It had been almost a year since the “Night Stalker” shot him in the head as he slept in his home in Mission Viejo. He had survived and spent the year trying to revive his paralyzed arm and leg, and working to regain his memory.
Last week, he finally felt he could talk publicly about it all.
William R. Carns Jr. sat beside his fiancee, Inez Erickson, who had been with Carns and had been sexually assaulted by the “Night Stalker” that night. He told of the “countless hours” the couple had spent “to come back from what has happened to us.”
“I still think the hardest thing for me is to accept the fact that I am hurt,” Carns said. “I still wish it was just a big, bad dream and I’ll wake up and it will be over, and I can go on with my life.”
Carns spends weekdays living at a rehabilitation clinic in Long Beach, where the medical bills pile up by $30,000 a month, according to a family member’s estimate.
He still has only partial use of his arm and leg, and his short-term memory is unreliable. Erickson said Carns would not remember the conversation he now was having.
“There are special things I really want to remember that I can’t,” Carns said. “And that really hurts a lot. . . . I get frustrated very easily. I try to overcome it; sometimes I’m successful.”
So far, Carns has not been able to resume his job as a computer trouble-shooter. He is improving, but doctors cannot predict how far he will go in recovering.
“It’s so unfair,” Carns said. “No one should have to go through this. . . . You can’t punish a person enough for doing what he has done to us.”