GOLDEN, Colo. — A new Netflix series called “Unbelievable” is taking a dramatic look at the serial rape case two female Colorado detectives solved in 2011.
Stacy Galbraith and Edna Hendershot lead the investigation into four rapes between 2010 and 2011 in Aurora, Lakewood, Golden and Westminster.
“If we had not gotten on top of it when we did, we may have had another victim, maybe two more victims,” former Golden Police Detective Galbraith said.
Galbraith says the first case peaked her interest because the victim was so detailed in her description.
The victim told police a man broke into her apartment while she was sleeping, assaulted her, took photos and made her shower before he left.
Galbraith told her husband, a Westminster police officer, about the case.
“He immediately said, 'You have to get in contact with our records department. We have had two in the recent past that it matches the m.o.' (modus operandi, a particular way or method of doing something) for,” she said.
That’s when she teamed up with Detective Edna Hendershot who worked for the Westminster Police Department.
Soon they uncovered four victims, in four different cities with the same story.
With the help of 100 officers from six agencies, army veteran Marc O’Leary was arrested and found guilty. Surveillance video of his truck and DNA helped officers find him.
Galbraith says O’Leary spoke in interviews with police about how he committed his crimes.
“It was so scary to hear how many times he was watching his victims without them knowing,” she said.
O’Leary took pictures of his crimes with a camera he stole during one of his assaults.
That camera was found in his home.
One of the photos detectives found was of a teenage girl. Police were able to identify and locate her in Washington. That teen had reported her rape to authorities in 2009 but police accused her of lying. She was charged with filing a false report.
Galbraith says there’s a lot law enforcement can learn from the case.
“Now there’s a huge campaign on believing your victims, listing to them, vetting all the information they are providing instead of just shutting down an investigation,” she said.