The following information has been obtained from fire records, police reports, and other documents that are accessible by the public. Data from these papers are used to set up an accurate account of what transpired during the night of February 17, 2010, and early morning of February 18, 2010 at the Durham apartment that was rented by the Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum.
February 17, 2010 – evening. Crystal Mangum is at the apartment she rents with her three children. She has a dispute with her ex-boyfriend who has been staying for a short time at her apartment intermittently. Crystal’s nine year-old daughter becomes concerned about her mother’s welfare during this dispute, and places a call to 911 seeking help for her mother.
Durham Police officer H. P. Thompson arrives at the house in which the dispute is taking place, late at night on the 17th, no time of arrival is listed on the reports.
February 17, 2010 – 11:53 pm. Ms. Mangum is placed under arrest by Officer Thompson, according to the arrest report.
February 18, 2010 – 12:08:56 am. 15 minutes after Ms. Mangum’s arrest, an alarm to the Durham Fire Department is placed by the Durham Police reporting a “structure fire with a subject trapped” at the address of Crystal Mangum.
February 18, 2010 – 12:15: 10 am. 6 minutes, 14 seconds after receiving the call, Fire Engine 3 arrives on the scene. When they arrive, they find the bathroom door closed, and upon opening it notice that a fire was visible in the bathtub. With a 1 ¾ inch hose-line extending through the front door, the firemen spray water on the fire in the bathtub.
February 18, 2010 – 12:18:00 am. 2 minutes, 50 seconds after arriving on the scene, the firemen extinguish the fire in the bathtub. Although there is no indication from the fire reports or police reports that the walls, floor, or ceiling of the bathroom sustained any fire damage, the firemen pull the ceiling of the bathroom to check for extension of the fire… and find that there is none.
Engine 3 then advises command that an investigator is needed for this incident.
February 18, 2010 – 1:40:31 am. 1 hour, 22 minutes, 31 seconds after extinguishing the fire, the last unit leaves the scene.
What is not clear in any of the reports is why the police officers, upon finding the clothing on fire in the bathtub did not simply turn on the faucet or shower head and douse the fire? Instead, it seems, the police decided to close the bathroom door in hopes of slowing the spread of the fire from the bathtub to other parts of the structure. There was no mention of any fire damage to the walls, floors, or ceilings in the bathroom or anywhere else within the apartment. It seems that had the fire been extinguished by the police when they first became aware of it, any smoke damage would have been significantly minimized. The time that had elapsed from when Ms. Mangum was arrested by police until the fire was extinguished by the fire department was 25 minutes.
I am not a fireman, but I have serious questions as to why an investigator would be needed for this fire. Common sense would dictate that Ms. Mangum must have harbored some ill feelings toward her ex-boyfriend and wanted to release frustrations by setting his clothing on fire (not unlike the scene in the movie “Waiting to Exhale” in which the Angela Bassett character sets her boyfriends clothing on fire… not in a bathtub like Ms. Mangum did, but in her boyfriend’s sports car). It is obvious that by placing the ex-boyfriend’s clothing in a fireproof bathtub, that Ms. Mangum was executing a controlled burn, and had no intention of burning down the house. In lieu of a fireplace, the bathtub is the most logical place to burn someone’s clothing. Furthermore, there was no mention in any of the official reports of an accelerant being used in the fire. It makes no sense that in a fit of anger at her ex-boyfriend, Ms. Mangum would burn her residence that she shared with her three children.
If anyone acted negligently during this event, it would be the police, who instead of immediately extinguishing the fire in the bathtub upon detection, decided to close the bathroom door and call the fire department to put out the fire. Their irresponsible actions put the entire apartment building in jeopardy of being burnt to the ground. The police enabled the smoke damage to the building grow in magnitude, and the extensive smoke damage possibly forced the firemen to pull the ceiling in the bathroom. Why the reluctance on the part of the police to put out the fire? More likely than not it was to magnify the seriousness of the charges that they would lob against Ms. Mangum, the accuser of the Duke Lacrosse defendants. Their misguided motivation for acting against Ms. Mangum was in compliance with the Carpetbagger Jihad movement directed at anyone or anything on the “wrong end” of the Duke Lacrosse case.
With respect to the fire, Crystal Mangum was arrested on a felony first degree arson charge (initially five counts, then later reduced to one count). Ms. Mangum was indicted by a grand jury on the charge of first degree arson under North Carolina statute 14-58. According to that statute, a first degree arson charge is in reference to a building or a structure that is burned while inhabited. It is evident that the structure (building, or apartment) was not burned, nor was there an attempt made to burn the structure by Ms. Mangum. The blatantly false charges are vendetta-driven and make a mockery of the North Carolina justice system, its police officers, prosecutors and courts. It is past time for the Duke Lacrosse case related foolery to cease. Crystal Mangum should be immediately released from custody and the charges against her dismissed. The justice system should not be involved in lengthening her time of incarceration for the purpose of disrupting her employment situation and losing custody of her children. What is really shameful is that our system of justice is not only cruel and draconian in its workings, but that it allows the Carpetbaggers to dictate the degree of callous and inhumane treatment.
In addition to releasing Crystal Mangum, the courts should also immediately release Alan Gell, another victim of vendetta justice. Prosecutor David Hoke withheld exculpatory evidence in winning a capital murder conviction against Gell, an innocent man. After serving ten years of wrongful incarceration, Gell was set free at re-trial, and he filed lawsuits against those individuals and agencies responsible for his conviction. When law enforcement learned that he impregnated his girlfriend just prior to her turning legal age, he was convicted on some convoluted cockamamie charge and sentenced to five years. This, after serving ten years wrongfully incarcerated. Do the math: Gell wrongfully incarcerated ten years minus five year cockamamie sentence equals immediate release from prison with five years credit.