Jane Doe No More: My 15-Year Fight to Reclaim My Identity--A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Redemption

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Overview

In 1993, Donna Palomba was raped by a masked assailant in her own home. Yet, her story is more than a victim’s tale of physical and emotional recovery. It is a story of one woman’s hunt for justice while fending off attacks by institutions designed to defend and protect her—the police department, the local government, and a community clinging to an outrageous claim that Donna had invented the crime to cover up a sexual affair.

     From the night of the attack, the botched crime scene ...

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Jane Doe No More: My 15-Year Fight to Reclaim My Identity--A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Redemption

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Overview

In 1993, Donna Palomba was raped by a masked assailant in her own home. Yet, her story is more than a victim’s tale of physical and emotional recovery. It is a story of one woman’s hunt for justice while fending off attacks by institutions designed to defend and protect her—the police department, the local government, and a community clinging to an outrageous claim that Donna had invented the crime to cover up a sexual affair.

     From the night of the attack, the botched crime scene investigation, and the abuse as authorities attempted to close the case by discrediting her, Donna was left as a victim with no name and no identity. Meanwhile, there was one courageous detective, later to become chief of police, who broke a cops’ code of silence in the name of justice. As they fought on, a legal battle ensued after the Waterbury Police Department—now with media support—refused to let go of its allegations against her and admit wrongdoing. Finally, after eleven years of struggle, Donna learned the identity of her attacker from the chief of police, who explained that the DNA from the rape kit taken a decade ago had turned up a shocking match.

     In 2007, Donna Palomba was the subject of a special two-hour Dateline episode about her case. Suddenly, she was Jane Doe no more, launching the Jane Doe No More organization and becoming a promoter of the rights of women and victims of sexual assault. With the help of crime investigator and author M. William Phelps, this is her story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Phelps (I’ll Be Watching You) traces the nightmarish series of events Palomba endured after she was raped in 1993. A successful ad agency marketing executive, Palomba was bound, gagged, and sexually assaulted in her Waterbury, Conn., home while her husband was out of town. Uninterested police, however, regarded her story as a coverup of adultery: “The red flag, according to officers later, was no evidence of forced entrance into Donna’s house.” She was threatened with arrest and local gossips spread the false rumor of an extramarital affair: “old ladies, sitting around killing time, talking about a rumor... were now driving the investigation.” An arduous yet successful lawsuit against the city of Waterbury followed, leading to Palomba’s 2007 launch of the Jane Doe No More Foundation—to “improve the way society responds to victims of sexual assault”—and her subsequent appearance in a highly rated episode of Dateline NBC. Suspense builds as seasoned investigative journalist Phelps works through police reports, trial transcripts, depositions, diaries, e-mails, and extensive interviews, inserting Palomba’s first-person accounts throughout until the chilling truth about her assailant is finally discovered. 19 b&w photos. Agent: Peter Miller, Global Lion Intellectual Property Management. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“This book is an evocative and compelling trip into the real experience of a heroic victim of crime—a woman who fought to survive without anonymity in our society and who fought for redemption within our system of justice. Not only is it well written, but it also provides us the knowledge and courage we need to challenge the system and be Jane Doe No More. This book will be required reading for all victims of crime and for detectives around the world. We can all learn from Donna’s story.”

—Dr. Henry C. Lee, Distinguished Chair Professor of Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven; Founder, Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science

Jane Doe No More is the story of a true hero. Through her struggle for justice as the victim of one of the most personal and devastating kinds of violence, and her advocacy for improving the law in cases of sexual assault, Donna Palomba has given other survivors a voice of courage and hope.”

—The Honorable Jodi Rell, former Governor of Connecticut

“Suspense builds as seasoned investigative journalist Phelps works through police reports, trial transcripts, depositions, diaries, e-mails, and extensive interviews, inserting Palomba’s first-person accounts throughout until the chilling truth about her assailant is finally discovered.”

Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
Palomba, a wife and mother of two, had no idea that the events of a single night in 1993 would change her life forever. That night, while her husband was away on a trip, someone entered her home in Waterbury, CT, sexually assaulted her, and threatened her life. While the assault was traumatizing enough, this book details an additional travesty: her subsequent mistreatment by the Waterbury Police Department, who believed that she fabricated the assault to cover up an affair. Veteran true-crime novelist Phelps (Never See Them Again) combines Palomba's own recollections with police reports and interviews to tell the story of a woman who battled not only a corrupt police department but also sexual assault laws that made it difficult to convict offenders after a certain time had passed. VERDICT Its focus on sexual assault, an inept police department, and Palomba's ultimately positive path to assault-victim advocacy make this stand out from other true-crime offerings. Readers who enjoy true-crime and in-depth investigative nonfiction will appreciate this title. Recommended.—Alyssa Vincent, Emporia State Univ., Wheaton, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762778805
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 685,833
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Palomba is the face and founder of Jane Doe No More, a national non-profit established in 2007 to improve the way society responds to victims of sexual assault. She regularly collaborates with law enforcement, and successfully advocated for a Connecticut law removing the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases involving DNA evidence. Donna’s professional experience as co-founder and managing member of a marketing agency helped establish Jane Doe No More as a nationally recognized organization. She lives in Woodbury, Connecticut. M. William Phelps, investigative journalist and star of the hit Investigation Discovery series Dark Minds, is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty nonfiction books. Winner of 2008 New England Book Festival Award for I’ll Be Watching You, Phelps is also the author of The Devil’s Rooming House; The Devil’s Right Hand;and Murder, New England (all from Lyons Press). He lives in a small Connecticut farming community near the Massachusetts border.

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Table of Contents

Authors' Note vii

Chapter 1 A Stranger in the House 1

Chapter 2 Blindfolded 10

Chapter 3 Jam Sandwich 19

Chapter 4 Turning Tables 29

Chapter 5 Life Goes On …But Only for a Moment 39

Chapter 6 Remain Silent 51

Chapter 7 Your Lies Won't Leave Me Alone 58

Chapter 8 Something's Missing 69

Chapter 9 Jane Doe 78

Chapter 10 Rumor Has It 85

Chapter 11 No Two Victims Are Alike 97

Chapter 12 Hope 113

Chapter 13 An Internal Affair 122

Chapter 14 Guilt by Omission 135

Chapter 15 Speaking of Hunches 144

Chapter 16 The Bad News 146

Chapter 17 All Apologies 151

Chapter 18 The King Can Do No Wrong 160

Chapter 19 A New Lease 172

Chapter 20 The Evil Mayor 175

Chapter 21 A Breakdown 187

Chapter 22 A Battle Begins 193

Chapter 23 Oddities 200

Chapter 24 Still Jane after All These Years 209

Chapter 25 If the Shoe Fits 215

Chapter 26 Reality Check 225

Chapter 27 Betrayal 228

Chapter 28 Face-to-face 232

Chapter 29 A Pictures Worth 237

Chapter 30 Fright Night 240

Chapter 31 Festering Anger 246

Chatter 32 Caught in the Act 249

Chapter 33 No Escape 251

Chapter 34 Suicide Is Painless 254

Chapter 35 Pleading 265

Chapter 36 The Narrow Gate 276

Chapter 37 Showtime 282

Chapter 38 Change 291

Epilogue by Donna Palomba 297

Acknowledgments 300

Index 303

About the Authors 309

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Great read

    Very interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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