Most of us trust police officers to act in a brave and selfless manner. We see them as our protectors and defenders of law. If we believe that someone has committed a crime we usually either ring the police or go to the police station. We trust, in most cases, that police officers will do everything in their power to punish those who commit a crime. We trust that they will bring justice to those who deserve it. It’s comforting knowing that.
However, we have all heard stories where police officers are not in actual fact the good guys. We know that sometimes they can be corrupt, looking out for themselves only, bending the law to suit their needs and wishes. Sometimes those who deserve to be punished get off scot-free. Sometimes those who do nothing wrong end up being punished instead. Those are the cases when police officers turn a blind eye to crime because it benefits them to do so. But even worse, what is police officers carry out ghastly crimes themselves? Robbing, drug dealing, kidnapping and even murdering?
Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Sometimes these police officers are suspected of foul play and are either suspended or forced to resign. But their crimes don’t stop, of course. Sometimes police officers that commit awful crimes are seen as model policemen. They go on drug dealing, kidnapping and murdering citizens, usually women, and they use their inside police knowledge to cover up their crimes. What happens when those that are supposed to protect us end up hurting us instead?
15 Stephen Caracappa And Lou Eppolito
Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito were two police detectives at the New York Police Department. However, they were not very good detectives in the sense that they worked with the Mafia on the side. The two police detectives worked primarily with the Lucchese family.
In 1994, a newspaper story claimed that Caracappa and Eppolito took part in the murder of another mafia family’s boss. However, no charges against the two men were made. But that same year, the boss of the Lucchese family, Anthony Casso, chose to become a police informant instead of facing life in prison.
The mafia boss said that Caracappa and Eppolito were both paid handsomely by the mafia for the divulgence of sensitive police information. Casso also revealed that both Caracappa and Eppolito were involved in a number of robberies, extortion and murders. Both Caracappa and Eppolito were sentenced to life in prison. But here’s a fun fact: prior to his arrest Eppolito played ‘Fat Andy’ in the hit film Goodfellas.
14 Laurie Bembenek
Lawrencia Bembenek, better known as Laurie Bembenek or just “Bambi”, was a former Playboy bunny and Milwaukee police officer who was charged with committing murder.
In the late 1980s, Bembenek married a man named Fred Schultz who was divorced. His ex-wife was a woman named Christine Schultz. In 1981, Christine Schultz was shot in her home. The bullet went through her heart and she died. Before she was shot she had her hands tied in front of her and she was gagged and blindfolded. Christine’s two sons found her dead on her bed. One of the sons claimed he saw the killer. According to him, the killer was a man with a red ponytail.
The investigation revealed that the gunshot was fired from Fred Shultz’s gun. At the time of Christine’s murder, Fred was drinking in a local bar with his friend, so it couldn't have been him. Bembenek, on the other hand, was home alone. She had access both to Fred’s gun and Christine’s house key. Bembenek was charged for Christine's murder and sentenced to a life in prison. Bembenek eventually ran away from prison however and later requested a review of her case.
13 Michael Harold Chapel
Michael Harold Chapel was a police officer in Gwinnett County in Georgia. He was convicted for the murder of a woman named Emogene Thomson. Before Thomson was killed, she came to the police station claiming that $6,000 had been stolen from her trailer home.
Since Thomson had $12,000 at her trailer home, Chapel decided that Thomson’s son must have taken the money, because no robber would take only half the sum available. Thomson’s son had previously stolen $300 dollars but when questioned by Chapel, claimed that he was innocent. At the time, Chapel was having financial difficulties. He was trying to run his own business so as to be able to support his wife and two kids.
Sometime later, Thomson was found dead in her car. Witnesses claim that they saw a police car near the time of the murder. A key witness saw a man near Thomson’s car around the time of the murder. The witness identified Chapel as the man he saw. Chapel was convicted.
12 Antoinette Frank
Antoinette Frank was a police officer in New Orleans when she was convicted for killing three people. During her time working as a policewoman, she witnessed a couple of shootings. During one shooting, she met her future boyfriend Rogers Lacaze. Lacaze was supposedly a drug dealer.
