'RHOBH' Star Lisa Rinna's Mom Was Attacked by Serial Killer David Carpenter

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills turned grim on Tuesday night, when Lisa Rinna shared an emotional story about her mom, Lois Rinna, who was kidnapped and stabbed by a serial killer.

lisa-rinna-lois-rinna_getty-Jesse Grant : Contributor
(Photo: Jesse Grant / Contributor, Getty)

Rinna revealed that David Carpenter, also known as the Trailside Killer, who stalked and killed many people in Northern California in the 1970s and '80s, knew Lois and attempted to rape and kill her.

"A few years before I was born, my mom was attacked by a man that she worked with. He picked her up at the bus stop and then, all of a sudden, he started to drive her down this really deserted road," Rinna said. "He tried to rape her. He tried to kill her. Luckily, a military policeman had seen them drive down this deserted road and he know no one was supposed to be down there and he follow them down. My mom was saved that day by that military policeman."

Carpenter stabbed Lois' hand and hit her in the head with a hammer several times.

Lois, 90, also opened up about the situation, which left her traumatized. "That was a really bad thing. I knew him. I thought that was it," she said. "He's straddling me. He had a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other."

Following the violent incident, Lois helped send Carpenter to jail. "I was the first one he went to jail for," she said of the serial killer, who was once thought to have been the Zodiac killer. "They gave him seven and a half years."

Rinna said her mom told her about the encounter when she was older. "When I finally learned the truth, I had such great sadness and empathy for my mom, knowing that, not only did this happen to her, but she basically just stuffed those feelings for how many years," she said, adding that Lois has metal plates in her head and cannot smell due to the injuries she sustained in the attack.

"She never dealt with it, she never talked about it, she never even told her daughter about it," Rinna said.


Carpenter was sent to prison in 1960 and again in 1970. After his second release, he killed four more people within a six-week period in 1980. The next year, he killed two more people. He was finally caught when a survivor identified him and in 1984 was sentenced to death. Carpenter is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco.

"It takes so much courage to come forward," Rinna noted. "I think the least we can do is show these victims some compassion."