Friday, January 23, 2015

Killer Cops Number 6

Boy it's been a crazy whirlwind for me the last two months and it's hard to believe January 2015 has come and went so quickly.

Our next Cop in our scope is MICHAEL J. CORBITT, This guy was born March 17, 1944 and he died July 27, 2004 from lung cancer at the age of 60.

He was the chief of police at Willow Springs Illinois and was an associate of Chicago Outfit mobsters such as Sal Bastone, know as  Sam "Momo" Giancana and Antonino "Tony", "Joe Batters" Accardo. He became a cooperating witness after being convicted of aiding in the murder of a woman in Chicago, Diane Masters, by her husband, Alan.

Mr. Corbitt was born to an Irish American Family in Chicago, Illinois. After Several years in a Roman Catholic parochial school he was transferred to a public school at the age of 9. He later recalled that without a Catholic school uniform to hide behind it was obvious just how poor his family was. He was humiliated by the poverty of his parents and tired of hand me downs such as clothes and toys, he turned to shoplifting and later graduated to running with an Italian-American street gang.

In always hanging around where Corbitt could be seen by Mob members, he soon drew the attention of the Chicago Outfit gang. They recruited him into running errands around one of its social clubs. After several years of owning and running a Sunoco gas station set up by the Mob, which also doubled a mobster hand out, Outfit boss Sam Giancana then offered Corbitt a position as a police officer in Willow Springs. According to Corbett's memoirs, Giancana told him after he accepted the position, "But just remember kid, don't forget who your friends are." Shortly thereafter, Corbitt was sworn into the Willow Springs police department by notorious political boss Doc Rust.

In several Quotes from the Outfit Gang; "In the Outfit, when you screwed up, you got planted. End of Story, it wasn't like they handed you a pink slip and you went to work for another crew. You were done. That is unless you used a tactic that was a favorite with America's corporate set, the old CTA routine. (Cover your ASS) and blame whatever went wrong on the other guy.:

"Any time you hear the FBI use the words witness protection, you can bet you've got a problem."

In 1981 The Chicago Outfit was out of control. Tocco's crew had taking killing to a whole new level, so that whacking a guy didn't mean anything anymore. Forget finesse or discretion. Under cover of night or in broad daylight, it didn't matter. If they had a job to do, they did it. Guys were dropping like flies. The chop shop owners were still taking a beating, and the police departments were starting to look more like Outfit crews than crime fighters. Politicians like Doc Rust's old friend Pat Marcy, from Chicago's First Ward, were operating more like godfathers than elected officials.  And perhaps not coincidentally, cocaine was everywhere. A lot of the younger Outfit guys were dealing it- and doing it. They were living in the fast lane and dying there too. Nightlife in Chicago meant disco bars, free sex, and fast highs. If you were an Outfit guy, a fast buck

Kind of reminds of the "Roaring Twenties" doesn't it. but this all took place in the late seventies and early eighties. Makes you wonder "Does history repeat its self" just in a different form?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Number 5 on the list "Killer Cops"

This gentleman was born in February, on the 25th 1944 and he died August 10th, 1982.
He was a police officer from Portsmouth Virginia who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1978 capital murder of Muriel Hatchell.

He maintained his innocence until he was executed. According to reports a co conspirator with Cappola disguised herself as a flower delivery woman to enter her home. Once inside she pulled out a pistol from amidst the floral display which she was carrying and allowed cover for Coppola and others to rush into the home.

Hatchell was bound with a cord from the Venetian blinds and had her head slammed repeatedly into the floor, allegedly by Coppola until she was dead. The group fled with $3100 in cash and some rings from the crime scene. On September 26, 1978 Coppola was convicted of first degree capital murder and sentenced to death in Virginia's electric chair. He waived his appeals and was executed on August 10, 1982. He was the first person executed in Virginia since the Supreme Court reinstituted capital punishment in 1976. He was also the first person executed in Virginia since 1962.

You know being a cop or police person was always a great honor for any man or woman. To put away the bad guys, keep the order, and everyone use to look up to the police for there duties are easy, especially this day and time. Why would this cops I'm writing about go so wrong, was it because they thought they could get away with it, being a cop gave them the right to take a life? These are men and women we look up to for protection, and comfort from the bad guy. Reading about these men and women and the look at today's police, makes you even scare to trust them! I know I have my doubts!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lady-Killer Cop number 4

Hello out there in the world of email, face-book, twitter, and so on.

The next on the list of Killer Cops is a lady named Laurie Bembenek she was born August 15, 1958 and died November 20, 2010 from liver and kidney failure.

She was an American convicted of murdering her husband's ex-wife. Now I don't know about you, but sometimes I'd like to kill my husband, but to murder an ex-wife? Come on!

Her story garnered national attention after she escaped from Taycheedah Correctional Institution and was recaptured in Canada, they let anybody into Canada! An episode which inspired books, movies, and the slogan "Run, Bambi, Run". Upon winning a new trial she pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to time served and ten years probation. For years after she sought to have the sentence overturned.

Bembenek was a former Milwaukee police officer who had been fired and had gone on to sue the department claiming that it engaged in sexual discrimination and other illegal activities. She worked briefly as a waitress at the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Playboy Club. At the time of her arrest, she was working for Marquette University's Public Safety Department in Downtown Milwaukee.

