Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hopman Told A Hoax

Readers Alert: As first published this post linked to a Google map showing both Charlie's Pub and the house where the lacrosse party was held. Truth Hurts 001 let me know the link was rotten.

I've removed it and thank Truth Hurt 001 for the heads up.

John
________________________


If you’ve read JinC posts here, here and here, you know many of the reasons why, notwithstanding KC Johnson’s claims to the contrary, you can be sure Jill Hopman’s Charlie’s story is a transparent hoax.

But some people still aren't convinced it's a hoax. So here are more reasons and reasoning which I hope will help persuade at least some of those people to decide Hopman's story was indeed a hoax.

By the evening of Saturday, Mar. 25, 2006 the members of Duke’s Men’s lacrosse team were certain:

They were innocent of charges made by Crystal Mangum. No felony crimes occurred at a party many of them had attended. What's more, they'd cooperated to an extraordinary extent with police investigators.

But despite that, the DPD spokesperson was repeatedly telling media “horrific crimes” had been committed by some of them and none of them were cooperating with police.

So the players knew for certain police were lying about them and setting them up for framing and heaven knows what else.

Folks, have you ever been in a town where you knew the cops were calling you and your teammates a bunch of violent felony criminals and whipping up public outrage;

And representing you falsely as a bunch of privileged, violence-prone drunken louts;

Where the regions major newspaper had that morning front-paged a story saying you and your teammates hosted a party that ended in “sexual violence;”

Where the paper's story said the “victim” of your "sexual violence" was a frightened, young black mother gang-raped by three members of your team with the rest of you now covering up for the rapists;

And that in a town with a very large black population;

Where the news story ended with a professor at your university’s law school saying the sport you played was one of “violence;”

Where you knew that despite knowing you and your teammates had been extraordinarily cooperative with police, your university president had just issued a statement about the charges leveled against your team in which he said nothing about your cooperation;

But in which he instead made comments stoking what you knew was the fast-spreading “wall of silence” lie?

Folks, for Hopman's story to be anything other than a hoax, about half the lacrosse team that Saturday night had to decide to go to a crowded bar and start shot-slamming and shouting; acting for all the world exactly like the people wanting you framed were falsely claiming you were.

While I'm confident the lacrosse players knew the great majority of Durham people would respect their persons, they certainly also knew they were at risk of physical harm from unstable, angry individuals. It only takes one.

Charlie’s is a little more than a 1/2 mile away from the house where the party was held and from which three members of your team have fled for their personal safety.

That evening a rally called a “vigil” was held in front of the house during which the lies meant to inflame the community and which were endangering the players were repeated and endorsed.

The team’s parents, a great many of whom were then in Durham, understood the dangerous situation their sons were facing.

Wouldn’t they have kept their sons close to them? Did KC Johnson ever ask any of the parents whether what Hopman wrote could, as he says, “have been correct?”

To further illustrate how beyond belief Hopman’s story is, let’s imagine that somehow about half the lacrosse team did show up at Charlie’s the night of Mar. 25, 2006 and began, as Hopman described it in the Mar. 28 Chronicle:

. . .order[ing] round after round of shots, at times slamming the glasses down on tables and cheering "Duke Lacrosse!" At this point, the bar started buzzing. Comments were flying all over from "How does Duke not have these guys under lockdown?" to "Do they realize what unremorseful(sic) drunk snobs they look like?" to "I hate Duke students and this is exactly why."
If anything like that had actually happened, don’t you find it incredible that in this world of cells and blackberrys no one seems to have either: 1) called any of the lacrosse parents to let them know what jeopardy their sons were in; or 2) called 911 to complain about the players?

How easy it would have been for Durham Police to respond to a “noise” or “public drunkenness” complaint and enter the bar.

The police could have asked each of “the 20 or so” lacrosse players to show proof of age.

Even if – again we’re only imagining the players were in Charlie’s to show how beyond belief Hopman’s hoax is - even if the police found all the players of age and none drunk, the police being called to Charlie’s and the public drinking and shot slamming of about half the lacrosse team which outraged the other patrons in the bar would have been a front page story.

Where were Charlie’s staff and management during what Hopman says happened?

Hopman makes no mention of staff trying to quiet the players.

Or reminding them of the grave jeopardy at which they were placing themselves.

Or encouraging them to head home and out of the hostile atmosphere described in Hopman’s hoax story.

