When Jennifer Asbenson was 19-years-old, her life was filled with innocence, “I was naive still too and the first person that offered me help happened to be a serial killer,” that same year of her life, Andrew Uridiales, a Marine and stranger who came to her rescue stranger who came to her rescue at a bus stop in Palm Springs, the next day he returned to her work to offer her a ride home.
She accepted, “Suddenly I got a strange strange feeling I‘ve never had before and he just started freaking out,” she says he then pulled a knife and gun on her, “the next thing I knew my head was being smashed into the dashboard and my hands were being tied behind my back.”
She says he drove her to the middle of the desert where he tortured and sexually assaulted her for hours, “And that’s where he planned to kill me.”
But after she tried to get away he put her in the trunk of the car.
She says in that darkest of moments she turned to her faith, “I prayed to God with my hands behind my back they were tied together and I just folded them together and prayed,” she says at that moment the entire trunk was illuminated and she knew how to find a way out, “I found the latch and I popped the trunk … jumped out of the trunk and I ran, he chased me down the road with a machete.”
Ironically – it was two marines in a truck who stopped and saved her, she says, “They might have been angels because nobody’s been able to contact them.”
As horrifying as this was, she’s the lucky one. Her attacker tortured and killed eight women, three from in the Coachella Valley, she’s the only known survivor. She took the stand in the case and she sat with victims’ family members in the courtroom as jurors recommended the death penalty.
“Hearing those words kind of made him disappear and kind of gave it a death to him … myself and the other people just want to move on now we’re done with him,” she says.
She’s in the final stages of publishing a book about her life called ‘The Girl in the Treehouse‘ that includes the horrors of that day with an ending that will inspire hope.
“You can turn anything that is ugly into something beautiful,” she says with tears of happiness.