Thursday, 20 April 2006

Something to try on for size

Tom Maguire finds something in the storyline that doesn’t quite fit:

Weren’t both women missing for the 20–30 minutes? Per the prosecution version, where was the second dancer while the first was being assaulted?

And if she was performing, why no photos?

I think I have an answer to that, and it came to me when I realized this morning how close the second lacrosse house is to the first (less than a two minute walk). Since this is at best speculation I am putting it below the fold.

First a little bit of setup: the second dancer (who has been referred to in various accounts as “Kim,” so we’ll use that as her name) strikes me as a “pro” in the escort business, while the accuser, if we buy her account that she just recently returned to the exotic entertainment industry, isn’t.

The lacrosse team orders up two separate entertainers from two different services for 11:30. Kim shows up 15 minutes early and is ready to start at 11:30; the accuser is 15 minutes late, so nothing happens until midnight. The accuser’s inexperience makes for an appointment that turns real lame, real fast—my guess is she refuses to do a lesbian sex show with Kim. Words are exchanged. She goes into the bathroom around 12:05.

Now, here’s where I think both sides are lying. Kim doesn’t go in the bathroom too (as the lacrosse team claims). Nor does she search the tiny house for the alleged victim for half an hour like it has been claimed that she did. Instead, Kim—being a pro—takes one or two of the guys up on a request for “services,” and goes with them over to 1103 Urban, leaving before Seligmann and his buddy do (this part is important). She services the guy or guys, and comes back half-an-hour later to find the alleged victim passed out either from drugs or alcohol on the back porch, berates one of the guys into dragging the AV into her car, makes like she’s gonna call 911, and high-tails it out of there. Other guys at the party call the cabbie, he comes and picks them up.

Now, here’s the wacky part. I think Kim, not the alleged victim, identfied (or at least narrowed down the suspects to include) Seligmann, since he was still at the party when she went to 1103 Urban—maybe he saw him head to the bathroom or something on her way out the door with Mystery Player(s). Unbeknownst to her, Seligmann and his buddy also headed over to 1103 Urban a few minutes afterwards, but Seligmann doesn’t go inside, instead waiting outside for the cab.

What this doesn’t tell us is what happened to the alleged victim. If we assume that no sex took place, as asserted by the defense, it is still possible there was an altercation over the $400, one that a couple of lacrosse guys easily win over Drunk Girl, who is too out of it to identify any attackers as anything other than J. Random White Guy. If we don’t buy “no sex took place,” maybe she was up for one-on-one action with a guy, but that isn’t worth (to him, at least) $400. Perhaps the alleged victim is raped. No matter what happens, Kim isn’t there to support the alleged victim’s account; she’s elsewhere.

This does, however, explain a lot: it explains why nobody asked for their money back from Kim (someone got their money’s worth), it explains Kim’s changing story about what happened at the party, it explains why Seligmann was picked out, and it explains the comment by the as-yet unnamed player in the cab: they were expecting a sex show, but “she’s just a stripper.”

Again, this is only speculation. But I think it’s a plausible theory… so, have at it.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

Very interesting. I think it does a pretty good job at weaving some unanswered questions into a coherent tale. It also may help explian why the guy who rode with seligmann(speculated who received the services) isn’t out front defending him(although an independent cabbie carries more weight and this other guy may be afraid of these speculated actions getting out). I like how you were focusing on money(isn’t it always about this). This has been an ignored angle in this case.

I still can’t get past the point that the players would deny that any sexual contact took place before the DNA results. That would be a suicidal claim if there was even a chance that there was an encounter in the bathroom. These defense attorneys don’t seem like the types to leave themselves w/o an out.

I also wonder whether the accuser took some drugs in the bathroom. This is where private investigators can determine whether she was a drug user(just speculation!). The bathroom is a common place to ingest/snort drugs.


I assumed that Kim was doing some extracurricular activity b/c no one has been able to answer where she was during the supposed assault. And she didn’t back up the claim that she was locked in the bathroom with the other dancer. I’ve heard accounts that both women were locked in the bathroom (doing their nails?) or the alleged victim was locked in the bathroom by herself, acting crazy and intoxicated. So which is it?

