A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America


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.

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    A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America Reviews

  • 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 recount...

  • 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. ...

  • ? 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...

  • Caidyn (BW Book 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 i...

  • 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 20...

  • 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, ...

  • 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 fina...

  • 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 i...

  • Evy

    4.5 starsRead for Read Harder 2018 challenge: A book of true crimeTHIS 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. ...

  • 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 re...