In April of 1989, a young woman was brutally assaulted and raped while jogging in New Yorks Central Park. The attack captured headlines around the world as the anonymous “Central Park Jogger” fought to recover from massive injuries that left her near death. Fourteen years later, in this first person account, Trisha Meili broke her silence to discuss the incident in her own words and reveal who she was before the attack and who she became as a result of it. Meili tells the story of a competitive and driven young executive at a finance firm whose life was destroyed, and how she ultimately rebuilt it. Passages where Meili is reunited years later with the doctors and nurses who saved her life are especially compelling, as are her accounts of testifying in court and her first run after the incident. While her candor is remarkable and certainly moving, its worth noting what this book does not include. Meili can provide no detail of the actual attacks (she has no memory of them), she has little to say about the racial controversy her case ignited, and she only briefly mentions the fact that, during the writing of this book, the convictions of her attackers were vacated after another man confessed to the crime. But these are not necessarily omissions; they are simply not central to Trisha Meilis highly readable story of tragedy and, ultimately, triumph. I Am The Central Park Jogger is not just a book for New Yorkers curious to finally hear from “The Jogger”; its an inspirational tale of overcoming enormous obstacles and getting back on the road again. –John Moe
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In early 2002, convicted murderer and rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the brutal attack on a Central Park jogger in April, 1989, a confession substantiated by the identification of his sperm on her clothes. Five black and Hispanic teens who had been “wilding” in the park that night had confessed and been convicted, and most had already served time for the assault. Reyes’s unexpected confession led to much recrimination of the justice system. Meili can shed no light on her attack or attacker(s). She was so brutally beaten about the head, as well as being raped and sodomized, that she lay near death in a coma for 12 days in a hospital. Over the next months, she had to relearn how to talk, feed herself, think abstractly, and walk. Her balance still falters and she still is troubled by double vision in her left eye. Her prolonged recuperation and continued recovery; the support of family, her employer, and the general public; and her marriage have all induced a change in life vision for this strong and courageous woman. Her compelling story, which is honestly and openly told, is one of hope and inspiration in the midst of the most frightening pain and fear.
Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The center of the 1989 case recounts the discovery of her badly injured body, her treatment and rehabilitation, the trials of the suspects, and her subsequent experiences.