I believe the reason why there is so many holes in the story is b/c the women are trying to hide some details from their families and that’s hurting their claims. They need to come clean, and stop worrying about what their parents might find out.


However the missing 20–30 minutes has some defense lawyers claiming it was when the accuser was in the bathroom by herself doing her nails…which definitely sounds fishy.

I think both sides are holding out….which does not help the lacrosse team’s credibility, but if Nifong has no smoking guy…he is going to have a hard time getting a conviction.

Then it goes to civil court and the rich mommy and daddys pay her off.


The pictures do show pink nail polish on the railing. The defense attorneys are not making a huge leap there. She was probably verbally assualted and went in there to do her nails, 20 minutes is not an unreasonable amount of time to do her nails(especially if she had to reattach her press ons). God knows my wide takes forever doing her nails. Maybe some females can give a better perspective here.

[Permalink] 5. Hoo Law wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:07 pm CDT:

I can’t get over the idea that she made up the story to not let her father see her in her condition. She was going to the drunk tank in negligee, and when he came to pick her up, he would have seen her lifestyle. She lives with her father. According to the article below, she has an overachiving sister, and she’s always tried to live up to her. Now she’s got 2 kids out of wedlock, lives at home, can’t keep a job, and this would’ve been the last straw. The only reason her father is not upset that he found out she’s a stripper is because she says she was raped.

“The father said he did not know that she had taken a job with an escort service until after she made the rape allegations. In an earlier interview, the woman said she thought he knew about the job.”

Having been very close to a rape victim, I can say that the first and really only decision a woman makes when deciding to press charges is whether they are prepared to handle an assault on their character. It is a terrifying decision, and one not thought out lightly. Once that decision is made, you know the accusations and character assault are coming at you. The fact that she thought about dropping the case once that heated up indicates that she didn’t think her decision to report the crime through. To me that means she just said something in the heat of the moment.

Finally, clearly “kim” knows more than she’s leading on to, and just doesn’t want to reveal her behavior as well. In the MSNBC interview she seemed upset not at the possiblity of a rape, but at the idea that she was filmed without permission. It was bizarre.

[Permalink] 6. Ferdinand wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:07 pm CDT:

Since Kim didn’t claim to have witnessed the alleged rape, and there is no DNA evidence incriminating Seligmann, then the alleged victim must have identified Seligmann or there wouldn’t have been an arrest. Or am I not following you?


Ferdinand: I think Kim helped the DA by narrowing down the 46 to people who were still at the party when she went off with the guy(s) she can give an alibi. Seligmann was one of the guys left in the array for the accuser to pick out.

[Permalink] 8. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:25 pm CDT:

Very interesting.

[Permalink] 9. LaxZebra wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:30 pm CDT:

Kim got the ‘job’ done in 20 mins or less at a different house? I can be fast, but not that fast and two guys is out of the question. I’ll concur that she was bought and paid for though.

[Permalink] 10. Skeptic of All wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:33 pm CDT:

First of all, let me say that this is a great blog; my productivity as a post-doc has plummeted since I’ve starting reading.

I think the above speculative tale is interesting but far too complicated. You forget how lazy and unorganized college guys are.

I went to one of the much-maligned Eastern prep schools that is strong in lacrosse. Then on to an Ivy League school for a bachelor’s and later to another Ivy for a professional degree. So, I think I’m familiar with the circles that lacrosse guys travel in. And, somewhere in there I dated a guy in the lacrosse frat and witnessed/heard about debauchery of team members.

I seriously doubt that they called 2 separate escort services. These guys were so chicken about calling one that they were afraid to give their own names. Also, what would be the point. You can get whatever you need from one service.

I think it’s plausible that “Kim” was more of a pro. I also think that it’s reasonable that she was asked and agreed to perform some sexual services. I’m thinking oral sex. But here’s the catch—they would do it right there with everyone around—not slink off to another house. It’s the whole group mentality thing—guys cheering and egging you on, snapping pictures etc etc.

I also don’t think that the rape (if one occurred) was premeditated. These guys are intelligent and would have set up a much different situation if that was the plan all along (e.g. not invite 2 dancers, come up with better alibis, not have McFayden send a revolting email about the strippers)

I am sure that the truth is actually pretty simple. Strippers came. and the AV for whatever reason didn’t put on a good show and tried to leave with all the money. The guys were threatening and verbally abusive. She left after some kind of minor tussle. If there was a gang rape, one of the other players who didn’t participate would have come clean to the police. Not every lacrosse player is a misogynist who values a lax team so highly. It’s impossible that 47 people on one team could all be so morally corrupt.

Another possiblity is that 3 guys did assault her but didn’t advertise it to the others. That explains why no one bothered to clean up her fingernails in the bathroom. (why clean if you weren’t there and didnt know about it). As far as the non-participants know, the only thing happening in the bathroom was consensual oral sex with the AV. That’s why everyone was so sure there would be no DNA.


Well, the two separate escort services thing seems to be pretty much established fact at this point; I’m pretty sure that’s what Flaherty told the cops in his initial interview. (I leave the rest for the group to ponder.)

[Permalink] 12. azbballfan wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:47 pm CDT:

Interesting theory – and one that would epxlain a lot of holes.

We probably won’t know the details of any tox screens which were done on the gal but: some date rape drugs metabolize in a couple of hours and it looks like the gal wasn’t admitted for treatment until at least three hours after they left the house.

If they were smart enough to take a hair sample from the gal, they could possibly find evidence. There is a high profile case of a football coach who pled no contest to a dui – he passed out driving on the road. He later found through analysis of hair that he was slipped a date rape drug and passed out 20 minutes later. That timing is consistent with Kim’s allegations and would explain why she was passed out. It would also explain why her memory would be so impaired. If we assume that as Kim claimed, AV was sober upon arriving at 11:35 – she’d have to drink pretty heavily to be passed out an hour later.

[Permalink] 13. bertrand wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 7:57 pm CDT:


I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and thoughtful analysis of this case. I too believe that the second dancer was more experienced. Because of that I don’t believe she would agree to leave that house and go with a bunch of drunk horny athletes to some unspecified house. It would be too dangerous. If she was going to provide additional services it would have been in that house in some other bedroom, and that would explain why she wasn’t around.


Oh—there’s one other reason I forgot to mention why they wouldn’t have sex in the house. The N&O did a story where they say that one of the three co-captains who rented the place, Matt Zash, wasn’t into having a stripper over (maybe he had some moral objection, maybe some other reason to lack interest) and was back in his room watching Letterman.

I think it’s reasonable that Zash could have told the other guys, “look, you can have some hookers over, but I don’t want you guys having sex with them in the house.” No problem, they just go over to 1103 Urban, right around the corner, when they ask for “something extra.” I realize it’s more complex than Kim just doing some guy in the another room, but it seems to be in the realm of possibility.


Maybe… but if there’s some sort of struggle in the bathroom, Kim probably would have heard it elsewhere in the house.

Now, if you 100% buy there is no struggle or rape, Kim being otherwise occupied in another room makes sense. I guess I’m trying to come up with a theory where Kim’s lack of knowledge of what went on for a half hour doesn’t sink the case (if she’s anywhere nearby, any struggle would be obvious, even if there is loud music in the house—something not reported by the nosy neighbor).


If the AV was slipped something, she may have struggled, but might have been too out of it to struggle much. Also, someone might have had a hand over her mouth (b/c they couldn’t be sure their buddies would be amenable to their having a little “extra fun”).

[Permalink] 17. Raleighite wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:13 pm CDT:

Dan, per comment #4, I posted this on another thread, but here goes again…the female perpective. Nail polish can leave a mark on a surface LONG AFTER IT HAS DRIED (as in DAYS after). If you don’t ever put a top coat of clear polish on, which many of us gals don’t for lack of time, the color often leaves streaks on pages of books and other places where we might drag a hand across. The polish does not have to be wet to leave a mark.