In March, 1995 Frank and Lacaze visited a Vietnamese restaurant in New Orleans. After they left, the owners began counting their money. However shortly after, Frank and Lacaze re-entered the closed restaurant with a stolen key, stole the restaurant’s money and shot two members of the family who ran the business.
The other members of the family who ran the business, as well as an employee, hid in the cooler and thus survived the shooting. After Frank dropped Lacaze home, she heard on her police radio that there had been a shooting in the restaurant. She went back, intending to kill those that survived the shooting but other police officers were there. She was arrested and convicted for murder.
11 Stephanie Lazarus
Stephanie Lazarus was a police detective in Los Angeles. In 1986 she was a suspect in the murder of her ex-boyfriend’s John Ruetten’s wife, Sherri Rasmussen. Rasmussen had been beaten and shot to death in her apartment. Ruetten found his dead wife after he had come home from work. Lazarus was initially a suspect because she had supposedly approached Rasmussen saying that if she could not have John, then nobody could. However, it was later decided that the murder was in actual fact a robbery because Rasmussen’s BMW was taken. But 23 years later, a police detective decided to re-investigate the case. Female DNA from a bite mark on Rasmussen’s body was found and matched to the DNA of Lazarus. Lazarus was sentenced to almost 30 years in prison.
10 Craig Allen Peyer
Craig Allan Peyer was a California Highway Patrol Officer. In 1988, he was convicted of murdering a female student named Cara Knott. In 1986, Knott was driving back to her parents’ house. On her drive back, she was stopped by Peyer (he was in a California Highway Patrol car at the time). Peyer shocked Knott with his flashlight and strangled her with rope. He then threw her body over the bridge. Two days later, he was taking part in an interview in which he was asked to advise female drivers on how to protect themselves. At the time of the interview, he had scratches on his face that were later revealed to be scratches made by the struggling Knott. Peyer was convicted for Knott’s murder. It also came to light that Peyer had long been targeting lonesome women on the Interstate.
9 Gerard John Schaefer
Gerard John Schaefer’s dream was not always that of being a policeman. In fact, after he graduated he became a teacher but was soon fired for inappropriate behaviour. He then decided to become a priest but that didn’t work out either. So in 1971, he became a patrolman instead. However, his career did not last long. While on patrol in 1972, he picked up two young female hitchhikers. He kidnapped them and brought them to the woods where he told them he would sell them into prostitution. After he got a call on his police radio, Schaefer had to go. But he first tied them up, promising he would return.
While Schaefer was gone, the girls broke free, ran away and reported the incident to the police. Schaefer was fired. But his assaults on girls did not stop. Shortly after, he was charged with the murder of two young girls after their decomposing bodies were found. Schaefer had damning evidence in his possession, such as his victims diaries and teeth, as well as descriptions of torture and rape.
8 Kevin Gregson
Kevin Gregson was an officer at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His police career was tricky. While Gregson was praised for his courage in disarming a gunman 1998, he was suspended from the police force in 2006 for various incidents with senior police officers. That same year Gregson had also threatened to kill a church bishop. Gregson was asked to resign from the police force in 2008 but he appealed the decision. In 2009, he was once again asked to resign. When he failed to do so, Gregson was suspended. That same year, Gregson fatally stabbed officer Eric Czapnic for no apparent reason. There were many witnesses at the scene of the crime and Gregson was immediately arrested. He was charged with murder.
