April 13th, 2007

dance centipedes vagina

The beginning shall also be the end

I think one of the major turning points in the Duke Lacrosse case was when Ed Bradley did his exposee on 60 minutes. While it was true that very little new information was revealed, at least new to us case wonks, what it did do was present the case to the american public and give them the oppertunity to take a second look. So many people had walked away from the story still believing the media hyped propoganda of those early days. Heck, on CNN just the other day I read some comment by a dingbat of a woman who said that even if the players were found to be not guilty they should have never hired a stripper over and payed her for sex. What can you say when you're faced with that sort of ignorance?

Anyway, Bradley's piece opened the floodgates for America to take a second look and I think that it played a big part in justice finally being served. It's only too bad that he didn't live to see the end of the case though he was given a Peabody Award posthumously for the story. It's also a shame that he won't be here to finish what he started as 60-minutes interviews all three players this weekend as well as the AG Ray Cooper.

CBS has released some quotes from Cooper's interview and the statements are just amazing. Read it for yourself and tell me that you aren't flabergasted.

"He says contradictions in the accuser’s earlier statements clearly indicated that an attack never occurred, but neither Nifong nor his staff challenged her. “We don’t think that any of these tough questions were asked of her,” says Cooper. What’s more, says Cooper, the accuser’s story continued to change as his investigators talked to her. “We started out knowing we had a problem…and the way it turned out, it was much worse than we thought.” Cooper’s team also thought she was possibly inebriated. “Our investigative team who was to meet her that day believed that she was under the influence of something.”

Among the new stories the accuser told was a fantastic account of the rape in which she contradicts the account she gave Nifong that led to him dropping rape charges back in December. “She was suspended in mid air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom,” Cooper recalls the accuser saying. “And I’ve been in that bathroom and it was very difficult for me to see how that could have occurred.” Cooper’s investigators were shocked by the situation. “A number of them said to me, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’ It was amazing how she could continue to tell different stories.”

When the accuser was confronted with pictures from the night of the party that contradicted her statements, she answered irrationally. “It was usually that the picture was doctored or ‘that just can’t be true,’ or ‘Duke University paid someone off,’” Cooper says. The accuser has a history of mental illness and Cooper and his staff viewed her medical file; he refuses to reveal its contents, but says he believes the woman is getting help.

Cooper says he used the word “innocent” to describe the three young men “because it wasn't a situation where it was just insufficient evidence… because what had gone on for so long was a tragedy. It should never have happened.”

Good grief. How in the world could the police investigators have missed this sort of thing? I can't believe that if Nifong or someone had simply asked her some real questions about the event and gotten the 'levitation' story that we could have headed off this trainwreck at the pass. I can just see this being marketed as a magic trick. Learn to perform the magical levitating gang rape. Amaze your family and friends.

How in the freaking world could any rational person have missed this level of crazy?