Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  January 27, 2007
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Other/General

Duke Case Disgrace: Wicked Wendy Murphy

Hero of the Hoax Dr. William Anderson made public an email from a "victims' advocate" that included a mind-boggling missive from Wendy Murphy.

The New England School of Law website includes the following information about Ms. Murphy:

Ms. Murphy is heavily invested in the myth that the Duke case is a noble prosecution instead of a perverse persecution by a rogue prosecutor championing a person whom even liberal feminist Susan Estrich has described as a liar that she embarrassed herself greatly.

Ms. Murphy even may be oblivious to that reality.

Still, all is not lost: Georgia Goslee probably would give her a strong recommendation.

Herewith the malevolent Murphy missive (courtesy of Dr. Anderson), with comments interspersed:

"Dear colleagues;

"forgive me if this is repetitive or cross-posted but I have to respond to the latest in the Duke case in light of latest developments including that the defense claims the prosecutor had a secret deal with the DNA expert to hide evidence -- this is all such nonsense --"

Nonsense: "words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas."

So the North Carolina State Bar is NOT preparing another ethics complaint against Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong?

So the district attorneys in North Carolina's other 99 counties did NOT call upon Mr. Nifong to recuse himself from the Duke case?

So Mr. Nifong did NOT ask the North Carolina Attorney General to relieve him on the Duke case and he was NOT relieved?

No wonder Brooklyn College Professor Robert K.C. Johnson took to calling Durham, North Carolina "Wonderland" after the gang rape claim was treated as true and Crystal Gail Mangum was accorded "victim" status and billed as "an exotic dancer" instead of a stripper (an ex-convict stripper at that).

"First -- remember that all the information we are hearing is coming from the defense side and spinners -- the prosecution is saying nothing and for that, he deserves prosecutor of the year award. The defense has been attacking and baiting him for months -- and his response has been quiet confidence -- good for him -- other prosecutors should take a lesson."

Actually, Dr. Brian Meehan, director of DNA Security, the private laboratory that was willing to adjust its rates (among other things) to help Mr. Nifong on the Duke case, testified in court and, although it was not announced in advance that he would testify, by the time the cross-examination finished, Mr. Nifong was finished. 

First, giving a prosecutor of the year award to Mr. Nifong is an affront to ethical prosecutors everywhere.

Second, Mr. Nifong said long ago, and falsely, that he was not aware of any evidence that might be exculpatory.

Third, if Mr. Nifong is not going to tell the truth, better that he be silent. (After the May 2 Durham County District Attorney Democrat primary, Mr. Nifong found it wise to be silent.)

Fourth, the  defense has been doing what it's supposed to do--defend.  It has not attacked or baited Mr. Nifong improperly.  It has rightly complained about his egregious abuse of prosecutorial power and blatant disregard of a prosecutor's duty to be a fair and impartial minister of justice.  Nifongistas charge in conclusory terms that the defense has acted improperly, but they never cite any actual misconduct.  If there was some, I'm confident it would be trumpeted.  After all, Mr. Nifong himself complained about the defense polling a few potential jurors (only to have Judge Osmond Smith determine that his complaint was without merit). There's not "there" there.

"The defense has far more freedom than the prosecution does to manipulate public opinion with half-truths, spin and even outright lies (e.g., the victim in the Kobe Bryant trial did NOT have sex with three men in three days - but the ability of the defense to falsely make this statement in court was very harmful in the court of public opinion). Defense attorneys can lie with impunity -- prosecutors can't even tell the truth without getting in trouble."

Even if this is true, it does not pertain to the Duke case.

Moreover, both defense attorneys and prosecutors have a duty NOT to lie.

And Mr. Nifong is in deep trouble for misconduct, NOT for telling the truth.

"When the prosecution says something to the media -- they can get in trouble either because it is 'prejudicial' or might unfairly taint the jury pool -- and the remedies for this include suppression of evidence and dismissal of charges. When the defense does the same thing, there are no similar sanctions. This is why in most high profile cases, the public information is usually unfairly favorable to the accused."

Again, Ms. Murphy is NOT talking about the Duke case.  That IS understandable.  After all, the North Carolina State Bar filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Nifong based on a plethora of his improper public pronouncements that may result in his disbarment and removal from office and there apparently is no dispute that he made the remarks.

