Former LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus was convicted in March 2012 of the brutal 1986 killing of Sherri Rasmussen, the wife of Lazarus’ former boyfriend. Because of the LAPD’s slothful investigation of Rasmussen’s murder, Lazarus remained at large until 2009, all the while progressing up the LAPD chain of command. Kudos to the officers in LAPD’s “cold case” unit. They reviewed the unsolved murder and realized that spurned girlfriend Lazarus was the likely killer. They shadowed her for weeks until they were able to grab hold of a drink cup that she had tossed into a garbage can and collect the DNA evidence that linked Lazarus directly to the murder. Garbage in, conviction out.
About Paul Bergman
Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of a University Distinguished Teaching Award. His books include The Criminal Law Handbook and Represent Yourself In Court (both with Berman, Nolo), Criminal Law: A Desk Reference (Nolo), Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (Andrews & McMeel); and Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.). He has also published numerous articles in law journals, and regularly gives presentations on how law and lawyers are portrayed in film.