7 Patrick Kelly
Patrick Kelly was an undercover police agent at Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Kelly was married to a woman named Jeannette. However, their relationship must have been a strained one because in 1981 Kelly murdered his wife by pushing her off the 17th floor balcony. During his talks with the police, Kelly claimed that he had noticed his wife on the balcony, examining the rails. According to Kelly, Jeannette then slipped and fell. However, at the trial it was deemed impossible that Jeannette could have slipped to her death due to the location of the body after the fall. It was also found out that Kelly was very likely working with the mafia. Perhaps Kelly’s wife knew too much or was blackmailing him, and Kelly felt like he had no other choice but to kill her. Kelly was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
6 Thomas Hartley Montgomery
Thomas Hartley Montgomery was a senior official at the Royal Irish Constabulary. Even though employed, Montgomery was always in financial difficulty. In 1981, Montgomery must have needed money fast because he was willing to do anything to get his hands on some cash. He entered the Northern Bank, cornered William Glass, a clerk who worked there and stabbed him in the head with a knife. Montgomery then proceeded to empty out the till. When the robbery and murder became public, Montgomery decided that the best way to shift suspicion was to take over the investigation. However, he was not successful in concealing the part he took in the murder. He was identified by a witness and his colleagues soon learned of his financial struggles. Montgomery was not only convicted but also hanged.
5 Wang Xiven
Wang Xiwen was a Chinese police officer. He was hard-working and soon earned various promotions. However, after he lost one of the promotions he had previously received he became rather bitter. In 1980, Xiwen broke into the police offices and stole guns, money and grenades. He also destroyed various ceramics and portraits of famous figures. Destroying property was not enough for Xiwen, however, and he was soon out on the streets, shooting at various innocent passers-by. He patrolled the streets for six hours, not once ceasing to shoot those that he encountered. By the time he was arrested he had killed 6 people and had a huge number of people wounded, some of them extremely seriously or even fatally. He had also somehow shot two pigs. Xiwen was convicted and executed.
4 Serhiy Tkach
Serhiy Federovich Tkach was a police criminal investigator. During his employment at his first job, Tkach was caught falsifying documents and as a result had to resign. He then moved to Ukraine and became a police criminal investigator again. In 1984, girls and young women began to mysteriously disappear. The girls and the young women always went missing near those areas where Tkach was working and living. In 2005, for some strange reason Tkach attended the funeral of one of the girls he had murdered. Some people attending the funeral claimed that they had seen Tkach with the victim before and the police began investigating Tkach. When cornered, Tkach confessed to murdering over 100 girls. He raped before killing them and then used his knowledge of criminal investigator to throw the police off the track.
3 Roger Rogerson
Roger Rogerson was a detective sergeant at the New South Wales Police Force. From the outside, Rogerson appeared to be a model sergeant – he received numerous awards for bravery and hard work. However, he was also suspected of drug dealing, bribery and even murder. He was also good friends with other police officers that were known for their corruption. In 1986, Rogerson was dismissed from his duties as a detective sergeant. He then went on to work in the building and construction industry and later became a blogger and writer. In 2014, however, Rogerson’s life took the turn for the worst when he was charged with murdering a student named Jamie Gao. The murder was said to have something to do with drugs. Rogerson was sentenced to life in prison.
2 Barend Strydom
Barend Strydom was a South African Police officer. However, his career as a policeman was short-lived. He was dismissed from his duties after he had taken a photograph of himself with a decapitated motorist. In 1988, Strydom killed one woman and caused serious injury to another. However, this was just a trial for what was about to come. Shortly after, Strydom went on a massive killing spree. He murdered 7 black people and injured 15 others. He was only 23 years old at the time. After he was arrested he claimed that he had meditated and prayed to God and that God gave him no sign whatsoever that he should not carry out his killing spree. Strydom narrowly escaped capital punishment and was pardoned for his crimes in 1994.
1 Drew Peterson
Drew Peterson was a police sergeant in Illinois. In 2004, Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in a dry bathtub. Savio had bruises all over her body and a huge gash on her head that could have been caused by a knife. Officially Savio’s cause of death was declared as drowning. Her body was found two months after she had divorced Peterson. Three years later, Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Ann Cales Peterson, mysteriously disappeared. Her body was never found, even though many suspected that Peterson had something to do with her sudden disappearance. In 2009, a second autopsy was done on Savio and signs of struggle were found. Peterson was charged for her murder. He received an almost 40-year prison sentence. In 2016, he was also convicted and sentenced for another attempted murder.