February 24, 1986. Los Angeles, California. Sherri Rasmussen was 29, enjoying a successful career as a nurse, and newly married to her husband John Ruetten. She was viciously murdered on February 24th, 1986 at home while her husband was at work, but the crime wasn’t solved until 2009. Join us as we discuss a case where the truth of what happened wasn't accepted until there was no denying it.
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I do it's a writer. I do a pretty good just in how are you feeling tonight, I'm ok,
you watch the show recently
You know, I don't know if anyone knows this, but because we cover true crime, I think,
ass for years has been more difficult for me to watch true crime documentaries. Despite people writing an insane. You have to watch this new documentary on Netflix or Amazon
prime whatever it's mostly
because I'm here,
getting enough to crime, and just
all the research and reading that we do but Tom,
They are down watching documentaries. I think I'd do it about once a year at the most
I recently watch something on Netflix. Why did you kill me? This is a pretty interesting documentary B
as it has to do with family, taking action after
loved one is murdered and getting to the bottom of why she was murdered
family members, they definitely have a journey where they have
look at their own lives
evaluate things as they go and I think that's pretty powerful
have to check it out. I haven't washed it myself, but I will on your recommendation and I definitely feel like towards the end.
Does this documentary Justin? He almost feel like
speaking your language, I'm sure
just from the little bit that I know of it, I'm sure they will be
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that tonight's case earn his one that
eighties and it was eight
hold case for decades
Normally I would. I would say that I like to cover a case that hasn't been resolved
in the sense that I would like to be able to figure it out and no other
was right, but this one did
come to a conclusion, and it was
exactly the conclusion that a lot of people, at least
the media or law enforcement might have thought but
at the same time.
comes families. They seem
you have known from the start. So with that. What are we talking about tonight tonight, retard
about the nineteen eighty six murder of Sherry Erasmus N
twenty nine year old nurse who-
newly married to a husband, John Rotten. Let's talk about this,
yeah. It was the morning
February twenty. Fourth,
sherry. It actually called in sick to work. She just apparent
wasn't feeling well, but this was pretty unusual behaviour for
her because she was a workaholic
she took great pride and what she did
husband, John says he left for
work at seven. Twenty, a M
the condo in Van Eyes, California, and
around nine forty, five, a m neighbours.
I noticed that the run
Scratch door was open, but there were
any cars inside now, John always
closed the Grudged door behind him. They were really good about it. So John would try.
by calling sherry throughout the day just to check in
husbands do, but she never
answered her phone,
sherry. Sister was also trying to reach her.
didn't get any answer either. John thought.
That may be, she decided to go into you being a nurse the busy, so he called the hospital and
the admin, their informed,
that sherry wasn't at work that day at TAT
of thirty p M, a housekeeper claim
They heard loud noises of people fighting and
slamming stuff around and then a car speeding off
This housekeeper was cleaning condo next to theirs. After work, John GO
runs a few earns. He goes by the bank, he actually
picked up, a pair of shoes had been wanting to buy, for awhile, picked up his dry cleaning and returned home just before six p m. He pulled up
condo any saw that his wife's car was missing and that there was
broken glass like on the driveway in the walkway,
the way this condo laid out
is a balcony above the grudge door here,
nowhere the glass was from, but it would end up being from
the glass doors and windows on that balcony and the class had fallen down here.
The garage door was open. His sort of on guard immediately
because not only is his home
not how he left it, but he hasn't
able to speak to his wife all day and
They communicate so much that if she had gone to work if she had gone out to grab some
to bring home whatever was its normal,
them to discuss this he'd always knows where she is so flat.
When he entered the Congo, we entered
condo after walking up the steps, and the first thing that he noticed was a bloody handprint on the wall. Also that
or leading into the house from the garage was partially open, so
he entered his home,
that's when he saw Sherry his wife dead on the floor and is
First action was to retrieve a blanket and place over her face
Then call my one one at five, fifty nine p m, he
hell from her eyes and her skin color that she'd been dead for awhile she'd been badly beaten,
she'd been shot in the chest and rigour
Mortis had already cut a said in her hands were actually offer.
ground, like she was so stiff
outside of the condo after
it's called his
Aber man named Alan saw him.
its moments later and asked him.
