Will Ashley Todd's Story Implode Tomorrow?
Several pages from Ashley Todd's MySpace blog.
***FINAL UPDATE, 1:45 p.m., 10/24/08***
Ashley Todd made it all up. She's confessed. From KDKA.com: "Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter "B" in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker."
Ashley Todd will face charges.
There seems to be a growing, bipartisan consensus online that Ashley Todd may not be telling the truth. The 20 (or 23) year-old from College Station, Texas told police in Pittsburgh, PA she was mugged and assaulted Wednesday night at an ATM in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood. You can read all about that here: "Insanity and Politics: McCain Supporter Attacked in Pittsburgh."
Todd kept a blog on her now-locked MySpace. A copy of the blog's main page as it appeared on August 10, 2008 is embedded above. This passage from an entry posted July 1, 2008 jumped out at me: "Thankfully my closest of friends have assured me that when I finally am a victim of political assassination or brutal murder for running my mouth, that they will be honest at my funeral."
Todd obviously has a strong interest in politics. She was in Pittsburgh to do some sort of work for the McCain/Palin campaign, and one of her "General" interests on her MySpace profile is "Ron Paul 2008." So -- the joke about "political assassination" makes sense, since she might have ambitions to run for office in the future.
But the statement I quoted above is interesting because it parallels what Ashley Todd says happened to her on Wednesday night. Todd told Pittsburgh police that her mugger robbed her of $60 at knifepoint. Then, according to her, he noticed that she had McCain bumper stickers on her car. The mugger -- whom Todd described as a 6'4", 200 lb black man in dark clothing -- started talking smack to the woman he'd robbed and she says he beat her with his fists and feet. Todd says he carved that mysterious backwards "B" in her cheek, seen in this photo.
In essence, a routine mugging turned into a politically-motivated assault because of what Ashley's alleged mugger perceived to be "statements" from her, as evidenced by the bumper stickers on her vehicle. Bumper stickers, particularly stickers related to political campaigns, are a form of using one's car to run one's mouth. And an attacker carving a "B" in a woman's face for McCain bumper stickers would be a case of the victim having been assaulted for essentially running her mouth.
It really isn't a stretch to say that there's an eerie echo in Ashley's off-the-cuff blog post from last July in what she says happened to her. Luckily, she wasn't "assassinated" or murdered.
I say "luckily." I suppose I'm being kind, because that implies Ashley Todd could be telling the truth. I don't believe she is.
Now the police say they want the young woman to take a polygraph, because her "statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred."
Seems like the narrative is about turn on this politically involved young woman from Texas. After reports of the assault hit the news -- aided by feverish headlines from Matt Drudge -- Ashley Todd reportedly received calls from both Sarah Palin and John McCain, expressing sympathy.
If her story is indeed entirely made up, she's made them look like fools. In fact, she made the Obama campaign look a foolish for buying her line of bull, as well, since the Democratic candidate's people issued a statement roundly condemning this crime and saying they hoped "that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."
Ashley Todd may not have had any clue as to what she was doing when she reported this "crime." At 20 (or 23 -- the age given on her MySpace profile) a lot of people still have very little ability to govern their impulses or predict the outcome of their actions.
If Todd didn't have a clue then, she may have one now. She's made her Twitter feed and MySpace private, acts that smell like retreat. If she goes through with the polygraph, I will be utterly amazed. My prediction is that a lawyer will become involved and start pointing the finger back at the Pittsburgh police. The case will linger until after the election, when some sort of arrangement will quietly be made between Ashley Todd and the authorities -- she'll get off with a fine for false reporting, perhaps.
If I'm wrong, I'll get in the line to apologize. Along with Michelle Malkin.
Also on True Crime Report: