I Survived a Serial Killer: How a Woman Escaped After Being Beaten, Bound and Stuffed in a Trunk

Christine Pelisek January 30, 2019 09:00 AM

On a September night in 1992, Jennifer Asbenson was in a panic: The California 19-year-old had missed her bus and was worried she’d lose her job at a home for disabled children.

When a man pulled up in a light-colored sedan and offered her a ride, she was slightly hesitant but accepted.

“I thought to myself, ‘This is a Godsend,’ ” Asbenson, now 45, tells PEOPLE.

Sizing up the man’s physical appearance comforted her further: “I could totally beat this guy up if he did anything weird,” she recalls thinking.

The man drove her to her night shift and then invited her to have breakfast

with him the following morning, but she was uninterested so she gave him a fake number.

Still, when she finished work, the man was in his car outside and offered her a ride home, which she accepted. “I didn’t feel fear from him because he didn’t do anything the night before,” she says.

She would regret the decision. What followed was a night of terror that haunted her for decades and is the focus of the following episode of People Magazine Investigates. The episode, titled “Monster in the Desert,” airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

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