CHAPTER ONE:
A Young Woman Disappears
Who Killed Chandra Levy?
Who Killed Chandra Levy?
Key Dates
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Her telephone answering machine was full, with 25 messages. Several were from her mother and godparents. Two were from Condit; they were left on May 3, two days after Chandra disappeared. The congressman seemed concerned that he hadn't heard from her.

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Chandra's blue Sony Vaio laptop was left open on a makeshift desk in a hallway nook of her apartment. A D.C. police sergeant who was not a trained computer technician turned it on and tried to find her last Internet searches. But he accidentally corrupted the search history on the computer. The mistake would set the investigation back because it would take technicians a month to produce an accurate list of the last Web sites Chandra visited.

On the day she disappeared, May 1, Chandra signed on to the Internet at 10:27 a.m. She went to Condit's home page, Southwest Airlines, Amtrak, Baskin-Robbins. At 11:26, she went to washingtonpost.com. She clicked on the weather report. The forecast called for fair skies.

At 11:33, Chandra clicked on a washingtonpost.com "Entertainment Guide" to Rock Creek Park. At the top of the page was the administrative address of the park: 3545 Williamsburg Ln. NW - the address of the Klingle Mansion, a three-story stone farmhouse that serves as park headquarters. A minute later, she clicked on a link for a map of the park. Her last search was at 12:24 p.m.

The detectives would later theorize that Chandra may have planned to meet someone at Klingle Mansion. Was it one of her friends from the Bureau of Prisons? More intriguing: Was it Condit, who didn't live far from Rock Creek Park? The Klingle Mansion theory quickly gained currency, and police would spend days searching the site.

But there was another possibility that was given less credence by investigators: The page with the Klingle Mansion address included information about the park's hiking trails. It also had details about the horse stables, the old Peirce Mill, and the Nature Center and Planetarium - all of them not far from where Chandra's body lay. She could have been looking for a place to walk on a beautiful spring day. She liked to exercise and she loved the outdoors, and she had just canceled her gym membership.

[Photo]
Chandra Levy on her bedroom floor writing a paper during college. (Family photo)

If she had gone to the park on her own, she could have been a victim of random violence.

And there was another piece of potential evidence the police missed.

Chandra's apartment building had multiple security cameras, which fed a tape that was recorded over every seven days. By the time police obtained the tape, it was too late. Gone were answers to several key questions: What time did she leave? Was she alone? The front desk clerk didn't know. And the detectives didn't have a clue.

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Next chapter: Chandra comes to Washington and meets a congressman. More: Reporters' Notebook
The Washington Post spent a year reconstructing the disappearance of Chandra Levy and the investigation of her death. Reporters interviewed scores of people, including police officials, investigators and suspects - many for the first time - and obtained details about dozens of previously unknown private conversations and events.

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