Washington is Marinating in Sex Scandals-What’s Not Talked About Are Politicians Who Murder Children For Entertainment-Confessions of a D.C. Madam by Henry Vinson

 Sex, crime
& other curiosities
of Washington



This page provides readers access to examples of the capital confluence of the promiscuous, prohibited, perplexing and political. This is nothing new. For example, during the Civil War there were 450 brothels in DC. Neither, however, is it insignificant. Part of the mythology of Washington is what might be called the Jim Lehrer Illusion, which is to say that all people in the capital do is sit around and rationally debate policy alternatives. In fact, Washington politics is also heavily driven by cowardice, blackmail, deceit, fear, loyalty to old buddies and even older bodies, cooptation, corruption, sex, and just plain crime. Journalists who pretend otherwise either don’t understand what is going on or are covering for someone.

The public often misunderstands the importance of Washington scandals, assuming them to be a simple dalliance, individual failing, or private offense. What makes both sex and crime in DC different, at least when those in power are involved, is that there is far more opportunity for blackmail and far more skill at covering things up.

The blackmail may be used by members of one branch of government against those of another, by lobbyists against members of Congress, by the police against whomever they wish, and by foreign powers. For example, one way to keep a congress member bought is for a lobbyist to provide him with high class prostitutes. And it is noteworthy that both the Israelis and Boris Yeltsin apparently knew about Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky before the American public did. The city’s ecology lends particular importance to gay sex simply because greater public antipathy makes it an even easier target for the blackmailer, witness the case a few years back when DC police officers were found to be running an extortion racket against those who visited gay bars.

Finally, the exposure of impropriety almost inevitably raises the issue of hypocrisy since the participating official often has inveighed against the discovered offense or attempted to ban, punish, or otherwise suppress the revealed practice. One of the more ironic examples was when, during the 1960s, a white southern senator was caught with a black prostitute. Said a civil rights leader, “Oh he’s just one of those sunup to sundown segregationists.” Washington is full of sunup to sundown moralists.

The ability to cover up scandal or crime is also much greater in Washington. This may be accomplished by relying on the social club rules of the federal city, through the aid of acquiescent journalists, by official spin or censorship, or by resort to the capital’s various law enforcement agencies, each one beholden for budget and top appointments to some federal department. For example, both the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney(who handles all DC crimes) are appointed by the president. The FBI, DEA, ATF, National Park police, the Secret Service, not to mention the Aqueduct, Zoo, and Metro police, all work for the president. And the Metropolitan Police Department is under the thumb of Congress, which approves its budget and exercises behind-the-scenes authority.

In short, there is far more politically related sex and crime in Washington then is generally reported, it is less competently investigated than is generally thought, and it is far easier to cover up than is generally appreciated.


How DC’s powerful take the pressure off with a dominatrix



RELIABLE SOURCE, WASH POST New stop on D.C.’s sex scandal tour: Room 871 at the Mayflower. The 83-year-old hotel has a long and storied history of fat-cat partying and other Washington excesses, but it never made headlines for horizontal high jinks until “Client 9” . . . There hasn’t been this much excitement since 1999, when Monica Lewinsky fought her way through throngs to (appropriately enough) the presidential suite, where she recounted her affair with Bill Clinton to congressional impeachment managers. The Mayflower was also Judith Campbell Exner’s home away from home when she trysted with John F. Kennedy at the White House. And yes, history buffs, it was the hotel’s Town & Country lounge where FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover lunched daily for 20 years alongside his live-in aide, Clyde Tolson.

The Mayflower now joins the list of Washington’s greatest bed-and-breakfasts: The Jefferson, where Clinton confidant Dick Morris sucked the toes of $200-an-hour call girl Sherry Rowlands; the former Vista (now Westin Washington) where Marion Barry was caught smoking crack as gal-pal Rasheeda Moore looked on; and the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, where Marv Albert bit the back of a female companion, Linda Tripp secretly taped Lewinsky talking about her affair, and Deborah Jeane Palfrey (a.k.a. the D.C. Madam) sent escorts for what she calls legal, non-sexual “dates.”

NY TIMES – “I think biologists could tell you this has something to do with natural selection – the person who acquires power becomes the alpha male,” said Tom Fiedler, who teaches a course in press and politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He was involved in reporting Gary Hart’s notorious fling with Donna Rice in 1987 that terminated the senator’s presidential bid. . .

Dr. Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University, said that many politicians are what he calls Type T personalities, with T standing for thrill-seeking. “Politics is an uncertain business,” he said. “You’re at the whim of the electorate. There’s no tenure. It’s often hard to know what the criteria for success are. It’s either all or nothing – you either win or you lose. And so it inspires a risk-taking person to go into that line of work. But on the public side, they’re supposed to show stability and responsibility, and so this risky nature may show itself more on the private side.”. . .

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, an adjunct professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said that “sex and power are extremely connected, because they’re basically an expression of this huge energy that these people have.” Not uncommonly, she said, politicians speak out vigorously against the very behavior that they then indulge in, as is the case with Governor Spitzer. “You project wrong onto others that is symptomatic of your own behavior,” she said. “It’s called a defense mechanism. Basically, it’s unconscious.” Moreover, she added, “Even though Spitzer is a lawyer, when you get into a position of power, you think you’re above the law.”


ALBERT EISELE AND JEFF DUFOUR, HILL NEWS – When retiring Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) marked the end of his 38 years in the Senate on Nov. 16, he paid lavish tribute to his current colleagues but raised some doubts about the first group of senators he served with, in 1966. “I don’t leave with the idea that the Senate is not what it used to be in the sense of personnel,” he said in his farewell speech. “We have a way better group of senators. We had five drunks or six drunks when I came here. There is nobody drunk in the United States Senate [today].”

Hollings’s remarks caused former senators and Senate aides and journalists who covered the Senate at the time to speculate on just whom he was referring to. “There were two or three places senators could go to get a free drink, including the secretary of the Senate’s office,” recalled former Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.).

McCarthy, who came to the Senate from the House in 1959, identified Russell Long (D-La.), Thurston Morton (R-Ky.), Warren Magnuson (D-Wash.), James Eastland (D-Miss.), Harrison Williams (D-N.J.) and Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) as among those Hollings might have had in mind.

He said Long and Morton, who acquired the nickname “Thirsty,” often drank together, while Magnuson “sometimes came on the floor and was kind of vague as to where he was, and somebody said, ‘He walks from memory.'”


The New York Mafia has never been strong in DC. There have been several explanations for this. One is that DC was long too small a town to bother with. There are also unconfirmed reports that J Edgar Hoover struck some sort of deal with the Mafia to keep it out. William Garber, an attorney who represented several local crime figures, told a Washington Post reporter in the 1980s that “organized crime thought moving [into Washington] would just be pushing the FBI too far.”

On the other hand an investigative reporter, who moved to Washington after learning of a mob contract on his life in the 1970s tells us a different story. He said that federal agents suggested that he move to a neutral town – one in which the mobs shared turf with none of them dominant. They suggested Las Vegas, Miami and Washington.


US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, March 30, 1998: When Kathleen Willey dropped Nathan Landow’s name into her amended deposition for the Paula Jones case in February, shudders went through Vice President Al Gore’s camp – and not just because Willey had presented a credible account of hormones run amok in the Oval Office. For more than a decade, Landow, a 65-year-old multimillionaire Maryland developer, has served as Gore’s most enthusiastic fund-raiser. . . In Willey’s original January 11 deposition in the Jones case, she denied that anyone had tried to influence her deposition, and Landow’s name never came up. But a month later, in a written revision, Willey noted that she had “discussed” her deposition with Landow. In subsequent testimony before Starr’s grand jury, Willey has reportedly alleged that Landow tried to pressure her into recanting her story of sexual harassment at the hands of President Clinton. Through his lawyers, Landow has issued a vociferous denial that he made any attempt to influence Willey’s testimony. But sources close to Landow acknowledge that in October, weeks after Willey received a subpoena in the Jones case, Landow paid a private charter company to fly her–at her request–to his oceanside Maryland estate. According to Landow’s lawyer Joe Caldwell Jr., “The contact between Mr. Landow and Ms. Willey last fall was initiated by Ms. Willey.” . . . Over the past two decades, Landow has received more than his share of dings. A fund-raiser for Jimmy Carter, Landow was being considered for an ambassadorship to the Netherlands in 1977. But in January 1978, the Washington Post published a story linking Landow with Joe Nesline, a known associate of organized crime figures. The disclosure appeared to scuttle Landow’s ambassadorial aspirations, but not his party influence.

WASHINGTON POST, January 26, 1978: Two prominent Washington investors [Nathan Landow and Smith Bagley] with connections to the Carter administration were involved in a proposal to build a hotel and gambling casino in Atlantic City, with Washington gambling kingpin Joe Nesline as a consultant. Nesline’s involvement with the casino venture became known Jan 14 when federal and local police raided Nesline’s Bethesda apartment. . . FBI agents seized a file containing and memoranda spelling out a proposed $85 million deal involving Bagley and Landow… [It] was not the only gambling venture in which Nesline had been involved with Landow… Involved in the St. Marten venture were Landow and Edward Cellini, a brother of Dino Cellini, a former associate of organized crime figure Meyer Lansky… In November… [t]he party at [the] Landow home was observed by Montgomery County plainclothesmen, who took down license plate numbers of guests’ cars. Officers of the county’s organized crime section have had Landow under surveillance for nearly a year. They learned from Florida police that Landow had an interest in a now defunct corporation whose concealed owners allegedly included an identified member of the Carlo Gambino Mafia “family.” Secret Service agents who were at the party to protect the president’s son, questioned the Montgomery County plainclothesmen who explained their interest in Landow.

WASHINGTON POST, JANUARY 28, 1978: Smith Bagley, a prominent Washington investor with ties to the Carter administration, has accused The Washington Post of bias and unethical conduct in its coverage of an Atlantic City hotel casino proposal in which Bagley had participated . . . “Ever since Maxine Cheshire asked me for a $25,000 personal loan and I turned her down,” Bagley asserted, “I have felt my family and I have been under a magnifying glass with Washington Post eyes looking through it.” Cheshire has denied that such a loan was ever discussed. . . . Bradlee, Cheshire and assistant managing editor Harry M. Rosenfeld, who edited Cheshire’s story, all disputed Bagley’s allegations yesterday . . . Bagley, a Reynolds tobacco heir, was quoted as denying he had ever met or “heard of” Nesline. Landow, a multimillionaire builder, acknowledged knowing Nesline. Bagley could not be reached for further comment yesterday. One of his lawyers, Irvin B. Nathan, declined to comment. The accuracy of The Post’s account has not been disputed.

WASHINGTON POST, April 6, 1998: In 1978, The Washington Post printed a front-page story revealing that Landow had hired Joe Nesline, a Washington illegal-gambling kingpin, as a consultant in an unsuccessful effort to build a casino in Atlantic City. At the time, Landow admitted that Nesline was a friend but denied knowing about his friend’s criminal past. Now Landow says, “There were a lot of inaccuracies in that article.”


PAUL M. RODRIGUEZ AND GEORGE ARCHIBALD WASHINGTON TIMES, 1989: A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington’s political elite, documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal. One of the ring’s high-profile clients was so well-connected, in fact, that he could arrange a middle-of-the-night tour of the White House for his friends on Sunday, July 3, of last year. Among the six persons on the extraordinary 1 a.m. tour were two male prostitutes . . . Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring . . . Among the client names contained in the vouchers – and identified by prostitutes and escort operators – are government officials, locally based U.S. military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides and other professionals . . .

KARLYN BARKER, WASHINGTON POST, JULY 24, 1990: The alleged leader of what authorities have called the largest male prostitution operation in the Washington area surrendered to federal agents yesterday and pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges that have been filed against him and three alleged accomplices. Henry W. Vinson, 29, of Williamson, W.Va., a coal miner’s son accused of setting up the homosexual escort service, was arraigned in U.S. District Court here yesterday afternoon after turning himself in to Secret Service agents . . . At a news conference after the arraignment, [U.S. Attorney Jay] Stephens said the investigation into the alleged prostitution ring “is concluded” and that the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, focused on those who allegedly set up the ring rather than on clients who reportedly patronized it. Asked about earlier reports that some of those clients included high-level officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Stephens said the investigation had not revealed “additional conduct which suggests criminal conduct on behalf of other people.” . . . The Vinson case provoked additional notice after The Washington Times published reports last summer suggesting that the alleged prostitution ring had been patronized by government officials. The Times named as clients several low-level government employees and Craig J. Spence, a Washington lobbyist and party-giver who, the paper said, took friends and prostitutes on late-night tours of the White House. Spence was found dead in a Boston hotel room last fall, and authorities ruled his death a suicide.