"Second -- there is nothing wrong with a prosecutor NOT revealing that a victim had other DNA in her body or on her underpants. Nor is it improper for the DNA lab NOT to reveal the information. The defense knew immediately that there was no DNA match to the accused players (there almost never is -- rapists for decades have been careful not to leave evidence at the 'crime scene') and they had no right to receive information about the victim's other sex partners. If I were the DA, I'd have done the same thing – keep all irrelevant and constitutionally protected private information private, unless and until a judge determines that it should be revealed to the defense or the jury -- etc. I would be concerned, as the defense conduct bears out, that the defense would violate the victim's privacy by dumping her personal information into the court of public opinion to infect the jury pool -- the defense has shown a willingness to dump all sorts of information into the court of public opinion."

Ms. Murphy's unwise words speak volumes about HER.  Is she ignorant or stupid?  Crystal Gail Mangum claimed that she had not had sex with anyone for a week and last with her boyfriend.  The DNA results contradicted her claims and thus undermined her credibility.  If Mr. Nifong (or Ms. Murphy) believes that a judge should determine whether information is privileged or not, then it is incumbent upon him (or her) to present the information to the judge, NOT to misrepresent to the defense and to the judge that he (or she) is NOT aware of any information that may be exculpatory.

"The prosecutor has told us almost nothing about the strength of his case. Irrelevant and constitutionally protected private information is often unveiled during rap kit exams -- which is why I have long advocated AGAINST doing any testing without a court order - and I teach those who deal with such evidence not to test the evidence or ask victims questions about their past sex life unless and until a judge orders specific testing to elucidate particular information. As it stands now, nobody has protocols in place to protect victims' privacy in this regard so there's far too much gratuitous harm going on -- caused in part by the Debbie Smith Act - that urged all evidence be tested and tons of money wasted to look at victims' private biological material. After the Kobe Bryant case, one would have hoped for reform -- but we still see huge waste in tax money over testing this material -- and it wouldn't be so bad to waste money if it didn't also cause tremendous harm to innocent victims -- as this and the Kobe Bryant case illustrate."

Who, pray tell, are the "innocent victims" caused "tremendous harm" in the Duke case by the revelation that she had multiple male DNA in her or on her panties when there should have been only DNA from rapacious white male Duke lacrosse players IF Ms. Mangum was telling the truth?  Surely not any members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, since none of their DNA was present.  Surely not Ms. Mangum, since a liar is not an innocent victim.  And, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, none of those multiple males has been identified, at least publicly.

"Third - the line-ups were not unlawful. According to the president of Duke, 'many' players were not at the party -- and many NON-players WERE. This means, she absolutely could have picked a guy who wasn't even there -- but she didn't -- in fact, one of the guys was the one who took off -- frantically calling a taxi over and over again - - making 9 calls on his cell phone in 7 minutes -- then leaving the scene in a hurry. Less than an hour later -- when police got there - the entire house was empty -- even the guys who lived there had run away. What were they running from? A cab driver who drove some of them said they were saying they were worried she would call the police."

Duke Law Professor James Coleman has explained that the identification procedure ordered by Mr. Nifong violated local, state and federal guidelines.

Only members of the team were offered for identification, so it does not matter how many non-players were at the party, since none of them was offered for identification.

Yes, Ms. Mangum could have identified a player who was not at the party, but she was led to believe that all of the players were at the party.

And--pay close attention, Ms. Murphy--Ms. Mangum is now saying that Reade Seligmann did NOT rape or sexually assault her.  He's the "guy" you described as "frantic" and "leaving the scene in a hurry."

"In any case -- if the victim was going to lie maliciously -- why say she was only 90% sure of the ID of one guy? Why would she have inconsistencies in her statements? Her lack of certainty undermines the claim that she made it all up."

First, claiming to be 90% sure made her seem honest.  After all, she had not identified anyone of her first two tries.  Was she checking out the net worths of the families of the possible defendants?

Second, given her history, why presume Ms. Mangum could carry off a hoax without inconsistencies?

"There is no doubt she could have been raped by three guys in ten minutes -- each of them taking a few minutes to assault her -- then leaving the bathroom. In fact, the guy Seligman who claims his cell phone calls 'prove' his innocence actually lends support to the theory that he was the first guy to assault her -- which is what she claims -- and that it was oral -- because he could have assaulted her for the first few minutes -- then thought to himself 'I've got to get out of here' -- which explains why he frantically and repeatedly called a cab. who frantically calls a cab to see if they're coming -- in a space of five minutes - especially considering that the guy went to an ATM and a pizza place when he left -- no real emergency there."

