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Book details horrific 2009 attack against two Seattle women

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SEATTLE -- It was a crime that shocked the city to its core – two women raped, knifed, and brutalized inside their home in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle.

On July 19, 2009, a man named Isaiah Kalebu climbed through the window of a modest red house on South Rose Street belonging to Jennifer Hopper and her fiancée, Teresa Butz. Once inside, Kalebu attacked the women for at least 90 minutes. The attack ended when Butz threw herself out a closed glass window after being stabbed in the heart. Her bravery saved Hopper’s life.

The story is now the subject of a new book, released Tuesday, titled "While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness."

Written by Eli Sanders, associate editor of The Stranger, a weekly newspaper in Seattle, the book details how the paths of Butz, Hopper, and Kalebu intersected on that hot summer night and touches on lessons Sanders believes the public can learn from Kalebu’s background, in particular.

“All three of their lives have very important things to teach us. About love, about forgiveness, and about serious shortcomings in our criminal justice and mental health systems,” Sanders said.

The crime captivated the city, not only because of the brutality Kalebu inflicted on two women he'd never met, but because of the bravery of Hopper and Butz to fight for their lives – and for each other.

Jennifer Hopper’s bravery was detailed in a story Sander’s wrote for The Stranger titled, “The Bravest Woman in Seattle.” It detailed Hopper’s testimony during the trial of Isaiah Kalebu in 2011.

The article won Sanders a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2012.

On Wednesday, Sanders will be joined by Jennifer Hopper at Town Hall in Seattle to discuss the book’s release. Tickets are available for purchase, here.

The second part of the Q13 News Special "While the City Slept" will air Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m.