TIMOTHY MAIER, INSIGHT, Oct. 20, 1997: Blackmail, lies and deceit may be the only fitting description of the 1993 Seattle Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit where dignitaries from 17 countries are reported to have been placed under electronic surveillance by American agents. As Insight first reported last month, the Clinton administration is said by intelligence and security specialists — who admitted being involved — to have bugged the conclave and then provided classified secrets to the Democratic National Committee. This in turn allegedly was used as bait to barter with potential big-buck donors for large contributions to the Democratic coffers, sources in and out of government claim. This week the story continued to develop with new twists and turns. Former officials of the National Security Council, or NSC, and high-level economic advisers tell Insight they remain deeply concerned that classified information may have been leaked for political purposes. “That would make it blackmail,” says a former senior-level Bush appointee who asked not to be identified because of an ongoing business relationship with the Clinton administration. “I find the story totally credible. I wouldn’t put it past this administration.” Insight also detailed in earlier reports a series of alleged criminal activities, including the procuring of boys to engage in sexual activities with diplomats; FBI agents accepting thousands of dollars of kickbacks; and, the most serious offense, the White House providing top-secret trade information to two West Coast law firms working off the books for the DNC . . . The FBI is believed to have bugged more than 300 locations, with electronic audio and video surveillance devices used to monitor 10,000 to 15,000 conversations — much of it real-time data that was bounced from satellites to the NSA. The monitoring stations usually were placed near a Secret Service perimeter or Naval Intelligence facilities. And many of the targets concerned large contracts with Vietnam, sources say . . . The boys are believed to have been 15 to 17 years old. As shocking as this may be, some say it’s routine. A former Bush economic adviser observes, “The sex? That’s done all the time. If a foreign diplomat wants a companion, the State Department provides it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or woman. They have a special fund set up for that.” Another former NSC official who requested anonymity says other countries also do it. “I was offered every sexual favor you can imagine. I turned it down all the time. After a while they left me alone and stopped offering me.”

[The full Washington Post story is available for a fee in the Post archives.]


“You don’ pull on Superman’s cape. You don’ spit into the wind. You don’ tug the mask off the Lone Ranger and, baby, you don’ mess with Odessa, okay? I may be old, and I may be ugly, but I ain’t dumb. That’s why I was the ‘Queen.'” – Odessa Madre

Courtland Milloy, in a wonderful 1980 Washington Post story, describes Odessa Madre this way: “Perhaps no other person has seen so much of the District’s narcotics, numbers and ‘tenderloin’ trade and is still alive to tell about it. According to one police affidavit filed in U.S. District Court here in 1975, ‘She practices a resourceful and shrewd form of circumspection that has enabled her to survive and thrive in her illegal activities over the past 40 years.’ After monitoring her activities with two court-ordered wiretaps, one police source was quoted in court records as saying that Madre frequently gave parties at her home and that /as a matter of course, Miss Madre set out a number of bowls of cocaine, heroin and marijuana for her guests’ pleasure.’ But she protested that decription in a recent interview: ‘Everybody knows I can’t stand them reefers.'”

By 1980, Madre had been picked up 30 times on 57 charges over a 48 year span, seven of them spent in a federal prison. She bought a Lincoln Continental when she got out and purchased a Cadillac Seville after serving a later three year sentence.

Madre grew up in a mixed neighborhood of blacks and Irish, the latter heavily populating the DC police force and, in the end, often looking out for their childhood friend. “Negroes and Irishmen got along real well,” Madre told Milloy. “They would fight amongst themselves, but we wouldn’t fight each other. If somebody outside Cowtown came to fight the Irish, the Negroes would chunk bricks at them. We were like a big happy family.” Writes Milloy: “Thus began a long and prosperous relationship with members of the Metropolitan Police Department. When Madre’s childhood friends grew up, they became captains, lieutenants and even superintendents in the police department, like their fathers. As the year passed and Madre became the notorious ‘Queen,’ many of her childhood buddies couldn’t forget that she had once been their compatriot in the ‘Great Rock Chunkin’ Wars’ against the Italian and German kids.”

At her peak in the 1940s, Madre was earning about $100,000 a year, and had at least six bawdy houses, bookmaking operations, and a headquarters at 2204 14th Street known as the Club Madre. Among the performers there were Moms Mabley, Count Basie and Nat King Cole.

Long time residents remember Madre walking into her club followed by her girls and sitting at a table with 12 long stemmed roses. They also recall that the girls got Sunday off and could be seen observed relaxing on the porch of Madre’s place.

In 1952 the Kefauver committee, targeting organized crime in DC, found a pattern of payoffs by local mobsters to the cops, funneled, it appeared, largely through Madre. Milloy notes that “Two sergeants testified they had been demoted and assigned to school-crossing duty because they had refused a payoff from Madre and had participated in the arrest of know gampblers – including her. The superior officer who demoted them was John Murphy, they testified. ‘Yeah, I knew him,’ Mandre said. ‘Grew up with him in Cowtown.’ There was also testimony from other policemen that Madre had paid police superintendent James Barrett $2,000 a month in ‘ice’ payments for nearly a year. ‘Somebody had to give ’em the money.'”

Madre’s own evalution of it all: “You say was it worth it? Child, you wonder does crime pay? I’ll tell you, yes. It pays a helluva lot of money. And money is something. I don’t care who you are, when you got money you can get a lot of doors open because there’s always some larcenous heart who’s gonna listen to you. “And when you show ’em that money . . . if you got a wad, honey, they’ll suck up to ya like you was a Tootsie Roll.”

THE 2000s

IN AN ABRUPT and somewhat tardy move, the Review finally started to pay attention to the Jeff Gannon story. We originally thought it nothing more than a case of some guy being paid to ask softball questions at a White House news conference, hardly more despicable than the far more common practice of reporters asking them for free. But then came the sex angle and the realization that the only remaining grounds for termination of public office in Washington are an illegal nannie or gay sex.

Since DC has a large and happily out gay community it may seem a bit odd that a straight eye for a gay guy could get into such trouble, but these acts are sometimes accompanied by less pleasant activities such as bribery for governmental favors or blackmail. Further, there have been persistent reports, as Wayne Madsen writes, of a GOP pedophile and male prostitution ring.

Sex and corrupt politics in DC is nothing new. For example, during the Civil War there were 450 brothels in the capital. Part of the mythology of Washington, however, is what might be called the Jim Lehrer Illusion, which is to say that all people in DC do is sit around and rationally debate policy alternatives. In fact, Washington politics is also heavily driven by cowardice, bribery, blackmail, deceit, fear, loyalty to old buddies and even older bodies, cooptation, sex, and just plain crime. Journalists who pretend otherwise either don’t understand what is going on or are covering for someone.

The public often misunderstands the importance of Washington scandals, assuming them to be a simple dalliance, individual failing, or private offense. What makes both sex and crime in DC different, at least when those in power are involved, is that there is far more opportunity for blackmail and far more skill at covering things up.

The blackmail may be used by members of one branch of government against those of another, by lobbyists against members of Congress, by the police against whomever they wish, and by foreign powers. For example, one way to keep a congress member bought is for a lobbyist to provide him with high class prostitutes. And it is noteworthy that both the Israelis and Boris Yeltsin apparently knew about Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky before the American public did.

The city’s ecology lends particular importance to gay sex simply because greater public antipathy makes it an even easier target for the blackmailer, witness the case a few years back when DC police officers were found to be running an extortion racket against those who visited gay bars.

Finally, the exposure of impropriety almost inevitably raises the issue of hypocrisy since the participating official often has inveighed against the discovered offense or attempted to ban, punish, or otherwise suppress the revealed practice. One of the more ironic examples was when, during the 1960s, a white southern senator was caught with a black prostitute. Said a civil rights leader, “Oh he’s just one of those sunup to sundown segregationists.” Washington is full of sunup to sundown moralists.

There is this quality to the tale of a gay plant at Bush news conferences. One wonders, for example, if in the wake the Gannon matter George Bush will now come out in favor a Sanctity in News Conferences amendment to the Constitution.

Further, the military subtext of Gannon’s site suggests similar ruminations. One might even speculate on the homoerotic themes of military service and behavior or even on war as the ultimate closeted gay sado-masochistic affair. If so, what a price the world has paid for its homophobia.

The ability to cover up scandal or crime is also much greater in Washington. This may be accomplished by relying on the social club rules of the federal city, through the aid of acquiescent journalists, by official spin or censorship, or by resort to the capital’s various law enforcement agencies, each one beholden for budget and top appointments to some federal department.

For example, both the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney (who handles all DC crimes) are appointed by the president. The FBI, DEA, National Park police and the Secret Service, not to mention the Aqueduct police, all work for the president. And the Metropolitan Police Department and the Capitol Police are under the thumb of Congress, which approves their budgets and exercises behind-the-scenes authority. There is not a single police agency within the boundaries of Washington that does not report to the politicians of Congress or the White House.

WAYNE MADSEN, ONLINE JOURNAL – Details are emerging that threaten to immerse the Bush administration in a major scandal. “Gannongate,” which is only now being mentioned by the mainstream news media, threatens to expose a potentially damaging GOP pedophile and male prostitution ring dating back to the 1980s and the administration of George H. W. Bush. James D. Guckert, using the name Jeff Gannon and possibly other aliases, was also running gay porn sites, one with a U.S. Marine Corps theme that solicited males for prostitution. . .

Gannon bypassed established Secret Service security controls, including a background check requiring a social security number, to obtain a White House press pass that identified him by an alias, an action seen by many seasoned Washington journalists as only being possible if he had favorable treatment from White House staff. . . One White House reporter expressed revulsion over the fact that it was [Ari] Fleischer who took away press credential from the late long-time White House correspondent Sarah McClendon and handed them to Gannon. . .

Gannongate is reminiscent of a huge political scandal that surfaced in Nebraska in 1989 when it was learned that Lawrence King, the head of Franklin Community Credit Union in Omaha and a rising African American star in the GOP (he sang the national anthem at George H. W. Bush’s 1988 nominating convention in New Orleans), was a kingpin, along with top Republicans in Nebraska and Washington, DC, including George H. W. Bush, in a child prostitution and pedophilia scandal. King was later convicted and jailed for fraud but pedophile and prostitution charges were never brought against him and other Nebraska Republican businessmen and politicians.

The scandal, investigated by Nebraska State Senator Loran Schmit, his assistant John DeCamp (a former GOP State Senator), State Senate Committee investigator Gary Caradori, and former CIA Director William Colby, reached the very top echelons of the George H. W. Bush administration and GOP. Child prostitutes from Boys Town and other orphanages in Nebraska as well as children procured from China were reportedly flown to Washington for sexcapades with Republican politicians. GOP lobbyist Craig Spence and a number of GOP officials in the administration and Congress were implicated in the scandal, including Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole’s liaison to the White House. Young male members of the military in Washington, DC were particularly sought after by the prostitution ring. During the early 1980s, a number of naval officers were implicated in a child pornography ring that extended from Oregon to the San Francisco Bay area and to Chicago and Washington, DC. The story about that ring was covered up by then-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.

The Nebraska pedophile scandal was similarly covered up on orders from the highest levels of power in the Bush White House. Caradori and his young son were killed in a suspicious plane crash in Illinois in 1990. Colby was found floating dead in the Chesapeake Bay, near his home, in 1996. Craig Spence allegedly committed suicide in 1989. Witnesses, many of whom were abused themselves, were intimidated and subsequently jailed in Nebraska and the investigation of the pedophile scandal eventually collapsed. . .

JOHN ARAVOISIS, AMERICA BLOG – A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the US was going to attack Iraq four hours before President Bush announced it to the nation. According to the producer, Gannon specifically told them that in four hours the president was going to be making a speech to the nation announcing that the US was bombing Iraq. The producer told me they were surprised that Gannon, working with such a small news outfit, could have access to such information, but “what did you know, he was right,” the producer said today. The producer went on to say that Gannon often had correct scoops on major stories. . .




WAYNE MADSEN REPORT There was no mistake that when Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s phone records were made public by order of US Judge Gladys Kessler, shortly before she asked to be reassigned from the case, that Palfrey’s Pamela Martin & Associates escort agency had some very intriguing clientele. If one were to have mapped the phone numbers on Palfrey’s list, McLean, Virginia would have looked like the epicenter of an earthquake. McLean is the home to the CIA, Washington’s top politicians, and assorted foreign and domestic business movers and shakers who travel in and out of the CIA’s shadow. . .

As she left her Orlando condo for her mother’s home [shortly before her alleged suicide], Palfrey was noticed taking a few suitcases with a white paper file box. Palfrey told the [building] manager the box contained some important papers, possibly having to do with her escort business. . .

In fact, it is a certainty that one of the actual “corporate clients” of the PMA agency was the CIA itself. Palfrey’s escorts included college professors, a naval officer, a legal secretary for one of Washington’s top international law firms, essentially those who would be reliable to pick up needed intelligence from a designated target. PMA’s clients included as many foreign political and business leaders as American ones. It was the potential for blackmail and seeking favors that made PMA, in business for over 13 years, a favorite for the CIA. No other escort agency in the Washington area provided the top-level credentials possessed by PMA. For that reason, PMA was the agency of choice for the CIA. . .

