(CBS4) – A Colorado crime investigation that captured national attention is back in the spotlight. Last Friday Netflix recently released “Unbelievable” –a new television series about the case of Marc O’Leary, a serial rapist captured in Jefferson County in 2011. O’Leary pleaded guilty and is now serving more than 300 years behind bars.
The case was cracked thanks to the work of two local detectives. Stacy Galbraith, then a detective with the Golden Police Department, was one of them.
“It was just (good to know) this guy is off the street. This person is not going to hurt somebody else,” she told CBS4.
Seven years after the arrest, Galbraith still remembers clearly taking the call that would set her search for O’Leary in motion.
“We got a 911 call during the day,” Galbraith said, “We go in and take a look at the scene. The scene was different than most assaults.”
The case weighed on her.
“(I thought), ‘That person was still out there. … Is he going to hit again? What’s he planning? What’s he doing? Where is he.’ … I went home. My husband at the time was an officer with Westminster.”
Her husband knew of a similar case, and the next morning she was in touch with Westminster detective Edna Hendershot.
“We communicated. We got along. We met all the time, we talked, we texted, we emailed. We were always bouncing things off of each other,” Galbraith said.
Within six weeks, they helped form a task task force of multiple agencies and together they were able to piece together multiple cases from multiple jurisdictions, eventually ending O’Leary’s crime spree.
Investigators said O’Leary planned his attacks, staked out four victims in Colorado, assaulted them repeatedly over several hours and then took methodical steps to make sure no evidence was left behind.
The case and that collaboration has been highlighted by law enforcement as one to learn from, while also becoming the focus of a book, a TV special and now a Netflix series.
“We were just grateful that our work paid off and that we were going to be able to take our work and let these victims know that he’s gone.”