We may watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in order to get vicariously wine drunk with our most extra TV friends, but we can't discount that, on occasion, stuff gets really real on this reality show. That's exactly what happened when Lisa Rinna revealed that her mom Lois was nearly murdered by a serial killer.
On Tuesday's episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the former Veronica Mars actress was hanging out with mom Lois when they discussed a harrowing story about Lois' ill-fated car ride with David Carpenter, a man who would come to be known as "The Trailside Killer."
"A few years before I was born, my mom was attacked by someone she worked with," Rinna said in the talking heads portion of the episode. "He picked her up at the bus stop, and all of a sudden he started to drive down this really deserted road."
Lois told Rinna that she thought she was going to be killed by Carpenter in that moment.
"He's straddling me, he had a hammer in one hand, and a knife in the other," explained Lois on the show.
"He tried to rape her, he tried to kill her," said Rinna. "Luckily, a military policeman saw them drive down this deserted road, and he knew no one was supposed to be down there, and he followed them down. My mom was saved that day because of that military policeman."
Carpenter went to prison for seven years after attacking Lois in 1960. (Rinna was born in 1963.) He had not killed anyone at that point — Lois would have been his first victim.
After he was released from prison for his crimes against Lois, Carpenter went to prison again for kidnapping. Once released, Carpenter raped and murdered in the Bay Area throughout the '70s and early '80s, targeting parks and trails, making many in the area fearful of venturing out into nature. In 1984, Carpenter was convicted of two murders and received the death penalty.
In 1985, Carpenter was convicted of five more murders. He is also suspected of two more killings for which he was not convicted, and, in 2010, investigators used DNA to link Carpenter to a 1979 unsolved murder. Carpenter has maintained his innocence. Carpenter is now 88 and currently on death row in San Quentin prison.