RACINE COUNTY — It’s been 9 1/2 years since Teri Jendusa-Nicolai was brutally beaten with a baseball bat and left for dead in a garbage can.

The Town of Norway woman, then a pregnant mother of two, was stuffed in that can and stashed away in a northern Illinois storage unit by her ex-husband, David M. Larsen. It was 2004 — three years after their divorce was final.

The harrowing story of the attack, and her survival, are expected to be profiled on a new cable show, “Surviving Evil,” in the fall. The new series debuts Wednesday on Investigation Discovery. The shows air at 9 p.m.

The episode spotlighting Jendusa-Nicolai’s beating, abduction and rescue is set to air Oct. 23, said her publicist, Stacey Olson.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month.

“We were filming it last August. She ended up going back to the house. It was the first time (since the attack),” Olson said. “It was very therapeutic. She’s made some great strides.”

The home no longer belongs to Larsen and has new owners, she said.

Promos for the show already are airing, and include Jendusa-Nicolai.

In one, Jendusa-Nicolai is the third woman pictured. She says Larsen wanted her to suffer.

“My girls kept me alive,” she is heard saying. “I needed to stay alive for them.”

The promos, including a longer, “extended sneak peak,” also may be viewed at investigation.discovery.com/tv-shows/surviving-evil/tv-schedule.htm.

It was Jan. 31, 2004, when Larsen kidnapped Jendusa-Nicolai, bound his ex-wife’s head and hands with tape and shut her in a garbage can partially filled with snow. As a result, she lost all of her toes due to frostbite.

She also miscarried.

But Racine County sheriff’s deputies, her family and friends were searching for the then- 38-year-old woman and her two young daughters, then ages 4 and 6. The search began after her husband reported she hadn’t come home.

A day later, an employee at a Public Storage unit in Wheeling, Ill., heard her cries.

The employee had been asked to search that site because detectives learned her ex-husband had rented an unheated storage unit there.

Larsen was convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. In August 2005, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison plus another 20 years of extended supervision.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections records show he currently is scheduled to be released from prison in 2042, but then will be placed on a period of 20 years’ extended supervision back in Racine County.

Now the mother of three children, Jendusa-Nicolai still lives in Racine County. Her son just started first grade.


WHAT: Teri Jendusa-Nicolai on “Surviving Evil”

WHERE: Investigation Discovery (channel varies by TV service provider)

WHEN: 9 p.m., Oct. 23

(1) comment

Zoo Mom

Wow... Almost 10 years since that happened. Glad she can continue to educate and advocate for victims!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.