On September 1, 2007, WMR reported: “WMR has learned that on August 31, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the indicted Pamela Martin & Associates proprietor, filed a ‘Motion for Pretrial Conference to Consider Matters Relating to classified information’ under the ‘Classified Information Procedures Act’ with the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. The purpose of the filing alerts the government that Palfrey’s defense will likely involved the disclosure of evidence and identities presently deemed ‘classified” by the U.S. government.'”

The CIPA is only invoked in cases when classified national security information must be revealed. It is now clear that Palfrey, who never admitted to this editor any links between her agency and the CIA, was a contractor for the spy agency. Palfrey’s citing of CIPA is an indication that she signed a non-disclosure agreement with the CIA stating that she would never reveal classified information as a result of her special relationship with the agency unless authorized to do so. Palfrey’s non-disclosure agreement would have resulted in her making no comment to the press about any relationship. However, it must be stated that Palfrey always insisted to this editor that it was quite possible that some of her employees may have had a relationship with U.S. intelligence but that she would not necessarily know that to be the case.

Palfrey was never comfortable with her court-appointed attorney Preston Burton. Burton once was a partner in the law office of Plato Cacheris in Washington. Cacheris’ name is synonymous in DC circles with CIA scandals, particularly those dealing in espionage. Burton’s resume of clients is a “Who’s Who” of the past two decades of spy scandals: the CIA’s Soviet spy Aldrich Ames, the FBI’s Soviet spy Robert Hanssen, Oliver North’s secretary Fawn Hall, Watergate convicted Attorney General John Mitchell, and Monica Lewinsky. Burton, himself, was involved in the defense of Ames, Hanssen, Lewinsky, as well as Ana Belen Montes, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst convicted of spying for Cuba.

The top CIA cases involved the US Eastern District of Virginia court in Alexandria, where Plato Cacheris’ brother, James Cacheris, serves as a senior judge. Known as the “rocket docket,” Plato and James Cacheris have overseen a number of espionage cases, including Ames, that saw quick pleas and lifetime prison sentences. Mention the name Cacheris in Washington, DC and CIA comes instantly to mind among those who know the game. Palfrey was obviously aware of the CIA’s past use of “rocket dockets” in Alexandria and Washington and the “exchange” of emails between U.S. Judge James Robertson, federal prosecutors William Cowden and Daniel Butler, and Burton on the weekend before Burton agreed to not call any defense witnesses and allow the case to be sent directly to the jury was a sure indication of outside interference in the case. Robertson, who replaced Kessler after she requested to be reassigned, promised to reveal the emails to the public, indicating he was legally required to do so. To date, to our knowledge, they have not been released. . .

There is another interesting postscript to the Palfrey case. Palfrey, after deciding to close down PMA and move to Europe, chose to buy an apartment in the former East Berlin. This editor discussed this with Palfrey and the consensus was that, for European prices, there were some good deals on real estate in eastern Berlin as the former Soviet sector has lagged behind in improving infrastructure. However, it was intriguing that Palfrey, who spent her time mostly in California and Florida, would have known about a good deal in East Berlin. Or did one of her agency handlers recommend it as the perfect place to get away from the “game” in Washington?



FEW DEATHS could cause as much relief in Washington as did the alleged suicide of DC Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey. One need only consider the rapid demise of Governor Eliot Spitzer after it was discovered he had used a similar escort service to realize that Palfrey was not welcomed by many of the capital’s powerful men as a living repository of their sexual habits.

We are not speaking of a small number. Palfrey estimated her business involved some 10,000 clients – most in and around the most powerful city in America.

This is not to say that Palfrey did not commit suicide, only that her name may be reasonably added to those whose cause of death can not be – and may never be – firmly determined.

She will not be the first such death in recent American politics. At least nine persons involved in some way with the Clintons also committed suicide under less than certain circumstances, most notably Vincent Foster. Nearly 30 others also suffered from Arkansas sudden death syndrome, but clearly at someone else’s hand.

What we do know about Palfrey is that her operation had some 10,000 male clients, and not one has been subject to legal prosecution. Two of the women involved, Jean Palfrey and Brandy Britton, both allegedly committed suicide and both by hanging. Palfrey indicated she didn’t know whether Britton killed herself, saying, “There are many, many family members who say this was not the case.” When radio host Alex Jones said to Palfrey in 2007, “And you’re not planning to commit suicide,” Palfrey responded, “And I’m not planning to commit suicide.”

There is no apparent logic for the massive legal assault on Palfrey. In fact, prostitution isn’t even a federal crime; she was charged under federal racketeering law. When her house was raided a year and a half ago, the swat squad went through everything but curiously ignored 46 boxes of information about her clients. Interestingly also, the attack began in earnest immediately after Palfrey had put her house on the market, closed her business, and transferred some money to Germany where she planned to retire. In fact, she was in Germany when US postal inspectors, pretending to be home buyers, illegally sought entrance into her house from a realtor without a warrant.

You add up the little pieces and it is clear that something much bigger than prostitution was involved. Was Palfrey being threatened because she had, in effect, decided to leave the mob taking along her many tales? Was she a bit player in some much larger blackmail operation? And did she end her life or did someone do it for her?

Our approach to such matters is to treat them as open cases. We do not presume a conspiracy, but neither do we accept the establishment’s approach of rushing to the conclusion most comfortable to itself. In this case, for example, there are some 10,000 members of the establishment with a vested interest in not examining the evidence too much.

We do know that the Palfrey case was one of the strangest prosecutions the capital has ever seen. Judges, prosecutors, the media and the political elite all seemed extraordinarily determined to put a cap on how much information the case revealed. So far, they have been quite successful.

AP The body of Deborah Jeane Palfrey was found in a shed near her mother’s home about 20 miles northwest of Tampa. Police said the 52-year-old Palfrey left at least two suicide notes and other writings to her family in a notebook, but they did not disclose their contents. Palfrey apparently hanged herself with nylon rope from the shed’s ceiling. Her mother discovered the body. . . Blanche Palfrey had no sign that her daughter was suicidal, and there was no immediate indication that alcohol or drugs were involved, police Capt. Jeffrey Young said. . .

“I am sure as heck am not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, you know, four to eight years here, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever,” Palfrey told ABC last year when she released phone records that revealed some of her clients. “Not for a second. I’ll bring every last one of them in if necessary.”

Dan Moldea, a Washington writer who befriended Palfrey while considering writing a book about her, said she was cautiously optimistic about her trial, even when the case went before the jury. After the conviction, Moldea sent her an e-mail but didn’t hear back. A week later, he said, he sent another note entitled “A Concerned Friend” asking whether she was OK. Again, he didn’t hear back. After hearing of her death, he recalled a conversation over dinner last year when the subject of prison came up. “She said, ‘I am not going back to prison. I will commit suicide first,'” Moldea said.

TIME Palfrey contacted Moldea last year to provide her help writing a book. “She had done time once before [for prostitution],” Moldea recalls. “And it damn near killed her. She said there was enormous stress – it made her sick, she couldn’t take it, and she wasn’t going to let that happen to her again.” . . .

When a former employee of Palfrey’s, Brandy Britton, hanged herself before going to trial, Palfrey told the press, “I guess I’m made of something that Brandy Britton wasn’t made of.”

Palfrey’s trial, which concluded in mid-April with a conviction, is one of very few such cases prosecuted in the federal courts. Most prostitution violations are dealt with at the state or municipal level, and attract little publicity. In the Palfrey case, prosecutors obliged a string of obviously embarrassed clients and employees of the escort service to appear on the witness stand and testify under oath. Nearly all testified that they had engaged in sexual acts in exchange for money, a version of events that contradicted Palfrey’s claims that she had been running a high-end sexual fantasy service – and that any actual sexual activity was against the rules, and clearly stated when employees were hired. . .

It was Palfrey’s phone records that led to problems for prominent Washington figures once her prosecution got under way. She had thousands of pages, including 10,000 to 15,000 numbers of clients calling in to her California residence. Besides Sen. Vitter, others whose names appeared on those records included Randall Tobias, a senior State Department official in charge of foreign aid – who had publicly inveighed against prostitution and who quickly resigned after his name was made public. Harlan Ullman, a well-known military specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, was also identified.

According to Moldea, who last year examined Palfrey’s phone records and discovered the name of Vitter, a Republican, as a client of Palfrey’s escort service – Pamela Martin & Associates – the last time he saw Palfrey in person was less than week before her conviction on prostitution charges on April 15. “A friend and I met with Jeanne and we had a sushi lunch near the courtroom,” he said. “She was upbeat and hopeful. She felt the prosecution had not made the case and that she was going to walk. She was hopeful to the end.” But, when the jury came in with her conviction, she reportedly was taken aback. “When I heard that I knew that, for her, it was all over. There is no question in my mind that she took her own life.”

HUGH SPRUNT, CAS BB – [Palfrey] undertook a number of actions prior to her death that were not consistent with a despondent/depressed person contemplating suicide. . . She tried to get her hands on at least one stock investment (that was declining in value like many stocks these days) so she could sell it and reinvest the proceeds (The feds had seized her investments as security for her being able to pay any fine associated with her eventual criminal penalties that likely would include a lot of jail time). Her attorneys and at least some of the reporters who covered her story have stated that she didn’t appear suicidal to them

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, MARCH 2008 – One thing is clear about the so-called DC Madam aka Deborah Jeane Palfrey case: there is a stunning contrast between the lid being kept on the names of male clients in this matter and the interest of the media compared to the speed with which Eliot Spitzer name became notorious in a similar DC case. Admittedly the alleged charges for a prostitute in the DC Madam case were far less than in the Emperor operation, but both were sufficient to attract the police.

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen reported a name in the DC Madam case that was even more famous than Spitzers’ but there has been no denial and no libel suit, not to mention a striking lack of curiosity by the Washington press. Our own best guess as to why the DC Madam client list is being handled so gingerly: the appearance on it of too many good news sources not to mention the possibility of a few well known. media types as well.

Madsen reported dozens of high profile clients as well as a gag by top executives on the ABC reporters who were allowed to see the telephone list, allegedly after pressure from the White House. The story, in any case, is bizarre to say the least:

DEBORAH JEANE PALFREY, JULY 2007 – During the period when the decision to take the records off the market was made, Senior Executive Producer Rhonda Schwartz for Brian Ross, of ABC News, in New York approached [attorney] Mr. Sibley and me about the records. Told ABC News “does not pay for information,” they nonetheless would incur in our circumstance the expense of culling the billing invoices for possible witnesses, leads and general information, which ultimately could be beneficial to my defense.

Having gotten estimates at the time for the cost to research and back-track telephone numbers, along with subsequent owner data (tens of thousands of dollars), we gladly accepted ABC’s offer of assistance. In return, ABC asked that they be given exclusivity regarding the first public interview with me and more importantly, all of the phone records for years 1993 to 2006.

While the laborious task of copying and transferring the enormous amount of data to ABC was ongoing, the government went to Judge Kessler and obtained the current restraining order prohibiting either my civil counsel, Mr. Sibley or me from further distribution of the records. The government’s justification for the temporary injunction was witness harassment and intimidation — having abandoned its prior rationalization, i.e. asset forfeiture. Consequently, ABC received only 80% of years 2002 thru 2006.

Contrary to popular belief, they never had a complete set of all 13 years. In the final analysis, it really didn’t matter whether ABC had 4 years or 13, their constant assurances and reassurances to Mr. Sibley and me that they could be trusted with my story — for the almost two months they researched 2002 to 2006 — fell flat on May 4, when the much hyped, sweep’s week 20/20 broadcast failed to deliver even one revelation; this despite, a major ad campaign blitz on the part of the network to the contrary. Both Mr. Sibley and I can attest to the fact — having been an integral part of the 7 1/2 week vetting process — that there were and are noteworthy names to be named, in the four years. Why ABC chose to jump ship seemingly at the eleventh hour would be pure speculation, here. The bottom line is that they did and by doing so, they did a tremendous disservice to the American people.. .

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT MAY 2007 – The corporate media still does not get it about the so-called “Washington Madam” case. Beyond just another titillating DC sex scandal, this affair involves the U.S. Attorneys firings, massive bribery involving military and homeland security contracts, and potential blackmail of high government officials. WMR can report that Disney and ABC executives spiked the Washington Madam story at the very last . . . The decision by Disney and ABC to kill the 20/20 story resulted in a shocked news staff at ABC News’ DeSales Street bureau across the street from the Mayflower Hotel, one of the rendezvous points for some Pamela Martin clients. Our sources stated that Ross, Schwartz, Rood, and others at ABC tried their best to get the story out but were overruled by senior executives at ABC in New York and Disney headquarters in Burbank, California who, in turn, were under heavy pressure from the Bush White House.

