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Who Killed Chandra Levy?
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Friday, July 11, 2008; 10:14 PM

The Chandra Levy case captivated the world. Last year, The Washington Post decided to find out why her murder remains unsolved.

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Post reporters Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham from the paper's Investigative unit were assigned to produce an in-depth reconstruction of the case that would reexamine all avenues of the investigation. Sylvia Moreno joined them from the newspaper's Metro staff. They began by interviewing those closest to Chandra: her parents, Robert and Susan Levy; her aunt, Linda Zamsky; and friends in Washington and in California.

The reporters also spoke to the key police officials in charge of the case: former chief Charles H. Ramsey, former executive assistant chief Terrance W. Gainer, former assistant chief Alfred J. Broadbent and former chief of detectives Jack Barrett. Also interviewed were U.S. Park Police officers, a former FBI agent and a federal prosecutor involved in the case, as well as other women who were attacked and accosted in Rock Creek Park around the time of Chandra's disappearance, on May 1, 2001.

The lead detective in the case, Ralph Durant, and his partner, Lawrence Kennedy, declined to talk to reporters.

The reporters discovered that the police investigation was overwhelmed with the white-hot media coverage fueled by the possible involvement of Rep. Gary Condit, a congressman from California. As part of their reporting, Horwitz and Higham spoke to Condit on June 30 and July 3 in the first newspaper interviews about the case the former congressman has granted.

The Post series provides a rare look at an unsolved homicide case from the inside, following the twists and turns of an investigation that was filled with false hopes, false leads and false suspects. It would tarnish a police department and wreck a reputation. It would move with tremendous energy and purpose in one direction and end up in another. It would be marked by an enormous effort by police - and a chain of mistakes that got longer and longer.

****

PROJECT CREDITS

The Washington Post
Reporters: Sari Horwitz, Scott Higham and Sylvia Moreno
Photography: Lois Raimondo
Researcher: Meg Smith
Graphics: Nicole Werbeck, Michael Keegan, Laris Karklis
Editors: Jeff Leen, Larry Roberts and Barbara Vobejda
Copy editors: Jennifer Morehead and Anne Ferguson-Rohrer

washingtonpost.com
Project Editor: Amy L. Kovac
Designer: Nelson Hsu
Videojournalists/multimedia producers: Pierre Kattar and Alexandra Garcia
Photo Editors: Alexandra Garcia, Anne Marley, Emma Patti and Amy L. Kovac
Producer: Leah Carliner
Editors: Jonathan Krim and Tom Kennedy
Photo production: Emma Patti
Chapter heading images by The Washington Post, Getty Images, the AP and family photos.


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