More than three decades have passed since Mindy Sypher was raped in her Charlotte apartment. But Sypher said she can still remember even the smallest details of the incident that left her without answers for years.
“He wore crisp white tennis shorts and white collared shirt," Sypher said. "His hands were manicured, and polished.”
On September 19, 1979, Sypher was raped by a man known as the “Ski Mask Rapist” who also threatened to kill her if she told the police.
“He looked me right in the face and said, 'If you tell anyone and you call the police, I will be back to kill you,'” she said.
His face was hidden under a ski mask and remained a mystery until a few weeks ago, when Jerry Lee Brooks pled guilty to raping her, as well as seven other women. Brooks will serve 10 years in prison.
Sypher said she coped with the horrible incident, with family being her support system. But it took a toll on her way of thinking.
“You just feel bad about yourself," she said. "I even gained 40 pounds after[ward]. I just didn’t want to be attractive.”
After 34 years without closures, Sypher said she considers this justice served and she can put this behind her.
“Today I can look in a mirror and know that I’m getting justice and closure,” she said. “This whole thing has come in full circle. ”