I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her
Atlantic Monthly Press
At the age of 30, Joanna Connors was raped by a stranger at knifepoint.
David Francis had been released from prison only one week earlier, and her
testimony helped put him back behind bars for the rest of his life. But the
story was far from over. Although she had a successful career as a journalist
and went on to have children, her life was defined by fear and self-blame (for
not trusting her instincts). Decades later, she decided to learn more about the
crime. Why had this man, roughly her age, gone down a path of violence? Francis
had died in prison, but she found his siblings and uncovered a story of
staggering poverty and abuse. Her rapist's father was a brutal pimp; his
drug-addicted mother fled. The boys in the family turned to crime by age 12 or
13, entering the criminal justice system, while the girls turned tricks. One
sister told Connors she'd been raped three times: "But I asked for it,
because I was on drugs and I was prostituting." Connors came to understand
that despite her nightmare, as far as the legal system goes, she was among the
lucky ones—white, educated and middle-class. She had resisted, with
bloody cuts and bruises to prove it, and she reported the crime immediately.
For many, there is no such justice. Connors has written a story of profound
compassion, for others and for herself. Yet, the questions she raises will
leave you unsettled.
— Dawn Raffel