What was wrong and
It is totally out of it. He said Sherry's dead, she's dead. So at this point
his neighbor actually sides.
into the condo and looked for himself. He said that he saw
poor blood in the living room. It was over three feet wide.
chairs were knocked over and
entire lower floor of the condo had been damaged? Now
police arrive and see
de condos been ransacked share
he's been shot with a thirty eight caliber revolver she's been clubbed with the plan
statue and bludgeoned over the head
with miscellaneous objects. There
wounds on her wrists that indicate
Someone had tied her up.
There were serious injuries all over her face because there,
stereo equipment and tv.
and things that had been like ripped from the wall, but nothing obviously taken detectives, thought
Baby robbers came into the home and weren't expecting her to be there, so the
was a botched robbery and they killed her and Erin.
I saw some crime scene photos of this. It was
pro long struggle is how they describe it. But it was a fight for her life.
Find any signs of forced entry, but they did find
said her fingernails a bite
work on her left arm and a blue.
get that was full. A bullet holes and gun
not residue, so they assume that that was made
the final killing shots.
Use the year blanket to muzzle the gunshots.
And also they never recovered the gun. Rhyming like the gun. Wasn't there know the guy.
Wasn't there I would send me- and I was gonna say There- is no murder weapons found, but they found here this
I urge you and some other things that were used to be our with so
kind of assumed that maybe this
perpetrator had tried to be her unconscious and she kept fighting. So then they had to finish off with a gun, but they didn't want to you
the gun, because they do it be loud, but that housekeeper
next door. That was cleaning she didn't report.
Any gunshots, she only heard just loud noises and then somebody speeding off real
The only witness just then was
that housekeeper. That was next door,
of Angelina that housekeeper gave a time in the morning
that she heard this going down
investigators are going to look at John, the husband and
say where were you, he was out
He had a solid alibi, so
when investigators switch gears and say well. It looks like a robbery gone wrong, but as we
No, just because you seem to have a solid alibi, doesn't mean you couldn't have said something up there.
I think, though, is
he and sherry at all the married for about three months. They do ask him, will you come?
for an interview. We need to talk with you and he was very cooperative. Let's go back
did Sherry and John meet what
Is there a relationship like what's their background.
Sherry and John met at a party in eighteen. Eighty four he was an under
Student and cherry wasn't grad school. One thing you should know about,
sherry was she graduated colleges aged sixteen. Apparently they
acted immediately and were dating?
very serious about each other. One
here. Is that, at the time John had
Ben dating another person
but as soon as he met sherry. That was it form they be
engaged in by today
the following year from all accounts it,
a very happy marriage
again. They only had been together as a married couple for a few months.
now before John had met Sherry ye had, I guess
He would call a on and off again or friends, with benefits relationship with a woman
name Stephanie Lazarus he and Stephanie
met in the early eighties. He was study
Mechanical Engineering. At you see I and
Anthony was a political science major day
lived in the same dorm. They played
inner Miro. Basketball together, like I said,
we're just dating on and off pair
John wasn't quite as in
Fanny was into him and when he started data
other people such as sherry. Apparently, this
go over well was Stephanie. She was
madly in love with John and
obviously didn't under
stand why he didn't feel the same way: the sex
came to a head of sorts because after John and share
became engaged Stephanie reached out
John said, I would like to talk with you and
invited him over to her condo and he went
so she put it all in the lines he said. I need you
once you I'm in love
with you and he slept with her and basically
That was his way of giving her closure, he said, but that didn't work out
well because then he had to tell sherry the next day. What happened? I don't know
guys are so dumb you don't.
