Central Park Revisited

In the news: Trisha Meili, aka “The Central Park Jogger” is coming out with a book about her 1989 attack called “I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility“.

I remember the story all too well. On April 19th, 1989, she was grabbed while jogging in Central Park, brutally raped, her head bashed in with a rock, and left for dead as she lost 3/4 of the blood in her body. It was one that outraged New Yorkers We prayed, we worried… but mostly we saw red…we wanted justice to the point where we wanted to see it served at all costs.

And well, we got what we wished for. The police quickly rounded up the “Central Park Five”, got confessions out of them (which was good, because she had no recollection of the events, and there was really no physical evidence to tie them to the crime.). They were found guilty and spent the next 11 1/2 years of their lives in prison.

Only one little problem… they didn’t do it. A serial rapist named Matias Reyes confessed to the crime last year.

“Meili wrote that upon learning about Reyes’ confession, she was ‘too stunned to respond.’ ‘Reyes became real to me in a way the five had not,’ she wrote. ‘I didn’t want to see him in the papers or hear him talk on the television.’..”

Now here’s where everyone gets to call me a totally heartless prick all over the web:

Is this book going to be ALL about HER?

Does she make a mention of feeling just a *little* bad that 5 young men lost a decade of their lives for a crime they didn’t commit, thanks to police coercion, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a public outcry that decided “just anyone will do”?

Of course, I have a great deal of sympathy for what Ms. Meili went through. She was a victim of a horrific crime, but she wasn’t the only victim. If you look at the big picture, there were *six* victims in total…

Or is it because it was “just four Blacks and a Puerto Rican that were probably going to jail for something else eventually”, they don’t count?

I’m as guilty as anyone else. For what it’s worth, I feel pretty crappy about it. I wished the worst on these guys at the time. It’s all pretty messed up.

EricBrooks.ComĀ® – Because *SOMEBODY* had to say it.

19 thoughts on “Central Park Revisited

  1. I really need to crawl out FROM under my rock more…I had no idea they didn’t do it.
    I’m not trying to minimize what happened to her in ANY way, but while she has all the support in the world, and most of her life back I’m certain, these guys still have to register as sex offenders??!! wtf??
    others have got off with TONS of evidence against them…and they still have to fight for a minimal amount of respect, due to being accused and convicted of a crime they never committed. *shaking head*
    I know it’s one of the best in the world, but our system still needs allot of work!!
    (sorry for hijacking your comments guy…but this just blows my mind)

  2. i’m sure the book will be all about her and not her attackers. I saw the interview she did for dateline and there was only a minimal amount of talk about the 5. I honestly don’t know what else to say about it all other than it’s just a very sad case for all involved.

  3. OK I’ll say it. Eric, you ignorant slut!

    It’s a book about surviving a brutal attack — FROM what I got during her Dateline interview. Giving the timing of the discovery of the falseness of the convictions, it’s pretty likely the book was almost in print when that happened. AND it’s not like she falsely accused them, she was unconscious and didn’t remember anything at all about the incident, still doesn’t. Sure, there are various horrible aspects to this story, doesn’t mean she has to tell them all.

  4. I just read that whole article you linked and now I want to wretch. Another fine example of how our judicial system is not fullproof and why I don’t ever trust “confessions.” Esp. after the “perp” has been locked in a room for the last 24 hours without food or water, prob. being beaten or tortured…gee, does this sound like any other country we know? Bah.
    I feel so bad for those guys. I am hoping they can take their names of the sex offenders registry, at least, and get on with their lives.

  5. Ai-yi-yi….
    Faith, I wasn’t implying that she accused them, or even owes them an apology (she was in a coma fighting for her life at that point.)

    I’m just merely hoping there’s some form of acknowledgment. You know how it works in NYC. Look at Bernie Goetz, and how that all polarized the city. He was a hero to some, and to others they were saying “Oh, I guess it’s open season on black people.”.

    These guys were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they certainly were no angels.

    She will always have the world of sympathy FROM me for what she went through. I’m just hoping the book is worded right, that’s all.

    Oh, and Reyes was a real scumbag for keeping his mouth shut all these years. That too.

  6. Eric, that’s a funny point coming FROM you, champion of the view “this is my space and I get to say what I want.” My impression was that the book was more about the recovery process, physical and mental, than some kind of socio-political statement. Even if it isn’t, I don’t think she has an obligation to address the injustice done, particularly, but not only, because she didn’t play any role in it.

  7. Is this book going to be ALL about HER?

    I’m just merely hoping there’s some form of acknowledgment

    These two statements, along with the general tone of your post and comments, imply that it would be “wrong” for her to write about only her.