The Washington Madam case also involves criminal conspiracy and malfeasance within the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Postal Inspection Service. Palfrey’s case file was not opened until June 2004 after she had been in business for over a decade without any pressure from the government. After Baltimore Police Commissioner and later Maryland State Police Superintendent Ed Norris was charged in May 2004 with three criminal counts by US Attorney Thomas DiBiagio, the IRS opened a file on Palfrey the following month. It is clear that with Norris, a 20 year veteran of the New York Police Department, facing up to 30 years in prison, he entered into a plea bargain with DiBiagio. In return for his cooperation, which included Norris naming Pamela Martin as one of the recipients of Baltimore Police supplemental accounts money, he got six months in prison and six months home detention. Norris now hosts a radio show in Baltimore.

DiBiagio’s assistant US Attorney Jonathan Luna, who once worked at the Brooklyn District Attorneys’ office when a probe was being conducted of both Norris and his friend, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, was on to Norris’ corruption in Baltimore. Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley appointed Norris as police commissioner but soon became disenchanted with his performance. After his relection as Governor in 2002, Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich appointed Norris as Maryland State Police Superintendent. Luna was brutally murdered near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in December 2003.

DC CITY DESK, MAY 2007 The judge in the Jeanne Palfrey case has issued a temporary restraining order on Palfrey and her civil attorney to keep them from releasing more information about her clients to the news media. This strengthens suspicions that the judge and ABC News – which was given Palfrey’s records – may be trying to suppress some of these names, especially since one the names being circulated around town is an extremely high White House official. Basically, the problem is this: if Jean Palfrey committed a crime so did all her clients and they are not entitled to the protection they are being given. In the best of worlds, prostitution would not be a crime but under the circumstances there is only one honest choice in this matter: either drop the case or open the files. Otherwise it is fair to wonder whether there is a cover-up going on of criminal activity by prominent Washingtonians

NEWS 8, DC, MAY 2007 – A lawyer for alleged Washington madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey wants ABC News to disclose the identity of a federal prosecutor identified in a recent news report as a client of Palfrey’s escort service. In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Palfrey’s civil lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, contends that the Justice Department should compel ABC to disclose the prosecutor’s identity and whether he had any role in the Palfrey investigation. . .

BALTIMORE EXAMINER, MAY 2007 – A woman accused of running a Washington-area prostitution ring says former University of Maryland professor Brandy Britton worked for her. Britton told The Examiner before her death that she previously worked for an escort service called East Coast Elites, but she never mentioned Deborah Jeane Palfrey or her firm, Pamela Martin & Associates, during a series of interviews with this newspaper. . . Britton committed suicide in January, days before she was scheduled to stand trial on prostitution charges and be evicted from her $600,000 Ellicott City home. She faced up to a year in prison on each count, but Howard County prosecutors said that if convicted, she likely wouldn’t have served any time. Britton’s Howard County police file makes no mention of Palfrey or her escort service. Police said Britton was working alone when arrested in January 2006, and they have not connected her case to Palfrey. . . Although Britton said her clients included “police, lawyers and judges,” her notes don’t appear to include the names of prominent people. They contain many partial names and code names, including notes for appointments with men identified only as “Robert,” “Bernard” and “David.” Next to their names, she sometimes wrote the callers’ purported occupations, such as “Dr.” or “Accountant.” Britton was a former assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She resigned in 1999. . . . “I thought I would hate the job, and I’d just have to do it,” she said. “But I really liked it, and I made some really good friends, and I like men more than I ever did before. It’s a long story, but as a feminist it made me see things differently. They love their families and their kids. They’re good guys that really love their wives.”

ABC NEWS BLOTTER – MAY 2007 Some of the most in-demand women working for the “D.C. Madam” were in their 50s, according to the woman at the center of the scandal. “There was never an age limit. I hired women well into their 50s,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey told ABC News. “They were some of the most popular women on staff.”. . . From career professionals to graduate students, most women who came to Palfrey to work did so because they needed money — to pay off credit card debt, cover school loans or pay tuition fees, according to Palfrey. . . “Many of these girls were a lot of talk and no action — as most people seem to be from time to time,” Palfrey said. Many applicants would initially be very willing, but when they went on their first appointment “they just freeze and they think, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.'”. . . “It was very boring, mostly,” Palfrey told ABC News. “Very ‘Groundhog Day,’ the same thing over and over and over and over, and over. For me, anyway.”. . . For their part, the clients were typically decent to Palfrey’s women, she said. “I had many gals tell me that their boyfriends treated them, oh, just purely awful. And they would go to many of these appointments, and the man would have roses waiting for them. And nobody had ever given them roses before.”. . . “I think I empowered a lot of women. I got a lot of women through graduate school. I think the people that used the service were by and large quite pleased.”

CHANNEL 9 – MAY 2007 – A legal secretary at one of Washington’s most prominent and well-connected law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Houer & Feld LLP, has been suspended after telling her bosses she secretly worked at night for the escort service run by the so-called D.C. Madam, Jeane Palfrey. The woman both serviced clients and, at times, helped to run the business, Palfrey told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast on “20/20” Friday. The firm said it would not make her name public.

According to e-mails the woman sent to Palfrey on her Akin Gump account, she “enjoyed and even missed” the work she did at night for Palfrey, who has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a large scale prostitution ring. “Perhaps not the weekly grind, but was thinking that a day a week would be fun and spa money,” the legal secretary wrote to Palfrey last year, after Palfrey had closed her business and was considering whether to re-open it.

The Akin Gump secretary was described by Palfrey as an “absolutely lovely gal,” who was working as an escort “to go back to school and get her education, to finish her college degree.”

Considered one of the most powerful firms in Washington, Akin Gump partners make up a who’s who of Washington insiders, including Vernon Jordan, former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and co-founder Robert Strauss, an adviser to numerous presidents.

CAROL D. LEONNIG, WASHINGTON POST MAY 2007 – A former client of the woman accused of being the D.C. madam is trying to block his name from being aired on an ABC News program about her escort business and the men who patronized it, saying publicity would amount to witness intimidation, ABC said yesterday. In a letter to ABC, Steven Salky, the man’s attorney, wrote that he has “reason to believe” that his client could be named tomorrow in a “20/20” report about an alleged prostitution ring run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, ABC said. Salky would not identify the man. The client expects to be a prosecution witness in Palfrey’s federal trial on racketeering charges, Salky told ABC. Identifying him would violate a court order barring harassment of potential witnesses, he said. . .

CHANNEL FOUR, DC APRIL 2007 – A woman charged with running a D.C.-area prostitution ring on made good on her threat to identify high-profile clients, naming a military strategist who developed the combat theories known as “shock and awe” as a regular customer in court papers. Harlan K. Ullman, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was named in court papers filed by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who is acting as her own lawyer. Ullman, in a brief telephone interview, declined comment on the claim. “The allegations are beneath the dignity of a comment,” he said. . . Palfrey said in her motion that Ullman “is only one of dozens of such officials” who will be exposed as she prepares her defense.

HENRY K LEE, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, APRIL 2007 – Palfrey’s business records include 46 pounds of phone bills of some 15,000 clients of her business, Pamela Martin and Associates, Sibley said. Palfrey originally threatened to sell those records to pay for her defense, but a judge barred her from doing so. Authorities said Palfrey’s alleged prostitution ring involved 132 college-educated women and generated more than $2 million.

SMOKING GUN, MARCH 2007 – Federal prosecutors want to gag an indicted former Washington, D.C. madam who has recently threatened to go public with details about her former customers. In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court, investigators are seeking a protective order covering discovery material to be provided to Deborah Palfrey and her lawyers.

Palfrey, 50, was indicted last week on racketeering and money laundering charges stemming from her operation of the Pamela Martin & Associates escort service, which closed last summer after 13 years in business. In their motion, government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain “personal information” about Palfrey’s former johns and prostitutes that is “sensitive.” . . .

According to the prosecution motion, while Palfrey and her lawyers would be able to use the discovery material to help prepare a defense, they would not be allowed to disclose the documents to anyone else (nor use the material for any other purposes). Palfrey, whose assets were frozen late last year, has recently floated the idea of selling her escort business’s phone records. She has also “made statements that could be considered veiled threats to cause embarrassment to former customers and employees,” according to the motion. . . .

Before closing her business, Palfrey operated a web site touting Pamela Martin & Associates as “the best adult agency around,” claiming that it had an “ongoing repeat clientele rate of 65-75%.” Palfrey’s site also advertised for escorts. Prospective hookers, she noted, had to be at least 23 years old with two or more years of college. And her $275-an-appointment employees had to be “weight proportionate to height.”

WASHINGTON POST – Ms. Palfreys business, which operated from 1993 to 2006, had 15,000 customers and a pool of 130 or so escorts, ranging in age from 23 to 55, who worked as independent contractors, she said in one court filing. “Best selection and availability before 9 p.m. each evening,” one advertisement she ran said. Over the six years before the business shut down, she collected more than $750,000 from the escorts, with whom she split fees for each call, federal officials said in court filings.

AMY SCHATZ, WALL STREET JOURNAL – ABC News reported on one of its blogs that men on the list include “a Bush administration economist, the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials.”


ABC NEWS BLOTTER – Even call girls get performance reviews, at least the ones who worked for Jeane Palfrey’s Washington, D.C., escort service. “Without being overtly vulgar, a pair of tits and an ass, without accompanying brains, sophistication, LOOKS and carriage, just won’t cut it in this business or at least, not with this particular agency!!” wrote Palfrey in a monthly newsletter sent to the women who worked for her. . . In a January 1994 newsletter, she wrote, “Congress is back in session. This always helps to boost business.” In another edition, she complained, “That damn Monday night football…ruines [sic] business every single Monday night!”. . . “Organization and efficiency need to be, No, must be the bedrock from which the on-call escort service operates,” reads one passage from 1993. In that particular article, Palfrey encouraged her employees (“girls,” as she called them) to invest in cellular phones. “Searching for pay phones in strange places and driving in circles when lost are extraordinarily exasperating and frustrating experiences, which need not be,” Palfrey counseled. . . In one issue, Palfrey even gave a product endorsement. “Victoria’s Secret,” she wrote, “is the only place a Pamela Martin girl shops.”



WASHINGTON POST – [Alleged madam Deborah] Palfrey’s flamboyant attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said Friday that he has been contacted by five lawyers recently, asking whether their clients’ names are on Palfrey’s list of 10,000 to 15,000 phone numbers. Some, Sibley said, have inquired about whether accommodations could be made to keep their identities private. ABC is expected to air a report on Palfrey and her clients on “20/20” on May 4, during sweeps.

More revelations are in the offing. Ross said the list includes the names of some “very prominent people,” as well as a number of women with “important and serious jobs” who had worked as escorts for the firm.

The disclosures have been made sparely and artfully. Two weeks ago, in court documents about calling former clients to testify on her behalf, Palfrey named Harlan K. Ullman, an academic whose main claim to fame was a scholarly paper he wrote more than a decade ago on the military strategy known as “shock and awe.” Responded Ullman: “It doesn’t deserve the dignity of a response.”

Sibley also filed notice that he intends to depose political consultant Dick Morris in a separate civil proceeding. Morris would not comment.



THINK PROGRESS – U.S. AID director Randall Tobias, who resigned yesterday upon admitting that he frequented a Washington escort service, oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.”

Aid groups bitterly opposed the policy, charging that it “was so broad – and applied even to their private funds – that it would obstruct their outreach to sex workers who are at high risk of transmitting the AIDS virus.” But President Bush wouldn’t budge. He signed a 2003 National Security Presidential Directive saying prostitution “and related activities” were “inherently harmful and dehumanizing.”

Several groups and countries had their funding cut due to the policy. Brazil lost $40 million for “one of its most successful anti-AIDS strategies, persuading sex workers to use condoms or other measures to stop spreading the disease.”

During an “Ask the White House” online chat in 2004, Tobias defended the policy, saying the U.S. was “partnering with communities” to begin “fighting sex trafficking and prostitution, while still serving victims of these activities.” Tobias added that he was overseeing several “highly successful” relationship programs “aimed at men and boys to help them develop healthy relationships with women.”


SMOKING GUN – In a TSG interview, Palfrey admitted operating an escort firm, but claimed that her workers did not engage in “illegal sexual activities.” There are “a lot of erotic activities that one can do without participating in things that are illegal,” she claimed. Investigators contend that after Palfrey hires a prostitute, she sends the woman to a “screening” appointment where she is required to have sex “without payment” so as to ensure that the prospective hooker is not a law enforcement officer. Palfrey, who spoke to TSG from Germany, said that agents raiding her home would have found nothing since she did not keep computerized records and regularly shredded documents. Asked about the nature of her clientele, Palfrey called the identity of her johns a “salacious detail” of which she was unaware. “I never kept records,” she claimed. “I protected the client’s confidentiality. . . they trusted me.” But Palfrey did speculate that she may have come to the attention of federal agents because her operation had somehow intersected with a more high profile case, like that of convicted ex-congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Investigators are reportedly examining charges that a defense contractor provided hookers to Cunningham as part of an influence-peddling scheme. Palfrey did not claim a nexis between her escort service and Cunningham, but invoked the disgraced pol’s name while saying that she would wager that the basis for the federal probe of her business “had solely to do with some Duke Cunningham-type bigwig client that got caught up in something and started to say, ‘Do you know this?’ and ‘Do you know that?’ And that he might have been able to lead them to somebody.” Palfrey, who said she started her service in D.C. because “it’s a very liberal, sophisticated, cosmopolitan area,” advertised her company as featuring women “23 and older, with two or more years of college education, who either work and/or go to school in the daytime.” Palfrey told TSG that she shuttered her escort business in mid-August because her female employees were “driving me crazy. They were a pain in the ass to deal with.” She added, “It was just time to start a different life and do different things, move on.”



