse (DL) case by Mar. 22, 2006.

Since skeptical posted, no one among the disparate group which posts at LM has questioned sceptical’s conclusion; while a number have put up posts based, at least in part, on sceptical’s conclusion Nifong knew on Mar. 22 of the DL case.

As regards my certainty Nifong first learned of what became the DL case on Mar. 14, the same day Crystal Mangum made her false charges, skeptical and others remain - well – skeptical to say the least since I’ve not offered “proof” for my certainty.

I’m confident that “proof” will emerge.

And there I’m content to leave the matter for now.

I appreciate the time and attention skeptical and others spent reading my posts.

I’ve profited from reading sceptical’s posts and those of others as well as the comments here at JinC.

And we’ve all now seen how the Nifong copier “discovery” story implodes under the weight of the evidence of its utter absurdity.

What intelligent person with a reasonable amount of knowledge of the many means by which information and misinformation about the DL case was widely and publicly disseminated throughout Durham between Mar. 14 and Mar. 23, 2006 ( for example, in 2 news stories in the N&O and 2 news stories in The Chronicle) believes - -

Mike Nifong, a DA who had reason to be informed of the case by virtue of his office and a need to be informed because he was locked in a tough primary election battle, went those entire 10 days without ever learning anything about the case until he “discovered” the signed NTO sitting on his office copier?

The Duke undergrads were all reading about the case on Mar. 20 in The Chronicle. But Nifong didn't know?

Back in May 2006 outside the Durham County Courthouse, David Evans warned us we’d all been told “some fantastic lies.” He was right then.

If Evans came back to the courthouse today and said, “You’re all still being told some fantastic lies,” he’d be right now, too.


Anonymous said...

John: It's good that you are continuing to post. The civil suits are important and are the only way to get the truth out.

sceptical said...

John is correct that the rape charges were in the newspapers on March 18-20. Here are some excerpts:
SATURDAY MARCH 18: N&O publishes first article about the case:

Woman reports sexual assault

Police were investigating a report of a rape on Buchanan Boulevard near the Duke University campus Friday. .. A young woman told police she visited 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Monday and was assaulted by three men, according to police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb... Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator B.W. Himan at 560-4582, ext. 229

SUNDAY MARCH 19 : N&0 second article on the case:

Alleged rape was at party, police said

Police offered more details Saturday in the investigation of a young woman's report she was raped by three men at a party Monday near the Duke University campus. The woman told police early Tuesday morning that she had gone to a house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. the night before for a party, said Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. While at the party, she was raped by three men, she reported to police. Gottlieb described the party as a mix of college students and non-students. In total, there were about 30 people there at the time, he said. "It was an act where alcohol was involved," Gottlieb said. (snip)

MONDAY MARCH 20:The Duke Chronicle publishes its first article about the incident:

Off-East house site of reported rape

By: Staff ReportsIssue date: 3/20/06 Section: News Last update: 3/20/06 at 6:23 AM ESTDurhamPolice Department is investigating an alleged rape of a young woman by three males at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. over Spring Break.Duke recently purchased the rented residence from a local landlord. The alleged assault was reported early in the morning of Tuesday, March 14.The young woman arrived at the house for a party at around 11:30 p.m. Monday, March 13 and reportedly left after midnight, Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations wrote in an e-mail to a community listserv. He encouraged individuals in the area at the time to report to DPD if they "saw or heard anything unusual." (snip)

TUESDAY MARCH 21:The Chronicle publishes its second mention of the case, in which Gottlieb is quoted that the house residents were cooperative:

Suspects in alleged rape unidentified

By: Staff ReportsIssue date: 3/21/06 Section: News Last update: 3/21/06 at 6:54 AM ESTOne week after a young woman was allegedly raped at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the Durham Police Department is still investigating the situation, saying "the suspects have not been clearly identified."The house, which was recently purchased by University subsidiary Durham Realty, was the site of a party that involved both Duke students and non-students, said Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations. (Snip)


It should be noted that none of the early newspaper reports stated that the 610 N. Buchanan tenants were lacrosse team members or that the accuser was black.

However, John is correct in infering that Nifong, who regularly read the newspapers, is likely to have seen one of these articles between March 18 and 21.

This argument is in addition to the one that I have made that Nifong was likley involved in the March 22 deal between Kim (Roberts) Pittman and Durham PD officers Gottlieb and Himan for changes in her statement in exchange for staying out of jail for parole violations.

I agree with John that additional proof is likely to come out.


Anonymous said...

A question:

If, as the news reports indicated, there were both students and non-students in attendance at the party, why were only lacrosse members' (who of course had to be students at Duke)pictures shown to Crystal Mangum? I think that this also goes to the heart of the frame.

Anonymous said...

One other point, which I forgot in the previous posting - how would Crystal Mangum know who was a student and who was not? Generally speaking(and given the fact that she was obviously impaired at the time which would make any identification suspect), studnets do not wear nametags identifying themselves as such.

inmyhumbleopinion said...


In the early reports, I believe, the reference to the non-students related to the two dancers. They where not described as dancers in those reports - only that they had gone to the house for a party.

sceptical said...

There were at least 2 students at the party who were not members of the lacrosse team-- Brent Saeli and Blake Boehimler (see Himan's case notes).

