Wilson was an unlikely emissary. He had spent a few years on the Durham police force in the 1970s, and he toiled most of the next 20 years as a private investigator. Wilson racked up a half-dozen complaints from clients and left the field after a state reprimand.Hmm, what do you think Wilson was doing to deserve that big raise? He sure wasn't investigating the defendants' alibis or the witnesses contradictory stories. He didn't interview Crytal Gail Mangum until December after it came out that he had conspired with the DNA lab to suppress the results that she had multiple men's DNA in her. And Nifong still hadn't read about all her many medical and psychological problems in her record.
Hired in December 2005 as a coordinator for pursuing worthless check charges at a $23,453 annual salary, Wilson started working on the lacrosse case in May. Nifong later promoted him to chief investigator and gave him a 66 percent raise, to $39,000.
But Wilson was ready to pressure witnesses who buttressed the defense case.
One of Wilson's chief tasks was to confront witnesses who undercut the prosecutor's case. According to Nifong's files, Wilson met with the owner and employees of the Platinum Club in Hillsborough, where Mangum danced. He dug up an old misdemeanor warrant on Moezeldin Elmostafa, a taxi driver who backed Reade Seligmann's alibi, and told Durham police to arrest him.When he finally did interview her on December 21, he violated all sorts of protocols about how to interview a witness, particularly in that he talked to her alone without any other witnesses or a record kept. And that was when he came out with a new tale that tried to help the prosecution by changing the timeline to work around the players' alibis. How convenient. I guess that he thought he was earning that big raise that day. Instead, he might have bought himself a trip to the defendant's chair himself.
In October, Wilson went to see defense lawyer Bill Thomas, looking for the video showing Mangum dancing vigorously on a stripper's pole at the Platinum Club on March 25. Her appearance on tape hurt the case, because she had said she was injured at the March 13 party, and Nifong said she was too traumatized to talk April 11.
Thomas accused Wilson of avoiding the truth: Why hadn't they pressed Mangum, Nifong's chief witness, on why she has told so many conflicting stories?
"He swelled up and pushed out his chest and said, 'Well, she hasn't been cross-examined by me yet!' " Thomas recalled.