Hot Best Seller

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

Availability: Ready to download

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth. On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her, but within days pol Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth. On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her, but within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating her. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie. Police charged her with false reporting. One of her best friends created a web page branding her a liar. More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night--the attacker's calm and practiced demeanor, which led the victim to surmise "he's done this before"--Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon realized they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado--and beyond. Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, An Unbelievable Story is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing reality of how sexual assault is investigated today--and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.


Compare

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth. On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her, but within days pol Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth. On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her, but within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating her. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie. Police charged her with false reporting. One of her best friends created a web page branding her a liar. More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night--the attacker's calm and practiced demeanor, which led the victim to surmise "he's done this before"--Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon realized they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado--and beyond. Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, An Unbelievable Story is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing reality of how sexual assault is investigated today--and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.

30 review for A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    Marie told Rittgarn she had been attacked, that she wasn’t making the rapist up. She began to cry, saying she kept having a vision of him on top of her. Rittgarn wasn’t moved. Later, when recounting Marie’s words in a written report, he would put the word “him” in quotation marks. In 2008, a young woman known as Marie reported being raped. Within just a few days, the investigation became an interrogation of Marie herself, as the police, her family, and her friends all began to doubt her story. Convin Marie told Rittgarn she had been attacked, that she wasn’t making the rapist up. She began to cry, saying she kept having a vision of him on top of her. Rittgarn wasn’t moved. Later, when recounting Marie’s words in a written report, he would put the word “him” in quotation marks. In 2008, a young woman known as Marie reported being raped. Within just a few days, the investigation became an interrogation of Marie herself, as the police, her family, and her friends all began to doubt her story. Convinced she would never be believed, Marie told the police she had lied and made it up. She was then charged with false reporting. More than two years later, Marie's rapist - a serial predator - was found and convicted. I cannot even begin to imagine the horrific situation Marie found herself in. Not only was she a victim of one of the most horrendous crimes that can happen to a person, but everyone she should have been able to turn to and trust didn't believe her. This should be the kind of isolated case that hardly ever happens, but it unfortunately highlights a much bigger trend in how rape cases are handled. It is a crime quite unlike any other in that the victim becomes as much a suspect as the perpetrator. The first two thirds (approximately) of this book focuses on the solving of the crimes in question. The authors write with a very engaging style, making this piece of non-fiction read like a novel that pulls us in and doesn't let go. The chapters alternate between what happened to Marie, a psychological history of the rapist, and two years later when another investigation leads police to tie newer crimes back to what happened to Marie in 2008. It was horrifying and yet impossible to look away from. Then we come to the final third of the book and the authors shift gears, now exploring the history behind the psychology of rape investigations, such as the seventeenth-century “Hale warning”, which instructs jurors to always be wary of the false accusation. It was extremely interesting and saddening to see just how long the history is of male lawmakers fearing and cautioning against the “scorned woman” who contrives “false charges of sexual offences by men”. This section contains lots of information about how this attitude has grown and developed over the centuries, such as Thomas Jefferson writing a letter to James Madison, who would author the bill of rights, opposing harsh punishment for rape because women often cry rape as an “instrument of vengeance”. Even in the twentieth century, John Henry Wigmore wrote: “No judge should ever let a sex offense charge go to the jury unless the female complainant’s social history and mental makeup have been examined and testified to by a qualified physician.” I am so glad the authors of this book are bringing attention to both Marie's case and the appalling history behind the poor treatment of rape victims. Made-up statistics about false reporting will still fly around, of course, but hopefully this book will encourage people to question them. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong is a 2018 Crown Publishing Group publication. In the United States, there’s no saying how many women have been accused of making a false claim of rape, only to have the claim later proved to be true. There is no such statistic kept. But even Marie’s case- the extreme example where persecution becomes prosecution, where a victim is not only accused of lying, but criminally charged with it- does not stand alone. A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong is a 2018 Crown Publishing Group publication. In the United States, there’s no saying how many women have been accused of making a false claim of rape, only to have the claim later proved to be true. There is no such statistic kept. But even Marie’s case- the extreme example where persecution becomes prosecution, where a victim is not only accused of lying, but criminally charged with it- does not stand alone. At least three other cases like it have surfaced in media reports since the 1990s. This book is absolutely harrowing, maddening, and sad. Don’t approach it if you have hypertension because you may find your blood pressure shooting through the roof! Marie’s life had been difficult, and by eighteen, she had already suffered much. Things got far worse when she became a rape survivor and was brave enough to report the rape to the local authorities. But, after repeating her experience several times, the police noticed her story was not exactly the same every time. Not only that, those who were supposed to stand up for her, doubted her story as well. Finally, after much pressure, Marie recanted her story, then found herself charged with filing a false report. Meanwhile, one of the most clever, sick, and diabolical, serial rapist was on the loose in Colorado. Thankfully, Edna Hendershot and Sarah Galbraith were tenacious and very thorough. However, this case is an all too familiar accounting of what really goes on once a rape has been reported. It should not be necessary to add a trigger alert here. The rapist’s habits and state of mind is detailed and it is absolutely sickening, chilling, and very disturbing. But, the focus of the book is on the investigation, which nearly reads like a police procedural at times, and on the way law enforcement meets a report of rape with instant skepticism, the indignities so many women must endure AFTER a sexual assault. The statistics were startling, the investigation riveting, and approach to interviewing rape survivors is appalling. The authors did a great job at fleshing out what was initially a long form newspaper article. Both men are Pulitzer prize winners, and T. Christian Miller has written for ProPublica, one of very favorite investigative publications. Naturally, the work is very detailed, well researched, and organized. While what happened to Marie and the idea that if she had been taken seriously, if her account had been believed, then it may have spared others, had me fuming, and feeling incredibly frustrated, it is a very important book, one that shines a hot spotlight on the difficulties women face in reporting a rape. Hopefully, this book will help draw attention to how those who have been sexually assaulted are treated by some members of law enforcement, the stigma, the traumatic procedures women must endure, and the consequences of doubting anyone who comes forward to report a crime. Marie’s story is infuriating, but, I’m glad she finally found redemption and absolution, although it took irrefutable proof to obtain it. 4 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)

    In 2008 an 18 year old woman reported that she was raped at knife point in her apartment in Lynwwod, WA. The police did not believe her because there were inconsistencies in her story. The victim finally admitted that she had lied, the investigating officer charged her with charged with a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. What actually happened was that the police did not believe her and pressured her to recant her story, not understanding that many victims of violent crimes In 2008 an 18 year old woman reported that she was raped at knife point in her apartment in Lynwwod, WA. The police did not believe her because there were inconsistencies in her story. The victim finally admitted that she had lied, the investigating officer charged her with charged with a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. What actually happened was that the police did not believe her and pressured her to recant her story, not understanding that many victims of violent crimes have difficulty describing what happened to them. The inconsistencies wasn’t because she was lying, the inconsistencies were caused by the trauma she suffered. Ken Armstong, The Marshall Project and Christian Miller, ProPubilica working in tandem have written about how police treat rape victims. While the Lynnwood police department did not believe their rape victim, the police in Golden, Colorado did and they followed the correct procedures for handling rape crimes. First off, they believed their victims, they reached out to other area police departments looking for similar type occurrences. When confirmations of other similar rapes came the police departments worked together to identify the rapist, Marc Leary. This book is examines how we as a society view rape. How are views were shaped, why we see some of the reactions to people claim of sexual assault. The #MeToo movement will hopefully have a positive impact on our handling of sexual assault. This is a well written book about a very difficult subject. This review was originally posted on The Pfaeffle Journal

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Harrowing and eye-opening, Unbelievable (originally published as A False Report) strings together the stories of victims of a serial rapist, focusing on one young woman, Marie, whose rape allegation was dismissed after she was more or less forced to recant her accusation.  When she went back to the police station to insist that she had in fact been raped, she was charged with false reporting.  Years later, the rapist was caught and Marie's record was expunged - Unbelievable then ties together Marie's story, and the stories of Harrowing and eye-opening, Unbelievable (originally published as A False Report) strings together the stories of victims of a serial rapist, focusing on one young woman, Marie, whose rape allegation was dismissed after she was more or less forced to recant her accusation.  When she went back to the police station to insist that she had in fact been raped, she was charged with false reporting.  Years later, the rapist was caught and Marie's record was expunged - Unbelievable then ties together Marie's story, and the stories of the officers investigating this crime, with a larger commentary on the alarming way sexual assault allegations are often handled in the U.S. I decided to pick this up after a conversation with the editor of a piece I wrote recently on the rarity of false sexual assault allegations; this book echoed a lot of the research that I had uncovered while writing that, so it was ultimately every bit as infuriating as I had expected it to be. Seeing the startlingly unprofessional behavior of the officers investigating Marie was painful; they would take minor inconsistencies in Marie's story and blow them out of proportion, having never been trained to recognize that assault victims often have scattered recollections.  But if there's one thing that saves this book from being a total downer, it's that T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong emphasize the department-wide changes that were instigated in the way officers are trained to deal with assault victims, that came about as a result of this incident.  I think this should be required reading for anyone in law enforcement handling a sexual assault case.  I will say, one thing I would have liked from this book is more of a focus on the historical precedent of disbelieving women - Miller and Armstrong put the effort in here, but their research is essentially relegated to a footnote in Marie's story, whereas I felt like there was room for more interrogation into the socio- and psychological factors that underscored the particular narrative that they chose to highlight.  There was also a certain discomfort in the back of my mind whenever I thought too long and hard about the fact that this book's two authors are both male - a bit of unpleasant irony given that the book's core conceit is advocating for the voices of women.  But to my pleasant surprise, this was actually addressed in the author's note; the discomfort has been assuaged a bit knowing that this book's editorial team was entirely female, a number of female experts were consulted, and Marie herself was able to weigh in on the manuscript before it was published.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    When I saw this was going to be a Netflix series, I knew I needed to jump on reading the book to get ahead of the watercooler talk. I still haven't watched the series, but I definitely plan to. I think the right mindset going into this is just plan to be pissed off. There are some redeemable moments due to the excellent team work in Colorado and how the deplorable treatment of Marie helped to shed light on what is all too common (not believing a victim) and how that was used to radically change When I saw this was going to be a Netflix series, I knew I needed to jump on reading the book to get ahead of the watercooler talk. I still haven't watched the series, but I definitely plan to. I think the right mindset going into this is just plan to be pissed off. There are some redeemable moments due to the excellent team work in Colorado and how the deplorable treatment of Marie helped to shed light on what is all too common (not believing a victim) and how that was used to radically change training and investigating of rape allegations countrywide. What makes me also feel so sad is that I feel numb to all of the anger and frustration I should feel in reading this. What originally followed this last sentence was me ranting on a soapbox, but I deleted it because this is a book review and I'm trying to stay on topic. All I can say is thank goodness to Betsy a lot of the wrongs were righted for the victims (particularly Marie); eventually. Thank goodness there was excellent police work and the pooling of resources so ultimately this monster was caught. Also, thank goodness the Lakewood police department made an effort to learn from their mistakes and do an internal and external investigation into how they failed Marie so utterly and completely. The technical jargon was a little heavy at times (needed for investigative reporting, but a little dry to read none the less), but it was of manageable length that the book didn't get bogged down. This isn't my most eloquent review, but if you're into true crime and or good investigative reporting, this is definitely a read for you. Review Date: 10/7/19 Publication Date: 02/06/18

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diabolica

    Marie, an eighteen-year old, who belonged to a support program for teenagers aging out of foster care. Amber, in her twenties, was a graduate student at a local college. Sarah, who had recently buried her husband eight weeks after he had been diagnosed with cancer. Doris, age 65, worked as a housemother at a local fraternity. And countless other women all connected by the actions of single man. In this book, Miller weaves an together the tale of a serial rapist who received a sentence Marie, an eighteen-year old, who belonged to a support program for teenagers aging out of foster care. Amber, in her twenties, was a graduate student at a local college. Sarah, who had recently buried her husband eight weeks after he had been diagnosed with cancer. Doris, age 65, worked as a housemother at a local fraternity. And countless other women all connected by the actions of single man. In this book, Miller weaves an together the tale of a serial rapist who received a sentence of over 327 and half years in prison for his actions which afflicted upwards 30 women. Based off a true story, this book gets into the nitty-gritty of the rape case all while keeping the reader's interest. Reader discretion is advised while reading this book as Miller does not skimp out on the details, each case recited as the victims would to an officer. However, that aside the book is written much like a narrative as opposed to a police report. Every event leading to another, keeping the reader's interest throughout. Miller even managed to incorporate multiple POVs, giving the reader insights on not only the police investigation and the victims' lives, but also insights on the rapist, as a few chapters were written in his perspective. Obviously, without revealing his name. Miller did an impressive amount of research while writing this book. Each case was written as if Miller was at the scene when the victim recounted the incident, or when the police conducted their investigation. Not only does he include specifics about each individual case, but he also includes tidbits about the police investigation. The technical aspects associated with finding a culprit with DNA samples also added another dimension to the book. Asides from that, the book was empowering especially given the content. Rape is like the bastard child of crimes, something no one really wants to deal with. Leading to cases similar to a few described in Miller's book. Plus, paired with the success of the few female officers that dominated these cases, this book radiated qualities associated with the feminist movement. In all, hats off to Miller for writing such an interesting book. Combining both the plethora of information that the case consisted off as well as format in which the book was written in, Miller had me hooked the entire time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    This book, A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America is a collaborative project between journalists T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. Both journalists had been working on their individual projects when they realized they had been reporting on the same series of rapes. Mr. Miller had been reporting on a series of rapes in Colorado for Pro Publica, an investigative news organization. And Mr. Armstrong had been investigating a story regarding a rape in Lynnwood, Washington for the Marshall Proj This book, A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America is a collaborative project between journalists T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. Both journalists had been working on their individual projects when they realized they had been reporting on the same series of rapes. Mr. Miller had been reporting on a series of rapes in Colorado for Pro Publica, an investigative news organization. And Mr. Armstrong had been investigating a story regarding a rape in Lynnwood, Washington for the Marshall Project, a group that focuses on the criminal justice system. In August 2008, a young woman named Marie reported to police that, in the early hours of the morning, a stranger had broken into her apartment, tied her hands with her own shoelaces, gagged her and raped her. The rapist took photos of her throughout the assault and then made her shower for 20 minutes. Before leaving her apartment with the linens from her bed, he warned her that if she called the police, he would post the photos online for her friends and family to see. Sadly and most unfortunately, Marie's story only gets worse. Marie was questioned and asked to relate her story to Sergeant Jeffery Mason and Detective Jerry Rittgarn of the Lynnwood Police Department. The officers were bothered by small inconsistencies which crept into Marie's story after relating her story multiple times. They were also bothered by her demeanor... she was far too calm, they thought. Marie, who was 18 years old and living on her own for the first time, had spent her life living in a succession of foster homes. The Marie's latest foster mother, Peggy, heard that she had been raped, she was immediately doubtful, feeling that Marie had always had a flair for drama. Peggy decided to confide her doubts to the police and her suspicion, combined with the police's doubts, set into motion events which would lead not only to a miscarriage of justice but would also impact Marie's life for years. What the Lynnwood police did in Marie's case is an example of what NOT to do when conducting a rape investigation.Sergeant Mason and Detective Rittgarn decided that Marie had been lying about being raped and they began interrogating her as if she was a suspect... pressuring her to recant and threatening to charge her with the crime of lying to the police. Because of Marie's difficult past and her tentative support system, she buckled under the pressure and told police she had lied. Marie was then charged with lying to police and would spend years trying to put this unnecessary trauma behind her. The manner in which the Lynnwood police handled (or mishandled) Marie's case had direct consequences for several women living 1300 miles away in Colorado. In 2011, Golden, Colorado police Detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a rape. The victim reported that in the early morning hours, she was awakened by a man straddling her in her bed. He was dressed in dark clothing and wearing a black mask. He bound her hands and raped her, taking photographs throughout the assault. He then forced her to shower for 20 minutes before leaving with her bed linens. Sound familiar? That night, Detective Galbraith decided to discuss the case with her husband (a fellow detective) and her description held a ring of familiarity to her husband. he was reminded of a rape which had occurred in Westminster, Colorado and he put her in touch with the detective investigating that case, Edna Hendershot. The Colorado rape cases, occurring over a several year period and in three police jurisdictions.. Golden, Westminster and Aurora... demonstrates how justice CAN be served when police derpartments work together and share information and when officers are properly trained in how to question rape victims... in particular, when they are aware of the myriad of normal behaviors that can be expressed by traumatized people. *Hint: Do not become suspicious over inconsistencies in the victim's story immediately after an assault and do NOT expect every victim to display intense emotions or hysteria. Using cooperative police procedures, the latest in analyzing evidence collected at the rape scenes (DNA and other trace evidence) and the compassionate and analytical questioning of the victims, the three police departments got the break they needed in these cases. First, they were able to prove conclusively using very minimal DNA left at the crime scenes that all three of the rapes were committed by the same man. Ultimately, a 30-year-old Lakewood , Colorado resident Marc O'Leary was arrested, tried and convicted for these crimes. Unfortunately, the Colorado rapes need not have occurred if the Lynnwood police had chosen to believe Marie's story and had investigated the crime. Interestingly, the Colorado police did seize a computer belonging to O'Leary and a thumb drive which contained dozens of photos of the women he had assaulted... including Marie. This book by Mr. Miller and Mr. Armstrong was part true-crime and part police procedural ; but it was also an indictment of the culture we have created regarding our view and treatment of rape victims. Describing the normalization and minimalization of rape as 'rape culture', the authors discuss just how common the belief is in our society that when college-aged men rape, they are simply making 'youthful mistakes' and it would be awful if they were forced to serve time in jail or lose their college scholarships. People hold this belief despite the results of a survey of young men which showed that one out of three said they would rape if they "could get away with it." (If you're interested in this aspect of rape cultural specifically, I would recommend that you read the well-researched book by Jon Krakaeur called Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town). The authors go on to describe our rape culture as one which also manages to blame the victims by pointing out that how much a woman drinks or what type of clothing she wears can be used to justify the belief that a woman was 'asking to be raped'. And our rape culture can also explain the skepticism and disbelief that some police officers display toward victims who report rape. This disbelief frequently leads to a miscarriage of justice.... as was demonstrated in Marie's case. I can't say that I learned much from this book that I hadn't already been aware of; but what I read was depressingly illustrative of how little things have changed in the 30+ years since I read Susan Brownmiller's groundbreaking book called Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. Perhaps the #MeToo movement which has become so popular will be instrumental in bringing not only recognition of sexual violence against women, but also real change in our culture and how we think about rape.... we can hope so anyway.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars. Unbelievable, at it’s heart, is Marie’s story. It’s a story of injustice, mistakes and chance discoveries. And it’s also about redemption, hope and compassion. Marie is violently raped in her apartment by a stranger. On reporting it to the police, the detectives involved choose to disbelieve her story, holding on to doubts cast by Marie’s foster mother regarding her ‘attention seeking’, and eventually force her to retrac I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars. Unbelievable, at it’s heart, is Marie’s story. It’s a story of injustice, mistakes and chance discoveries. And it’s also about redemption, hope and compassion. Marie is violently raped in her apartment by a stranger. On reporting it to the police, the detectives involved choose to disbelieve her story, holding on to doubts cast by Marie’s foster mother regarding her ‘attention seeking’, and eventually force her to retract her statement and admit she lied. Except she didn’t. And her rapist would go on rape several more women before being brought to justice. It’s only through a series of chances, and the offenders mistakes, that Marie is brought back into the investigation. I felt such rage reading Marie’s story. She was failed by both the people she trusted, and the people who were charged with discovering the truth. She’s incredibly vulnerable, and the detectives use this to manipulate the situation to the ending they want, rather than simply looking at the facts. Throughout the early chapters especially, Marie is shown without any form of judgement. We see her background, the hard upbringing she had in various foster homes and her struggles finding work and independence. She’s simply shown as what she is - a vulnerable young woman who didn’t deserve the treatment she suffered. Nothing is sensationalised for gratuitous reasons, and as the story evolves to include the other victims, the writers even go so far as to use particularly sensitive language in their narration (one disliked that term, and preferred to be known as a ‘survivor’), which I found touching, and demonstrated the level of care that went into writing this story. I also enjoyed the way this goes beyond Marie’s story too. It explores how rape cases have evolved in the way the police collect evidence and deal with victims, going into detail about the first rape kits to help standardise testing and the impact of female officers and false reporting. It’s filled with facts and figures (some of them truly horrifying), and is very well researched. It also doesn’t set out to cast blame. It repeatedly praises the level of care and compassion Marie receives when she first reports her rape, and details the tireless efforts of the detectives who finally bring her rapist to justice. It highlights the failings in her case, yes, but also demonstrates the levels taken to understand why things went wrong, and how things can be changed to stop it happening. A deeply emotional read, that is very well researched with remarkable writing, told in a more positive way than I was expecting. Highly recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    She knew that the universe of women who had been raped looked identical to the universe of women. A hopeful 'must-read' that pays homage to the dedicated investigators and supporters who overturned a horrible miscarriage of justice for a rape victim who wasn't believed. Marie's story is, though, just one strand in a larger narrative about the hunt for a sadistic serial rapist - and almost reads like fiction, including interspersed sections from the mind of the perpetrator. While this makes all kinds She knew that the universe of women who had been raped looked identical to the universe of women. A hopeful 'must-read' that pays homage to the dedicated investigators and supporters who overturned a horrible miscarriage of justice for a rape victim who wasn't believed. Marie's story is, though, just one strand in a larger narrative about the hunt for a sadistic serial rapist - and almost reads like fiction, including interspersed sections from the mind of the perpetrator. While this makes all kinds of points about the way rape is treated judicially it, unintentionally, contributes to an ill-informed and dangerous idea that there are levels of rape: these are so-called 'proper' rapes that happen to 'good' women raped in their homes by a dangerous stranger; the victims are described as reading their bibles before bed, some of them are older, one a pensioner. Sadly, as the book says, only 15% of rapes (is that reported rapes?) fit this model - the other 85% are 'acquaintance rapes' which, as we know, get a far more questionable response, certainly in the UK press. Still, we shouldn't cavil at any book which strives to expose the iniquities, historical and contemporary, of the way rape victims have been/still are on trial in a way that other victims of crime are not. This is a gripping read as well as an important one. Thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC via NetGalley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tziggy