 2006 – Rep. Mark Foley resigns over sexually explicit e=mails to male pages

 In April 2001, Rick Yannuzzi, the CIA’s deputy national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, is found dead at his home in the Oakton VA area. Police call it a suicide. According to the Washington Post, “Yannuzzi’s apparent suicide caught colleagues by surprise and left them searching for possible explanations. Yannuzzi apparently left a suicide note in which he expressed love for his family but gave no explanation for taking his life, sources said.”


 DEAN CALBREATH AND JERRY KAMMER, COPLEY NEWS SERVICE – Poway military contractor Brent Wilkes – whom Justice Department officials identify as the co-conspirator – has long been active in local political circles, serving as the San Diego County finance co-chairman of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign and the state finance co-chairman for President Bush. Wilkes has not been charged with a crime in the Cunningham case. . . . Wilkes’ story shows how gifts, favors and campaign contributions can be used to gain lucrative business from the government. Over the past 20 years, Wilkes has devoted much of his career to developing political contacts in Washington

Brent Wilkes, founder of ADCS Inc., is identified by officials as “co-conspirator No. 1” in the Randy “Duke” Cunningham bribery case. Those who know Wilkes describe him as gregarious and ambitious, a person who can make friends easily and toss them aside just as quickly. . .

Wilkes made no bones about where his money was coming from. His jet-black Hummer bore a license plate reading MIPR ME – a reference to Military Interdepartmental Purchase Requests, which authorize funds in the Pentagon.

Wilkes shared the benefits of his largesse with the politicians who helped him. He took Cunningham on several out-of-state trips on his corporate jet. Cunningham has produced no records showing that he paid for food, lodging or transportation while traveling to resorts with Wilkes, although he does have receipts for several campaign trips on Wilkes’ jet.

Wilkes also bought a small powerboat that he moored behind Cunningham’s yacht, the Kelly C, at the Capital Yacht Club in Washington, D.C. The boat was available for Cunningham’s use anytime Wilkes was not using it.

But what landed Wilkes in trouble with federal prosecutors was his gifts to Cunningham. According to Cunningham’s plea agreement, “Co-conspirator No. 1,” gave $525,000 to Cunningham on May 13, 2004, to pay off the second mortgage on Cunningham’s home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Co-conspirator No. 1 also gave $100,000 to Cunningham on May 1, 2000, which went into Cunningham’s personal accounts in San Diego and Washington, D.C. And he paid $11,116.50 to help pay Cunningham’s mortgage on the Kelly C.

The plea agreement charged that in return for the payments, Cunningham “used his public office and took other official action to influence U.S. Department of Defense personnel to award and execute government contracts.”

Wilkes befriended other legislators, too. He ran a hospitality suite, with several bedrooms, in Washington – first in the Watergate Hotel and then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill.



JUNE 2000

The handling of the 1997 Starbucks murder case continues to raise eyebrows. Why, of all the 301 slayings that took place in DC that same year, did only these three killings attract the attention not only of the FBI but of Attorney General Reno herself? Reno has overruled her own US Attorney and called for the death penalty in the case.

There are two reasonable explanations for the federal intrusion in the case. One is that the murders took place in Georgetown, home of some of the city’s most powerful residents. The second is that one of the victims was formerly a White House intern, Mary Caitrin Mahoney, allegedly familiar with some of the licentious activities occurring there.

While there is no concrete evidence that Mahoney was specifically targeted, the heavy involvement of the federal government in what it claims was a routine murder case inevitably raises questions. The appearance of Reno, the Miss Fixit of Clinton crime and corruption investigations, is even less reassuring. Reno squashed investigations into drug and gubernatorial payoff aspects of the Department of Agriculture case, has never bothered to go after Webb Hubbell for the taxes he owes, and has repeatedly undermined the work of special prosecutors and congressional investigators. And as Wllliam Safire rightfully notes, Reno’s Justice Department “wants none of the Clinton-Gore Asian funny-money traffickers such as John Huang, Pauline Kanchanalak and Charlie Trie to face punishment that might induce them to involve any of the famous recipients of China’s largess.” The accused in the case has recanted his confession, which was acquired after extensive interrogation.

[Questions have arisen about the circumstances under which Carl Derek Cooper confessed to the Starbucks slaying in which former White House intern Caitlin Mahoney and two other workers were killed. Cooper was questioned for many hours, denied being involved, then accused someone else, and then confessed, only to recant his confession after being released by suburban Prince George’s County police and returning to DC. Why this is not your average three-death murder is explained by Newsmax]

NEWSMAX: The same week Cooper recanted, new information emerged about Mahoney’s background and her possible ties to the Monica Lewinsky case. Author David M. Hoffman, who spent a year investigating Mahoney’s murder, tells Globe Magazine’s Tom Kuncl that the Starbucks massacre came just three days after Monica told Clinton she was going to tell her parents about their relationship. According to Monica Clinton reacted angrily, telling her, “It’s a crime to threaten the President.” Hoffman’s claim is corroborated by the Starr Report. “Monica took the threat seriously,” Hoffman told Globe, “telling Linda Tripp that she feared for both their lives if her affair with Clinton ever became public.” “I don’t want to wind up like Caity Mahoney,” Monica is rumored to have told friends.

MARCH 1999

Police have charged a single suspect in the 1997 gang-style slaying of three employees of a Georgetown Starbucks. The murders have attracted attention for a number of reasons:

— Being killed in Georgetown is considered more newsworthy by local media than being murdered in less elegant parts of town.

— In the contemporary gestalt, a murder at Starbucks creates some of the same horror as a murder in a church did in earlier times.

— One of the victims, Mary Caitrin Mahoney, was formerly an intern at the White House and Monica Lewinsky was reported to have told Linda Tripp that she didn’t want to end up like her.

Police say the killings were the result of a botched holdup. Certainly, the arrest came after a long and botched investigation. It was initially hampered by the decentralization of the homicide squad shortly before the murders. Police sources complained that the move by then Chief Larry Soulsby prevented the concentration of investigative effort vital in the critical hours immediately after such a crime. Soulsby later resigned in the wake of unrelated scandals. Subsequently a police informant in the case was killed while serving as part of a sting operation in a drug case.

The first detective on the Starbucks scene called it “one of the most difficult cases I’ve ever handled.” The murders took place after closing. It is not clear how the murderer(s) gained entrance. No money was taken and no neighbors heard the ten shots that were fired. As late as a day before the arrests, police were saying that there were two gunmen involved, but now they believe that suspect Carl Derek Cooper used two weapons in the attack.

If so, he did a lot of damage in a short period, killing three people — two with one bullet each and hitting Mahoney five times. Although Mahoney was reported to have been fleeing, she was struck in the face, neck and chest. Police say that Cooper — who has been previously convicted of robbery, car theft and gun and drug violations — used two guns in other crimes. The victims’ pockets were picked but a register and a safe filled with cash were left untouched.

An obituary in the Washington Blade, reported that Mahoney, 24, had been a founder of the Baltimore Lesbian Avengers. She founded a women’s issues discussion group at Towson State University, was a board member of the 31st Street Bookstore in Baltimore, and worked on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as interning for the Clinton White House when he was newly elected.

The lawyer for suspect Cooper has complained that his client was questioned excessively without legal counsel.

THE 1990s

MICHAEL POWELL, SARI HORWITZ, TONI LOCY, WASHINGTON POST: November 30, 1997; A type of extortion scheme known crudely as “fairy shaking” led to the arrest of a D.C. police lieutenant and toppled the police chief of the nation’s capital. It’s quite simple as extortion goes: Trail a married man out of a gay sex club. Take his license plate number. And later threaten to expose him unless he pays hush money. The term “fairy shaking” needs no definition within certain circles of the D.C. police department: A few rogue cops have been doing it for years and getting away with it, several law enforcement sources said. And it stands at the center of the case against Lt. Jeffery S. Stowe, until recently the roommate of D.C. Police Chief Larry D. Soulsby . . . It’s common knowledge that men go to the clubs that line a secluded block in Southeast Washington — clubs such as the Follies Theater and La Cage — to relax, listen to music and have sex . . . In September, someone was watching for the most vulnerable among them. The observer noted which parked cars had baby seats and bore other evidence of the straight, married life. And he wrote down the license plate numbers. In the days that followed, three men who were married with children received anonymous letters saying they had been photographed at the gay sex clubs. The letters demanded $10,000 cash from each in exchange for keeping their secrets. This wasn’t your typical, everyday extortionist, authorities say. He knew the extortion game better than almost anyone in town. He was, according to an arrest affidavit, Lt. Jeffery S. Stowe, commander of a D.C. police unit that investigates extortion and other crimes. Within two hours of Stowe’s arrest last Tuesday, his best friend on the force resigned: Chief Soulsby.



There is an epidemic of strange celebrity deaths in Washington in the 1990s. Before the Vince Foster death, the last high level suicide had been Navy Secretary James Forrestal. Murders of well-known or well-placed people were rare.

– Although his death was officially labeled a suicide, many questions have arisen concerning the passing of Admiral Mike Boorda, Chief of U.S. Naval operations

– In 1996, former CIA Director William Colby died, allegedly in a boating accident, but the facts do not adequately support this theory. For example, the retired CIA head had left his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. Colby had recently become an editor of Strategic Investment which was doing investigative reporting on the Vince Foster death.

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, PITTSBURGH, TRIBUNE-REVIEW – The body of “the Old Gray Man of the CIA,” William Colby, has been found in waters near his weekend home, but theories about his demise continue to thrive. Colby, who served as CIA director under Presidents Nixon and Ford, disappeared April 28. Maryland authorities found his body Monday morning after it washed ashore. This followed an intensive search of the Wimcoico River near Colby’s home in Rock Point, Md. Local police believe his body was lost in the cloudy waters of the Wicomico while canoeing, a favorite pastime of Colby’s. . . Last week, The New York Post’s irreverent Page Six raised concerns about Colby’s disappearance and apparent death with an article headlined “Conspiracy Crowd Snatches Colby.” “The theory among conspiracy-minded, cloak-and-dagger buffs is that Colby was assassinated so he wouldn’t spill any more agency secrets,” the gossip page began. Agency insiders reportedly resented Colby for talking to Congress about the “family jewels” – supposed illegal operations the agency conducted in the decades before Watergate. As a result, Colby lost the support of agency insiders and the Ford administration. President Ford fired Colby on Halloween 1975. Some theorists point to the similar circumstances surrounding the 1978 death of CIA deputy director John A. Paisley.

– There was also the little noted but third highest ranking alleged suicide of the period: John Millis, staff director of the Staff Director of the US House Select Committee on Intelligence who was found dead of a gunshot wound in a motel in Vienna, Virginia on June 3, 2000.

– That same month, a CIA intelligence analyst, John Muskopf, 28, was killed while walking with friends when a car drove up and someone inside shot him.

– In 1998, Sandy Hume, a Washington journalist, committed suicide in a seedy suburban motel. According to the Jerusalem Post, “the brilliant 28-year-old journalist” killed himself, “as the story goes,” over a homosexual affair with “a senior Republican [member of Congress and] confirmed supporter of Israel.”

– Investigative journalist Danny Casolaro allegedly committed suicide in a bathtub of a Martinsburg WV motel in 1991, but serious doubts have been raised concerning the incident.

– Former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney was shot five times during the murder of three Starbucks employees in an execution-style slaying. No money was taken. An informant assisting police in case was murdered when sent by DC police into a botched drug sting. The handling of the 1997 Starbucks murder case continues to raise questions. Carl Derek Cooper pleaded guilty to the crimes in April 2000 after being threatened with the death penalty by Janet Reno.

– Washington attorney Paul Wilcher was found dead on a toilet in apartment. He was aid to be investigating various scandals including the October Surprise, the 1980 election campaign, drug and gun-running through Mena and the Waco assault. Was planning a TV documentary on his findings. He had delivered an extensive affidavit to Janet Reno three weeks before his death.

– Carlos Ghigliotti: 42, was found dead in his office just outside of Washington D.C. on April 28, 2000. Ghigliotti, a thermal imaging analyst hired by the House Government Reform Committee to review tape of the Waco siege, had said he determined the FBI fired shots during the incident. Ghigliotti said the tapes also confirm the Davidians fired repeatedly at FBI agents during the assault, which ended when flames raced through the compound.

