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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Was Tyler Clementi Murdered?

The Tyler Clementi tragedy gets stranger as more facts emerge.

The lawyers for the two former Rutgers University students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, accused of cyberbullying have now announced that the purported video of Clementi's romantic encounter may be exactly that, and nothing more, meaning that there was no sexual encounter captured on video.

Assuming this announcement to be factually correct, this makes one question not just the rush to judgment to throw Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in prison and throw away the key, but also the supposed premise behind Tyler Clementi's suicide -- if it even was a suicide.

Does this add up?  Does a young man, 18 years old, suddenly go to college and within weeks, "discover" his sexuality and then, upon that fact supposedly being discovered by others, jump off a bridge?  Does it make sense that Tyler Clementi reportedly contacted school residence hall advisors within a day of the supposed videocam broadcast and had the presence of mind to request a roommate change, and then within days of those actions decided to commit suicide?  If this is true, where is the sign of the trauma, the humiliation that would spark such a drastic action?   Instead, we see methodical, logical actions that show a young man, perhaps angry but seemingly "in control."  Suicide just does not seem like the next step in the real chronology here.

Something "just does not fit" in this version of events.   

Perhaps it is plausible to consider whether the "other man"  -- perhaps a predator of sorts, perhaps an older man more schooled in the ways of seduction, deception, manipulation or pure vice -- had something to hide?

The facts, as reported by the news media thus far and not including some probably very relevant facts which are -- I trust and presume -- being kept appropriately confidential by the investigating authorities so as to preserve and protect an ongoing investigation, just do not "add up" regarding the suicide theory.   I wonder whether, behind the scenes and without official comment, the Tyler Clementi tragedy is really a homicide investigation.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer who handles investigative and other special matters.  He is available for comment at 917-696-2442 and accepts inquiries by e-mail at edixon@NYBusinessCounsel.com.

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