The accusations are often consciously or unconsciously crafted to fit a popular image or caricature of the assailant, how he or she would be expected to act or look. Sometimes these narratives are taken from popular culture, such as television shows and films, with false victims describing what they imagine an assault would look like.
For example last month a Texas woman called 911 from the trunk of her car, telling police that she had been abducted at gunpoint and sexually assaulted by a tattooed black man.
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Police searched desperately for the woman and eventually discovered that she had made the call from a McDonald's restaurant, and surveillance video showed she had been safe all along. She admitted making up the story, and her friends suggested her hoax had been inspired by a Hollywood thriller titled "The Call," about an abducted woman who calls police from the trunk of her car.
In her book "The Color of Crime," Katheryn Russell, a professor of law and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at University of Florida notes that many hoaxes include the iconic Criminal Black Man, whose "image, generated by television, newspapers, radio, and American lore, translates into menacing caricature.... The fact that so many White-on-Black hoaxes are successful indicates society's readiness to accept the image of Blacks as criminals."