Criteria for inclusion in the Case Archive
1. Cases must be verifiable.
To be included on this list, cases must be identified with sufficient specificity to facilitate independent examination by others. Proper names are favored, and cases without proper names must nevertheless be verifiable. The only cases involving pseudonyms are those so treated by a court, and those cases can be located and reviewed (although obtaining access to all of the records would require judicial approval). There is at least one citation for each case on this list, and eventually there will be full-text hyperlinks to various supporting documents.
2. Cases must include strong corroborative evidence.
To be included on this list, the recovered memory memory at issue must be corroborated by at least one of the following sources:
a. confession, guilty plea, or self-incriminatory statement
b. testimony from other victims (or from an eyewitness to the abuse), or corroborative documentary evidence that is vitally relevant to the charges at issue
c. corroboration of significant circumstantial evidence
For a more detailed discussion of the criteria for including cases in the archive, along with some reflections on the science and politics of recovered memory, see Ross E. Cheit, “Consider This, Skeptics of Recovered Memory,” Ethics and Behavior, 8(2), 141-160 (1998).
Almost all cases in the Case Archive have more than one form of corroborative evidence. With the exception of a few cases set within a family, the multiple-victim cases all have corroboration from more than one additional victim. The cases based on circumstantial corroboration all include favorable judicial decisions on the facts as well.
It is important to note that a lack of corroboration does not necessarily mean a recovered memory case is untrue or untrustworthy. Because we are using such stringent criteria, many sources that support recovered memory but do not quite meet these standards are not included, such as dissertations.