The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Categories: Conflict | North America | Society |

The story of a young American woman, Marie Adler, is one of the most high-profile cases of sexual violence. The girl who became a victim of a sexual maniac was not believed by the police and was not supported in a foster family. In court, Marie was accused of perjury and declared her mentally unstable. The girl's life was almost destroyed and it took many years for justice to prevail.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

In the spring of 2009, the whole of Lynnwood, Washington, followed the trial of 18-year-old Marie Adler. The girl from the foster family was accused of perjury and the picture was very clear. The jurors openly mocked Marie, and her foster mother did not even appear at the meeting.

The reason for this attitude to Adler was simple — she was considered a pathological liar who decided to add trouble to her relatives and law enforcement officers with her stupid fantasies. The girl claimed that a maniac entered her house at night, who tied her with shoe laces, gagged her, and then raped her.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

A shot from the TV series "Incredible"

Marie explained the absence of any physical evidence by the fact that the night guest, having committed his dirty deed, forced her to wash thoroughly with threats, and then took the bed linen and escaped through the window. The walls of the Lynnwood City court had never heard such nonsense, so everyone had a lot of fun.

The trial did not last long and the girl was accused of giving false testimony. The punishment for her was a suspended sentence and a small monetary fine. At the same time, the court took into account the fact that the victim is an orphan and suffers from attention deficit, which, according to everyone, led to unhealthy sexual fantasies.

But the worst thing began after the trial. The name of Marie Adler was talked about in the press and on television, and friends and neighbors in the hostel stopped communicating with her. The girl had to live for several terrible years in the role of a lying psychopath, until it turned out that she actually became the victim of an arrogant and very careful rapist.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

In 2019, the Netflix channel will shoot the TV series "Incredible"about this strange case. Adler admitted that even years later she could not hold back tears when she watched it, such a heavy trace was left by these terrible events in her soul. How did it happen that a maniac went unpunished for many years?

Mark O'Leary committed 28 rapes in a relatively short period from 2008 to 2010. Since he was a former military man, he was well versed in the specifics of police work and skillfully avoided mistakes when committing crimes.

The maniac carefully prepared each rape. At first, the criminal chose a victim who was sympathetic to him. After that, the painstaking work began on tracking her down, finding out her habits and lifestyle, studying the territory adjacent to the house.

Sometimes O'Leary even broke into the homes of future victims when they were not at home to study the layout and furnishings. Then, choosing the right time, the rapist went out "on the case". The 30-year-old maniac took with him a mask that completely covered his face, latex gloves and, sometimes, ropes or harnesses with which he tied the victim.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Mark would break into the house at night, take a knife from the victim's kitchen and go to the bedroom to meet his next victim. He was not confused by the age of the victim — among the victims of his actions were both schoolgirls and ladies of advanced age.

O'Leary always recorded his crimes on a small Sony digital camera, stolen from the home of his first victim — a 59-year-old school teacher. The maniac never robbed his victims, taking only underwear from the crime scene as a fetish and bedding, so as not to leave evidence.

The most famous victim of the maniac, Marie Adler, grew up a very difficult child. She knew nothing about her mother, and she had seen her father only once in her life. In early childhood, Adler got into an orphanage, after which she literally went hand in hand. By the age of 16, the teenager had 11 adoptions and the same number of refusals.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Sometimes the child was returned to the shelter without explanation, and sometimes the parents were deprived of their adoption license for various reasons. Such a chaotic life could not but affect the formation of the child's psyche and Marie was already taking serious psychotropic drugs at the age of 8, according to a doctor's prescription.

At the age of 16, Marie met Shannon McCoury — a woman who attended seminars on raising difficult teenagers. They became friends and when once again Adler was expelled from the foster family, the social service temporarily sent her to live with an older friend. McCoury had the experience of raising such difficult children, because she was the foster mother of several teenagers.

The temporary guardian got along well with Marie. She believed that they were very similar and was glad that the hardships of life did not break the girl and did not discourage her from studying and communicating with friends. After staying with Shannon for a while, Marie went to a new family, which became the last for her.

Peggy Cunningham was Marie's foster mother until the age of 18, when the girl decided that it was time to start an independent life. I must say that Peggy and her adopted daughter had a good relationship, although not trusting.

Cunningham approved of Marie's decision and helped her become a participant in the Project Ladder program, focused on helping people from orphanages and foster families. Within the framework of the project, young people were taught to solve various everyday problems, prepare, draw up documents, plan a budget and much more.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

A shot from the TV series "Incredible"

But the most important thing is that everyone who needed it received a one-room apartment in a hostel and the support of a special curator for the next few years.

Marie really liked the independent life — she found a job, made friends, participated in the events of the Project Ladder program. This distinguished the girl from most other orphans, and therefore the curators were sure that she was on the right path.

