Week 13 Discussion

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Week13: Discussion


Week13: Discussion

Falsereporting is a critical topic as it advices on an issue that has beenconsidered an emerging crime in this age. Today, while crimes arecommitted annually, significant portions of them emerge to be falsecases or hoaxes, where the crimes being claimed never occurred, orthe suspects are found to be falsely accused. Therefore, a study ofthe scientific method is critical to prepare investigators on theimportance of remaining critical and objective as they handle any andall instances of crime investigations.

Accordingto Turvey (2011), there are various kinds of motivations for falsereporting. One motive is the need to mitigate responsibility, as theperson reporting a false occurrence might feel the need to lie, inorder to avoid minor consequences at home. For instance, a teenagerwho has had sex might make a false rape accusation to cover theiractions in order to avoid judgment or punishment. Another popularmotivation for false reporting is profit, as an individual mightchoose to take advantage of public empathy by creating a false storywith the aims of benefiting commercially. Lastly, an individual mightreport falsely due to revenge/anger. For instance, a bitter formerspouse might stage a crime and falsely accuse their partners of acrime with the intentions of making them suffer for the wrongs theyever did against them.

Turveyalso discusses several types of false reporting. One type of falsereporting is one that where and individual reports on events or acrime that is completely false and did not occur. In such a case, theindividual might fabricate lies and falsely present them as truths.Another type is where the events describes are true, but the accusedindividual is false. In this type of false reporting, while a crimemight be true, the accused party might be innocent from thecommission of the crime. Lastly, another type is one that ispartially true and false. In this case, the individual describes acollection of events that truly happened as well as those that arefabricated or did not occur.


Afteran online search on Google using a search string that emphasized on“false reporting” and “rape” I found a case that demonstratesthe diverse impacts of false reporting. The case in question waspublished by the DallasNews magazineand TheRootonline which reported that an 18-year old girl was found guilty of afalse assault and abduction claim.


  • Farmer, Liz. “Gang rape was a `hoax` by bloody teen who ran into church half-naked, Denison police say.” http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2017/03/22/bloody-teen-ran-church-help-staged-hoax-rape-denison-police-say?utm_campaign=Echobox&amputm_medium=Social&amputm_source=Facebook

  • Callahan, Yesha. “White Woman Jailed After Lying About Being Raped and Kidnapped by 3 Black Men: Police”.


Factsof the case

Accordingto the articles, Breana Harmon Talbott, an 18-year-old Texas womanfrom Denison, ran into a church half-naked, and claimed that she hadbeen raped (Farmer, 2017). After the incident, it is reported thatBreana claimed that three black men had abducted and sexuallyassaulted her. After the report, the whole community in Denison waspolarized as people were dismayed by the attack on the young womanwhile the police conducted investigations into the case. However,after the investigations, the police found the allegations to beuncorroborated. For instance, the medical examiners did not find anyevidence that she was sexually assaulted. On further discovery, itwas concluded that the case was a hoax and the ‘alleged victim’later admitted to lying about the incident (Callahan, 2017). Breanaadmitted on self-inflicting the wounds and lying to police andcurrently, she is in custody as law enforcement plan to file acriminal case for false reporting, a class B demeanor.

Motivationand Type

Accordingto Turvey (2011), false accusations are driven by variousmotivations. In the case of Breana Talbott, her case appears to themitigation of responsibility. While the investigators and the suspecthave not agreed on the causes behind her actions, according toTurvey, it can be deduced that the major motivation by Breana instaging the incident was her willingness to avoid the consequences ofher actions. All investigations reveal that Breana had self-inflictedthe injuries but later sought to shift the blame to another partyother than herself. Consequently, the type of false reporting is thatof an event that is completely false, where Breana termed hersituation as a rape committed by three black men. However, afterinvestigations in the case, the claims of rape were found to be falsesince there was no direct evidence proving that there had indeed beenany rape.

Conclusively,it is critical to note that this topic is critical to our learning asstudents of investigation as it reminds us that while crimes mightsometimes seem legitimate, they can likewise be hoaxes. Understandingthat false reporting is a reality facilitates our learning as itprepares us for a world that might take advantage of laxinvestigations skills and misdirection during criminal and victiminvestigations. Personally, knowing that false reporting is aprevalent issue has taught me that remaining critical and objectivein each case is critical. To achieve fairness in an investigation,therefore, the use of the scientific method should be emphasized andapplied for success.


Callahan,Y. (March 23, 2017). “White Woman Jailed After Lying About BeingRaped and Kidnapped by 3 Black Men: Police”.http://www.theroot.com/texas-white-woman-jailed-after-lying-about-being-raped-1793558681

Farmer,L. (March 22, 2017). “Gang rape was a `hoax` by bloody teen who raninto church half-naked, Denison police say.”http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2017/03/22/bloody-teen-ran-church-help-staged-hoax-rape-denison-police-say?utm_campaign=Echobox&amputm_medium=Social&amputm_source=Facebook

Turvey,B. E. (2011). Criminalprofiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis.Academic press.