By Maria Medina

A chilling encounter with the couple behind the “Sex Slave Murders” left one woman with nightmares for years.

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Because the female part of the couple behind those 10 murders is out of prison and living in our area, the woman who’s now coming forward only wanted her first name to be released.

Cindy says she encountered Charlene Williams and Gerald Gallego during the same month the couple kidnapped two young girls, raped and then buried them.

“I could’ve been one of their victims easily,” she said.

She says the encounter lasted only seconds, but “I’ll never forget it.”

It has been with her for more than 30 years.

“I spent so many years trying to forget,” she said.

Cindy was just 20 years old at the time, in 1979, when she says Charlene Williams asked her for directions in a Carson City parking lot.

“And I looked up and there was a guy in the van and I looked right into his eyes and it scared me so bad,” she said.

She says the man was Gerald Gallego behind the wheel of his van staring straight at them. What happened next she says she will never, ever forget.

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“He put his head out the window and said ‘not her’ and she just immediately walked off,” she said.

“Not her.” She says the two words didn’t make sense at the time, but something about the couple made Cindy uneasy.
“I didn’t realize I was talking to a killer,” she said.

She didn’t realize it until a year later when investigators arrested Williams and Gallego — the couple behind 10 murders, mostly young girls lured into their van and raped repeatedly before being murdered.

It was our story about Charlene Williams moving back to our area that Cindy says gave her the courage to finally speak out.

Williams says she lured in by Gallego and never intended to take part in the killings. “No, for God’s sake no. No, I never did.”

But Cindy believes Charlene holds more secrets than we’ll ever know.

“It really kind of makes me sick (that she’s back living in our area,” she said. “I hope that she’s changed, but how can you go from a monster and live in society?”

Charlene told us in a CBS13 exclusive that she’s dedicated her life to charity work to prove she’s changed.

But Cindy wonders how many more girls out there got away and just didn’t know it at the time. And she mourns for the ones who were lured into the couple’s trap.

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“It haunted me for a long time,” she said. “I can only imagine that she’s living a truly haunted life from all the screams from these people.”