Trigger warning: The story to which I link this week includes graphic and emotional accounts of rape.
A few years back, I read this ProPublica/Marshall Project collaboration by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. Armstrong was a former Seattle Times reporter and I became familiar with his work when he and a colleague, Nick Perry, wrote about the University of Washington's football program (2008) while I was a beat reporter for the P-I. Their work was phenomenal. They turned it into a book that I used to assign students. Armstrong also won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the shooting of four police officers.
Suffice it to say, the guy is freakin' great.
But the story I'm writing about today topped them all. It came out in late 2015 and is one of those stories you remember where you were when you read it. It tells the story of a troubled young woman who was raped in her home outside of Seattle. As so often happens, the police -- and others -- didn't believe her story. It also tells the story of how police departments work in silos rather than collaboratively. It tells the story of good cops trying to get to the heart of the matter, as well as lazy cops who give up in frustration. It tells the story of the emotional roadblocks of reporting sexual assault.
The story was so riveting that Netflix produced a miniseries called "Unbelievable" that is based on it. It just dropped this week and I got through a few episodes last night. It's heavy, but exceptionally well done.
It reminded me of just how damn good that article was. So, I read it again. I encourage you to do the same.
This is my read for the week -- especially for sports fans. And, if you are a tennis fan, then this is a must-read.
I don't love the random first-person interjections the writer uses -- it's distracting to me. "Venus told me another story:," Weil writes at one point. Why not just relay the story?
Still, this is a fluid, cool analysis that brings so much to the story of Venus Williams. It is the best thing I've read this week.
This is one of those stories you don't want to end.
You want the words to keep popping up -- for them to keep telling you more about Markelle, to answer the questions you have for him, to paint the images you are conjuring just a little more clearly. You want to keep reading because it is that good.
Patricia Leigh Brown gives us the story of Markelle Taylor, a marathon runner who spent 18 years in the San Quentin state prison.
Brown, who completely coincidentally lives in Hamden (at least, according to LInkedIn she does), is a contributor to the Times, publishing about once a month. Her work is well worth your time.
These are the kind of stories that make journalism so special. This is a human story. And, if not for the journalist, then how do we ever learn this story? We don't... and that makes us less human.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.