Stephanie Lazarus, LAPD Detective, Charged with Murder
cyn.khoo | June 9, 2009 at 09:15 amby
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Stephanie Lazarus, veteran detective for the LAPD, has been charged with murder for killing her ex-boyfriend's wife, Sherri Rasmussen, 23 years ago.
Stephanie Lazarus, 49, could potentially face the death penalty because prosecutors alleged a special circumstance in the case: that she killed Sherri Rae Rasmussen, who was badly beaten and shot multiple times in her Van Nuys condominium on the evening of Feb. 24, 1986, during a burglary.
Police originally passed over Lazarus as a suspect in favour of two male robbers who had attacked another woman nearby and whom Rasmussen had encountered in her home. However, DNA tests later showed the perpetrator was a woman. The victim's connection to Lazarus was discovered in case files, and Lazarus's DNA was then matched to DNA evidence from the crime scene.
The victim's father, Neil Rasmussen, long believed Lazarus to be his daughter's killer. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rasmussen claimed Lazarus threatened his daughter in the months before her murder. At the time the police were "dismissive" of his requests to have Lazarus investigated.