    Very well written about true events leading up to the conviction of a serial rapist. If you like dateline, forensic files, etc., you should enjoy this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    How do you defend yourself when someone accuses you of rape?", I believe that was the statement that William Kennedy Smith so stoically announced during his trial back in the early 90's. The public was glued to their television sets when Court TV was still on the air this was a tremendous trial. He was acquitted but guilty of that rape and several others. The woman who had the nerve to take him to trial had her creditability ripped her to shreds for all to see. This book isn't about t How do you defend yourself when someone accuses you of rape?", I believe that was the statement that William Kennedy Smith so stoically announced during his trial back in the early 90's. The public was glued to their television sets when Court TV was still on the air this was a tremendous trial. He was acquitted but guilty of that rape and several others. The woman who had the nerve to take him to trial had her creditability ripped her to shreds for all to see. This book isn't about that case, but I can still picture him on the stand all smug and composed posing that question to the jury, that poor woman didn't stand a chance. It's hard for a woman to come forward after a rape just thinking of many obstacles they face, let alone considering that chances of the perpetrator will be caught and brought to justice is slim to none. We hear of all these decades-old rape kits that are that are now being discovered in a basement at some police departments or the current ones that are waiting in line for DNA testing that may take years before they'll be tested is a daunting thought. These women fought back; they did the right things they called the police, these survivors went to the hospital to get examined, they didn't wait. I was stunning at the number of times that a specific survivor had to recall her assault because the detectives who caught her case kept finding inconsistencies in her statement. The survivor's prior behavior before and after the attack was in question regarding her case. I was furious that several people who were close to the young survivor went to the detectives and added more suspicions regarding her claim. There is no right or wrong way to how a survivor responds to a sexual assault. I thought this book was very informative and I applaud the investigative reporters who brought this case to light. It was a real eye-opener, I've worked in Law Enforcement and dealt with sexual assault survivors and to quote one of the statements in the book, "You know what these complaints represent?" The Sgt. told Ms. Browmiller. "Prostitutes who didn't get their money." I've heard that statement before, and I was livid. If a prostitute reports a sexual assault they should be should be treated just as seriously as elderly Sunday Sunday teacher. I'm glad that finally, detectives are getting the specialized training they need to handle these type of cases. In the past, it seemed as if a sexual assault case came through a police department it would always land on the females detective's desk Another thing I liked about this book is that it's not bogged down with a lot of dry statistics it was an easy read. I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this e-galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Ahmed

