Lisa Rinna, star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, tells the story that is not well known concerning her mother's brush with a serial killer and almost the same fate as some of his victims. The star's mother was thirty years old and working in San Francisco. She was waiting at a bus stop for a dentist appointment, when her co-worker pulled up. Ms. Lois had felt bad for this particular co-worker, David, as he stuttered and was somewhat impacted socially. She didn't go with her gut at this time and took the offer of a ride.
At this point, Lois had already been dating Frank Rinna for about six weeks, and had known the co-worker for three years. She had met his wife previously and he had a new baby. In the car, as they drove, the man indicated he wanted to show her the new baby, despite the dental appointment. Thankfully, a military policeman saw them go down a deserted lane. Lois started to suspect shady intentions and tells David this was the wrong way. He stopped the car and grabbed a knife out of the glove box. He jumped on top of her, straddling her in the front seat of the car. He reached behind the back seat and started hitting her on the head with a hammer. All the while, his stutter was missing.

The Military Police officer had followed them after noticing that they were going into an unpopulated area and walked up to the car to open up the car door mid-attack. Lois Rinna gets out of the car, her purse contents spilling on the ground. She begins to pick it up out of shock. The police officer shoots David Carpenter in the stomach. The officer had attempted to also put Lois Rinna and her perpetrator in the same car at the same time. Shocking and oh so old school.
After serving seven years for kidnapping, David Carpenter or better known as the Trailside Killer, began stalking and killing on the trails of San Francisco. One victim survived, a male, but he is credited with killing ten victims sadly. He started his life in an abusive alcoholic family, he suffered from bed-wetting and stuttering, and was convicted of molestation in his teen.
He had two arrests- which he served at least seven years on each; one for kidnapping and one for attempted murder. At one point, he was suspected of being the notorious Zodiac Killer from the 1960s. This was disproved since he had periods of incarceration as well as he didn't want the glory and attention of the police department.
“The serial killer had hit a killing frenzy in October. Four bodies had been found on the same day.”
So after his prison sentences, he must have decided not to let any of his victims to identify him. Between 1979 and 1981, he raped and murdered ten people in the Santa Cruz, California area. He is also a suspect in other killings as well. He was sentenced to die in the gas chamber and is currently on death row.
His method of murder was stabbing and using a gun. He had stopped using the hammer. His first victim was an acquaintance of his and he later killed three other victims in the same area of Mt. Tamalpais Park. Edda Kane disappeared in the summer of 1979 while she was hiking. She was found in a kneeling position shot in the back of the head. Barbara Schwartz was also found in that position but she had stab wounds. The killing didn't stop. Another jogger, Anna Alderson, was found shot in the head in October.
Shawna May was a hiker and disappeared- only to be found dead from bullet to the head. Diane O'Connell would be found beside the shallow grave of May, bearing the mark of the shot in the head like the other victims.
Point Reyes would find two more bodies as well- Cynthia Moreland and Richard Towers. The serial killer had hit a killing frenzy in October. Four bodies had been found on the same day. Ellen Hanson was killed in another park in Santa Cruz in March of 1981. Her boyfriend was able to give a description of the suspect as he survived the attack. The killer was brazen enough to attack pairs.
People who had visited the park that day gave descriptions of a small red. Unfortunately, Heather Scaggs disappeared on her way to David Carpenter's house- she had known him from work. Her body was dumped later in the Big Basin State Park- and he was arrested after being questioned concerning her disappearance and his shiny red Fiat.
And this all started with Lois Rinna- and how she escaped the serial killer's clutches