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Crime News Snapped

Former Exotic Dancer Who Accused Duke Lacrosse Players Of Sexual Assault Fatally Stabs Boyfriend

Crystal Mangum's name was synonymous with scandal.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Snapped 2407: What Is The Truth

Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that take an in-depth look at both little-known and infamous murders throughout history.

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It was the early morning hours on April 3, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina, when Carlos Wilson Sr.'s uncle, Reginald "Reggie" Daye, came to his house in distress. The 46-year-old had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely.

"I tried to keep him as conscious as I could, you know, I talked to him, try to calm him down," Carlos told “Snapped,” which airs on Oxygen.

He called 911, and an ambulance arrived for Daye. While Daye was taken to the hospital, everyone wondered, "Would he survive? And who committed such a heinous act?"

Daye was a country boy who grew up in the area. He made a living painting houses and was looking for someone to settle down with. In 2011, he met 32-year-old Crystal Mangum. Mangum had recently returned to Durham after a stint in the Navy and was raising three children from two previous relationships, all while trying to finish up her masters degree. To save money, Mangum had moved in with her aunt, who had hired Daye to do some handyman work around the house.

The two hit it off, and Daye eventually opened his own home up to Mangum. She initially moved in with Daye as a way to split the bills, but soon a relationship blossomed. 

"Reggie Daye fell very hard, quickly, for Crystal Mangum," WRAL-TV journalist Amanda Lamb told "Snapped."

It seemed like Mangum was finally settling into a home of her own, and Daye had found a woman with whom to share his life. But, their idyllic family image was shattered when Daye showed up stabbed at his nephew's house.

Following the attack, police investigated the Daye and Mangum home.

"I’m like, 'The Tasmanian Devil just went through here.' The TV, the tables, the furniture, the crystal glasses, shot glasses, everything in the living room was destroyed," remembered Carlos. 

Durham Police Crime Scene Specialist Al Brown told "Snapped" that there was blood in the hall and on the couch, and the bathroom door had been violently removed from its hinges. The scene was in such violent disarray that detectives wondered if there was a second victim involved in the attack.

Mangum's friend Jacqueline Wagstaff said, "They came in that apartment and saw that apartment in disarray like that and to see hair over here and doors kicked in, that should’ve been a clue right then that there had been some harm come to somebody other than Reggie."

But, Carlos quickly told police that shortly before the ambulance arrived, Daye had disclosed that only he and Mangum had been involved in the altercation. 

Carlos told "Snapped," "He said that it was Crystal that stabbed him."

And when Carlos gives authorities Crystal's full name, they immediately recognized her as the Crystal Mangum who made headlines in 2006. Prior to meeting Dayle, Mangum had worked as an exotic dancer for private parties to keep up with her tuition payments and provide for her children. On March 13, 2006, Mangum was booked to entertain the Duke University lacrosse team.

Mangum claimed that at the off-campus party, she was sexually assaulted by three members of the team. The case made national headlines and put a dark cloud over the school. The accusations polarized Durham, touching upon race and privilege at Duke University. Despite Mangum pointing the finger at three boys, DNA evidence came back in their favor. The Attorney General decided that the accused were innocent, and in the aftermath, she was shunned.

"After 2006, she was pretty much a pariah, or a persona non grata, in this community," said Lamb.

As Daye clung to life, authorities searched for Mangum, who had left the house following the attack. Coincidentally, police received a 911 call from her son, who claimed Mangum had stabbed someone out of self-defense. Police located Mangum at a neighbor's apartment and found her lying on the floor "distraught and upset." She had a small cut on her hand and a bruised lip.

"The injuries that I observed on Ms. Mangum, in my opinion, would appear that she had been on the receiving end of an assault," said officer Brown.

Mangum, however, refused to open up about what happened at the apartment, and she was treated and arrested for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.  

Out of surgery, Daye was then able to give a statement to police. He explained that the day of the attack, Mangum was apparently flirting with a man, and they got into a heated argument. He admitted to hitting her and kicking down the bathroom door when she tried to hide. Daye claimed he then tried to de-escalate the fight, and when turned his back, Mangum got knives from the kitchen and stabbed him.

Though Daye seemed to be on the road to recovery, he ended up dying 10 days after the attack, and Mangum was then faced with a first-degree murder charge, according to ESPN. She admitted that near the end of the fight, Daye had relented, but she said he was the one who grabbed the knives, not her. She also claimed he tried to choke her, and that's when she stabbed him and ran out of the apartment.

"It’s complicated because they have this chaotic scene, and they have only two people there, no witnesses, so they have to take both of their stories and try to figure out what happened," said Lamb.

In court, prosecutors tried to portray Mangum as a woman on the edge who "was going to snap at any time." Though judge barred the previous lacrosse accusations from being brought up in trial, an ex from Mangum's past testified that she threatened him with a knife and set his belongings on fire.

This showed to the jury that Mangum had a pattern of disturbing behavior. On November 22, 2013, Mangum was found guilty of second-degree murder, as WRAL reported. She was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in prison, reported the NY Daily News.

For many, it felt like karma.

"Finally Crystal Mangum is going to jail," said Lamb. 

To hear more about the case, watch "Snapped" on Oxygen.

[Photo: Durham Country Jail]

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