Longtime readers of Isthmus will recall the series of articles written by news editor Bill Lueders that came to be known as "the Patty case." For those of you who don't recall, the series followed Patty, a legally blind Madison woman, through a 6½-year ordeal of assault, humiliation and injustice. It started in Patty's bedroom in September 1997 and ended in a courtroom in March 2004. At least it ended for the purposes of the book Lueders has written, Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman's Harrowing Quest for Justice, which is excerpted this week as our cover story.
Lueders has stitched together the many developments in the case to create a compelling, fast-moving narrative. It's not just the story of the search for a rapist - that's really only part of the cautionary tale that is Patty's search for justice. It's also the story of how the system encouraged disregard for the truth and countenanced inflicting cruelty on a crime victim, all in order to protect its own interests.
Plenty of folks - cops, attorneys, politicians - come in for justly deserved criticism in the book and the excerpt, in a display of arrogance and disregard for human decency that makes one shiver. Though only recently released, the book (published by the University of Wisconsin Press) is already garnering admiring reviews. It's available in bookstores around town and at the Isthmus office, 101 King St. Accompanying the story is a list of readings and book-signing sessions planned for the near future.
Soon, the exigencies of nature will require us to turn our lives to the interior. Making your Isthmus so fat this week is the fall version of our biannual Abode: How We Live supplement, dealing with, well, what it says it's dealing with, your abode - the place you live. It has plenty of staff-written short features intended to tip you off about the trendy as well as the just plain helpful in home decoration and maintenance. It also has some nifty longer features on building a new house in an old neighborhood, by Mary Ellen Gabriel; getting organized, by Pam Cotant; the return of wallpaper, by Anna Palmer; and artsy yard decor, by Becky Meyer Pourchot. To round it out, supplements editor Linda Falkenstein contributes a survey of interesting objects, with a listing of antique malls where you can find them and others like them.