Reporter Amy Brittain chronicles how 2 survivors’ sexual assault stories intertwine in ‘Canary: The Washington Post Investigates’

News May 12, 2022
Listen to ‘Canary: The Washington Post Investigates’

“Canary: The Washington Post Investigates” is about 2 women using their voices and refusing to stay silent. Carole Griffin’s story intertwined with Lauren Clark’s after Clark publicly shared her sexual assault story and the aftermath of the case. This documentary podcast details the cases and what happens when survivors step forward.

Griffin and Clark meet in the podcast, and listeners can hear some conversations in the series. Start this 7-part documentary from episode 1, with all chapters running less than 45 minutes each.

In 2013, 27-year-old hairdresser Lauren Clark went for a jog in Washington D.C’s Glover Park. She was minutes away from her apartment when she was attacked by a stranger. Clark fought back in defense, but her real fight for justice was about to start. Investigative reporter Amy Brittain followed the story for years and wrote a piece for The Washington Post.

The perpetrator, 24-year-old chef Jayro A. Cruz, was arrested right after the crime, and he admitted he assaulted six women in D.C. Clark was told Cruz would receive a felony charge based on the crimes. Cruz received several misdemeanors and was sent to jail for 10 days (to apparently accommodate his work schedule), additionally receiving 80 days in a halfway house and 5 years of probation. Cruz got a plea deal, some charges were dropped, and Cruz would not be a registered sex offender.

Clark realized Cruz worked near her home and spotted him on several occasions, wondered about a protection order, and learned updates about Cruz’s case. As Clark embarked on an awareness campaign in the neighborhood and contacted Cruz’s employer, more victims came forward, and in 2017, a motion was filed for a new hearing.

This case became a public sort of warning from Clark and was intertwined with Griffin’s allegation against a different assailant. Brittain shares these women’s stories and why they matter as detailed in this podcast.

Carole Griffin, a baker in Alabama, learned about Clark’s case and shared connecting info. Griffin came forward with a sexual assault claim from decades ago against a high-ranking official in D.C.’s criminal justice system. Episode 2 brings listeners to Alabama to investigate, and Griffin told her story in interviews, provided old journal accounts, and showed family photos as evidence for the case.

Griffin’s family knew Truman A. Morrison III through his sister, and they met in 1973 on a D.C. trip when she was 13 and he was 29. Their families began vacationing together. Griffin alleges the assault occurred when she was a teen and he was in his 30s. In 1979, Morrison became a judge in the D.C. Superior Court. It was not until years later that Griffin shared her story.

In the podcast, we learn about the case’s roadblocks as the search for evidence slowed. How does the accused, a judge with over 40 years of experience and activism, react when faced with allegations?

To hear Griffin and Clark’s stories, and what resulted from both of their cases, tune into “Canary: The Washington Post Investigates.”

Listen to ‘Canary: The Washington Post Investigates’

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