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Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman's Harrowing Quest for Justice Paperback – February 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029921964X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299219642
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lueders, news editor of a weekly Madison, Wis., paper, opens this real-life drama in the wee hours of Sept. 4, 1997, when Patty, a 38-year-old legally blind single mother sharing an apartment with her pregnant daughter, was raped in her bedroom by an intruder who held a knife to her neck. The rape was the beginning of a seven-year nightmare in which police, saying they couldn't find evidence of the rape, bullied Patty into saying she had lied, and she was charged with obstruction of justice. Patty almost went bankrupt trying to salvage what little was left of her reputation and sanity. Lueders spells out how Patty suffered from incompetence and bias at every level of law enforcement. The DA eventually dropped the charges against her, and DNA evidence helped convict the rapist, but some law enforcement officials continue to insist they did nothing wrong. This account by Lueders (An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll), one of the first people who went to bat for Patty, is a shocking revelation of the abuse rape victims are sometimes subjected to by the very people who should be seeking justice for them. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This is a powerful example of how an investigative reporter can right injustices and expose the need for further reform. Lueders, news editor for Isthmus, an alternative newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, and president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, has expanded his original investigative series for his paper into a compelling book, as suspenseful and harrowing as the best mystery novels. In September 1997, a visually impaired woman named Patty, living in Madison, was raped in her home, her teen daughter asleep in her own room just down the hallway. Patty has suffered a double nightmare: the sexual assault itself and her revictimization at the hands of police, particularly through the bias of one police detective, who suspected (and later charged) Patty with falsely reporting a crime. Lueders lays bare the many missteps of the case, starting with the detective's bias and continuing through the unwillingness of the justice system to support one woman's word against the police, even after DNA evidence was found. Patty herself emerges as a remarkable heroine: legally blind, scraping by on a paltry income, she keeps fighting to be heard. This works as investigative journalism, heroic tale, and exquisitely paced mystery. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rick Bogle on September 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Cry Rape is the story of a rape victim's victimization by the criminal justice system. It is a story about a cop who seems predisposed to "prove" rape victims liars, about a police department that protects bad cops, about a district attorney's office willing to further victimize the victim to protect bad cops, about judges willing to interpret the law in ways that protect bad cops and bad policies, about elected and appointed officials who stand behind the victimization, and (though only peripherally) newspaper editors who don't seem to care.

It is also the story of one woman's heroic and uphill fight against the system and the small group of people who believed and supported her and were sometimes victimized as a result.

Conversations in Cry Rape, suggest that the majority of rape victims choose to walk away and admit defeat rather than standing up to a criminal justice system that is more interested in closing their file than helping them find justice. This victim's inner strength makes her story the exception.

This story takes place in Madison, Wisconsin, long perceived to be a bastion of progressive ideas. But Cry Rape exposes the plain fact that Madison's government can be as self-serving and self-protective as governments anywhere. The central story is the rape victim's years-long ordeal; but the strong secondary story is the way the system deals with a cop who shouldn't be a cop. He is rewarded and remains today an honored officer.

In spite of the ugliness exposed in Cry Rape, it does offer us a spark of hope. It shows that investigative journalism can make a positive difference and that there are some reporters and editors willing to stick with a difficult story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Culver on October 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I sat in stunned silence as I turned the final page of "Cry Rape," Bill Lueders' heart-rending story of a rape victim doubted, and ultimately tormented, by police. My 10-year-old son asked about what I had been reading, saying, "Is it a mystery?"

I replied, "No, it's about a lady who was hurt badly in a crime and told the police. Not only did the police refuse to find the person who hurt her, they accused her of lying. Eventually they found the criminal who hurt her but even then, the police didn't help her."

His response: "Oh, so it's a horror story."

It is the most fitting summary I've yet seen of this tremendous book. Lueders' story unfolds chronologically from the first page, which begins with the shock and terror of a brutal rape. It leads to eventual vindication, but not without further terror and further brutality -- at the hands of police, attorneys and others the victim trusted most.

This book must be read not for how it is written though Lueders' dramatic-documentary style makes the story impossible to forget. It must be read because it shows us how our most vulnerable citizens can be further victimized by the very systems designed to help them. In short, it is a morality tale that highlights the immorality of the institutions many of us trust.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sue Puckett on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As I read this book, I could not stop turning the pages. I read the first 120 pages without getting up. I already knew the end of the story, but I had to read the remarkable journey. This lady opened herself up for such an honest portrayal of the most hideous events of her life to share them publicly and it is truly amazing. Know this, Patty, and Bill for writing it, if for nothing else, I am a life that was touched.

My mirror holds much the same story, and the same deals are offered to me. Everything within me says "stand by the truth" - but the truth is so hard when it hurts you. You have given me renewed courage to fight the fight. I will not give in and I will continue to tell the truth. The system has got acknowledge when it's wrong. Thank you both so much.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hja on January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Intriguing account. Disgusting example of incompetence in investigation of a crime and a pre-chosen judgmental attitude toward the victim. Has Madison improved or should I just avoid going there in 2014? Not for everyone. But good reading for me.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam I Am VINE VOICE on March 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
If this book were fiction, nobody would believe it. Unfortunately, this is a true story. A blind woman, after being raped by a stranger, found herself charged criminally for making a false police report. The lead detective on the case decided the victim wasn't really blind, since she acted like a sighted person during their interview.

This is a very emotional and disturbing story to read. What's the point of cooperating with law enforcement as a victim of a violent crime when you can end up being called a liar? In my own city, the rape evidence kits were stacked up going back ten years, so that by the time the DNA was processed, the statute of limitations had expired, and there would be no criminal prosecution, even if a rapist could be identified through the evidence. So what's the point of even bothering to call 911 if they don't work for us as taxpayers and victims of crime?
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