Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America” as Want to Read:
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,467 ratings  ·  487 reviews
Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth.

On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her, but within days police and
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A False Report, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Evan Much more information about the perpetrator, and much more information about other victims besides Marie (the victim from Washington whose story forms…moreMuch more information about the perpetrator, and much more information about other victims besides Marie (the victim from Washington whose story forms the basis for the title). Also, much more historical context. I think it's worth the read. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,467 ratings  ·  487 reviews

Sort order
Emily May
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, arc, 2018
Marie told Rittgarn she had been attacked, that she wasn’t making the rapist up. She began to cry, saying she kept having a vision of him on top of her.
Rittgarn wasn’t moved. Later, when recounting Marie’s words in a written report, he would put the word “him” in quotation marks.

In 2008, a young woman known as Marie reported being raped. Within just a few days, the investigation became an interrogation of Marie herself, as the police, her family, and her friends all began to doubt her story.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, crime, e-book, feminism
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong is a 2018 Crown Publishing Group publication.

In the United States, there’s no saying how many women have been accused of making a false claim of rape, only to have the claim later proved to be true. There is no such statistic kept. But even Marie’s case- the extreme example where persecution becomes prosecution, where a victim is not only accused of lying, but criminally charged with it- does not stand alone.
The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
In 2008 an 18 year old woman reported that she was raped at knife point in her apartment in Lynwwod, WA. The police did not believe her because there were inconsistencies in her story. The victim finally admitted that she had lied, the investigating officer charged her with charged with a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. What actually happened was that the police did not believe her and pressured her to recant her story, not understanding that many victims of violent crimes ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America is a collaborative project between journalists T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. Both journalists had been working on their individual projects when they realized they had been reporting on the same series of rapes. Mr. Miller had been reporting on a series of rapes in Colorado for Pro Publica, an investigative news organization. And Mr. Armstrong had been investigating a story regarding a rape in Lynnwood, Washington for the Marsha ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do you defend yourself when someone accuses you of rape?", I believe that was the statement that William Kennedy Smith so stoically announced during his trial back in the early 90's. The public was glued to their television sets when Court TV was still on the air this was a tremendous trial. He was acquitted but guilty of that rape and several others. The woman who had the nerve to take him to trial had her creditability ripped her to shreds for all to see.

This book isn't about that case, bu
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marie, an eighteen-year old, who belonged to a support program for teenagers aging out of foster care.

Amber, in her twenties, was a graduate student at a local college.

Sarah, who had recently buried her husband eight weeks after he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Doris, age 65, worked as a housemother at a local fraternity.

And countless other women all connected by the actions of single man.

In this novel, Miller weaves an together the tale of a serial rapist who received a sentence of over 32
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written about true events leading up to the conviction of a serial rapist. If you like dateline, forensic files, etc., you should enjoy this book.
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars Thanks to Crown Publishing and First to Read for this ARC, which publishes Feb 6, 2018.

Very good non-fiction book detailing a serial rapist. Written from verbal conversations, court and police records, and newspaper accounts. This story reads like fiction -and although written by two men - due to their extensive research, they did an excellent job. They were able to find the empathy needed to put to paper the hell these women went through. This is a hard topic to read, but a topic that e
Valerity (Val)
This is about a young woman's report of being raped that gets all twisted up. Written by 2 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, the book follows the story of eighteen-year-old Marie. She is made to question herself because of doubters, so she recants, then tries to stand by her report, but police shake her confidence so badly she caves when she's actually telling the truth. She has been made to feel like she's not going to be believed by her rapist, preprogrammed before she ever came forward. Sad ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful stuff ... and (for the open minded) an incredibly important book at a unique point in time. I hope it becomes widely read and, more importantly, discussed. I'm not suggesting that this book, alone, will alter, inform, or evolve the national narrative on rape, but it's a step in the right direction.

