This American Life: Anatomy of Doubt

This American Life, PBC in collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica

Two mirrored tales of justice not served and justice served, Anatomy of Doubt looks at a young woman’s allegations of rape that are dismissed as attention-seeking lies by both the police and those closest to her, before then considering how her rapist was later captured by another police department. The program takes the crimes from a serial racist and demonstrates how police investigations can be conducted properly or can be done abysmally wrong. The program also offers a rebuke to the doubt and skepticism that victims of rape often suffer from some investigators. Producer Robyn Semien and reporter Ken Armstrong demonstrate how critical the disbelief by the victim’s own family and friends proved in destroying the first case. Anatomy of Doubt unites reporting from This American Life, The Marshall Project, and ProPublica to provide a chilling indictment of doubt, a harrowing picture of the vilification and criminal prosecution that the victim suffered, and a heartfelt reminder to trust what victims say. For its public service and strength of reporting, Anatomy of Doubt is acknowledged with a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Ira Glass. Producer: Robyn Semien. Reporters: Ken Armstrong, T. Christian Millier, Robyn Semien. Editors: Ira Glass, Joel Lovell, Brian Reed, Nancy Updike.