[Permalink] 18. DevilAlumna wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:18 pm CDT:

In regards to Sharon’s point—if she was that drugged, how would she have been able to scratch hard enough to leave marks that were photographed (and possibly used in an ID) 2–3 days later?

Chris, very interesting theory—at the very least, I think you’re dead-on about Kim being an integral part of the story of the lost 27 minutes. She hasn’t proved to be a reliable source (“Umm, I was walking by the house and they yelled slurs at me… I mean, driving by, I mean… I just picked up this stranger there, and…”) so I hope the defense is able to prove their side of the story without her.


I wonder does she thinks she scratched them? In her fog, she may have believed she got in some scratches and blows that in fact were next to nil. And if she didn’t actually scratch them, then the ID based on scratches (on the back instead of the arm?) was a mistake.

I wonder how damaged this case is with the seeming misidentification?

[Permalink] 20. tuocs wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:34 pm CDT:

Interesting with what images have been released….none of Kim.


None that have been released. Who knows what pics have been held back for whatever reason.

[Permalink] 22. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:46 pm CDT:

Did anyone who was around the AV in her intoxicated state smell alcohol on her? That’s a vital question: if so, that suggests she was just good ole fashion drunk. If no, that bolsters the drugged theory. Any info, folks?

Also, do any of the popular recreational drugs (or any of the unpopular ones) induce intoxication like that experienced by the AV: sudden onset, confusion, lack of motor coordination, stupor, sleep, etc. Also, does anyone find it extraordinary that the AV was taken to a psychiatric ward rather than an ER or even her home? What were the signs and symptoms she was exhibiting that led to her ending up at the psych ward? Any connection between these and possible (non-alcohol) intoxicating agents?

Another thought: I’ve never seen American Psycho, but apparently the McFayden email was inspired by the movie, which rumor has it the lax team watched some point prior to the party. Does the protagonist in American Psycho drug his victims? A completely tangental question, I admit, but I thought I’d ask.

[Permalink] 23. azbballfan wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:52 pm CDT:

Sketical Hog
If memory serves my right – the antagonist in American Psycho did not use drugs – he was very violent in his crimes. Did you mean to call him the protagonist, or was this a funny mistake?

[Permalink] 24. DevilAlumna wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:55 pm CDT:

Re: American Pyscho reference—It’s interesting—the first mention I ever saw that McFayden’s email was a movie quote, was from a blog commenter that he “thought” it was a quote; and that blog commenter’s comment was then linked around the blogosphere, and now it’s presented as fact that “it was a quote from American Psycho.”

I’ve never read the book nor seen the movie, but a quick ctrl-f search here: doesn’t turn up any mention of “rape” or “skin”. Anyone have any deeper knowledge on this?

[Permalink] 25. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:57 pm CDT:

Here’s something I’m stealing from a CourtTV webboard posting: apparently the defense is revealing that the lax players requested white dancers, but received black ones—

“Defense attorneys say the lacrosse players requested two white dancers for the party, but the two African-American women showed up.”

I’m not sure the relevance of this, other than to deflect the undercurrent that the lax players deliberated requested black dancers in order to degrade them in a racist fashion. I guess the defense wants everyone to know that any racism was wholly emergent, not premeditated??? Again, will this be fit into the defense theory of the case, or is this just perverse damage control? I find this strange.

[Permalink] 26. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 8:59 pm CDT:

“Protagonist” in the deeply ironic sense of the word only. Plus, I’ve never seen the movie or read the book, so any bizarre meaning this may have had was solely innocent on my part. If you prefer the term “sick SOB,” we’ll go with that.


Skeptical, I heard that, too. But if the original statement by the captain that they called TWO agencies for women, what is the likelihood that both agencies screwed up and sent black women instead of white women.


Sharon: some have said the second dancer is actually Hispanic, although I have yet to see any paper identify her by race, and you couldn’t tell from the MSNBC interview what her skin color was. Everyone just seems to be assuming she is black.

[Permalink] 29. Steve wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 9:10 pm CDT:

I didn’t put much into the “ordering white women” thing and it seems like you could spin it either way. And I’m not sure why it would be a “screw up” necessarily—I just thought that possibly the only women available at that time were black (or just “not white”) and so that’s all either service could send over at that time. I’m not sure though when they called the escort service—was it right before the party or was it well in advance? I’m just assuming that it was right before, but anyway, probably not going to play a big part.

And “protagonist” is the right word. Just means main character in this sense.


Actually, I saw the clip and she sounds like a black woman, although that doesn’t preclude her from being hispanic. But then again, if she’s a black hispanic, again what is the likelihood that two dark or black women are sent from separate agencies.

I was suspicious of the request for black women b/c I had heard of another incident some time ago where a black dancer was verbally abused with racist venom, as though that was the reason she was hired. When this case first came to light, I suspected the same malice, although now everything is so muddled, who knows what was the motivation.

Chris, there is a guy on Rachel’s Tavern ( named Chris who says he knows three of the players and they were hiding out at his place in another state. He seems to know facts b/f they hit the media, so I think he’s telling the truth. He provides his insight, which is of course pro accused, so I am weighing what he says with my initial beliefs that something happened to the dancer.

One thing he noted that I discussed earlier was that Nifong was politically motivated. Seems that the police investigators doubted the victim’s story, so they told Nifong they wanted to investigate a little more, but Nifong took the case to the press. Might be true, and if so, this DA is just stupid.


Steve: I believe Flannery said he ordered the entertainment at around 8:30 the day of the party. (Talk about last-minute planning!)

Sharon: Interesting comments from “Chris.” I wouldn’t bet my life on them, but they correlate with stuff I read at places like DukeObsrvr and hear from other students.


There’s too much information from every source but the DA, who started this media circus to begin with.


Sharon….Great get with this Chris guy. He seems to be very in the know on the case. I loved the tidbit about 46 families moving money around in anticipation of the indictment due to the roulette aspect of the ID.

Nifong looks like he will be disgraced here. There were multiple comments on the news shows that it was the most incompetent prosecution that many “experts” have seen in their lifetime. How do you screw up so badly with the whole US looking at your every move?

These defense attorneys have a dream case. It is of the highest exposure, with facts on their side(I am now 99.999% that this whole thing was fabricated) and well heeled families that pay the bills. They also have the puppetmaster Bennett up in DC working the press angle.

[Permalink] 34. A Reader wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 9:59 pm CDT:

Regarding McFayden’s email being a quote from American Psycho, I can state that it is not. I’m quite familiar with both the book and the movie (and disgusted by them, though for different reasons), and that while this is a reference to the movie (which does depict the murder and various mutilations of multiple women and escorts), this is not a quote.

I’m not sure how relevant this is, except to say that it’s clear that the lacrosse team (or a least some, or at least one) are missing the larger point of the movie in favor of the more flashy gratuitous violence. This isn’t particularly surprising—if you look at some reviews of both pieces you’ll see this is common—but it is worth saying that the movie satirizes (on at least one level) the kind of behavior that the players mention.

Unfortunately, I think this is how many people have interpreted both the movie and the film, so while the artistic intent of both might be admirable, the reception is generally along the lines of the more nefarious strain evidenced in the McFayden email.

Hopefully this helps. I knew that degree was going to come in handy at some point…

[Permalink] 35. whackamole wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 10:14 pm CDT:

FWIW, Amazon lets you search for words inside some books, including this one. The email isn’t a direct quote, more like going “DUH dum, DUH dum DaDumDaDumDaDum” to make your friends think about “Jaws”.

American Psycho, the book, is read in some Duke English classes, yet no professors or grad student instructors who teach it have stood up for the student who wrote that email.

If this content’s so troubling a student should be suspended for glossing on it in an email, shouldn’t the profs and grad students who teach it be looking for new jobs about now?


