Crystal Mangum, the stripper who incited a national scandal in 2006 when she falsely accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Reginald Daye.
Mangum claimed that she fatally stabbed her boyfriend in self-defense after he threw knives at her, but in interviews before he died, he said that she stabbed him several times, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The LA Times reports that the jury concluded that photographic and blood evidence didn’t match up with Mangum’s story. Mangum’s criminal history leading to this point became part of the trial:
Prosecutors in the murder case pointed to another incident, in 2010, when Mangum was found guilty of contributing to the abuse of minors in an episode where she trashed Daye’s car and set fire to his clothes.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a more serious arson charge, and she was sentenced to time served.
Her relationship with Daye appears to have been trouble from day one. When Daye’s nephew called 911 the day he was stabbed, the man immediately referred to her notoriety.
“It’s Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum,” he told the emergency operator. “I told him she was trouble from the damn beginning.”
Daye died in the hospital 10 days later.
“You have all been told some fantastic lies, and I look forward to watching them unravel in the weeks to come, as they already have in weeks past…. The truth will come out,” lacrosse player David Evans said after he was indicted.
The case did slowly fall apart as DNA evidence failed to tie Mangum to any of the 46 white players on the team. She eventually recanted her statement and said she was not sure she had been raped, although she insisted some sort of sexual assault had taken place.
In court, defense lawyers revealed that the prosecuting attorney and the lab director had withheld evidence that showed that the DNA on Mangum’s body did not match the defendants, and that it matched other men. The defense claimed that the district attorney who was prosecuting violated police policy by using a photo lineup that showed photos only of lacrosse players and did not mix in other men.
“She was, in effect, given a multiple choice test in which there were no wrong answers,” a defense motion said.
The district attorney withdrew from the case, resigned and was disbarred.
The North Carolina attorney general took over the case, and after a 12-week examination he dropped all charges against the defendants. Evans, who was indicted the day after he graduated from Duke, said the case Mangum brought against him and the other defendants had taken them “to hell and back.”
The intense and extensive coverage of the false story vs the whispers on the conviction highlights a bias in media attention and news reporting:
The story was explosive and politically correct: privileged white lacrosse players at a prestigious college rape underprivileged young black woman. As events developed, three lacrosse players were eventually arrested and charged; the Duke lacrosse coach, Mike Pressler, received threatening phone calls and was forced by Duke to resign; the president of Duke University, Richard Brodhead, suspended the entire lacrosse team for the season; liberal Duke faculty members, the “Group of 88,” signed an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle that reportedly suggested the rape claims were true; the initial prosecutor, Mike Nifong, was disbarred for his misconduct and convicted of criminal contempt; all charges against the 3 players – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans – were dropped.
Although the rape claims by Mangum were totally false, she was not charged with a crime.
The lacrosse players Finnerty and Seligmann were arrested on Apr. 18, 2006, and charged with rape and kidnapping. In the five days following, Apr. 18 – 22, a Nexis news search of the terms Duke, rape, and lacrosse in “All English Language News,” shows there were 673 news stories, 160 of which were from major television news outlets (and six that were on NPR).
Those 160 major television news outlets included ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, the Today show, NBC Nightly News, CNN Live, Fox News, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country and Countdown, and myriad other TV news programs.
The coverage of accusations surrounding Mangum dropped 5,233%:
The big television networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC – and the liberal MSNBC and NPR did not report on Mangum’s murder conviction.
The difference in coverage is noteworthy: 160 stories vs. 3 stories in the first five days of each event. That’s a ratio of 53 to 1, and a difference in coverage of 5,233%.
The television news industry (and NPR) gave 5,233% more coverage to the dubious allegations against the three lacrosse players — which were proven to be completely false and politically charged — than they gave the jury-tried murder conviction of Crystal Mangum, the false accuser.