Stories Sacred, Lies Mundane

Ten years later, a casualty of the Tawana Brawley case finds vindication

Our minds drift back and forth between the sacred and the mundane: between our ideas, our myths about ourselves, on one hand, and on the other our everyday, mortal disorder, our contradictions, our injustices and our need for the law. In the borderland between the two realms we encounter the dangerous, interesting kingdom of lies.

It was 10 years ago that the three realms intersected in the Hudson River town of Wappingers Falls, N.Y. There, Tawana Brawley, a black teenager, proclaimed that a gang of white law officers had abducted and held her for four days in the woods, raping her...

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