The OTHER Lazarus Is A Killer: Justice For Sherri Rasmussen 26 Years Later With Conviction Of LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus

Posted by BOC Staff | John Ruetten,LAPD,Sherri Rasmussen,Stephanie Lazarus | Friday 9 March 2012 10:28 am

You would think with a last name like Lazarus one would feel certain moral burdens.

Not the case with Stephanie Lazarus, a 25 year veteran detective with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Lazarus was convicted of murdering her romantic rival- the one he ended up marrying instead of her,  Sherri Rasmussen.

Photo Courtesy of LA Times

Sherri was bludgeoned, shot and badly beaten three months after her wedding which unbeknownst to her was also around the timing of a pre-wedding fling between John Ruetten and Stephanie Lazarus.

In 1986 Lazarus was never considered a suspect by anyone, with one exception.  The Rasmussen Family.

To preserve the investigation, a very important piece of evidence was withheld by investigators and the case was declared cold in 2002.  It was believed a pair of robbers responsible for a different crime might be involved,  but there was never any evidence to bring them to suspect status.

In 2009, after a cold case detective learned their was a DNA sample from a bite wound on the arm of Sherri Rasmussen, everything in this case turned upside down.  The DNA belonged to woman.

The DNA sample did not match anyone in CODIS and Sherri’s father renewed his concerns that Lazarus could be involved.

At this point, Lazarus is now married to a fellow LAPD officer, a veteran detective specializing in Art theft, and a mother.

Through what can only be described as dogged pursuit of one of their own, LAPD detectives were finally able to secure a DNA sample from Lazarus from a discarded beverage.

It was a profound match and Lazarus was committed to LA county jail with a $10 million dollar price tag.

The name had no weight, nobody was moving the door of her cell aside, no- how.

After a 1/2 day deliberation, jurors found Lazarus guilty of murder and she was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Her attorney promises to appeal stating they “never had a chance”.

I say don’t bother,  Lazarus took her own bite out of crime and is where she belongs.

(Editorial Note: Kudos to LAPD for admitting initial errors, and not letting that deter them in their quest for justice for Sherri Rasmussen. )




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  1. Liam says:

    Great credit to the good detectives who never gave up and to the Rasmussen family who`s initial suspicions proved correct. Stephanie Lazarus thought she had got away with murder….

    Blink, what kind of animal would do something like this? Poor girl :(

    A very sick one.

  2. Pammy says:

    Thanks Blink for covering this story. I was surprised to see it. I’m glad to see that Lazarus was convicted of Sherri’s murder. It’s amazing that it took so long to catch her. Sherri’s family pointed the finger at her from the beginning. When I got my Kindle Fire, one of the first books that I purchased was a book on this murder. If anyone is interested in reading this story, it’s only .99 on Amazon. It’s called Murdered (Kindle Single) by Paul Alexander. Short read but interesting to see how it all played out.

  3. connie says:

    Wow! Blink- this is unreal!

  4. A Texas Grandfather says:

    I am glad to see that this evil woman was finally identified, charged and convicted of this crime. In the time frame of Sherri’s murder,forensics use of DNA, bite marks and other things in use today were not available.

    This also proves that it is very important for LE to pay close attention to a victims family regarding a possible perp. This case could have been solved much earlier if that had been done.

  5. Ode says:

    (Editorial Note: Kudos to LAPD for admitting initial errors, and not letting that deter them in their quest for justice for Sherri Rasmussen. )
    So applicable to current cases.

  6. Bam from Ms says:

    I have followed this for a very long time. Glad to see it come to a head!

  7. Malty says:

    Interesting I am glad she is serving time

  8. January says:

    Great story, Blink, thank you. Wonderful that justice was done, just too bad she had children before it was solved. Feel sorry for the kids.

  9. Dr. Pepper says:

    Never heard of this case before, so glad they kept all of the evidence in tact and as Blink said, definite kudos to LE for admitting initial errors. Not only that– but for having the courage to pursue a fellow law enforcement officer.

    Hopefully it will show other police departments that the public knows they’re human.
    And we’d much rather they admit mistakes, let fresh eyes take a look at it etc as opposed to saving face.

    No two cases are identical. Police are not psychics. If its been a year (Virginia State Police- hint hint) you are either doing something wrong or not doing something right.

    We dont care how you solve a case or actually who the hell solves it. We just want them solved!!!!

    Prayers to this crazy person’s husband and children. As well as the victims family.

    So glad she is off the streets.

  10. Dr. Pepper says:

    Blink- this is what Fox is reporting. ?

    “Lazarus’ sentencing was set for May 4. She faces 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole plus two years for a gun enhancement.
    Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Board of Prison Terms, said Lazarus would be eligible for parole consideration after serving 16 years and 8 months. She has been in jail since 2009.”

    Read more:

  11. Lòni says:

    That is so fine that justice has been served thank to the perseverance of some people that never ends their efforts to bring
    justice and peace for the victims and for the victims families.

  12. Word Girl says:

    Will those 25 years of cases where a convicted felon, SL, testified–will they now need review?

    I assume that any case she led, which resulted in a conviction, will use her arrest as an appellate issue whether it has merit or not.

    Great question. Folks need to realize that can be a very compelling argument internally.

  13. Glad justice was eventually served I saw a tv true crime show about this case.At the time she was still awaiting trial.

  14. Sister says:

    I just got finished watching Dateline. Incredible, she must have truly believed she got away with murder. All those years of building a life with a family and a career. All those years Sherri never enjoyed. I am sure she will be placed in segregation because of being a former LAPD — but I just wish she relives each day the horror she put Sherri through during the course of the murder and the pain the Rasumssen had endured through the years.
    Peace and Prayers.

    I listened to the entire surreptitious recording. It was masterfully conducted by these investigators.

    I have to say, she was a LOUSY detective, as well as a murdering narcissist.
    I was hearing “Marge” and seeing the William Mays character. Had she used the word malfeasons- I would have lost it. Surreal.

    She never asked what case they were investigating, she never asked if John or she were a suspect.

    Because of some errors made, this was a HIGHLY defensible case. Thank God for the ever present arrogant counsel.


  15. PaMom says:

    I hope Sherri’s family receives some consolation and peace from their long battle for justice.

  16. Phyllis Ainsworth White says:

    I would not recommend the book “Murdered” as it contains so many inaccuracies and completely wrong statements. I have followed this case closely and know the trial facts inside and out. Many of his inaccuracies involve his portrayal of John Ruetten, the victim’s husband and the friend with benefits of Lazarus (although Lazarus completely misread the reality of their relationship). Wait for the book by the author of the article in The Atlantic. He attended the trial and knows the facts. Mr. Alexander got SO MUCH wrong.

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