    Whenever a story hits the news involving sexual assaults that happened years before, people inevitably ask that if such a thing happened why the accuser waited so long to report it. This book does a good job answering that question. Men, women and children who report rape often immediately become suspects. Are they making up the allegation? What role did they play in their own victimization? And these suspicions don't just come from the police. They often come from family and friends as well. So Whenever a story hits the news involving sexual assaults that happened years before, people inevitably ask that if such a thing happened why the accuser waited so long to report it. This book does a good job answering that question. Men, women and children who report rape often immediately become suspects. Are they making up the allegation? What role did they play in their own victimization? And these suspicions don't just come from the police. They often come from family and friends as well. Sometimes whole communities turn against them. These kinds of doubts dissuade most victims from reporting attacks. It's estimated that about 80% of rapes aren't reported. A False Report tells one of these stories. When Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment, tied her up and raped her, the police did initially take her seriously. However, when her former foster mothers and a case worker with an organization devoted to helping foster children develop independence expressed doubts about Marie's claim, the investigation was immediately derailed. Detectives forced her to recant and threatened her if she didn't. Feeling like she had no choice, she did recant and was then charged with false reporting. She was offered a plea deal and paid a fine. The rapist was still out there and no one was investigating. He committed another rape in Washington State before moving to Colorado. He carried out his attacks in different jurisdictions under the assumption the police wouldn't cooperate. Thankfully, that isn't what happened. The lead detectives worked together and got the FBI involved. When the rapist was caught, pictures of Marie were found on his computer. She was vindicated and the police department put reforms in place to try to prevent something like it from happening again. Considering that most rapes are carried out by serial rapists, taking accusations seriously can stop future attacks. Skepticism protects rapists from accountability. Many people worry about false accusations. While they do happen, falsely accusing accusers of lying is far more widespread. As a detective in the book says, police shouldn't believe or disbelieve an accusation. They should listen to the accuser and then thoroughly investigate. Taking this unbiased approach is commonsense but right now that isn't what's happening. Hopefully books like this can help bring about change.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Powerful stuff ... and (for the open minded) an incredibly important book at a unique point in time. I hope it becomes widely read and, more importantly, discussed. I'm not suggesting that this book, alone, will alter, inform, or evolve the national narrative on rape, but it's a step in the right direction. At a time when the sentient, thinking public - when we, as a nation - have been forced (or at least given the opportunity) to rethink so many of our preconceived notions about gend Powerful stuff ... and (for the open minded) an incredibly important book at a unique point in time. I hope it becomes widely read and, more importantly, discussed. I'm not suggesting that this book, alone, will alter, inform, or evolve the national narrative on rape, but it's a step in the right direction. At a time when the sentient, thinking public - when we, as a nation - have been forced (or at least given the opportunity) to rethink so many of our preconceived notions about gender (and, of course, race), books like this provide meaningful context - solid grounding - to reorient our thinking. The powerful combination of data, trends, and mind-searing individual anecdotes drive home innumerable (and important) gender-related issues. (And, yikes, the list could go on an on...) But just start with the dominant male distrust of female veracity (yeah, just stop for a moment and think about what that means in a court system dominated by male judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, and then place that atop a male-dominated police force defined by its macho culture) - and one begins to realize how fraught, skewed, loaded, and incendiary any rape-related situations can easily become. Just as an example - and it's tangential to the larger enterprise - but I was fascinated by the book's passage that dealt with the impact of female cops. It was not surprising, but thought-provoking, to learn that, among other things, women are less likely to use excessive force; women are less likely to be involved in suits alleging police abuse; citizens rank female cops more empathetic and more communicative; women cops more readily embrace the goals of community policing; women cops "respond more effectively to violence against women"; and women cops more likely to make arrests in domestic violence cases. But dwell on this statistic, just for moment: in large metropolitan police departments, one percent more women cops correlate to one percent increases in rape reporting within jurisdiction. And, yes, ... sadly ... two-thirds of women cops report (in surveys) to suffering some form of sexual harassment. [Again, this is not the main thrust of the book, but I found it emblematic of the authors' ability to intertwine the (compelling) narrative story line with relevant research to put the larger issues in context.] Despite its content (and more on that below), the book succeeds and is (again, in context) a surprisingly easy read because - quite simply - Miller and Armstrong can write (efficiently, elegantly, effectively). I have no hesitation throwing this into a haphazardly stacked pile of well-received, popular modern non-fiction by some of the most skilled craftsmen making history accessible and readable, sometimes referred to as the new, new journalists, including Erik Larson or Laura Hillenbrand or Hampton Sides or Jon Krakauer, and, for me, to a lesser extent, maybe Tim Egan or Robert Kurson (whose diving books, particularly Shadow Divers, have a well deserved, near-cult-like following) Gratuitous trigger warning: This is full-length book about rape, rapes, rapists, victims (or survivors), rape investigation and prosecution, and societal perspectives and misunderstandings of all of the above. If the word RAPE in the title didn't catch your eye, just let there be no doubt in your mind that - beneath all of the veneer and sheen of accomplished journalism - what propels the book and animates the story line is a mind-numbing collection of brutal, depressing, uncomfortable, no-way-can-that-be-true, that's-the-kind-of-stuff-that-keeps-me-up-at-night facts (BOTH with regard to individual rapes and incidents, individuals, and - to me, more disturbingly - macro-level data and national trends). If this book doesn't make you uncomfortable, well, ... I'll stop there. Shelving disclaimer: I've shelved this book with other Pulitzer Prize winners I've read, and, while I think that makes sense, it's not entirely accurate. Miller & Armstrong won the Pulitzer for the long-form article, published a while back, that formed the foundation for the book. So, to be clear, this book did not win a Pulitzer, but ... the work by these authors that became the foundation for the book did, and that's good enough for me. Really glad I read the book, and I recommend it without hesitation.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This is about a young woman's report of being raped that gets all twisted up. Written by 2 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, the book follows the story of eighteen-year-old Marie. She is made to question herself because of doubters, so she recants, then tries to stand by her report, but police shake her confidence so badly she caves when she's actually telling the truth. She has been made to feel like she's not going to be believed by her rapist, preprogrammed before she ever came forward. Sad This is about a young woman's report of being raped that gets all twisted up. Written by 2 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, the book follows the story of eighteen-year-old Marie. She is made to question herself because of doubters, so she recants, then tries to stand by her report, but police shake her confidence so badly she caves when she's actually telling the truth. She has been made to feel like she's not going to be believed by her rapist, preprogrammed before she ever came forward. Sad really, when someone who's been marginalized from birth can't get a square deal when she really needs to be heard and believed at an important crossroads in her life. People all around her fail her. What happened to Marie was bad enough. Even worse, the rapist goes free to move on to other areas and continue raping. An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley, author T. Cristian Miller, and Random House for my review. The date of publication is Feb. 6, 2018

