(NBC News) — Friday on an all-new “Dateline,” while investigating the rape and murder of a 22-year-old, Texas detectives uncover a trail of sexual assault crimes pointing to a repeat offender.
For the first time, survivors connected to the case speak out about their fight for justice. Correspondent Josh Mankiewicz also presses local police on why they let the perpetrator out of their sight years earlier.
Here is a preview of Mankiewicz’s report:
JOSH MANKIEWICZ: I am sorry to be making you relive this.
KATIE: I’m sorry. It’s hard.
Reliving the worst day of your life would be hard for anyone. So know this: Katie Coates wanted to tell us her story about when she was 20, about when she was raped by a man she met on vacation.
KATIE: When he was stranglin’ me — I put up some fight. But I just — I got so scared.
And what came next — after Katie summoned her courage and reported her assault to the police — was almost worse. Her story, this story, is about the people who listened and believed — and those who did not.
KATIE: I’ll never understand that part of it. Just because, if he was prosecuted, then two lives would still be with us today.
In that feeling, she’s not alone. And it would turn out, Katie wasn’t her attacker’s first victim — or his last.
Watch “Dateline: Wreckage” Friday at 8 p.m.