With somebody to give them closure, but in his
twisted mine. That was the right thing to do now:
what his reasoning really was. If that was true or not, but he did go through.
eggs with sherry and he confessed to her. So he told her all about
it and said. Please forgive me, please don't
at this ruin our relationship. I really want to be married to you here my person, so she said
hey. I'm sure was a little more difficult than that, but John cut off all contact with Stephanie Stephanie. Well, she
and exactly appreciate being sidelined at this point
just a few days after the engagement
Things kind of went downright Stephanie, one
two Glinda Adventist Hospital to confront cherry, and she said. If I can't have John nobody else. Well, that's pretty threatened.
right and cherries what she did.
That was just simply tell her parents and some friends as well.
John all about Stephanie
sitting her at her work. Stephanie would
Do little things to harass her. She would call
and hang up stuff like that one day in January,
sherry had returned home to their condo to find stuff
fanny inside wearing her police, uniform and
is a little odd.
asked her to leave another time. Stephanie had stopped
by the house too.
John to help wax her skis. I don't know,
that's what the kids were calling it back then, but it's pretty inappropriate, especially when you ve threatened this man's wife, your unwelcome this,
stressed sherry out so much that she actually told John like I might leave you. This is way too much baggage. I dont want to deal
This and she said this one
scares me. She's
written me and she's a police officer so
Am I supposed to do here? She just pleaded with John to tell
Stephanie to leave him alone. John didn't seem
take this very seriously and he told sherry
worry about. Stephanie just ignore her, because you know problems
that just go away right?
we don't know how serious they can become an that's why it does feel like stocking
taken more seriously these days, but back in the eighties, from all accounts that I read I
Don't think it was taken seriously enough, he was well those things
where it's like sure someone might be following you, but you haven't died, remember that bit, but did you die
seems like that was the response new units will they
having broken any laws, it's a free country so whatever but sherry, told her father that some one had been
following her someone that was dressed like a man made
Obviously, a woman dressed like a man was stocking her
it was just days
for her death. Her father told the police, but
Nothing really came of it. So go back to
the investigation. The police looked into John Rotten
see anything that would tell them that he had it out to kill his wife.
At a very good alibi
so they are thinking. This is probably a robbery gone wrong. After all things were moved. I think
pretty much all the stereo equipment was stacked next to share his body, so they start
missing the condos in that neighbourhood on February twenty fifth, what did they
and when they started canvassing the neighbourhood holding
spoke to neighbours and one of them
told them that two garden
stop by your house to drop off a purse they had found outside well disperse.
Knit up belonging to sherry,
had her wallet and drivers licence inside
A few days later, another woman reported to
that she heard a knock on our door and
saw a man that she didn't know stance.
ignored the knock and just went to bed. It was late. She ended up believing
go out for lunch and when she returned to her house,
she saw men trying
steel, her stereo equipment and when she confronted them, one of the men pointed a Gunnar her, but she took off running,
So now we have two men there,
robbing homes in this area just a few blocks away.
Sure is condo and one of the suspects has gone. So this is kind of fitting
maybe it is this robbery gone wrong, but there
some suspicious evidence. You could say that
at least tells police said. There's a chance at this robber gone wrong. Theory is flawed, and that's that
only sherry's car and her marriage.
lessons were taken that car had been engaged
gift from John.
all these items? There very
hi to their relationship
a marriage license, who steals that and what kind of robber bites the victim
That's something that whoever did this
I would just say a sexual deviant Europe. This
and just your regular everyday robber, and
Here we have the situation where she's been beaten and then shot now:
this by mark on her at first
I thought. Well, maybe she had her arm around one of the robbers faces, and that was the only way the robber could get her to let go was to bite into her arm, but the autopsy states that this bite mark was done
while she was dying or shortly after she died
changes everything this means it didn't happen during the fight.
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we're inside of it. They couldn't find any damage and nothing
appeared to be stolen from inside the vehicle? The car was dusted. Nothing was found
No fingerprints, no evidence we talked about the stocking them
apparently going on Sherry's pair
stay, knew all about it and because
their daughter was murdered. They said you don't have to look very far. You just have to
as to gate officer, Stephanie Lazarus, and they told them why. But that kind of fell on deaf ears right.
