Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice

Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice

3.8 15
by Liz Seccuro
     
 

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In September 2005, Liz Seccuro's world turned upside down when she received an apology letter from the man who had raped her twenty-two years earlier. The rape, which occurred when she was a seventeen-year-old freshman at the University of Virginia, was reported to the campus police, but their inquiry led nowhere. The man accused of raping her left the university

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Overview

In September 2005, Liz Seccuro's world turned upside down when she received an apology letter from the man who had raped her twenty-two years earlier. The rape, which occurred when she was a seventeen-year-old freshman at the University of Virginia, was reported to the campus police, but their inquiry led nowhere. The man accused of raping her left the university soon after, and Seccuro tried to put the incident behind her, starting a business and a family, but like all survivors of trauma, the memory was never far from the surface.

The letter brought it all back. Seccuro bravely began an e-mail correspondence with her rapist to try to understand what happened, and why. As the correspondence continued, Seccuro found the courage to do what should have been done all those years earlier-prosecute him. She began appearing on national television and radio to talk about the case. Several crime dramas and a John Grisham novel, The Associate, were based on her experience. She had found a way to end a terrible story, but once judicial proceedings began, she found that what she thought occurred at that UV A frat party was only the tip of the iceberg. The investigation revealed at least two other assailants, numerous onlookers, and a wall of silence among the fraternity members that persisted two decades later.

Liz Seccuro's inspiring, unflinching memoir is about experiencing terrible trauma-and the power of justice to heal.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The rape by William Beebe of University of Virginia freshman Seccuro at a 1984 fraternity party was only the beginning of a terrible ordeal. First, the local hospital didn't process rape kits and told her to drive to D.C. for help. Then, university officials insisted campus, rather than Richmond, police handle the crime and dismissed her with condescension. Twenty-one years later, Seccuro receives a letter from her rapist asking for forgiveness. Even though it brings on panic attacks, she writes back and presses charges. The legal battle and media attention only give Seccuro more resolve that her actions, however belated, are right, for herself and the victims of countless rapes that are never prosecuted, thus never giving them a chance for justice. The book includes a transcript of the preliminary hearing, with its shocking revelation of what Seccuro endured that night. This brave account reveals an alarming array of mishandling, poor judgment, and obfuscation or outright lies from university officials and from students at the party, and shines light on a systemic lack of concern and care given to rape victims. (Jan.)
Library Journal - BookSmack!
Seccuro was raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party in 1984. In 2005, she received a written apology from her rapist and an invitation to communicate. This documents their correspondence and the surrounding emotional turmoil, as well as the ensuing investigation and legal events leading to a trial. Seccuro, now a victim's advocate, discovered that she'd had multiple attackers and spectators, and there was a fraternity-wide cover-up following the rape. Her story is by turns vivid, wrenching, and inspiring.What I'm Telling My Friends I'm not a fan of the phrase "I couldn't put this book down." But once I set eye to paper, I stopped reading Crash only to sleep and snatched it up as soon as I awoke. This is an astounding story of an incredibly brave and resilient woman; I am simply in awe. Julie Kane, "Memoir Short Takes", Booksmack! 10/21/10
Kirkus Reviews

Memoir of a rape victim's quest for justice 22 years after her attack.

On Sept. 8, 2005, Seccuro received a letter that forever altered her future. It was from William Beebe, a former fraternity member at the University of Virginia who had brutally raped the author and was never charged with the crime. His unexpected apology spurred Seccuro to find answers, and in the months that followed, she and Beebe exchanged several heated e-mails in which she attempted to make sense of the hazy night of her attack. As she soon discovered, Beebe's recollections of the rape contradicted her own. When she decided to press charges, the trial that followed revealed secrets buried far deeper than she had imagined. "I was a straight-A student, played the lead in many school plays, and was a member of the student council, swim team, math club, yearbook staff, and cheerleading squad," writes the author. Yet following that night in 1984, all of her credentials became irrelevant. She was transformed into a rape victim, and as she reached out to her university for help, she found few willing to listen. Seccuro's account of the 2006 trial serves as a final chance for redemption. While Beebe readily admitted his involvement in the rape, his own guilt was soon overshadowed by the revelation that he was the third of three men who raped Seccuro that night—a fact that shocked even the victim. The trial also took a toll on her marriage. The memoir continually shifts between conjuring the ghosts of the past and combating the ghosts of the present. The author's unrelenting search for the truth opens old wounds, forcing her to relive the most traumatic night of her life in order to seek long-overdue justice.

A thorough, intimate retelling of a tragic tale.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596915855
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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