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Jon Krakauer


  Eiger Dreams


  Into the Wild

  Into Thin Air

  Under the Banner of Heaven

  Where Men Win Glory

  Three Cups of Deceit

  Copyright © 2015 by Jonathan R. Krakauer

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, and distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Ltd., Toronto.

  DOUBLEDAY and the portrayal of an anchor with a dolphin are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

  eBook design adapted from printed book design by Maria Carella

  Cover design by John Fontana

  Cover photograph © Nelsen Kenter/

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Krakauer, Jon.

  Missoula / by Jon Krakauer.—First American edition.

  pages cm

  Includes bibliographical references.

  ISBN: 978-0-385-53873-2 (hardcover)—

  ISBN: 978-0-385-53874-9 (eBook)

  1. Rape—Montana—Missoula. 2. Rape victims—Montana—Missoula. 3. Trials (Rape)—Montana—Missoula. I. Title

  HV6568.M57K73 2015

  362.88309786′85—dc23 2015002686

  eBook ISBN 9780385538749



  For Linda

  Rape is unique. No other violent crime is so fraught with controversy, so enmeshed in dispute and in the politics of gender and sexuality….And within the domain of rape, the most highly charged area of debate concerns the issue of false allegations. For centuries, it has been asserted and assumed that women “cry rape,” that a large proportion of rape allegations are maliciously concocted for purposes of revenge or other motives.


  “False Allegations of Sexual Assault”

  Violence Against Women, December 2010



  Also by Jon Krakauer

  Title Page




  Author’s Note

  Part One: Allison

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Part Two: Before the Law Sits a Gatekeeper

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Part Three: Unwanted Attention

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Part Four: Scales of Justice

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Part Five: Trial by Jury

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Part Six: Aftershocks

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Dramatis Personae


  Selected Bibliography

  About the Author


  Rape is a much more common crime than most people realize, and women of college age are most frequently the victims. According to a special report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in December 2014, “For the period 1995–2013, females ages 18 to 24 had the highest rate of rape and sexual-assault victimizations compared to females in all other age groups.” The report estimated that 0.7 percent of this high-risk cohort are sexually assaulted each year—approximately 110,000 young women. This survey was primarily concerned with documenting crime rates, however, and relied on a relatively narrow definition of sexual assault. Notably, respondents to the DOJ survey were not asked about incidents in which they might have been incapable of providing consent while incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.

  A different federal agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released a report in September 2014 that examined the problem of sexual violence from a public health perspective, rather than a criminal justice perspective, and paid more attention to sexual assaults involving drugs and alcohol. It generated quite different numbers. Using data gathered in 2011, the CDC study estimated that across all age groups, 19.3 percent of American women “have been raped in their lifetimes” and that 1.6 percent of American women—nearly two and a half million individuals—“reported that they were raped in the 12 months preceding the survey.”

  As the dissimilar results from these two government surveys suggest, it is impossible to state with certainty how many women are raped each year. Quantifying the prevalence of sexual assault is a highly speculative exercise because at least 80 percent of those who are assaulted don’t report the crime to authorities. This book is an effort to understand what deters so many rape victims from going to the police, and to comprehend the repercussions of sexual assault from the perspective of those who have been victimized.

  To that end, I have written about a rash of sexual assaults in a single American city—Missoula, Montana—from 2010 through 2012. The victims of these assaults happened to be female college students, but young women who are not enrolled in college are probably at even greater risk, and it’s not just young women—or just women, for that matter—who are in danger of being raped. The CDC report cited above estimated that approximately two and a half million American men alive today will be raped in their lifetimes, 1.7 percent of the male population.

  The research for this book included interviews with victims, their families and acquaintances, and, when possible, the men accused of assaulting the women I wrote about, but I didn’t speak with every victim or every alleged assailant. To learn as much as I could, and to corroborate what sources told me, I spoke at length with eminent psychologists and lawyers; attended court proceedings; read thousands of pages of court transcripts, court filings, e-mails, letters, police reports, and documents generated by university disciplinary proceedings; listened to recordings of police interviews and university disciplinary proceedings; and reviewed newspaper articles, the findings of government investigations, and scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

  Whenever dialogue appears between quotation marks on the pages that follow, it is a verbatim quote from the person speaking; a verbatim quote from a source recounting what he or she heard the speaker say; a verbatim quote from a recording of an official proceeding; or a verbatim quote from a transcript of an official proceeding.

