As I left my local Chick-Fil-A today carrying my favorite Ice Dream with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and, yes a cherry – way too good – I stopped in my tracks as my eye diverted to the cover of USA Today.
During the summer of 2001, just a few months before we were stunned by terrorists attacking our nation, a very high profile murder case was brewing in Washington, DC when a Capitol staffer who worked for then California Congressman Gary Condit was the talk of the media after she was found in a local DC par.
Chandra Levy, it turned out, was having an affair with her boss, a married Congressman. Scandal galor! But the difficulty with scandal is it can often lead police in the wrong direction. And that’s exactly what happened with this murder case.
It has taken nearly 10 years to finally see the true killer brought to justice and not without a lot of additional misdirected heartache for both the Levy and Condit families.
There are thousands upon thousands of families whose murder of a loved one remains either unsolved or unable to bring to trial. Sometimes the police search in one direction, disregard other evidence, have incomplete evidence, have conflicting evidence, have non-credible witnesses who theor jury will never believe, have no DNA evidence, were sloppy in the investigation and perhaps lost evidence, or have a District Attorney or Prosecutor who won’t bring the case to trial because they don’t want their track record to reflect a loss.
But in this case, the DC police and FBI put all their eggs in Gary Condit’s basket and left the Levy family frustrated, enraged and, worst of all, what most families of homicide victims go through, feeling powerless.
As someone who waited 18 years to confirm my stepdaughter’s murderer and nearly 20 before he was convicted, I can attest to how difficult life is when you have an open/unsolved murder. Life is lived in limbo. It sucks the life from you. It hangs over everything you do. It controls so much of your life. It is always inches from your mind.
I feel satisfaction for the Levy Family today. It will never bring Chandra back, yet this small part of the nightmare is complete. Her memory will always be with them.