And I dont really understand
I guess I should understand, but it wasn't
Stephanie will have been in office for a long time. She had only been a patrol officer for two years at that point, so why would any
cover for her. Why didn't they
look into this, they had a very
good motive right. This woman
stocking sherry, because
jealous of her because she'd courting quote, taken her man now
shortly after this murder March,
nineteen, eighty six officer, Stephanie,
called the Santa Monica pity to report that her car had been broken into her. Jim Baxter
on all of her money and clothes that was in the bag, including, I thought
The eight caliber revolver
at that time, the police did use,
thirty eight revolvers, mostly as back up weapons, but it was a step.
Issue weapon for the LAPD. That
is a very popular gun. You know a third
its special Saturday night Special, but at the same time,
the woman that's been murdered, shot with a thirty eight caliber gun
and then you have a police.
officer who was
stalking said woman and reports that her,
and has been stolen less than
Two weeks later, I think someone could connect the dots there. That's just me
It is nineteen. Eighty six
the Pyrenees. Probably not talking to other police departments, so apparently Stephanie didn't report
this gun being stolen in the proper manner. She was
I wish to inform the armory, but instead she just talk to the front desk. In March nineteenth she just purchased other weapon,
placement if he will now months have passed and share
offering a ten thousand dollar reward, their whole
press conferences there talking
the news outlets and there
obviously not happy with the police response, for instance, that Neighbour Alan Tar Ski
the the neighbour that Sir John it
working with who had stepped into the countdown,
saw the carnage for himself. He was never interviewed by police,
any of sherry,
family like persist,
Teresa, who saw her on February twenty third
speak to her friend, Jane Goldberg, who knew about
the stocking mean they had
head of the LAPD about all of this. There had been contacting them asking them. What are you going?
you about this. They never got any responses because apparently
It was a a burglar
A robbery whatever gone wrong? Sherry's family reports that John
kind of started, slipping away. We could imagine, he lost his wife and he's probably pretty upset.
everybody handles grief in their own way. John couldn't
if in the Congo anymore, he quit his job, he needed a change
We moved away from LOS Angeles, but I think her family was pretty upset because they were hoping they he would talk to the police and push them to do something. They thought that he would take up this battle with them. You know carry a torch for their dead daughter, his dead wife. Again, he wasn't considered a suspect and her face.
We did not consider him a suspect. Obviously he went and moved in with his parents for several years. Another interesting thing happened here:
when on vacation to Hawaii and so did Stephanie apparently
met up with her a couple times in ninety ninety, but overall
time just in the cases
rose cold because the police believe it's a robber gone wrong. They dont have any suspects. They have possible described,
and of a couple of latino men, but that's it and so on
course of time. Stephanie is
just adding on years to her career at the LAPD she's
successful she had
as a treasure for
Ellie woman's police officers association. She helped raised
to provide childcare
children of police officers and she actually ran a private investigation company
eventually married another detective that she worked worth and-
in love with she,
survived, thyroid cancer and a d
did a daughter but police.
Is when they did investigate this murder. They did do
lotta things right, they had a thing,
a chronic log was Chronologic
oh ordered log. They die
came in at all these things and added to the report all the time and in that report it listed that
Sherry's family had called then asked if Stephanie was a suspect. They also swathed that bite mark on sherry kept. That has evidence
for years, and that brings us to two thousand
two thousand nine, where
Daphne Lazarus is a full, fledged detective and promoted to the art theft, detail
This is a highly respected officer, a highly respected detective. What
there is an author who
viewed her at this point about art theft, Matthew, Mc Gough, yeah,
what was his impressions of her when he interviewer professional there was the first one,
I think he said was she was very professional she's.
