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Crime News

Who is The Real Serial Rapist 'Unbelievable' Is Based Upon? 

Neftlix's new series "Unbelievable" depicts the hunt to find a serial rapist and focuses on his survivors, multiple women across Washington State and Colorado.

By Gina Tron
One Sexual Assault Survivor's Quest To End The Shocking Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits

A new Netflix series takes on the real-life tale of how a serial rapist was tracked down and captured, but not before some investigators and a community cast doubt on his youngest victim, a teenage girl who was actually charged with filing a false report.

The eight-episode series, entitled "Unbelievable," is an adaptation of the 2015 Pulitzer-winning ProPublica and Marshall Project in-depth story about the case. Kaitlyn Dever plays Marie, a young Washington woman with a tough life who experiences a horrific ordeal: The first episode depicts Marie's rape, an attack by a knife-wielding man wearing a mask, in flashbacks. 

Because she isn’t believed when she comes forward, that rapist goes on to rape several other women in Washington and Colorado.

That rapist was later caught, once two tough female detectives take the case on with dedication and care. In the show, his name was Christopher McCarthy.

What about the real-life serial rapist?

That would be Marc O’Leary, now 41, who pleaded guilty to raping three women, including the woman known only as Marie, and trying to rape a fourth in 2011 in Colorado, Denver-area publication Westword reported.. He was sentenced to 327 and a half years in prison. Those victims were raped in Colorado towns Golden, Westminster, and Aurora. The attempted attack occurred in Lakewood. 

Marc Oleary Pd

Then, in 2012, he was given another 62 years after pleading guilty to two rapes in the Washington towns of Lynnwood and Kirkland, KOMO News in Seattle reports.

Prison records estimate he will be discharged in July of the year 8886. It’s not clear why it indicates an extra few hundreds of years. 

"I’m standing here because I need to be in prison," O’Leary said when he was sentenced in Colorado, according to a 2011 Denver Post piece. "I know that probably more than anyone in this room. I’ve known it for awhile." He is currently serving time in Colorado.

Just like in “Unbelievable,” O'Leary stalked his victims, broke into their homes and attacked them while they were sleeping. He’d subject them to hours of sexual assaults and then after each rape, he’d make them shower. He also, as in the show, took photographs of the victims.

Those photographs were found in his home when it was searched by investigators. In fact, they found about 400 photos, according to Westword. They also found a pink Sony camera.

Just like in the series, he also had a distinctive birthmark on his leg.

O'Leary apparently divided people into two categories “alphas” and “bravos,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained in 2011 by the Denver Post. Sometimes, he referred to alphas as wolves, according to Westword. The show’s depiction of him references this when told one of his victims about his views on men, saying he fell into one of two categories, him being a “wolf.”

His former girlfriend Amy Wozny said in a 48 Hours she threw up when she found out what he had been doing to women.