Who Is David Carpenter? New Details On The Serial Killer Who Almost Killed Lisa Rinna's Mom Lois

Lois never saw it coming.

Who Is Who Is David Carpenter? New Details On The Serial Killer Who Almost Killed Lisa Rinna's Mom LoisDavid Carpenter? New Details On The Serial Killer Who Almost Killed Lisa Rinna's Mom Instagram 

Usually, on the Real Housewives, the most intense drama is about puppies or about sketchy business dealings. We don't watch the show to get our true crime fix, that's just not what it's about. However, sometimes the world of the Real Housewives collides with the world of real-life crime and the combination is totally eerie and totally captivating. 

That happened recently on an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills when housewife Lisa Rinna's mother Lois came to town for a visit. Last time she was on the show Lois showed off her tap dancing moves. This time, Lois Rinna revealed a traumatic story about how she was nearly murdered by a known serial killer, David Carpenter. Here's more about the infamous Trailside Killer, David Carpenter and his connection to the Bravo universe. Who is David Carpenter?


1. The Trailside Killer 

David Carpenter, age 88, might no longer be physically up to the task of perpetuating extremely violent crimes, but that doesn't mean he regrets any of those he did manage before he was finally caught and arrested. Carpenter is currently on death row in San Quentin State Prison. Known as the "Trailside Killer" he's responsible for the deaths of at least 10 people who were hiking along trails in California. The most recent photograph taken of Carpenter doesn't show a weak old man, either. In the image, taken in prison, he glares out at the camera with a look akin to hatred. Given the ferocity of the crimes he committed, it's not exactly a shock that despite becoming a senior citizen, Carpenter is still very much a man to be feared. 




A post shared by  Natalie (@talkmurderwithme) on Sep 15, 2018 at 1:42pm PDT

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2. The Housewives Connection

Carpenter's name has been making headlines again, but this time it isn't for a new crime, it's for one that he committed back in the year 1960. You see, on a recent episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, actress Lisa Rinna shared some shocking news about her mother Lois, age 90, when she came into town for a visit: Lois was one of the first women Carpenter ever attacked. “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 down this really deserted road. He tried to rape her. He tried to kill her,” Lisa said, not one to mince words about the brutal attack on her mother. 




A post shared by Lisa Rinna (@lisarinna) on Apr 16, 2019 at 7:21am PDT

3. How Lois Survived 

While David Carpenter would go on to kill, Lois was lucky, she got away in the nick of time, though clearly the crime and the horrible attack left her scarred in more ways than one. How was she saved from death? Well, it just so happened someone was looking out for her...A military policeman in the area happened to spot Carpenter as he was driving down a deserted road with Lois in tow. Something struck the officer as odd, so trusting his gut, he followed after the car. Carpenter had time to straddle and stab Lois and go after her with a hammer before the officer was able to get to her and bring her to safety. 




A post shared by Debra Palermo (@debrap65) on Apr 16, 2019 at 8:17pm PDT

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4. Ripple Effect 

After the attack, Lois had to have metal plates put into her skull to help repair the damage the hammer did. But the metal plates couldn't fix all of the damage he managed to do in the blink of an eye: Lois permanently lost her sense of smell after the harrowing attack. “That was a really bad thing. I knew him. I thought that was it,” Lois revealed on the show. “He had a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other.”

Believe it or not, while Carpenter was arrested, tried, and sentenced for the attack on Lois, he was only given 7.5 years in the slammer for his crimes. Little did the authorities know what he would do when he got out. Carpenter's attack didn't just affect Lois, either. “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,” said her daughter, Lisa. 

5. Carpenter Today 

After being released from serving his sentence for his attack on Lois, Carpenter went on to commit the crimes that would land him on death row. He killed or assaulted (often both) nearly a dozen women. To think about what could've happened to Lois if that officer hadn't intervened is harrowing to say the very least. 


“Carpenter is the oldest person on California’s death row,” said the police at San Quentin. He's been in jail since the mid-1980s and one way or another, he won't be leaving the prison walls until his life is over. It's small consolation, but consolation all the same to Lois, her family, and all of his other victims and their families. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr