She said she was raped; police said she lied. It was an easy case to close until two detectives cracked it back open.
'I pretty much read A False Report in one sitting. It is deeply disturbing but brilliant. I hope it helps with the seismic shift needed in attitudes to women who are brave enough to come forward when they have been assaulted.' Sandi Toksvig
One of Stylist Magazine's 20 Must-Read Books of 2018
On 11 August 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man had broken into her home and raped her. Within days, police – and even those closest to Marie – became suspicious of her story: details of the crime just didn’t seem plausible. Confronted with the seeming inconsistencies, Marie broke down and said her story was a fabrication – a bid for attention. The police convicted her of making a false report. She was vilified as a liar.
More than two years later, some 1,600 kilometres away, detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to a case of sexual assault. It bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. Galbraith contacted the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and they joined forces.
Galbraith and Hendershot soon realised they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who took calculated steps to erase all physical evidence, who photographed each of his victims, threatening to release the images online if the women went to the police. After weeks of meticulous investigation, they had a name. But they also had yet another victim – a young woman whose identity was a mystery, a possible missing link. It was imperative they find her.
Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with those involved, A False Report is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies and a hunt for justice. It unveils the disturbing reality of how sexual assault is investigated and the long history of scepticism towards its victims. But it is also the story of two women whose determined resolve and detective brilliance finally brought the truth to light.
T. Christian Miller (Author)
T. Christian Miller joined ProPublica, the non-profit newsroom for investigative journalism, as a senior reporter in 2008. Before that, he worked for the Los Angeles Times, where he covered politics, wars, and was once kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in Colombia. His first book, Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq, was called one of the “indispensable” books on the war. He teaches data journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University.
Ken Armstrong (Author)
Ken Armstrong, joined ProPublica in 2017. He previously worked at the Marshall Project and Chicago Tribune, where his work helped prompt the Illinois governor to suspend executions and empty death row. His first book, Scoreboard, Baby, with Nick Perry, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Non-Fiction. He has been the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.
Both T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong have won numerous awards,including a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for their article 'An Unbelievable Story of Rape', on which A False Report is based. The rights to the dramatisationof this story have been acquired by Netflix.