REMEMBER CHANDRA LEVY?
You're probably thinking, "Oh yeah...I remember that case now," but if you're like most Americans, any concern over the missing (and later discovered to be deceased) Washington intern vanished into the ether after a little incident on September 11th.
Chandra Levy disappeared in May of 2001, and her remains were found in May 2002 in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, about four miles from her Dupont Circle apartment.
But today's Washington Post brings the story back:
Former representative Gary A. Condit denied in a court deposition having had a "romantic relationship" with slain intern Chandra Levy, a statement that was challenged yesterday by Levy's family. Condit's denial came during a pretrial deposition he gave in September as part of an $11 million defamation lawsuit he filed against author Dominick Dunne, who has suggested that Condit was involved in Levy's death.
In summer of 2001, I remember talking with friends about Chandra Levy on the beaches of Fire Island. It soon after her disappearance, and one of the NY dailies had printed artists' renderings of what Levy might have looked like with different hairstyles, if for some reason she was alive and in disguise. Whenever a Jewish-looking woman walked down the beach, or bicycled along the roads of Ocean Beach, we jokingly speculated that it was just Chandra, on vacation. At one point, my friends, all Jewish women of varying hairstyles who could have been Chandra in wigs, turned to each other--maybe one of us was Chandra Levy, and we didn't even know it!
We continued to riff, on the hairstyle pictures mostly, because none of us thought she would be found dead in the park. The other "intern story," the then only-recently concluded Monica Lewinsky affair, had concluded in embarrassment, SNL skits and impeachment, but not death.
And then, like America, we forgot all about her, and focused on national pain, and missing persons flyers that peppered our neighborhoods like obscene confetti. Months later, we were shocked when Levy was found dead, but a lot of the shock came from the fact that we had totally forgotten about the case.
On TV, Law & Order figures it out in under an hour. In real life, it takes longer. No one knows what happened. Gary Condit either did or didn't have an affair with her. Even if the two were involved romantically, such an affair doesn't necessarily mean Condit murdered her. No one's any closer to finding out.
As a single woman living in the big City--albeit closer to Columbus Circle and Central Park than to Dupont Circle and Rock Creek Park--I'm disturbed by the lack of resolution. Maybe Chandra made poor choices in love or location, or maybe she was a victim of random violence. Her family went through the wringer--Chandra was reported missing in the aftermath of the joke that was the Lewinsky scandal, was missing without a trace for over a year, a year that included the emotional devastation of 9/11. And now it's possible that her family will never have the closure of knowing what happened or why. And that's a tragedy, all over again.
My heart goes out to them, and prays for justice so that they can move on toward long-awaited closure.