FOUR CORNERS: The widow of a former top Australian intelligence officer has broken her silence about the controversial death of her husband in Washington two years ago. Sandra Jenkins is demanding a full public inquiry into the events leading up to the suicide of her husband Merv, whose body was found at his Arlington, Virginia, home on June 13, 1999, his 48th birthday. She believes her husband would be alive today if an Australian Government investigation into allegations against him had been better handled. Merv Jenkins was the Defence Intelligence Organisation’s senior man in Washington. A key part of his role was to liaise and swap information with American intelligence agencies such as the CIA. He came under investigation for allegedly passing AUSTEO (Australian Eyes Only) material to allies. At that time, early to mid 1999, the US was keen for intelligence on the Indonesia-controlled militias running rampant in East Timor before the independence vote. For Merv Jenkins, whose Washington civilian posting followed an impeccable record of military service, the investigation came as an extraordinary shock.


EDDIE DEAN, WASHINGTON CITY PAPER, JULY 30-AUG. 5, 1999: At the corner of Connecticut and R Streets, [Joyce] Chiang hopped out of the car. She said she was going to the Starbucks across the street. She’d sworn off coffee and caffeinated drinks a few years before, after her doctor warned her of an impending ulcer. What she wanted was a cup of hot herbal tea to take the chill off during the walk through Dupont Circle. She had plenty of time to make it back for her 9 p.m. phone call. No problem. I’ll be fine. Chiang stood on the corner in front of La Tomate restaurant. The car pulled away into the night. When a crime happens in Dupont Circle, authorities know where to look to find evidence: nearby Rock Creek. It has long been a favorite drop-off point for everything from guns to bodies. But it was alongside the Anacostia where a couple found Chiang’s INS identification card the next day. By then, Roger Chiang had figured that his sister had spent the night at a friend’s house-a common enough occurrence. When she didn’t come home Sunday night, though, he began to get worried. Monday afternoon, he phoned her office: She hadn’t reported to work, and nobody had heard from her. It was one thing for Joyce to spend the weekend away, but quite another for her to skip a work day without calling. Her friends told Roger they had no idea where she could be. The next day, he contacted authorities to report his sister as missing. FULL STORY

ALSO. . .

 1996: Dick Morris, the chief political strategist for President Clinton, resigns when the Star publishes details of his relationship with Sherry Rowlands, a $200-an-hour prostitute – including his foot fetish.

 1992 – Senator Bob Packwood is accused of harassing a large number of women

 1990: the House reprimands Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, for – among other things – using his political influence to fix parking tickets for an intimate friend who was also a male prostitute and ran a homosexual whorehouse out of the Frank residence. Other members who got into trouble included Gary Studds of Massachusetts who seduced a young male House page and was censured by the House. Dan Crane of Illinois had sex with a female page, cried and begged forgiveness on the floor of the House and lost his next election.

THE 1980s

It has been sometimes alleged that J Edgar Hoover made a deal with the Italian Mafia to stay out of DC, although Meyer Lansky did have a few confederates including one of the best known restaurateurs in town. By the late 1980s, however, things are changing, as reported in 1987 by Nancy Lewis in the Washington Post: “Prosecutors say their first inkling that organized crime had discovered Washington as an attractive place to do business came about 15 years ago when an undercover investigation of the city’s biggest-ever drug gang led to the conviction here of two members of the Genovese crime family. The 300-member D.C. gang was headed by Lawrence W. (Slippery) Jackson, the son of a local minister, but the massive amounts of heroin it put on the streets came from the New York mob. Killings of rival gang members, a rarity in previous decades, became frequent as drug chieftains, adopting Mafia ways, battled for control of the city’s street corners. Since then, slowly but steadily, organized crime figures have been appearing around town.”

Wrote Lewis: “What’s going on? We never had these organized crime types in the past. We had gangsters but they were our gangsters: Capitol Hill’s Joe Nesline, the Warring brothers from Foggy Bottom, Roger “Whitetop” Simkins from Petworth, even Abe “Jewboy Dietz” Plisco from Georgetown by way of Richmond. They and a handful of others organized the criminal underworld here during Prohibition and controlled it for decades afterward Now FBI agents and prosecutors here talk about gangsters arriving from crime families in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Sicily, of mob “soldiers” and “associates,” of huge drug shipments, of pizza parlors vending cocaine along with the double-cheese and anchovies, of enforcers who break legs and boast of the number of people their friends have rubbed out. This is something new. In the past, “organized crime considered Washington a small town . . . and didn’t want to fool with it,” William Garber said recently. He is an attorney who defended several local minor crime figures and watched some of the more notorious trials when he first opened his law practice in the 1950s. He added that the conventional wisdom of the day was also that “organized crime thought moving {into Washington} would just be pushing the FBI too far.”

In later years, however, whatever Mafia influence there was seems to fade.

 1987: Three weeks into his presidential campaign, a news team stakes out Gary Hart’s Washington house. The team will report that Hart has had a rendezvous with a young woman while his wife is away. A photo of the woman, Donna Rice, sitting on his lap near a yacht named “Monkey Business,” also surfaced and Hart’s campaign was sunk.

 1985 Duke Zeibert and former Washington Bullets owner Arnold Heft plead guilty to gambling charges involving an all-male social club in Rockville known as the Progress Club.

 1983 –GOP Illinois congressman Dan Crane is censured for having sex with a female page; Democratic Rep. Gary Studds is censured for having sex with a male one.

 1980 – Rep. Dan Quayle goes on a Florida golfing vacation with seven other men and Paula Parkinson — an insurance lobbyist who later posed nude for Playboy. Parkinson describes Quayle as a husband on the make, but says she turned him down because she was already having an affair with another congressman. Marilyn Quayle says, “anybody who knows Dan Quayle knows he would rather play golf than have sex.”

THE 1970s

PATRICIA SULLIVAN, WASHINGTON POST – Betty Shingler Talmadge, 81, a well-known Washington socialite and businesswoman who testified against her newly divorced husband, the late Democratic Sen. Herman E. Talmadge, during a Senate ethics inquiry in the late 1970s, died May 7 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. . . She later ran for Congress, wrote two cookbooks and turned her home in Lovejoy, Ga., into an invitation-only restaurant. . .

But it was her testimony, under subpoena, before the Senate Ethics Committee in 1979 that put her in headlines, after 22 years in Washington. Bundles of $100 bills were kept in the pocket of an overcoat in the couple’s hall closet, she testified.

The money, unreported campaign donations and reimbursements for nonexistent office expenses, were used for the family’s living costs. Mrs. Talmadge testified that she took about a third of it, between $12,000 and $15,000, in January 1974 after a fight with her then-husband. She said she used it to supplement her $50-per-week allowance and turned over the remaining 77 $100 bills from the stash to the committee. She never knew the source of the funds, she said, declaring simply, “It was a way of life.”. . .

The divorce was one of a spate on Capitol Hill. Hers caught the public’s attention partly for the brutal way she learned of it — on a television news show. She countersued, charging cruel treatment and “habitual intoxication.” The divorce cost her at least a million dollars, according to contemporaneous accounts.

“As long as I rubbed the hams and made some money and asked no questions, it was a perfect little life. As soon as I started asking questions,” she said, laughing, to a Post reporter in 1978, “I became a little old menopausal, slightly crazy lady.”

NY TIMES – After her first cookbook appeared, The New York Times asked Mrs. Talmadge how she had found the nerve to slaughter her first pig. “Real easy, honey,” she replied. “I just thought, ‘You little male chauvinist, you,’ and I went to it.”

TPR – HERMAN TALMADGE was the son of Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge who campaigned with the pitch: “Y’all only got three friends in this world: the Lord God Almighty, the Sears Roebuck catalog, and Eugene Talmadge. And you can only vote for one of them.”

 POLICE RAID THE HOME of numbers boss Roger “Whitetop” Simkins, only to find him bed ridden. They help him with his heart medicine while collecting 14 guns and gambling equipment.

 In 1978 CIA official John A. Paisley is disappears. His empty boat is found near the Chesapeake Bay. A body with a shot in the head is found and officials declare it to be Paisley who had allegedly committed suicide. His wife, however, says the body is the wrong height to be her husband. He died of an apparent gunshot behind his ear. His body had been weighted with diving belts. Since no blood was found on the boat, authorities theorized Paisley first jumped into the water and then fired the shot into his head. However, murder was never ruled out in the case.

 1976: Elizabeth Ray says she has been paid $14,000 a year in public funds by Ohio Rep. Wayne Hays, chairman of the House Administration Committee. “I can’t type, I can’t file, I can’t even answer the phone,” Ray tells the Washington Post. “Supposedly, I’m on the oversight committee,” she said. “But I call it the Out-of-Sight Committee.” Hays is 64; Ray is 27.

 1974: Rep. Wilbur Mills is stopped by Washington police at 2 am for erratic drving. He is intoxicated and his face is scratched. A burlesque dancer known as “Fanne Fox, the Argentine Firecracker,” leaps out of the car and dives into the Tidal Basin. Her rescue is filmed by television reporter Larry Krebs. Mills is reelected but loses his chairmanship.

 1973 – John Theodore Brown aka Jack Brown is indicted by a grand jury in New York. Brown flees but his codefendants are found guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Brown is identified as an associate of the Tramunti family and an important link between the Italian mafia and DC black drug traffickers. According to Dan Moldea, Brown was the source of supply in at least 15 DC drug cases:

 In early 1973 a meeting was held in Brookland to establish a black narcotics organization. Among those reportedly involved were a prominent restaurateur, a city official, and a banker, all familiar names in the city. Says Moldea: “By late 1973 there were rumors that the mob had decided to move back in, but the minorities were pretty solidly in control.”

THE 1960S
 Joe Nesline, who grew up around 6th & Mass NE, became the king of local gambling, with three clubs and, in the late 1960s, a wig business on F Street believed to be a front for gambling and cocaine trafficking. He reportedly runs casinos in Cuba for Meyer Lansky and worked with the Genovese family in Europe. MORE ON NESLINE

 1969 In the summer, several persons involved in criminal activity meet at various locations to discuss establishing a formal organization to control the distribution of narcotics in the DC area. The operation is modeled after La Cosa Nostra and members start to refer to it as the ‘Black Mafia.’ The total membership is between 50 and 75 and crimes will include extortion, murder, robbery and protection. Says crime expert Dan Moldea, “Persons involved in illegal or quasi-legal activities were asked to donate a specified amount of money to the group. In return for this money, the person was entitled to some form of protection in their day-to-day operations. Their employees would not be robbed by members of their organization; if their employees were robbed by non-members, the robbers were taken care of by the head group; they wanted any person disciplined, the head group arranged for this. If any arguments arose, or disputes occurred between Black Mafia members and investors, the arguments were mediated by the head group.” Joe Nesline is the reported contact with the New York mob.

THE 1950s


GAMBLER’S BOOK – For all times, he is The Man. Sonny Reizner once called him, the Bobby Jones-Babe Ruth-Man O’War of the oddsmaking business. He exerted the single greatest influence on sports betting for a quarter of a century and provided the foundation for the industry today. . . His legendary self-effacing humor aside, Martin did what he did best for years in Las Vegas: set the numbers, a service we all but take for granted in this computer age. It wasn’t always so. This brilliant, modest, funny, funny man paved the way.

Martin first plied his trade by booking six-hit bets at Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York in Brooklyn, NY (pick three major league baseball players to get six hits cumulatively at 10-1 odds, later 6-1) graduating into football parlay cards like those issued by Gorham Press of Minneapolis fame. Martin remembers that, “I guess I was about 12 years old when I began making three-and four-team parlays, always dogs. I hit a few, running up a $600 bankroll. Sometimes I’d bet $5, a lot of money in the depression. I could have bought a whole block. . . Martin paid his way through New York University by selling parlay cards at a 25 percent commission while studying journalism and combined his knack for gambling by using out-of-town newspapers to get the inside “dope” on college basketball teams. . .

Martin quickly developed a reputation as a man who knew things, a “wise guy.” He did this by combing his out-of-town papers for information, and collecting files on every player and sport. He made out all right until the 1951 college basketball point-shaving scandals, when he was wiped out by those in on the fixes.

He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1952, recalling, “A bookmaker there hired me to advise him on fighters…”The bookmaker was Julius Silverman and Martin was dead broke. He made his living in D.C., working out of a building near the old State Department, surviving there until 1959 when Martin, Silverman and Meyer “Nutsy” Schwartz were arrested in the Foggy Bottom row house. Their organization had become the number one boxing book in the country when Martin and his two partners were arrested. They were each given 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison. Martin notes, “I failed to procure diplomatic immunity.” His shop shut the doors in 1962 with Robert Kennedy’s war on gambling in full swing.

