Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Promiscuous Woman’s Fake Rape Story Aroused Racial Tension - 1960


NOTE: There was no lynching in this case. This illustration is used to reference the reality that fake rape cases have indeed led to many lynchings of innocent men.

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FULL TEXT Article 1 of 2):  St. Louis – The wife of a soldier stationed in Germany admitted Sunday, police said, that her story of being abducted and raped by five men was a hoax. Mrs. Wanda Lou Landis, 20, was booked on suspicion of making a false report of a law violation.

The mother of two children, a 2-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old boy, Mrs. Landis was released on $500 bond pending the filing of formal charges.

Mrs. Landis, a white woman, told police five Negroes pulled her into a car off a busy street corner Sept. 17, drove her around for more than 24 hours and raped her repeatedly.

Mrs. Landis gave police detailed descriptions of her alleged attackers and of the car she said they drove.

The story aroused public indignation. A reward of more than $3,000 was collected for information leading to solution of the case.

But police began to notice discrepancies in the story and questioned Mrs. Landis at length. She finally admitted the hoax, said Chief of Detectives James L. Shea, and gave a 9 1/2-page statement containing this story:

Mrs. Landis picked up a Coast Guardsman in her car on the afternoon of Sept. 16. drove him to nearby Alton, III., and returned former home, where she drank a bottle of gin.

Saturday, she encountered the Coast Guardsman in a St. Louis bar. They drank, danced and visited other taverns.

Saturday night and most of Sunday, they spent in a car and a vacant house.

Authorities said the Coast Guardsman verified the story. He was not charged or identified. Police said Mrs. Landis told them she made up the hoax because:

"I had heard a police officer say that I looked like I had been raped. I then thought of the story, thinking that if I reported such an incident, my husband would be brought back home."

[“Woman Admits Rape Report Was a Hoax,” syndicated (AP), Sep. 26, 1960, p. 3B]

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FULL TEXT: St. Louis – Mrs. Wanda Lou Landis, perpetrator of a rape hoax that aroused racial tension in St. Louis, has been jailed. Judge Louis Cornerford of the Court of Criminal Correction, sent her to jail Wednesday and revoked her six months probation after she failed to pay an accompanying $250 fine for making a false report.

The judge ordered that she remain in jail until the fine is paid. Her attorney said she had no money. He added that she is pregnant. Mrs. Landis, 20, is the wife of a soldier at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Last September, the white woman told police she was abducted and raped by five Negroes. She admitted the story was a hoax, to cover up her absence when she went on a round of tavern visits with a Coast Guardsman and spent the night with him in a vacant house.

[“Fake Rape Case Perpetrator Is Placed in Jail,” syndicated (AP), Joplin News Herald (Mo.), Feb. 16, 1961, p. 6A]


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More historical cases of False Rape Accusations

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