The girl's life went awry after that night on August 11, 2008, when a maniac Mark O'Leary broke into her small apartment and raped her, threatening her with a knife.

After calming down a little, Marie told the police that she chatted on the phone with her ex-boyfriend Jordan at night, and then went to bed. But at 7 am, she was woken up by an unknown man in a mask and with a knife. A stranger dressed in a gray jumper tied her up, put a gag in her mouth, and then raped her.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

After that, the rapist forced Marie to wash thoroughly in the bathroom, carefully watching the process. Having collected the bed and underwear of the girl, the maniac climbed out through the window into the garden and escaped. Adler was able to free her hands with the help of nail scissors and immediately called her ex-boyfriend, with whom she talked at night.

Jordan didn't pick up the phone, and Adler dialed her foster mother and a neighbor from the top floor. It was the neighbor who called the police, who arrived at the scene later than everyone else. An inspection of the scene showed that the window was open in the room, and there were clods of dirt on the path. The cops didn't find any more evidence of Marie's words in the room.

It should be said right away that in Lynnwood, rape victims were treated with skepticism. The city police even had a written protocol in which employees were warned about the inadmissibility of trusting victims only on the basis of their testimony.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

This was one of the rules of this protocol, which was blown to smithereens by psychologists after the case with Marie Adler. Experts are well aware that the victim may be under such stress that he will be confused in the testimony, and also look absolutely calm. But in 2008, no one at the Lynnwood Police Department thought about this.

Another nail in the coffin of her version was that Adler said during the interrogation that after the rapist's escape, she immediately called her ex-boyfriend, forgetting to mention how she cut the laces on her hands with nail scissors.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

While the police repeatedly listened with longing to the story of Adler, who was considered a pathological liar by everyone, detectives Stacy Gilbraith and Edna Hendershot tried to get on the trail of the elusive O'Leary. The women worked in different districts, but they were united by a common goal.

A year after the verdict of the unfortunate Adler, they were able to get on the trail of a maniac, comparing a lot of facts. All the cases of attacks in the two counties of Washington State were united by the place of the attack, which was always the victim's house, threats with a knife, filming the rape with a pink Sony camera and carefully collecting things that could lead the police to the trail.

In addition, several women remembered that they had seen a birthmark on the attacker's left leg. This sign was the only one that could help in identifying the maniac. Another point was a white pickup truck, which was often seen where rapes took place, but it was not worth relying on a car, since there were plenty of such cars, local and foreign, in two counties of the state.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Detectives Gilbraith and Hendershot

With great difficulty, the detectives managed to get a scanty amount of the criminal's biological material. But the full human genome could not be established, so it was not possible to include the data in the FBI database for a more productive search.

Soon Gilbraith and Hendershot were lucky. On February 8, 2011, when a vigilant woman called 911 and complained that she was disturbed by someone else's white car, which had been parked near a neighboring house all night. The police recorded the complaint, wrote down the number of the vehicle and immediately forgot about it. They remembered about the call only a couple of weeks later, when another rape occurred in the house near which the car was parked.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Mark Patrick O'Leary

The owner of a white 1993 Mazda pickup truck turned out to be Mark Patrick O'Leary, a resident of Colorado. Three days later, detectives examined the man's house, which turned out to be an unremarkable miserable shack near a gas station. To get the suspect's DNA, the officers had to work hard.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Shoes were found in the maniac's house, traces of which were found at the scene of several crimes, an unregistered revolver and a pink Sony Cyber-shot digital camera. There were no pictures on the memory card, but they managed to get the evidence by hacking the security of O'Leary's computer. On the hard drive of the rapist, there was a folder with the name Girls, where there were photos from crime scenes.

Detectives managed to identify all the victims of the maniac, except for one, the youngest. After a while, Gilbraith found out her name. On one of the frames made by the maniac, the diploma of the courses "Project Ladder" was visible, inserted in a frame. After that, it was not difficult to determine that this victim was Marie Adler.

The story of Marie Adler, who was made a liar and a criminal from the victim of a maniac

Detective Gilbraith

Mark O'Leary did not hide the details of his crimes and openly mocked the investigators during interrogations. He also told in detail about the rape of Adler, as he remembered this case perfectly. According to the rapist, the victim was not to his taste and the attack did not bring much joy.

In 2012, the maniac was sentenced to 40 years for rapes in the city of Kirkland and separately to 28 years for assaulting Marie Adler, committed in Lynnwood. Marie herself sued the authorities of her city and sued them for 150 thousand dollars (about 9.5 million rubles). Also, the police officers involved in her case, apologized to the girl. Adler left her home state and currently works as a long-distance truck driver.

Keywords: Detective | Lie | Maniac | Rapist | Accusation | Orphan | Court | Usa | Camera