The 3 Biggest Lies About the Central Park Five
A new Netflix series perpetuates the myths.
The new Netflix series, This Is How They See Us, perpetuates the myth, which began circulating about 17 years ago, that the so-called “Central Park Five” (CP5) are innocent of the notoriously brutal attack on “the Central Park Jogger,” Trisha Meili, that occurred in 1989.
The CP5 have now entered the martyrology of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC).
This is How They See Us is racial fantasy and ideological propaganda designed to strengthen the RIC’s narrative of choice, the politically-advantageous fairy tale of unrelenting White Racism and Black Suffering.
And when that narrative can be spun to score points against Donald Trump, it’s that much juicier.
That the CP5 are innocent victims of a rabidly racist New York Police Department is a Gargantuan Lie. Another lie, one that, because it is minor relative to the others, we can put out to pasture immediately. It is the lie that Donald Trump called for the execution of these innocent black “children” in the wake of the Central Park attack. In response to the lawlessness then engulfing the city, a barbarism epitomized by the CP5 and their roving band of acquaintances who hurt Trisha Meili and others in the park that eventful night, Trump did in fact take out two full-page ads calling for the return to New York of the death penalty. He also called for the return of the police.
He never mentioned the CP5.
Far from being deserving of criticism, New Yorker Trump acted laudably, for he proved himself to be a rarity among his social class in using his resources in money and influence to give expression to the outrage and hurt felt by countless numbers of Americans, both in New York and beyond.
Within the bigger picture, however, the use to which the liars of the RIC are now deploying Trump’s ad from 30 years ago is a trivial detail. To prevent them from indoctrinating a new generation into their invidious species of historical revisionism, we need to expose this evil for what it is. And it is best to do so by exposing the three biggest lies about the case:
Biggest Lie #1: The CP5 Didn’t Do It.
On that fateful evening of April 19, 1989, when Trisha Meili, a 28 year-old white woman and investment banker who would become known to the world as “the Central Park Jogger,” was attacked, large numbers of black and Hispanic teenagers were “wilding” through Central Park, pummeling and mugging unsuspecting park-goers. Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Yusef Salaam—the CP5—were among this pack of predators. In addition to having been arrested for the attack on Meili, they were arrested as well for having unleashed violence upon at least six other men, beatings so brutal that one victim lost consciousness and another sustained permanent, life-altering injuries.
To the present day, neither the CP5 nor their apologists have disputed their guilt over these attacks.
So that we get a sense of the context within which this notorious event occurred, it would be helpful to realize that the CP5 were among a few dozen black and Hispanic teenagers who were in Central Park this night for one purpose and one purpose only: to harm other human beings.
One New York paper described theirs as “the path to terror,” and provided a timeline of the mayhem. But five minutes before Meili was besieged, at 9:05 P.M., Michael Vigna, who was riding his bike, was jumped.
Within the five minutes after the attack on Meili transpired, Antonio Diaz was pummeled.
At 9:15, Gerald Maldone and Patricia Dean were both beaten up.
Between 9:25 and 9:40, another jogger, David Lewis, was beaten.
Twenty minutes after Meili endured the punishment that would forever alter her life, and within minutes of when Lewis was being pounded, still another runner, Robert Garner, suffered a violent fate at the hands of the black and brown teens who were marauding through the park.
Between 9:47 and 9:50, David Good was jumped, and at approximately this same time, John Laughlin was ambushed from behind and knocked unconscious. He had been struck with a pipe and a stick. A police officer on the scene said that Good was bleeding so profusely that it “looked like he was dunked in a bucket of blood.”
This is the crowd with which the CP5 was running on the night of April 19, 1989.
As for Meili, the first police officer to have arrived when she was found in a ravine observed: “She was beaten as badly as anybody I’ve ever seen beaten. She looked like she was tortured.”
In addition to losing about 80% of her blood, Meili as well suffered from severe conditions of hypothermia, brain damage, hemorrhagic shock, and internal bleeding. Moreover, her skull and face sustained a couple of dozen fractures. Such was the beating administered to Meili that her one eyeball was dislodged from its socket.
She was given last rites, for it was assumed that she wouldn’t survive through the night. Trisha Meili spent nearly the next two weeks in a coma.
Again, this is the kind of thing that happened on the night that the East Harlem teens with whom the CP5 were running decided to take a stroll through Central Park.
On several occasions, both while they were alone with New York’s Finest, as well as when they were accompanied by adult relatives, including, in at least one instance, their parents, they confessed to having jumped, gang-raped, beaten, and left for dead Trisha Meili.
