MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The survivor of one of Minneapolis’ most notorious unsolved rapes has written a book about her journey as a way to help others.
The self-published book by Carrie Manke, called “Hope in the Darkness”, details the attack 15 years ago and how she moved forward.READ MORE: Southern Minnesota Man Arrested After Standoff
WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle spoke to her about finding her hope in the darkness.
“I realized as I was speaking about this over the past few years how healing it was for others,” Manke said.
That’s why she decided to write about her experience. Manke started publicly talking about her sexual assault five years ago, a decade after the brutal attack along St. Anthony Main.
At the time, Manke was home for the summer, going into her senior year at St. Olaf College.
“I was 21 when it happened. I was walking outside, going to meet a friend at a bar when I was attacked at knifepoint and brought into his car and raped and stabbed,” Manke said.
The attacker drove her around in his car for some time.
“And throughout that entire experience I thought I was going to die. I was convinced he was going to kill me,” Manke said.
He eventually let her out, blind-folded, naked, unaware of her location. She ran toward a metal factory and into John Reed, who WCCO talked to days later.
“When she seen me she was crying. She said, ‘I’ve been raped.’ She had no shirt on, so I put my shirt on her,” Reed said in 2005.
“He saved my life. I don’t know if that man would’ve come back and hurt me more. I don’t know what would’ve happened, how far I would have had to run, I was naked,” Manke said.
The attack changed her career path. She became a sexual assault nurse examiner and eventually got her doctorate in nursing, helping her heal.
And that meeting with Reed also changed her life. She reconnected with the man she calls her guardian angel two years ago.
“It was the most special experience. I never thought I’d see him again. He was so grateful to hear where I’ve been and I’m OK,” Manke said.
But she’d soon learn the man who saved her was now hurting.READ MORE: Kyle Williams Charged With Murder In Kelly Kocurek's Death By Strangulation
“He told me right after I had talked to him on the phone that he had cancer. And that was unbelievably hard to think that this man who saved my life, that just came back into my life, was going to leave me,” Manke said.
She helped him through chemo and radiation, being by his side.
“It’s not often that two strangers meet and can be there for each other on the worst days of their lives. It was just a beautiful transition of our roles,” Manke said.
Reed’s son, Justin, attests it was a special relationship.
“It was touching. They were very close, they kept in contact,” Justin Reed said.
He says it was meaningful she saw him through that challenging time. Reed died last October.
“He was really happy around who was around. She was definitely a big part of that,” Justin Reed said.
Manke’s case remains unsolved. In 2015, police told us they believe the attacker is no longer around.
“I know he would not stop committing crimes like that. So I surmise either he’s dead or he fled back to either Mexico or another country in South America where we don’t have access to other DNA profiles and stuff,” Lt. Mike Sauro said in 2015.
Manke says she found her peace in finding John Reed. And now with sharing her story another way, she hopes to help others feel less alone.
“There’s hope, and it takes work and it takes time, but you can recover from something like this and live your life,” Manke said.
Sexual Assault Resources:
(SOS – Ramsey County)
Sexual Violence Center (SVC – Hennepin County)
Aurora Center (U of MN)
360 Communities (Dakota County)
Hope Center (Rice County)
Canvas Health (Washington County)
Alexandra House (Anoka County)
General Sites for information related to sexual assault and resources throughout Minnesota:
Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault