At first, the thump of his steps was muted by the shrieking traffic over on Gratiot Avenue. He clicked open a switchblade and put it to her right temple. In fact, it would be 20 years before she'd learn his name. More than 80,000 cases move through here each year— more than half the state's total.

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He stuffed his hands in the pockets of her blue uniform, feeling for what he could find: seven crumpled dollars. She made it to 15 before tugging up her pants and running toward her grandmother's house on Alwar Street, yelling and weeping. His office had learned of serious problems with ballistics testing at the city crime lab, and they were planning on reviewing evidence from old cases to determine whether new trials were necessary. There were tall racks of silver steel, row upon row of them, each crowded with white cardboard file boxes. magazine featured Worthy in a profile that touted her 90 percent conviction rate, crediting her knack for explaining complex topics in simple language.

Then he pushed the small of her back, forcing her to bend over, and she shuddered as he unzipped his blue jeans and yanked the pants of her uniform to her ankles. At 18 years old, Ardelia had never had a boyfriend before, or slept with anyone. Before she got there, her Uncle Damon, who'd just left his mother's, caught sight of her. He told her to climb into the car and drove her the rest of the way. Some were sealed but others yawned open, exposed to the elements. It also took note of her courtroom tactics: "withering glances, combative cross-examinations, and numerous charts and graphs." She had a level of self-confidence that some called arrogance.

She was still shaking and bent when he told her to keep her head down and count to 20 while he ran off. He slowed his car to a stop and rolled down the window to ask what had happened. When the door opened back at the house, there was her grandma, the soft-voiced woman Ardelia is named after, who moved toward her, who hugged her. Worthy told the magazine that was just a sexist interpretation of her courtroom behavior.

Her best-known battle came in 2008, when, five years after she was elected as the top prosecutor, she filed charges against then Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The indictment set off a chain of events that eventually handed Kilpatrick a 28-year sentence for racketeering, perjury, and other crimes.

In August 2009, however, Worthy was still unraveling the full scope of his misuse of power.Michael Woody, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said Cornell’s body was found unresponsive in his hotel room.The rock singer had earlier played a concert in the city's Fox Theatre that evening.Anastasia was fine that night, so Worthy sat down and typed "10,000 rape kits" into her computer.A litany of headlines scrolled before her, the figures numbing.She told Spada to finish his work at the warehouse while she, on the twelfth floor of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit, got on with her own business of the day.