Hopman makes no mention of staff and management trying to reassure the other patrons that they’re doing something about the players.

In North Carolina, a tavern owner and staff can be held civilly libel for what later happens if they serve patrons who are obviously drunk.

Jill Hopman’s Charlie’s story is as obvious a hoax as Crystal Mangum’s bathroom story,













21 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Jill Hopman’s Charlie’s story is as obvious a hoax as Crystal Mangum’s bathroom story."

Okay, we will go with that.

sceptical said...

John,

While your arguments are logical and I do not believe Hopman's article, you are an armchair sleuth basing your conclusions on reasoning and deductions.

What you are NOT, with respect to this issue, is a citizen journalist. Journalists write their stories based on investigation and interviews and ferreting out the facts. Why haven't you done so with regard to Hopman's story?

Have you tried to contact Hopman? Have you tried to contact Sally Fogarty, who admits her son was there that night? Have you tried to contact the bar manager? Have you tried to contact anyone on The Chronicle editorial staff, which published Hopman's piece as an op-ed?

While KC Johnson has his faults, he at least did some investigation into the matter. He got different stories from different people who were there, so he decided not to include it in his extensively-researched book Until Proven Innocent.

John, you have an excellent analytical mind, but you need to do some real reporting rather than just armchair analysis.

(While some of my posts at Liestoppers are opinion and analysis, I have also done longer posts which have involved true reporting.)

sceptical

TruthHurts001 said...

John, your Google map doesn't link.

Anonymous said...

JinC,

You never give in and you stick with the facts.

That gets you attacked in Wonderland.

Well, sure.

Trinity '97

Anonymous said...

John:

I thought I'd point out a few things about Jill Hopman's story that intrigued me.

First, she used the past tense to describe her friends on the lacrosse team ( "Some were my close friends at Duke" rather than "Some are my close friends at Duke"). She then reverts to the present tense with the statement "...they are amazing athletes..." A small point, granted, but it shows some distance.

Second, she graduated in 05. That would likely make her 22 years old at the time of the story. When she was a senior, these players would have been sophmores or juniors. How does a senior girl become friends with a number of underclass lacrosse players? How does she know they are incredible athletes? Was she dating one or more of them? Did something happen to alienate her from the players?

Third, I noticed the adjectives used in her story were emotional triggers.."unremorseful drunk snobs" "hate Duke"..."plastered"..."stumbling"..."derision and repulsion". These types of adjectives would suggest some deep seated anomosity toward the team.

Fourth, Jill claims 20 players arrived at one time, ordered round after round of shots and all proceeded to get completely drunk. All 20? Everyone got completely drunk? Her statements would seem to demonize every lacrosse player at Charlie's that night. No one was spared.

Fifth, her comments about three policemen and photographers being present appear to be a projection on her part. Something certainly caused her some emotional distress,...enough to make these bizarre statements in public.

I have viewed the claims as fantasy from the first. She is obviously troubled and may have latched on to the lacrosse team as a support mechanism. When they became tired or rejected her attention, she became angry.

In short, a jilted or deranged woman with an axe to grind. (Fatal Attraction?)

The question that lingers, of course, is not whether two other witnesses corroborated Jill's story, but why they did.

Just my humble psychoanalysis.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

"In short, a jilted or deranged woman with an axe to grind."

Wow. That's magnificent. Makes it ever so much easier to pretty well ignore any conclusions you have ever drawn or will ever draw.

halides1 said...

To all,

Ms. Hopman was a first year law student and is now a practicing lawyer. If she made up a story out of whole cloth and were found out, would her law professors write her letters of recommendation? Would they open doors for her careerwise? Would this be enough to keep a sane person from telling a complete falsehood?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Chris:

"Would this be enough to keep a sane person from telling a complete falsehood?"

Probably true.

Then again, we'd have to assume that Ms. Hopman is sane.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

We should trust her because she is a lawyer?

joan foster said...

Chris: "if she made up a story out of whole cloth and were found out, would her law professors write her letters of recommendation? Would they open doors for her careerwise? Would this be enough to keep a sane person from telling a complete falsehood?"

Few things about your reply, Chris. It seems to have at it's base "something happened"...in that belef in Hopman's "sanity"requires you to believe her story?

I would answer, Chris, that hysteria of the moment we saw many reckless and astounding things.

Would you have believed the NCNAACP would carry a screed of lies in promoting a Frame that violated the essence of everything they believed? Would you have believed that once revered organization would publicly undercut its moral pinnings this way?

Would you have believed the owner of a DNA facility would have violated his own protocols to the degree that he destroyed his own livelihood?

We could go on and on with examples, Chris. Weren't you watching?

Furthermore,you assume Hopman's professors...or at least her choices to write those letters...would disapprove or have moral outrage at her attempt to assist a young Black Mom "new to dancing"...against those privileged white thugs. Do you think among the silent Duke Law faculty she could not have found a few admirers? I don't know if the idea that her Hoax at this time would jeopardize her career...is a safe assumption.

In fact, Chris..I imagine even if some of these Law Professors were troubled by some of Hopman's behaviors... they might have personal reasons not to feel they can express in PUBLIC what they say in private.

If fairness to the Lacrosse team meant crossing people important to them...or upholding their own stated standards against their own emotions...well...you know.

Those moral dilemmas happen, Chris,don't they?. Think about it and you may understand

sceptical said...

Here's some research:

http://library.duke.edu/specialcollections/bingham/generations/schedule.html

a. Feminism in Academic Institutions (Breedlove Room, Perkins Library):
Lisa Diedrich, Women's Studies, Stony Brook University Jill Hopman, Law School, UNC-Chapel Hill Shadee Malaklou, student, Duke University Margaret McFadden, Women's Studies, Appalachian State University Jaclyn E. Silar, Women's Athletics, Duke University
Moderator: Michele T. Berger, Women's Studies/Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

*************

New York Times April 1, 2006

"Last Saturday, as protests were being held around campus, including a candlelight vigil at the captains' house, Jill Hopman said she saw about 20 team members at Charlie's. Hopman, who graduated from Duke last year and is a law student at the University of North Carolina, said the players were drinking and breaking into chants of ''Duke lacrosse.'' She said she was nauseated by the display and wrote an opinion piece for The Chronicle.

''It was just sitting there knowing that a candlelight vigil was held at their house, while they are slamming down the shots on the bar,'' Hopman said Friday.

''I don't know if they are guilty or not. I'm all for due process. But I love Duke, and they were under a microscope and were representing us. Forget all the issues about race and affluence and our relationship with the town. The one thing we all have in common is Duke.''

Employees at Charlie's would not comment on whether the players were at the bar last Saturday."

******************



http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1179341-2,00.html

From Time April 2, 2006

"A recent alum, Jill Hopman, says she saw members of the team chugging shots of liquor and shouting "Duke lacrosse" at Charlie's, a popular student hangout, on Saturday, March 25, a full day after the allegations crept into the news. The Duke administration had already decided to forfeit that day's game against Georgetown as punishment for the underage drinking at the party. "I was thinking, You're representing more than yourself," Hopman says. "It was just giving Duke a bad name." She wrote an Op-Ed in the student newspaper, the Chronicle, describing the incident. She has been told she's no longer welcome in the bar.


*************

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/saraceno/2006-04-07-duke-lacrosse_x.htm

USA TODAY 4/7/06

"Booze also reared its mean-spirited head in Durham, N.C. Days after the lacrosse story broke, Duke graduate Jill Hopman was in a bar with her softball team when she could hardly believe her eyes or ears. In a guest commentary in the school's student newspaper, The Chronicle, she wrote that about 20 lacrosse players ordered rounds of shots, slamming the empty glasses on tables and cheering, "Duke lacrosse!"

***************
Newsweek 4/17/06

"Almost two weeks after the event, in a bar called Charlie's Pub, recent Duke grad Jill Hopman was startled to see some Duke lacrosse players she recognized slamming down shots and calling out "Duke lacrosse!"
(A source close to the families who did not wish to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter said there were three players in the bar and they made a single, regretful toast to the team, whose season is on hold for now.)"

sceptical said...

