A False Report
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 truthfully 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.

A False Report Details

TitleA False Report
Author
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN-139781524759933
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Mystery, Adult

A False Report Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    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. 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
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  • Tziggy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    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 e 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.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Valerity *
    January 1, 1970
    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 expected date of publication is Feb. 6, 2018
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  • Andrienne
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Elese
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly overcame my initial side-eye at two men writing on this subject. A few pages into the first chapter, I realized that I'd read the excellent Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica piece that this book grew out of ... still found this book-length examination compelling and worthy and upsetting. We need more women in law enforcement.
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  • Amy's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    **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 gu **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.
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    I'm one of those housewives who sees that her husband is gone for a few hours on a Saturday night. I check to make sure that he's really gone. Once he's nowhere in sight, I put on some comfy pajamas, pour myself a huge glass of wine, and then I turn on some late night mystery show. 48 Hours Mystery or Dateline. Don't you know that most of the time it's about a female who is home alone and is attacked! And reading the synopsis of this book, I remember seeing this on one of those shows. It was hea I'm one of those housewives who sees that her husband is gone for a few hours on a Saturday night. I check to make sure that he's really gone. Once he's nowhere in sight, I put on some comfy pajamas, pour myself a huge glass of wine, and then I turn on some late night mystery show. 48 Hours Mystery or Dateline. Don't you know that most of the time it's about a female who is home alone and is attacked! And reading the synopsis of this book, I remember seeing this on one of those shows. It was heartbreaking then and was heartbreaking while reading it. A False Report is a true story about a traveling psycho rapist. Who was overcome with seeing Princess Leia enslaved in Star Wars. He couldn't get it out of his head but he could sometimes control his desires. Once he moved back to Colorado is when his masterplans came to fulfillment and his reign of terror took over. He never struck the same place twice and had Detectives scrambling to find any clue left behind and contacting towns near there to strike up any similarities. It was looking like a dead-end until he screwed himself up. This was such an interesting read. I was appalled that some of the investigators didn't take some of these ladies at their word. It's one of the main reasons why so many women are afraid to speak up. They are afraid that they won't be believed, judged, or even ridiculed and Women should never feel this way. They need to be treated with the same respect as everyone else. It was mesmerizing at how the Investigators dug deeper into the realm to find any clue that might help. From a partial print to a shoe impression, any little piece can help them catch someone. I was horrified but intrigued by this story. It makes you watch your surroundings and check every door and window in the house when you're home alone or about to go to bed. Always remember to fight back and speak up!!
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Difficult truths and important insights written with heartbreaking detail.
  • Kayo
    January 1, 1970
    This book wasn't at all like i expected. While it was a hard book to read, you felt for the women in them. So glad they found the rapist, and he is in prison. Thank you to author, Crown Publishing and Netgalley for the chance to read. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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  • Librariann
    January 1, 1970
    Timely and terrifying. Brings new meaning to PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
  • Birdie O
    January 1, 1970
    This book was, at all times, compelling and terrifying.  You hear the statistics, you see infographics, and you see chatter online all the time about women and rape cases.  But this book brings it all home.  T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong have made those women who are doubted, and the ones who are believed, REAL in their book, A False Report: A true story of rape in America.The book follows, very closely, two lines of investigation into rape.  The tale of a young girl who was raped in Was This book was, at all times, compelling and terrifying.  You hear the statistics, you see infographics, and you see chatter online all the time about women and rape cases.  But this book brings it all home.  T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong have made those women who are doubted, and the ones who are believed, REAL in their book, A False Report: A true story of rape in America.The book follows, very closely, two lines of investigation into rape.  The tale of a young girl who was raped in Washington state is so heartwrenching and terrifying.  It's easy to see why reporting statistics are so terrible.  Who would want to go through that?  Miller and Armstrong are able to report with a fairly neutral voice (though it feels like a bit of disdain for the Washington case handling leaks through) on all aspects of these cases.Despite the fact that this book is about specific investigations, Miller and Armstrong delve into the general history of rape in America (and the UK).  The terrifying fact that precedents and advice given by a judge nearly 300 years ago are still held up as relevant makes me despair for justice.  The investigators in the Colorado case give me hope.  The back and forth between the way a case should be handled and police work should be done (with cooperation and not competition) and the way it should not be done (with dismissal and disbelief) really creates a startling contrast.I have nothing but praise for this book, its authors, and most importantly, the survivors and victims that came forward to the police and to the reporters.  I hope that these cases and this book is one more GIANT step forward to seeing fair prosecution and representation of rape in the courts of America.
