Norina Bentzel doesn't have a problem talking about the 2001 machete attack that left her, two teachers and 11 Red Lion kindergarten students injured.

Instead, the then-principal of the school hopes that getting her story out helps others also dealing with traumatic events.

"There's a healing factor. That you can get through it with support," Bentzel said. "Others can get through what they've gone through."

Bentzel was injured when she confronted the machete-welding William Stankewicz, who had entered North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School on Feb. 2, 2001.

Now the story of Bentzel's heroism, and that of others, including a first responder, will be re-told in the television show "Surviving Evil" on Investigation Discovery this week.

The show: The episode of the show airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. The show debuted in August, and actress Charisma Carpenter, who herself dealt with a near-fatal incident at 22, is the host.

The show tells stories of victims who fought back against their attackers and, against all odds, survived.

"The stories in 'Surviving Evil' sound like a terrible nightmare, but the tales are all true and, thankfully, the victims all heroically survived," said Kevin Bennett, general manager of Investigation Discovery.

Carpenter and two friends were swimming at California's Torrey Pines State Beach in 1991 when they were violently attacked by an armed, rogue police officer.

"'Surviving Evil' is about finding empowerment in the face of evil and taking fate into your own hands at a moment when all hope seems lost," she said in a news release.

Interviews: Bentzel, now principal of Locust Grove Elementary School, said she and three other people were interviewed for the show more than a year ago when a film crew came to York County.

All told, Bentzel said the crew filmed about four hours of footage of just her, and she's curious to see how it is condensed into a television show.

"I hope it's respectful," she said. "I don't want it to be a rehashing of what happened."

Stankewicz was sentenced to 132 years to 264 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Sept. 2001.

Since the attack, Bentzel has told her story of healing at a number of speaking engagements, including two in which she addressed prisoners about the impact of crime.

"I think they've gained a lot from what I told. At least I hope so," she said.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.