Anorak | ‘Jackie’s Story’: the myth that only pro-rape activists seek proof of a crime

‘Jackie’s Story’: the myth that only pro-rape activists seek proof of a crime

by | 26th, March 2015

jackie story longo uva rolling stone


The fallout from ‘Jackie’s Story’ of barbaric gang rape in a campus frat house continues to haunt Rolling Stone  magazine and the University of Virginia. The magazine apologised  for Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story allegedly  coerced  from the hesitant ‘victim’.

Jackie’s Story was used to beat “l ad culture “,  sticking to the narrative  of male sexual violence running unchecked. Circumspection and facts had no place in the lurid tale of depravity. We were all told to push back the sea of misogyny “. Guilt was assumed. The frat boys were invited to prove their innocence in  kangaroo courts .

Stuff elightenment. Although not lynching , the story had  echoes of the Scottsboro Boys . No proof needed when you have the usual suspects in the crosshairs.

We might never know what really happened to Jackie. But the feeling is that, whatever it was or wasn’t, it’s not as Erdely presented it.

With the story out there, Charlottesville Police Department investigated. They came up with nothing. On Monday Police Chief Timothy Long addressed the public:

“Unfortunately, we’re not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident that is consistent with the facts in the article occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house, or any other fraternity house for that matter. I want to be clear: that doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie on the evening of September 28, 2012…So this case is not closed – it’s not closed by any stretch of the imagination.”

No evidence that it happened is not proof that it never happened. Police have not closed the investigation, just “suspending” it.

Police add:

“We were very distinctly told that she [Jackie] would not talk to us, that she would not file a report, that she did not want an investigation and that we were not to talk to her again.


Through counsel, Jackie also refused to provide a statement, answer questions or give consent to police to access school records protected by federal privacy laws.

Megan McArdle notes a few things police did find:

Mostly the police provided a few extra details here and there, which they were able to do because, well, they’re the law. For example, the story also includes a later incident where Jackie was attacked by people who threw a beer bottle at her, which broke on her eye. After that incident, Jackie told police that her nursing student roommate had had to take glass out of her skin from the thrown beer bottle; the roommate apparently denies this, and the police, who saw her wound about a week after the incident allegedly happened, said that while she did have an abrasion near her eye, appears to be more of an abrasion rather than a blunt trauma injury.

Police also said they had gone through the fraternity records, which showed no evidence of an event that night, and added that

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Posted: 26th, March 2015 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink