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Surviving Evil with Charisma Carpenter

Surviving Evil with Charisma Carpenter

Photo Credit:  David Johnson/Investigation Discovery
  • Premiered: 
    August 28, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ID
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Docudrama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
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Plot Synopsis

Using re-enactments and first-person interviews, SURVIVING EVIL features emotional stories of victims who fought back against their attackers and, against amazing odds, survived. Host Charisma Carpenter is the survivor of a real-life incident that she endured more than 20 years ago. The actress and two friends were swimming at San Diego's Torrey Pines State Beach in 1991 when they were violently attacked by an armed, rogue police officer. Carpenter fought for her survival after being held at gunpoint, but her two friends were both shot by the attacker and seriously wounded. The police officer was sentenced to 56 years in prison for the attacks in addition to a series of rapes and robberies. Each 60-minute episode of this series profiles one or two stories, including: Lisa McVey (Tampa, FL), who headed home on November 3, 1984 when a notorious serial killer abducted her at gunpoint; Elizabeth Shoaf (Lugoff, SC), who had a bomb strapped to her body and was dragged to the woods by Vinson Filyaw in the Fall of 2006; Sheila Dates (Jonesboro, GA), who was taken hostage, along with her grown-up daughter, by a greedy couple desperate for an easy score; Rubens & Marcela Borges (Winter Garden, FL), who were kidnapped, along with their son, when a ruthless gang invaded their home; Verna White (Cherokee County, GA), who was raped and viciously beaten by an old friend, Gerald Lee, who had become obsessed with her after she spurned him; Dale Wells (Columbia, SC), who was shot five times by an abusive girlfriend, Denise Moss; Debbie Puglisi (Newark, DE), who was abducted from her home on April 20, 1998 after a crack-addicted predator broke into her home and shot her husband; Rhonda Knight (Canton, MI), who was beaten, stabbed, and taken captive by her crack-addict ex-boyfriend, Charles Blue; Teri Jendusa Nicolai (Racine, WI), who was attacked, stuffed into a garbage bin, and thrown in the back of a pick-up truck after arriving at her ex-husband's house; Norina Bentzel (Red Lion, PA), who survived when a machete-wielding psychopath, William Stankewicz, arrived at her school; Jessica Carbone (West Palm Beach, FL), who was attacked and kidnapped by a maintenance man; and Tabitha Sells & Christy Carroll (Greensboro, NC), who worked together at an auto shop where they became targets of a colleague's jealous wife. SURVIVING EVIL came back for its 10-episode second season on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT on Investigation Discovery with actress Charisma Carpenter returning as host. Throughout the month of August, Carpenter also appeared in a public service announcement in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime (, providing resources to individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. The PSA aired as part of Investigation Discovery's public affairs initiative, "Inspire a Difference," which weaves together ID's ongoing national awareness efforts around civil rights, wrongful convictions, and violence against women under one informative and inspiring banner designed to empower viewers to make an impact in their own communities. Season 2 features the stories of: Keri Reynolds, a hard-working nurse at an isolated drug rehab center in upstate New York; Patricia Wenskunas, a single mom battling an eating disorder; Anita Wooldridge, a 21-year-old recent college graduate with a bright future; the Tiede sisters, Tricia and Linae, who were abducted from their mountain cabin in Summit County, Utah; Sandie Bellows, a 28-year-old abducted at knifepoint outside a bank; Andrea Tafolla, a hardworking single mom; Bridget Kelly, an ambitious 20-something Texas schoolteacher; and Megan Paterson, a 27-year-old divorcee from Ottawa, Canada, who is casually dating after her recent divorce.
Season 3 of SURVIVING EVIL premiered on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on Investigation Discovery, with Charisma Carpenter returning as host. In the season opener, "The Queen's Daughter," a young woman is plunged into the dark side of Detroit when a night on the town leaves her stranded on the freeway and in the clutches of an armed gang of thugs on a violent crime spree.


Other Titles

  • Originally known as: I Survived Evil

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Cineflix Productions