Excellent scoop by Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller, although we already knew that this e-mail existed. WaPo mentioned it in its bombshell last week noting that Jackie had offered different names to different people when asked who her rapist was and that the original suspect, despite having texted with her friends in 2012, seems … not to exist.
Knowing that the e-mail was sent and reading the actual text are two different things, though. I won’t excerpt it all since it’s Ross’s “get,” but you need to read it in full to appreciate how painfully obvious the truth seems in hindsight and how absurdly easy it would have been for Erdely to get to the bottom of it — if only she’d cared to talk to Jackie’s friends, like any conscientious reporter would have. Just so you understand what you’re about to read, only one line is written by the alleged rapist, “Haven Monahan.” The rest of the text purports to be from an e-mail that Jackie herself sent to “Haven” gushing about Ryan Duffin, one of the classmates she turned to on the night she was supposedly raped. Erdely turned Duffin into “Randall” for her Rolling Stone profile and claimed that he refused to talk to her out of loyalty to his frat. Duffin says Erdely never contacted him.
Here’s how “Haven” prefaces the forwarded e-mail from Jackie, which he sent to Duffin and another of her friends on October 3, 2012 — just five days after he and four frat buddies supposedly gang-raped her by forcing her to perform oral sex.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Haven Monahan
Date: Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 8:33 PM
Subject: about u
you should read this. iv never read anything nicer in my life.
Just one bro doing another bro a solid by letting him know he has a lady admirer, who, by the way, he and his buds sexually brutalized in multiple felonious ways less than a week before. Think of him as a rapist matchmaker, I guess. Here’s the tail end of the long, effusive tribute to Duffin that follows, written by Jackie herself:
The problem is I can’t shake these feelings I have for him, I try so damn hard, but they won’t go away. I can’t move on because the only thing I can find wrong with him, is that he can find so much wrong with me. [Redacted] said I shouldn’t give up. She said she read this quote once that said,” There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” She claimed that’s how Ryan and I are. I think she’s wrong. I think he was right from the get-go. He’ll never see me as anything more than some girl and it’ll never amount to anything. He told Alex I’m not his type and I’m a waste of his time. The things he says hurt more than you know but still…there’s something about him that makes me come back for more. All I know is, the girl who gets to be with Ryan Duffin is the luckiest girl in the world. And if she doesn’t know that, then she doesn’t deserve him.
Jackie was lovesick over an unrequited crush who wouldn’t pay her any attention — until she was raped by a man whom no one can seem to locate and who appears to have had a bizarre but persistent interest before and after the fact in seeing Jackie and Ryan together. You think Sabrina Rubin Erdely could have pieced together what was happening here if she’d sat down with “Randall” and the others and gone through what had happened?
I missed it on Monday but most of you probably saw this juicy Washington Times story about how, coincidentally, three different numbers used by “Haven Monahan” to text with Jackie’s friends all trace back to an online service that lets users create phone numbers for texting — exactly the sort of service you’d be interested in if you wanted to contact people through a fake identity. Another friend, Alex Stock, told the Times he thought it was “suspicious” that “Haven” always seemed to steer his text conversations with Jackie’s friends towards how much she liked Ryan, not him. Duffin was interviewed for the story too. Quote:
“[Jackie] was contacted thinking her story was going to be a much smaller piece about the issue as a whole as it existed at U.Va., and that it was much more focused on survivors,” Mr. Duffin told The Times. “There came a point when she didn’t want that anymore, she tried to retract, but the reporter said at that stage it wasn’t possible.
“She said that she thinks the article did get out of hand and that the reporter used her story to make a broader point,” he said.
I’m keen to know now exactly how that conversation between Jackie and Erdely went. Did Jackie tell her she wanted the story retracted because it would make her “uncomfortable” to see it in print, or something like that? Or did she belatedly give Erdely reason to believe that it wasn’t true? Biiiiig difference ethically, needless to say, if it’s the latter and Erdely went ahead anyway.
Exit question via Ace: How did Erdely come to learn that “Randall”/Ryan didn’t want to talk to her out of loyalty to his frat? It does seem odd and unlikely, all her other sins notwithstanding, that she’d invent a claim like that whole cloth. She’s guilty of egregious recklessness in her Rolling Stone piece but knowingly lying about whether someone wanted to be interviewed takes this to another level. Ace’s theory is that maybe Erdely’s not lying — maybe she got catfished just as Duffin himself had apparently gotten catfished. Maybe she asked Jackie for Duffin’s number (which would have been stupid considering that she could have found it in public records) and Jackie gave her a number from the online texting website instead. When Erdely texted “Ryan,” someone whom Jackie knew could have undermined her story, to see if he wanted to talk, the reply came back that he didn’t. Is that how it happened? If not, who gave Erdely the impression that Ryan was keeping mum?