The True Story of One Woman’s Harrowing Quest for Justice
(University of Wisconsin Press /Terrace Books)
By Bill Lueders
Cry Rape dramatically exposes the criminal justice system’s capacity for error as it recounts one woman’s courageous battle in the face of adversity.
In September 1997, a visually impaired woman named Patty was raped by an intruder in her home in Madison, Wisconsin. The rookie detective assigned to her case came to doubt Patty’s account and focused the investigation on her. Using lies and pressure, he got her to recant, then had her charged with falsely reporting a crime.
The charges were eventually dropped, but Patty continued to demand justice, filing complaints and a federal lawsuit against the police. All were rebuffed. But later, as the result of her perseverance, a startling discovery was made. Even then, Patty’s ordeal was far from over.
Other books have dealt with how police and prosecutors bend and break the law in their zeal to prevail. This one focuses instead on how the gravest injustice can be committed with the best of intentions, and how one woman’s bravery and persistence finally triumphed.
In a textbook example of how not to investigate rape, Patty was disbelieved, humiliated, and treated like a criminal while promising leads were ignored. Her fight for justice is an important and inspiring story, as well as a warning that old ways of thought about women persist in surprising places. As full of twists and turns as a mystery novel, and as tightly written, Cry Rape lays bare the underside of one of our nation’s most liberal and attractive cities.
–Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation
Cry Rape provides a chilling account of how tunnel vision can lead even well-meaning police officers into forming conclusions that are flat-out wrong, how powerful interrogation techniques can lead innocent people to confess to crimes they did not commit, and how DNA can correct mistakes for the lucky few.
–Barry Scheck, The Innocence Project
This website, which normally contains more background information on Patty’s case, is currently undergoing some reconstruction (Sept. 2009). Check back soon or contact author Bill Lueders . In the meantime, you can buy the book at your favorite local bookstore or via Amazon.