Duke Ziebert, the famed Washington restaurateur came to Martin’s aid. Ziebert hired Edward Bennett Williams, renowned trial lawyer and later owner of the Washington Redskins, to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, using an invasion of privacy defense. Bennett bet Martin he’d sweep the judges, 9-0 in the Silverman vs. United States landmark case. Martin bet him 10-1 he wouldn’t. Martin was quite happy to pay him the $1,000 when each man was forced to pay a $5,000 fine but he escaped jail time after surveillance used to gather evidence was ruled illegal and a violation of the defendants’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Martin left Washington and moved around the country, first to Miami, then back to Washington. He says, “I got into a little trouble in Houston back in the early 60s. They claimed I was bookmaking I thought I was just having fun. A difference of opinion, I guess.” Seeking greener pastures, he eventually moved west in 1963 to become the official oddsmaker at Harry Gordon’s Churchill Downs Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas in 1967.

 1952: Various local mobsters are called before the Senate District Subcommittee including Emmett Waring, numbers banker Abe Plisco, Roger “Whitetop” Simkins, who ran the numbers in downtown. Part of the testimony reveals the use of “ice,” or payoffs, to local cops. Simkins refuses to identify himself on the grounds that it might incriminate him.

THE 1920s and 1930s
“The Capital Underworld,” 1932: “Compared with New York and Chicago, Washington is not a wicked city. It experiences brief flashes of gang warfare which the local press tries to play up as important. It revels in the murder mysteries of Mary Baker, Navy Department clerk, and of Virginia McPherson, daughter-in-law of the assistant to the Secretary of War. It is baffled by the robbery of the Salvadorian Legation, accomplished as a larger consignment of Scotch whisky had arrived and was piled up in the rear garden. And it is horrified at the nocturnal operations of more than a hundred Negro degenerates who swooped down regularly upon the encamped Bonus Army as soon as it became dark. Compared with the big-time racketeering of New York and Chicago all of this probably is puerile and petty, but it plays an important and influential part in the life of the nation’s capital. Furthermore, Washington’s underworld has two or three distinctions of which in a modest sort of way it can really boast. One of these is the ease of securing immunity. The capital may witness few crimes, but in few cases is the culprit ever brought to justice. Another distinction is the complete and unrestrained freedom of the neighboring counties of Maryland, where an amazing White Slave traffic, operating through a chain of tea houses, furnishes recreation to capital residents. Finally, Washington probably boasts more small, independent bootleggers per capita than any other city in the country and has established a unique and universal system of liquor distribution. . . . Police occasionally interrupt these too-obvious law-breakers, but the great rank and file of bootleggers and petty criminals who ply their trade in the nation’s capital enjoy an immunity almost unsurpassed even in New York and Chicago. This is due to three factors. The first is the influence of Henry Mencken’s Free State of Maryland, which surrounds the District of Columbia on three sides. The second is the natural laziness of the capital police. The third is the prestige and pull exercised by so large a number of those enjoying official status, a factor which makes convictions difficult and disrupts police morale.”

 Izzy Einstein, the famous prohibition agent, keeps a record of how long it takes to get a drink in various cities. DC comes out badly. Not only does it take an hour (as opposed to 11 minutes in Pittsburgh and 17 in Atlanta) but he has to ask directions from a cop.

Emmitt “Little Man” Warring and his brothers Leo Paul and Charles “Rags” run the numbers in the late 1930s. According to a Washington Post article by Nancy Lewis [3/1/87], “Emmitt, the ninth of 10 children born to a Foggy Bottom barrel maker and his Irish immigrant wife, was the leader of the brothers’ numbers business. Before then, in Prohibition, Warring had run the Washington area’s version of “Thunder Road,” bringing rye and corn whiskey from Prince George’s County and southern Maryland stills to the city’s “liquor drops,” using Georgetown teen-agers who drove “high-powered touring cars” for $50 to $100 a trip. The Warrings’ shift from illegal booze to illegal numbers — which they preferred to call the “commission brokerage business” — was soon bringing in $2 million a year, and Emmitt’s “Little Man” moniker described only his 5-foot 4 1/2 inch stature . . . The brothers operated out of a third-floor room at 2423 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, but their domain was all of Georgetown and Foggy Bottom, and by 1936 they had at least 56 employees – the number listed on their income tax returns.” The brothers are indicted on tax evasion charges in 1938, but the trial ends in a hung jury. The second trial ends in a mistrial after the judge reports that Emmitt Warring has offered a juror $600 and given whiskey to a US Marshal to pass to the jury. The third trial ends after two months, when all three brothers pleaded guilty. The business keeps on and is earning at least $7.5 million a year by the late 1940s.

Sam Smith, Progressive Review – There was a club on the edge of town owned by Jimmy LaFontaine. It was a club with standards, as Gaillard Hunt described in a Prohibition era novel:

Couldn’t sit here all night, tho. Have to do something, Do the usual thing — the best thing. Whatever happens eleven and ten is still twenty-one and aces still beat kings.

He slipped the bottle into his coat pocket and stood out in the street. Far down the street a taxi was coming. It slowed down as it got closer, then stopped. He got in and said, “Jimmy Lafontaine’s.”

About the time the taxi turned into Bladensburg road the whisky began to hit him. It made him less mad and the knot in his belly began to loosen, By the time they got to the place he was feeling almost good.

The doorman looked at him sharply, then shook his head. Peter tried to argue with him, but he only said, “You know the house rules. No one been drinking can get in.” He whistled to the taxi which was loitering in the drive and shut the door.

Peter got back in the taxi and. said, “Son of a. bitch. That guy’s idea of a drunk is same as Volstead’s. Let’s go back to town.”

The doorman was as famous as LaFontaine, as Shirley Povich described in a 1989 Washington Post article:

In the 1920s and ’30s there were also in Washington indoor sports such as dice-throwing, poker games, blackjack and track odds on the races everywhere. One temple of chance, located in Bladensburg, just across the District line, was known as “Jimmy’s;” it was impeccably conducted by the legendary Jimmy LaFontaine, who stood for no nonsense by anybody and was proud of a clientele that included many stylish Washington names.

At Jimmy’s a huge fellow named Josh Licarione frisked everybody at the door to help keep the peace. Licarione, it seems, had played football for a time at George Washington University. The story goes that after an especially heroic victory at Griffith Stadium, the president of GW was overjoyed enough to visit the team in the locker room and not only praised the gladiators but continued told them, “Any of you boys who are in the vicinity of my office, come in and pass the time of day with me.”

That was when Licarione said, “By the way, where is that school of yours?”

Povich was wrong about one thing: the club wasn’t over the city line; it was on it. I had sometimes heard that one advantage of this was that if, for example, a raid were pending from the Maryland side, LaFontaine would simply lock the Maryland gates, giving his customers time to evacuate through the DC entrance. But Tom Kelly, who covered the beat, tells me it wasn’t as complicated: if there were reports of illegal activities, the called police department would simply say (with at least 50% certainty) that it wasn’t in their jurisdiction.

A Washingtonian who grew up in Brookland remembers hearing about the club and its ten to twelve foot wooden walls. He says a relative who once one a lot of money at the club was driven home by Fontaine’s security people to make sure he made it safely.

In 1863 General Meade replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. Meade will only have a fort named after him, while Hooker lends his name to a whole synonym. The following is from a report by the Smithsonian Institution on archeological work done near the site of the National Museum of the American Indian:

“With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the sleepy town of Washington was dramatically transformed as its population swelled with newcomers. The new arrivals included many men who had signed up to fight for the Union. Throughout the war, thousands of soldiers were encamped throughout the city, either awaiting orders to fight, manning forts to protect the Union capital from Rebel attack, or languishing from disease or wounds in hospitals throughout the city. Along with the soldiers came government bureaucrats, freed and escaped slaves, businessmen, salesmen, and con men, as well as the camp followers and prostitutes who sought to profit from the increased demand for their services. The Army’s provost marshal, who kept a list of the city’s bawdy houses during the war ostensibly to keep them under surveillance, concluded that there were 450 registered houses in Washington in 1862. While some prostitutes worked in brothels, the majority probably plied their trade as streetwalkers. By 1863, the Evening Star newspaper estimated that Washington had about 5,000 prostitutes . . . When the war came to a close, Washington remained overcrowded, and its roads, parks, and the canal were in shambles as a result of four years of overuse and neglect. The area between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Mall, which is presently occupied by the Federal Triangle complex, had become an infamous crime-ridden neighborhood rife with the stench of the nearby canal, which had become little more than an open sewer. Known for its rampant prostitution, the area was widely referred to as Hooker’s Division, a wry double entendre. Indeed many of its occupants were “hookers,” a term for prostitutes used since the early nineteenth century. Furthermore, the region was reported to have been visited frequently by the troops in Union General Joseph Hooker’s division, which was encamped nearby.”MORE

1888: Tolls are lifted on the Aqueduct Bridge, providing easier access for Geogetowners to the disreputable pleasures of Rosslyn which included saloons, prostitution, gambling, chicken and bulldog fights, and two race tracks. Eventually, a reform movement will force these establishments out of Rosslyn, some of them moving to Georgetown. Jimmy LeFontaine, who ran a gambling house in Rosslyn becomes a prominent Georgetown citizen. Another waterfront merchant is said to control the local numbers.

Almost half of all prostitutes in DC have been found to be HIV-positive.

The Federal Triangle – bordered by Pennsylvania Ave., Constitution Ave., and 15th St – used to be known as “Murder Bay,” the most notorious neighborhood in DC. It was later called “Hooker’s Division” after the Civil War general responsible for the area.

In the Capitol Rotunda is a fresco called “The Apotheosis of Washington,” painted by Constantine Brumidi. It features 13 angels welcoming George Washington into heaven. The angels were alleged modeled on 13 local prostitutes.


Why proseutors removed charges in Levy case


Chandra Levy case getting another look


NATIONAL ENQUIRER – A book reveals startling new details about 28-year-old Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique, who now awaits trial for Chandra’s murder.

Chandra was just 24 when she disappeared on May 1, 2001. Her body was found a year later in D.C.’s Rock Creek Park.

The hunt for her killer gripped America – fueled by the revelation that she’d been having a secret affair with former California Congressman Gary Condit. But it wasn’t until nearly eight years after the murder that illegal alien Guandique was indicted in the pretty young woman’s slaying. He is already serving a 10-year sentence for brutal knife attacks on two women in the same park.

“Detectives are confident Guandique is the guy – there is new forensic evidence that directly links him to Chandra’s murder,” said former Washington, D.C., homicide detective Rod Wheeler, who consulted on the case.

The book also provides new details about the married ex-congressman caught up in the case. While Gary Condit was never named a suspect by police, he came under intense media scrutiny and the revelation of the affair led to his loss in his bid for re-election in 2002.

The authors claim that the FBI did tests on Chandra’s underwear and found Condit’s DNA.

But when the focus of the investigation switched to Guandique, already jailed for the two other vicious knife attacks, detectives found a photo of Chandra – ripped from a magazine – in his cell and the chilling tattoo on his chest.

The detectives “noted the large tattoo of a naked woman with long black hair – and the similarities to Chandra,” says a source.

“They asked if that was ‘some sort of souvenir’ that reminded him of the murder. He smirked, and giggled, but didn’t answer.”


Washington Post – D.C. police and prosecutors said that they will charge a 27-year-old Salvadoran man with first-degree murder in the killing of Chandra Levy nearly eight years ago during a sexual assault along a desolate hiking trail deep in Rock Creek Park. Saying they had solved a case that transfixed the nation, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Ingmar Guandique, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking two other women at knifepoint in the park around the time the 24-year-old federal government intern disappeared. . .

According to the affidavit, on May 1, 2001, the day Levy disappeared, another young woman walking in the park was accosted by a Hispanic man. The woman said she ran away and later left the country on a preplanned trip. A year later, still living abroad, she saw a photograph of Guandique in a newspaper when his name first surfaced as a possible suspect in the Levy case. The affidavit says the woman recognized him as the man she saw in the park the day Levy disappeared. . .

Late last year, detectives interviewed key witnesses, including one who said Guandique had written letters claiming responsibility for the killing. The witness became nervous and later during a phone conversation questioned Guandique about the alleged admission. “During this recorded conversation Guandique acknowledged that he had told [the witness] about the ‘girl who’s dead,’ ” the police affidavit said.

Another witness told police in November that he had known Guandique for many years and that Guandique boasted that he was a member of the Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. He allegedly said that he was known in the gang as “Chuckie” — after a demonic doll from a series of horror movies — because he had a reputation for “killing and chopping up people.” Guandique allegedly told the witness that he had raped many women after lying in wait near a dirt path in the park, that he would tie them up and then sexually assault them. . .

Another witness, identified as “W11,” told police that Guandique confessed to killing Levy, but some of the details were different. . .

Levy Case

Levy had looked up the National Park Service headquarters – aka the Klingle Mansion – on the Internet as one of her last known acts in her Dupont Circle apartment. Her body was found about a mile north of the mansion, which is about three miles from her apartment.

Levy’s apartment was about four blocks from the former home of Joyce Chaing who had previously been found murdered in federal parkland in the capital. Chaing was last seen on an urban street corner in Dupont Circle.

Police did not search Levy’s apartment for nine days.

