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Rape in a Small Town: The Florence Holway Story (2004)

TV-14 | | Documentary | TV Movie
On Easter Eve, 1991, 75-year-old Florence Holway was brutally attacked, beaten and raped in her small rural New England home. Barely surviving the attack, she vowed that she would do ... See full summary »


Jeffrey Chapman
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Edward Fitzgerald Edward Fitzgerald ... Himself
Cecie Hartigan Cecie Hartigan ... Herself
Bill Holway Bill Holway ... Himself
Florence Holway Florence Holway ... Herself
Shirley Holway Shirley Holway ... Herself
Mike LaChapelle Mike LaChapelle ... Himself
John LaForest John LaForest ... Himself
Sandra Matheson Sandra Matheson ... Herself
Danielle DesMarais Mosteller Danielle DesMarais Mosteller ... Herself
Susan Roberts Susan Roberts ... Herself
Amy Vorenberg Amy Vorenberg ... Herself
Thomas Winn Thomas Winn ... Himself


On Easter Eve, 1991, 75-year-old Florence Holway was brutally attacked, beaten and raped in her small rural New England home. Barely surviving the attack, she vowed that she would do everything in her power to see that her 25 year old attacker, John LaForest, who had a past criminal record no less, could never do the same thing again to another innocent woman. Written by skin-and-bones

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Rape In A Small Town: The Florence Holway Story
8 December 2017 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

Raping a woman is bad under any circumstances; breaking into a woman's home and raping her is worse. Florence Holway was 75 years old when John LaForest broke into her isolated home, raped her, sodomised her, and fell asleep. Showing great presence, the mother of five made her escape and drove over to her son's house where she was greeted by her astonished daughter-in-law. LaForest was found still asleep in her bed, and was promptly arrested.

This documentary interviews Florence and others; she describes her violation in sickening detail. Unsurprisingly she swallowed much of the propaganda of the sexual grievance industry, but she was rightly indignant that the prosecutor in charge of the case agreed to a plea deal without consulting her, twelve years, which most reasonable people would consider inadequate for a crime of this nature.

We follow her to LaForest's first parole hearing, and hear about how her case led to changes in the law, not all of them good. Florence Holway was the kind of woman no one should mess with, and in spite of being confined to a wheelchair when this documentary was made in 2004, she survived another eight years dying at the advanced age of 96. LaForest was parolled but quickly recalled to prison. At some point he was released again, also at some point presumably after his second parole, he found a woman dumb enough or desperate enough to marry him. In December last year, by then fifty, he was arrested after allegedly threatening his by then estranged wife with a gun. Leopards do sometimes change their spots, but Florence was right about this one.

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