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East Area Rapist Attack Survivor: 'I Don’t Identify As A Rape Victim'

Margaret Wardlow was 13 years old when the East Area Rapist broke into her mother’s house and raped her, but she says she doesn't identify as a rape victim.


The East Area Rapist assaulted dozens of women and girls in the Sacramento area. Some of his victims were very young, including Margaret Wardlow, who was 13 years old when he broke into her mother’s house and raped her.

When he came for her, he had already committed dozens of attacks and Wardlow had been following the cases in the local press – the fact that he hadn’t killed anyone yet helped her survive the encounter, she says. When he hissed, “Do you want me to kill you? Do you want me to kill your mom?” she shot back, “I don’t care.”

That defiance helped her move on with her life and she says she never looked back, but said that she and other survivors she knows felt relief when law enforcement officials announced they had arrested a suspect. “It’s very exciting for us,” she said. “We’re thrilled.”

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