Her body was found about three weeks after her disappearance by a man walking his dog despite an extensive police search of the area nearby. They claimed they had not searched the part where the body was discovered because of its remoteness.

The sexual attacks in that area of Rock Creek Park stopped after Guandique was arrested.

MIKE WISE, SF CHRONICLE, 2007 – Although he is no longer an FBI agent, Brad Garrett still visits the steep, wooded hillside in a Washington, D.C., park where the skeletal remains of Chandra Levy, a federal intern from Modesto, Calif., were found five years ago this week, a year after she disappeared.

No one has been charged in the killing of the 24-year-old, whose disappearance generated enormous publicity after authorities revealed that she had been having a relationship with her married hometown congressman, Gary Condit. The Democrat was defeated in 2002 by his former aide, Dennis Cardoza.

“The key to cold cases is being creative,” Garrett, a private investigator and a consultant to ABC News, said in a phone interview. Until his mandatory retirement last year at the age of 58, Garrett was a high-profile agent who had solved some of the bureau’s most intractable cases — but not the Levy slaying.

“I go to Rock Creek Park sometimes, yeah, and go over the crime scene, over and over again,” he said. “What have I missed? The whole atmospherics is very important. It’s very frustrating that it’s not resolved. It’s troubling.”

On May 1, 2001, Levy used her computer in her apartment in the Dupont Circle area of northwest Washington to look up the National Park Service headquarters in Rock Creek Park, about a mile distant. She had recently completed an internship at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and planned to return to Modesto, according to her mother, Susan Levy. Friends and family became alarmed when Levy was not heard from, and a search began. It wasn’t until a year and three weeks later, on May 22, 2002, that her remains were found in the 1,700-acre park. . .

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department lists the death as one of 6,000 cold cases. Since the intern’s disappearance, the case has been investigated by Detective Ralph Durant, a 37-year veteran of the department. In a phone interview, Durant said, “There are still persons of interest, yes, but we can’t tell you who they are. We still get phone calls and e-mails.”. . .

Initially, media attention focused on Condit, the Modesto lawmaker 30 years Levy’s senior. Police have said repeatedly that they do not consider him a suspect. In the years since, Condit and his family have been embroiled in several lawsuits. He and his wife, Carolyn, sued American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, claiming they had been defamed by the supermarket tabloid. The suits were settled. No terms were disclosed. Condit also settled a suit against Vanity Fair magazine columnist Dominick Dunne.


ALLAN LENGEL, SARI HORWITZ WASHINGTON POST – Joe McCann, a private investigator who found one of Chandra Levy’s leg bones in Rock Creek Park this month, was happy to provide D.C. police detectives with details of the discovery. But during an interview at police headquarters, the detectives asked McCann if he would submit to a polygraph test and seemed to question the veracity of his story, according to sources familiar with the incident. McCann, a former D.C. homicide detective hired by the Levy family’s attorney, was insulted by the request — and declined. Yesterday, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said it is standard procedure in major cases to ask witnesses with crucial information to take a polygraph . . . But former law enforcement officials who know McCann said the polygraph request was insulting and a possible way to divert attention from the real question: Why didn’t D.C. police find the bone during an earlier search of that section of the park? “It’s not routine” to ask for a polygraph in instances such as McCann’s, said defense lawyer Louis H. Hennessey, who headed the D.C. police homicide unit in the mid-1990s. “I think they’re looking like fools and they’re trying to cast aspersions on other people.”

ROLL CALL – D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officials investigating the death of Washington intern Chandra Levy have interviewed a man serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking two women in Rock Creek Park last year. D.C. Metro Police investigators have “talked to” Ingmar Guandeque, who was arrested in July 2001 after attacking two females (one in May and one in July) who were jogging along the Broad Branch trail in Rock Creek Park . . . A second official close to the Levy investigation said that while Guandeque was interviewed after Levy’s disappearance last year, investigators are now taking a closer look at him since the intern’s body was discovered. “Clearly there are some coincidences and links — just because of the proximity of where he [committed his crimes],” said a source close to the investigation.

. . . The first attack occurred in mid-May 2001, at 6:30 p.m., about two weeks after Levy disappeared. In that case, Guandeque came upon an unnamed female jogger, attacking her from behind while brandishing a knife. According to a press release issued Feb. 8 by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the victim reported that Guandeque grabbed her around the neck and pulled her to the ground, where her portable radio fell off. She also reported that Guandeque bit her when she tried to push him away. Guandeque fled the scene of the crime, leaving the radio beside his victim.

On July 1, 2001, he attacked another female jogger at approximately 7:30 p.m., running up behind her as she reached the crest of a hill and grabbing her from behind. The woman struggled, and when Guandeque loosened his grip on her she managed to get away and report the incident to the U.S. Park Police, who located Guandeque and arrested him.

THERE REMAIN VARIOUS possibilities. For example, if, as some have alleged, there is a tie – either direct or coincidental – between this case and powerful individuals and their activities, there is a considerable probability that the case will never be solved or that a straw perpetrator will be charged with the crime. For example, some stories have suggested a connection with an S&M sex ring in which a number of well-known individuals are believed to have participated. As USA Today’s Tom Sequeri put it delicately, there are “dark aspects of this story that we can’t report yet.” This is the sort of thing that Washington is highly skilled at covering up and in this case there may be more than adequate motive, especially since the DC police were badly embarrassed in 1997 by revelations of the practice of “fairy shaking,” in which a cop followed a married man out of a gay sex club, got his license plate number, and later threatened to expose him unless he paid hush money . . . There also continue to be doubts about the handling of the last high profile DC murder, the Starbucks case in which the alleged perp confessed and then recanted. Added to the curiosities about the case was the fact that of all the 301 slayings that took place in DC in 1997, only these three killings attracted the attention not only of the FBI but of Attorney General Reno herself. Reno overruled her own US Attorney and called for the death penalty in the case. STARBUCKS CASE

EARLY RETURNS SUGGEST some confusion over whether the body was buried or not. The two Washington dailies divided on this crucial question:

WASHINGTON POST – Detectives believe the body was not in any kind of grave, but was simply left on the forest floor, where dirt and leaves eventually covered it, said law enforcement sources who spoke on condition that they not be identified. Police found “less of the body than more,” they said, possibly because of animals.

WASHINGTON TIMES – Even before the dental match was made, investigators felt strongly they had found the missing former intern: One of the items found near the remains was a gold ring engraved with the initials “C.L.” One law-enforcement source told The Washington Times the ring was found in a shallow grave with some of the remains. “The shallow grave would take away the self-inflicted wound theory,” the source said.

OTHER ISSUES: The Washington Post reports, “The skull, which was not complete, was cracked, although the cause was unclear. All the bones that were discovered were found within five yards of the skull.” Why was the skull cracked? . . . The just jogging theory is countered by the terrain. Writes the Washington Times: “Tansy Blumer, 59, who lives on Davenport Road about 100 yards west of where the body was found, said the two-lane, winding road is not a typical jogging path. ‘There are no sidewalks or shoulders,’ she said. ‘It’s not a big jogging area. You can walk on park trails, but they are difficult and not well-known trails, and they are definitely not for running.'”

THE WEEKLY GLOBE reports charges by James Robinson – attorney for one of Gary Condit’s ex-lovers – that Chandra Levy was killed on orders from two well known politicians – a governor and a former presidential candidate – who belonged to an alternative sex ring. Robinson alleges that “this story is bigger than Watergate” and that Levy was killed because she was ready to blow the whistle on the sex club. The Globe offers no evidence to support Robinson’s claim.


ALLAN LENGEL AND PETULA DVORAK, WASHINGTON POST: D.C. police escalated their dispute with Rep. Gary A. Condit and his attorney, dismissing the results of a privately administered polygraph as having “no investigative value” and suggesting that they still may need to talk to the congressman about his relationship with missing intern Chandra Levy. The FBI has reviewed the results of Condit’s polygraph but was unable to match specific questions to the graphs that show the congressman’s reaction, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said in an interview. The results were presented in such a fashion that analysts had “no way of telling with certainty the results of each question,” Ramsey said.

ONE OF THE LEADS being investigated in the Chandra Levy case is that Levy was murdered by a professional hit man involved in the local gay S&M scene. Whether or not this proves to be the case, the mere possibility has created unusual problems on Capitol Hill and for the DC police. We hear that some big names on the Hill are extremely nervous at the moment – not because of the Levy mystery itself but because what such a solution might reveal. The MPD could also face possible blowback because of its involvement a few years back in a major gay blackmail scandal, perhaps involving some of the same players.

Make no mistake about it. This is a big case. One classic solution would be to declare it a suicide or to find someone – such as a criminal already facing a murder rap – to take the fall as part of a plea bargain. For example, at least two fairly recent alleged suicides quickly fell down the memory hole – those involving Sandy Hume and House Intelligence Committee staff director John Millis – despite reasonable unanswered questions. And, of course, there remains the big one: the unsolved death of Vince Foster.

WILLIAM WALKER, TORONTO STAR: Washington police also revealed they are investigating the possibility 24-year-old Chandra Levy may have been slain by a professional killer skilled in the disposal of bodies . . . Levy’s purse, wallet, personal identification and credit cards were all left in her apartment, along with a laptop computer and her packed bags prepared for a return trip home to attend her University of Southern California graduation ceremony. All that was missing from her apartment were her keys. Police found no signs of a struggle or forced entry and nothing was stolen. [Chief Charles] Ramsey confirmed that although Levy was last seen April 30, a search of her laptop computer revealed that she was on the Internet visiting travel Web sites the next day, on May 1, for about three hours up until 1 p.m. . . . [Levy family lawyer] Martin said his own investigation, conducted on behalf of the Levy family by two retired Washington homicide detectives, indicates the young woman went to meet someone she knew. “For some reason, Chandra appears to have been lured, called, or brought out of the apartment expecting to return,” Martin said.

JAMES RISEN & RAYMOND BONNER, NY TIMES: Washington police investigating the disappearance of the government intern Chandra Ann Levy have found no evidence that would link her case to other recent missing-person cases involving young women in the capital, law enforcement officials said today. In particular, investigators for the Metropolitan Police Department have reviewed two cases involving women whose bodies were recovered in the Washington area, Joyce Chiang and Christine M. Mirzayan. Ms. Chiang, a 28-year-old lawyer at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, disappeared in January 1999, after last being seen in the Dupont Circle area, a few blocks from where Ms. Levy, 24, lived. Her body was discovered three months later on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, but the authorities were never able to determine the cause of death. Ms. Mirzayan, a 28-year-old intern at the National Research Council in Washington, disappeared on Aug. 1, 1998. Her body was found in a wooded area near Georgetown University the next day. Her head had been crushed. No one has been arrested in either case. There are some striking similarities between those cases and the Levy one. All three women were Californians in their 20’s and had similar physical characteristics. Like Ms. Levy, Ms. Mirzayan was an intern, while Ms. Chiang lived in the same neighborhood as Ms. Levy. MORE

AS WE HAVE NOTED, the Chandra Levy disappearance case may be far more complicated that it first appeared. For example, there are now possible ties to a local gay S&M group. The story is being kept under wraps by news media lawyers – Newsweek and the Village Voice have both spiked articles – but this much can be told: A former Republican congressman wrote a lurid account for Newsmax, allegedly based on knowledgeable sources, that claimed Levy to have been the victim of a gay prostitute who has since returned to his native country. Newsmax quickly removed the story, but it has been the subject of intense media investigation since.

The Levy case has also revived interest in another woman’s disappearance two years ago, not far from Levy’s apartment. The Starbucks mentioned below, incidentally, is in the same block and across the street from the Review’s long-time former office. La Tomate serves as the Review’s conference room. The site is also near one of the numerous locations where Vince Foster case witness Patrick Knowlton found himself under overt surveillance – a technique used by intelligence agencies for intimidation – in the aftermath of his visit to Ft. Marcy Park.

TIMOTHY J. BURGER, NY DAILY NEWS: The Chandra Levy case isn’t the first brush with controversy for the Condit boys. Rep. Gary Condit’s two brothers, one a cop and one a convicted drug addict, have both had their share of problems. Sgt. Burl Condit, 55, was one of several officers who were caught up in a 1999 scandal involving the improper sale of old guns belonging to the Modesto Police Department. The officers were allowed to take one gun each under the condition they would eventually pay for them. Condit, however, took nine and there was no record he ever paid for them, according to a department investigation. Condit was never charged with wrongdoing. He later returned four of the guns, but said he no longer owned the other five weapons, The Modesto Bee reported . . . Burl Condit also was sued last year by a credit agency over a $2,300 cell phone bill and was ordered to pay, court records show. The youngest Condit brother, Darrell, 49, – labeled a drug addict by a judge in 1984 – has been in and out of jail since a 1979 forgery conviction in the Condits’ hometown of Tulsa, Okla., files show. He has since been nabbed on charges including theft, DUI, heroin and psilocybin possession and, in 1999 for smoking pot – while in jail. He also was charged with assaulting Modesto deputies in 1989 with a hammer handle. MORE


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