Case Closed

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 7, 2021

Rachel Dissell
Rachel Dissell
Senior Investigative Reporter, Independent Journalist
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Sandi Fedor, Survivor

When Cleveland police closed Sandi Fedor’s rape case, she was stunned. The grandmother of 10 had reported the attack right away. She even gave the detective her cell phone log with the highlighted number of her attacker, a man she had just met.

“Case Closed,” a six-part series published in the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer chronicled what Fedor did next – she tracked down the man on her own, learning along the way that he was a serial rapist who raped a young woman in the same dingy basement she had escaped from months after she made her report. Fedor pushed through guilt, and shame that she had relapsed after more than a decade of sobriety, and the indifference of a chronically under-resourced sex crimes unit that passed her case from one busy, burned-out detective to the next.

When Fedor’s case finally did make it to court – 3 years, 8 months, and 10 days after she reported her rape – a judge lectured that she should “let go” of her anger, that it would only poison her.

The process of piecing together a narrative about a sexual assault, the bureaucratic burdens victims often face, is the framework for this session. “Case Closed” won the 2020 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma.

The discussion will include reflections from Sandi and her therapist, who supported her through the process.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Support survivors making decisions about whether to publicly share their stories.
  • Gain practical tips on what to expect when working with journalists. 
  • Understand strategies for powerful storytelling while mitigating distress and activation of trauma symptoms.

With a paid registration or subscription, you are free to personally listen to this webinar, as many times as you wish. You may also excerpt or cite the material following accepted conventions. However, you may not allow other individuals to listen to this webinar without their own registration or subscription.

This content is for Individual – Monthly, Individual – Annual, Individual – Lifetime, Agency – Bronze (1-10 Users), Agency – Silver (11-25 Users), Agency – Gold (26-50 Users), Agency – Platinum (51-500 Users), and Lifetime Access – Case Closed members only.
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