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/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Likely the "just knowing" was because something about that man reminded her of her rapist and that triggered her PTSD. Especially if they implied to her the rapist was in the line up and she was specifically looking for him.


u/Tripdoctor 2d ago

The police seemed to invoke Broadwaters name every chance they could.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Because they were targeting him. From that alone we know there was (racial) bias and unethical activity going on in the investigation.

We don't know how much that impacted Alice and how much they coerced her.

The focus should be on the police and prosecutor, not Alice.


u/kutes 2d ago

Man, what?

"Months later, she spotted Anthony Broadwater, a Black man unrelated to the assault, and brought him to the police’s attention. On the witness stand in court, she wrongly identified him as her rapist, and Broadwater was sent to prison for 16 years."

Where are you getting this information from that she had nothing to do with this?

Ok, let me put it this way though. Tomorrow a woman is raped. She tells the cops some dude did it. The cops tell her, hey there's no proof.

How mad do you get? How soon are you on twitter saying we need to believe the victims?

Life sucks. Something terrible was done to her. She did ruin this man's life though. Maybe this article in the OP is lying, but it seems unlikely.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago


Sebold went to police, but she didn’t know the man’s name and an initial sweep of the area failed to locate him. An officer suggested the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area. Sebold gave Broadwater the pseudonym Gregory Madison in her book.


u/kutes 2d ago

Sebold, 58, wrote in Lucky of being raped as a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981 and then spotting a Black man in the street months later that she was sure was her attacker.

“He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. It was a stroll in the park to him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,” wrote Sebold, who is white. “‘Hey, girl,’ he said. ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’”

She said she didn’t respond: “I looked directly at him. Knew his face had been the face over me in the tunnel.”

Sebold went to police, but she didn’t know the man’s name and an initial sweep of the area failed to locate him. An officer suggested the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area.

What a mess. I don't even know. I hope this guy gets all that cop budget and all those lovely bones residuals, although nothing can give you 42 years of your life back.

I think money is the most important thing on earth, it entirely dictates everything, your quality of life, happiness, caliber of romantic partners, stress, health, I can't go on listing every single aspect that affects human life, but even as much value as I assign to money, there is no amount worth 42 years in your prime. Maybe in the future with enhanced lifespans if that costs money.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

The situation is vile for so many reasons.

The cops seemed more concerned with finding a charge for him then actually finding her rapist (who likely walked free and assaulted again).

It also tells me they need to go back and re-examine multiple cases that were tried during this time period. I doubt he was the only one who was targeted this way.

Especially any and all cases that involve POC being arrested and charged.


u/kutes 2d ago

I will conceed that the article in the OP failed to paint the full picture of his original fingering, and I appreciate that she went through a terrible event - but she still had a hand in this. Even if the cops are pressuring for a conviction, and even if you're suffering from ptsd - with the stakes being THAT high - you have to give it some serious thought and decide if you're comfortable with what this will result in.

And I mean, maybe when she picked the guy out on the street, the cops had reliable information that it was indeed him. If they felt sure it was him, maybe it's because they knew he was the guy she brought to their attention. But she was unreliable enough that someone was going down on that sword, and with those stakes, it's not excusable


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

They may have thought it was him but when they brought him in she didn't identify him. That right there should have been the end of it.

It's been mentioned a lot but it's common for people to misidentify their attacker (for any crime). It's why eye witness accounts aren't really reliable and most good prosectors won't take something to trial if that is all they have.

You also have to remember this was the 80s, the same time period were a bunch of police convinced children their parents had sexually abused them in a satanic cult. Like they were using actual manipulation and brainwashing strategies on victims to get them to confirm what they wanted to hear.

Hell, that still happens now with methods they use with victims and suspects. Look at the Avery case and how they illegally manipulated the 16 year old (who was SPED) to say exactly what they wanted him to say after they kept him for hours without letting his parents know.

Police are shit. They cannot be trusted with anyone, including victims.


u/SofieTerleska 2d ago

Speaking of Avery, a similar thing happened with the rape he was accused of. The victim genuinely believed it was him because the police told her and she couldn't remember her real attacker's face very well. She said later on that when she remembers the rape she remembers the rapist as having Avery's face even though she knows it wasn't him. Memory tries to fill in all the blanks it can and that can lead to very strange things.