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  • Shellie Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Penguin Random House. I really enjoyed this book. The subject of rape and rape culture in this country is always a touchy one and most of the time leads to a wide range of emotional reactions. I truly appreciated the organization of this book. Although I did have to go back and remind myself where I was in the timeline of the mixture of stories, I loved how the authors left each chapter on a cliffhanger. It was written like a suspense novel ra I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Penguin Random House. I really enjoyed this book. The subject of rape and rape culture in this country is always a touchy one and most of the time leads to a wide range of emotional reactions. I truly appreciated the organization of this book. Although I did have to go back and remind myself where I was in the timeline of the mixture of stories, I loved how the authors left each chapter on a cliffhanger. It was written like a suspense novel rather than a stagnant nonfiction. This book contained detailed research and undisputed information that is vital to understanding how victims of rape can become of victims of police injustice as well. Marie's story is powerful. There are times when I understood why police in Lynwood doubted her story. However, this book also highlights the dangers of the reasons behind false reporting charges. Saying a rape victim didn't "act like a victim" is a phrase we as a society need to move away from. There is no proper way to "act" after being the victim of a sexual assault. Someone as outgoing and dramatic as Marie was accused of being a liar because she didn't react to the rape in an outgoing and dramatic fashion. Even the most open person can shut down when something so personal, private, and irreversibly damaging happens to them. I was glad to see that there is positive change within law enforcement departments around the country that came from this terrible example and it is my sincere hope that another tragic episode does not need to happen for further change to take place. I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciated Jon Krakauer's "Missoula."
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  • C.R. Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Truly a phenomenal book. Although true crime is a genre I'm very interested in it is also one that can easily become sensationalized such that the truth is drowned beneath the "special effects" of the crime fixated upon the horror and helplessness. The premise of A False Report is to bring the reader face to face with the biggest concern about rape reports--that someone will be falsely accused. It is a concern that reflects the n *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Truly a phenomenal book. Although true crime is a genre I'm very interested in it is also one that can easily become sensationalized such that the truth is drowned beneath the "special effects" of the crime fixated upon the horror and helplessness. The premise of A False Report is to bring the reader face to face with the biggest concern about rape reports--that someone will be falsely accused. It is a concern that reflects the nature of taking cases to court which is that juries must convict beyond reasonable doubt. It is a concern that reflects the nature of interpersonal relationships often being messy, contentious and the fact that we as people often find ourselves skeptical of the experiences of others.A False Report shines the light fully on this argument by following several rape stories as they eventually dovetail neatly together to reveal the reality beyond our fears and expectations. I confess that I appreciated the author's choice of subject as it illustrates a lot of the inherent flaws in the system and in the public's treatment of rape as a crime as well as rape as a subject for intrigue, paranoia and ultimately something that we find difficult to address in meaningful ways.The handling of the cases was more focused on the victims, the investigators and the outcomes for the victims. The perpetrator is discussed at sufficient length. The author tries to resist the trope of going too in depth with the perpetrator and making the reader overly sympathetic. The refocusing on the crimes, the victims and the investigators assists in providing a guide for future dialogue on rape and what causes it. The tone of A False Report is appropriate for the time it will be released in. It attempts to bring us closer to finding a way to address the truly complicated nature of rape and attempts to untangle the threads so that we can work toward addressing each in a fitting way. The content of the book may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly those who are sensitive to the topic, however, it isn't sensationalized either. I appreciated this because in doing so it is possible to focus on the actual issues.This is a must read book for everyone. But specifically right now it is such an important book in moving the dialogue forward toward the goal of:1. Listening to the stories of victims 2. Stopping the activities of current offenders3. Implementing resources to discourage future offenders4. Developing resources for potential offenders before they victimize and so that they cease to have the desire to do so
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  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    January 1, 1970
    4.5
  • librarianka
    January 1, 1970
