Charisma Carpenter is frighteningly qualified to host a new series about people who fought back against attackers: She escaped a serial rapist 20 years ago and gave police a key piece of evidence against him.
The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" veteran has signed on to host the Investigation Discovery series "I Survived Evil," which is a working title. The series will begin filming its 10-episode first season this month.
Carpenter was a 22-year-old former San Diego Chargers cheerleader when she and two male friends were attacked by an armed police officer, Henry Hubbard Jr., while swimming at San Diego’s Torrey Pines State Beach in 1991. They resisted Hubbard, and Carpenter's two friends were shot and seriously wounded.
People magazine wrote about the attack in 1992. It described how Hubbard, wearing a nylon stocking over his head, ordered Carpenter to tie up one of her friends. Then he ordered her to bind the other man's hands with a belt.
When she refused, he pressed a pistol to her temple. Eventually, he "handed her his heavy-duty flashlight and knelt to do the job himself," People wrote. One of Carpenter's friends lunged at the gunman, and the other joined in. Hubbard shot both men, but he also accidentally shot himself in the left hand, then fled.
Hubbard was arrested when he and his wife went to an emergency room hours later, seeking treatment for his injury. He claimed he had been jumped, but investigators were suspicious because he had sand on his clothes. He also had bite marks that matched the teeth of one of the men who fought back.
A key piece of evidence was his police-issue flashlight — with his name on it — which Carpenter had brought from the beach.
Hubbard was sentenced to 56 years in prison for the attacks and a series of rapes and robberies.
"The fact that Charisma has personally lived through the tragic nightmare of being attacked – and thankfully, is willing to share her ordeal with our viewers – makes her the perfect host for 'I Survived Evil,'" said Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery. "In addition to being a face that her loyal 'Buffy' fans will recognize, Charisma adds an important layer of depth and perspective to this series that only a survivor truly could.”
"I Survived Evil" is produced by Cineflix (I Survived) Inc. for Investigation Discovery. Nick Godwin and Simon Lloyd are executive producers for Cineflix. For Investigation Discovery, Pamela Deutsch is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production and Schleiff is president and general manager. Carpenter is represented by APA Talent and Literary Agency.