Veteran LAPD Detective Arrested in Love Triangle Slaying
(KTLA) LOS ANGELES — A veteran LAPD detective is under arrest in connection with the 1986 killing of her ex-lover’s wife.
49-year old Stephanie Lazarus was arrested at police headquarters after a sample of her saliva taken recently matched the killer’s DNA, police said.
Lazarus, who joined the force in 1983, is accused of killing Sherri Rae Rasmussen, director of critical care nursing at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
Rasmussen’s body was found by her husband in the living room of their Van Nuys condominium on Feb. 24, 1986.
Her car, a silver BMW, was discovered 10 days after her death about two miles from the couple’s condominium in the 7100 block of Balboa Boulevard, but contained no clues, police said.
Lazarus was actually mentioned in the original case file because of her involvement with the victim’s husband.
However, she was not pursued as a suspect at the time because investigators believed Rasmussen was killed by the same men who came close to killing another woman two months later in a botched burglary three blocks from her home.
No suspects were found and the case went cold for years, until last week when undercover officers followed Lazarus and obtained a sample of her saliva to compare with DNA left at the original crime scene, Beck said.
Paul Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said her arrest is disturbing to the department and the public.
“If convicted, the actions of one police officer should not tarnish the trust and respect the public has for the more than 9,800 dedicated police officers,” the union president said.
Lazarus worked patrol duty in the San Fernando Valley when she joined the force.
She was later promoted to detective and since 2006 has worked in a unit that tracks stolen art, according to police records.