The shocking truth behind the hit Netflix series
She said she was raped.
Detectives said she lied.
The real-life investigation behind the forthcoming NETFLIX series: two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists uncover the story of Marie, an eighteen-year-old girl who was branded a liar after reporting her brutal rape, and the detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth.
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.
“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.”
“A deep, disturbing, compelling, important book. A False Report digs into timeless issues – crime, victimhood, honesty, sexism – which have never been more timely. It is also a fascinating, sharply written story that will twist and surprise you.”
Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
“Disturbing and meticulously researched, this is a vital book for the #MeToo era.”
Stylist, Best True Crime Books Ever Written
“Brilliant detective work, very well told.”
“Incredibly compelling true-crime... Miller and Armstrong have forensically examined the case of a serial rapist, giving the victims a voice while underlining the importance of collaborative police work and believing testimonies - especially in circumstances of sexual violence.”
A Stylist Spring Pick
“A riveting and disturbing true-crime story that reflects the enduring atrocity of rape in America.”
“A timely story, this book examines not only the crimes at its heart, but also the way in which women who report being raped are often placed under suspicion themselves”
“A False Report is a reporting triumph: a heartbreaking deep-dive into a case gone horribly wrong; a bone-chilling portrait of a monstrous criminal; and a forceful cri de coeur on behalf of the victim whose claims fell on deaf ears. You'll never read another crime story quite like it.”
Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls
“An important and necessary book that tells a complicated, uncomfortable story clearly and with great power.”
“Miller and Armstrong show how gender bias, and the many myths about sexual assault, still have far too much influence in the way law enforcement investigates these crimes. This harms victims and allows perpetrators to go free, potentially to commit additional assaults. But this brilliant book is also a thrilling depiction of an investigation gone right, showing us how good police work, informed by the latest research, can achieve justice for victims of sexual violence. Well-researched and compassionate, A False Report is essential reading for police, prosecutors, and lawmakers, and for all those seeking to do better for victims of sexual assault.”
Joanne Archambault, CEO of End Violence Against Women International
“With meticulous forensic detail, this true story is as disturbing as it compelling.”