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Actual Malice is a true crime thriller that will take you through the backrooms of political gamesmanship, deception, and cover-up. If it were a novel, readers would marvel at the rich character development, riveting pace, and often-bizarre twists that make Actual Malice a compelling read. The fact that it is scrupulously documented nonfiction is sobering.
If you know nothing about Gary Condit or the tragic death of Chandra Levy, there has never been a more engaging and thoughtful introduction to the sordid interplay between politicians, law enforcement, and the media. Actual Malice should be required reading for any public figure.
If you followed the story of the murdered intern and the congressman driven from office by one of the most intense media cyclones in history, Actual Malice will challenge virtually everything you think you know.
Breton Peace takes readers on a roller coaster ride through Congressman Condit's eyes, as corrupt and incompetent cops, and a dark and insidious team of "scandal management" experts, manipulate a willing press.
To begin, Carolyn and Gary Condit had come an incredible distance together since setting out from Oklahoma for California where Gary and the Condit family name became synonymous with the Central Valley. In May of 2001, the conservative Blue Dog Democrats—of which Condit was a founding member—held significant power in Congress. Condit had used the coalition to deliver bipartisan victories in Bill Clinton's second term and was now flexing that muscle on the House Intelligence Committee. Condit accomplished what few of his generation could achieve—genuine political independence from both political machines.
The sky was the limit.
When Chandra Levy—a twenty-four-year-old Bureau of Prisons intern—disappeared in 2001, the wheels came off Gary’s ambitions. Accused of having an affair with Levy, a whirlwind of rumor, intrigue, and treachery surrounded Condit.
More than a decade later, in 2011, the lies, manipulation, and cover-up denied justice to Chandra Levy as the same law enforcement agencies that spent nearly a decade trying to convict Condit in the court of public opinion had to reverse course to prosecute the man they then believed was the real monster—Ingmar Guandique—a man who had attacked at least three other women around the time Chandra Levy disappeared in the very part of DC’s Rock Creek Park where Chandra Levy’s remains were found nearly a year after she went missing. Though Guandique was found guilty of murdering Levy in 2010, new evidence surfacing in 2015 prompted a retrial. Ultimately, the lies, manipulation, and cover-up surrounding Chandra’s murder made it impossible to prove the truth. In 2016, Guandique—the man the US Justice D