Jennifer Asbenson survived an attack by
On the night of September 27, 1992, Asbenson missed her bus and reluctantly accepted a ride from a stranger, Urdiales, out of fear that she would lose her job working with children with disabilities.
What the then 19-year-old didn’t know was that Urdiales had murdered four women before offering her a ride.
Before entering the vehicle, Asbenson studied his appearance and thought if he tried anything “weird,” she “could totally beat this guy up.”
However, nothing happened.
Urdiales drove her to her job and invited her to breakfast the following morning, but she wasn’t interested and therefore, gave him a fake phone number.
When her shift ended around 6 a.m., Urdiales was waiting for her and offered to take her home. Since nothing strange happened the night before, she didn’t fear for her life and accepted his offer, she said.
Urdiales drove two blocks from her job before things took a turn for the worst.
Asbenson said he became angry and confronted her about the fake number she gave him. He then slammed her head into the dashboard.
Instead of taking her home, Urdiales drove to a “remote desert spot” where he sexually assaulted her.
Soon after, Asbenson was able to run away, but he grabbed her by her hair and threw her in the trunk of his rental car with her hands bound.
Asbenson broke her hands free and opened the trunk.
When the car came to a halt, she made a run for it.
Urdiales chased after her with a machete. She said, “it was like I was in a horror movie.”
She flagged down a truck with two marines inside. They gave her a ride to a nearby gas station, where she called the police.
Asbenson said authorities “did not take her seriously,” but five years later Urdiales confessed to the attack.
He also confessed to murdering eight women, four in California and four in Illinois. However, he was convicted of murdering five women and was sentenced to death.
On November 2, 2018, Urdiales was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide.
People Magazine Investigates – Monster in the Desert, airs at 10:00 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.