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Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery
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Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  302 ratings  ·  54 reviews
It was the mystery that gripped the nation during the summer of 2001: the sudden disappearance of Chandra Levy, a young, promising intern, and the possible involvement of Congressman Gary Condit. And then the case went cold. By 2007, satellite trucks and reporters had long since abandoned the story of the congressman and the intern in search of other news, fresh scandals. ...more
Hardcover, 284 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 679)
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Alex
Page-turning chronicle of the Chandra Levy case, written by two Washington Post reporters who covered the case. Creates a vivid sense of DC police misconduct and the inner workings of national politics, and an eerie sense about the dangers of tabloid sensationalism in mainstream media. Nine years after Levy disappeared, this story is still timely.
Kappy
I heard the authors on NPR. I remembered this news story from the weeks before 9/11. I thought the coverage was sleazy, pack like, and without regard for facts. These two reporters illustrated how the media coverage changed the investigation and hindered it. "News" seems ever more distorted by innuendo, gossip, and repetition of same.
Lynn
I found this book totally absorbing and fascinating. A young woman from a good family goes missing in Washington D. C. and is found to be having an affair with a powerful Blue Dog Democrat, Gary Condit. The DC police seem to have little ability to truly investigate the crime scene well and basic investigative practices go awry. Instead the police supported by the girl's parents go after the congressman along with the full force of the press which is encouraged by leaks from the police. Constant ...more
LAPL Reads
What makes this book especially compelling is that the authors provide complex portrayals of the many people involved in the case - not only the victim Chandra Levy, but also her family, the various lawyers, FBI and D.C. Police investigators assigned to her case, and former congressman Gary Condit, who was the main focus of the initial investigation. This book also reveals the numerous mistakes made during the original murder investigation.

The authors, who are also reporters for the Washington P
...more
Lisa
This sad tale is recounted in a well meaured level of detail. The pace makes for a consistently gripping read. Ultimately, though, reading this book left me with the uncomfortable realization that it sparked some voyeuristic tendencies.
Timothy
Finding Chandra
Scott Highham and Sari Horwitz
287 pages
978-1-4391-3867-0

Finding Chandra is a documentary about the case of Chandra Levy who disappeared randomly in a park without any traces. Her disappearance comes days before her college graduation from University of Southern California. The case remains a mystery for a long time because of the lack of clues, but there are some suspects based on their history of violence or their relationship with Chandra. The book is divided into chapters in an
...more
Jaclyn Day
I was really anxious to read this book because the story of Chandra Levy had impacted my early college years so much. Like the DC sniper incident that still resonates with adults my age who lived through it during high school, the disappearance of Chandra Levy touched a lot of people in that it came to represent everything evil and random about living and working in DC.

Years after her initial disappearance when I went to college in the DC area, I remember my mother giving me pepper spray and urg
...more
Jan
This simply wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I guess I expected something more in depth about Chandra's life & murder. Instead, it felt like the Gary Condit show, which is how her disappearance felt at the time. It's weird, because I don't think that's what the authors were really going for.

I guess I do feel a little bad for Condit. It sucks that he was absolutely hounded for a murder he didn't commit. However, if he hadn't used his power and position to chase tail, he wouldn't have been
...more
D'Anne
I didn't really follow this case when it was happening, but my dad gave this book to my sister for Christmas (I got a book about a youth pastor who murdered his wife and screwed a bunch of church ladies. Murder books are a Christmas tradition in my family) and she read it and liked it so I decided to read it, too. I was totally engrossed by it, in part because I really didn't know how it would end since, as I said, I didn't follow the case. The book kind of fizzles out at the end, but that's onl ...more
Kristina
This was okay. I shouldn't have bought it though because it's not worthy of spending money on. This is another one of those books that got great reviews, but didn't live up to them. The authors told this story in such a dry, unemotional manner that I never felt any connection to the people in the story nor did I find it compelling. It was written in a boring, lifeless way. Apparently the Washington Post series that this book was based on was much more interesting and included links to interviews ...more
Colleen
As a DC native who well remembers the media frenzy around this case, I was eager to read this book outlining the investigation. The book (and the news stories that spawned it) certainly highlighted the investigative failures that left this case unsolved for so long, and revealed troubling gaps between the various bodies that held pieces of the puzzle that eventually led to a viable suspect. I was also intrigued by the details of some of the news coverage of the case which early on painted Gary C ...more
Sae-chan
I'm still not convinced that the convicted guy is the murderer. The writing of the book itself didn't really sit well with me instead. There were numerous pages of stories that didn't have anything to do with the case. I felt that they were just filling in to get the pages of this book to the correct number.
Alicia
I find myself drawn to things that made the headlines in the years 2001-2003 because I was kind of out of commission during those years. So this story was almost brand new to me.

It's a sad story, of course, but even sadder when you realized that the police bungled the case so badly which probably resulted in not find the real killer.