Highly respected. I mean she's
and promoted. Multiple time. She's on different boards does different thanks. Everyone looks up to her and not one disciplinary report. In the thirty years that you ve been working there, that's impressive,
but the court case squad there looking into Sherry's case and
February? Two thousand and nine this case is,
going to get a microscope put on it, and
The only thing they had left was that swab from the bite mark and they decided they would have that tested
because now dna is a thing. What was actually
five years before when the LAPD had tested that bite swab and they found a dna profile. It was a woman's dna profiles.
so two thousand and four they tested swab, find out its female, but nothing's done with that. For five years, until this cold case,
Team is looking at that and going ok. So what
throw this dna against our
databases and applaud. It
you don't find any matches, but they go
to that chronic log there is huge gaps and had their missing
tons of information, but
did see a name get mention once he was Stephanie name. So there's this detective cliff Shepherd he's talking with the Co Uk squad about
male and female burglary teams in area. Remember there still lie
at this, as could be a robbery gone wrong. So
maybe there is a woman involved. He found out there
as a team that was one male one female opera
in eighteen. Eighty six. This could be hit right now
and this woman they checked. She was not incarcerated.
in custody during that time, but she was back in jail in two thousand. Nine.
They look at this and they
terms that it wasn't her. So there
Looking back at the LISA revolts, robbery which you mentioned, and there are some things that dont quite match these his home.
had things stolen, like jury. The upper floor was disturbed. There is forced entry,
and they left in their own car. They didn't steal any cars
There are a lot of differences here, so they serve
re examining the so called right.
Maria cherries, condo and now there.
Looking at it in a new light
looking at it in seeing as stage burglary, though they come up with a new theory
thinking this killer, they came in there
had a key or were able to pick the lock which
that's different from all these other
glories and the area this person when
into the home to specifically target sherry, fired two shots.
One of which mist and shattered that patio window now
I think, initially, when
They saw this broken window? They thought, maybe that's where the intruder came in battle,
glasses on the outside
So it is obviously been broken from the inside. They felt that shit,
We got her intruder into a headlong and that's when she was bit
The intruder eventually overpowered her and shot her. I think it's a good theory, so the next step is to go back and talk with John Rotten and asked him. Do you know any women who would want?
her cherry. Ah, I think he does he does, and he comes up with the name
Stephanie Lazarus so be Ellie.
He D. This is many years later decades later they launch
a into Stephanie Lazarus that last for about four months they want to
it or dna and their prepared to
rest her. If there's a match, they all
try to keep this operation very secret because I guess
their worried that someone will speak to her and tell her what's going on.
Blow the lead on all of it. So they are,
planning this out and when they re
about Stephanie. They refer to her as number five
What was the name of the operation, the art thief, they're playing
soft, like their investigating an art thief and what department
Stephanie overwrite, know that very thing: art theft.
So it's interesting, though, the coal K squad their office is right across the hall from Stephanie Ease and that's their son
act, so they come into work and their investigating Stephanie achieves
right across the hall coming and going obviously, and they see her all the time and their drinks.
coffee with her. There shoot
the breeze at the water dispenser down the hall. They have
DNA, so they wave
her to get
glass of water soda. She said
sit down and they run
over there and they crab
strong out of the cup, and they have that tested
what are they find they find.
Information. There was a one
white, seven, sixty million to one chance that the DNA did not belong to Stephanie Lazarus six,
Chilean. I dont know how many zeros fat is, so I'm gonna, google it real quick,
the thousand raised to the seventh power. It has
twenty one, zero behind it. You'll learn
something new every day, in other words, Stephanie
is not just a suspect she's, the only suspect, but how did they go about
pricking, a fellow police officer and talking to them, and
not letting them on that. She is the one there investigating. I mean this is tricky, that's what
I need to get her to talk and they prefer to do it in a country
environment? So they need to continue the rules for a little bit longer Dante yeah. They do get a couple of
officers that do not know who Stephanie? Is they don't care?
about her reputation and the who
pick these guys to do the
view June fifty thousand nine. This is,
about twenty three years after the murder of Sherry Rasmussen,
if is in her office and another officer,
you, sir, and says we ve got someone in custody,
and they may have some information on a case, your working, so she gladly
with this off, sir, and when the
to the jail, the officer
determine their weapon, and she does that mention
led to an interview room and ask her to sit down. I think it is
why she has some idea that they ve tricked her yeah
in unless they're bringing in the sky immediately or typically, the guy would already be sitting there and they would have her come in, but
she's the only one there and they began talking with her in
Any one knows the interview rooms are
lately monitored, but they try to put her it.