  Parts of the book may be difficult to read. Some of the events I describe are extremely disturbing. Additionally, there is a sprawling cast of characters, several of whom have been given pseudonyms to protect their privacy. To help readers keep track of who’s who, individuals whose names appear more than once or twice are listed in an alphabetized dramatis personae at the end of the book, on this page.




  Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t
careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.


  The Purity Myth


  Office Solutions & Services, a Missoula office-products company, didn’t have its 2011 Christmas party until January 6, 2012. As a counterpoint to the chilly Montana evening, the staff decorated the place in a Hawaiian motif. Around 9:00 p.m., thirty or forty people—employees and their families, mostly—were chatting, playing party games, and sipping beverages from red plastic cups in a room overlooking the parking lot when a shiny Chrysler 300 sedan pulled up and rolled to a stop in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, attracting the attention of the revelers. Two well-dressed men with dour expressions got out of the vehicle and stood beside it. “It was a really nice black car,” recalls Kevin Huguet, the owner of Office Solutions.

  As he was admiring the Chrysler, one of Huguet’s salesmen asked, “Who are those guys?”

  Huguet had no idea. So he walked outside and asked, “Can I help you?”

  “We’re Missoula police detectives,” the man who had been driving the car replied. “I just need to talk to Allison.”

  “Allison is my daughter,” Huguet said, his hackles rising. “You’re going to have to tell me a little more than that.”

  “Dad, it’s okay,” twenty-two-year-old Allison Huguet interjected, having walked out to the parking lot shortly after her father.

  Detective Guy Baker, who is six foot five and weighs 250 pounds, peered down at Allison, a slender woman with bright eyes and a ponytail. “I need to talk to you,” he said. “We don’t have to do this in front of your dad. How do you want us to handle this?” He and Allison walked away from the car to speak privately, while Detective Mark Blood remained behind with Kevin Huguet.

  “Hey,” Baker said to Allison in a warmer voice when they’d moved a short distance away. They’d become acquainted four years earlier, during her final year of high school, when she asked him to serve as her mentor for a school project. It had been a positive experience for both of them. Explaining why he’d shown up during the company Christmas party, he said, “I thought it was important to tell you in person as soon as possible: About an hour ago I arrested Beau Donaldson. I got a full confession from him, and he is in jail.”

  Allison’s eyes brimmed with tears of relief.

  Over by the Chrysler, Kevin Huguet grew impatient as he watched Allison and Baker conferring. “You know what?” he told Detective Blood after a few minutes. “I want to know what’s going on here. This is my daughter, and I want to know what’s going on.” Kevin abruptly strode away and confronted Baker.

  “She didn’t do anything bad,” Baker said. “It’s not like that.” Then Baker turned to Allison and said, “I think you really need to talk to your dad and tell him.”

  Allison faced her father and, in a shaky voice, declared, “Beau raped me.”


  KEVIN STOOD ON the cold pavement, gobsmacked. Struggling to make sense of the words his daughter had just spoken, he wrapped his arms around her. As he hugged Allison and began to process what Beau Donaldson had done to her, Kevin’s shock and confusion turned into blinding rage.

  “I thought he was going to find Beau and kill him or something,” Allison told me, recalling the events of that night.

  Beau Donaldson, a junior at the University of Montana at the time of the assault, was on the school’s football team. Allison Huguet was attending Eastern Oregon University on a track scholarship. They had grown up together in Missoula and had been inseparable friends since the first grade, but the relationship had never been romantic.

  Donaldson often referred to Huguet as his “little sister,” and the sentiment was reciprocated. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Huguet regarded Donaldson as the brother she never had. For the previous sixteen years, Huguet’s parents had welcomed Donaldson into their home as if he were a member of their family. “You spend your whole life, when you have kids, protecting them,” Kevin Huguet told me. “But who thinks their daughter’s trusted friend is actually a monster who is going to hurt them in the night?”

  Allison was as angry as her father, but a confounding mix of other emotions had supplanted her rage. Donaldson raped her on September 25, 2010. She had waited fifteen months, suffering in silence, before going to the police. During that period she told nobody beyond her mother and three or four close friends that she had been raped—not even her father or sisters knew about it. Such reticence, it turns out, is common among victims of sexual assault. No more than 20 percent of rapes are reported to the police, a statistic that defies comprehension until one looks closely at how sexual-assault cases are adjudicated in the United States.


  MONTANA IS A huge place with relatively few people. Although Missoula is the state’s second largest city, it only has seventy thousand residents. Congenial and picturesque, it’s the kind of community that charms first-time visitors into putting money down on real estate within hours of arriving. Some 42 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28 percent of the rest of the nation. Good restaurants and lively bars abound. A legendary trout stream, the Clark Fork, runs fast and clear through the heart of downtown, paralleled by an abandoned railroad right-of-way that’s been transformed into a bucolic thoroughfare for cyclists, joggers, and strollers. South of the river, the city’s unpresuming neighborhoods stretch across a broad valley, above which five mountain ranges converge.

  From Missoula’s origins in the mid-nineteenth century until the late decades of the twentieth, the local economy depended heavily on timber cut from the surrounding high country. About thirty-five years ago, however, the forest-products industry began to fall on hard times. Most of the sawmills closed, and loggers in calk boots and tin pants became an endangered species. A behemoth pulp mill pumped $45 million annually into the local economy (and at times created a noxious smog that settled so densely over the city that drivers had to turn on their headlights in the middle of the day) until 2009, when it was shuttered and sold for scrap.

  Presently the largest employer in the Missoula Valley is the University of Montana, by a large margin. With its 15,000 students and more than 800 faculty members, UM, as it is known, has left a deep imprint on the city. Missoula has a much higher proportion of Democrats, for instance, than the state as a whole. As locals like to joke, one of the things that’s so great about living in Missoula is that it’s only twenty minutes from Montana.

  Despite its liberal bent, in many ways Missoula resembles other cities of similar size in the Rocky Mountain region. Its population is 92 percent white, 2 percent Native American, 2 percent Hispanic, and less than 1 percent African American. The median family income is $42,000. Twenty percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Among Missoulians there is strong support for the right to keep and bear arms, and for limiting the role of the federal government in their affairs.

  Missoula has a culture uniquely its own, however, thanks to the fusion of its gritty frontier heritage with the university’s myriad impacts. UM has nationally distinguished programs in biology and ecology and is perhaps even more renowned for its literary bona fides. The faculty of the university’s Creative Writing Program, founded in 1920, has included such influential authors as Richard Hugo, James Crumley, and William Kittredge. Reminiscing in one of his incomparable essays about what drew him to Missoula for the first time, Kittredge wrote,

  I was looking for what I took to be a genuine world to inhabit. I wanted to be someone that I could understand and stand—a romantic idea that seems commonplace in the West these days….The northern Rockies seemed like an undiscovered land, thick with secrets no one could bother to keep.

  During a drunken visit to Missoula to go fishing with Kittredge in 1972, Raymond Carver, the godfather of minimalist fiction, fell head-over-heels in love with both the town and Diane Cecily, the university’s director of publications. Richard Ford, the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist, res
ided in Missoula for three or four very productive years in the 1980s and is recalled with pride by its citizenry. The literary figure most closely identified with the town, however, is Norman Maclean, the author of A River Runs Through It, the semiautobiographical work of fiction set in Missoula and on the nearby Big Blackfoot River, from which the Academy Award–winning film starring Brad Pitt was adapted.


  BUT NEVER MIND Kittredge or Ford or the Big Blackfoot. Missoulians’ greatest source of civic pride, hands down, is the University of Montana football team, the beloved Grizzlies of the Big Sky Conference, who won the Football Championship Subdivision national title in 1995 and 2001. Their record of twelve straight conference titles prior to 2010 was the second-longest streak in NCAA Division I history. In 1985, a billionaire Missoula construction magnate named Dennis Washington donated $1 million to build Washington-Grizzly Stadium, a beautiful facility that seats 25,200 and is filled to capacity for almost every home game. The Grizzlies’ overall record from the opening of the stadium through 2011 was a remarkable 174 wins and 24 losses.

  The Griz don’t play at the same elite level as college-football colossi like Florida State, Ohio State, and Alabama. It’s fair to say that the team’s win-loss record would be much less impressive if they played under the bright lights of the Big Ten or the Southeastern Conference, instead of in a backwater like the Big Sky. Be that as it may, the Grizzlies inspire the same kind of fanaticism in Missoula as the Seminoles do in Tallahassee and the Crimson Tide does in Tuscaloosa. UM fans call themselves “Griz Nation.” Missoula is “Grizzlyville.” It would be hard to overstate the degree to which Griz football is exalted by the residents of western Montana.

  Recent events, however, have forced at least some Missoulians to reconsider their veneration of all things Griz. In December 2010, four of Beau Donaldson’s teammates on the UM football team allegedly gang-raped a female student when she was too drunk to resist, and because the football players claimed the sex was consensual, they were not charged with a crime. A year later, in December 2011, three Griz football players sexually assaulted two female students after allegedly drugging them. None of these assailants was prosecuted, either.