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April 23, 2006



TM...more info and timelines in this Newsweek article

parts that are new to me

Between 12:05 and 12:24 a.m., Seligmann dialed at least eight separate calls on his cell phone.

defense lawyer Bill Thomas told NEWSWEEK that in the first round some DNA showed up under the woman's fingernails, though tests were inconclusive about identity. When the case first broke in the press, Nifong, a white man who is running for election in a racially mixed county, hinted to NEWSWEEK that blood and urine tests of the woman would reveal the presence of a date-rape drug



more from newsweek

According to Roberts, who was interviewed last week by NEWSWEEK, the boys gave each of them mixed drinks. Roberts says she did not drink hers, but the other dancer did, knocking her cup over after finishing half her drink, then imbibing Roberts's.

Roberts said that she thought the other woman arrived sober. But when the two began their strip show around midnight, the other woman began having trouble. "She started stumbling,"

All sides agree that one of the partygoers called out to the women asking if they had brought any sex toys. According to defense lawyers, there was some anatomically crude banter between one of the women and the audience, but then one of the boys, holding a broom handle, yelled out, "Use this!" That was enough for Roberts; she and the other woman ended the show. A photo taken at 12:03 shows the dancers turning away; the boys no longer look happy.

Bob in Pacifica

If she were drugged, it would show some kind of criminal intent. But why no charges about drugging her?

Again, if someone were so drugged when showing up at a hospital charging rape, there would have had to have been someone considering this and wanting to test for it.

If Nifong is suggesting this in public and doesn't have anything to back it up, it's another mark against the prosecution.

Plus, if the AV was so drugged, wouldn't that go against her ability to identify the attackers?

And while we've heard a little from Roberts, what was she doing to have gotten so separated from the other dancer?

And does anyone know the layout of house? Where is the bathroom in relation to the room where the dancers performed?

People want to know.


First reality-based comment...congrats.


Floor plan for 610 N. Buch would be interesting. Does not look like a sprawling mansion. Sex toy comment would not surprise me. A broom handy in living room in a college kids' house - that would surprise me.

If the lax players could "decamp" to a new house (or back to dorms) within 8 minutes, that suggests there were not any 41 players at 610 N. Buchanan at 12:30 - 12:55 PM.

Neighbor Bissey would presumably have noticed 41 folks parading out of N. Buchanan at one time. Incidentally, is Bissey black? I have a hard time believing he heard what he thinks (or says) he heard. Has he now given more than one statement? He seems to have slid a bit toward the lax side, recalling lax players expressing concern about getting ripped off.

If the 41 left 610 Buch. by taxi, that would be say 10-15 taxis. Not sure Durham had more than that number of cabs operating around Duke at that hour on a Monday night. If the lax folks had cars, they would have had a noticeable flock of cars for 41 players, yes?

10-15 laxers could probably walk away quietly between 12:40 and 12:55 without things looking amiss. It would be nice to know where they think they were at that time. If Nifong had not jumped the gun, we might know.

Probably they were out trying to find their co-ed friends to keep their feet warm, or looking for more booze, or just going to the dorms to crash. No doubt, it seemed prudent to move away from 610 N. Buch. at least for a while.

How many restaurants are open around Duke at 12:03 to 12:40 am on a Monday? Seems like the press should be able to sort out where Finnerty might have gone and with whom by surveying the Monday night Duke-area restaurant scene.

Why no dorm card record for Finnerty? Cab receipt? Statement from cabbie? Cell phone records? Details about the restaurant?

Perhaps Nifong should do a real grand jury investigation - call in all the Duke players one by one and take statements. Nifong can still use the gj procedure, since he says he has one more assailant to identify. If Finnerty takes the 5th, fine for Nifong.

Finnerty says he was not alone. What does Finnerty's roommate have to say? Who admits to having left 610 N. Buch with Finnerty?

