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Sunday, February 12, 2012

[CA] LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus left her DNA on the body of murdered Sherri Rasmussen

SHERRI RAE RASMUSSEN
Murdered
...Rasmussen was a tall, athletic 29-year-old 
hospital nursing supervisor with a pretty smile...


...[Los Angeles Police Department scientist Jennifer] Francis said the genetic profile of Lazarus and the bite mark would be expected to be found in one in 402 quadrillion individuals... "Metaphorically speaking, this case is about the new LAPD investigating the old LAPD... There's the old adage that the LAPD would never go after one of its own, but this case flies in the face of that"...


Previous Posts:

On trial: Stephanie Lazarus

EX-LAPD DETECTIVE STEPHANIE LAZARUS' DNA MATCHED SAMPLE FROM VAN NUYS MURDER VICTIM'S BITE MARK, TESTIFIES CRIMINALIST
Daily News
By Linda Deutsch
02/10/2012
[Excerpt] DNA taken from the mouth of a former police detective so closely matched saliva from a bite mark on the arm of a murdered woman that no one else could have produced that genetic similarity, a criminalist told jurors Friday. Los Angeles Police Department scientist Jennifer Francis, who analyzed evidence in the 26-year-old murder case, offered a conclusion that bolstered prosecution claims that defendant Stephanie Lazarus murdered her romantic rival. Francis said the DNA of Lazarus was found on the bite mark discovered on victim Sherri Rasmussen's body after she was slain in 1986... Lazarus has pleaded not guilty and her lawyer, Mark Overland, has suggested that the DNA swabs taken at the time of Rasmussen's killing were corrupted over the years and are not reliable evidence. Prosecutors claim that Lazarus was consumed with jealousy when her longtime lover, John Ruetten, announced he had decided to marry Rasmussen, a nursing supervisor at a hospital. When Rasmussen was killed, investigators believed she was the victim of a home invasion robbery. Lazarus' name came up when the case was reopened and new detectives looked at the facts. Other police witnesses have told how they followed Lazarus surreptitiously and collected her DNA from a cup she discarded during a shopping trip... Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Paul Nunez, Francis said the genetic profile of Lazarus and the bite mark would be expected to be found in one in 402 quadrillion individuals... The trial is in recess until Tuesday. Monday is a court holiday. [Full article here]

2010 Video:

A BITE, BULLET AND BROKEN HEART: FORMER LA COP STANDS TRIAL FOR MURDER
Cable News Network
By Ann O'Neill, CNN
Wed February 8, 2012
[Excerpts] ..."A bite, a bullet, a gun barrel and a broken heart, that's the evidence that will prove to you that defendant Stephanie Lazarus murdered Sherri Rasmussen," Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby told jurors... The trial promises to tell the story of a decorated female officer who rose through the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department while allegedly hiding a dark secret: She was getting away with murder... Rasmussen was a tall, athletic 29-year-old hospital nursing supervisor with a pretty smile... "Metaphorically speaking, this case is about the new LAPD investigating the old LAPD," said Andrew Blankstein, who has covered the department for the Los Angeles Times since the 1990s... "There's the old adage that the LAPD would never go after one of its own, but this case flies in the face of that."... At the time of the slaying, Lazarus was in her second year with the Los Angeles Police Department. The killing occurred on a Monday. Lazarus had taken the day off; Rasmussen had called in sick that morning. Authorities estimate she died before lunchtime... Lazarus was a newbie patrol officer when [John] Ruetten broke up with her for good... [DNA] Testing in 2005 revealed the assailant was a woman. But still some detectives clung to the burglary theory and focused their inquiries on known female prowlers. From the beginning, the victim's family had pointed to an ex-girlfriend of Ruetten's who was a cop, and as the DNA testing advanced, undercover police followed Lazarus to a Costco store and retrieved a discarded soda from a trash can. Saliva traces from the straw matched the bite mark DNA, and she officially became a suspect... Presby said the chances of the killer being anyone else is "one in 1.7 sextillion." That's a 17 followed by 20 zeroes... As prosecutors set the scene with their first witnesses, the images projected on a large screen... Her father, Nels Rasmussen, occasionally choked back sobs, and one of the victim's sisters teared up at the sight... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder cold case reopened female perp perpetrator california state politics]

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