As I comment on in my forthcoming book, Scoundrels: political Scandals in American History, Congressman Gary Condit was a conservative “Blue Dog Democrat” native California once he became involved with a young intern 30 years his junior. Chandra Ann Levy, the intern, hailed from Condit’s district. She met that in the loss of 2000, not lengthy after she moved to Washington, D.C., to seek an internship v the United says Bureau the Prisons. The congressman might have maintained the affair secret, yet Levy disappeared seemingly there is no a trace on may 1, 2001, together she prepared to go back to California.

When he to be questioned about his relationship with Levy, Condit admitted the he knew her, yet he denied that they to be anything more than friends. It was a lie. Family members members called police that the congressman had been meeting with her in secret, and also that Chandra Levy remained in love. Required to admit that he had actually lied, Condit soon discovered himself engulfed in a scandal that created headlines throughout the country and also around the world. If he had lied around the relationship, he could have lied about other things. Perhaps he knew who had taken Chandra Levy. Maybe he had actually kidnapped and/or eliminated her. V no clues about what had happened, who can say?

The case began when Levy arrived in Washington, D.C., during the loss of 2000, excited in ~ the possibility of interning in ~ the bureau of Prisons. One day in October of that year, she and also a girlfriend from the college of southerly California, Jennifer Baker, marched up to Capitol Hill. Come earn your degrees, the students essential to finish an internship. Although levying had currently snagged a position, Baker had not. The arrangement was to make the rounds and see if they might find an internship because that Baker. The logical place to start was in the offices of the California senators and also congressmen who represented them.

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Normally, a low-level staffer meets with constituents who drop into a representative’s office. Periodically the staffer can provide tickets to upcoming events at the Kennedy facility or offer accessibility to the gallery as soon as the house of to represent or the Senate is in session. Top top this day, however, Congressman Gary Condit was in the office. He stepped out to greet the 2 fresh-faced, excited young women, and he escorted them about the building, even showing castle the residence chamber. As soon as Jennifer Baker pointed out that she required an internship, Condit immediately offered her a job. He also agreed come pose for a photograph, a common occurrence. Members the Congress gain meeting v constituents. Photographs for the folks ago home encourage voters to remember their chosen official at choice time. Condit posed in the middle, through Chandra levying on his right, and also Jennifer Baker ~ above his left.


Baker to be happy to uncover a job on Capitol Hill, yet that to be the degree of she reaction. Chandra Levy, however, feeling something different. She thought that Congressman Condit was charming and also handsome. In her view, the resembled the actor Harrison Ford, one of her favorite Hollywood stars. A few days later, after she had stopped in the office to see exactly how Baker’s internship was working out, raise again encountered Congressman Condit. They speak briefly prior to exchanging phone call numbers and email addresses.

Several work later, the smitten young intern called the congressman. They engaged in tiny talk and Condit offered career advice. In ~ the finish of the call, Condit offered Levy his exclusive phone number. Their relationship, such together it was, can have ended there.

Shortly before thanksgiving, however, they take it the next step. Levy dubbed Condit and also he invited her come his condo in the posh Adams Morgan community of Washington, D.C. Condit’s wife greatly stayed in ~ their residence in California while the congressman lived alone in his chic fourth-floor apartment overlooking rock Creek Park. She embraced the invitation and they fell into bed together.

It was more than a one-night stand. The couple developed a routine, but Condit and Levy did no go out in public. Instead, they ordered take-out food and also cuddled approximately watch movie on HBO. Condit continuous admonished his young lover to tell no one of the affair, and also she mostly complied. Once Jennifer Baker repetitively asked her girlfriend to go the end on the town, Levy invented excuses. She eventually said the she was dating an FBI agent.

The young mrs confided in only one person, her aunt, Linda Zamsky. Even if it is Gary Condit love her remains a mystery, yet Levy certainly loved him. She told her aunt exactly how much she cared because that “her man,” the Harrison Ford look-alike that had readjusted her life. Condit had actually promised to leave his wife and also make a new life v Chandra. The young lady knew the promises could be false, and also she knew that she could get hurt, but it was a risk she was willing to take. She swore her aunt to secrecy, and also Zamaksy agreed. She honored her promise until her nephew disappeared under suspiciously circumstances.

The affair continued for around five months. In April 2001, Chandra levy learned the her internship was ending earlier than she had actually expected. Through graduation job approaching, she decided to go back to California to attend her beginning ceremony for she master’s program. Ideally, she would return to Washington afterward, diploma in hand, to uncover a irreversible job and continue her partnership with Gary Condit. She last spoke come him top top April 29, as soon as she told the of her plans.

