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  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    i dont know but im not sure why it matters. if the answer is only say 10%, does that mean it cant be true tonya was involved in hatching of this plot? 10% is a lot of violent crimes, even if it is a small percentage.
    The question here is: Exactly who was the mastermind? If the answer to the previous question is only about 10%, then, just going by gender statistics, it's much more likely that Jeff came up with the plot than Tonya.
    Last edited by neptune; 03-17-2014 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
    I think the very detailed EM Swift article, which is great, portrays Tonya and Jeff as co-masterminds. Jeff had more of a directly managerial role over the hitmen - in part because Tonya didn't want to have direct contact with them - but Tonya and Jeff launched the plot together and made all the major decisions together.
    Where is the evidence that Tonya and Jeff thought of the plot together? The evidence seems to indicate that Tonya would have had no idea how to launch a plot like that--she just didn't have the connections. She didn't even know where Nancy practiced, so why would she have thought it would be so simple to "take her down"? Even after Jeff proposed the idea to her, she had trouble believing they could find a way to hire someone who could actually accomplish the job.


    I think we may be getting bogged down in different ideas of what a "mastermind" is.
    OK, here's a dictionary definition:

    someone who plans and directs an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise

    To me, I think the question is about whether you believe Tonya that she was largely ignorant of the plot and not directly involved, or whether you believe that the attack was carried out at her behest and with her full participation.
    I think it's in the middle. I believe that Tonya knew about the attack and did what she could to help, but that she was not a big part of the planning. It seems the best word to describe her would be accomplice. Besides, if Tonya was the mastermind, why would she have had to "approve" the attack at the end of December? If she approved the attack, that implies she wasn't actively involved in the planning. It was sort of like: "Hey, Tonya, we're ready to carry this thing out. Do you still want us to go through with it?" To which she evidently replied, "Yes."

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    i dont know but im not sure why it matters. if the answer is only say 10%, does that mean it cant be true tonya was involved in hatching of this plot? 10% is a lot of violent crimes, even if it is a small percentage.
    In the US it is about 10% but that's skewed because, among other things, it represents that 90% of the people who get caught and serve prison time are men. There's no way to know how many total criminals are women.

    This relates directly to this case as all the guys did time but sweat talking blondie waltzed away whistling after having served all her goonies up on a platter.

    The whole idea that Jeff must have acted alone because "everyone knows men are violent" while tonya, THE only person to directly benefit from taking out nancy, is completely innocent despite having motive out the wazoo because of some sexist cliche, doesn't wash IMO.

    "Masterminds" never leave any fingerprints. See recent Chris Christie bridgegate. Bosses dictate letters to assistants, and then "approve" them before they can go out. Sorry, but IMO the "approve" comments actually marks her as the boss IMO.

  4. #284
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    I don't think it matters who was the "mastermind" anymore than it matters whether Richard Nixon knew about the Watergate break-ins. The fact is Tonya knew about the plan, "approved" it, and covered up her knowledge. AND I'll add that the "goons" took responsibility for their actions, while Tonya to this day is giving unconvincing denials.

  5. #285
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    What fascinates me about the Whack, and has from the beginning, is how people are so determined to believe whatever they believe. When we first heard about it, there were perfect strangers who knew nothing about skating who were absolutely convinced of both Harding's innocence and her guilt. At that time, there was very little evidence one way or another so which ever side you were on, it pretty much had to be based on speculation and emotion. But so many people were SO SURE that whatever they believed was The Truth and would accept no other explanation. It was a case study in human nature played out all over the world and probably one of the first internet scandals as people were talking about it all over listservs and Compuserv and Prodigy (this was pre-commercial internet).

    Now we all speculate about public crimes all the time and follow them on Twitter and Facebook and have threads debating who is guilty and dissecting every rumor and shred of evidence that is released with people even starting blogs just to follow cases that interest them, but back then the kind of attention that The Whack attracted was unprecedented.