    I wonder do police detectives read books on true crime in their spare time? I would definitely hope they do and that this title is at the top of their list. As much as it shows outstanding police work especially how cooperation among various units and department got results it also points to the fact that bad police work has serious consequences for victims and potential victims and this is why it should be a required reading in all police departments.The research is impecable, writing excellent I wonder do police detectives read books on true crime in their spare time? I would definitely hope they do and that this title is at the top of their list. As much as it shows outstanding police work especially how cooperation among various units and department got results it also points to the fact that bad police work has serious consequences for victims and potential victims and this is why it should be a required reading in all police departments.The research is impecable, writing excellent. The authors acknowledge their extensive work including numerous interviews in bibliographies at the end of each chapter. They also include very important historical context to the contemporary rape case trials by going as far back as 17th century England and providing some interesting information as far as one pious judge Mathew Hale who in 1600s set the tone for miscarrying of justice by insisting that women accuse falsely and who also presided in very first witch trials when he convicted two elderly women to death which set precedent for subsequent infamous Salem trials. His influence on the conduct of rape trials continued to endure for over 300 years. I found this and other historical information related to rape cases in general and the judicial leniency towards perpetrators very interesting and important in helping the reader to understand where we are today.This book is a testament to compassion and cooperation and it is hopeful that as such it will set an example for future investigations by the police. The success of carrying out of justice was possible thanks to various detectives from different jurisdictions who fully cooperated in conducting the investigation. In the same spirit the two journalists who co-authored the book, and who had started on similar work unknown to each other upon learning of each other's efforts, chose to join forces and wrote the book together which resulted in an excellent piece of reporting.Two police detectives remained etched in my mind after I finished the book: both were culpable of making fatal mistakes and gross insensivity towards the victim, Marie, who was coerced to recant her accusation and subsequently criminally charged for false reporting thus being re-victimized by the police. One of the police freely admitted to his errors of judgement, fully apologised and decided to learn from his mistakes, and had no problem with sharing of information with the authors while another one, equally culpable of wrong doing, showed a remarkable lack of professional integrity by refusing to acknowledge his hurtful actions, never apologized and finally expressed hope for financial gain if interviewed, and when told that there was no payment for being interviewed, refused to talk.Apart from this individual the detectives from the book stand out as role models of integrity, dedication, compassion and thoroughness, and that is a very good news.
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  • Colleen Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    In Pulitzer prize winning journalists' Miller and Armstrong's fascinating and meticulously documented A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA, the story on a grave injustice--a Seattle-area police department's failure to believe an 18-year-old woman's report of assault-- is juxtaposed against a fascinating account of the inter-agency hunt for a serial rapist in Colorado. Long after the young victim in Washington recanted her story under interrogation and young "Marie" was charged with th In Pulitzer prize winning journalists' Miller and Armstrong's fascinating and meticulously documented A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA, the story on a grave injustice--a Seattle-area police department's failure to believe an 18-year-old woman's report of assault-- is juxtaposed against a fascinating account of the inter-agency hunt for a serial rapist in Colorado. Long after the young victim in Washington recanted her story under interrogation and young "Marie" was charged with the crime of lying to police, photos were discovered in the possession of the rape suspect--photos in which she could be seen bound and being assaulted just as she had claimed.This horrifying discovery sends shockwaves through the department and detectives who'd allowed themselves to become convinced that Marie's story didn't add up. Why they might have felt this way, the long history of skepticism toward women reporting sexual assault, and how they responded to it make for a thought-provoking and fascinating read.In addition, the authors recount the history, movements, and thought process of the obsessed man whose sick and secretive obsession caused so much damage in so many lives. Sadly, this man's intelligence and organization kept him at large--and racking up victims--far too long.An expanded version of the authors' award-winning Pro Publica article, A FALSE REPORT is intelligent, empathetic, and occasionally infuriating, as one imagines an 18-year-old, fresh from the foster system and just beginning to get her life together, devastated first by a sadistic assault and then by disbelief. But though mistakes were made by some in law enforcement, others are give due credit for their persistence, teamwork, professionalism, and cooperation in bringing this case to its conclusion.I received an advance copy of the book for review consideration.Very highly recommended read.
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  • Marsha
    January 1, 1970
    At it's core, this is the story of Marie, a teen who was brutally raped after being targeted and stalked. She reports the rape but is not believed and ends up being charged herself with mischief. She loses her apartment, her friends and her job all because she's a "liar". After that, a series of similar brutal rapes go unsolved until one investigator has a lucky break. When they raid the rapist's secret room, they find videos of the rapes in progress -- including Marie's.A thorough and well-writ At it's core, this is the story of Marie, a teen who was brutally raped after being targeted and stalked. She reports the rape but is not believed and ends up being charged herself with mischief. She loses her apartment, her friends and her job all because she's a "liar". After that, a series of similar brutal rapes go unsolved until one investigator has a lucky break. When they raid the rapist's secret room, they find videos of the rapes in progress -- including Marie's.A thorough and well-written book, using the example of Marie to explore the ongoing "blame the victim" approach to women who report that they've been raped. This book should be read by everyone. The authors are professional and thorough in their approach and let the facts speak for themselves - for example the vast number of rape kits that are sitting and collecting dust across America in police warehouses, their contents never analysed. Thank you, Netgalley, for the e-review edition.