The best part of this book was that the Congressman that she was having an affair with ended up getting his karma in the end. While he was ultimately cleared from an
...more
Adrienne Teague
My take on this is that it's really easy to laugh at the mistakes made by journalists after the fact. In this case, Chandra Levy went missing a few days before she was scheduled to move from Washington D.C. to her family home in California. She was an intern with the Justice Dpartment and when it came out that she was having an affair with her Congressman, everyone assumed he had something to do with her disappearance. The authors' view is that the media just jumped on the obvious answer and mad ...more
Tinytextiles
I happened to be in the library one day just browsing and came across this book about a murder mystery which had been in the headlines almost 10 years ago and I was curious to read if/how the murderer was ever found. It's a very complicated story of police mismanagement of a crime by pursuing a high profile senator who had a relationship with the deceased woman--Chandra--and not following up other leads. The two authors have put together a very readable account of the day by day; month by month ...more
Terri
Chandra Levy's story made headlines around the world, and the media and DC police were totally focused on Congressman Gary Condit and his affair with Chandra to the exclusion of all other suspects. Only years later, Washington Post reporters do a 13 day feature, reinvesting the case and finding new avenues. And a suspect who is currently in jail for two attacks in the Park she was killed at is very likely the one who killed her. As his trial is pending and all evidence circumstantial, it remains ...more
Bill Glose
Full of political intrigue and forensic details, Finding Chandra is the true-crime story of events leading up to the murder of Chandra Levy and the botched investigation that followed. Each chapter focuses on a different person, providing personal histories and motivations, then explaining how he or she fits into the bigger picture. We learn of Chandra’s interest in older men, Gary Condit’s meteoric rise to power, and similar attacks on other women that weren’t connected until it was much too la ...more
Barbara
This is a very easy read just took a few hours. I always wondered what happened to Chandra and I'm absolutely disgusted with the Washington DC police dept and prosecutors involved in this case. Not that I care one bit for Condit who I find to be a real piece of garbage. I remember watching his interview and thinking this guy is not telling the truth.

However the real tragedy in this case is the 171 words of mistakes and absolute bad police work and political bs that went on with her investigatio
...more
Jesse
Thoughtful and compassionate.
Mary Vitale
This was diappointing, expected it to be real story of whatever happened to Chandra Levy, an intern who disappeared suddenly in D.C. in 2001. The case was never really solved until many years later and this told me nothing about who she was; just how bungled the whole investigation was handled and all overshadowed by her involvment with Congressman Gary Condit. Read like an investigative, boring, dragged out series of stories you would read in the news. Skip this.
Elizabeth
Although I wasn't that caught up with the disappearance of Chandra at the time it happened, this book caught my eye. The fact that it was written by two Pulitzer prize-winning journalists made me think it would be a good read. I was disappointed that that didn't turn out to be the case; it did keep my attention however and my cousin likewise couldn't put it down when she came to visit shortly after I finished it.
Karen
When this story broke it was major news. Then 9/11 happened and it was sort of forgotten. This reads like a novel but it is a true story. As always, I enjoyed learning more about this than I knew before which is the major reason I liked this book. I wouldn't call it compelling reading, but if you want to know the whole story about the missing girl, this book gives it to you.
Joanne
This is an extremely interesting well researched nonfiction book that reads like fiction; it's sad but true. It focuses on the investigation and how the police botched it by focusing on the congressman that this young woman was involved with. It is written by investigative reporters from the Washington Post who work under Woodward of Watergate fame.
Carol
A thorough treatment of the Chandra Levy case, with attention paid to the mistakes made by the police investigators, the media's obsession with the case during a slow summmer, and the ways in which lost opportunities allowed the probable murderer to avoid detection for so long. Seems to be a pretty fair and unexploitative treatment of the subject.
Karen
A well written, fast read covering all of the agencies and people involved in this case. A random murder was turned into a salacious tale of governmental power by various persons in the media, only to find the Congressman was innocent and various investigative authorities were inept. A sad story for many people.
ej cullen
Mishmashed, slap-dash exposition in need of a competent editor. Written by two former Pulitzer winners. (?) The revelations of gross incompetence by the D.C. Metropolitan Police, the Park Police, and the FBI is mind-numbing. (Anyone remember Vince Foster?) This is worse. And the beat goes on.
Susan
This was a really quick read. Engrossing. I read it on Kindle, which is a different experience because you can't feel the heft of the book. It ended when I thought we were only half way through. So I feel like there's more I need to think about. But I definitely recommend it.
Patty
Chandra Levy, an intern in Washington, D.C., suddenly disappeared. The suspect is Congressman Gary Condit, who was having an affair with her. The killer actually was an immigrant from El Salvador who stalked the running paths of the park, assaulting female joggers.
Dwight Lawrence
Great book!!! Explains in painstaking detail the behind-the-scenes story of the search for Chandra Levy after her disappearance in 2001. A horrible botched investigation in which the focus quickly turned to Congressman Gary Condit led to a public spectacle.
Jodi
It was alright, an interesting look into the aftermath of the disappearance of Chandra Levy, both on her family and the Congressman Condit and his family. It takes the position that the case is solved, however, when the accused is actually just now on trial.
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Finding Chandra - Worth Reading? 3 4 Nov 18, 2012 08:31PM  
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Finding Chandra

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“During the course of his career, [Rather] came to despise the dynamics of pack journalism. The packs were often ugly - reporters shouting questions, pushing and shoving each other, and surrounding their subjects with cameras and microphone booms, blindly following each other and creating an echo chamber of information that rarely served the public. He compared the pack to a flock of turkeys: If two turkeys leapt over a cliff, the rest of the flock would follow.” 1 likes
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