On November 20, 2010 she died at a hospice facility in Portland Oregon.

On May 28, 1981 around 2:15am, Christine Schultz only 30 years old was murdered by a single .38 caliber pistol shot fired point-blank into her back and through her heart. She had been gagged and blindfolded and her hands were tied in front of her with rope. She had two sons, ages 7 and 11 years old. They found her face down on her bed and bleeding. Sean the 11 year old had seen the assailant and described him as a masked male figure in a green army jacket and black shoes. He also said the man had a long reddish colored ponytail.

Christine Schultz was the ex-wife of Laurie Bembenek's then husband. Fred, was a Milwaukee Police Department detective. They had been divorced six months at the time of the murder. Fred initially stated he was on duty investigating a burglary with his partner at the time of the murder, but years later he admitted they were actually drinking at a local bar. When ballistics testing revealed it was his off-duty revolver that had been the murder weapon, suspicion shifted to Laurie as she had been alone in the apartment she shared with Fred and had access to both the gun and a key to Christine's house that Fred had secretly copied from his oldest son's house key.

The trial generated tremendous publicity, and newspapers began referring to her as "Bambi" (a nickname she didn't like). The prosecution portrayed her as a loos woman addicted to expensive living who wanted Christine dead so that her new husband would no longer have to pay her alimony. The prosecution pointed out that Bembenek also had financial problems. The evidence was two human hairs found at the crime scene. The matched the ones taken from a hairbrush of Laurie. The prosecution claimed that Laurie was the only person besides Fred who had access to this weapon. Blood was found on the gun. Bembenek supposedly also had access to the key to Christine's home. There were no signs of a break-in and no valuables were taken. Schultz's eldest son however stated that Bembenek was not the person who had held up their house and shot his mother.

Witnesses testified that Bembench had spoken often of hilling Christine Shultz. The prosecution produced a witness who said Bembenek offered to pay him to carry out the murder. According to witnesses from the prosecution, Bembenek owned a green jogging suit similar to the one described by the son. It was pointed out the Bembenek owned a clothes line and a blue bandanna similar to what was used to bind and gag the victim. A wig found in the plumbing system of Bembenek's apartment matched fibers found at the murder scene. A boutique employee testified that Bembenek purchased such a wig shortly before the murders.

She was found guilty of first degree murder in March 1982 and sentenced to life in prison in the Taycheedah Correctional Institution.

Shortly after her conviction Fred filed for a divorce and began saying publicly that he now believed Laurie was guilty. Laurie filed three unsuccessful appeals on her conviction. She claimed police had made errors in handling of key evidence and the fact that one of the prosecution's witnesses, a Judy Zess, had recanted her testimony, stating it was made under duress. Laurie and her supporters also alleged that Milwaukee police may have singled her out for prosecution because of her role as a key witness in a federal investigation in to police corruption. They even suggested that Fred may have arranged to have someone else murder his ex-wife. One possible candidate was Frederick Horenberger, a career criminal who briefly worked with Schultz as a remodeling project and was a former boyfriend of Judy Zess. A disguised Horenberger had robbed and beaten Judy Zess several weeks prior to Christine's Murder and would later serve a ten-year sentence for that crime.

According to a number of affidavits which emerged following Bembenek's conviction, Horenberger boasted of killing Schultz to other inmates while he was doing his time. Yet publicly, Horenberger vehemently denied any involvement in the Schultz murder up until his suicide in November 1991, following a robbery and hostage taking stand off in which he had been involved.

There were questions raised as to the accuracy of the information and the evidence used in the trial. Dr. Samuels, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, had originally conclude that hairs recovered from the body were consistent with that of the victim; after Dr. Samuels had come to that conclusion the hair evidence was examined by Duane Hanson a hair analyst from a crime lab in Madison Wisconsin. Hanson stated that two of the hairs were consistent with samples taken from Laurie's hairbrush. Dr. Samuels refuted that claim stating in a 1983 letter quoted in the Toronto Star in 1991 that "I recovered no blonde or red hairs of any length or texture. All of the hairs I recovered from the body were brown and were grossly identical to the hair of the victim. I do not like to suggest that evidence was altered in any way, but I can find no logical explanation  for what amounted to the mysterious appearance of blonde hair in an envelope that contained no such hair at the time it was sealed by me.

The apartment where Laurie and Fred lived shared drainage with another apartment. In the shared drainpipe was found a brownish-red wig which matched some of the hairs found on the victim's body. The woman who occupied the other apartment testified that Judy Zess had knocked on her door and asked to use her bathroom after Zess used the woman's bathroom, the plumbing was mysteriously clogged, also Zess had admitted to owning a brownish-red wig.

Laurie was hardly a model inmate, she was constantly bragging about how she was a celebrity inmate who deserved special treatment while thinking about escape. It wasn't long after she met Dominic Gugliatto who was visiting another inmate that with his help Laurie escaped. The couple spent three months as fugitives before being apprehended. Gugliatto was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in her escape.

Laurie was released from prison in November 1992 after serving a little over ten years. Laurie was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder complicated by a growing addiction to alcohol. In 2002 she either fell or jumped from a second story window which she broke her leg so badly it had to be amputated below the knee. She claimed that she had been confined in an apartment by handlers for the Dr. Phil television show and was injured while attempting to escape.