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  • Am
    January 1, 1970
    I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. It's SO hard to walk away from this book and not be angry. It hard to not be angry for Marie or the other women who are told how they should act when they are raped or told they were lying. I won't lie, I was annoyed with the writing as the book started off. It seemed like the authors were trying too hard to make it a narrative. Then I got attached to Marie and the amazing detectives from Colorado. I was hooked. It's a great easy read but it's definitely n I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. It's SO hard to walk away from this book and not be angry. It hard to not be angry for Marie or the other women who are told how they should act when they are raped or told they were lying. I won't lie, I was annoyed with the writing as the book started off. It seemed like the authors were trying too hard to make it a narrative. Then I got attached to Marie and the amazing detectives from Colorado. I was hooked. It's a great easy read but it's definitely not for the light hearted.
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  • JJ
    January 1, 1970
    Review coming 2/1/2018!
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    From the publisher - (edited for length and clarity) 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, she broke down and said her story was a lie--a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false From the publisher - (edited for length and clarity) 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, she broke down and said her story was a lie--a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting. One of Marie's 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.I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Be prepared - this book made me SO ANGRY MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS STILL THROUGH THE ROOF. It speaks of the misogyny and slut-shaming that permeates our culture now - even more so than when Marie was raped in 2008 (her friend would not need to make a webpage to shame Marie r as she would just have social media on her phone to do it with!) So many women are not believed and had it not been for Stacey Galbraith, Marie would still be branded a liar and dealing with the shame of being called a liar.This book was deftly written and searingly honest and would have made an excellent novel if it were not an example of the slut-shaming truth that runs rampant through so many police departments world-wide. Whether you are a feminist or not, (I am not one) this book will make your blood boil - if you are a man, you will worry about the wives and daughters you love and the society in general. Not an easy read but an important one!
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    When I learned of this book, I knew it was either going to be really good or really awful. I loved the concept of this book. I've worked as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Coordinator and I was a Victim Advocate so this book was completely up my alley. I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy from NetGalley so I jumped right in the second I could. T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong were able to show all of the intricacies that go into investigating a rape. They also showed ho When I learned of this book, I knew it was either going to be really good or really awful. I loved the concept of this book. I've worked as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Coordinator and I was a Victim Advocate so this book was completely up my alley. I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy from NetGalley so I jumped right in the second I could. T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong were able to show all of the intricacies that go into investigating a rape. They also showed how one wrong move on an investigator's part can derail an investigation. Though I liked how detailed they were, I felt that they got stuck too much in certain areas. It seemed that they would go off on a tangent on how or why something was created. This pulled you out of the story and most of the time, I would ask myself why this was in the book. It really dragged down the flow of the book and in the first half of the book, it almost made it unbearable. I did almost DNF this book. I felt that the first half dragged on and on and jumped from tangent to tangent. I understand that some of the details needed to be in there but not everyone here needs to know how a rape kit was invented or how other tools were created. Several pages could have easily been written as a paragraph explaining why this was important and how it was useful to investigators. I found myself thinking "we got it, move on" on more than one occasion. Honestly, it broke up the story and made it less powerful. One of the things that I did love about this book is how it portrayed the victims. It didn't vilify them. It was matter of fact and I really appreciated it. Though the authors focused on details, I truly appreciated how they did not give too many details on the sexual assaults. I think that too many authors would sensationalize what these victims went through so it was refreshing to get a "this is what happened" without going into the gory details.Once the first half was over, the last half was quick paced and fascinating. I enjoyed learning more about the story and how it unfolded. I remember seeing this on the news (I live in Colorado) and being thankful that they caught the guy. The last half of this book salvaged it. I'm glad I stuck with this book. It was insightful though slow. Ultimately, I would rate this book 2 1/2 stars which is why I rounded it up to 3 stars.