Any reason not to search the other lax house for evidence? Maybe one might find the AV shoe and cellphone and makeup bag there? I thought one could find a cell phone by GPS location. Did that not work here?


The Newsweek piece is very well researched and fairly written....amazing work for that rag....maybe they can be fair when Bush isn't involved

Bob in Pacifica

From the NEWSWEEK timeline, after the cop showed up at Kroger's around 1:30, the AV had a stop at a "substance abuse center" before going to the hospital for a rape test. What's that about? It would seem that there would have to have been some kind of blood and urine tests done there. Was part of the terms of her parole from the car theft something to do with drinking or drug-taking? Why send someone claiming to have been raped to a "substance abuse center" first? Certainly, a hospital would be a better place to take those tests, along with the rape test.

I'm still not clear when the AV told the cop she was raped. At Kroger's? On the way to the "substance abuse center"? After they were there?

Did the AV, perhaps violating terms of her parole, feel the need to come up with something to divert attention from her intoxication?


Roberts' comments suggest that maybe the mixed drinks given to the dancers may have been drugged, and that she did not partake. I recall comments from the cop at Kroger's that the driver, Roberts, had alcohol on her breath. Explanation, anyone? Of course, there was testimony that the AV didn't have alcohol on her breath, and yet we know she drank a couple of mixed drinks at the party.

Another consideration, someone who already had a tranquilizer or narcotic in her system who then had a drink would rapidly multiply the effect of the drug.

Does anyone know how long it would take for a rufie to work? If the AV chugged part of the drink and was woozy enough to knock it over and almost immediately become glassy-eyed, that would suggest something very fast-acting.


I have not heard anything more on an alibi for Finnerty except that his lawyer said he was gone by the time the strippers started performing. If I were a defense attorney at this point, it might not be a bad strategy to let the DA show his hand now.

Of course, things go out the window if the next set of DNA tests come back positive for Finnerty and Seligmann.

Bob in Pacifica

cfw, whatever Bissey's ethnic identification, he seems to spend a lot of time looking over his fence. My guess is that he wasn't all that happy to have a bunch of rowdy college kids next door.


Fact that AV knocked over her first drink and then could not dance well, right off the bat, suggests AV intoxicated when she arrived.

I gather date rape drugs are similar to valium or qualudes. Central nervous system depressants.

I could see them kicking in 30-60 minutes after ingestion. Not good to take with alcohol, of course.

I guess the squad car could not take her to her house becasue she was too drunk to give an address (plus had no cell phone and no ID). Sounds like the squad car called Duke Med Ctr and Duke said send her to the shelter (SA center).

Hard to see how AV and DA can claim 100% certainty in ID after SA center detour, intoxication observed by embezzler, and intoxication observed in Kroger's parking lot.

I have a son who is 6'2 or 3 and 175 or so. I am say an inch taller than the embezzler. Short and skinny are not the adjectives that jump to mind when I describe the son. Pictures of F in court show a non-short fellow, even sitting.

Any bets on the third alleged assailant? If I were the 5' 9" lax player, I would be worried, just based on the "short skinny" label from Roberts.

I would be particularly worried if my Dad had a $4.3 million dollar summer home in the Hamptons, like F. Fact that AV has a lawyer announcing to the world that he is setting up a team of civil lawyers to sue people to make AV "whole" is not a plus for AV, in my view. That Roberts has some lawyer looking for people to sue is probably a sad reflection on lawyers in Durham.

Bob -

"My guess is that he wasn't all that happy to have a bunch of rowdy college kids next door."

True, no doubt. But what a strange insult - if it was one. Thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt? Is that like, ha ha your grandpa worked in a cotton field? Seems like grandpa would be too young to be a slave.

How many preppy, northeastern lax players throw out that type of comment? How many of the lax players have ever been near a cotton field, that they recognized as such, much less a person who picked cotton?

I picture Bissey as old, from a background near cotton fields and cotton pickers, Southern, and not too smart. He is probably a die-hard UNC fan, living off a small income.

