Only two people survived attacks by the Trailside Killer, and one of them was Lisa Rinna’s mother, Lois Rinna.
Rinna shared her story on Tuesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Before David Carpenter became known as the Trailside Killer and was convicted of six murders, he was a co-worker of Rinna’s who lured her into his car and assaulted her on a deserted road before a military police officer intervened and saved her:
“‘I thought that was it — that I was going ‘Bye bye,’” Lois, 90, reflected. “He’s straddling me, and he had a hammer in one hand, a knife in the other.’”
On The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills After Show, Lisa Rinna talked a bit more about how Carpenter used the birth of his child to get Lois into the car:
“‘He had just had a new baby and he said, ‘I want you to come and see my new baby.’ She knew the wife and you know my mom, she is very trusting and obviously a lot of us are... she works with him so he drove up and she got in the car.’”
Carpenter served seven years in prison for attacking Lois Rinna and was briefly suspected of being the Zodiac killer upon his release. In 1988 he was convicted on five counts of first-degree murder, two rapes, and one attempted rape. He is still alive and on death row.
“I was very lucky — I should not even be here,” Lois Rinna said. Tuesday’s episode of RHOBH is, according to Lisa Rinna, one of the few times her mother has discussed surviving the attack:
“‘I had such great sadness and empathy for my mom, knowing that not only did this happen to her, but that she basically just stuffed those feelings for how many years?” Lisa said. “She never dealt with it. She never even talked about it.’”