Antron McCray told police:
We charged her. We got her on the ground. Everybody started hitting her and stuff. She was on the ground. Everybody stompin’ and everything. Then we got, each—I grabbed one arm, some other kid grabbed one arm, and we grabbed her legs and stuff. Then we all took turns getting on her, getting on top of her.
Kevin Richardson got even more specific.
Raymond [Santana] had her arms, and Steve [Lopez] had her legs. He spread it out. And Antron [McCray] got on top, took her panties off.
Raymond Santana confirmed his accomplices’ testimony. “He was smackin’ her, he was sayin’, ‘Shut up, bitch!’ Just smackin’ her…I was grabbin’ the lady’s tits.”
Kharey Wise admitted that this “was my first rape.”
Melody Jackson, whose brother was friends with Wise, corroborated Wise’s claim. She said that while Wise was incarcerated at Riker’s Island, he told her by phone that although he didn’t personally rape Meili, he is guilty of having restrained her legs as Kevin Richardson “f**ked her.”
Even more telling is that Melody Jackson relayed this exchange with Wise to the authorities only because she believed that it would assist Wise’s defense. Evidently, she thought (ludicrously) that insofar as Wise admitted to not having forcefully penetrated Meili himself, this would somehow exonerate her friend.
While Santana was in a police vehicle and before he had even been arrested, he abruptly shouted out that “I had nothing to do with the rape!” He added that he had only fondled her “tits.”
At this juncture, the police weren’t even aware that Meili had been raped.
Two friends of his informed authorities that the day after the attack Korey Wise told them that he and the other four of the Central Park Five were responsible for beating and raping Meili. And when a detective presiding over the case and a prosecutor took Wise back to the blood-soaked scene of the crime, he said that he knew that she had been bleeding. But because it was dark, he had been unaware of just how much blood she had lost.
Thus, he attested once more that he had been present the night Meili was bludgeoned.
Wise also informed police that a person whose name he thought was “Rudy” stole Meili’s Walkman radio. Her radio had been stolen—only at this point, the police had been unaware of this.
Kevin Richardson also told someone that he and his friends had raped a woman.
Tellingly, Richardson was able to show investigators exactly where the attack on Meili occurred. So too did Santana direct them to the location of the crime.
Ann Coulter reminds us of but another inconvenient fact that puts the lie to the narrative that the CP5 confessed to these crimes because Big Bad Blue Men scared them into doing so. “Far from trembling and afraid…the suspects were singing the rap song, ‘Wild Thing’ for hours in the precinct house, laughing and joking about raping the jogger. One of the attackers said, ‘It was fun.’”
One of the other many teens who had been out “wilding” and who was among the ten or so kids to have been arrested that night relayed to the police that he heard Santana and another male teen laughing over having made “a woman bleed.”
Another one, prior to being questioned, told police that he knew “who did the murder.” This is proof that, at the very least, the pummeling that Meili endured was witnessed by multiple people and that its severity was such that it was assumed it was fatal.
Moreover, this same punk—again, mind you, without even being asked about the attack, much less a murder—fingered none other than Antron McCray, one of the CP5, as “the murderer.”
The CP5, after having been convicted, appealed the verdict of a racially-mixed jury. Then, the racially-mixed jury of an appellate court upheld their convictions. In both instances, despite having the services of especially aggressive defense teams advocating on their behalf, and despite the fact that these multi-racial juries knew that their DNA hadn’t been found at the crime scene, the jurors nevertheless found that the other evidence militated decisively against the CP5.
Multiple videotaped confessions of “the Five”; the presence of semen, blood, and hair on all of the suspects; a scratch on Kevin Richardson’s neck that, in the company of his father, he admitted he received by Meili; and several witness accounts confirmed for the police that the vermin who are now being made into martyrs couldn’t be more guilty of initiating and facilitating an attack against Trisha Meili that nearly cost the poor woman her life.
To the suggestion that the CP5 were framed by corrupt police, Michael Sheehan, one of the lead detectives in the case of the CP5 and a veteran who has spent decades taking “over 1,000 confessions, in 3,000 homicides,” has a decisive answer ready at hand. “All of this stuff about coercion really pisses me off,” Sheehan has said. “Do you honestly think that we—detectives with more than 20 years in, family men with pensions—would risk all of that so we could put words in the mouth of a 15 year-old kid? Absolutely not.”
Absolutely not, indeed.
Biggest Lie #2: The CP5 Have Been “Exonerated” by DNA.