Not lengthy thereafter, Chandra levy disappeared. Reconstructing her steps, investigators discovered that Chandra had actually emailed her landlord ~ above April 28 to say the she would certainly vacate she apartment on may 5 or 6. On may 1, she signed onto her computer and also searched because that flights home. She also searched long walking trails in absent Creek park. She signed off at 12:24 p.m. And seemingly disappeared into thin air.

By might 6, when no one had heard native Chandra levy in days, her father, Robert Levy, dubbed the Washington police. The room dispatched an officer to she apartment. The manager opened the door and let the inside. Nothing appeared out that place except that her wallet to be still there. He additionally found two open suitcases, however there was no authorize of Chandra Levy.

Robert Levy called the bureau of Prisons, wherein his daughter had been working, yet no one had actually seen her because the internship had ended. Desperate because that information, he dubbed Washington area hospitals, but no patient answering her summary had been admitted. The Levy family members normally payment Chandra’s cell phone bills. Worried to discover her, they believed they might uncover clues in she phone records. Robert and also his wife, Susan, separated up the perform of callers and combed with the frequently called numbers.

Susan had found the Condit to work in April and had challenged her daughter. Chandra assured her mom that all would be well, and also begged her to keep the secret. Susan levying begrudgingly agreed. Currently that the young woman was missing, Susan told her husband.

Having learned the his daughter’s affair with the lot older congressman, Robert Levy mutual his wife’s concern. He found a phone book, looked up Condit’s home number, and also dialed the male residence. The congressman was not home, however his wife, Carolyn, answered. Robert Levy claimed that he necessary Condit’s assist to uncover his absent daughter. Carolyn stated she would certainly pass along the message.

“Do you know my daughter?” Robert levying asked. His voice trembled. “Where is she? do you understand where she went?”

Condit assured the frantic father that he walk not know where Chandra was. He stated he knew her in passing, and also that the had given her job advice. That promised to contact the police and urge lock to proceed their investigation.

Robert Levy to be upset with Condit’s lie, but Susan Levy was incensed. She knew that her daughter and Condit were associated in one intimate relationship. If he would certainly lie around the affair, he more than likely would lie around other things, too, such as what had happened to Chandra.

As because that Gary Condit, that had carefully crafted a mystery life over numerous years. Chandra levy was no his first affair with a lot younger woman. At any time he take it a lover, that instituted clear ground rules. No one have to know. They need to meet much away indigenous prying eyes. Nothing must interfere with his politics career, because that Gary Condit’s star to be ascending. He to be a male who might have a truly mainly career as a Washington mover and shaker—provided the his personal life stayed private. V the young intern’s disappearance, his career to be jeopardized.

As unnerving together Robert Levy’s call was because that the seemingly strait-laced congressman, he was specifically perturbed when a district of Columbia lacking persons detective, Ralph Durant, called to inquire about the vanished intern. Condit repeated the same story that had offered Chandra’s father. Durant i ordered it to meet with Condit on might 9 at the latter’s Adams Morgan condominium to take it a officially statement.

Durant and a police sergeant, Ronald Wyatt, came down on the condominium at 9:55 p.m. On may 9. Condit welcomed them right into his home and repeated his initial story. He included that Chandra had actually not appeared nervous or upset when they had actually last spoken. After he defined how he had met Chandra and also hired her friend, Jennifer Baker, the 2 investigators driven for much more details. It to be clear that the congressman had actually not been totally forthcoming. Durant had spoken to Levy’s aunt, Linda Zamsky, before the may 9 appointment, for this reason he knew an ext than he at first revealed.

When Condit lastly admitted that Chandra Levy had spent the night at his condominium on plenty of occasions, Sergeant Wyatt’s patience was practically exhausted. “Did you have an intimate partnership with Ms. Levy?” he asked. The officers wanted come see just how Condit answered the question.

The congressman knew the his an enig was out, however he remained reluctant come speak about the matter. “I nothing think we need to go there,” that said, “and you deserve to infer what girlfriend want with that.” Durant and also Wyatt construed the inference. They likewise knew the it was just a matter of time prior to the press obtained wind of a scandal. Gary Condit’s privacy would shortly be a thing of the past.

The first new story, hidden in the earlier of the Metro ar of the Washington write-up on might 11, 2001, mentioned the absent woman and also asked because that tips, yet it refrained from pointing out Congressman Condit. A second story, released on may 16, described Condit and also contained a quote from that expressing his hope that Chandra, “a great person and also a good friend,” would certainly be discovered safe and sound. The work was not mentioned.

