The Real Rapist From Unbelievable Won’t Be Able To Hurt Another Woman Again

Photo: Courtesy of netflix.
Netflix's new crime series Unbelievable is based on a horrific true story. In the show, the names have been changed. So, while in the show the rapist's name is Chris McCarthy, he's really Marc O'Leary from the real crimes.
Now, in 2019, O'Leary is still in prison on multiple rape charges, but there was once a time he believed he'd never be caught at all. Part of that had to do with the fact that his first target reported her story to police in 2008, but they didn't believe her, according to the Seattle Times. It ended up taking years and attacks on five other women in two different states before investigators put all the pieces together.
"If Washington had just paid attention a little bit more, I probably would have been a person of interest earlier on," O'Leary later said of the first rape in Washington, according to the expansive ProPublica article on the case, upon which the show is based.
O'Leary was methodical about not being caught. ProPublica reported that he knew police departments were not always in communication with one another. So he committed attacks in different areas, counting on the similarities of each rape going unnoticed by a lack of communication between county departments. He was eventually tracked down when two female officers, Sgt. Edna Hendershot and detective Stacy Galbraith (represented by Toni Collette and Merritt Weaver's detectives in the Netflix series), from different departments decided to come together and investigate the case. 
ProPublica reported that the women looked into other similar cases in the Colorado area (O'Leary had moved on from Washington in the years after that first rape). Together they explored every lead until they were able to trace a white truck belonging to O'Leary to the different crime scenes. Once they had a warrant for O'Leary's house, his case was essentially over. They found a ton of evidence there, including digital files of photos of the women he'd attacked. They even found evidence to back up that Washington case where the police hadn't believed the woman reporting her rape. 

According to ProPublica, O'Leary eventually pleaded guilty to 28 counts of rape in Colorado and was sentenced to 327.5 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to both Washington rape cases and was sentenced to 68.5 years.
O'Leary's inmate file on the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) website says he's currently serving time at the Sterling Correctional Facility in Colorado. He's now 41 years old and has been serving his sentence since 2011. O'Leary's lengthy 300+ year sentence (the most allowed by Colorado law, per ProPublica) ensures that he will never be released from incarceration.
His CDOC file does list a parole date, but it's on March 8 of 2284. He will never make it to parole and will live out the rest of his days in prison.

More from TV

R29 Original Series