He's by saying this is just a discussion and that's what they put down on paper.
I really want to give these guys credit, because this was an amazing interrogation to watch
immediately. She gets kind of defensive about being
questioned in this basement
the room. But
they tell her like if we did
upstairs people would see us taking.
You into one of those rooms
eyes on those rooms
and you know rumours are gonna spread-
you re married. We dont want
to question you about this
situation and people think the wrong thing.
We're trying to respect to. You were trying to restore
Your decency and question
you down here and all
trying to do is eliminate suspects in a case like we always do, but Stephanie knows that. It's never that simple right,
for those that are interested. You can watch the entire interview on Youtube, but these detect is their talk
was Stephanie and they start to get to the real important stuff.
They start asking her about Johns wife and she knew
that cherry was murdered. They ask her.
Do you remember her name and she said Shelly, sherry and the whole time she's talking.
Her actions are also greatly exaggerated.
her eye roles. The way she moves her mouth, her body move
When everything is very like AL, why the Han trying remember back
he just seems very nervous. Would you say yeah, I think,
like unless you're a sociopath most people.
Can see right through your bs. Doesn't take an investigator doesn't take her a season
the police officer. You can watch interrogations
and you know when that person's lying. You know when their being put off- and you know with Stephanie
them going here too,
dependence on me and that's just crazy. The main point
of this entire interview, this discussion-
as they called it was really to git. Sherry decide
that there would be no way that they would
dna like they do, they didn't have a physical altercation
maybe they were around each other but
is no way that she ever bit or attack sherry and once they have that
and they have the dna. This is a done deal
he asked her to submit a dna swab and the sheep
wasn't under that either and she said
pointing to the effect of what did
sherry and I get into a fight, and then I decided to killer that point. But that statement the detectives like
You know Stephanie, you have the right to remain silent. You have them
right to an attorney and they just go
through her Miranda Rights, because then
up until that point. They can't
They use anything. She said against her in a court of law, but there
getting her rights and they tell her you don't
he d stay here. You don't need to talk to us. You are not under arrest, but we're just trying to figure out more
this case were just trying to exclude you as assess back and they say,
Do you want to leave and what did she do? She's
aids that she needs to talk to
lawyer and then she walks out, but they are too high.
What they need now, who's
waiting for her outside of that of
irrigation rumour. The detectives
weightings who arrest her the
police searched her home and they found diaries. One of the entries was
I found out that John is getting married. I was very depressed, they found photo.
Of John in that diary and she talked
about how the break up was affecting her work. They also noticed
that there was no diary entry about the car theft that she had reported.
The break in where she lost her gun yeah
they do somewhere searching they look into
employee records they find that she was off work from February Twenty first to the twenty five
earth and return to work on the twenty fifth. They couldn't find
that there were any visible injuries on her person,
Again. This is someone who went thirty years without
thing on her record. So after her arrest
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Lazarus the trial, and that happens February. Six, two thousand twelve, Shannon Press BS
PDA, leading the prosecution. Long
this trial acid. Three weeks,
where sixty people testified now Mark or
Ireland was Stephanie S defence attorney. He initially tried to get the whole case dismissed based on
She should have been identified as a suspect from from the get go and if you don't
declare her assess back then
This is all based on guard.
DNA evidence that came out later- all I can say on is if you
to identify a suspect from the get go.
Otherwise you need to throw the whole case out. Well, I guess we
to throw out all the court cases that have ever been mean was just kind of a ludicrous argument that he tried to start out with, but
He goes on to try to discredit D
Dna evidence right.
What else is he gonna? Do I mean anybody?
who follows true. Crime even casually knows that what
persecution has is damning so give this the attorney credit they're doing what their supposed.
To. I guess he has some points. You say you're, you,
Dna evidence, that's been sitting around for a decade or two.
No he's questioning how it was stored and if it was properly sealed, dia the blood's
on the wall. He says: well, that was an anomaly.