Is anyone else chilled by the quotes from the NCCU students and ministers - things like make them go to trial because they must have done something wrong somewhere and at some time? Or if they get off it will be because they are white. Or if anyone is acquitted look to see riots starting here. Looks like reconstruction era rhetoric - only I see blacks taking the racist roles.

Bob in Pacifica

So the "substance abuse center" is the drunk tank? That's the first time the AV mentions the rape? What were the conditions of her parole?



** 2 minutes **??

It took the police 2 minutes to respond to an allegation that there was a racial slur shouted at someone passing by the house?

What? Were they right there when the call came in?




My guess is that he wasn't all that happy to have a bunch of rowdy college kids next door.

Who on earth would be happy about that? I've got some neighbors who like to occasionally get roaring drunk and play volleyball at 4am on a weekday.

2. You know I really have to wonder about that timeline. A 2 minute response to a 911 call about something that's rather insignificant seems a bit wierd. If the police were that close to the house, then how could they have missed the players? If the police were that close to the house then why didn't the 911 dispatcher ask Ms. Roberts to stay there and await the police? Wouldn't the police want her to stay so they could get a statement from her?

Something's wrong with that timeline. The only thing that makes sense, *if* the players had shifted down the street a couple blocks, is if Ms. Roberts waited to call 911. But why wait to call into 911?

Speculation: Perhaps Roberts was trying to figure out how to get the players into trouble? Particularly since Roberts tried to pass off the incident as if she were merely passing by rather than a dancer who had been in the house.

What an odd situation.



Perhaps Nifong should do a real grand jury investigation - call in all the Duke players one by one and take statements. Nifong can still use the gj procedure, since he says he has one more assailant to identify. If Finnerty takes the 5th, fine for Nifong.

I'm not associated with this case in any way, shape or form. But if I were compelled to testify in front of a grand jury with the possibility of being indicted, I'd definitely take the 5th and refuse to answer any questions at all.

Is there anyone here who would testify under these conditions?


As a Durham resident and Duke grad student, I can answer some of these questions.

1) The house in question is right next to the campus (across the street), a few houses down from a (relatively) major intersection, and about 4 blocks from some bars that are open late. While odd, it's not outside the realm of possibility for the partygoers to hop the low wall (2'-3') to get back onto campus, or head out the back yard and to the bars.

2) The neighbor is a chef at a local restaraunt. I don't know his ethnicity. His housemate is a freelance photographer and reporter, and wrote a story for the local weekly here:


My guess is that he's young (late 20s, early 30s) and white. And having lived next to undergrads before, it's hard NOT to hear what's going on during a Saturday night party.

3) Buchanan Dr is just off Main St, which runs between downtown Durham and Duke. Durham police on patrol on a Saturday night would probably be going up and down Main St (which has several bars), so it's most certainly within the realm of possibility for them to get to the house within 2 minutes of getting a call.

Hope this clears up a few questions.


From http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A30033, it looks like Bissey came from "corn fields of Southern Illinois." Not urban and not from the North East.

I still suspect Bissey got the comment wrong, or the comment came from someone besides a disgruntled lax player from the northeast.


I gather lax players in dorms who are not frosh live on west campus (Edens complex) or in houses.

N. Buch. looks adjacent to east campus (frosh dorms).

So if some or all of 41 lax players jumped the wall to east campus at say 12:50 on the 14th, it would be to catch a bus or cab to west campus.

Were Duke buses still running at say 1 am on Monday?

Might be interesting to survey bus drivers and cabbies moving around at that hour that day.

I still like the idea of offering reward $$ for exculpatory or inculpatory info., if allowed by NC law.



Durham police on patrol on a Saturday night would probably be going up and down Main St (which has several bars), so it's most certainly within the realm of possibility for them to get to the house within 2 minutes of getting a call.

Thanks! I just thought that response time was very odd.

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