At a time when the sentient, thinking public - when we, as a nation - have been forced (or at least given the opportunity) to rethink so many of our preconceived notions about gender (and, of
BAM The Bibliomaniac
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Netgalley #46

Many thanks go to Miller and Armstrong, Crown Publishing, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Extremely touching account of a serial rape investigation across state lines. What happens when police departments do not coordinate and evidence including DNA is not stored and recorded correctly.
But what was most aggravating was learning how often detectives DO NOT BELIEVE the victims. Even in the 21st century women still ask for it, women stil
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on BW Book Reviews.

Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my rating.

This kind of book isn’t my usual type of thing. I don’t usually like reading about rape, and this book is all about a serial rapist and how they caught him. It’s about rape culture inside the police and in the world in general. It’s about the aftermath of rape in the lives of the survivors. It’s about the way the poli
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving a lot of books 5 stars this week, but when you're good, you're good. This expansion of a magazine piece (and I love a good magazine article) is a gripping, maddening true crime story. In 2008 in Washington, a young woman was raped. Within a week police pressures and doubt made her recant her story. Several years later, women in Colorado were raped in cases that had deep similarities to one another - as well as to the case up in Washington that was closed as "unfounded." I ripped throu ...more
Barry Sierer
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a fairly decent crime story that carries a disturbing over-all theme; that police investigations of rape (in this case, the more cut and dried “stranger rape” cases rather than date rape cases) can be tragically flawed because of erroneous assumptions by the people who judge and investigate them.

While the book highlights how one woman, Marie, was pressured to recant a legitimate rape accusation; the authors also note several cases of other actual rape victims who were not believed
Don't be fooled by the title. This book details what happens when the police bully a young woman into recanting her rape story and how she was eventually vindicated. It will piss you off, but then you can shove it in the faces of those twits who are worried about falsely accused men.

The reporters do a very good job, and every one is treated fairly. It helps that women are very instrutmental in solving the case.

Highly recommended.
2.5 stars

This book was not what I expected. The focus was on specific cases in Colorado and Washington. I thought that it was going to be a broader investigative piece, and place the specific cases in a larger cultural perspective. The big picture was only 20% or so, while the other 80% was a description of specific crimes that belongs in the true crime category. If that's what You're looking for, this book may appeal to you more than it did to me. It's impossible not to feel something for thes
Vanessa (splitreads)
This is an exceptional book about the long road to justice for a group of women assaulted by a serial rapist. Investigators doubted one of the first victims, Marie, pressuring her to recant her story and even charging her with false reporting. The authors trace Marie's story as well as the other women's. They follow investigators from a variety of Colorado suburbs (with special attention to two smart and dedicated women investigators) and take a psychological look at the rapist. The book also di ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
*Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing*

2.5 stars - Upon finishing A False Report, I had to take some time and reflect back on all that I’d read. Sometimes, when I read books such as this one, I immediately want to give it a five-star rating and the highest praise due to the courage displayed by the survivors.

“All I did was survive, and I was criminalized for it.”

I struggled with this book review, because I struggled with several aspects of this book; I worried that elements that didn’t work
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking book.

A young girl, Marie, gets raped. She goes to the police to make a report. After a few conversations, the police starts to question Marie's story. Under pressure, Marie explains that she lied about the rape.

What follows next is a beautiful written story. There seem to be similarities to Marie's rape with other rapes that have occurred in the span of a few years.
Maybe Marie did not lie at all.....

I very much enjoyed reading this. I love a good non fiction crime novel and this
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of A FALSE REPORT: THE TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICAN by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong in exchange for my honest review **

In 2008 in Washington state, eighteen year old Marie, a former foster child, is raped in her home. Afterward, everyone in her life lets her down. Two of her former foster mothers decide she’s lying. Her best friend creates a My Space page branding Marie a liar. Even worse, the police force her to plead gu
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Read for Read Harder 2018 challenge: A book of true crime

THIS is what Read Harder is for! I've never had an interest in true crime, and passed it off as a genre that I thought wasn't for me. But this was just so good, and gripping, and I think now I'll definitely try more books in the genre.