Five female and it didn't match stay,
any or John, but this is a blood smear from
that idea eighties. So I dont
oh, if you could say apps
lately wasn't identifiable. They just didn't have to take
knowledge, then, so the hawk
confrontation that happened between Stephanie,
in sherry at the hospital is brought up in court. What happens there
So what Mark Overland was doing was he was saying so
for the they did, have a confrontation, but it's not
The prosecution is painting it soon.
Prosecution is saying: Sherry was confronted by
if who is threatening her. That's my guy and I'm
going to give them up, but
this here saying not so fast. It was stiff.
any who was telling sherry
You're gonna leave me alone, because you got
engage now he's trying to contact me get
me and he says, although stocking claims, that's not true, so he's trying to play damage
troll here he sang Stephanie is
this jealous person she's, not crazy. She wasn't that close
John, despite what the prosecution is saying, despite what some of these witnesses are saying and he's going after that might mark evidence, he said that the envelope that contain that swab it had
parents, the vile was unsealed and the EP blow paper misplaced.
wasn't located until they found it in the l, a county corners office. This
all they have. They don't have anything else
just this one swab
so we Macy saying you can't put your whole case
this shaky evidence this one piece of shaky evidence. They don't stop there that event
also brought up that there is a fingerprint examined
who examined the stereo they found fingerprints,
didn't belong to Sherry, John or Stephanie, and the
Monica Pd Records manager, testified saying they were too
Carper Teresa happened at March night, one thousand nine hundred and eighty six, so it could be that Stephanie did have a break in into her car. The prosecution comes back
She got rid of the murder weapon. This car
again. She faked it.
There is no real ever
Besides, that shaky police report
the prosecution, is leaning on this dna evidence hard and
They prepared a lot of
come stand, show evidence to combat
claims of evidence, tamper
which could happen, but at that point to say in two thousand and
for the evidence was being tested, so this would have been
long game for law enforcement to frame one of their own, it doesn't make sense. They talked about
this break into the condo looked staged. Nothing had been stolen really and why would they take a marriage license
and then, of course, they bring up Stephanie history with John,
there's a lot of other things here, a lot of
their ties lot of other motives. Besides, just hey, there's a swab with her dna on it
the prosecution is going after a police detective here, which is a pretty serious thing,
so they work from the angle of sheep,
used her police training
kill, Sharer Rasmussen and cover it up which betrayed the trusted
entire LAPD, their labeling. Her
as a narcissistic obsessed, killer and sang forget about the detective. This is a killer
When you look at the details of how she
was murdered its brutal and in kind of sadistic, but of course, John, her husband.
he's the key to this right. I mean without him he'd all you
Is this circumstantial evidence, so they put jobs
upon the stand and he admitted in court
you having an affair with Stephanie during her.
engagement and everything they did together. But
The defences are going to oppression,
it is so they're gonna go with them
husband did it.
They're gonna blame John when they come
examined him. They're gonna say you know, John he's the one
discovered, her body he's the one that was gone that day
stay. At the same time, she was being murdered
he was the one that called multiple times while she was being murdered,
if he was really that worried about her. Wouldn't you have just come home, but he decide
stop after and go to the bank and get shoes. I pick up his dry cleaning if
was a husband. Did it scenario,
really just the offence grasping at straws, because sure
you can say those things and a sound intriguing, but they dont mean
any Lazarus is
call them check boxes, while most errors are filled in what is John, have he's the husband so
to check Mark but other than that I mean you might put another check mark for not coming home right away. When his wife has an answer,
phone all day, but I mean how
people really suspect that something bad is going to happen. They checked out
I'll buy at the time they can't really go
back now decades later and check it. Because does that
company he worked out even exist anymore. Either the punch clock
Are they still around so I'll
have to go on as what they did at that time March. Eighth, two thousand twelve
an hour of deliberation? The jury found
Stephanie Lazarus guilty of first gray murder,
and I may Eleventh Stephanie was sentenced
twenty seven years in prison with the possibility of pearl. How much the jury?
they took everything into consideration and
You have a case like this.