Police always believed that one of Meili’s attackers had gotten away. Thirteen years later—conveniently, after the statute of limitations had expired—a career scumbag, a serial rapist and a murderer named Matias Reyes, came forward to confess that it was he, and he alone, who was responsible for the attack that nearly took Trisha Meili’s life.
Because of his confession, and because the only DNA found belonged to Reyes, the CP5’s apologists and propagandists in the media are repeating the talking point that DNA has “exonerated” the ex-convicts.
This is patently false, another lie in the Big Lie that the CP5 are innocent. It’s dishonest in at least five respects:
(1) The truth of the matter is that everyone knew from day one that the DNA found at the crime scene didn’t belong to any of the CP5. As was already said, everyone suspected that one of Meili’s attackers had escaped.
(2) And everyone now knows that DNA testing 30 years ago can hardly be compared to what it is today. It is worth quoting Ann Coulter here:
“While it blows most people away to find out that none of the suspects' DNA was found on Meili, this is a sleight of hand. The trick is that we're looking at it through a modern lens. True, today, these kids' DNA would have been found all over the crime scene. But in 1989, DNA was a primitive science. Most cops wouldn't have even bothered collecting samples for DNA tests back then.”
In other words, it’s in effect anachronistic to imply that because the DNA of the CP5 wasn’t found at the crime scene 30 years ago that they weren’t there and, hence, are innocent. Such have been the advancements in forensic testing over the last three decades that it’s not much more anachronistic than saying that Al Capone couldn’t have been guilty of any of the crimes of which he was accused because none of his DNA was found.
Given the voluminous body of evidence compelling us to recognize that the CP5 are indeed guilty of ambushing, bludgeoning with punches, kicks, and weaponry, and gang-raping Trisha Meili, there can be no doubt that had the NYPD had available to them 30 years ago the methods of testing available today, they would have had zero problems accumulating at the crime scene DNA samples of the CP5.
While sweeping an area for DNA is routine and fairly effortless for the law enforcement agencies of 2019, this was decidedly not the case in 1989.
(3) This being said, for as much progress as has been made on this front, Hollywood has given rise to an idea regarding DNA testing that, though deeply ensconced in the popular imagination, the experts know is false. Among the misconceptions concerning DNA is that DNA evidence is necessary (and sufficient) to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of those accused of crimes.
The truth of the matter, however, is that problems surrounding DNA testing vis-à-vis criminal investigations persist: guilt and innocence can be, and have been, established in the absence of DNA evidence, and guilt and innocence have been wrongly determined in the presence of DNA evidence.
(4) That the DNA of one and only one member of a gang of criminals is found at the scene of a crime proves only that that individual was present. It most assuredly does not prove that no one else was. Proof of X is not equivalent to proof of non-X. To assume otherwise is to commit what logicians beginning with Aristotle have recognized as the fallacy of appeal to ignorance, or silence.
(5) The CP5 have never been exonerated, not even according to the legal definition of this term. Robert Morgenthau, the man who originally prosecuted the CP5, recommended that, in light of Matia Reyes’ confession that it was he and he alone who attacked Meili, their convictions be vacated. The latter means simply that the five would now be entitled to new trials.
Unsurprisingly, they chose not to avail themselves of this option.
Lie #3: Matias Reyes’ Word and DNA Prove that He Acted Alone.
That Matias Reyes confessed to having acted alone against Trisha Meili means nothing, for Reyes’ word carries only as much weight as the word of a convicted serial rapist and murderer can carry. Yet Reyes is a particularly sadistic predator. A former NYPD homicide investigator, Michael Sheehan, who worked on Reyes’ case referred to him as “a complete lunatic.”
Sheehan may have underestimated Reyes, for not only did the latter confess to the horrific attack against the woman who would become known to the world as the Central Park Jogger, he as well confessed to having broken into the home of Lourdes Gonzalez, a pregnant 24 year-old woman and the mother of three other children. Upon forcing Gonzalez’s kids into another room, he proceeded to violently rape their mother while they listened from the other side of the door.
Before leaving, Reyes stabbed Gonzalez nine times, in her chest, stomach, and face. She died of her wounds.
Reyes not only raped others, but beat some of his victims, made them shower with him, and issued them an ultimatum: they had to decide between having Reyes stab out their eyes or stab them to death.
When Reyes was finally apprehended and his reign of terror was brought to an end, he confessed to all of these horrible crimes—except, interestingly, for the crime against Trisha Meili, to which he wouldn’t confess until years later.
Now, there was no death penalty in New York by this time, and Reyes was already serving a life sentence. So, the remotely inquisitive will want to know the answers to not one, but two, questions:
(1) Why would Reyes wait almost 13 years before fingering himself in this notorious crime?