Jim in San Diego said...


Glad to see you can't quite bring yourself to retire.


But, why is it essential to any issue whether Nifong knew on Mar 14th, or March 22nd?

It is a prosecutor's continuing duty to indict and try only those who are guilty. Once N knew these boys were not guilty, whether the 14th, 22nd, or some much later date, he was still obligated to drop the case.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...


This raises the question as to why those two students pictures were not a part of the photo array shown to Crystal? Who made the decision not to include them? Would their inclusion (in the photo line-up)have made the frame more difficult to maintain?

Anonymous said...

Nifong and the two dirty cops, Gottlieb and Himan, had no fear of being discovered because they knew how to work the weaknesses in the system and they knew that the worst that could happen would be a reversal upon appeal. They, like many other sleazebags in Durham, had been gaming the system their whole lives. It just happened that in this case, a lot of intelligent and curious people began digging, and the victims of the attempted frame were fortunate in having clever (and expensive) attorneys representing them.
How many other innocent people have been railroaded in the Durham courts? Actually in any court in North Carolina, because a grand jury indictment is easy to get (see: ham sandwich), impossible to review, and usually means the prosecution gets a plea bargain. For jerks like Nifong, that's a win-win situation, and he thought he could ride that pony into his retirement sunset.
If there is any justice, plaintiffs' discovery will bring out all the dirty details and expose the malicious scum who tried to engineer this despicable plot.
Tarheel Hawkeye

sceptical said...

cks asks why pictures of Brent and Balke, the students who were not lacrosse players, were not shown to Mangum.

The answer is that the police were not really sure of who was at the party, even among the lacrosse players. Duke Police gave them pictures of the lacrosse team which is what were used in the March 14 and 21 id sessions with Mangum.

The April 4 session used the pictures taken pursuant to the NTO on March 23.

However, by then Himan had contacted and interviewed Brent and Blake.

From his notes:
3/28/06 1720hrs - Went to the apartment of William Blake Boehmler ---/---/---- /7/84, he agreed to come to the station to talk about what happened on 3/13/06. Mr. Boehmler signed a non-custodial form and was advised that the meeting was voluntarily and he was free to go at any time and that he was not in custody. He stated that he was invited by some of the lacrosse players to the party, he stated that he came over. The girls started to dance he stated that none of them looked impaired and that he stated that there was an argument and someone mentioned something about a pimp. Mr. Bohemler stated he got scared and decided to leave (due to him being on probation) and that he left with Brent Saili back to 1107 Urban Ave. He gave name of friend that he was with at the time of the party and who he was during the night Brent Saeli...

So pictures of Brent and Blake could have and should have been used in the April 4 session-- they were not.

Anonymous said...

I would think then that the fact that the two non-lacrosse players pictures were not used would be further evidence of a frame. Here are my reasons:
1. the two non-lacrosse students' pictures were not included
2. the only black player's picture was not included
3. while Finnerty and Seligmann both had alibis (as did the two non lacrosse players) their pictures were included
4. the picture of a player not even there was included (and yet two people who were there were not)
5. Crystal could not identify anyone at the first showing - and of course we have the continuing changing of her story of the number of attackers and their physical descriptions.

So, what conclusions can be drawn:
1. The police and Nifong had determined (I believe with the tacit approval of Duke) to nail the lacrosse team for something - this would resolve the TP problem that Duke had (or at the very least demonstrate to the neighborhood that they were sympathetic to their concerns about the partying done by off campus Duke students)
2. By limiting the canvas to the lacrosse team it made the case easier to investigate and also to manupulate the complainant (Crystal who as was shown could be manipulated into saying anything)
3. The story (rich white northern jocks assaulting poor black mother) would play better in the greater community than just regular students - whose alibi held up. The press could be manipulated - as it was about the lacrosse team's "silence and protection of its own" much easier.
4. The faculty already had a bias against athletes (at least a goodly number did) which could and was utilized against the athletes.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your conclusions in your 7:44am post.

The lax team was the target -- any
white lax player --

my query is:

Duke admin, Duke BOT, DUPD, DhamPD, Dham politicos,
"renegade cops", G88 faculty(did they tru;y have that much power at Duke)


sceptical said...

dmom says: Who set this up?

I do not think to start with that there was an overall conspiracy (that happened later).

I believe there was a convergence of interests, the combination of which was quite unlucky for the team.

1) A mentally-ill prostitute who did not want to be ncarcerated,for whom a rape claim was the way out;
2) A Duke-hating cop who wanted revenge for being transfered;
3) A wannabe SANE rookie whose feminist ideology outweighed professional ethics;
4) A cowardly university administration who wanted to teach the athletes a lesson and wanted to curry favor with the city;
5) A politically desperate prosecutor who needed a big case to ensure his salary and pension;
and 6) News media looking for a hot story with "Sex, lies and Duke."

You take away any of these 6 factors and there might not have been a "Duke Lacrosse Scandal."

Later on, there was a more organized conspiracy between Duke, the Durham police, and the Durham administration. See Ekstrand's civil suit.

But at the beginning it appears there was an unfortunate combination of circumstances leading to a disaster.

Anonymous said...

A classic "perfect storm?" I think you're right on the money.
Tarheel Hawkeye