McFayden is another one of Nifong’s sacrificial lambs. He was really stupid to write something like that(in which the media never references the context making him look a depraved maniac).

Does he have any recourse after getting kicked out of school and will there be a hearing to let him back in?


Dan: My understanding is that he has been given interim suspension, not an expulsion, so I’d imagine unless the university wants to push formal charges through the student judicial board he’ll be back for the fall. By then, I expect they’ll let him come back (unless he ends up being Alleged Rapist #3).

Of course, the question arises of whether he’d want to come back after being scapegoated by the administration. I’d personally have to think long and hard about it… but considering that he’s unlikely to get in as a transfer anywhere else of near the caliber of Duke with a suspension on his academic record, maybe he would come back.


Outside of the present case, I’m thinking McFadyen (not McFayden) was expelled due to possible liabilities that could arise were he left in school, and he did something to a coed. Even if he was joking, the joke was so sick, the type of “joke” that schools no longer tolerate.

Call it the Columbine residual, more than he was kicked out b/c he might be the rapist in this case. Remember the fallout b/c school officials didn’t take the emails and postings of the Columbine killers seriously.


Thanks for the insight. It really appears as if Duke didn’t give these players an ounce of support or the beneft of presumed innocence.

The players will all have brutal decisions on their hands if this case is reconciled in their favor. It is very tough to transfer after you made friends and had a good experience at a college as elite as Duke. I don’t see how you can consider transfering to Syracuse(great school, but different league) when a sport such as lacrosse does not provide the avenue to any riches professionally.

Ideally these kids will stay at Duke after surviving hell and come back better(and less boorish) because of it. Would the student body accept these guys back into the university w/o forever judging them? It seems as if the students are finally getting behind them.


OT, speaking of Columbine, I hear there were some arrests made today of students at another school somewhere who were going to observe the carnage of Columbine with a massacre of their own. Someone saw a posting on the internet (blog? msboard?) and reported it to the police. Police raided one of the suspects and found an arsenal. So, people take those kinds of postings seriously…and they should.

[Permalink] 41. Rachel wrote @ Thu, 20 Apr 2006, 11:27 pm CDT:

What I can’t fit into your theory is the second dancers 911 call? She was scared in that call, and I don’t think after that she would have headed off to another place, but that’s just speculation.


Rachel: The second dancer’s 911 call happened after both she and the accuser had taken off in her car around 12:55, after they had left the house for good. We’re talking, roughly, about the events from 12:00 until 12:40 or so.

[Permalink] 43. OldDukeAlum wrote @ Fri, 21 Apr 2006, 12:29 am CDT:

I don’t find much of the “speculation” to be more plausible than the puported stories of either camp.

Kim may be a “pro” rather than a novice, but, if she is a “pro”:

1. She’s not going to leave to an unknown (to her) location without her car, even a block away. She had her own safety to think about, as strange as that may sound.

2. From what I remember about NC, they take their vice enforcement seriously, and I would be reluctant to believe that, even if she does provide “extras,” that she would do so in that situation. Given what else we do know about what transpired – at least 20 drunk college students in a bad mood, that she’s never seen before that night. After being told it would only be “about five” at a “bachelor party”. Do you think it’s plausible that she’d go off somewhere else to “service” one or two of them rather than take the $400 and bail? She’s not a streetwalker, or “crack ho” to use a more impolite expression. She can make plenty of cash doing “one-on-ones” with trusted, repeat clients without taking those risks. If she’s an “outcall pro”, she doesn’t need the hassle of that scenario. If she really only “dances”, then she most likely wouldn’t provide the “extras” that you’re speculating on to begin with.

I think the main flaw in all of this timeline analysis is that everyone’s trying to account for every single minute of the time period in question. No, it doesn’t take 20 minutes to find someone in a house that size, but five minutes of arguing, a trip outside to the car, a call to her agency, five more minutes of arguing, or simply waiting for the other woman to emerge from the bathroom fills up “the gap” just as well (and more plausibly) than any potential off-site trysts. And both camps copped to verbal confrontation.

Comments are now closed on this post.