Kenna Gottschalk, Staff Writer
After 18-year old Marie was raped while alone in her apartment, she had no idea that her journey of getting help would ultimately cause her more harm.
There is a new true crime miniseries on Netflix based on true events. The series “Unbelievable” covers the case of an 18-year old known as Marie Adler, whose last name has been changed to protect her privacy, who was awakened by a man who gagged, blindfolded and raped her in the apartment.
Marie was a foster child since entering the system at about age six or seven. She has met her biological father maybe once, and her mother had the habit of leaving Marie in the care of her boyfriends. Bouncing from one foster care family to another, Marie suffered sexual and physical abuse during her time in the foster care system.
When Marie was 18, she joined a pilot program called Project Ladder, which was designed to help young adults start their independence after living in foster care. Shortly after, Marie moved into a one-bedroom apartment monitored by the program. It was there at the Alderbrooke Apartments in Lynnwood, Washington that police responded to the report of rape a little before 9 a.m. one day in 2008.
Once Marie’s call was answered the investigation began. She told her story to two detectives and two of her previous foster moms, identified as “Colleen” and “Judith” in the series. Once they knew and had a chance to talk about it to Marie, they started to express doubts. They thought Marie’s behavior didn’t seem to match someone who had just been raped. They confided in one another about these suspicions and Judith told an investigator of these uncertainties. Marie’s story didn’t quite line up in their eyes. A few minor details were different in the story Marie told the investigators and the story she told her former foster parents.
Once the investigators had this information, they had a lot of questions for Marie.
First, they brought her into the station and started telling her how giving false information is a serious crime. The investigators were upset and frustrated with Marie because they started to also think her story was false. They didn’t want their time to be wasted and told Marie this.
Not having enough time to fully process, dissect and cope with what was happening, Marie didn’t know how to act. Being under so much pressure from the police, Marie ended up saying she just made the whole thing up, and she was then charged with a gross misdemeanor.
Marie’s lawyer was shocked the police had charged her but concluded it was most likely because the police felt “used.” She had to pay a $500 fine for court costs and agreed to a deal that she would get mental health counseling for lying while going on supervised probation.
Having suffered through such a traumatic event, having spent most of her life in foster care, and then having the police accuse her of lying and charge her $500 for it, it’s almost unbelievable that Marie managed to keep going.
Wondering how? Watch the mini-series on Netflix and you too will come to find that Marie’s story is truly, incredibly, and undoubtedly… unbelievable.