Dna evidence. That's that's what everyone wants is. Why was,
Your dna had this location,
at this time specifically on the victim
there's no explaining that away if you're not supposed to be there,
Then why is your dna there
and there's no,
spirits, cedars, no frame up job.
Because Stephanie is a police officer. If anything they're going to protect her, not frame her
One of the big questions in this case is what, if they had looked at Stephanie Lazarus in nineteen eighty six. Some people really believe that
she would have still got away with it because they wouldn't have.
that dna evidence I
the question that, because they did have a bite mark and they did have the reports of her stalking, sherry,
and, of course you how the relationship with John I feel like there is enough there that they could have work that case, but that's just my own feeling. How do you feel about that?
I think that take they did have a lot
and they could have come to that
Conclusion, but with
Have the dna evidence
sure if a jury would find her guilty or not.
So in a way this worked out the way it should have maybe yeah, because now that they ve got her
she's not getting out of this, I mean she MIKE,
out of prison eventually because she was sentenced to twenty seven years and does have the possibility of
oh by the
dna on her. I do
lotta reading on this case Aaron, and I watched some
two videos and a lot of them,
frame this case as an
LAPD cover up of one of their own.
Lot of the coverage
at the time because when this case
hit the news. It was a big deal you ever allow
triangle you have
hop, murdering and innocent woman. It was big deal
initially I'm looking at this- and I think I dont know if I want to jump to this
was a conspiracy. This was a cover up
I dont know if I think man
ever investigated her, and then you have some
evidence that was destroyed this.
Chronic log that they had kept
running tally of everything that is happening. You have big gaps in that people. Look at all this and they absolutely think this was in
the absolutely were not going to investigate one of their own and
Normally I wouldn't say this is a conspiracy. This is a cover up, but sadly the Ellie.
kitties track record
around this time and into the nineties was horrid, there's a whole book written about.
the Tories be Biggie smiles and a cover
and then you have the rampart scandal so well,
I can look at a case like this on its own
and think. Ah, I think that they just did
no, what to investigate and
Eventually, things started
coming out and they did the right thing and and when they did identify
one of their own as the suspect they moved quickly
and they moved quietly and very strict
directly and they did the right thing, but I can't help looking
back at the Eightys and Ninetys at all these other scandals
LAPD had and not think
maybe there is merit to them cover
this out. Maybe there is merit that some of
he's logs were intentionally disposed of. I don't know,
It's difficult for me to say: I can see why they focused on the robbery gone wrong. I don't feel like the evidence, really support,
that? But I can see why they got off on that, but for me I think
it just sort of became tunnel vision for them and that's where you could take
through different departments, and other apartments probably would have got it right. I will say that there was a detective on the case
back in eighty six who, despite
the Erasmus since claims. They said we told him
about cherries problems with Stephanie and he said no. They never told me that. So you could wonder. Is he just lying
because I don't feel the Rasmussen were lying. So what is it
about this detective. Now I don't take them
Mrs would just make this up. There were multiple
people on the no
her family would end up trying to file several lost.
It's against the LAPD
one was dismissed as
I'm Bart, meaning that the statute,
of limitation had asked for them to sue. The
a pity for this.
The other one was a whistle blower lawsuit that time
a criminal s, name Jennifer Francis had fired
The time sheer alleged
There was a misconduct,
to end this investigation surrounding
the dna evidence and that one actually
ended in the city.
Favour, and they said that
was no evidence of
Any misconduct, sober
the family and this criminal is had sued, but nothing came of
there. The simple suits it's crazy case.
thoroughly enjoyed researching it and reading about it. There is a book out there that
you can read it if you want to hear a lot more goes way more in depth and to thee
the trial and evidence in art
it's that were made. What's this book Aaron its
Lazarus files by Matthew, Gough his
his name is spelled m c g o you g h and he has
your views available on Youtube as well. I've watched some of them in Vietnam
divided earlier. He had met Stephanie Lazarus because he was looking into this art theft.
and found her to be very professional, but of course, as things developed well, he said
forming a book in his mind and it was public.
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Transcript generated on 2022-02-23.