Unfortunately for Condit, reporters were functioning their police sources, and also by might 16, they thought that the congressman had actually been connected in a sexual relationship with the lacking intern. In response to a overwhelming of media inquiries, Condit’s chief of staff in Modesto, California, Michael Lynch, told reporters indigenous the Washington Post that concept of one affair was preposterous. “Totally did no occur,” he stated without suspicion or equivocation. “It’s yes, really distressing the a lot of world are concentrating on that issue when the focus should be on finding whereby Chandra is.”

Gary Condit’s life quickly was consumed by the growing scandal. News media followed him almost everywhere he went, commonly calling out “where's Chandra?” The congressman tried come go around his business, but night after night lurid tales of the absent intern and her an effective lover conquered the headlines. Robert and Susan levy ratcheted increase the pressure as soon as they went on tv on June 14, 2001, begging Condit to disclose what he knew. They were convinced that Condit had actually had one affair through their daughter, and also that he knew wherein she had gone.

Police did not have sufficient evidence to fee him through a crime in a court the law, but he to be roundly crucified in the court of publicly opinion. Condit agreed to an on-camera interview v the reporter Connie Chung, yet he showed up shifty and also evasive. The appearance damaged his call further. He could do nothing right.

Nineteen work after the Connie Chung interview, the continuous Chandra raise media saga abruptly ended. The television trucks that had been parked outside of Gary Condit’s condominium swiftly packed up and also raced far from the premises. Susan Levy had actually planned to fly to Chicago to appear on the renowned Oprah television program, adhered to by a trip to new York because that an figure on the Today show, but she did no go to the airport. The terrorist attacks in new York and also Washington, D.C., top top September 11, 2001, adjusted the world forever. As the media focused on wall-to-wall coverage the the worst terrorist attacks in American history, the story the a absent intern and her congressman lover quickly became yesterday’s news.

It no yesterday’s news come Gary Condit. The still hope to rescue his job in Congress. Top top December 7, 2001, the announced the he would seek reelection. The knew he faced an uphill battle, however Condit believed that he must be judged top top his entire record representing his ingredient in the House, no on the raise scandal.

He faced a previous aide, Dennis Cardoza, climate serving together a California Assemblyman, in the autonomous primary in march 2002. Condit was bitter because he had helped Cardoza earlier in his career, and now a former friend and subordinate was difficult him for the congressional seat. That was best to it is in worried. When the votes came in, Condit had lost with 37.5 percent that the poll to Cardozo’s 55.3 percent. Gary Condit’s public company career had ended. That tried to it is in sanguine around it. “Things occur in life the you can’t explain,” the mused. “Whatever happens, happens. I’ll perform something else.”

The media hoopla died out, however the mystery remained. The wasn’t until a 42-year-old furniture maker, Philip Palmer, to be walking his dog close to the west Ridge trail in rock Creek Park on may 22, 2002, the the authorities found out wherein Chandra raise was. Palmer stumbled upon a decomposed body, and immediately alerted the police. It was a trace that had actually been searched, yet this area off the trail to be well hidden. Subsequent tests evidenced that Levy had actually been found.

D.C. Police investigators felt substantial pressure to fix the homicide case, but they had couple of clues. The body to be so bad decomposed that determining a cause of fatality or detect physical evidence was impossible. If a stranger had come out of the woods and also attacked Chandra when she was walking or jogging, any type of evidence of the encounter was lengthy gone after ~ exposure to the elements for a year. In spite of the investigators’ best efforts, the search for a killer was stalled.

Eight month earlier, a lawyer because that Ramón Alvarez, one inmate in the D.C. Jail, had called the U.S. Lawyer in Washington come tell an exciting story. The lawyer said that Alvarez had talked with one more inmate, 20-year-old El Salvador aboriginal Ingmar Adalid Guandique, and the inmate claimed to have actually killed Chandra Levy. According to Alvarez, Guandique said that Gary Condit had paid that $25,000 to killing the young woman. Guandique had actually ambushed Levy if she was jogging top top a course in absent Creek Park. After ~ stabbing her in the neck and also stomach v a knife, Guandique supposedly dug the end a tiny hole in the woods and buried her body under leaves and tree branches.

