Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ladue Police fuming over false rape report

I love reporters who editorialize instead of report. But the following is, after all, from a reporter's blog where, I suppose, the reporter gets to say whatever he or she would like. The story sounded unbelievable, but nothing is stated as to why. We also see the obligatory statement by police that false rape claims hurt future, hypothetical, possible rape victims. Do they? Maybe. But in most cases we see here, there is a more immediate individual who bears the brunt of that hurt: the falsely accused.

Virginia Rose Burns charged with misdemeanors for false rape accusations.

It's a story that sounded unbelievable from the get-go. We learn today... twelve days after an extensive, time-consuming, costly investigation began... Virginia Rose Burns' story was bogus.

Ladue Police say they may never know why she made it up.

Police are frustrated on so many levels. The waste of time is a big one. 300 hours, 150 interviews... some detectives put in a few 18-hour days hoping to bring a couple of non-existent rapists to justice...

Burns is charged with filing a couple of false police reports and possessing pot... three misdemeanors. Chief Rich Wooten says her punishment won't fit her crime.

Lt. Bill Baker says Burns' stunt is bad for legitimate rape victims. He says a lot of victims don't come forward because they fear being challenged by cops who don't believe them. This sort of thing just adds to that fear.

This reminds me of the woman who worked at Pfizer in Chesterfield back in January. She inexplicably shot herself in the foot and made up a story that someone else shot her and ran off.

There was an hours long man-hunt. It disrupted everything at the plant that day.

What makes people do these sorts of things? A severe mental illness?... A desperate need for attention and validation?

I made the obligatory visit to Virginia Burns home and got the expected result. No one answered the door. I talked to a neighbor who was familiar with the rape case from the news. He was blown away to hear the neighbor he waves to from across the street could do such a thing.

I told him he'll have to ask her about that one day. He's got a better chance of bumping into her than I do.