More research:

*************

From LinkedIn:

Jill Hopman
Attorney at The Law Office of Sandy Khine, PC

Education
University of North Carolina School of Law
Duke University

Jill Hopman’s Education
University of North Carolina School of Law
JD , Immigration & Nationality Law, Human Rights Law, Women's & Child Advocacy , 2005 — 2008

Duke University
BA , Political Science, Psychology , 2001 — 2005


****************
UNC LAW PUBLIC SERVIVE NEWSLETTER


Immigration and Human Rights Policy Clinic Report Receives National and International Recognition

The Immigration/Human Rights Policy Clinic Report entitled The Policies and Politics of Local Immigration Enforcement Law: 287(g) Program in North Carolina has been nationally and internationally recognized. Contributors to the report include 3L students Catherine Currie and Evelyn Griggs as well as 2008 graduates Katherine Bandy, Jill Hopman, Nicole Jones, Rashmi Kumar, Marty Rosenbluth, and Christina Simpson.

sceptical said...

Very interesting that Jill Hopman spoke at the following program in 2005:

"Sisterhood, Riot Grrrl, and the Next Wave: Feminist Generations/Generating Feminisms

Sallie Bingham cordially invites you to a symposium on the power and relevance of primary source materials to the history and future of feminism.

Our keynote speaker is Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation.

Perkins Library, October 26 - 27, 2005"

************
At this symposium at Duke, Jill Hopman was on the following program-- note that Shadee Malaklou was one of the other participants.:

"9:15-10:45 Concurrent sessions:
a. Feminism in Academic Institutions (Breedlove Room, Perkins Library):
Lisa Diedrich, Women's Studies, Stony Brook University Jill Hopman, Law School, UNC-Chapel Hill Shadee Malaklou, student, Duke University Margaret McFadden, Women's Studies, Appalachian State University Jaclyn E. Silar, Women's Athletics, Duke University
Moderator: Michele T. Berger, Women's Studies/Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill"

********

It is also interesting that she lists "Women's & Child Advocacy" as one of her interests while at UNC Law School:

"University of North Carolina School of Law
JD , Immigration & Nationality Law, Human Rights Law, Women's & Child Advocacy , 2005 — 2008"

********

Another 2003 symposium she spoke at while at Duke was:

Symposium Theme
Abortion: Research, Ethics, and Activism is a symposium highlighting the power and relevance of primary source documentation to the history and future of abortion.

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Concurrent sessions

1. Student Activism and Organizing: What Role Does it Play at Duke? with with Betsy Alden, Kenan Institute for Ethics; Mazella Hall, Counseling and Psychological Services and their students Wintta Woldermariam, Jill Hopman, and Lauren Fath from Duke; and Leah Edwards and Liz Peterson from the Feminist Majority Foundation (Breedlove Room)

*******

So clearly Jill Hopman is not a disinterested observer during the LAC crisis.

She is an avowed feminist and student activist well-enough known to be invited as a speaker at official Duke programs.

How does this affect her credibility in the LAX case?
I think quite a bit.

AMac said...

sceptical (3:29 pm) quoted the NYT of 4/1/06 quoting Hopman on the timing of the alleged incident:

"'It [sic] was just sitting there knowing that a candlelight vigil was held at their house, while they are slamming down the shots on the bar,' Hopman said Friday."

When was the candlelight vigil?

Perhaps between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.?

That narrows the window considerably.

S. Fogarty: were your daughter and her friends at Charlie's during the vigil?

(At this writing, Ms. Hopman hasn't responded to my emailed query about when the alleged incident took place.)

Anonymous said...

Sceptical:

Phenominal research. Well done.

Ken
Dallas

inmyhumbleopinion said...

sceptical wrote:
So clearly Jill Hopman is not a disinterested observer during the LAC crisis.

She is an avowed feminist and student activist well-enough known to be invited as a speaker at official Duke programs.

How does this affect her credibility in the LAX case?
I think quite a bit.


Well, Hopman did pass up the candlelight vigil to play softball and drink beer. I guess Sally Fogarty's witnesses - three Duke lacrosse players (two current - one former) and a former Duke lacrosse coach who happens to be Bob Eckstrand's wife's sister and who is employed by Bob and Samantha's law firm - missed it as well.

halides1 said...

Ken (7:23 PM),

There is another explanation to Hopman's saying that some of the lacrosse players were her friends (past tense). Perhaps she meant that she knew players who graduated about the same time she did. She may not have meant that any of the players she claims to have seen that night were ever her friends.

Chris

Anonymous said...

I was at Charlie's having a drink with my local softball team when about 20 lacrosse players arrived. Some were my close friends at Duke.

I think that is pretty clear and I don't see how you could interpret it that way.

halides1 said...