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  • Jenny Houle
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from FirstToRead.com for an unbiased review.A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA is an intertwining story of two teams of investigators looking into particular rape cases in America, each following the rules they'd been taught, but one going about it the "wrong" way and one going about it the "right" way (for lack of a better way to really word that). It shows that the mishandling of the first survivor potentially led to the subsequent attacks on se I received a free copy of this book from FirstToRead.com for an unbiased review.A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA is an intertwining story of two teams of investigators looking into particular rape cases in America, each following the rules they'd been taught, but one going about it the "wrong" way and one going about it the "right" way (for lack of a better way to really word that). It shows that the mishandling of the first survivor potentially led to the subsequent attacks on several more survivors. It also shows just a few of the ways the American system has failed survivors in the past, and the changes it's making now to stop those failures from happening in the future, in many ways directly relating to these overlapping cases and their outcomes.There were many things I did not know going into this book. When I read non-fiction, I tend to also get sidetracked by all the other sources and want to go further my education by looking at each of those...the book used roughly 247 sources...it could provide me with a reading list for the rest of the year if I let it.I appreciated that the authors took the time to acknowledge the bias in their own reporting, based on their differences from those they were reporting on.I had difficulty with the way they wrote about the rapist. I don't want to name him in the review because, as a reader, I struggled with not looking ahead to find out who he was and then Google the case information...and I don't want to tempt other readers like me. Part of me acknowledges that he is, in fact, human. That it was important to see his evolution. That, in the end, even he says that there are no programs in America that help attackers to curb these thoughts early on. Even he says that while he was judged "sane", if methodically planning out rapes and then acting them out wasn't "mental illness" then we need to rethink how we define mental illness.Overall, though, the book brought awareness to flaws in our system, and steps being made to correct some of those flaws already. It was an interesting read.
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  • DalaiMommaReadingDrama
    January 1, 1970
    Such an interesting read. A False Report: A True Story of Rape In America by T. Christian Miller went in a direction that I was not expecting. I knew this was non-fiction. I was aware of the topic, of course so I was expecting serious issues...diverse opinion...facts and statistics and matter that would offend and repulse me. I was not expecting the writing style to which this story reads as. This book is the true story Marie. A teenage girl that did something almost scarier than the crime alleg Such an interesting read. A False Report: A True Story of Rape In America by T. Christian Miller went in a direction that I was not expecting. I knew this was non-fiction. I was aware of the topic, of course so I was expecting serious issues...diverse opinion...facts and statistics and matter that would offend and repulse me. I was not expecting the writing style to which this story reads as. This book is the true story Marie. A teenage girl that did something almost scarier than the crime allegedly committed on her. She lied about it. She made the whole story up. Only that's not true either. This story is about fear in women...in victims of sex crimes. The fear of not being believed. A world where if you report a crime you get interrogated to the extent that you crack...the victim....no longer the victim but the criminal. It's a scary thought and one faced often. I know this world well. Personal experience. A woman reports that they are the victim of a sex crime. The reality that people question you. The reality that people think you are making up tales to seek attention. Oh yeah..I can relate. I can so relate. I am victim no more...this book was not a trigger for me. But this book sure gave me awareness....reminders. This book dived into the justice system. Evidence is so important...but what happens if there is not much evidence. Then what. Moving forward...other crimes are committed. There are many detectives out there willing to go above and beyond to seek out the truth. To not stop until they get it. This is just a great read. Riveting. Chock full of facts and details. It made me angry and fearful. I think people should read this book. Thanks to goodreads, T. Christian Miller, and to Crown Publishing for my free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review to which I gladly and voluntarily gave.
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  • Jacob
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. A False Report" A True Story of Rape in America is a well written and detailed addition to the ongoing discussion about rape and the general societal treatment of women in the United States. Miller and Armstrong trace the case of serial rapist Marc O'Leary by first looking at the the August 11, 2008 experience of "Marie." Marie reported the sexual assault the same day it occurred, going through the full process of multiple recoll I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. A False Report" A True Story of Rape in America is a well written and detailed addition to the ongoing discussion about rape and the general societal treatment of women in the United States. Miller and Armstrong trace the case of serial rapist Marc O'Leary by first looking at the the August 11, 2008 experience of "Marie." Marie reported the sexual assault the same day it occurred, going through the full process of multiple recollections and a rape kit. Based on the feelings of a foster parent, the detective challenged Marie's inconsistent accounts and she recanted and was charged with a false report. This book traces Marie's experience over the next few years as she tried to recover from her assault and handle the legal issues caused by the false report. Inter cut with that narrative are other police departments working to solve similar rapes and the life of Marc O'Leary, the apparently Slave Girl Leia inspired rapist. As these detectives followed up on leads and learned of other similar cases, Marie's was not the only case that ended with the victim not being believed. Fortunately Marie was exonerated by photographic evidence, but one is left with the troubling conclusion that her experience is likely far from the norm. Based on the recent headlines, it feels like our society might be on the cusp of changing to be more supportive of survivors. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and even former President H. W. Bush are all coming under scrutiny or legal proceedings because their victims are no longer silent.
