Most men and women who aspire to be police officers begin their careers with a noble dream of community service, upholding the law, and helping those in need. Yet over time the rigors and emotional strain of dealing with society’s worst element wear on even the most idealistic officers like a sheet of sandpaper, until what used to be a compassionate human being is slowly rubbed away. A few become corrupted and slip into criminal behavior, directly contradicting their oath to guard the public. Even worse, there are some who hide behind their badges to commit the most heinous crimes imaginable.
In a shocking true-crime narrative that reads like a thriller, former police officer, former detective, and mystery writer Stacy Dittrich tells eighteen stories about cops who kill. From the brutal to the bizarre, the senseless to the extreme, these men and women abused their power, took human life, and are now (except for one) paying the consequences. Some killed for love, others for money, and still others because of seemingly trivial personality conflicts. Dittrich profiles, among others:
• New Orleans cop Antoinette Frank, who brutally murdered three innocent people, including a fellow officer.
• Canton, Ohio police officer Bobby Cutts Jr., who murdered his former girlfriend when she was nine-months pregnant.
• California highway patrolman Craig Peyer, who pulled over San Diego State college student Cara Knott over a frivolous traffic violation, then murdered her.
• Columbia, Missouri officer Steven Rios, who slit the throat of his gay lover, after he threatened to tell everyone of their relationship.
As a veteran police officer with seventeen years of experience, Dittrich is careful to emphasize that the vast majority of law enforcement officers dutifully uphold their oath to protect the public trust. The fascinating stories she tells are examples of the few whose character flaws turned them into the very criminals they themselves at one time pursued.