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Video shows LAPD detective interrogation

November 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles Police Detective Stephanie Lazarus is facing charges in the murder of her ex-boyfriend's wife.Video just released shows her fellow detectives questioning her, then breaking the news that she was under suspicion.

Detectives interrogated one of their own after they began focusing on her as a suspect more than two decades after the murder.

Unusual hidden-camera video has been made public for the first time.

Fellow cops duped Lazarus. She walked into interview thinking she was going to help them in a case of art theft, her specialty. She was not expecting to discuss a homicide, and certainly not with her as their suspect.

Through the interview they try to unravel her story. The video will now be used to prosecute her for murder.

No memory of any fight, no recall of any feud. Stephanie Lazarus was questioned by fellow cops. She was initially unaware that she was their prime suspect in a cold-case murder. The victim, Sherri Rasmussen, was found shot to death in her Van Nuys townhouse in 1986. Rasmussen was newly married to Lazarus's old boyfriend.

"I think the tape is chilling in its detail," said attorney John Taylor, who represents the victim's parents. They say they had reported confrontations between Sherri Rasmussen and a female cop.

"It would have led to answers for the family regarding what had happened to their daughter," said Taylor.

But decades later, detectives were able to analyze DNA evidence found at the murder scene where there had been a violent fight. Detectives were able to procure a DNA sample from Lazarus without her knowledge some time before the interview. They say it is a match for Lazarus.

Lazarus left the interview to call a lawyer. She was then arrested in the hallway by waiting detectives and read her rights.

Eyewitness News contacted her attorney, Mark Overland. He said he currently had no comment, but will have plenty to say in the coming trial.


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