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ammar

    Strong Brutal Honest Scary Survivors show that they can live And find justice To catch a predator A smart one Better than the Netflix series

  16. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Sandi ❣

    4 stars Thanks to Crown Publishing and First to Read for this ARC, which publishes Feb 6, 2018. Very good non-fiction book detailing a serial rapist. Written from verbal conversations, court and police records, and newspaper accounts. This story reads like fiction -and although written by two men - due to their extensive research, they did an excellent job. They were able to find the empathy needed to put to paper the hell these women went through. This is a hard topic to read, but a 4 stars Thanks to Crown Publishing and First to Read for this ARC, which publishes Feb 6, 2018. Very good non-fiction book detailing a serial rapist. Written from verbal conversations, court and police records, and newspaper accounts. This story reads like fiction -and although written by two men - due to their extensive research, they did an excellent job. They were able to find the empathy needed to put to paper the hell these women went through. This is a hard topic to read, but a topic that everyone needs to understand and be aware of. They follow a serial rapist as he 'perfects his craft'. They start with one young woman, who police forced to recant her story, and follow this man's path as he wrecks havco on a number of other women - both young and old. It brings in numerous police departments as he travels from Washington state to Colorado and how they finally combine their resources. It speaks of the near misses as they come close to catching him and of the complications they must overcome to zero in on their suspect. It explains the cleverness of the perpetrator as he leaves nothing behind in the way of forensic clues, but also how he leaves a defined pattern of his crime. It is easy to understand how these two authors were selected for Pulitzer's for journalism. Their work is very good and this story is one that should be read by all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Netgalley #46 Many thanks go to Miller and Armstrong, Crown Publishing, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. Extremely touching account of a serial rape investigation across state lines. What happens when police departments do not coordinate and evidence including DNA is not stored and recorded correctly. But what was most aggravating was learning how often detectives DO NOT BELIEVE the victims. Even in the 21st century women stil Netgalley #46 Many thanks go to Miller and Armstrong, Crown Publishing, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. Extremely touching account of a serial rape investigation across state lines. What happens when police departments do not coordinate and evidence including DNA is not stored and recorded correctly. But what was most aggravating was learning how often detectives DO NOT BELIEVE the victims. Even in the 21st century women still ask for it, women still lie, and women are still charged for filing false charges. It's just too much for me to swallow. Their lives have cracked to pieces, they have no glue, and they are being accused of being whores STILL. To give you some statistics in 2009 in Detroit there were 11, 341 untested rape kits found in a warehouse. In 2015 the White House estimate the national backlog was closer to 400,000. Rape kits were only adopted in the 70's. There even exists a blog that focuses on "false rape reports" out of England that goes back to 1674. Obviously the system is against the victim. Women are held in the lowest esteem. There is no evidence that it's getting better nationwide, and when officers are finally proven wrong there is rarely an apology offered. This book made me sick. It tore at my insides. I feel fortunate to have read this, and I think every woman should to learn how to protect herself against " A False Report".

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review can also be found on BW Book Reviews. Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my rating. This kind of book isn’t my usual type of thing. I don’t usually like reading about rape, and this book is all about a serial rapist and how they caught him. It’s about rape culture inside the police and in the world in general. It’s about the aftermath of rape in the lives of the survivors. It’s about the way the p This review can also be found on BW Book Reviews. Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my rating. This kind of book isn’t my usual type of thing. I don’t usually like reading about rape, and this book is all about a serial rapist and how they caught him. It’s about rape culture inside the police and in the world in general. It’s about the aftermath of rape in the lives of the survivors. It’s about the way the police go about finding rapists and solving (or abandoning) the crimes. Really, it’s not my type of book yet it totally was. “All I did was survive, and I was criminalized for it.” The story starts with the story of a woman who had been raped. The police didn’t think her story added up, so they completely dropped the case and, in the end, charged her for wasting police time. And then, across the country, there were other women being assaulted in the same way and the hunt for their rapist continued. It’s told in chapters that go back and forth in time, from the initial report to the other survivors to the rapist’s life to the various investigators. I thought it was impressive how all of those lines were balanced. Despite how similar they were, I never lost track of the story being presented to me and all of the people involved in it. It also focused on showing the failings of the police with investigating rapes. First, it gave the statistics as things stand and just showed how rape survivors are prosecuted for false reporting, then exonerated for it. Next, it gave the historical perspective of how hard it is for the survivors when it comes to trial because of the things the defense says and uses. While this isn’t an easy book to read, it’s a very satisfying one. It was masterfully told, interesting the whole time, and made you sick that something like this happened yet hopeful that it won’t again. All in all, a very strong true crime book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I'm giving a lot of books 5 stars this week, but when you're good, you're good. This expansion of a magazine piece (and I love a good magazine article) is a gripping, maddening true crime story. In 2008 in Washington, a young woman was raped. Within a week police pressures and doubt made her recant her story. Several years later, women in Colorado were raped in cases that had deep similarities to one another - as well as to the case up in Washington that was closed as "unfounded." I ripped throu I'm giving a lot of books 5 stars this week, but when you're good, you're good. This expansion of a magazine piece (and I love a good magazine article) is a gripping, maddening true crime story. In 2008 in Washington, a young woman was raped. Within a week police pressures and doubt made her recant her story. Several years later, women in Colorado were raped in cases that had deep similarities to one another - as well as to the case up in Washington that was closed as "unfounded." I ripped through this book in horror and in awe of the detective work that led to the eventual arrest of the rapist. This is reporting at the top of its game. It's also, sad to say, a crime story in which the worst offense is the systemic doubt that follows many women after they report an assault, instead of the empathy and compassion the situation requires.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janel

