A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

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afalsereport.jpg

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

28.00

Ward’s pick: This incredible book is an expanded version of the Pulitzer Prize winning article originally published in ProPublica. It is such an important book, one which should be required reading for all law enforcement officers and, for that matter, men in general. Since there are so many twists and surprises to the story, I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you this: in 2008, an 18 year old woman living outside Seattle told police that she was sexually assaulted by a stranger in her apartment. Within weeks, the local police switched from investigating a crime to charging this woman with making a false report. With little evidence to back up her story, the woman admitted to lying to police and paid a $500 fine, narrowly escaping a jail sentence. A couple years later, two detectives in the Denver area began to investigate two separate rapes. Through an exhaustive and detailed pursuit, they tied these assaults to others across the Denver area… and beyond.

About the book: On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded 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, 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 discovered 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, A False Report is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing truth of how sexual assault is investigated today—and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.

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