    Personally, I believe she and Jeff planned it between them but that both have a ton of reasons to let the public thing that Jeff was the leader. I think, based on comments that were made by the FBI to the pubic, comments made by people who spoke to the FBI and saw some of their evidence, and comments made to the public by various members of the Portland and Oregon prosecution departments that the FBI was well aware of Harding's part in it, but either didn't have enough of the kind of evidence that would hold up in court to please the Portland prosecutors or the Portland prosecution had political reason for not wanting a jury trial. Honestly, sometimes I think they did the plea bargain because their nose was out of joint by the FBI and it stuck in their craw that most of their case would have to be based on evidence provided by the FBI. Kind of a
    NIH" syndrome.
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  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    In the US it is about 10% but that's skewed because, among other things, it represents that 90% of the people who get caught and serve prison time are men. There's no way to know how many total criminals are women.
    That's a good point, and thanks for confirming the number.

    This relates directly to this case as all the guys did time but sweat talking blondie waltzed away whistling after having served all her goonies up on a platter.
    How exactly did Tonya "serve all her goonies up on a platter"? She mostly lied. They just simply confessed. You might say Jeff and Shawn served themselves up on a platter. Sure, Tonya said that they told her about the plot, but even without that statement, no doubt the FBI would still have gotten them to confess.

    The whole idea that Jeff must have acted alone because "everyone knows men are violent" while tonya, THE only person to directly benefit from taking out nancy, is completely innocent despite having motive out the wazoo because of some sexist cliche, doesn't wash IMO.
    Who said that Jeff acted alone and that Tonya was completely innocent??

    "Masterminds" never leave any fingerprints. See recent Chris Christie bridgegate. Bosses dictate letters to assistants, and then "approve" them before they can go out.
    Do you honestly think Tonya is as clever as Chris Christie?

    but IMO the "approve" comments actually marks her as the boss IMO.
    Then why didn't the FBI believe that?

    No, in this case, Tonya had to "approve" the attack because it was being done for her. Jeff cooked it up, but it was for Tonya's benefit, and then he hoped to profit from it. He had to talk her into the idea. I think it's interesting that, while Shawn Eckhardt came much closer to sharing the role of mastermind than Tonya, no one even seems to bring him up.
    Last edited by neptune; 03-17-2014 at 03:47 AM.

  7. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by canbelto View Post
    I don't think it matters who was the "mastermind" anymore than it matters whether Richard Nixon knew about the Watergate break-ins.
    I'm confused--are you saying that it didn't matter whether Nixon knew about the break-ins at all?

    The fact is Tonya knew about the plan, "approved" it, and covered up her knowledge.
    I agree with that. Yes, that simple fact is more important overall than her exact role in the plot.

    AND I'll add that the "goons" took responsibility for their actions, while Tonya to this day is giving unconvincing denials.
    Well, here's the thing. The reason the goons took responsibility is that they really had no choice--there was too much incriminating evidence. If they could have lied their way out of it, don't you think they might have tried?

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    What fascinates me about the Whack, and has from the beginning, is how people are so determined to believe whatever they believe.
    Amen to that.

    It was a case study in human nature played out all over the world and probably one of the first internet scandals as people were talking about it all over listservs and Compuserv and Prodigy (this was pre-commercial internet).
    I wasn't familiar at all with listservs, Compuserv, or Prodigy back then. Wonder if I missed out on much? I just remembering watching the news constantly, but it did get kind of old fast.

    Now we all speculate about public crimes all the time and follow them on Twitter and Facebook and have threads debating who is guilty and dissecting every rumor and shred of evidence that is released with people even starting blogs just to follow cases that interest them, but back then the kind of attention that The Whack attracted was unprecedented.
    Yes, it was groundbreaking in many ways. Didn't they say in one of the documentaries that it marked the rise of tabloid media?

    Personally, I believe she and Jeff planned it between them but that both have a ton of reasons to let the public thing that Jeff was the leader.
    Well, the only ones who know for certain are those who participated in the plot. But Jeff's story makes total sense to me, and none of the other goons contradicted it.