The story sounded farfetched, particularly the tale around Condit’s involvement. Police had combed v the congressman’s life through a fine-tooth comb. Lock had found no suspicious financial transactions saying that Condit had accessed a large amount the cash. Nonetheless, with couple of credible tips to guide their investigation, detectives met v Guandique and showed that a photograph of Chandra Levy. He denied having ever before seen her various other than in news reports on television.

Information detailed by jailhouse snitches is notoriously unreliable. Alvarez might have lied, or maybe Guandique had actually said something after all. Either Guandique or Alvarez possibly embellished the tale. On November 28, 2001, police administered a polygraph to Alvarez. He failed. Guandique satellite for his polygraph ~ above February 4, 2002. The examiner rated the outcomes as inconclusive, return in his opinion Guandique was “not deceptive.” Alvarez and also Guandique spoke small English, and also the examiners were no bilingual, which further complicated the results.

Guandique’s record said that he might have attacked and also killed Chandra Levy. He had been implicated in attacks on two other women in absent Creek Park. On may 14, 2001, a strange guy wielding a knife had assaulted 30-year-old journalist Halle Shilling together she jogged in the park. After a short physical altercation, she escaped and alerted the U.S. Park Police. The guy disappeared before the police might find him.

Six main later, ~ above July 1, 2001, a man matching the same summary as the attacker in the Shilling case—a Hispanic guy wearing baggy pants, a T-short, and sneakers—attacked another jogger, 25-year-old Christy Wiegand, that was running with her fiancé in absent Creek Park. As the pair became separated, a male came the end of the brush v a knife and also forced Wiegand into a ravine. She dealt with him off, flagged under a pass motorist, and they situated her fiancé. This time, however, once the Park Police obtained the report, they found the man and also took him right into custody. He was Ingmar Guandique.

Faced with strong evidence against him in the Shilling and Wiegand cases, Guandique agreed come plead guilty. That may have actually been affiliated in 2 other assaults on ladies as well, but those cases were not before the court. Based on the defendant’s guilty plea, referee Noel Anketell Kramer sentenced the to offer 10 years in prison.

Shortly prior to the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Kristen Ament notified the judge about Guandique’s possible involvement in the levy disappearance. Prosecutors told referee Kramer the Guandique had cooperated in the levy case, and had even consented to take it a polygraph test, which he passed. Based upon the record, the referee concluded that “This is such a satellite issue. To me that doesn’t have anything to execute with this case.” Consequently, Chandra Levy’s disappearance did not aspect into the judge’s sentence.

Even v the heightened attention in the case, investigators did not aggressively follow up through Guandique. Their indifference eventually adjusted owing to number of events. First, an inmate named Armando Morales had actually shared a cell with Guandique, and Morales claimed that his roommate confessed come murdering Chandra Levy. This was the 2nd time that an inmate had actually snitched top top Guandique. The information was surprisingly detailed and believable.

Another element was a adjust in police personnel. A brand-new D.C. Police chief, Cathy L. Lanier, believed that it was time to revisit the case. She met through Susan levying in 2007 and also pledged come reexamine the proof with new detectives in ~ the helm and also a new perspective top top the case. Cook Lanier assigned three skilled homicide investigators to take the lead.

The 3rd occurrence affiliated reporters in ~ the Washington Post. A brand-new team of reporters began to examine the initial police investigation. In a collection of long newspaper write-ups than ran in the Post beginning top top Sunday, July 13, 2008, the reporters outlined numerous police errors. Part mistakes, such together failing to secure surveillance videotapes in Chandra Levy’s apartment building and also corrupting her computer system files, were currently known, but other errors had actually only recently been discovered. The error the garnered the many attention was the failure to investigate Ingmar Guandique’s connection to Chandra raise or to interview the 2 women that confessed to attack in absent Creek Park.

The brand-new detectives—Kenneth Williams, Anthony Brigidini, and also Emilio Martinez—dug into the case and planned to re-interview crucial witnesses. ~ above September 8, 2008, they met v Guandique. Martinez speak Spanish, therefore he analyzed the conversation. Although Guandique never ever confessed, that made numerous incriminating statements. While he spoke with the detectives, prison authorities searched his cell and also discovered a picture of Chandra he had actually ripped indigenous a magazine. They also learned the Guandique had actually confessed to several people, including Armando Morales, that he had actually killed Levy. Although there to be no smoking gun, so to speak, investigators believed they had built a strong case based on circumstantial evidence.

