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Posted: May 2, 2004
1:05 AM Eastern
by NWV Staff Writer
� 2004

Chandra Levy was a young, vibrant young woman from Modesto, California, who went to the nation's capitol to do an internship with the Public Affairs Office at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. At the same time, she was also working on a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California in public administration. As many young interns who go to Washington, Chandra was excited, energetic and plunged full steam ahead into her new life and activities.

All of that changed and tragically, on the eve of her return to California to attend graduation, Chandra went missing. Despite massive resources and manpower, this young woman with her whole future ahead of her, simply vanished. During the investigation and as facts began to emerge, shocking revelations were revealed: Chandra had been having a romantic relationship with a congressman, Gary Condit. The 53-year old House Democrat represented California's 18th District from 1989 until 2002.

It has been three years since Chandra Levy was last seen alive in Washington, DC. Her skeletal remains were finally found on May, 22, 2002 in Rock Creek Park. Her killer has never been found. At the time of her disappearance, Chandra had just lost her internship with the Bureau of Prisons and found out she would not be given full time employment at that agency. She planned to return home for her college graduation on May 11, 2001.

There was much speculation following the disappearance of Chandra because of her work at the Bureau of Prisons. Chandra's co workers at the Bureau of Prisons praised her work and noted that Chandra was very computer literate. Her last duties at BOP before her disappearance involved helping arrange media coverage of Timothy McVeigh's execution originally scheduled for May 16, 2001. Due to the discovery of documents that had not been given to McVeigh's defense team, his execution was rescheduled and carried out on June 11, 2001.

Rumors ran strong with speculation about the date of Chandra's disappearance (April 30, 2001), McVeigh's two execution dates and Condit's much touted People Magazine interview September 9, 2001 in which Condit indicated Chandra had a strong interest in the McVeigh case. The massive publicity evaporated when America was attacked September 11, 2001.

Most political pundits and insiders believe that Chandra's disappearance and Condit's affair with the 24-year intern old led to his defeat for reelection to Congress. Throughout the controversy swirling around Condit and Chandra's disappearance, Condit remained as a member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Lori Klausutis

Another intern death received very little media attention outside the congressional district of former U.S. Congressman Joe Scarborough in Northwest Florida.

Lori Klausutis was an intern who had been working in Congressman Scarborough's office as a constituent services coordinator since May, 1999. Due to Congressman Scarborough's shocking announcement he was retiring from Congress, Lori was excited about a new job possibility. She was married, lived in a nice home and was active in her Catholic Church congregation. Lori's husband, Dr. Timothy Klausutis worked in research and development at Eglin AFB. A seemingly idyllic life - until the morning of July 19, 2001 when Lori was found dead in Scarborough's congressional offices.

Lori's death was ruled accidental. Conflicting statements were released to the local press by Dr. Michael Berkland, the medical examiner, who reached this conclusion: Dr. Berkland, speculated that Lori had suffered an abnormal heart rhythm, due to a previously undiagnosed heart condition, causing her to fall, striking her head against a desk. This caused a blow to the head severe enough to cause death.

Many found this finding disturbing as there was a 7 1/2" gash on the wrong side of her head where she supposedly fell and hit it on a desk. Further dissatisfaction was expressed due to Dr. Berkland's own questionable background:

He was fired as Medical Examiner in Jackson County Missouri in 1996. In 1998 the state of Missouri revoked his license to practice for a minimum of six years. He was suspended as Medical Examiner in Florida for having failed to report that he was under investigation. The revocation of his license imperiled at least nine criminal convictions in Missouri.

In Special Report published on American Politics Journal, August 8, 2001, "Never Bound by the Truth", Chris George and Denis Wright further supplied proof of Dr. Berkland's troubling medical history including two cases in which a reversal of judgment has been sought based on false testimony by Dr. Berkland. While the case is officially closed, there continues to be a demand that it be reopened and an impartial investigation be conducted.

Rumors and speculation ran wild in Scarborough County regarding a relationship between Lori and Joe. Despite his recent reelection in 2000, a scant few months later, amidst rumors of infidelity with an office worker and then divorce, Scarborough shocked everyone by announcing his retirement from Congress. His job as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun also became part of his past when Scarborough announced his resignation in order to spend more time with his sons.

Joe Scarborough can now been seen weeknights on MSNBC as host of Scarborough Country.

Pixie Grismore

Mary Beth Grismore, 26 years old, was strangled May 3, 1978 in Ohio. Her body was found in the trunk of a car. Mary Beth was known by her friends as Pixie for her sunny disposition. Patrick Ralston came under suspicion after he admitted to having a romantic affair with Pixie. Both Pixie and Ralston were married to someone else at the time, but decided to have a farewell get together and end their relationship. This meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Cloverdale, Indiana on February 16, 1978.

In an effort to get the FBI looking in another direction, Ralston stunned the FBI with a story that Pixie had told Ralston she had met with Sen. Birch Bayh in a bar at an Indianapolis motel, they partied and Pixie slept with the senator. The FBI confirmed that B.E. Bayh of the U.S. Senate did indeed stay at the Indianapolis Airport Holiday Inn on the date given by Ralston. At this time of Pixie's tryst with Sen. Birch Bayh, his wife, Marvella, was dying of cancer.

According to veteran journalist, H.J. Halterman, also a contributing editor for's Dispatches Magazine:

"By dragging the senator into the investigation, Ralston virtually guaranteed the end of FBI consideration of his past relationship with the murdered woman. If Ralston had ever been charged with the crime, he would only have had to point out that Sen. Bayh's brief but intimate relationship with Pixie was at least as strong a motive for murder as Ralston's own affair with the dead victim. Since Pixie had been a county coordinator for Sen. Bayh and had been seen in public with him, any such revelation could have left the senator's political future as dead as Pixie Grismore."

Halterman had some other comments about this tangled affair:

"Even though then-Sen. Bayh headed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and was in charge of the oversight committee that supposedly supervises the CIA, NSA and, oh yeah, the FBI, all their investigation couldn't catch the killer -- or killers. But at least the investigators kept Pat Ralston's romantic connection to the victim, and especially her association with former Sen. Bayh, as a closely held secret."

Sen. Birch Bayh subsequently became the Governor of Indiana and boss of any of Indiana's state police agencies that might have investigated Pixie's murder. The Bayh political dynasty continued when his son, Evan, was elected as Governor of Indiana for two terms (1989-1997). While Governor, Evan Bayh appointed one of the witnesses in the case, P.A. Mack, known as his father's "fixer-upper" as a trustee at Indiana University and Patrick Ralston as head of Indiana's Department of Natural Resources in 1989.

But, the story doesn't end there according to Halterman:

"Ralston became the Democratic Party chairman of Indiana's Vigo County -- the Bayh family powerbase -- in January 1995. Ralston, as county party chairman, was instrumental in fund-raising efforts on behalf of newly-elected Indiana Gov. Frank O' Bannon, formerly lieutenant governor for Evan Bayh. O' Bannon, with political considerations involving both his old boss and a key fund-raising party chairman, had been reported to be considering the reappointment of Ralston as DNR director, but that was not to be: On Feb. 21, 1997, 19 years after Pixie Grismore's final party with her friends in Terre Haute, Ralston was instead announced as the new governor's choice to be the director of the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency."

Evan Bayh was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 1998 and is running for reelection this November.

There is no statue of limitations on murder. Pixie's murder is considered a cold case and remains unsolved.

� 2004 - - All Rights Reserved

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"It has been three years since Chandra Levy was last seen alive in Washington, DC. Her skeletal remains were finally found on May, 22, 2002 in Rock Creek Park. Her killer has never been found."