    *Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing* 2.5 stars - Upon finishing A False Report, I had to take some time and reflect back on all that I’d read. Sometimes, when I read books such as this one, I immediately want to give it a five-star rating and the highest praise due to the courage displayed by the survivors. “All I did was survive, and I was criminalized for it.” I struggled with this book review, because I struggled with several aspects of this book; I wo *Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing* 2.5 stars - Upon finishing A False Report, I had to take some time and reflect back on all that I’d read. Sometimes, when I read books such as this one, I immediately want to give it a five-star rating and the highest praise due to the courage displayed by the survivors. “All I did was survive, and I was criminalized for it.” I struggled with this book review, because I struggled with several aspects of this book; I worried that elements that didn’t work for me would be misconstrued, so firstly, let me be absolutely clear – I am in no way taking anything away from the strong women who survived a truly horrific experience, and I admire their bravery in allowing their experiences to be shared. Regarding the way this book is written, I struggled to connect with the writing style and the chosen tone. From the opening page, to the very last, this book is told in a very “matter-of-fact” way and, for me, it lacked emotion. This book contains sexual abuse statistics, and a lot of background information on how certain things came into being, for example, rape kits and police databases. While this information was interesting, combined with the tone of the writing, made this read like an academic textbook at times. I really wanted to love this book, as harrowing a subject as it was, because I think books like this are important for raising awareness and can act as a cataylst for change; most important of all, they are a platform for the survivor’s voices to be heard. And I think a lot of that comes from the emotion one feels when they read books like this, the outrage at such a crime, the failing of a police force, the treatment of victims – this ignites emotions, highlights the flaws in humanity and creates a desire for a better way of doing things. However, a lot of this was lost by the tone and way this book was narrated. I know I keep mentioning the tone, but for me personally, it weakened the “voice” of these women, in the sense that I lost the emotional connection. In a book such as this, you are always going to be somewhat effected, so I won’t lie and say this book had no impact on me at all, it was just not the book I thought it would be. I would like to end this review by highlighting the positive – I take nothing away from these women or their experiences, their strength and courage; also, this book shows there are some very strong and dedicated police officers who work extremely hard to achieve justice. It’s evident this book has been well-researched and I appreciated the ‘Acknowledgements’ at the end, as two male authors wrote this book, it was good to see who they consulted during the journey to publication.

  21. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    **Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of A FALSE REPORT: THE TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICAN by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong in exchange for my honest review ** In 2008 in Washington state, eighteen year old Marie, a former foster child, is raped in her home. Afterward, everyone in her life lets her down. Two of her former foster mothers decide she’s lying. Her best friend creates a My Space page branding Marie a liar. Even worse, the police force her **Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of A FALSE REPORT: THE TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICAN by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong in exchange for my honest review ** In 2008 in Washington state, eighteen year old Marie, a former foster child, is raped in her home. Afterward, everyone in her life lets her down. Two of her former foster mothers decide she’s lying. Her best friend creates a My Space page branding Marie a liar. Even worse, the police force her to plead guilty to filing a false report. Three years later detectives in Colorado arrest a serial rapist who has pictures of himself raping Marie. A FALSE REPORT: THE TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICAN covers other victims and the investigation of the rapist. I’m too saddened and angered by Marie’s story to think about the other facets of the book. I can’t imagine how abandoned and alone she was, first surviving a four hour rape ordeal in her own home, then treated like a lying criminal and finally the abandonment of every important person in her life. I don’t know how she survived and wish she’d write her memoirs about the experience. Miller and Armstrong wrote A FALSE REPORT: THE TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICAN in such a readable manner I often felt like I was perusing a novel. Even more important than the investigation and capture of the rapist is commentary on how rape victims are sometimes treated by untrained and/or uncaring cops. I’m a rape survivor and unfortunately familiar with the failings of the justice system. Marie will stay with me long after the rest of the story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Don't be fooled by the title. This book details what happens when the police bully a young woman into recanting her rape story and how she was eventually vindicated. It will piss you off, but then you can shove it in the faces of those twits who are worried about falsely accused men. The reporters do a very good job, and every one is treated fairly. It helps that women are very instrutmental in solving the case. Highly recommended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barry Sierer

    This book is a fairly decent crime story that carries a disturbing over-all theme; that police investigations of rape (in this case, the more cut and dried “stranger rape” cases rather than date rape cases) can be tragically flawed because of erroneous assumptions by the people who judge and investigate them. While the book highlights how one woman, Marie, was pressured to recant a legitimate rape accusation; the authors also note several cases of other actual rape victims who were not believed This book is a fairly decent crime story that carries a disturbing over-all theme; that police investigations of rape (in this case, the more cut and dried “stranger rape” cases rather than date rape cases) can be tragically flawed because of erroneous assumptions by the people who judge and investigate them. While the book highlights how one woman, Marie, was pressured to recant a legitimate rape accusation; the authors also note several cases of other actual rape victims who were not believed or even charged, by trained police detectives. The book also provides something of a side history of those who have made notable contributions to the investigation of sexually based crimes such as Martha Goddard who worked to standardize the use of the “rape kit” nationwide. I would highly recommend book as it helps inform and challenge many assumptions of one of the darkest crimes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    2.5 stars This book was not what I expected. The focus was on specific cases in Colorado and Washington. I thought that it was going to be a broader investigative piece, and place the specific cases in a larger cultural perspective. The big picture was only 20% or so, while the other 80% was a description of specific crimes that belongs in the true crime category. If that's what You're looking for, this book may appeal to you more than it did to me. It's impossible not to feel something for thes 2.5 stars This book was not what I expected. The focus was on specific cases in Colorado and Washington. I thought that it was going to be a broader investigative piece, and place the specific cases in a larger cultural perspective. The big picture was only 20% or so, while the other 80% was a description of specific crimes that belongs in the true crime category. If that's what You're looking for, this book may appeal to you more than it did to me. It's impossible not to feel something for these victims and law enforcement officials as the events are presented to the reader. I am a bit put off by the amount of salacious details, similar to an episode of C.S.I., or S.V.U., or Criminal Minds; followed by a quote by an admitted rapist criticising people who watch these kind of shows. It seems to me that the authors are trying to appeal to this same kind of sensationalism to tell the story. I have so much empathy and respect for the assault survivors whose stories are told in this book. It's infuriating to read the statistics and historical references to how rape reporting has been handled for centuries. I appreciate the book for those reasons. At the same time, I'm appalled by the details and the suspenseful buildup of the narrative... we do not learn the suspect's name until the officers get their break in the case. It's a little too dramatic for me. We are given glimpses of what compels the monster that caused so much pain and suffering, which is interesting to hear what the megalomaniac rapist was thinking when he did unthinkable things... but I am not particularly moved to hear about a human side of someone after learning of the lives that he has hunted and haunted. Thank you to Penguin's First to read program for providing me with an advance copy for review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    vanessa

