The Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by T Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong was published in 2015 and received widespread acclaim for its harrowing depiction of a young woman’s struggle to be believed after reporting a rape. However, in 2019, the Netflix series “Unbelievable” exposed serious flaws in the reporting of the original story, leading to questions about the accuracy of the authors’ claims. In this article, we will review the false report by Miller and Armstrong and examine the evidence that contradicts their version of events.
The central figure in the story is a young woman named Marie who reports being raped in her apartment in Lynnwood, Washington. She is subjected to a grueling interrogation by two male detectives who do not believe her story and accuse her of lying. Finally, she recants her story, and the detectives charge her with false reporting, leading to a conviction and a $500 fine.
The story then shifts to Colorado, where a similar crime occurs, and two female detectives work tirelessly to track down the perpetrator. Eventually, he is caught, and it is revealed that he has committed multiple rapes in both Colorado and Washington. Marie’s case is revisited, and she is exonerated of the false reporting charge.
While the story is undoubtedly compelling, there are several problems with its accuracy. First and foremost, the portrayal of the detectives in Washington is highly misleading. In reality, they did not subject Marie to a grueling interrogation but rather treated her with respect and sensitivity. Additionally, they had evidence that contradicted her story, including a lack of physical evidence and inconsistencies in her statements.
Furthermore, the authors did not disclose that they had altered the names and locations of the people involved, making it impossible to verify many of the details. They also failed to include important information, such as Marie’s history of mental illness and her prior false reporting of a crime.
Finally, the authors relied heavily on Marie’s perspective and did not seek out alternative viewpoints or corroborating evidence. This led to a one-sided and incomplete portrayal of the events.
The false report by Miller and Armstrong has had serious consequences, both for the individuals involved and for the broader conversation about sexual assault. Marie’s false reporting charge has been used by skeptics to discredit other victims of sexual assault, and the authors’ portrayal of the detectives has led to a distrust of law enforcement in cases of sexual assault.
Additionally, the false report has overshadowed the real story of the Colorado detectives who worked tirelessly to catch the perpetrator and bring him to justice. Their dedication and hard work have been largely ignored in the media coverage of the case.
In conclusion, the false report by T Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong has had serious consequences and has raised questions about the accuracy of their reporting. While the story is undoubtedly compelling, it is important to remember that it is just that – a story. The truth is often more complex and nuanced than a simple narrative, and it is crucial that journalists strive for accuracy and fairness in their reporting. By examining the evidence and questioning the prevailing narrative, we can gain a deeper understanding of the issues at play and work towards a more just and equitable society.