Lisa Rinna’s mother survived a horrific ordeal nearly 60 years ago, and she detailed the experience on the most recent episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after years of not talking about it.
In a video posted by Bravo, Lisa’s mom, Lois Rinna, revealed that she had a near-fatal encounter with David Carpenter, the “Trailside Killer,” who has been on death row awaiting execution for nearly 35 years in San Quentin State Prison. Three years before her famous daughter Lisa was born, Lois was Carpenter’s very first victim but, thankfully, she managed to escape him.
During an emotional segment on the Bravo reality show, Lisa Rinna revealed that her mother was attacked by David Carpenter, who was a man she worked with at the time. Carpenter allegedly invited Lois Rinna to see his new baby and he offered to pick her up in his car. Lois knew Carpenter’s wife, so she got in the car.
But Lois became concerned when her co-worker began driving down a deserted road. The 90-year-old recounted the experience on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, revealing that Carpenter tried to rape her.
“He was straddling me with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other.”
During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Lisa Rinna revealed that a suspicious military policeman followed the car onto the dirt road and saved Lois—who at one point bravely grabbed the knife out of her assailant’s hand— by shooting Carpenter in the stomach.
David Carpenter was convicted for the attempted murder of Lois Rinna in 1960 but was only sentenced to seven years in prison. He was later convicted on kidnapping charges, but after being released from jail a second time, Carpenter went on a serial spree in the 1970s and early ’80s, raping and killing at least eight young women along the hiking trails in Northern California.
In 1988, Carpenter, who had by that time earned himself the name Trailside Killer, was convicted of multiple counts of rape and first-degree murder and sentenced to death row, where he still sits to this day. The 88-year-old convicted murderer has always maintained he is innocent, according to Oxygen.
“I was the first one that he went to jail for,” Lois Rinna said of the convicted serial killer. “After he got out he then did all the murders.”
Lois Rinna also admitted she is “very Lucky” to be alive.
After the episode aired, Lisa Rinna – who didn’t even know about her mother’s terrifying ordeal until she was 18 — wrote an open letter to her courageous mom in which she praised her for sharing her story. On her blog for BravoTV, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star described her mom Lois as “a ray of light, hope, and bravery.”
“When I think about the horror and trauma you went through as a victim of serial killer David Carpenter and how you managed to push forward with such positivity and grace, it’s nearly impossible for me to describe the amount of pride I have to be your daughter,” Lisa Rinna wrote. ” I hope you realize the great impact you have had on so many others to find the strength to share their own story.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.