There are lots of people out there who just hate this search for Chandra story.

They think it's not a big story because there are so many missing women whose stories are never told. They think there are many missing women whose disappearance is more mysterious, more ominous, and that we are paying attention to Chandra's story just because there is a congressman involved.

Or maybe involved.

All that may be true. There are many missing women whose stories are not given a lot of attention, but that takes nothing away from Chandra's story. It is a big story and there's no getting around it.

Why is that? Part of the reason is we like news about people. We prefer the really personal stories of this guy and this woman, what happened to them, what they did.

We like details. In addition the Condit-Chandra story, this story has a key element that O.J. had and that Bill and Monica had, and both those stories held our attention for weeks, months, and years.

That element is mystery, and suspense.

How is this thing going to turn out? Everybody's got a theory and nobody knows. The key element to mystery and suspense is denial. The central figure in a good mystery suspense story has to deny what many, if not most people, think is obviously true.

Condit denied a sexual relation with that woman when most of the country thought it was as obvious as the clothes on his body. That's how this country got hooked on this story. Denial of what was obviously true.

And now that the mundane truth has been exposed — he was sexually involved with Chandra — the mystery and suspense of the more profound truth becomes even more spine tingling. Is Chandra Levy the victim of murder? If so, who killed her?

The congressman says it wasn't him.

Maybe. We shall see. That's the mystery and the suspense.

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