On in march 3, 2009, the district of Columbia premium Court approve an arrest warrant for Ingmar Guandique. He stayed incarcerated in the Victorville basic in California, and also so authorities knew whereby to discover him. ~ he was transferred ago into the custody of the D.C. Room of Corrections, Guandique was indicted by a cool jury on six counts: kidnapping, first-degree murder committed during a kidnapping, test first-degree sex-related abuse, first-degree murder committed throughout a sexual offense, test robbery, and first-degree killing committed throughout a robbery. The pleaded not guilty.

His psychological commenced top top October 4, 2010. To do Shilling and Christy Wiegand testified about their terrifying experiences v Guandique, and also prosecutors noted the similarities in circumstances and locations in between those attacks and also the Chandra levying attack. Coupled through Armando Morales’ testimony, it to be a persuasive case. The trial it is long a month. ~ above November 22, 2010, the jury judge Guandique of first-degree murder. Top top February 11, 2011, referee Gerald Fisher sentenced him to 60 years in prison.

The case appeared to it is in closed, yet it was not. In may 2015, defense attorneys succeeded in convincing judge Fisher the the defendant deserved a brand-new trial. After lot back-and-forth in between prosecutors and defense attorneys, the day was set for October 11, 2016. Together in the first case, the verdict would depend largely on Morales’ credibility.

The retrial remained in trouble almost at the beginning. Prosecutors are forced by regulation to reveal possibly exculpatory evidence to the defense, but they had not done so during Guandique’s an initial trial. As soon as the defense attorneys learned of this failure, castle filed activities to i have dissolved the case.

Even more troubling because that the start was new information around Armando Morales’ veracity. During a seemingly regimen pretrial listening on July 21, 2016, a prosecutor divulged that a part-time actress called Babs Proller had contacted his office and also said that she had information about Morales concerning the levy case. Follow to Proller, she had come to be acquainted through Morales, who had actually been exit from prison and also was life in Maryland, on July 6 of that year. During their discussions, Morales threatened Proller’s ex-husband. Fearful of what can happen, Proller tape taped the conversation. Morales admitted on tape the he had lied about Guandique’s confession to enhance his standing through prosecutors and also secure an earlier release from prison.

Proller contacted Susan Levy and also told her around the recording. Levy called Proller to call prosecutors, but she decreased to hear to the recordings. “I can’t think we room going through this all over again,” Susan Levy later on remarked.

After hearing the recording, prosecutors conceded that their case against Ingmar Guandique had collapsed. Morales had no credibility whatsoever. There is no his testimony, the case against Guandique can not proceed.

On July 28, 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., approve a quick statement: “Today, in the understand of justice and based on current unforeseen developments that to be investigated over the past week, the office moved to i have dissolved the situation charging Ingmar Guandique through the might 2001 murder of Chandra Levy. The office has concluded the it deserve to no much longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Even without the conviction for Chandra Levy’s murder hanging over his head, Guandique was no a cost-free man. He had illegally entered the united States, and also he had committed other crimes if in the country. Prosecutors turn him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After ~ exhausting his hearings and also appeals, Guandique might not stay in the united States. On might 5, 2017, ice deported him come El Salvador.

Robert Levy, among others, was outraged through the prosecutors’ decision come dismiss the case. He to be adamant that Guandique had murdered his daughter. “Who is this woman?” that asked during a call interview, introduce to Babs Proller. “What is her motivation for law this? maybe she tricked him right into saying this things.” that course, a distraught family member is seldom a great judge that guilt or innocence in a murder trial. Robert Levy had actually once been just as adamant that Gary Condit had killed his daughter.

As for Condit, after he shed his reelection bid because that his conference seat, he moved to Arizona and also faded from the general public spotlight. The operated two Baskin-Robbins ice cream cream stores v his wife and son till he ended up being embroiled in a franchise conflict with the company. Later, he shed his breach the contract lawsuit. Looking for employment, Condit registered together a lobbyist through the state that California.

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he filed a lawsuit versus Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne, who had published unsubstantiated rumors about Condit’s authorized in affairs v prostitutes at middle Eastern embassies. Dunne also had comprehensive Condit’s search for who to kill Chandra Levy. As part of a settlement, Condit received an undisclosed settlement. That also worked out a case against the tabloid publishing The national Enquirer.

Gary Condit never publicly admitted to having actually an affair through Chandra Levy, yet his refusal to deny the existence of a sexual connection strongly suggests that they to be involved. He endured the dig misfortune of ending up being a suspect in her death. To this day, part observers think that that was connected in her disappearance and also murder. As one of Condit’s lawyers, Betram Fields, placed it after the police had removed the congressman as a suspect, “Who gives him his career back? the career has actually been destroyed and also his life rotate upside down, and that will never change.”