Summary: Chapter 13

Chapter 13 resumes Allison Huguet’s story. Allison hears a rumor that Beau was previously accused of sexual. Krakauer narrates how, in Missoula in the fall of 2008, Beau sexually assaulted a woman named Hillary McLaughlin. McLaughlin is from Great Falls and has come to Missoula for the weekend. Beau attends a party in the house where McLaughlin is staying. Though the two have just met, Beau hangs on McLaughlin throughout the evening. After a few hours, she leaves the party and goes upstairs to get ready for bed. Beau comes into the room where McLaughlin is staying, locks the door, takes off his shorts, pins her down, and rubs his penis on McLaughlin through the bed sheets. She starts screaming. Her friends come and try to get the door open. Beau, all the while, keeps rubbing himself McLaughlin and trying to kiss her. Eventually, McLaughlin’s friends break down the door and pull Beau off of her. McLaughlin is deeply affected by the incident and even wonders if she is somehow to blame. After the encounter, she develops crippling anxiety.

In January 2012, Detective Baker tracks down McLaughlin and asks her to give a statement. She is unsure. The incident is now deep in her past. She consults with her family and decides that, since a statement might help Allison’s case and keep Beau from raping anyone else, it is the right thing to do. She drives to Missoula and gives her statement. It is a welcome development for Allison’s case. Juries are more likely to convict serial rapists.

Summary: Chapter 14

In early January 2012, Beau is released from jail. Missoula Deputy County Attorney, Shaun Donovan, is in charge of prosecuting Allison’s case. He wants to offer a plea deal in which he would suggest lenient punishment in exchange for Beau’s pleading guilty in court. Allison insists that they try for a lengthy sentence at the state penitentiary. Shaun Donovan is a former employee of Beau’s lawyer, Milt Datsopoulos, and Allison is concerned that Donovan isn’t being strong enough in prosecuting her case. In addition, Donovan asks Allison not to communicate with federal investigators, saying that doing so might harm her case. Allison questions this, saying that the added pressure might help to convince Beau and Datsopoulos to accept a plea deal with a higher recommended maximum sentence.

Legal proceedings in Allison’s case drag on for months. In June 2012, Allison goes out for her older sister, Sarah Huguet’s, bachelorette party. At a bar, she, her sisters, and her friends run into some of Beau’s friends, including Sam Erschler and Beau’s older brother, Brady Donaldson. Erschler tells Allison’s friend Norman to stay away from Allison and her sisters because they are nothing but trouble, and Norman tells the Huguets what he said. Allison confronts Erschler, saying she doesn’t speak ill of him behind his back, and the encounter escalates. Brady Donaldson shouts at the girls, saying, “You need to get the fuck out of Missoula!” and someone else in the group threatens to kill them. The Huguets leave the bar while Erschler, Brady Donaldson, and their friends shout after them and make threats.

The encounter at the bar convinces Allison to settle for nothing less than a harsh sentence for Beau, one that requires him to serve time in the state penitentiary. She and Detective Baker meet with prosecutor Shaun Donovan. Donovan warns Allison about how hard it would be for her to take the stand against Datsopoulos. He insists that he will not recommend a sentence simply because it’s what the victim wants. Indeed, he is not required by law to prosecute based on a victim’s wishes.

Analysis

In Chapter 13, Krakauer shows how crucial establishing a history of criminal behavior can be for the prosecution of rape cases. If prosecutors can establish that an alleged rapist has a history of sexual assault, then they are far more likely to obtain a conviction from a jury. A previous history of assault may also persuade a judge to impose a harsher sentence on a convicted rapist. Detective Baker continues to be one of Allison’s strongest allies. He tracks down Hillary McLaughlin and records her story. Beau’s assault against McLaughlin took place in similar conditions to his assault against Allison. Beau and McLaughlin drank heavily at a college party, and, as with Allison, Beau waited until McLaughlin was alone before attacking her. Unlike Allison, McLaughlin screamed, and this is probably the only thing that prevented Beau from raping her. However, she still suffers from extreme anxiety for years.