August 23, 2008
I really thought that we had left the Duke Lacrosse Nightmare behind us? But it seems that Crystal Gail Mangum, the psychopathic stripper who accused three manifestly innocent students of gang rape, is treating us all to a new book about her life?and it bears the nauseatingly sappy title ?The Last Dance for Grace.?
Magnum is, of course, no stranger to imaginative literature?
Before the chair of the Duke history department started bloviating on America?s ?deep and troubling history? and linking the then-alleged assault with miscegenation and plantation owners? raping slave women, before the ?ThugNiggaIntellectual? Mark Anthony Neal (my all-time favorite) said, ?regardless of what happened? the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed,? before all this, it was Mangum who was the first to weave Gothic tales of sin, sex, and exploitation.
One forgets that when Crytsal Gail initially went to the police, she told them that she had been hired to dance at a bachelor party, and that a player muttered, ?I’m getting married tomorrow? while raping her. Then Mangum changed her story, claiming that her fellow stripper, Kim Roberts, was the LAX boys’ accomplice, and helped drag her kicking and screaming into the bathroom where she was attacked.
From there the whole fantasy began to take on a life of its own. Indeed, once Nifong got involved, the public allegations started to resemble the ?add on? game we all played at summer camp, in which each person contributes a new twist or turn to a story. On March 13, 2006, Nifong ?re-enacted? the rape scene on MSNBC and tagged on a little S&M asphyxiation??Somebody had an arm around her like this, which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe.? Of course, in all of Mangum?s contradictory testimony, she never once mentioned choking. But old Mike simply couldn?t help himself. It appears that the Durham DA recognized very early on that Mangum was pulling the whole thing out of her you-know-what, and decided that if it?s all a lie anyway, might as well make it a really big whopper.
Heaven knows what flights of fancy and creative inventions we?ll be treated to in The Last Dance for Grace.
KC Johnson, who?s been the go-to man on the scandal since that fateful summer of 2006, covers the ?Mangum Opus? at his blog here.
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