  8. Again. Where are you reading that I said she has no right to say what she wants?

    I see a question asking if that’s *all* the book is going to be about…

    And “I’m *hoping* that…”

    It sounds more like I’m expecting more of her account of the story, maybe I shouldn’t (but I doubt I’ll be the only one). I’m merely looking at this all FROM a broader scope. I also know how several communities in New York will react to this (if not worded right. hell I found the issues so difficult, and with so many sensitive hotspots that I ended up editing it all night.)

    I’d hate to see her villified, or viewed as selfish after all she went through, The tone of the article I linked to sure looks like it’s going to leave the door wide open.

    Maybe this will open the door to other venues and stories, who knows. Personally, I’m looking forward to reading this.

  9. Or is it because it was “just four Blacks and a Puerto Rican that were probably going to jail for something else eventually”, they don’t count?

    And that’s not a slap at her for not including the story of those wrongly convicted? Please Eric, stop mincing your words here. You know what reaction you were trying to provoke with this post and you got it.

  10. Actually that was a slap at all of us New Yorkers who wanted to see whoever was responsible behind bars ASAP. (Which, silly me thought was the overall point of this post.)

    The 2 lines before it was “She was a victim of a horrific crime, but she wasn’t the only victim. If you look at the big picture, there were *six* victims in total… ”

    Most people don’t switch FROM “she” to “you” in a normal conversation, so I don’t see how that was directed toward her… but don’t let that stop you FROM twisting this INTO anything you want. :0)

  11. Faith:
    Here’s how these post thingys work…
    You start at the top, read left and right, aaaaaaalllll the way down, until you hit the “posted by” part.

    You don’t get to a part you don’t like, and just jump to the “comments”. That’s considered rude.

  12. You post something inflammatory about a rape victim telling her very painful story and then can’t defend your untenable (look it up) position so you jump to sarcasm? I see the old Eric is back.

  13. Hey, you two–
    I think you should create a blog called “Point CounterPoint”..you two go on so..
    Me? Hate to say it but…
    If she can’t remember the attack, why write the book..people want to read details, gory, gory details… and..
    I read that DNA proved the guy admitting the attack did it because of his sperm..however the other 5 “Could” have been with the guy, and even penetrated INTO her, but not leave their semen..
    I think there is more to this story……….
    I don’t want anyone going to jail unless they are guilty!!! Whoever they are…

  14. Hi LaBrat! Look out as I address the person behind you…

    I am not saying anything inflammatory about her. What part of “Of course, I have a great deal of sympathy for what Ms. Meili went through.” is inflammatory?

    How come nobody else but you is taking this as a big attack on the Central Park Jogger? If the book is simply about her recovery since then, fine. Then I shouldn’t have raised my expectations to think it had anything to do with it being “a memoir of her ordeal and her recovery. In it, she recounts the trial of the five teenagers who were originally convicted in the case, and her reaction when another man said last year he was the culprit.”

    I know I feel bad for everytime I wished those guys made someone a good bitch in prison. (There’s taped confessions running on the 10 o’ clock news, what were we supposed to think?) That’s my choice. You don’t have to feel anything about it, and neither does she.

    It wasn’t her fault, and I never said it was. It was an outraged public, which made a mayor breathe down a department’s neck, which made detectives cut a few corners so the puzzle fits…

    Me? I’d feel obligated to help some people clear their names if they didn’t do anything to me… so maybe they can have a chance at a normal life. I can’t make you or anyone else give a damn.

  15. BOO! GET OFF YOUR BLOG!!!! YOU SUCK!!!
    You have been officially been heckled on International Heckling Day.
    No, you were heckled. Do not try to come back with something clever, or I shall return to heckle you some more.

  16. Toxiclebrat said: I read that DNA proved the guy admitting the attack did it because of his sperm..however the other 5 “Could” have been with the guy, and even penetrated INTO her, but not leave their semen..
    I think there is more to this story……….

    Not only did they not leave semen, they didn’t leave a single hair — pubic or otherwise — or a single skin cell, including under the victim’s fingernails. There is no more to this story. The guys who were convicted didn’t do it, and weren’t even near the actual crime scene, although they were in the park [which is huge]. Plus, after they were arrested, the guy who did do it continued to rape with the same M.O., just as he had done before the jogger case.

    They didn’t rape the jogger. They did mug and assault others in the park that night. But they were innocent of the rape charges.

    I also wrote about it here:
    http://www.bhwblog.com/blogarchive/000029.shtml

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