Joanna Connor’s Story

I am currently writing a story for Los Angeles magazine about a serial rape case, so I was naturally drawn to this story about a rape. But it is no ordinary story, and it is no ordinary telling. Joanna Connors, the longtime film critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has reached deep into her writer’s […]

Joanna I am currently writing a story for Los Angeles magazine about a serial rape case, so I was naturally drawn to this story about a rape. But it is no ordinary story, and it is no ordinary telling. Joanna Connors, the longtime film critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has reached deep into her writer’s soul and found the courage to explore the violent rape that happened to her 30 years ago. She shares her struggle to understand what that violent act did to her, and has the rare compassion to travel deep into the world of her attacker. Connors tells this story in a five-part series in the Plain Dealer – and I should add that I’ve never seen anything of its kind in my hometown paper – that combines a reporter’s candor with the intensity of direct experience. It is journalism at its bravest, bestowing the gifts of understanding and insight. At left is Connors visiting the gravesite of her rapist, David Francis. The photos by Lisa DeJong are also outstanding.