A Private Matter
- May 7, 2001: Robert Levy tells police he believes his daughter was having an affair with Rep. Gary Condit.
- May 8: Police call Condit, who tells them Chandra Levy was just a friend seeking career advice.
- May 9: Police formally interview Condit for the first time. He tells them she was a friend, and he does not know where she is.
- May 11: Chandra misses her graduation at the University of Southern California.
- May 10: Police search Chandra's apartment.
- Second week of May: Rumors about an affair between Chandra and Condit begin to spread through Washington.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Robert Levy's call to police saying his daughter had been dating a married congressman, Gary Condit, put officers on an investigative path that they would pursue for months.
At 9:55 p.m. on May 9, 2001, three days after learning that Chandra Levy was missing, D.C. Detective Ralph Durant and his sergeant went to Condit's Adams Morgan condominium.
The congressman told them he had no idea of Chandra's whereabouts. He said they met in fall 2000, when she came to his Capitol Hill office with a friend whom he hired as an intern. He said he and Chandra became friends, and he acknowledged that she had visited him at his apartment and had spent the night a couple of times.
"Did you have an intimate relationship with Ms. Levy?" the sergeant asked.
"I don't think we need to go there," Condit said, "and you can infer what you want with that."
He said he had not seen Chandra since the last week of April. She did not appear to be upset. She was uncertain about her immediate future, but she told him she planned to be an FBI or CIA agent one day. The last time he spoke to her, Condit said, she told him she was considering taking a train back to California.
Condit says now he did not believe he had anything to worry about. He thought that in four or five days Chandra would show up. "They'll find out what happened to Chandra and everything will be fine," he said. "They will find that I had nothing to do with this."
Condit then asked the detectives if he was a suspect. "And they just looked at each other and said 'No.' But it didn't feel right. The way they were going, it didn't feel right."
In his three decades as an FBI agent, Jack Barrett thought he had seen it all: drug-trafficking cases in New Orleans, organized crime in Newark, police corruption cases in Washington. In May 2001, recently retired from the FBI, Barrett was starting a second career as the chief of D.C. detectives.
And now he had the case of a lifetime.
Over the next few weeks, Barrett and his detectives would hear several stories about Condit and other women, stories Condit would later dismiss as untrue. "They led the police on some wild goose chase," he said. "Did I know some of them? Yeah. But did I know them in the way that they described it? Not at all. It had nothing to do with Chandra Levy."