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  • Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. After reading this book, my mind is racing in multiple directions. I cannot help but feel sorry for Marie and the other victims, ashamed for ever rushing to judgment about a case I have seen in the news, disgusted by the rapist, frightened that there are people like this in the world, proud of the officers in Colorado, angry with the officers in Washington, and enlightened by reading this book. The authors did an amaz I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. After reading this book, my mind is racing in multiple directions. I cannot help but feel sorry for Marie and the other victims, ashamed for ever rushing to judgment about a case I have seen in the news, disgusted by the rapist, frightened that there are people like this in the world, proud of the officers in Colorado, angry with the officers in Washington, and enlightened by reading this book. The authors did an amazing job of explaining the details of each case and exactly how the police failed Marie and went above and beyond for most of the rest of the victims. Whereas this book is an excellent depiction of true crime, it is also so much more. This book highlights how our system has failed victims of centuries and how our own biases come into play to cloud our objectivity, whether it is a conscious decision or not. Everyone should read this book, but especially those of us tasked to serve and protect. Their are many lessons of what paths an officer should and should not take in an investigation. I want to write several more words about this book, but I will abstain because this journey is much more impactful when the reader comes into the story fresh.
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  • Cara Group
    January 1, 1970
    READ THIS BOOK. I must preface this review by saying that this is a hard book to read, not because the writing is poor, or slow, or boring. This is a difficult book to read because of the knowledge that it is a true story. The writing is excellent and well paced. This book is further proof that reality can be more gripping (and terrifying) than fiction. The horrifying (although, not surprising) true story of how easy it was for the police to believe that a rape victim (survivor) was lying withou READ THIS BOOK. I must preface this review by saying that this is a hard book to read, not because the writing is poor, or slow, or boring. This is a difficult book to read because of the knowledge that it is a true story. The writing is excellent and well paced. This book is further proof that reality can be more gripping (and terrifying) than fiction. The horrifying (although, not surprising) true story of how easy it was for the police to believe that a rape victim (survivor) was lying without doing any follow-up is shocking... and yet, it isn’t. As has been made clear by both the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements, not being believed about a sexual assault or rape allegation (and possibly being prosecuted for coming forward) is an all to common occurrence. That is why, this is my selection for the “problem in society” prompt for the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge.... although to classify rape and victim-blaming as merely a "problem" feels like an understatement. I was provided this book as an ARC through NetGalley & Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laurie's Lit Picks
    January 1, 1970
    This is a powerful book that chronicles an incredible travesty of justice: a young girl reports a rape, police charge her with false reporting, and years later the rapist is caught in a different state. It sounds like a bad made-for-television movie, yet it is a true story. Well-researched and written by two outstanding journalists, Miller and Armstrong begin their story in Lynnwood, WA where a young girl, just aged out of foster care, experiences a horrifying rape, made more tragic by the inves This is a powerful book that chronicles an incredible travesty of justice: a young girl reports a rape, police charge her with false reporting, and years later the rapist is caught in a different state. It sounds like a bad made-for-television movie, yet it is a true story. Well-researched and written by two outstanding journalists, Miller and Armstrong begin their story in Lynnwood, WA where a young girl, just aged out of foster care, experiences a horrifying rape, made more tragic by the investigation into the belief that she is lying. This timeline follows the victim's struggles, the aftermath and public humiliation of being accused of a false report, and the consequences of her 'crime.' Juxtaposed with this story is the opposite tale of the Colorado investigation where police work with other detectives in neighboring jurisdictions, follow leads, and never give up to find justice for the victims. A False Report is an important book to add to the library of 'must-reads' when it comes to justice, sexism, and crimes against women, and most importantly, how our justice system can do better.
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