In crime, it's rare when the detective becomes the murderer.
But it happened to Stephanie Lazarus, a beloved LAPD art-crime investigator who, it turned out, murdered the wife of her ex-boyfriend in jealous rage in 1986 and lived with the crime until DNA connected her to the slaying in 2009.
Today Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry sentenced the ex-cop to ...
... 27 years to life in prison for first-degree murder.
However, this ain't over yet. Lazarus' attorney immediately said she would appeal in the case of 29-year-old Sherri Rasmussen's death.
She was shot three times in her Van Nuys condo. Her undoing, it seems, was marrying Lazarus' ex-boyfriend, John Ruetten, three months before the attack. He told the court:
The fact that Sherri's death occurred because she met and married me brings me to my knees. I do not know, I'm sure I will (never) know how to cope with this appalling fact. I have resigned myself to praying for some measure of peace by trying to endure the daydreams about a world where Sherri is still with us.
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Strangely, not long before her arrest, Lazarus was featured in LA Weekly's 2009 People issue, posing with the beloved artwork she was sworn to protect.