False Imprisonment for Murder: Raphael Rowe’s 12-Year Ordeal

Raphael Rowe

Raphael Rowe, a renowned investigative reporter and Netflix’s “Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons” host, shares his harrowing story of being falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned for a brutal murder and a series of robberies in 1990. Rowe, along with Michael Davis and Randolph Johnson, was unjustly sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, serving 12 years in some of the UK’s toughest prisons, including Brixton, Gartree, and Wormwood Scrubs.

False Imprisonment for Murder: Raphael Rowe’s 12-Year Ordeal

Raphael Rowe

The case, known as the M25 Three, revolved around a 1988 crime spree along the M25 motorway, culminating in the brutal murder of hairdresser Peter Hurburgh and a series of violent robberies. Rowe, then 20 years old, was arrested at his home, and he, Davis, and Johnson were falsely accused and sentenced in March 1990. They maintained their innocence throughout.

False Imprisonment for Murder: Raphael Rowe’s 12-Year Ordeal

Raphael Rowe

Rowe’s story, even 23 years after his release, continues to affect him, with strangers from around the world apologizing for what he endured. He says, “You never stop being reminded by people of the damage of being wrongly convicted.”

His new audiobook, “You Are Accused,” explores 13 high-profile cases of miscarriages of justice, including Amanda Knox’s, allowing individuals to share their experiences in their own words.

Reflecting on his initial reaction to the false accusations, Rowe described feeling anger and disbelief, as he found the allegations laughable due to his innocence. However, the gravity of the situation soon became apparent. He struggled to comprehend why people were fabricating stories about him, which he discovered when reviewing his case documents.

False Imprisonment for Murder: Raphael Rowe’s 12-Year Ordeal

Rowe attributes his earlier brushes with the police to naivety about the criminal justice system, explaining that many young people don’t grasp the consequences of their actions, believing in the system’s ability to protect the innocent.

Throughout his imprisonment, Rowe faced anger, fear, and disappointment as the system failed him, his family, the victims, and everyone involved. He believes even the prosecutors must grapple with guilt over their knowledge of false accusations.

Rowe’s sisters played a pivotal role in his eventual release, campaigning relentlessly outside prisons and raising awareness about miscarriages of justice, even in the absence of internet and social media.

After his conviction was overturned in 2000, Rowe experienced brief euphoria, followed by the realization that life had not changed for him or his family. Reintegration into society proved challenging, and emotional and psychological scars persisted.

Despite his traumatic experience, Rowe turned his life around, pursuing a successful career in journalism and advocacy, sharing his story through various media and his memoir, “Notorious.”

With “You Are Accused,” Rowe hopes to raise awareness about the possibility of false accusations happening to anyone and the enduring impact on one’s life.

Rowe’s audiobook is available for download on Audible.

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