Levy family in long recovery from grief

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In the normal scheme of life, parents are not supposed to outlive their children. The parents of Chandra Levy, who came to the nation’s capital from Modesto, Calif., to work as an intern, know that fact all too well. They’ve been living the nightmare that follows the consequence of their daughter being murdered on the opposite coast of her home.

For the Levys, the deep pain and tremendous void in their lives must be unrelenting. Though the conviction of Ingmar Guandique may have a definitive effect in providing knowledge of who killed their daughter, it will never bring them closure because there is no genuine closure in criminal victimization. As a survivor in the aftermath of the homicide, Susan Levy aptly stated that she has a lifetime of heartbreak.

This was a high-profile case because of Chandra’s involvement with a married congressman, Gary A. Condit. All eyes and ears were riveted with attention to every word uttered and any iota of information gleaned from the trial. For survivors, as for the Levys, it is vitally important for them to have answers and as much complete information as possible to provide them a reasonable degree of resolution that enables them to piece together the tragedy that has so profoundly impacted their lives. Mrs. Levy sat through every day of the trial because it was crucial for her, as the mother of the victim, to hear every revelation and learn of every circumstance that surrounded the crime.

The police, the detectives, the prosecutors, the attorneys and the forensic examiners were all critical parties who weaved together the information, facts and evidence that enabled this trial to occur. They worked many long hours over a substantial period. Their work enabled the jury and judge to perform their vital tasks, which they did professionally and admirably.

Everyone in this case who fought for justice provided dignity and respect to Chandra’s life that ended abruptly with her dreams and aspirations unfulfilled. For the Levy family, the impact of her loss will endure forever, but the long wait for justice was one worth waiting for.


Adjunct professor of victimology

Marymount University

Arlington, Va.

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