Salvadorean Suspect – But Chandra`s Killing Unlikely To Be Solved

Ever since Sept. 11, it should have been obvious that
the federal government is unable to

protect us
against foreign terrorism. With the
recent discovery of the grisly remains of 24-year-old
intern Chandra Levy in a Washington public park, we
should now know that even local government is not only
no more competent to protect us against murder but can`t
even find its victims.

Miss Levy vanished

more than a year
before her skull was uncovered in

Rock Creek Park
by the dog of an unnamed private
individual who was out hunting turtles. District police
combed the same park

a year before
, but neither they nor the trained dogs
they deployed could find the corpse, and for two weeks
since the discovery, D.C.

Police Chief Charles Ramsey
and his P.R. flacks have
busied themselves trying to explain why.

Last year the cops were eloquent on how thorough
their searches had been. Last week Chief Ramsey was
explaining to the press that of course "it was
impossible to search every inch" of the park. "I never
meant to say that we searched every inch," and "there
are not enough cadaver dogs in the United States to
search Rock Creek Park."

No, there aren`t, but then it wasn`t a cadaver dog
that found the body, was it, let alone the police? It
was a turtle dog and its private owner.

The investigation of Miss Levy`s disappearance was
hampered by the refusal of the police to consider her a

crime victim at all
. For a year they were obliged to
sustain the bureaucratic fiction that she was simply

In fact, it should have been obvious—and was to
everyone but the police bureaucracy—what had happened.

Miss Levy had not run off to Pango Pango with a boy
friend, nor had she been abducted by UFOs. Logically and
seriously, there were only three possibilities:

She chose to disappear (but she had no reason to,
and there was no reason to believe she had);

she had an accident (but then her body would have
been found much sooner); or

(3) She was

, and someone hid the body.

The "someone" on everyone`s lips, of course, is her
alleged one-time lover, Rep. Gary Condit.

Personally I find that explanation silly. I have
never met Mr. Condit, but I do like to think I know
something about the American political class of which he
seems to be a fairly representative member, and I find
it all but impossible to believe that anyone in that
class has the strength of character to commit this kind
of murder. 

These people can pinch their secretary`s bottoms all
day and pocket bribes from whatever crook happens to
walk through the front doors of their offices, but it
takes a certain amount of character or what

called “spine,” guts, whatever you want
to name it—to kill someone face to face, clean up the
evidence, and then dispose of the body so it won`t be


Renaissance Italy
political leaders possessed such
qualities; ours don`t.

I have no idea who killed Miss Levy or why, but I`d
take a long, hard look at the chap known as Ingmar
Guandique, a Salvadoran now in prison for attacks on

two other young women
in the same area not long
after Miss Levy disappeared.

Chief Ramsey keeps

Guandique isn`t a suspect, that he passed a

lie detector
test when he was arrested. Frankly,
that`s not good enough.

Maybe Guandique can prove he was somewhere else when
Miss Levy vanished (Mr. Condit can—he was

meeting with Vice President Cheney
), but short of
that, I`d say Guandique belongs at the top of the
suspect list. If I were he, I`d do some serious thinking
about where I was that day and how to prove it.

Then again, since it`s the

D.C. cops he has to deal with, maybe he has
nothing to worry about.

There`s a possibility that someone dumped Miss Levy`s
remains at the spot where they were found after killing
her somewhere else, but the someone would have had to
lug her corpse there, and it wouldn`t be either safe or
easy to do so.

There are also some unanswered questions: Why was she
killed just before leaving Washington? Why did she go
into the park

at all?
What happened to her still-missing apartment

My guess is that whoever killed her is now pretty
safe and, barring a major, accidental break in the case,
we`ll hear little more about it as the cops bury it
beneath as much red tape as they can weave.

Miss Levy, whatever her flaws, deserved a better fate
than the brutal death she suffered, and her death
deserves more justice than the police seem capable of


June 03, 2002