SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — News 8 spoke to the Golden State Killer's youngest victim on Wednesday following the announcement of an arrest in the case.
Former Del Mar resident Margaret Wardlow was just 13 years old and living alone with her mother in Sacramento when she was raped by the man also known as the East Area Rapist.
"My inside voice told me 'you are gonna be raped, this is what's going to happen to you, and you're going to live through this and you're going to survive and you're going to get through it.' It was just that simple," said Margaret.
The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer raped, murdered and burglarized families through California in the '70 and '80s.
"In 1977, I was the 27th victim of East Area Rapist in Sacramento," Margaret said.
She found out Tuesday night that Sacramento police arrested 72-year-old, former cop James Joseph DeAngelo.
"I'm just tickled that they've caught him," said Margaret. "It couldn't be better news."
Margaret says her attack happened in her bedroom at 2 a.m., 41 years ago, and the perpetrator used the same M.O. as other East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer attacks.
"He was wearing a ski mask, he had a flashlight in my eyes, so you couldn't see much of him" said Margaret. "He had a large butcher knife. I felt it on my neck. I had a mark on my neck. He held it to my ear; threatened to cut off my ear. [He] threatened to kill me; threatened to cut my throat.
The well-informed 13-year-old watched and read the news, and she knew who was raping her.
Margaret said she wasn't going to give him what he wanted, which was seeing her scared.
"He'd ask, 'do you want me to kill your mother?' in a harsh whisper," she said. "I said, 'I don't care.' As soon as [I'd] start answering he'd say 'shut up, shut up, shut up.'
"He'd say 'do you want me to kill you?' and I said 'I don't care.' And I just knew I wasn't going to give him that satisfaction."
All the while, her mother was tied up in another room.
"He put plates on her back, which was his M.O.," said Margaret. "He said 'if these plates rattle, I will kill your daughter and I will come back and kill you.'"
Margaret believes her knowledge and defiance got her through the attack.
"I just refused. I really felt like I got the best of that guy," she said. "As much as I could have, I held my own."