    I think, based on comments that were made by the FBI to the pubic, comments made by people who spoke to the FBI and saw some of their evidence, and comments made to the public by various members of the Portland and Oregon prosecution departments that the FBI was well aware of Harding's part in it, but either didn't have enough of the kind of evidence that would hold up in court to please the Portland prosecutors or the Portland prosecution had political reason for not wanting a jury trial.
    I think Nancy's statement pretty much sums it up (paraphrased from memory):

    "I didn't want to believe that Tonya was in on it. But then I asked the FBI, 'Do you really think Tonya was in on it?' And they said, 'Nancy, we don't have any hard evidence, but we do this thing for a living, and we think she knew.'"

    Honestly, sometimes I think they did the plea bargain because their nose was out of joint by the FBI and it stuck in their craw that most of their case would have to be based on evidence provided by the FBI. Kind of a NIH" syndrome.
    That's possible. Still, I think the most likely reason is that they didn't think they had enough evidence to gain a conviction. I'm sure there was a lot of speculation in the newspapers at the time concerning the reason. If anyone finds some links, please post them here.

  9. #289
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    Here's a little wrap-up on this thread. I'm glad MacMadame pointed out the fact that a lot of folks just seem to believe whatever they want to believe concerning the details of the attack against Kerrigan.

    Just a few points:

    There seems to be a lot of black and white thinking concerning the attack. Many people seem to think there are only 2 possibilities concerning Tonya's involvement:

    1) Tonya knew little to nothing about the attack.
    2) Tonya was the mastermind.

    Good thing these folks aren't working for the FBI.

    As far as Tonya's being the mastermind, the biggest things that lead me to believe she was not are:

    1) The FBI never seemed to think she was, AFAIK. (Unless someone can post a link to an article stating otherwise.)
    2) The more involved you are in a crime, the more evidence there is against you in general, unless you are a smart criminal, which we all know the Gillooly Gang were not. Since there didn't seem to be enough hard evidence against her, this implies she was less involved in the planning and directing of the scheme than were Gillooly and Eckhardt.

    In the end, there's nothing wrong with having our own personal theories about what went on, but when they contradict what the FBI determined, then we'd better have some pretty good reasoning to back them up. Otherwise, why should anyone take us seriously? I mean, the FBI spent tons of hours studying all the evidence, so they would probably have the best idea of what happened. They had access to a lot of information that most of us have little if any knowledge of.

    Anyway, canbelto made an excellent point that whether Tonya was in fact the mastermind is less important than whether she knew about the attack at all, and I would guess that at least 90% of us agree that she had some prior knowledge. So, I'd say it's a good thing we can all agree on that much.

  10. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by canbelto View Post
    I'll add that the "goons" took responsibility for their actions, while Tonya to this day is giving unconvincing denials.
    They may have taken legal responsibility, but do any of them express remorse?

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    Quote Originally Posted by heckles View Post
    They may have taken legal responsibility, but do any of them express remorse?
    Personally, I couldn't give a flying squirrel if Tonya is sorry or not. I would however like her to admit the truth of what she did. I don't even care if she never does time for it, as her post-whack life turned out to be a sort of home confinement sentence anyway. The denial just seems to get less credible with each year.

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    I think Nancy's statement pretty much sums it up (paraphrased from memory):

    "I didn't want to believe that Tonya was in on it. But then I asked the FBI, 'Do you really think Tonya was in on it?' And they said, 'Nancy, we don't have any hard evidence, but we do this thing for a living, and we think she knew.'"
    "...and we think she was the mastermind" is exactly what Nancy said. That's from the NBC documentary.

    Again, I think there's just a difference of opinion here. Just because Jeff was in charge of managing the details doesn't mean they didn't hatch the basic plot together and weren't both in charge of it.

