Monday, October 18, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Is the Chandra Levy Case really Solved?

Today the jury selection for the trial of Ingmar Guandique begins. He is the defendant who, after the Washington Post ran a series of articles skewering the Metropolitan Police Department for not solving the murder of Chandra Levy, suddenly received increased scrutiny and then was charged with the crime. He had attacked two other women in Rock Creek Park around the time Levy was killed and while he was certainly interviewed at the time about the intern, that avenue of investigation was not pursued.

But, after the articles, the case was solved. Not by DNA or any witness but because a cellmate said Guandique confessed to him. No matter that the con might be lying; after all, he was sexually assaulted by Guandique. I think the defense is going to tear that testimony to shreds.

I really have no clue what the prosecution really has that would convince a jury that Guandique is guilty. No question he is a sex predator and a violent man and maybe even a braggart as he did talk about Levy and have her picture in prison with him. But there is still no physical evidence tying him to the crime and, in truth, no good circumstantial evidence either.For that matter, there is more circumstantial evidence on ex-Congressman Gary Condit, Levy's married lover, than Guandique.

There are a couple of puzzling things about the crime that don't support Guandique as the killer. One is the isolated location Levy was found in. It was a rather odd place for her to be running and an odd place for a nonrunner, a predator, to be lurking away as it was far from any entrance to the park and was a twisty narrow little path. However, that spot was a very convenient place for a body to be dumped as there was a nice place to pull a car off the road just above the ravine where she was discovered . It was a road that was very close to Condit's condo. Secondly, Levy was supposed to have been hogtied, according to the jailhouse snitch. In all my years as a profiler, I can't remember a single case where an anger retaliatory serial killer (the quick and violent kind Guandique would be) bothered to tie up a jogger; it is easier to simply to bludgeon her or strangle her and be done with it. Besides, it is a waste of time to tie someone up if one does not need to move her to another location (say, from a condo to a car) or want to commit lengthy sadistic acts. And hogtying a woman also interfere with rape unless it is anal rape.

I have no problem with Guandique being the right guy and convicting him for Chandra Levy's death. I don't even feel a bit sorry for him to be accused of the crime. But, if it is not Ingmar Guandque, I don't want the jury convicting him and letting the real killer walk free.


TigressPen said...

I am not sure if I think Guandique is the killer but I couldn't see a reason back when Gary Condit was most POI in her death killing her either. I'll be interested to read his book and discover his version of all the events.

I do know from my vague memory of the investigation, Guandique may be his own fatal nemesis. And that alone could get him a guilty verdict.

Pat Brown said...

Oh, Guandique definitely has a big mouth and is a nasty piece of work. I don't feel a bit sorry for him but it irks me to see a trial proceed with such miserable evidence (like the Martha Moxley travesty) and to see a conviction base on dislike of the defendant (like Michael Skakel).