(2) Why would Reyes wait almost 13 years before claiming to have acted alone?
As for (1), that the statute of limitations had expired does not necessarily account for why Reyes would come forward in 2002. For starters, and to reiterate, he was already serving a life sentence. Secondly, the statute of limitations hadn’t just expired; it expired years earlier. So why now?
A more plausible explanation, and one that would simultaneously answer (2), is the theory that the NYPD entertained back in 2002.
What many undoubtedly don’t know is that it is definitively established that Matias Reyes and at least some of the CP5 have known one another. More to the point, Reyes and Kharey Wise were serving time in the same correctional facility with one another when Reyes confessed to being the lone attacker against Trisha Meili.
Back in 1989, the two were incarcerated in Rikers Island where they engaged one another in a fight. But in the eleven or so years that Wise had been imprisoned, authorities report that he had risen to “become a very powerful Muslim leader [.]” The New York Post reported back in December of 2002 that two law enforcement sources relayed to the paper that the police believed that “Reyes made the confession to score points with Wise.” One of the sources summed up the gist of the theory:
“So he [Reyes] does Wise a favor and gets himself major protection in state prison.”
This theory is more than a bit plausible. Consider that not only were Reyes and Wise serving sentences together at Auburn Correctional Facility in Syracuse, New York when Reyes confessed in January of 2002; even after Reyes was transferred, first to Attica, and then to Clinton Correctional Facility, NYPD detectives had heard that Reyes and Wise, who was still at Auburn, remained in contact with one another.
They proceeded to investigate their suspicions by traveling to Clinton to speak with Reyes’ fellow inmates. Yet the very first inmate whom they attempted to interview told them that Nancy Ryan, the Prosecutor who was presiding over the new investigation of the matter, instructed him not to speak with police. And when the NYPD tried to speak with Reyes’ directly, they were stopped again, but this time, they were stopped personally by Ryan.
It's also worth noting that Dr. Robert Kurtz, the physician who saved Trisha Meili’s life, expressed skepticism regarding Reyes’ account. Meili had numerous cuts to her face and head that had been made by a knife, razor, or some other instrument. Yet neither in his confession nor in a subsequent television interview did Reyes ever mention having used an instrument of this kind.
Humberto Arroyo, a lead detective in charge of the CP5 case, was beyond skeptical; he was incredulous. Reyes’ account, Arroyo remarked, “doesn’t make one bit of sense [.]” Reyes was an overweight teenager and Meili a trained athlete who would’ve easily outpaced him had he come at her as he claimed.
Linda Fairstein, the Sex Crimes Prosecutor against whom the supporters of the CP5 are now calling for a boycott, agrees with Arroyo’s assessment. Meili “was running a 7 ½-minute mile,” Fairstein said. “I don’t believe for a minute he could have caught up with her.”
Perhaps most tellingly of all, Trisha Meili doesn’t accept Reyes’ story. Contrary to what the CP5 and their apologists would have us think, everyone involved in this case, including Meili, knew from day one that not all of her attackers had been arrested, for there was DNA that did not belong to those who had been caught.
“I always knew that there was at least one more person involved because there was unidentified DNA,” Meili said. “So when I heard the news that there was an additional person found whose DNA matched, that wasn’t a tremendous surprise.”
Yet when Reyes claimed that he acted alone, Meili stated that this is “when some of the turmoil started,” and she began “wondering, ‘Well how can that be?’”
Dr. Jane Haher was Meili’s plastic surgeon. Along with Meili and Dr. Kurtz, she too does not believe Reyes’ account. “It looks like, to me, more than one person doing that,” she said, for not only were the injuries sustained by Meili inconsistent with Reyes’ story, but the handprints that were pressed into Meili’s skin were of various sizes.
The CP5 are as guilty of the horrific attack on Trisha Meili as anyone ever has been guilty of any crime.
They have never been exonerated.
And Matias Reyes did not act alone.
The three lies that the Racism-Industrial-Complex are now feeding the public that I have exposed above are grotesque lies. And they are lies of an especially evil type, for they reflect the desperateness and greed of the professional “anti-Racists” who scrape the bottom of barrels to create victims out of the worst of victimizers.
Trisha Meili isn’t buying any of this -- and she remains the real victim in this case. She is the real hero about whose courageous, dignified stand against the unrelenting ravages of the violent racial hatred with which she’s been bombarded should be the subject of many films and television series.
Something tells me that neither Netflix nor anyone else will take me up on this suggestion.