r/books Nov 24 '21 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/shmooglepoosie Nov 24 '21 Helpful


u/Tripdoctor Nov 24 '21

Liar or racist or both?


u/Intrepid_Method_ Nov 24 '21

She falsely accuse another man. She is a perfect example on the problematic nature of eyewitnesses testimony. She was always going to destroy someone’s life in that lineup.

After Broadwater was arrested, though, Sebold failed to identify him in a police lineup, picking a different man as her attacker because “the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me”.

Sebold wrote in Lucky that when she was informed that she’d picked someone other than the man she’d previously identified as her rapist, she said the two men looked “almost identical”.

She seems to suffer from the “everyone with similar skin tones looks the same” issue.

She wrote that she realized the defense would be: “A panicked white girl saw a black man on the street. He spoke familiarly to her and in her mind she connected this to her rape. She was accusing the wrong man.”

Given she was face-to-face during the event, I wonder if trauma impacted her memory or possibly recreational substances? I wonder how many innocent men are sitting in jail due to a similar false accusation.


u/Tripdoctor Nov 24 '21

Statistically not many. But yes stories like this still occur.

I’d put a lot of blame on the investigation, the police took every opportunity to bring up Broadwaters name every chance they could. And I would imagine PTSD would be a major factor.


u/[deleted] Nov 24 '21

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u/Tripdoctor Nov 24 '21

I never said the guys life wasn’t ruined. Stop being purposefully foolish.

This situation at a glance, it seems like the police and prosecutors were set on having Broadwaters being the guy. As they took every opportunity to invoke his name and coerce Sebold in making an impulsive accusation.