A YOUNG WOMAN ACCEPTS A RIDE FROM A KIND STRANGER?WHO IS REALLY A SERIAL KILLER ON "48 HOURS MYSTERY," SATURDAY, OCT. 23 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
On Sept. 27, 1992, 19-year-old Jennifer Asbenson, a nursing assistant in Palm Springs, Calif., was running late to work when she missed her bus and accepted a ride from a kind stranger, Andrew Urdiales. So charming was Urdiales, that the next morning she accepted another ride from him without hesitation. Little did she know that this pleasant man was really a serial killer...and that she would be the only one of his victims to survive.
Over the next hours, in what could only be described as a nightmare, Urdiales beat Asbenson, tied her hands, drove her into the California desert, forced her to perform sexual acts and tried to rape her and then strangled her. But he wasn't done. Toying with her, Urdiales opened the door and told Asbenson to get out, yet just as she was about to run, he yanked her back by her hair and put her in the trunk. Convinced she was going to die, Asbenson summoned the strength to escape from the trunk and found safety when a passing truck stopped and picked her up. But Urdiales disappeared.
Urdiales was smarter than your average serial killer. Six years before he picked up Asbenson, the former Marine found his first murder victim - 23-year-old Robbin Brandley of Mission Viejo, Calif. - who he stabbed 41 times. With no evidence of a robbery and no witnesses the case went cold and the sadistic killer would go on to kill again and again, leaving no evidence behind.
Between 1986 and 1996, Urdiales' killing spree spanned from Illinois to California. In that time, he attacked and tortured nine women. Only Jennifer Asbenson survived. Yet no one would connect the murders until 1997, when Chicago police received a tip that a prostitute declined a client's request to handcuff her, put her in the back of his truck and drive her out to a local lake. The bodies of three other women had been discovered in the lake previously, all killed with the same gun and all were unsolved. This was just the break authorities needed - the client was Andrew Urdiales and the gun used in the murders belonged to him.
When Chicago detectives brought 32-year-old Andrew Urdiales in for questioning, they were in for a shock. Urdiales declined all offers for a lawyer then matter-of-factly confessed to eight unsolved murders in Illinois and California, including Robbin Brandley, and the attack on Jennifer Asbenson. For hours, he recounted intricate details of the killings - everything from clothing to the conversations with his victims.
Fifteen years after her attack, Jennifer Asbenson, the sole survivor of serial killer Andrew Urdiales, faced him in a Chicago court speaking not only for herself but for the eight other women whose lives he took. A jury convicted Urdiales and sentenced him to death, marking the end of his deadly spree.
Correspondent Susan Spencer reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY "The One That Got Away," to be broadcast on Saturday, Oct. 23 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Click here for a sneak peek of this broadcast.
This broadcast is produced by Katherine Davis. Anthony Venditti is the field producer. Mead Stone is the producer/editor and Grayce Arlotta-Berner and Basil Pappas are the editors. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.