AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- Annette Lazar said she reported her attack at the hands of suspected serial killer Bruce Lindahl in 1979. Had they listened to her, she believes more lives could have been saved.
Authorities believe Lindahl is responsible for as many as 12 murders and nine rapes in the western suburbs in the 1970s and 1980s.
RELATED: Suspected serial killer identified as suspect in 1976 murder of Downers Grove South HS student Pamela Maurer
Lazar, now 61, said she reported her attack right after it happened, but police didn't believe her. For years, Lazar told no one else as she took the blame for putting herself in the situation.
"I buried it back in the archives of my brain because some things are so painful in your life," she said.
Lazar was just 20 years old, on her way to a friend's house when she met Lindahl in 1979.
"This guy looked like a normal guy, pulled up before I got to my girlfriend's house and asked what I was doing," she recalled.
Lindahl lured Lazar into his house by offering to sell her pot. The next thing she knew, he grabbed a gun and threatened to rape her.
"I was like 'No.' That's when he put a 9mm to my head, grabbed me by my throat. He bruised my throat. I had marks on my body from him," said Lazar.
She said she begged Lindahl to take the clip out of his gun before he began to rape her. He did. Lazar could not fight or flee, so she quickly thought of something else, which ended up saving her life.
"I decided to flatter him and compliment him, and tell him I really liked him, that he is my type," she said.
The flattery worked and he let her go. She reported the assault to Aurora police, but her efforts fell flat.
"I had bruises on my neck, I even had a red mark where he put the gun to my temple, and they didn't believe me," Lazar said. "I was in shock, I thought they believed me. That's why I went to police, to prevent this from happening to anyone else."
Aurora police released a statement Thursday night, saying records show officers took a report of rape from Lazar on March 6, 1979. Police said the case was investigated and given to the kane County State's Attorney on March 26, 1979.
"According to records, Assistant State's Attorney Rick Todas reviewed the reports and investigation and 'under the circumstances he would not issue any complaints at this time.' The case was 'cleared for want of prosecution,' according to the 1979 report," Aurora police siad.
Police now say three years before the incident with Lazar, Lindahl raped and stabbed to death 16-year-old Pam Maurer. Authorities announced last week that DNA connected Lindahl with Maurer, closing a decades-old cold case.
Lazar can't believe she survived.
"Finally the truth comes out after 40 years later," she said.
Lazar kept the sexual assault buried so deep, she never told her family about it until recently when Lindahl was linked to other crimes by police.
Lindahl died in the early 1980s, when he accidentally killed himself while stabbing another victim.
Bruce Lindahl victim Annette Lazar describes surviving attack by suspected serial killer, rapist
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