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Lueders, Bill 1959-

Lueders, Bill 1959-

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced “leaders”; born 1959, in Milwaukee, WI; married; wife’s name Linda.

ADDRESSES: Home— Madison, WI. Office— Isthmus Publishing Company, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. E-mail— [email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER: Cofounder of The Crazy Shepherd newspaper (now called Shepherd Express), Milwaukee, WI, 1982;Isthmus, Madison, WI, news editor, 1986—. Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, president, 2004—.


An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll, Common Courage Press (Monroe, ME), 1996.

Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman’s Harrowing Quest for Justice, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS: Bill Lueders, an editor for the Isthmus, a weekly newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, is the author of the 1996 biography An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll and the 2006 nonfiction work Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman’s Harrowing Quest for Justice. In An Enemy of the State, Lueders recounts the life of the Austrian immigrant who fled Nazi persecution and became one of America’s most controversial and defiant journalists. Beginning in 1973, Knoll served as editor of the Progressive, a monthly political magazine that champions social and economic justice. “For 21 years until his death in 1994 his fiery defense of free speech, his attacks on the military-industrial complex, and his scornful contempt for electoral politics made him a lion on the American Left, while his ideas were made known to millions by occasional appearances on public television,” noted Samuel H. Day, Jr., in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.“But he remained best known for his role in challenging nuclear secrecy, which prompted an historic First Amendment battle over prior restraint—government suppression of an article before its publication.” That battle, which revolved around the Progressive’s intent to publish “The H-Bomb Secret: How We Got It, Why We’re Telling It,” an article by Howard Morland, caused a furor in political and journalistic circles; the case was eventually dropped, however, when it was determined that the information was already in the public domain. As Day wrote, Lueders “has provided the definitive account of a landmark conflict between freedom of the press and nuclear secrecy—a momentous contest still at issue, despite the victory of the intrepid little magazine and its doughty editor.” According to Eyal Press, writing in the Nation, “One of the many virtues of . . . An Enemy of the State, is that it reminds us of the dignity that can come with being uncompromising.”

In Cry Rape, Lueders details the true story of a rape victim who was pressured to recant her story by members of her city’s police force. On September 4, 1997, an intruder entered the home of Patty, a legally blind single mother living in Madison, and raped her at knifepoint. The lead detective on the case, Tom Woodmansee, suspected Patty was lying about the sexual assault; at one point in the investigation, he kept Patty in a windowless interrogation room until she admitted that she had fabricated the incident. Patty was eventually charged with obstruction, though the charges were dropped, and DNA evidence later confirmed her story. “Lueders walks readers through Patty’s years-long struggle for justice—which exacted a devastating financial and emotional toll—and his own fight for access to police records and crime scene analysis, turning thousands of pages of police reports, court transcripts, medical records, and interviews into a gripping mystery,” commented Linda Lutton in the Chicago Reader. According to Doug Moe, writing in the Capital Times, Lueder’s “achievement is large— the book is not a polemic, the tone is not angry, but the systemic fallibility Cry Rape reveals is frightening.” As Connie Fletcher noted in Booklist, “This is a powerful example of how an investigative reporter can right injustices and expose the need for further reform.”



American Journalism Review, December, 1996, Carl Sessions Stepp, review of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll, p. 45.

Booklist, September 1, 2006, Connie Fletcher, review of Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman’s Harrowing Quest for Justice, p. 28.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May-June, 1997, Samuel H. Day, Jr., review of An Enemy of the State, p. 57.

Capital Times, September 9, 2006, Doug Moe, “Injustice in ‘Patty’ Case Haunts Writer,” p. A2.

Chicago Reader, November 10, 2006, Linda Lutton, “A True Crime.”

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2006, review of Cry Rape, p. 713.

Nation, April 21, 1997, Eyal Press, review of An Enemy of the State, p. 30.

Publishers Weekly, September 18, 2006, review of Cry Rape, p. 47.


Bill Lueders Home Page, (December 15, 2006).

Cry Rape Web Site, (December 15, 2006).

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