  13. #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    Personally, I couldn't give a flying squirrel if Tonya is sorry or not. I would however like her to admit the truth of what she did.
    Eh, I'm the other way around. I don't think she'll ever admit to her prior involvement. She could, however, express regret that Kerrigan was traumatized and injured.
    Last edited by heckles; 03-17-2014 at 04:36 PM.

  14. #294
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    Tonya did apologize to Nancy on that Fox special years ago. An apology doesn't mean anything if it doesn't involve admitting what you did wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
    "...and we think she was the mastermind" is exactly what Nancy said. That's from the NBC documentary.
    Well, Nancy could have been paraphrasing and/oror using poor word choice here too.

    Again, I think there's just a difference of opinion here. Just because Jeff was in charge of managing the details doesn't mean they didn't hatch the basic plot together and weren't both in charge of it.
    Yes, I think everyone is getting very hung up on one word. It seems clear to me that the FBI thought Tonya was in on the plan before the attack and had an active role in planning. To me, it doesn't really matter after that who was the mastermind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
    Tonya did apologize to Nancy on that Fox special years ago. An apology doesn't mean anything if it doesn't involve admitting what you did wrong.
    Exactly. IIRC, Tonya told Nancy that she was sorry for "being at the wrong place at the wrong time," but didn't apologize for any role in the attack or aftermath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heckles View Post
    Exactly. IIRC, Tonya told Nancy that she was sorry for "being at the wrong place at the wrong time," but didn't apologize for any role in the attack or aftermath.
    and she was sorry she was mixed up with the wrong people

    LMAO tonya, you ARE the wrong people
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
    "...and we think she was the mastermind" is exactly what Nancy said. That's from the NBC documentary.
    This matter has been discussed earlier in the thread. As far as anyone knows, this is the first time Nancy has ever made such a statement in an interview. There are no articles that ever confirm her making such a statement in the past. The best explanation is that she simply misspoke. It's been 20 years, so it would be understandable if some of her memories are a bit hazy. In fact, she was on Access Hollywood only a month before, and all she said then was that the FBI thought Tonya knew about the attack, but nothing about her being a mastermind.

    Again, I think there's just a difference of opinion here.
    Well, that's pretty obvious.

    Just because Jeff was in charge of managing the details doesn't mean they didn't hatch the basic plot together and weren't both in charge of it.
    Well, no one has offered any convincing evidence that this was the case (e.g., news articles from 1994 that confirm such a theory). The FBI does this stuff for a living. And if they ever believed Tonya was the mastermind, I suspect that at least one out of the hundreds of newspapers out there might have picked up on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heckles View Post
    They may have taken legal responsibility, but do any of them express remorse?
    Good question. From his latest interview, Jeff doesn't sound particularly sorry. As far as Smith, what ever happened to him? I don't know whether Eckhardt expressed remorse or not. But Stant seems to be sorry at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    Personally, I couldn't give a flying squirrel if Tonya is sorry or not. I would however like her to admit the truth of what she did. I don't even care if she never does time for it, as her post-whack life turned out to be a sort of home confinement sentence anyway. The denial just seems to get less credible with each year.
    Well, I think it's safe to say that Tonya is not sorry. Otherwise, she'd admit the truth. And yes, her denial does keep getting less credible each year. It's like she has a different story for each day of the week:

    Monday: The handwriting on the paper wasn't mine.
    Tuesday: Only part of the handwriting on the paper was mine.
    Wednesday: The female handwriting on the paper was Kristi Yamaguchi's.

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    I was mistaken, Nancy's actual quote was: "And they said, 'Nancy, we can't prove it, but we think she was the mastermind of the whole thing.' " "Mastermind of the whole thing" doesn't sound like an imprecise choice of words.

    The Scotvolds also used the word "mastermind": “We know for a fact that Tonya was involved from the beginning; she was the mastermind; she knew everything,” he said. “The FBI knew it; we knew it; everyone knew it.” (See source here: http://jacksonville.com/news/health-...back-life-edge)

    The FBI felt they couldn't prove the case, so no amount of me Googling is going to prove it either.

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