Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dittrich's Murder Behind the Badge: True Stories of Cops Who Kill Makes its Debut

by Women in Crime Ink

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 their compassion 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 18 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 lives, and are now paying the consequences. Line-of-duty shootings aren't featured within the pages of "Murder Behind the Badge: True Stories of Cops Who Kill." Society typically sees these crimes from serial killers, rapists, and other violent criminals.

Some of the officers 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 four innocent people: her own partner, two restaurant owners, and her own father, whom she buried underneath her home.

  • Canton, Ohio, police officer Bobby Cutts Jr., who murdered his former girlfriend when she was nine-months pregnant.

  • Bollingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson, currently indicted in the death of his second wife, and being investigated for the disappearance of his third.
  • California Highway Patrolman Craig Peyer, who pulled over San Diego State college student Cara Knott over a frivolous traffic violation, then murdered her.
  • Prince George County, Md., officer Keith Washington, who brutally gunned down two furniture delivery men in his own home for simply being late with the delivery.
  • Columbia, Mo., officer Steven Rios, who slit the throat of his gay lover after the man threatened to tell everyone, including Rios’ wife and police chief, of their relationship.
  • Gerard Schaefer, one of Florida’s most notorious serial killers, who found it easiest to commit his crimes while working as a police officer and deputy sheriff.
  • New York City cop Charles Becker, the first police officer ever executed for the crime of murder in 1915.

With a foreword written by WCI’s own Pat Brown, "Murder Behind the Badge: True Stories of Cops Who Kill" is already receiving praise:

“As a crime victim myself who went on to become a felony prosecutor, police have been a constant in my life for many, many years. They are some of the most honorable people I have ever known. Dittrich exposes the dichotomy between police who fight crime every day vs. those who have become criminals themselves…a real mind twister!” -- Nancy Grace, host of HLN’s The Nancy Grace Show

"Murder Behind the Badge" reveals the dark underbelly of the cop-shop, the evil that can lurk within. Some of these cases you may have heard about, many you have not. Now, learn the inside details of how a murderer gets a badge and is sometimes protected by fellow officers. Only another cop could walk the public through how a psycho gets on a police force in the first place. Only another cop could explain how the mindset of the thin blue line is sometimes so similar to the mindset of the truly disturbed. Author Stacy Dittrich is that cop. This is the book. In the realm of true crime this is a must-have!” -- Diane Dimond, Investigative Journalist/Author of "Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case"

"Murder Behind the Badge: True Stories of Cops Who Kill" is now available for pre-order on line and will be in book stores everywhere Nov. 16, 2009 (Prometheus, Hardcover).


Anonymous said...

IMO - the majority of MALE cops become cops because they were picked on in high school. And/Or are control freaks.

And I know a LOT of cops. I was married to one, and you know that cops only hang out with other cops for the most part.

Stacy Dittrich said...


I'm sorry you had such an unfortunate experience, however your take on cops is not the majority. I don't know how many is "alot" to you but I've been around them my entire life...

My father, husband, uncles, and other family members weren't picked on in high school and are far from control freaks. We don't strictly hang out with other cops either.

I hope, down the road, you have a better experience with law enforcement

shthar said...

"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. "

what the hell are you basing this on?

it certainly isn't based on anything related to police.

Sounds more like the intro to a tv show.