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.
* For more "The best thing I've read this week"
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online from Palgrave Macmillan. (Hardback available in September 2021.)
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.