Ms. Murphy, Ms. Mangum now claims Reade Seligmann did NOT rape or sexually assault her.  Why would she say that if it isn't true?

More importantly, the key question is not whether three men could rape a woman in ten minutes, but, now, whether Collin Finnerty and David Evans sexually assaulted her (rape is out now) in ten minutes.  The answer is no.  They passed polygraph tests (as did Reade Seligmann).  Is Ms. Mangum allergic to polygraph machines?

"Isn't it convenient that he just happens to be one of the guys she accused?"

Actually, the Seligmann family is well-to-do, while the Finnerty and Evans family are wealthy.  Isn't it amazing that the deepest pockets are still the primary targets?

"There's been no mention that the victim rejected over two million dollars of hush money last spring -- an offer from a group 'on behalf of Duke'. She wanted no part of the payoff."

What payoff?  Didn't Ms. Mangum herself deny that canard?  Oh, Ms. Murphy, you do lose hard!   Are there depths you will NOT plumb?  Defending the Hoax now is really...dumb!

"and nobody seems to care that despite claims that the prosecutor brought charges so he could win the 'black vote', he didn't win the majority of black votes in the primary and more important, he lost a ton of wealthy white votes -- something he surely knew would happen if he brought charges - yet he brought the charges anyway. In short, he easily could have skated into his election by NOT bringing charges as evidence by the 'type' of opponent that was propped up to run against him -- a conservative wealthy white guy."

What sort of feminist are you, Ms. Murphy? Freda Black would have won the Democrat primary against two men but for the Duke case.  Mr. Nifong didn't win a majority of the black votes (he did win a plurality) because it was a three-way race with a black lawyer as the third candidate.  And please identify that "ton of wealthy white votes" that would have been there for Mr. Nifong in the DEMOCRAT primary if he had not brought charges.

"It is also important to remember that the defense claims NOW that they wanted to meet with the DA to show him evidence of their innocence -- but the simple truth is - a meeting between the police, prosecutors and defendants was scheduled BEFORE charges were brought and at the last minute, the defense CANCELLED the meeting. Thereafter, the evidence was brought to the grand jury. The defense has no business complaining about not having a chance to show evidence to the prosecutor."

Have you read Reade Seligmann attorney Kirk Osborn's motion to remove Mr. Nifong, dated May 1, 2006?  Mr. Nifong does not even deny that he refused to meet with Mr. Osborn.  Once it is apparent that his (or her) client(s) is (are) being railroaded, a good defense lawyer deals with it.

"Finally -- the decision to bring charges was not a one-man event. The prosecutor and police and forensics experts and a host of others are involved in the process - and having been a prosecutor in a country where crimes involving wealthy kids from a great school were too often NOT prosecuted, it makes sense to me that the evidence must be quite solid or there would have been dissenters coming out of the woodwork by now -"

Mr. Nifong had enablers.  Yes.  What makes sense to Ms. Murphy is unreal.

"One thing nobody seems willing to talk about is the very real possibility that one or more of the players at the party is cooperating and has provided direct evidence against the three defendants - including, possibly, photographs. After all -- there were photos of the scene moments before the assault -- it's reasonable to think someone took more pictures when the incident was happening. This makes sense to me -- that one or more of the players has provided evidence against the defendants. I say this because the volume and intensity of the defense efforts to use politics and the media to pressure the prosecutor is usually proportionate to the strength of the prosecution's case. In other words - -if the case were half as crummy as the defense claims, there would be no reason to do all this dog and pony show stuff with the press conferences and asking federal authorities to investigate the DA -- what a bunch of nonsense. If the case is truly weak -- they should be screaming for a trial to take place immediately - and let all the evidence come out and be done with it -- but they're not. They're dragging their feet and filing motions and NOT demanding an immediate trial. Obviously, in my opinion, this is because they are afraid of the truth coming out."

"[V]ery real possibility"?  UNREAL!  What is "obvious" to Ms. Murphy is an affront to truth.  Ms. Murphy apparently has not had access to the prosecution's evidence, so perhaps she thinks she can afford to be dense.  There is no basis in reality for Ms. Murphy's wild speculation.

Michael J. Gaynor

Send email feedback to Michael J. Gaynor

Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

Read other commentaries by Michael J. Gaynor.

Copyright © 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]

© 2004-2024 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved