the talking dog



Coroner:  Chandra Died Of Natural Causes

Condit Exonerated

Posted May 23, 2002


Chandra Levy most probably died of natural causes, according to the coroner who examined the battered, twisted skeletal remains of the former congressional intern after they were exhumed from a shallow, hidden grave yesterday.

"Our preliminary, but thorough review of the evidence strongly indicates that Ms. Levy died in her sleep," stated Washington D.C. coroner William Henderson.  Mr. Henderson noted that the extreme fragmentation of the bones of the young woman's forehead and ribs are consistent with heart failure and a possible stroke.  Due to the proximity of Ms. Levy's apartment to Rock Creek Park, noted the coroner, the scent of her decaying remains was likely picked up by resident animals who dragged her out of bed, through the apartment door, down five flights of stairs and across a busy thoroughfare at mid-day on May 1, 2001.

The coroner downplayed the significance of the various metal shards found imbedded in the young woman's spine and the back of her skull.  Although cylindrically shaped, the fragments in all probability chipped off of the shovel used to dig the shallow, hidden grave.  Mr. Henderson noted that "the most reasonable hypothesis" was that in the dark, a passer-by mistook Ms. Levy's clothed and bejeweled five-foot six skeleton for that of a large raccoon or squirrel and decided to afford it a decent burial.

The coroner also ruled out the possibility that the fragments could be bullets, because "bullets come from a gun, not a shovel."  Mr. Henderson attributed the powdery residue found on the ribcage and forehead to sulfur from a match apparently lit by the passerby, noting that the burial likely occurred on  after 2:00 a.m. on a moonless night the day after D.C. police announced they had finished scouring the park.  A cow grazing in the area apparently later died near the grave, said the coroner, explaining the leather "mask" encasing Mr. Levy's entire skull.