Justice for Chandra

Justice for Chandra

Justice for Chandra

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 24 2010 12:55 PM

Justice for Chandra

I’m grateful this year that assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines and her team were able to get a conviction in the murder of Chandra Levy. The disappearance nine years ago of Washington intern, Levy, then 24, gripped the nation, especially in light of the revelation that she was having an affair with then-Rep. Gary Condit.  Because of lying and behaving like a weasel, Condit lost his congressional seat and convinced the country he was guilty. He wasn’t, but his refusal during his testimony to acknowledge the affair keeps his reputation as a creep intact.  The murderer was an illegal immigrant, Ingmar Guandique, who attacked Levy while she jogged in the park. Guandique, who had been convicted of prior assaults, was about to finish his jail term and be shipped back to El Salvador, where he would surely have continued raping and murdering. It’s worth it for U.S. taxpayers to pick up the tab for keeping this monster incarcerated for the rest of his life. Given the paucity of DNA evidence and other the holes in the case, I was worried that Guandique would walk. After the verdict Susan Levy, Chandra’s mother, hugged prosecutor Haines and said the conviction was a miracle. She also said , "I can surely tell you, it ain’t closure." Chandra, had she lived, would be in her early thirties by now – maybe she would have made Susan a grandmother. There is no "closure" for such a loss. But thank goodness that at last there is justice.

Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.