Of course, this book won't be for everyone, since it's in part about catching a serial rapist and definitely unavoidably includes fairly detailed descriptions of his crimes throughout. But if you're
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t realize that I had already seen a 48 Hours episode that featured the topic of this book called, “Hunted.” The writing is meticulous and there were so many names of people involved to remember, but it sheds a light on how reporting and investigating a rape is difficult. The worst thing that can happen is when police investigators dismiss a rape claim and the victim becomes a nuisance.

Review copy provided by the publisher.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Mostly overcame my initial side-eye at two men writing on this subject. A few pages into the first chapter, I realized that I'd read the excellent Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica piece that this book grew out of ... still found this book-length examination compelling and worthy and upsetting. We need more women in law enforcement.
A well-written and thoughtful book despite not being an easy read. Obviously trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault, but if you're trying to learn more about this topic, I'd consider it essential reading. Should be required reading for all law enforcement.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s no surprise that A False Report, A True Story of Rape in America is a difficult read. The book follows the life of an eighteen-year-old rape survivor named Marie who leaves a life in and out of the foster care system to begin life on her own. In 2008, Marie is raped and immediately reports the assault to police, as society tells women to do if they are to be believed. Marie is questioned on multiple occasions and, at times becomes confused about some minor details of the incident. Her rap ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling look at a horrifying sequence of events. The authors are both respected journalists who took great pains to avoid making this book simply a voyeuristic account of the crimes and capture of the rapist. Strong writing.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think that a lot of times, we hear about how law enforcement fails victims of rape. When it comes to that, this book was kind of like a breath of fresh air in that there is a rapist captured and sentenced and justice is served. On the other hand, there is a false accusation charge brought up against Marie, a teenager who was raped and then said that she was lying (she wasn't); in that way, this book is extremely frustrating. This is a very dichotomous reading experience. It triggers so many em ...more
Abby Johnson
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fascinating true crime story, this one examining a case that police determined to be a false report.. but it wasn't. After being accused of lying and pressured by police, the 18-year-old victim recanted her story and she was charged with the crime of false reporting. The police, having determined that she had made up the crime, closed the case and the rapist went on to attack several more women in different cities. Not only is this a creepy crime book, it's an interesting examination of ...more
Polly Roth
Horrifying. So important. An incredible account
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh. This. Book. This felt like such honest, noble journalism and — though absolutely heartbreaking and disturbing — I appreciated it so much. I am just sitting on my bed awestruck after blowing through this one and I don’t even know what to do with myself. This book sheds such an equally depressing and hopeful light on our justice system, past and present, and the treatment of rape victims in America. I highly recommend it for those that are into criminal justice stories.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Getting Off Podca...: Kick-ass women 3 14 Apr 29, 2018 04:07PM  
Getting Off Podca...: Hale warning 3 27 Apr 17, 2018 01:21PM  
Getting Off Podca...: Jung's "Shadow," stigma, and mental health 8 22 Apr 12, 2018 11:45PM  
Getting Off Podca...: Policies in Lynnwood, WA After This Case 3 17 Apr 09, 2018 12:19AM  
Getting Off Podca...: oh, Freud... 1 15 Mar 11, 2018 05:50PM  
Getting Off Podca...: Our first book 1 34 Feb 18, 2018 05:47PM  
  • How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective
  • Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives
  • When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973
  • Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity
  • In My Father's House: A New View of How Crime Runs in the Family
  • Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South
  • The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century
  • Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice
  • Gone Forever
  • Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation
  • Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
  • The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes and Racism in America's Law Enforcement and the Search for Change
  • Nobody's Women: The Crimes and Victims of Anthony Sowell, the Cleveland Serial Killer
  • 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History
  • Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right
  • The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South
  • Heaven's Gate: America's UFO Religion
  • Before She Was Harriet
“Don’t be hostage to your expectations, she would teach. Sometimes trauma doesn’t look the way you think it should.” 2 likes
“Research shows the more intimate the crime, the more people focus on the victim’s behavior, and of course, there’s no crime more intimate than sexual violence,” Archambault says.” 1 likes
More quotes…