To the 8:38,

It's jump to present tense in the next sentence that caught Ken, Dallas' eye. I was commenting based on his interpretation.

Chris

sceptical said...

A couple of other comments:

1) The New York Times article of April 1 includes the following:

"Employees at Charlie's would not comment on whether the players were at the bar last Saturday."

So at least the NYT reporters made an attempt to verify the truthfulness of Hopman's claims-- more than some of the other media outlets who took her statements as gospel.

2) The April 2 N&O article by Stancil & Blythe is a prime example of biased coverage by the N&O against the lacrosse players.
However, the Charlie's episode is barely mentioned-- only at the end of the article, in the context of "boisterous" drinking by "some"
lacrosse players during the candlelight vigil going on nearby at 610 N. Buchanan. Stancill and Blythe just went with the outlines of the story and avoided Hopman's specifics.

http://www.newsobserver.com/122/story/424563.html

"Neighbors were outraged; several hundred flocked to the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. for a candlelight vigil in support of the woman. The same night, some lacrosse players were boisterously drinking at Charlie's Neighborhood Bar & Grille, a nearby bar on Ninth Street, Duke graduate Jill Hopman said."

3) Here is another account of the incident. Hopman apparently gave several interviews to news media spreading her fable:

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/archive/index.php/t-78024.html

"Duke graduate Jill Hopman says she witnessed some of that behavior Saturday night at Charlie's Pub and Grill on Ninth Street near the Duke campus.

Hopman said nearly 20 men she recognized as members of the lacrosse team were sitting at a nearby table, downing shots of alcohol and chanting "Duke Lacrosse! Duke Lacrosse!"

Some, she said, talked about the alleged rape.

"They were saying things like, 'This is ruining our season,' " she said in an interview Monday.

Hopman said she couldn't blame anyone for "blowing off steam," but that she thought the men's actions were tasteless in light of the investigation.

"They need to act like they're under a microscope because they are," she said."

4) Hopman was a co-founder of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at Duke, according to the Chronicle of 11/13/02.

www.dukechronicle.com/.../Empowering.Feminists-1461432.shtml

5) Hopman was treasurer of her Class Council (2005), so she was active in groups besides feminist ones.

6) Hopman is currently practicing immigration law in NYC:

"The Law Office of Sandy Khine, PC concentrates its practice in Immigration and Nationality Law. Our practice encompasses all areas of United States Immigration Law including employment-based and investor immigration, family-based immigration, asylum, removal and deportation defense, immigrant (permanent) visas and non-immigrant (temporary) visas, consular processing, naturalization and citizenship."

7)Finally there are some parallels between Hopman and Tara Levicy, both ardent feminists and both individuals who tried to use the Duke lacrosse case to advance their ideology. Both used exaggeration and false statements in pursuit of their goals. However, while the Charlie's episode was minor, Levicy did incalcuable more damage in initiating and maintaining the frame.

halides1 said...

To all,

In my experience letters of recommendation are generally private; they are not viewed by anyone except those making the hiring decision. The recommender is often asked to comment on the honesty and integrity of the person being recommended (no distinction is typically made between professional and private actions in the request). Individuals at the institution doing the hiring may contact members of the candidate’s department, without the candidate’s knowledge. If the law professors at UNC-Chapel Hill were like Professor Coleman, they might feel that a student who told story that is a 100% fabrication is not fit to practice law, and they would not have to say so publicly. Of course the faculty is unlikely to be monolithic, but Hopman would still be taking a risk. If I caught one of my students falsifying scientific data, I would do everything possible to see that this individual never worked in science again. My doctoral adviser believes that a 5-year exclusion is more appropriate.

The two situations above are somewhat different in that Ms. Hopman was not acting in a professional capacity when she wrote her bar story, yet she wrote both an op-ed and a letter to the editor. Thus there was every reason to believe that members of the law faculty would hear about it. That is what makes her behavior different from Dr. Meehan’s, who never expected to be faced with evidence of his unethical behavior, I suspect.

Another problem with claiming that it is complete fabrication is that Ms. Hopman gave the names of two corroborating witnesses and offered more names to KC Johnson. Someone corroborated to Newsweek a version of the event that included a toast. The existence of corroborating witnesses is one reason I think it is more likely that Ms. Hopman exaggerated what she saw than that that the story is utter fantasy, based on the evidence presently before us.

Chris