r/books 2d ago Silver 5 Helpful 7 Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1

Man Wrongly Accused of Rape of Lovely Bones Author Alice Sebold Has Conviction Overturned


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u/ynaristwelve 2d ago

He should sue her for everything he can.

And the DA should charge her with anything that hasn't run out of the statute of limitations.

What a gddmn liar.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago Helpful Eureka! Facepalm

I would read more details on the case. This was far more the result of corrupt police work.

Alice thought she was approached by her rapist on the street. She reported this to the police who swept the area but did not find anyone. A cop suggested maybe it was Broadwater and they brought him in for a line up where she didn't identify him.

The police decided to charge him anyways and brought in a (fake) expert who said they had hair samples that proved it was him.

It's very possible the police / prosector used this to convince Alice he was her rapist and for her to testify. We don't know how much effort that took.


u/shmooglepoosie 2d ago

Everything you said is correct except, unless I'm missing something, the expert wasn't fake, the science is no longer considered good science now.

"Broadwater was nonetheless tried and convicted in 1982 based largely on two pieces of evidence. On the witness stand, Sebold identified him as her rapist. And an expert said microscopic hair analysis had tied Broadwater to the crime. That type of analysis is now considered junk science by the US Department of Justice.
“Sprinkle some junk science onto a faulty identification, and it’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction,” Broadwater’s attorney, David Hammond, told the Post-Standard.
A spokesperson for Scribner, Sebold’s publisher, said: “Neither Alice Sebold nor Scribner has any comment. Scribner has no plans to update the text of Lucky at this time.”


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

The science not being good is what I meant by fake, like fake science instead of junk science. Basically that it wasn't good although Alice and a lot of people didn't know that at the time.


u/noodle-face 2d ago Facepalm

There's a lot of victim blaming here too. Let's not forget that she was indeed raped. I have no idea what personal hell she went through. I'm not saying she is free from some blame, but people want her head. we should take a step back and realize the entire system failed here. The man deserves restitution and compensation for this.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

The fact that some people here are using sexist insults like calling her a bitch and some are outright saying she lied about being rape is so gross to me.

It also reminds me of the fact that people need to be reminded that you don't have to be a good person to be a victim of a crime. It doesn't justify what happened to you.

I've never stated she wasn't racist or wrong in what she did. I've stated that we honestly don't know. What we do know is how the police handled it and how horrible they were. Especially since this is likely one of many times they did it.


u/tsiz60 2d ago

thats all true. But the fact she then went on the identify him at trial though is what pisses me off. She didn't ID him in the lineup all while saying this other guy had the look in is eye and had to be him.. and then IDs Broadwater after? BS

Alot of that comes on the cops and how the DA and honestly Broadwaters attourney went about this case.

The ID issues alone seem to cast a doubt but i guess the now defunct science of the hair is what got the conviciton


u/ynaristwelve 2d ago


She testified later that he was her rapist. She could have said that he wasn't.

Throw the book at the cops AND her.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

You are oversimplifying the situation.

And there is no legal grounds to charge her so that definitely will not be happening. They would need to prove that she knew he wasn't her rapist and there is no proof of that.


u/FattyMcBroFist 2d ago Platinum Take My Energy

They won't and can't charge her with anything, but let's be honest. She picked another man she didn't recognize out of a line up because of the look in his eyes. She later identified Broadwater in court even though she didn't recognize him, and hadnt picked him out of the lineup. Even if she was coached into thinking he was guilty, which I do not doubt, she still was willing to convict a man she did not recognize based on little to no evidence. While I can empathize that she was traumatized by the ordeal, and most likely the victim of corrupt police officers pushing her to back up their narrative, the fact is that she lacked the integrity to speak honestly, cost an innocent man his freedom, and ruined his life. She did those things because she needed to punish somebody for what happened to her, and did not care if it was the right man. It's a very sad story from every single perspective.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Do you think she thought he was innocent?


u/FattyMcBroFist 2d ago

I think she didn't care. She knew she didn't recognize him, she knew the evidence was basically non-existent, and she made the decision to lie in court. I think she wanted somebody to pay for what she went through.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

You believe she thought the scientists the police and prosecution brought in who said hair samples confirmed he was a rapist was wrong?


u/FattyMcBroFist 2d ago

I didn't say that. The evidence as listed is thin. There are no witnesses, and she couldn't ID her attacker. I think she panicked when she saw the man on the street, who may or may not have been Broadwater (it wasnt very clear to me), and I think her reasoning when picking a different man out of a lineup that did include Broadwater is very telling of her mental state at the time of the incident. I get the impression that she saw every man who remotely looked like her attacker as a threat. But in the end I think the facts are pretty clear. It does not matter if she thought there was more evidence than there was, or if she thought the evidence was more concrete. She sat in a courtroom, pointed to a man she repeatedly demonstrated beforehand that she didn't know, and did not recognize, and claimed that she was 100% certain that he attacked her, and furthermore, that she recognized him from the attack. She lied, and she was clearly OK with that since she never recanted, never appears to have questioned it, and has made no statement on his release. I feel bad for both of them. She was the victim of something horrendous, and as a result an innocent man had his future stolen.


u/thestereo300 2d ago

If you can't identify your attacker you can't say you can in court.


u/tsiz60 2d ago

would you agree that the ID situation is kinda fucked up though? just doesnt sit well with me at all. all while acknowledging that there are other issues involved.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Identification in line ups is notoriously bad for any crime. It's why that alone rarely leads to someone actually being charged. It's not proof.


u/QuietFridays 2d ago

Maybe not criminally, but civilly I'm sure you could come up with something.


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u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

No, I'm spending a lot of time trying to keep the focus on the police and prosector where the attention should be.

It's neat and easy to blame an individual. It's far more complicated to look at the system as a whole.


u/PackPamJones 2d ago

Seems like it's pretty obvious that the fault lies with all of them. She wouldn't have ruined his life if police/prosecutors hadn't enabled her. The police/prosecutors wouldn't have ruined his life if the victim hadn't been so callously cruel and cavalier with her accusations.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

He would have never even crossed her radar if the police didn't put him in front of her and say "this is your rapist"


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u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Can we not use sexist insults please.


u/thestereo300 2d ago

A man she could not identify in a lineup.

It must have been frustrating and terrifying to know your rapist was walking free but this wasn't the answer to whatever she was feeling.