    This is an exceptional book about the long road to justice for a group of women assaulted by a serial rapist. Investigators doubted one of the first victims, Marie, pressuring her to recant her story and even charging her with false reporting. The authors trace Marie's story as well as the other women's. They follow investigators from a variety of Colorado suburbs (with special attention to two smart and dedicated women investigators) and take a psychological look at the rapist. The book also di This is an exceptional book about the long road to justice for a group of women assaulted by a serial rapist. Investigators doubted one of the first victims, Marie, pressuring her to recant her story and even charging her with false reporting. The authors trace Marie's story as well as the other women's. They follow investigators from a variety of Colorado suburbs (with special attention to two smart and dedicated women investigators) and take a psychological look at the rapist. The book also discusses the history of stigmatizing and branding rape victims as liars when they come forward (and how prominent figures and precedent have supported this). Great reporting - definitely engrossing, but also respectful and thoughtful... it was a great listen on audiobook. I also appreciate the authors' note at the end about gender blindspots and how they came to tell this story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A heartbreaking book. A young girl, Marie, gets raped. She goes to the police to make a report. After a few conversations, the police starts to question Marie's story. Under pressure, Marie explains that she lied about the rape. What follows next is a beautiful written story. There seem to be similarities to Marie's rape with other rapes that have occurred in the span of a few years. Maybe Marie did not lie at all..... I very much enjoyed reading this. I love a g A heartbreaking book. A young girl, Marie, gets raped. She goes to the police to make a report. After a few conversations, the police starts to question Marie's story. Under pressure, Marie explains that she lied about the rape. What follows next is a beautiful written story. There seem to be similarities to Marie's rape with other rapes that have occurred in the span of a few years. Maybe Marie did not lie at all..... I very much enjoyed reading this. I love a good non fiction crime novel and this was expertly written. I really felt for Marie, a girl who already had a rough start in life. I would recommend this book for sure. 5 Stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Evy

    4.5 stars Read for Read Harder 2018 challenge: A book of true crime THIS is what Read Harder is for! I've never had an interest in true crime, and passed it off as a genre that I thought wasn't for me. But this was just so good, and gripping, and I think now I'll definitely try more books in the genre. Of course, this book won't be for everyone, since it's in part about catching a serial rapist and definitely unavoidably includes fairly detailed descriptions of his crimes throughout./>Read 4.5 stars Read for Read Harder 2018 challenge: A book of true crime THIS is what Read Harder is for! I've never had an interest in true crime, and passed it off as a genre that I thought wasn't for me. But this was just so good, and gripping, and I think now I'll definitely try more books in the genre. Of course, this book won't be for everyone, since it's in part about catching a serial rapist and definitely unavoidably includes fairly detailed descriptions of his crimes throughout. But if you're ok with reading about that, I definitely highly recommend this book. Also, this book will probably make you really really mad about how unjustly rape survivors have been treated by American investigative practice past and present. Like, holy cow it made me angry. This book offers a good exploration of a much broader problem through a single case. And I thought it was a great move from the authors, who are both men, to acknowledge that in the author's note, and to talk about many of the considerations involved in writing this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrienne

    I didn’t realize that I had already seen a 48 Hours episode that featured the topic of this book called, “Hunted.” The writing is meticulous and there were so many names of people involved to remember, but it sheds a light on how reporting and investigating a rape is difficult. The worst thing that can happen is when police investigators dismiss a rape claim and the victim becomes a nuisance. Review copy provided by the publisher.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it. I listened to the "Anatomy of Doubt" episode of This American Life back when it first aired, and I was gobsmacked by the story. I fully meant to read it a long time ago, and then again when I realized the new Netflix show Unbelievable was based on it, but I have poor impulse control and ended up watching the show first. (It was really, really good.) The story kind of consumed me the weekend it was released. I watched the first episode in the morni I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it. I listened to the "Anatomy of Doubt" episode of This American Life back when it first aired, and I was gobsmacked by the story. I fully meant to read it a long time ago, and then again when I realized the new Netflix show Unbelievable was based on it, but I have poor impulse control and ended up watching the show first. (It was really, really good.) The story kind of consumed me the weekend it was released. I watched the first episode in the morning, and then the rest of it all in one sitting. I was immediately left wanting more, so I reserved this book from the library and pounced on it almost as soon as it came in. The events themselves make for a story that's impossible not to make compelling, but Miller and Armstrong make it more so by combining clear, concise reporting with a dual-storytelling approach: First the story of eighteen year old Marie in 2008, how poorly she was treated (she was interrogated! like a criminal!) and how nobody believed she was raped and her life fell apart; then that of the cops in Colorado who investigated the case of a serial rapist who was very smart about not leaving evidence, and how they finally tracked him down, exonerating Marie in the process. It combines a heartbreaking story of someone who is trying to recover from terrible trauma, with an extremely satisfying police investigation of a very smart criminal. I highly recommend this book, and the TV show, and the TAL episode. I haven't read the original 12,000 word article published by The Marshall Project and ProPublica, but this book's bones are based on it, so if you'd like an idea of what to expect here, that would be a good first start.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    In 2016 Christian T. Miller and Ken Armstrong won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Writing “For a startling examination and exposé of law enforcement's enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.”, with their article, ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’. On August 11 2008, 18 year old Marie was brutally raped at knifepoint in her own home by a masked intruder. Barely a week later the vulnerable young woman was accused, In 2016 Christian T. Miller and Ken Armstrong won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Writing “For a startling examination and exposé of law enforcement's enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.”, with their article, ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’. On August 11 2008, 18 year old Marie was brutally raped at knifepoint in her own home by a masked intruder. Barely a week later the vulnerable young woman was accused, and later convicted, of making a false report to police after she was intimidated into withdrawing her complaint by disbelieving officers. More than two years later the capture of a serial rapist revealed photographs taken of Marie during her ordeal. She had told the truth. In this accessible and utterly compelling narrative, Unbelievable (previously published as A False Report) expands on the original article written by Miller and Armstrong, delving into the investigation that finally caught the rapist and a history of the perpetrator, along with a brief exploration of the historical scepticism with which rape victims are viewed by law enforcement, and society at large. Marie’s experience is heartbreaking and infuriating, and unfortunately not an isolated event then, or now. The thorough, objective investigation of rape allegations is crucial to ensure justice, both for the alleged victim, and the alleged accused. Now the subject of a Netflix limited series, I highly recommend you read and/or watch Unbelievable, and demand that law enforcement and the justice system do better.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.